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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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fair Oaks Residency- Day 7

Collins Field
518x24 inches
oil on canvas

Fish Prairie

Fish Prairie in Light

Notes From My Residency Journal

The temperature has gone from the 20's on last Sunday to the 80's with high humidity today on Saturday. Florida is amazing that way. 

Today was full of activity around Fair Oaks with lively college boys here and there planting and doing other chores around the fields. I love being around them. They are so smart and enthusiastic. What they learn here, they will take along with them into their bright futures. They are always interested in whatever I am painting and are amazed that anyone would actually choose painting as a career. They are all future engineers, scientists, lawyers and doctors, seeking sensible professions, ;>)

Tonight I will have dinner with friends at the Yearling in Cross Creek. It is a wonderful restaurant with indigenous regional specialties. My favorite is the sampler with frog legs, gator, and fried green tomatoes. What a special treat!!

As I wrap up this year's residency at Fair Oaks, I think about all I learned about the discipline of painting. I worked very hard and consistently, with routine each day. I believe that is the key to my success at every residency and in my own studio. A sense of purpose and real goals help me to improve and  understand my work. Tomorrow I will pack and head for home with fond memories of a wonderful week in my very favorite place.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Residency at Fair Oaks- Day 6

Notes From My Residency Journal

I'm working on my last painting of this week, so I will show it to you tomorrow.

One of the things I love about Fair Oaks are the hidey places around the fields and on Fish Prairie. This lane is one of my favorite places. It's not very long but very pretty. A big tree came down awhile ago and blocked it but some nice fellow at Fair Oaks removed the blockage. There is just enough room now for me to get the cart past the upturned roots. I tried it today and made it with no worries. There are massive trees everywhere here and many of them have names. One of the trees that went down was a Hackberry tree which we called the elbow tree. It had a strange shape like an arm bent at the elbow. Fish Prairie is full of hidey places, with beautiful trails cut through it by my wonderful friends here. This place is a landscape painter's dream.

Last night  Rick took me to an Italian restaurant just down the road. I always enjoy going there with him. The food is quite good and not the usual fare for most Italian places. I had clams in marinara sauce and he had baked Tilapia. The Tiramisu for dessert sounded wonderful but I was good and passed it up. 

I spent most of the day with Louis Armstrong up in the studio working on my 18x24 painting. I sure am going to miss staying here. On Sunday I must pack and leave this beautiful place after lunch. I'll be back on Sundays between travels. I have to have my regular Fair Oaks fix.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fair Oaks Residency- Day 5

I finished this painting this afternoon. There is a glare on the right side so it looks washed out.

Mark's Seasaw
Mark, who was farm manager for Fair Oaks built this giant seasaw. I had the pleasure of riding on it with Mark about two years ago.

This is the reference for the painting I started today. I love this scene and have been wanting to paint it for some time.

Notes From My Residency Journal

This morning I went down to Pearl Country Store for breakfast and enjoyed bacon and eggs cooked just right, with grits. I love their grits. They are buttery and flavorful, without lumps. 

On the way back to Fair Oaks I saw a Brown Thrush. They are such pretty birds. One of my favorite things about Fair Oaks is the wonderful bird population. I see them everywhere and there are many kinds to enjoy. There are two resident Sandhill Cranes who live here year round. I often see them out in the fields and they are always together. 

Most of my morning was spent varnishing paintings which hang in my host's office. It was a real pleasure to do this. When you varnish long dry paintings, the color and richness comes out as if by magic. It is like looking at a new painting for the first time. I always tell my collectors to bring the painting back after a year so I can varnish it for them. Oil paintings should dry for a year before the final varnish is applied.

After lunch, I went for a nice cart ride around the fields. This is the best part of being here for me. I never tire of the pleasure and I almost always find some little hideaway that I've not noticed before.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fair Oaks Residency- Day 4

My friend Mary Jane and her brother Steve

Notes From My Residency Journal

I can't believe that my week is half over. I love being here so much!!
I had a busy day with visitors this morning and after lunch. A big 18 wheeler truck dropped off a big sprayer, that looks huge to me. It was fun watching him drive down a tiny dirt road with a huge truck. He couldn't even get it in the driveway.

I worked on the above painting today and after lunch took a tour around the fields with my friend Mary Jane and her brother Steve. We went back to Fish Prairie. It is so beautiful now. There are dozens of shades of gray, umber, purple and blue. This is a fine time to be outdoors in north Florida.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fair Oaks Residency- Day 3

Serenity Oak
20x24 inches
oil on canvas
Shane is my Recon Partner

Field 3 Oak

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today was considerably warmer at Fair Oaks. I decided to stay here all day and enjoy a warm breezy day rather than going out. Shane and I headed out for some recon around the fields and I got some very nice reference photos, including the one above, which will be my next painting. The Serenity Oak painting is finally finished. I worked for most of the day and I enjoyed the time up in the studio so much. After lunch, I took a break and headed out again in the golf cart, just to enjoy the breeze and the afternoon for a little while. Fair Oaks is a place where you can simply enjoy the beauty and refresh your tired soul.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fair Oaks Residency- Day Two

Field One Palms
8x10 inches
oil on canvas

Fair Oaks Big Pond

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today was a bit warmer than yesterday but still quite cool in early morning and as the sun went down. I enjoyed today so much. I started out with breakfast at Pearl Country Store in Micanopy. I don't know of any other breakfast place in this area. It is good. Their BBQ is the specialty there and it is very tasty.

When I got back from breakfast, my canine friend Shane was ready for a golf cart ride. We headed out to take several reference photos and to explore around the fields a bit. He likes to spend time with me when his Daddy is away but when Daddy is home, I am chopped liver. 

I have a deadline looming to get started on a 40x60 painting. I needed to do a small scale version to show my clients, so I settled in to the studio upstairs for a working session today. No time for goofing off. I set my Pandora radio on Louis Armstrong and got busy. I finished the small sample painting and the above painting which I started yesterday. I am still working on the Serenity Oak painting which I started about a month ago. I'll see about making some progress on it this week.

I so love working upstairs in the old house's studio. It wraps its arms around me with it's cozy atmosphere. I can look out the window to see the old smokehouse and the pond in the distance. The lovely old wood floors creak as I move around, and the rich smell of the oil paints take me on a journey back through all of the years I have painted in old studios. This is a wonderful life at Fair Oaks. It is my muse. I feel so grateful to have found it at this time of my life, when I am mature enough to understand its priceless value. There are some good things about being an old train wreck..

Fair Oaks Residency- Day 1

Notes From My Residency Journal

I arrived at 7 AM on this year's coldest day. Winter came to town very late this year. After balmy days in the 70's and 80's for most of the year, we dropped suddenly into the 20's. I was expecting 10 painters to arrive at 9 AM, so I had my work cut out for me to set up at the Fair Oaks Pavilion for a fun but frigid day of painting. Fair Oaks is breathtaking that early on a winter morning. It is so cold that the fog blankets the little pond next to the pavilion. I decided it would be advantageous to stay next to the pavilion all day because Rick thoughtfully lent me his outdoor heaters and his Keurig coffee machine. That instantly available hot coffee really saved us throughout the long cold day. My daughter, Chef Jackie prepared hot chili, corn muffins, a vege tray and brownies for feasting. Despite the cold, it was a marvelous day for all of us.

After the workshop, I cleaned up the pavilion and headed for the house. I watched a little TV and headed for bed after a blessed hot shower. I was exhausted from the cold.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Next Residency

My house next week

My favorite transportation

Field One

Notes From My Residency Journal

Tomorrow I begin a week's residency at my favorite place in the world Fair Oaks. I am teaching a tree painting workshop to start the week off. Naturally, I chose the coldest day of the year to teach an outdoor workshop. It will be a fun and interesting challenge for this tropical gal!!

Next week I will be using the studio upstairs in the old house a lot. I have several commissions to work on and I have a good sized partially finished painting of the Serenity Oak to complete. I packed 18x24 canvases  for the week. I want to start several paintings on location and continue them in the studio at the old house.

I'll take my computer and IPad with me so I will be checking in here each day to report on my adventure.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fair Oaks Mini Residency- February 3, 2013

Elisabeth Ferber Guest Artist

Fish Prairie

Notes From My Residency Journal

Today was a wonderful day in north central Florida. It was winter at its best at Fair Oaks, chilly and sunny. I started the day upstairs in the studio, working on my 18x24 painting of the Serenity Oak. I'm enjoying leaving it there and returning a week later to see my stages of progress. I imagine in a couple of weeks, it will be about finished. This is a very difficult subject. I have painted this tree twice before. I am determined to get it right.

One of the artists for our Fair Oaks book to be published soon, came today to work on her two paintings. Elisabeth Ferber has painted Fair Oaks during the Evinston Paint Out and has visited there before. She will complete two paintings for the book along with six other painters. I'll have more about the book soon. It will be a collection of essays, recipes photographs and paintings about Fair Oaks, its traditions, and the people and canines who love and care for this magical place.

We had a delicious lunch of chicken, rosemary sausage and yellow rice, with fresh fruit and broccoli salad. Rick knows how much I love his yellow rice and I appreciate it so much when he makes it. After stuffing ourselves, we enjoyed a hot cup of coffee and a chat, warming up for the afternoon painting session.

I headed for Collins Field adjacent to the Richardson Farm for a very happy painting session. The above painting was the first alla prima oil painting I have done on location in over two years. I wasn't sure I could still paint with oils on location. I sure enjoyed the afternoon, sitting in the warm sun and watching the Robins and Sandhill Cranes. This is the best place in the world to me. I am so lucky to be welcomed at Fair Oaks.

Rick and his staff do so many kind little favors for me. Serving my favorite foods each week and taking care of the golf cart when I mess it up or get it stuck. When I arrived and walked into the studio this morning, it had already been cleaned for me. I expected to come in and clean it. These kind gifts make me feel special. Artists aren't really used to that,so it is very special to me. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Residencies to Come

The Bat House and Bee Hives at Fair Oaks

Afternoon in the front yard at Fair Oaks

Bird Island

Bird Island Palms

St Augustine Dune

St Augustine Beach

Notes From My Residency Journal

Now that I'm back from the New Smyrna Beach residency, it's time to begin to plan for my spring residencies. I am delighted to be given a week at beloved Fair Oaks. This is a rare privilege for me. I do paint there on Sundays when I'm not traveling but having an entire week, living in the old house, and understanding the rhythm of the land there is truly paradise. It is the best of all experiences. I can stay there and explore without leaving in the afternoon. I can't wait!! 

After Fair Oaks I will be off toWekiva State Park for a week to do their annual paint out. I live in the state park with about 25 other painters for a week. it is quite an adventure. The first weekend of April I'm off to Epcot to paint in the Flower and Garden Festival. 

Later in April, I'm off to Bird Island for a week. I'll take my dog Henry as I'll be staying there by myself and it is by boat traffic only. Very exciting!! What a beautiful place. It will be an unforgettable experience. Thanks to the Nelms family for this adventure!!

In May, I get to go back to Chad and Sarah's Condo at St Augustine Beach for a week. A beautiful oceanfront condo with original art and professionally decorated. First Class all the way!

Thanks to all of my wonderful corporate,business and individual sponsors who make these unique adventures possible.