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, May 17, 2012

St Augustine Beach Residency Day 4

Guana Research Park

Guana Research Park

Guana Research Park
8x10 inches
acrylic on canvas

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today I drove up the coast, through St Augustine up A1A. I love the trams in the city, the Alligator Farm and the fort when I am in tourist mode. I love St Augustine Beach, but St Augustine, not so much. I can't imagine living in the city with endless tourists, carriages, trams, and tacky tourist stops. The beach town is completely different from the city. I almost always stay away from the city but I wanted to check out Vilano Beach today and that is the fastest way to get there. 

Vilano is not much to look at. I stopped at the Publix, which seems to be the main place in the town. I asked the clerk if there was anything of scenic interest there and she suggested a little park on the intercoastal side. I tried to get there but the very small parking lot was full, so no place to park. The only other parks were the usual boat ramp or ocean front with kiddie play yards. I'm sure the beach is lovely and there are plenty of McMansions in South Vilano Beach, but it wasn't a good fit for me. It seemed to have no character at all. The only thing interesting was a very weird castle looking unfinished and made of concrete? I will say that Caps on the Water is outstanding for seafood. I went there once with Chad and Sarah on a short visit. 

I decided to press on, north on A1A and found the lovely Guana Research Reserve and Park north of Vilano. This is a very interesting place which I would like to revisit in cooler weather. I got some nice photos this morning, but it was quite warm and the rain started spitting before I could do much. I want to go further down the nature trail and  take a look in the fall. 

I stopped at Cafe 11 for a very good cheese omelet with croissant and fresh fruit. This is a nice little place. No atmosphere at all but the service is friendly and the food is very good.  I used to spend a lot of time there on my trip here because they have internet. Now that Chad and Sarah's Condo has Internet, I don't have to. Chad and Sarah think of everything for their guests. 

I'm still working on my 18x24 inch painting every afternoon around 6 PM out on the patio. It is really fun to do a painting this way. 

More to come.........


  1. Linda,
    Enjoying your trip. Reminds me of some weeks spent at the Crescent Beach Paint Out.

    The inlet at the Vilano Beach is a nice spot and there is a parking area. Nice view of St. Augustine and the lighthouse across the inlet.

    The Guana nature trail is neat but very tree covered. I remember it being about a 1/4 to a half mile hike and on the other side it opens to the expanse of the intercoastal marshes. There's a picnic area and it is right on the intercoastal waterway. Very isolated and beautiful.


  2. Thanks Steve. I'll check it out the next time.