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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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mini Residency at Fair Oaks - December 16th, 2012

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today was spectacular at Fair Oaks. Not cold or hot, very pleasant. I arrived with a huge tin container of dried flowers and grasses for the front porch of the old house. I like to keep a decoration there to dress the old lady up a bit. She is so precious to me. For a couple of years I had an old basket there but it has gotten pretty shabby. I sorted through the old stuff and put what was still good in the new container, leaving the little birds nest and the tiny painting I did of the old Magnolia in the bench in front of the new container. I think this new one is a step up from my last attempt. My daughter Jackie helped me with this one.

I headed out in the blue golf cart to explore first. I settled in under the trees to paint. The Sandhill Cranes were out and about at the pond and I enjoyed.hearing them talk while I painted the pond. I'm sure they were talking about their list for Santa Bird.

The lunch bell rang and I was off to lunch with Rick and Scotty. We had lovely chicken salad sandwiches with fruit salad and a nice green salad. Dessert was my favorite, a Hershey chocolate bar. I've always thought a Hershey bar is the ultimate luxury.

Fish Prairie
36x48 inches
acrylic on deep canvas

Field II

After lunch I packed up my gear and headed out for Fish Prairie. This is a favorite place for me, especially in the fall and winter.It is so beautiful with the Hickory trees and their leaves of gold. The mosquitoes were fierce today. I hope we will have a freeze soon to get rid of them for a few months. I ran out of bug juice today so it was time to head for the barn. Leroy and I headed for home with fond memories of a wonderful day at Fair Oaks.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fair Oaks Mini Residency- December 9, 2012

Fish Prairie Winter
12x16 inches

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today was glorious at Fair Oaks. This morning was gray and overcast, just perfect to bring out the fall color still here and there in a few trees. There is nothing like color next to gray and neutral.It was the perfect temperature, not hot or cold. One of the amazing things about Fair Oaks is the efficiency of Rick and his staff. I mentioned a week ago that the trails through Fish Prairie were getting a bit overgrown. Today they were mowed. It is just like magic!! They are always so kind and helpful.  How they keep 160 acres groomed is amazing. 

I had a nice surprise when the lunch bell rang. Our wonderful Kate Barnes had arrived bringing her little dog and a big plate of homemade gingerbread. Marjorie Rawlings' recipe no less. Kate lives in Cross Creek and is ever fascinating with the many stories she knows about the area. She is a well know cookbook author and famous watercolor painter. We rarely have time together, so it was a real treat to see her.

Casey, one of the staff members has taken on the task of chef for us on Sundays. Today he made delicious beef, chicken and vegetable kabobs. I've not had that for a long time and I made a pig of myself, eating two, with a lovely green salad. Rick made fresh whipped cream and we enjoyed Kate's wonderful gingerbread and coffee for dessert. Replete with conversation and great childhood stories, we lingered together in happy companionship.

After lunch, Henry and I went back out to finish the painting above. I watched the evening approach thinking that days at Fair Oaks are much too short.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Past and Present- My Wonderful Life

Resch Plantation

Notes From My Residency Journal

From my Cousin Carol Resch:

With a few other dishes, this is what we had at Christmas growing up on the plantation, Lake Woodlawn in Mt. Pleasant, SC. So in writing this poem for the Old Fashioned Christmas poetry book, I wanted to include my family's traditon of hunting and some of the types of food we had on a southern plantation. This is in celebration of my friends who still hunt and fish, and enjoy 
the life as an outdoors person. This is copyrighted.

We’ll Hold Christmas Dinner
til the men folk come in 
from hunting the woods.
The pumpkin pie and
cherry flan will keep
beside the cider tank
We’ll sit here around the fire
and tell tales from long ago
when snow was flying and
Santa’s elves retiring
and reindeer asleep from
the long night’s flight
We’ll keep the turkey in the oven
and candied sweet potatoes
in their orange half shells
the ambrosia the men cut up
yesterday will mellow in
mama’s old punch bowl by the
window sill
We’ll keep the collards in their pot
and the corn bread beside the turkey too
and all the cranberries inside their shells
awaiting the tables’ decorating do
we’ll hold dinner for the men folk
and act surprised when they show up
all bloodied from the hunt
holding up their marsh hens, deer,
turkey and a few squirrels too
prizes for jobs well done as we
know we’ll eat them after this
Christmas day with grateful
hearts and then be happy we did
the holding and happy we did
the surprize for Christmas time 
is special and no other time will
we hold dinner
for the men folk.

My cousin Carol grew up at this plantation along with her siblings, my Aunt Annie Ruth and Uncle George. I was allowed to visit any time I wished to and begged my parents to take me. I had a slew of cousins there and the freedom to roam the land and fish in the lake. Many of my happiest childhood memories are of this plantation, now long gone. I have many stories of my cousins and Uncle George who was colorful, to say the least.

 It struck me profoundly when I saw this image and read Carol's poem that this is the reason I fell in love so deeply with Fair Oaks in Evinston six years ago. I am reliving those happy times, each time I arrive. They have been under the surface for me without my true understanding until now.  They say that our childhood memories can shape us as adults, and that is quite true in my case.  My love for trees and the land began early and grew as I matured. There has never been a time that I haven't been attached to the land and the wild places of the South. I must be the luckiest person on earth to have found Fair Oaks at my age. I am deeply grateful to Rick for sharing it with so many of his friends.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

An Amazing Day at Fair Oaks

Notes From My Residency Journal

It is rare that I have time to go to Fair Oaks twice in one week. Today I rode out with my pal Mary Jane Volkman, who now lives most of the year in Germany. She is home for the holidays so we found the time to go to our favorite place.

Today we didn't want to paint. We took our cameras and stopped first in the old house, discovering the stash of chocolate bars. We made hot tea and took a cup with us out to the fields of gold and light while enjoying our chocolate treat. We saw a variety of birds, including Cedar Waxwings, a group of mystery birds we think were birds of prey, a beautiful Great Blue Heron and Sandhill Cranes.

We took lots of wonderful photos,and wandered leisurely around the estate, feeling great joy in the experience.

Our last stop was a trip to the citrus grove where we feasted on tangerines. Sweet and tart. Marvelous!!

We explored all of my favorite secret places and beautiful Fish Prairie. Enjoy these photos of my favorite place in the world.

Cypress on the Pond

In Front of the Pond

The Woods Behind Holy Ground Field

The Glorious Oak in Field Three

The Grove

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fair Oaks Mini Residency December 2, 2012

Fish Prairie

New Boots

Favorite Live Oak Trees

Pond View
12x16 inches
acrylic on stretched canvas

Notes From My Residency Journal

After two weeks away, it was sheer pleasure to return to Fair Oaks today. I ordered some boots for my residency journeys and they arrived just in time to break them in today. They are steel toed and water proof so I feel better prepared to avoid a potential snake bite when I stomp around in the wild places. They have pink stitched flowers on them to give them a bit of girly, which I like.

Henry and I set out and arrived around 10:30 to greet Rick and his staff. We drove around quite awhile, thinking about where we wanted to paint and finally settled on the path around the pond. It was a perfect spot with a bit of shade and a beautiful view. I bought myself a new paint box because my old one was damaged in the New Smyrna trip by Sandy. This new one holds larger canvases so I have been enjoying working on some 12x16 paintings on location.

Before I knew it the lunch bell rang and I enjoyed homemade Chili Dogs made by Scotty, the manager of the estate. I so enjoy being around the young college kids. They are lively and fun with great adventures to share. They are all so smart and capable too, just like my own daughters. 

Around 2 PM, I finished up work on the painting and we loaded the gear in Leroy, my old truck. We jumped back in the golf cart and headed out to explore the fields and lovely Fish Prairie. I am so fond of the prairie and it is starting to look just about right for painting. I am trying to talk the staff into doing a mow on the paths through the prairie for me so I can get back there easily to paint soon. I got a couple of great images today for studio work. Talk about a gorgeous place!!

I can never get enough of Fair Oaks.It speaks to me deeply, on many levels. The light there is like no other place I've ever painted. As I drive along in my trusty blue golf cart, I see tiny magical surprises, in the fields, on the trails and in the trees, particularly in the fall and winter. Today I saw tiny red leaves hiding inside the trees from the vines growing in the canopies. They go unnoticed in the summer but pop out now in the cool time of the year. I saw tiny yellow daisies out on the prairie, peeking through the leaves on the paths. Around a corner, a tree on fire with orange and red with a back drop of deep blue gray and green; these are the small and delicate gifts given to me as I explore. Mother nature has given Fair Oaks very special qualities.

How lucky I am to be there.