Abstract Beginnings

abstract beginnings

Abstract Beginnings

Abstract Beginnings Notes

All paintings have abstract beginnings in my view. From the abstract expressionism so popular again now to the very refined of realism, it is all starts with the abstract. Some are starts, which I enjoy and some are block ins that all painters begin with. I’ve been studying this process for a long time. I am a mass painter in that I see objects in large masses of value and shapes. I tend away for linear form except for fine tree limbs and final details of a painting. It is that gradual transition from the abstract to the refinement that separates a lot of styles. That is the intrigue for me. I’ve never really had any interest in being a true abstract painter. I like the natural world too much to abandon it for vague shapes and colors, though I completely respect those who paint that way.

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Abstract Beginnings

My study method is a beginning in abstract shapes values and colors, moving along in that vein until the end is near. I like to add refinement where I want the attention of the viewer to rest for a moment. My goal is a transition around the painting between abstraction to semi-abstraction and to fine detail where it is warranted. I like clean paint and mud where it is intentional, not by poor brushwork. Perhaps that is why my love affair with alla prima has faded. I don’t like sloppy brushwork whether it is refined or of a loose quality.

Abstract beginnings

It is more of a mindset in the process than any major process changes. In other words, my mental approach to the method is different. I start with the idea of doing a painting, using spare information. Just enough to tell the story and make it viable for my studies. The larger painting is approached in the same way, but varying amounts of detail or refinement are added as needed to produce a finished work. Using this method is making me more accountable for my detail additions. I have to think about what is really necessary, rather than moving forward with detail in an unmeasured way.  I like this process very much. Further study is needed of course, this is just a different method of painting. Shaking up the old dog with some new ideas is always a good idea. I would never want to be a rote or complacent painter. I never want to learn everything. I want the quest for excellence to go on as long as I can hold a brush.

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Abstract beginnings

It is important that painters understand that they may never be a master painter. I never will but it does not deter  or depress me.There will always be painters who can out paint me all day long. I think painters spend too much time thinking about their pecking order or who is better, or who they are better than. The art world has become too much about contests and position. Really! Who cares who is better? No one paints like me and I can live with that. I don’t have to be the best or even good. As long as I have a desire to learn my craft and as long as folks like my work and buy it, I am successful. I am doing what I adore with my life, meeting splendid people who believe in me and my work. I don’t think prestige is all that important. I have a big resume but I haven’t been asked for it in years. Our work is our name. Standing in front of that easel and working at it every day is what counts. As long as I am improving and working hard, I am a success!

These experiments with abstract beginnings are sometimes successful and sometimes not. I have a burn pile on my land a few steps from the studio. Lots of canvases go on it as I progress through various experiments and techniques. Some turn out good, luckily. There is a lot about our world that is from abstract to refined, and all in between. I’ll keep working at it.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe


2 large avocado s, chopped
1-1/2 cups cooked fresh corn kernel s
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion s
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup  Italian Dressing
Combine gently and serve with chips



Notes From My World

I am improving a bit now. I was able to paint for about two hours today and do my laundry, so I am pleased. I need to finish a small commission that has been sitting on the studio easel for about two weeks. I hope tomorrow I will be strong enough to work on it for my client. She has been so very patient. What should have taken a day or two has stretched into three weeks.

I hope to have the strength to do another demonstration at Michaels before the month slips by and I want to get started on a new mid sized oil painting, perhaps in a few more days. I am building up a bit each day with work on acrylic studies for my Michaels beginning classes.

One day at a time…..


linda blondheim

Notes From My Painting Studio

I finished painting number 27 for this month today. It is one I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks on and off between challenge paintings. I am using it as tomorrow’s challenge, number 27. Only three more challenge paintings to go. It has been a long painting month with that every day session. I would say it has been excellent discipline and excellent time to try out different subjects than my usual theme. I must say I am glad it is coming to a close so that I can get busy on other paintings soon without the pressure to finish something each day.

I will not go back to tweak the small challenge paintings, though of course I could improve them with more time investment, but I usually don’t go back to change little paintings. They are the best I could do with alla prima work and so I don’t want to spend the time investment to rework them.

I spent part of my studio day working on the flower cards I make by hand, They are always fun because I enjoy pressing them and spending time painting the cards after the flowers are glued on. I am waiting for my new mobile flower press to arrive. I plan to pick flowers next Sunday at Fair Oaks and press them immediately. People really enjoy buying the cards I make.

Enjoying my summer art schedule


Notes From all my studios

I just got in from my dreaded chore of mowing, one of the few chores I dread. It is a hot summer already and we are just now moving into the long stretch. June raced by.

I’m enjoying my relaxed summer schedule in my studios. Yesterday I started a 24×24 oil painting at the Fair Oaks Studio. What a pleasant way to paint every Sunday. I love that studio so much. I do a session and then wait a week to continue. It is a great way to paint. I have about three paintings in progress there and as they dry, I bring them home to frame.

I’ve been doing acrylic studies in the painting studio and the studies really teach me to paint more than any other process. I suppose it is the freedom to make mistakes and to try difficult subjects that I learn so much from them. The interesting thing is that they always sell.

The town studio is going along. Few people, but that is normal in Gainesville. Summer is terrible for businesses in a college town. I am selling enough to survive. Hopefully the fall will improve as it usually does.

I ordered post cards to market my new and improved web site, so I am busy addressing them to send out. Summer is fun!

A sea of paperwork


Notes From My Office

I’m working my way around the painting studio and office getting rid of old things I no longer use and now I have started on the sea of paperwork that accumulates through my busy seasons. Lots of receipts and sales to organize and put into my files for the tax man in January. This is certainly not a favorite chore for any artist, including me. I put this kind of thing off as much as possible but I simply must face it every few months. Yes, I used to be more organized, to the point of obsessiveness, but over the last five years or so, I’ve begun to enjoy painting much more than a neat desk and office space.  I am obsessive about meeting deadlines and keeping my promises in business, but if it doesn’t affect that part of the business, I can let some things lag in order to have more fun painting.  I do catch up enough to keep things going.


I sure am enjoying my afternoon painting sessions this summer in the painting studio.  I turn on my Pandora and work my way through an acrylic study every afternoon. On Thursday, I start a decent sized painting in oils and take it to the Fair Oaks studio on Sunday to work on it. What a great way to go through the summer and here it is almost July!  The odd thing is that I manage to stay busy just about every day, between the painting, the baking and yard work. How do I get all of that done during the regular schedule from Mid August- May?  Much longer hours for sure.