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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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Smyrna Beach Residency

Notes From My Residency Journal

I have long believed that you must understand a place before you can begin to paint it well. For me, that means repeated journeys over a period of time to explore and begin to see the subtle nuances of a location. The above painting is the second for this year's residency. This year I began to compare my experience there from 2012-2013. 

There were many changes, including a much higher water level in the canals, and warmer weather in 2013. We have not really had a winter in Florida this year other than a mild freeze. it is like spring here and the trees are budding out in the marshes. There were the intense spring greens in trees, mixed in with the last of the fall color and the grays of winter. It was a riot of seasons rolled into one. The bird variety and numbers were down this year and the controlled burns altered the landscape greatly. 

I am feeling very comfortable in my residency house now. It is cozy and located in the historic neighborhood of old New Smyrna Beach. It is right around the corner from a good local breakfast restaurant and not far from the beaches. just a block or two from Canal Street as well as US 1, so navigation couldn't be better. I am so grateful to Louann Hall for this yearly opportunity. 

I have chosen about 10 images to work on for this years paintings from this residency and I will take my time painting along on them over the next several months. I am a huge fan of New Smyrna Beach, Canaveral National Seashore, and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Reserve. This year I was able to buy my senior pass which is 10.00 and for a lifetime in all national parks and monuments. Wow!! What a prize!! I'm so excited!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tree Painter: Field Notes

Tree Painter: Field Notes: Tree Paintings Notes From My Tree Painting Journal I just returned from my residency at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. I saw tho...

Friday, January 25, 2013

New Smyrna Beach Residency January 2013

Photos From the Merritt Island National Wildlife Reserve by Mary Jane Volkmann

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today is the last day of my residency with sponsor Louann Hall. I've just now been able to get online. The Internet is difficult to find here. I brought my friend Mary Jane Volkmann with me this year. We have traveled daily to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Reserve, so we are both quite tired now. It was a splendid adventure.

We saw a wild boar,a raccoon, and numbers of ducks, coots, herons,wood storks, white and black ibis, egrets, roseate spoonbills, bald eagles, and osprey. We also saw numerous alligators in a variety of ages and sizes, including some mammoth old bull gators.

We took our lunch each day and enjoyed using our binoculars in our folding lawn chairs. Half the fun was watching the tourists with their huge camera lenses and huge vehicles, trying to navigate the narrow trails.

The mangrove swamps were fascinating on one of the trails. They looked like they were from another planet. They were growing in mud flats which had color shifts from pink to chocolate, to charcoal gray, just beautiful.

One night we cooked chicken and rice, another night we had Outback Steakhouse take out, and tonight Blackbeard's Seafood Restaurant. It was all great. New Smyrna Beach is a lovely small town with a charming downtown district, beautiful beaches, and many nature parks, including the Canaveral National Seashore. I feel very comfortable there. 

Tomorrow I go back to my loft studio and Sunday I unpack and clean my studio. I'll be back to Fair Oaks a week from this Sunday with more adventures.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency- January 20, 2013

Serenity Oak at Fair Oaks

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today was a joy!! Henry and I arrived at Fair Oaks around 11 AM. We decided to paint in the studio today. I am working on a painting of the Serenity Oak, pictured above. This is my third painting of this fabulous Live Oak. It is quite a difficult tree to paint and so I am determined to continue to paint it until I am satisfied. 

The studio is one of my favorite places to be at Fair Oaks. It is upstairs in the old house. Rick has kindly allowed artists to paint there, providing a variety of paint boxes, a table and easels. It also has the all important air conditioner/heater. The floor has a large old threadbare carpet, faded with much use but wonderful. The floors are wide wood, the real kind that I don't often see anymore. The windows are sash and some have the old wavy glass in them. There is an old fireplace at one end. I love it so much and have logged many happy hours there over the last six years. I spread out my paints brushes and palette at the table and use the big wooden easel to paint on. Henry likes to stretch out on the rug for a good nap. I play my Pandora and listen to Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong while I try to figure out the mysteries of painting. It is a most pleasant room. I'm so lucky to be there. I left my painting on the easel, so I can go back to it after my next residency. When I am  there next, I must do some studio cleaning. It needs a good scrub.

At lunch time I took my paint box over to the cottage and asked Casey to fix the palette. We couldn't quite make it work, so Rick took on the task and made it work with a bit of creative engineering. Yay!! I will be able to use it on my next adventure.

We decided to eat outside on the picnic table for lunch. We enjoyed fabulous salad and pizza from Blue Highway in Micanopy. It is a favorite for me. I love their  pizza and the salad has a variety of greens, Feta cheese, toasted pecans and great Gorgonzola dressing. Today we had buffalo chicken pizza and pepperoni/sausage. One of Rick's friends brought a chocolate pie on Saturday, so the boys and I devoured it for dessert. One of my favorite things about being  artist in residence is the fun we have at lunch time. Spending time with these wonderful people is just a delight. I always learn something and the camaraderie is very special. It will be these days at Fair Oaks that I will remember when I am old, with pleasure.

Henry, and Buddy played kick ball with me and then Shane joined in. It was wonderful and lively to play with my three best canine friends. Henry was beside himself with joy at being allowed to wander freely and play with his friends. They snacked on new treats and got lots of great pets. It was a wonderful Fair Oaks day.

Tomorrow I am off to New Smyrna Beach for my next residency. More to come on that adventure.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My First 2013 Residency

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today is packing day for my first residency in 2013. I'll be going to New Smyrna Beach for a week, staying in my host's vacation home. Thanks for your sponsorship Louann Hall. I'll be going with my pal Mary Jane Volkmann. She is briefly here. She now lives most of the year in Germany. We love this particular residency. It is a lovely little house in a historic neighborhood, fun for walking and looking at vintage houses in the late afternoon. This year I'll be taking two good sized canvases to work on slowly. We like to set up our easels at the house and have fun painting.  We will plan a different adventure out in the wild places each day to explore with cameras and binoculars. I want to take a look at the Indian River area this year and go back to Merritt Island National Wildlife Preserve. I am so fond of that preserve, one of the best I've ever been to. I also like the South Park entrance to the Canaveral National Seashore.

Last year we spent a lot of time looking at various places. This year I want to focus more in the south Volusia County area. I'm looking forward to this trip with my friend so much. We don't get much time together anymore. It is the only residency we get to do together.  More to come on this trip from January 21-27.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency-January 13, 2013

The Rim of Fish Prairie

Mr Jake Glisson

Pond Live Oak
18x24 inches

Notes From My Residency Journal

It has been about a month since I could get out to Fair Oaks for a day of painting. I was absolutely thrilled to be there again. I miss it and my friends there so much when I have to be away. One of my canine friends there, Buddy, has been very ill. He is back home now and beginning to heal. I feel great joy at this news and I adore him, as everyone does.

I had a fun and funny day today. My favorite golf cart, named Blue, is in the workshop needing repair.I headed out in one of the other golf carts, headed for one of my favorite spots to start a larger painting. After about 5 minutes, the cart began to slowwww down. The more I pressed the peddle the slower it went until it stopped. I pushed it for awhile but got tired and left it near the cottage. I walked back and got my truck, Leroy, and headed on out to my painting spot. I got set up in the field and enjoyed blocking in a painting while I listened to the Sand Hill Cranes honk to each other. They are everywhere now, so beautiful to watch flying around the fields. I had my palette propped on my paint box and oops, it flipped over in a flash, spreading paint down my shirt and face down on my right show. Now I have a lovely abstract painting on my shirt and shoe. 

About that time I noticed that it was time for lunch, so I headed for the cottage. We were treated to a special lunch from Blue Highway, one of my favorite restaurants. Their salads are exceptional and I love their Chicken BBQ Pizza. There were Calzones too. Wow!! Good Eats!!! I enjoyed Scotty's music while we ate and the company of three handsome men, who teased me about my cart driving skills. All cart breakdowns are blamed on me ;-)

After lunch I planned to zip around the fields to take reference photos. I headed out in the same cart again after it was charged for two hours. It lasted about 5 minutes , so I strolled back, this time leaving it behind while I took reference photos. Rick took pity on me and gave me the last cart. I did enjoy about an hour of adventure before the last cart began to die as well. I limped along in it, jumping out to push a bit here and there and made it back to the cart port and plugged it in. It just wasn't my day for carts at Fair Oaks. No matter, the walking and pushing was good for me and I got a good start on my next painting.

As I headed back, I found Mr Jake Glisson visiting. What a treat. Mr Glisson is famous in Florida both as a painter and writer. He is a pilot, invented the first double wide manufactured homes, and has done about everything you could think of in his career. He is also close friends with the actor Rip Torn. I like hearing his stories. He is quite entertaining and fun.

With regret as always, I drove on down the road toward home...