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 15, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency December 15, 2013

Collins Field Winter
18x24 inches
Oil on canvas

The bounty of citrus fruit at Fair Oaks

Fair Oaks has a large variety of citrus, all delicious.

Just a few of the fine Live Oaks on the estate.

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today was dark when I arrived so I headed for the studio upstairs in the old house. As you know, I love that studio so much. I spend many happy hours painting there, especially in the summer.  I brought a painting with me to finish. I did some cleaning in the studio and finished just in time for lunch.  Sebastian and Magda brought their dog Rex and joined Mark, Chris and me for lunch of delicious chicken wings with French fries. Chris made delicious homemade flat bread, topped with rosemary. Yummy! 

After lunch I headed out for a quick drive in my beloved blue cart. It has been sick lately with some kind of mechanical problem and it barely ran, with lots of weird chugging along. When Mark drove it, it ran perfectly. Go figure!

We picked citrus fruit. My daughter will make marmalade and I will make chocolate orange bread this week. 

I saddled up Leroy and headed for home after a fine day in paradise.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mini Residency Fair Oaks- December 8, 2013

Pond Edge
9x12 inches
oil on panel

Hickory Trees
Notes From My Residency Journal
Today was glorious at Fair Oaks. When I am away for a week or two everything changes. It is incredible to me how much the land changes from week to week. That gradual change is so interesting and fun to explore. I don't think it is possible to understand the rhythm of land and seasons without careful observation. This constant discovery is a wonderful part of my job as a landscape painter.
Today the color was evident in the grape vine leaves turning to gold and the Hickory trees with their lovely rich colored leaves of deep yellow. I spent a fair amount of time out on Fish Prairie today. There are still tiny pockets of the wild flowers in a few places but the prairie is taking on its winter coat now of gray, brown and wheat. A flash of Scarlet here and there in the vine leaves is startling and unexpected.  The few Cypress trees wearing coats of rust stand out among the gray trunks.
There is no place more magical to me than Fair Oaks. I enjoyed doing two paintings today, one before and one after the delicious lunch that Mark prepared. We enjoyed hamburgers and fries along with baked beans and mixed vegetables, then munched on cookies for dessert. A feast!!
I spent a bit of time with my delightful boys Buddy and Shane, the canine trail bosses for Fair Oaks and then went on my way to my studio, beating the coming rain. Another day in paradise.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mini Residency in My Own Yard- December 1

My Yard
8x10 inches
oil on panel
http:// www.lindablondheim.com

Notes From My Residency Journal

Fair Oaks is closed one weekend each year so I stayed at my painting studio for the day. It happens to be located in the woods, north west of Gainesville Florida.  I've been painting in my studio yard every fall for about 20 years. I always paint with my dog Henry with me. It is a tradition for me. My last dog Anchor enjoyed it too. Henry likes to snuffle around in the leaves and roll around, covering himself with dirt and leaves and then shaking like mad. Naturally some of the chaff lands on my wet painting. I consider it to be added texture. 

I started painting about 4:20, really too late for good light to last. By 5:00 most of the light was fading. Next time I'll start at 3:00 PM 
Good times to remember!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mini Residency at Fair Oaks- November 24, 2013

East Hay Field Tree
5x7 inches
oil on canvas panel

Notes From My Residency Journal

Fair Oaks was cold, overcast and windy when Henry and I arrived. It was his first day back at Fair Oaks since last spring and he was thrilled to be back, riding shotgun in the golf cart. We parked out in the middle of the East Hay Field to paint the big trees. It was so cold that Henry began to shiver, so I walked him back to Leroy and let him take a good nap for a few hours. He is a perfect car dog and happy to sleep while I paint as long as the weather is cool. 

I worked on two paintings, finishing one. I really enjoyed the painting time and the subtle wintery colors.  Anna found me after I packed up my paint box and we headed for the cottage to warm up and beg for a cup of hot coffee. I was surprised to find Kate Barnes waiting for us. Kate is a force of nature! She is a renaissance woman of many skills, an exceptional professional writer, painter, former politician and story teller.  She captures the crowd wherever she goes. I was tired from a very long hard week and I was content to sit and listen to the conversation and her fine stories. 

A favorite scene at Fair Oaks.

Our host prepared a fine meal for lunch. A marvelous turkey salad, mashed potatoes, a lovely big salad and the pound cake that Kate brought for dessert. We had Fair Oaks iced tea, which is the best iced tea I've ever had!

Replete with good food and conversation, I headed out with Henry in sunshine that had arrived while we enjoyed lunch. We explored all of our favorite places and the magic time of light arrived just in time for some great photos.

Mark and Henry have their own version of catch. Mark throws the stick and Henry drops it and runs in the opposite direction. 

Field Three is in all of its glory now, with all of the luscious colors of winter. I know where I will be painting the next lucky day I come back to my beloved Fair Oaks. After a bit of play time for Henry with his pals Buddy and Shane, we were off to our own barn with happy memories of another day in paradise. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Annual Hoedown at Fair Oaks

The Hoedown Trail Boss
All good things happen at Fair Oaks thanks to his amazing stewardship.

The Musicians
The base fiddle player is my friend Scotty who is one of the Fair Oaks staff. He is so sweet and talented!

Matt is one of my dearest friends. He is young but almost like a contemporary to me. He is wise beyond his years and a very thoughtful friend. He is a long time member of the Fair Oaks family.

My beloved friend Mark, like a son!
Notes From my Residency Journal
The annual Hoedown has come and gone in a flash. It is one of my favorite events and I look forward to it each year. It is a huge undertaking for the staff but they make it look effortless just as they do all activities at Fair Oaks. There is a marvelous hay ride, an enormous bon fire with the makings for Smores, fried turkey with all of the trimmings, a real popcorn machine, all sorts of hot and cold beverages and a huge array of desserts. No one leaves hungry, I can assure you.
After dinner there is square dancing with a caller to teach participants the art of circle and square dancing. I enjoy watching them while I sit on the crates in front of giant hay bales, or stand over by the fire. The music goes on into the night. I watch little boys play in the hay and run around the field playing their own mysterious games, while parents chat in groups. Behind the scenes, the staff works tirelessly to clean tables, wash dishes and pack up food. Magda, Fair Oaks photographer scurries around taking lovely photos to record the evening for our memories. The pups, Buddy and Shane wander from one human friend to the next, ever checking back on their Daddy during the festivities. I love these pups as I love my own dear Henry. I can hear the blacksmith in his station pounding the metal while visitors watch.
I was thinking on my way home about how fortunate I am to have developed the love and friendships with the family of  Fair Oaks. We all have a love for the mission of this special land and those it welcomes and supports. It is a rare privilege indeed to be included in so many activities at this incredible place. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency - November 17, 2013

Mark's Giant Seesaw

One of a Fair Oaks' Live Oak Trees

Notes From My Residency Journal

My morning started in the East Hay Field doing little paintings. I finished two 5x7 paintings of trees and enjoyed the process. I put my gear away and enjoyed a nice lunch at Blue Highway in Micanopy. It's a treat to eat there. They have a wonderful salad and I love their chicken BBQ pizza. 

After lunch Mark, Anna and their visiting friend arrived to have a tour around Fair Oaks. We enjoyed the seesaw, a ride around Fish Prairie and some tree climbing on the tour.

The rain was on the way, so I headed for home in Leroy. Another glorious day at my favorite place on this good earth.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency- November 10, 2013

Notes From My Residency Journal

I arrived early today at Fair Oaks. I needed to collect the paintings left in the studio by the retreat painters last weekend. They will hang at Paddiwhack Gallery through January 2.

It was wonderful to be out in the fields listening to the crows and hawks, busy with breakfast. I set up my paint box in the shade and painted the row of trees in front of the pond. I needed to do another painting to hang with the others from the retreat. 

It was lovely to take my time and enjoy the process of painting in a leisurely fashion. When I finished my painting I put my gear way and headed out with my friend Anna to take photos and enjoy the beautiful day, while Mark cooked lunch. I wanted to show Anna the beautiful yellow flowers blooming on Fish Prairie, but most of them are gone. Just a few blooms scattered around now. The peaked two weeks ago. Like many wonderful things they are fleeting.

Lunch was served, a wonderful salad with lots of crunchy nuts,fruits and veges, smoked sausage, hot veges with chocolate cake and Ice cream for dessert! Yummy!

I've been asked to do Mark and Anna's wedding cakes in May. I'm so honored!

Pond Trees
9x12 inches
Oil on panel

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hope For Another Retreat

Notes From My Residency Journal
I've been working on the idea of another retreat on the first weekend of November of 2014. The response to last weekend's event has been very positive indeed. Art fans and the artists are interested in the idea. I've been thinking of some ideas that will make it even more of a success. I believe this retreat could be a superior replacement to the Evinston  Paint Out from a few years ago. There is great interest in landscape painting in this part of rural Florida. My idea of a retreat protects the privacy of the artists, allowing them to paint in a relaxed setting with no pressure from promoters. It seems to me that a sales venue could be easily set up as a wet room/sales center separate from the artists location for the entirety of the weekend. There is no real need for the artists to be at the sales venue. That relieves the stress of not selling well for some, while others thrive. I think my art dealer could manage the wet room for a percentage of sales.
I would like to extend the retreat to three days, Friday-Sunday, due to the travel time for some of the artists. Two days was not quite long enough. I would need to hire an assistant to help with managing the food, clean up, and needs of the artists. I would need to have more sponsors for more meals. I would need to have a publicist/photographer for the event, so donations or cash sponsors would be important. I would need to be more detail oriented to anticipate artists needs as well as more support for my host.
I believe the interest is in place both from artists and collectors which helps tremendously. A lot depends on how much sponsorship I can garner over the next six months and whether the venue will be available again.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Invitational Artists Retreat at Fair Oaks- Day One and Two

Randy, Mary Jane and Tim enjoy time together.

Elisabeth paints the barn.

Randy braves the rain.

Cynthia and Elisabeth catch up on news.

The artists and friends enjoy dinner together.

Our host

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today could not have been more wonderful! I started out with a flash light in the golf cart about 6:30 AM to set up the coffee bar at the pavilion, which is our home base for this adventure. By 9 AM, artists began to arrive. I was raining, but it did not damp on our enthusiasm at all. We painted under the roof and enjoyed the process. By 3 PM , most had arrived and the sun began to peek through the clouds. We all enjoyed an afternoon of painting. We stopped for dinner at 6 PM, enjoying lasagna, garlic toast, a lovely salad, and chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert. After dinner we sat by the fire. Our host provided a nifty fire pit made of metal and we enjoyed good conversation toasting our feet by the fire. 

I'm writing this while I wait for my turn in the shower. I'm looking forward to a comfy bed and sweet dreams. The adventure begins again early tomorrow morning. I am the taxi for the artists and will transport them around the estate and I'm anxious to see the beautiful paintings they produce at beloved Fair Oaks. So many people have helped me to make this dream weekend a wonderful adventure for all of us. Special thanks to the steward and staff of Fair Oaks.

Day Two

Today I jumped out of bed at 6:30, climbed in the golf cart and headed to the pavilion for a cup of coffee. Scott and I watched the distant trees come to life. First in bronze red, then ochre and finally green. What a pleasure to sit in nature with a good cup of coffee and an old friend. This adventure was about camaraderie more than painting. I only did one small painting for the weekend but it doesn't matter. I had a wonderful time looking after my friends. The weather was Divine today. Cool and sunny after a day of rain. The lovely weather was welcomed by all of us. I taxied painters out to the fields and they scattered far and wide. At 12:30 we enjoyed lunch provided by Chuck and Emily Sapp, owners of Paddiwhack Gallery. We feasted on chicken and rice, salad, green beans and brownies with ice cream for dessert. 

After lunch it was back to my taxi job, and more painting for my friends. At the end of the day all the paintings were lined up on the porch to admire. Next Sunday I'll deliver them to Paddiwhack Gallery to hang until January 1. I hope you will stop in to see the beautiful paintings from our joyful weekend.

It was truly a grand adventure thanks to:

Fair Oaks
Paddiwhack Gallery
Scotty Cockerham
Mark and Anna Larson
Claudia Ballard
French Canvas

Tom and Sally enjoy a sunny day in Holy Ground Field.

Clean up time!

Friday, November 1, 2013

The First Invitational Artists Retreat at Fair Oaks

Notes from my Residency Journal

The Retreat has finally arrived! I packed up Leroy this morning with the supplies. I'm at my loft studio for a few hours and will leave for Fair Oaks around 4 PM. I'll set up the pavilion late today and get a good night's sleep in the fine old house at the estate. I love staying at Fair Oaks so much. I'm so excited! This is going to be a weekend to remember! Many months of planning has gone into this project and many kind sponsors have helped me including:

Fair Oaks
Scotty Cockerham
Claudia Ballard
Gamblin Artists Paints and Mediums
French Canvas
Paddiwhack Gallery
Mark and Anna Larson

I'll have stories and photos tomorrow.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency- October 27, 2013

Flowers on Fish Prairie

Path Between Fields

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today I came to Fair Oaks with my pal Mary Jane Volkmann. We were reconing the estate and Fish Prairie for next weekend's first Invitational Painting  Retreat. We owe it all to Fair Oaks, Paddiwhack Gallery, Gamblin Artists Paints, French Canvas, and Claudia Ballard. 

This is a special privilege for painters and I'm very excited!

We spent the morning exploring and taking reference photos. This was my first trip out on the prairie since May. It was great to be back on the trails. They were in pretty good shape. There were a few paths blocked by trees, but most were easy to navigate. The prairie was full of beautiful yellow flowers, blooming everywhere. 

We had a fabulous lunch of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. Super good, topped off with famous Fair Oaks iced tea. Thank you Mark, our chef for the day.

The weather was perfect and the company too. 

Another delightful day at my favorite place in the world.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Painting Retreat November 2-3,2013


Painting Retreat

November 2-3, 2013
I'm honored to be joining the following landscape painters at Fair Oaks for a two day painting retreat:

Charles Dickinson
Brenda Hofreiter
Sally Evans
Tom Sadler
Randy Pitts
Kevin MacNamara
Mary Jane Volkmann
Scott Hiestand
Elisabeth Ferber
Kate Barnes
Cynthia Edmonds
Steve Andrews

We will camp out and paint together for two glorious days!!

Thanks to sponsors for the retreat:

Paddiwhack Gallery
Fair Oaks
Claudia Ballard
French Canvas
Gamblin- artist's oil colors

Beautiful Fair Oaks
Evinston, FL

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Talbot Island Wrap Up

Renault Club Tree
9x12 inches
Oil on canvas

This morning dawned bright and clear on the marshes before a lovely bacon,sausage and homefries breakfast prepared by my host Bonnie. We enjoyed our coffee on the deck facing the marshes, as they turned from orange to gold and finally to green. We scurried around straightening up the house and parted with fondness for a happy adventure we will remember. I look forward to returning next October.

I headed out and got lost, naturally, heading in the wrong direction for about 20 minutes. I finally got turned around heading west. I made it back to my loft studio I'm happy to write. 

The highlights of my residency were many:

The lovely and comfortable Big Talbot House and grounds, my painting studio on the porch.
My wonderful sponsors, North Florida Land Trust
The beautiful marshes and wetlands
The extraordinary trees
Renault Club Road
Amelia,Little Talbot, and Big Talbot Islands
Simpson Creek
Dead Tree Beach and the park
The kind and helpful park rangers
Nicole's Restaurant
Marche Burrette Restaurant
Sliders Restaurant

I had a splendid time! Thanks to all who welcomed me so kindly.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Big Talbot Island Residency -Day 5

Big Talbot House Dog Roxy- she has entertained me with her delightful personality this week. 
Rebault  Club Drive

Big Talbot Island State Park
Cusp of Evening
16x20 inches
Oil on canvas

Notes From My Residency Journal

This is the kind of day that Floridians wait for after a long, brutally hot summer. I started with a short tour of Ft George Island with my host Bonnie Barnes, dynamo of North Florida Land Trust. We met Marc Hudson the other dynamo, for breakfast at Nicole's. I have learned so much about conservation this week that my head is spinning with excitement! They have a Heritage Tree Conservation plan that I want to be a part of. You all know how much I love trees.

Nicole's is a favorite local restaurant. It is small but clean and the food was very good. I had bacon, eggs, home fries and toast. All good. The coffee was plentiful and our server was attentive. It is very close to the Ferry between the islands and Mayport. Good grub and excellent conversation is a great start to a day of adventure. 

After breakfast, I wandered down the coast to the Rebault Club. The drive offered spectacular views of the fragile and beautiful marshes. I stopped along the way to take many reference photos. I enjoyed that leisurely drive so much.

I headed north to Little Talbot Island State Park with a friendly park ranger who gave me the scoop on the island. The park is small but lovely, lots of sand dunes with terrific Red Cedars and Cabbage Palms. I was impressed with the extra wide bike path adjacent to the road and well designed pavilions with large parking areas.

This afternoon I'll enjoy one more painting and head back to my world of fields and farms. What a wonderful adventure!

 The North Florida Land Trust will allow me to return to continue my work in October of 2014. I can hardly wait to come back. I urge you to support their continued efforts to preserve these environmentally sensitive lands. They support beautiful birds and wildlife and our own healthy future. Kudos to them for their tireless work.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Big Talbot Island Residency - Day 4

Dead Tree Beach Park
9x12 inches
Oil on panel

High Tide
Big Talbot Island

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today was a great adventure. At last a sunny day! I started with a wonderful breakfast at Marche Burrett Market and Deli. It is located in the shops of Amelia which look like quaint cottages. Very sweet. The Marche is charming, well lit, with a lovely deli, fresh produce and wines. The dining room is spacious. They provide table service and the staff is friendly and efficient. I met a reporter for the local paper. She and her companion were friendly and welcoming. The have a variety of breakfast offerings, including biscuits with gravy, smoked salmon with bagel and cream cheese, oatmeal, daily quiche, and my favorite, bacon eggs, home fries and toast. The coffee was delicious. My server brought ice water with fresh lemon and coffee in a large cup, right away. The breakfast arrived shortly, perfectly cooked. The homefries were crispy and flavored with herbs, delicious. The bread was full of flavor. A tiny jar of lovely sealed Orange Marmalade was delivered and I was able to take it with me, a nice touch. Coffee refills were plentiful. The server was outstanding. This is definitely the place to eat breakfast! 

I headed for Fernandina Beach and somehow ended up in a town called Yulee. Anyone who knows me will laugh, knowing that I have no sense of direction and constantly find myself in strange places, not knowing how I got there. After a false start, I made it to Fernandina. It is a lovely town, catering to tourists and a shoppers paradise. I toured a couple of the local galleries and studios, enjoying the fine day. I allow myself one day of tourist pursuits when I go to residencies. 

I will set up my easel at 4 PM to attempt to paint the lovely sunset hour here in the back yard at the Big Talbot Island house. The view here is marvelous. No need to go anywhere.

Another Day in paradise, thanks to North Florida Land Trust.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Big Talbot Island Residency- Day 3

Marsh Palms
9x12 inches
Oil on panel

Notes From My Residency Project

Welcome to the first cool day of Fall this year! I woke to cool breezy overcast weather. I'm so happy to have a cool day.

 I went in search of breakfast in Amelia Island. I stopped at a place called Parkway Grill. It is really more of a bakery/deli. You go up to the counter to order. It is self serve for utensils and coffee. You put a number on your table and someone brings your food. The room is on hard floors with small diner style tables. No atmosphere at all, but it is clean and well organized. They brought thick sliced bakery bread, which was a nice texture. The bacon was over cooked but I don't mind that. The eggs were cooked right but the hash browns were not crispy. The best thing was the coffee which was quite good. They did not make it clear whether refills were allowed. The server did not return to the table after delivering the meal. I would rate it as adequate. I am the first to admit to being a foodie. I love breakfast the best, so I'm always in search for a really good breakfast restaurant. I am happy to brag that Gainesville has some outstanding breakfast restaurants. I will search out a new place tomorrow.

After breakfast I headed back toward Big Talbot for a bit of exploring.  There is a new bridge between the islands. They saved the old bridge as a pedestrian only bridge. I love to see this. It is so nice to save old bridges for hikers and fishermen.  I wish they would do that everywhere.

I stopped at the state park on the marsh side first, for some photos, then headed to seaside to see the dead tree beach. What an interesting park. Bonnie took me there for a quick look see on Monday. Today I had time to get some photos. The tide was high so I didn't go down on the beach. I climbed up on top of the platform bench to get some good photos of the trunks on the beach. The real appeal for me were the huge twisted trees growing in the park. They were quite splendid. 
Since it is dark and overcast today, I headed to the house to set up and paint on the porch.

Another day in paradise thanks to North Florida Land Trust. Bless them for supporting my project.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 2- Big Talbot Island

Marshes from the Dock
18x24 inches
Oil on Canvas

Notes From My Residency Journal

My plans changed today. It was raining when I woke up and we were in for a day of it, so I decided to stay in to paint from one of the photos I took yesterday. I set my easel up on the screened porch and got to work. My companion for the day was Roxie, the sweet little Pappion dog who runs the household. She is so sweet and well behaved and as cute as can be. It's so nice to have a dog here. I miss Henry, my French bulldog, and my canine friends Buddy and Shane at Fair Oaks when I'm traveling.

The director of North Florida Land Trust, my friend Bonnie, is amazing. She is the absolute queen of shopping. She furnished the entire house with thrift shops and Craigslist. It looks like a high end home. I wan't to be her apprentice. 

This place is truly wonderful. When I sit on the back deck I watch the birds fly over the marshes and marvel at the tall palms.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I'll be off to explore the island.

Day 1-Big Talbot Island Residency

Marsh at Big Talbot Island
8x10 inches
(Sorry for the glare)
View from the Dock at Big Talbot House

Notes from my Residency Journal

This week I'm staying at Big Talbot Island, thanks to North Florida Land Trust, my sponsors. Their beautiful home is right on the beautiful marshes. There is a long dock, a large patio, where I am painting, canoes, bicycles, and the home is large and yet very intimate and cozy. It has all of the bells and whistles too. How did I get so lucky?

Today I moved in, unpacked and enjoyed an afternoon of painting on the patio. The director, Bonnie Barnes took me to a place in Fernandina called Sliders. I had a wonderful shrimp PO Boy with handmade chips. Bonnie had the Salmon salad, equally yummy. It is a casual, friendly restaurant right on the beach. There was live music, very pleasant and not too loud. The service was excellent. We sat out on the porch and enjoyed the scenery.

Bonnie showed me several pieces of property they have saved from development. It was awe inspiring to see all of this environmentally sensitive land the trust has saved from development. I urge you to support their efforts. We enjoyed a lovely evening of interesting conversation.

Tomorrow I'll be out and about to explore in the morning. There is so much to see here.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency- September 29, 2013

Study for a Commissioned Painting
Notes From My Residency Journal
Today was a truly fine day at Fair Oaks with low humidity and temperature in the mid 80's. This marked the beginning of my favorite season, Fall. I am preparing to do a commissioned painting of the back pond, now dry. The client wants the pond to be full of water, so some artistic license will be important. Luckily, I am used to those kinds of requests, and often, the pond really is full of water.
I set up my paint box in the shade and was immediately attacked by hungry mosquitos, but I fended them off quickly with my new best friend, a product called Bug-X. It is sold in a little wrapper and is a paper cloth like a moist towelette. You rub it on your arms legs and neck. I then stuff it up into my hat. Within a minute, the bugs were gone and I wasn't bothered again for the two hours I painted.
While painting, I watched dozens of Crows fly around the pond and caw at each other. I've always been quite fond of Crows since I was a child. My parents bought me a series of books written by Thornton Burgess. Each book was a story about woodland animals and birds. Blacky the Crow was one of my favorites. I suspect that those books helped me to form a love for nature and the land.
The dry pond is turning in wheat to rust colors quickly now. I so love to see it in Fall and Winter. The wild Sunflowers are sprouting up along the roadside and the wild white flowers with yellow centers are growing in the fields at Fair Oaks. The fields are a riot of textures and colors now. I love driving along in the golf cart with the swishing noise it makes through the tall grasses. The smell of fall is intoxicating. Soon the fields will be mowed for the winter season. The staff will soon be working on Fields 1 and 2, so I have been banned from driving there for awhile. I still have plenty of land to paint and explore.This time of year, Fair Oaks begins to be beautiful in a new way, the best way to me.
Lunch was a real treat with hamburgers and the fixings along with potato salad. Yummy!!! I always enjoy my time with my host and the staff. The conversation takes off in many interesting directions and there is always a little tidbit for me to learn. Today I learned about putting boats onto trailers.
After lunch, I reluctantly made my way home after another day in paradise.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency - September 22, 2013


Notes From My Residency Journal

I had a swell day at Fair Oaks. It was overcast and cooler. This was the first time I have been able to paint out in the fields since June and I enjoyed it so much.  After my painting was finished, I took a ride around the fields before lunch. I am seeing wonderful color now from hundreds of wild flowers and in the grasses, pink,purple, gold and wheat. The dogweed is taller than I am. It is thrilling to bounce along in my favorite blue golf cart through the tall grasses. The bugs fly by, the seeds and sand spurs ride along with me. I have a marvelous time.  When I get back the golf cart is full of plant chaf and spots of paint. What an adventure! That cart has been my friend for a long time now. 

We had visitors for lunch and I enjoyed spending time with lovely Anna and her charming mother as well as two other guests and Mark and Scotty.

Anna and her mother were the chefs for lunch, and I was in the clean up crew. We enjoyed lunch down at the pavilion by the pond. A thoroughly pleasant was to spend time together. 

I travel to a lot of wonderful places as a painter. None are like Fair Oaks. It is the best place I've ever been. I headed home smiling with happy memories of another day in paradise. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Preparing for my Next Residency

Marsh Afternoon
Landscape Art

Notes From My Residency

I'm doing the research for my residency at Big Talbot Island in October. I been checking out the other barrier islands, the restaurants and parks. This is a new location for me and I'm very excited.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency September 15, 2013

Today's Beautiful Fair Oaks photo comes from Scotty. He saw this mysterious flower growing in the side yard at Fair Oaks today. He showed it to me from the window of the studio upstairs. I can't wait to paint it. 

It is hot and humid at Fair Oaks. The humidity hangs like a curtain over the fields and trees. My morning tour took me through chest high weeds in some of the fields. It is really fun to plough paths through the weeds and grasses.

I didn't bother to take my paint box out with me in the golf cart. As long as I was moving, the air stirred and the Mosquitos couldn't keep up. If I stopped long enough to take photos, they were immediately buzzing me. I didn't 't dare go back into the deep woods or out to Fish Prairie. They are patiently waiting for me to return in cooler weather.

After my tour I got busy up in the studio. I worked on my painting until 12:45 and then headed for the cottage for lunch. I knew I was going to get smoked chicken. Mark put two chickens in the smoker and the smell on arrival was glorious! He added potato salad, mac and cheese, and fruit salad for a real feast. I  missed Mark so much during the year he was traveling the world. It is wonderful to have him back at Fair Oaks. I don't know how long he will stay this time, but I am delighted to sit down at the table with him again. We enjoyed a lively conversation about world economics. He is a very smart young man.

I headed for home in Leroy with thanks in my heart for the privilege of being a part of Fair Oaks. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mini Residency at Kanapaha Gardens This Week

Kanapaha Trees

Kanapaha Palm Arboretum
Notes From My Residency Journal
This week I am painting a couple of days at Kanapaha Botanical Garden in Gainesville, FL. It is still quite hot, so I have been painting early in the day, stopping around 12 PM. There are several other artists involved in this invitational paint out, celebrating the World Wide Paint Out this week.
There is to be an opening for the exhibit and part of the sales go to the garden. A very pleasant, small painting event.
I have been painting at this garden for many years and it is pleasant and lovely. The bamboo garden and the palm arboretum are especially nice. The gardens also rim Kanapaha Prairie, one of the lovely prairies of north Florida.
If you live in north central Florida, come to the opening on Thursday, September 19th, from 6-9 PM. Some of your favorite painters will be participating.