Welcome to My Project!

I was born and raised in Florida. After many years of travel, attending plein air paint outs, I discovered that residencies are the best way to explore the natural world I love. Working for an extended period from seven to ten days really enhances my painting experience. I am lucky to have friends and collectors who make it possible to explore the exciting and interesting locations I love to paint. Supporters provide their unoccupied vacation homes or hotel lodging for my residencies throughout the year. I am always delighted to leave an original framed painting for them as my thanks for their generous gift. If you would like to sponsor a residency, I would love to hear from you.
Contact me at: linda@lindablondheim.com

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Thursday, January 26, 2012


I'm still pondering the aspects of nature we studied during our recent residency.  As we had no production deadlines we were relaxed and able to spend as long as we wanted exploring different aspects of the world around us, noting how they appear from every angle and in differing light.  One of my passions is painting water.  I never cease to be amazed at how many colors one sees on (and in) the water depending on the weather, the angle of the sun, the wind and the color of the sky.  This photo is a perfect example, and something I might include in teaching observation in my painting classes.  From one angle the water appeared an inky black with reflections of tea near the rim.  From this perspective it was most inviting (except for the snakes and gators, of course) and so much deeper than the sky!  As we  wound around the channel we could get a glimpse of how much water was around us and how the color kept changing. It was interesting to watch as the wind would approach and suddenly, one by one, the color of each of the patches of water we could see would change.  Note the color of the water in the distance.  A minute before I took this photo, the water in the distance was almost colorless.  The wind picked up and it completely changed.  We see this so often when we are painting on location, but I am usually working so quickly before the light changes that I don't always take the time to really study what I am seeing and watch the many colors of its changing. 

As I put the final touches on my prairies paintings for the Six Artists Six Prairies event on February 25, I am planning my paintings from our Merritt Island residency.  Thank you so much to our gracious hosts for giving us this priceless opportunity to further develop our artistic awareness.

Mary Jane Volkmann

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Linda's Mini Residency at Fair Oaks January 22nd, 2012

Collins  Field in Winter Rye
9x12 inches
acrylic on birch panel

Field Three
5x7 inches
acrylic on canvas

Rim of the Dry Pond
Henry surveys his world of Fair Oaks

Notes From my Residency Journal

I was lucky to get back to Fair Oaks today to have another mini residency. I painted in two locations today and enjoyed it so much. Henry rides in the golf cart with me. We explore Fair oaks first and then decide where to paint. This morning I painted the winter rye at Collins Field. It is just starting to green up the field with the impossible winter color of emerald green. It is so startling to see it with the back drop of gray, smoky blue and rust colors of winter. We broke for lunch with the team that runs Fair Oaks. It was a nice day so we ate alfresco, my favorite way to lunch there. Mark made deer burgers and rosemary cheese sausage which were so delicious!!

The Knellinger dogs played with Henry and we all had a wonderful visit. There is always lots of fun teasing back and forth and I'm so happy to be there. It is a luxury to spend the day at my favorite place in the world. After lunch I went up to the house to see new paintings by Mr Jake Glisson, who is a well known painter in Florida. He has also written several books about his adventures in Florida. He is an interesting man and a very fine painter. I met him once at Fair Oaks and found him to be gracious and entertaining. Rick knows the most interesting people. I never know what interesting opportunity will show itself at Fair Oaks. It is not simply a place as much as it is a state of mind. I'm trying to convince the Fair Oaks gang to do a play on the stage there in February, while Mary Jane and I have our week long residency. Wouldn't that be great fun? As much as I love the other residencies I do, it is always my greatest joy to return to Fair Oaks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sea Grapes at Canaveral National Seashore

Notes From my Residency Journal

One of the most impressive, beautiful plants I saw at Canaveral National Seashore was the incredible Sea grapes. Many of them were trees, shooting high above the boardwalks and covering the dunes with a riot of fall color. I couldn't wait to get back and paint them. They are difficult to paint but I really enjoyed the challenge. More Sea Grapes to come.

Linda Blondheim

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My First Red Cedar

This painting is almost finished. One more session should do it. It is the first Red Cedar I have painted and it was a challenge I loved. We saw many of these trees in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The grow along the edge of canals and estuaries and on the road edges. Many of them look like they have been trimmed, but perhaps the wind blows the limbs off. You can see the limbs and trunks clearly on them which adds to their beauty. I love the rich green against the white limbs and trunks. The shadows fall blue and purple over the limbs making a lovely palette. The trees stand out beautifully against the fall and winter colors in the marsh. I imagine they are not nearly as noticeable in the summer when everything is green.

Linda Blondheim

Friday, January 13, 2012

Now I begin to Paint

                                                   Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge 1

Notes From the New Smyrna Residency

I finished my first painting from the residency. I started it in New Smyrna and finished it in my loft studio this afternoon. The Merritt Island Refuge is a vast place. I can't imagine how many acres. It took us a couple of days to explore it and we only scratched the surface. There are miles of dirt roads criss crossing the marshes, swamps and pine hammocks. There were many different marsh grasses, which was surprising. I saw grasses that reminded me of the Ozello area on the west coast of Florida and the Forgotten Coast area of the panhandle. The wildlife and bird habitat is extensive. I counted many kinds of birds there and even many kinds of ducks and coots. We were told there were sightings of Pigmy Rattlesnakes and we thought we saw a Water Moccasin. We found deer tracks and scat several times as well. We found a wonderful trail sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited, which had a bathroom, and observation towers, as well as benches and picnic tables. Kudos to them for sponsoring that trail. There were several boat ramps with nice picnic facilities. One of the best things we observed was the clean, trash free habitat. It is carefully policed and that was very refreshing. There were kayak/canoe launches and paths for hunters. What a wonderful place. More paintings and stories to come from this location....

Linda Blondheim

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Complete Success-The new Smyrna Residency

My New Smyrna Residency

I just returned from my first 2012 residency with Mary Jane Volkmann. She will tell you her own story. Thanks so much to Louann Hall who made this all possible. She gave us the keys to her vacation home in New Smyrna and wished us a happy stay. I am so grateful to her for her generous hospitality and for her very fine home. We were very comfortable there. It was convenient to all parts of the city. We enjoyed dinner out at the Garlic Restaurant one night dining alfresco on the patio which was filled with tiny lights and lush tropical plantings. What a treat. We also enjoyed an evening at the famous Stavros Pizza where we indulged ourselves with Greek salads and spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread. We packed a lunch each day for our many adventures into the wilds of Canaveral Seashore, Merritt Island National Wild Life Preserve, Spruce Creek Preserve , a lovely park north of New Smyrna, and the famous Ormond Beach Loop. We packed many miles into our four day residency from one end of Volusia County to the other. Each night we stretched our muscles with a walk around the neighborhood, oohing and ahhing over the charming vintage homes. New Smyrna Beach is a lovely graceful city, retaining all of it’s charming architecture  from the past.
I will be posting a bit about each place we visited here on the blog, along with many photos and images of the paintings as I complete them. I did start an 18x24 inch painting of the Merritt Island preserve and will finish it shortly to show you here and on my web site soon.
Linda on the Ormond Beach Loop

Sorry, I can't make this photo of Mary Jane and me rotate.

Our house for the week

More to Come.....

Linda Blondheim

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Linda's Fair Oaks Mini Residency 01/08/12

8x10 inches
acrylic on birch panel
alla prima on location

Notes From My Fair Oaks Residence Journal

I leave for my New Smyrna Residency tomorrow morning. Today I was lucky to have a few hours at Fair Oaks where I am an Artist in Residence. It could not have been more lovely. This is Florida at it's best. Every time I go to FO I see a completely different world. I have observed the gradual change from summer to fall, and now I begin to see the transition to winter, or what I like to call "Wintering in at Fair Oaks". The colorful cadmiums of oranges, golds and rust reds are gradually ending now, replaced by numerous shades of gray, dusty blue and mauve . The gray purples are moving in that Mary Jane loves so much. The winter rye has just been planted so we will soon have an impossibly emerald green field that is so striking in winter. Winter is my favorite at Fair Oaks so I am really excited about our week long residency there the end of February. The perfect time in Florida's most beautiful painting place.

I did this little painting this morning in Field One. Studio dog Henry came along to keep me company and enjoy the birds and smells of the land. We are happy painting companions.

Lunch was served alfresco in the shade with real table linens. We feasted on Paninis, Chicken/cheese/rosemary sausage, fresh fruit salad, sliced tomatoes, and homemade key lime pie, made with key limes from the Fair Oaks grove.

Is it any wonder I love Fair Oaks so much?

Linda Blondheim

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An important residency

I was recently graced with illness.  I say graced because once I got over being upset about having to down tools and do nothing but rest and recover (and graze on maple cookies, go figure), I shifted into another gear.  I went on an important residency of mind, of spirit, of thought and of reflection.  Much of my time over the past years has been spent at events, painting specific places for a specific purpose.  Don't get me wrong ~ I enjoy that very much.  However, I realize that the window of time is becoming statistically shorter and I need to make critical decisions about where and what I want to paint.  I am particularly drawn to water, particularly to the marshes, the sea and the rivers.  Perhaps that is because I am intrigued with the reflection of light on the water and what happens when the slightest breeze ripples the surface.  I am also drawn to vast, open landscapes such as we had in Namibia, with their seeming view to eternity.  I have drawn up a personal list of places I want to find a way to visit for a week or two so I can get out with my canvas and paints at different times of day to record the amazing changes that take place ~ so often unnoticed.  Painting on location puts me in direct touch with a very special inner place of peace and I intend spending more time there. (If you have a view of these places you'd like to share, please let us know). 

At the end of this year I have a three person exhibition of paintings of the Barrier Islands.  I have been privileged to stay as Artist in Residence on Sapelo Island and absolutely loved it!  I'll be posting more during the year about my adventures there, and I'll be posting more stories about other residencies as well.  Meanwhile I'm back at my easel and am loving it!

~Mary Jane