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

You can receive this blog automatically in your email by submitting it below.

You can receive this blog in your email automatically

Monday, April 29, 2013

Some Information about Horseshoe Beach

Notes From My Residency Journal

The above Horseshoe Beach link will take to you a page that has all kinds of information about Horseshoe Beach, the little coastal town next to Bird Island. It is well worth exploring. The Horseshoe Beach Cafe was especially good, with fresh seafood right on the water. Neeleys Shrimp Company on the way into Horseshoe Beach from Cross City has excellent fresh seafood too. Scroll all the way down the page to see everything. My friend at HB, Rob, told me that the full time residents number about 130, and the winter residents swell the number to about 250. It is a charming, friendly little town and the views are beautiful.

Mini Residency at Fair Oaks - April 28th

Notes From My Residency Journal

I headed for Fair Oaks after many weeks of travel. Evinston is awash in wild flowers this week. I saw masses of Black Eyed Susans, Flox, and White Poppies. Fair Oaks is in bloom with Spider Wort as you can see in my painting. 

I was greeted by my canine friends Buddy and Shane and by Beau, a sturdy Black Labrador who is visiting at Fair Oaks. Beau is very sweet and friendly and he seemed to be very grateful to be part of the gang at Fair oaks, as I am.

I headed out to the fields in my favorite blue golf cart and settled in for a while to paint.  Soon a shower came so I packed up and headed for the studio, my favorite place at Fair Oaks. Naturally, as soon as I got set up in the studio to paint the rain stopped and the sun came out. No matter, I enjoyed the studio.

Euan came to collect me for lunch and we enjoyed his homemade chicken fajitas and a lovely fruit salad, followed by fruit cobbler with whipped cream. Yummy!! My day got better by the minute. I went back to the studio, happy and content with life to finish the above painting about 4:15 PM. After a bit of clean up, I headed for my own studio, always reluctant to leave my favorite place in the world, Fair Oaks.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bird Island Residency April 20-24, 2013

The marshes on the Island.
Bird Island Marsh
16x20 inches
oil on canvas

I love this view

BI Hilton Sign

Patsy's Sculpture
Notes From My Residency Journal

Day 1 at Bird Island
Patsy's Sculpture

I arrived this morning in Horseshoe Beach to Rob's Silo house. Rob and Donna are friends with the Nelms family and look after Bird Island. There was a parade in town and Donna was dressed like a clown. She was so cute in her costume and painted rubber boots. It was a cold and rainy day. Rob offered to keep my car at their house for the duration of my visit, and ferried me over to Bird Island with all of my gear. Bird Island is affectionately known as the Bird Island Hilton.

BI, as I call it, is incredibly beautiful. It is left in its natural state for the most part with a few paths mowed for walking. It is lush, with fantastic large Red Cedars and huge stately Sabal Palms which lean toward the sea. There is a nice wooden boardwalk which covers the edge half way  around and a path to the high boardwalk through the natural marshes on the back side. The view is wonderful.

It was dark and cold, so I set up my easel on the front porch and painted the side yard. There are lovely palms and cedars there with a peek at the sea beyond them. I enjoyed watching the occasional boat go by and listening to the birds.

At four PM I stopped for the day and enjoyed my afternoon cup of coffee on the porch. The weather cleared for a bit so I took a walk before my supper.

After supper, I was settling in and suddenly the power went off. Oh no!!! I knew not where to find a flashlight and the downstairs phone only works with the power on. At BI, dark means complete darkness. I carefully felt my way to the circular staircase and slowly climbed  the stairs. I made my way from one room to the next and found a landline phone with a lighted dial. Eureka!! I called Rob, who told me where to find the flash lights. I was back in business! I played solitaire on my IPad until I got sleepy and went to bed, keeping my flashlight handy. I enjoyed another exciting adventure creeping around the house in the dark. I was proud of myself for my courage to climb that spiral staircase in total darkness.

Day 2 at Bird Island

I woke without power or coffee, but after a peanut butter sandwich I was out on the island painting in the warm sun for a couple of hours. Rob arrived between 9 and 10 to show me how to turn off the pump. He told me the power company had arrived to assess the problem. After kindly offering his guest house for the night, if the power could not be fixed,he went on his way and I resumed painting. In an hour he returned to tell me the power was restored. Yippee!!  Ironically, the problem was that a bird got fried on the power line. Now, if only I could find a way to fix the Internet connection! Linda with no Internet for four days is not a pretty picture! Thank goodness I am indeed in paradise so the pain is minimal.

My first act was to make coffee. By then, it had become overcast, windy and chilly again, so I moved the painting onto the porch to finish it. I like painting on the porch at BI. It offers a nice wind break and a comfy chair to take a break now and then. Most people don't know that painting can be quite tiring, so breaks every few hours are welcomed.

The day continued to be dark and windy. When I finished my painting I decided to take a walk before supper time. I walked out onto the boardwalk on the back of the island and took several photos for reference of the lovely view. I took a photo of Rob's silo house from across the channel. My IPad does not have a zoom feature so it is almost too far away to see well. I will attempt to take one on Wednesday when we are journeying back. I want to do a small painting of their house for Rob and Donna as my thank you for their good care. It began to rain so I hurried back to the cozy house for my supper.

Rob is quite good at all things. He told me that you can cut a hole in your roof and slide in a bottle of water, caulking around it carefully. It will create the equivalent of a hundred watt light bulb during the daylight hours. When he was overseas in third world countries, they used that trick to light shanties with no power. He said you can do the same with a flashlight sitting on its end with the light facing up, by putting a bottle of water on the light. How fascinating! I will remember that trick the next time the power goes out at night. I am fortunate to meet really interesting and smart people in all of my travels.

Day 3 at Bird Island 

I woke to overcast skies and wind, so I continued my painting on the porch. I decided to use my IPad photo of the marsh side of the island I took yesterday.

Patsy Nelms was a teacher in her career days so she is keenly interested in history and archeology. She is partnered with the Archeology department at the University of Florida and allows them to come to Bird Island for digs. Dang it, I just missed the last dig conducted recently. She has a wonderful collection of pottery pieces, arrow heads and all sorts of parts and pieces around the island house from the digs. She is also a fine artist, doing interesting sculptures from found objects on the island and great paintings too. Warren is an engineer, and has done all of the cool mechanical stuff in the BI house. The yard is home to a collection of old fishing buoys and other articles that wash up on the shore. Staying on the island is an experience like no other. It is a world away from the pressures of our modern world. My heart is tied to old Florida and this is a thrill for me.

I did my favorite painting today, the marsh view of BI. I really enjoyed this one. I have to paint in a place for a while to dig into the process. Tomorrow I will touch it up and spend some time photographing the island, and views from the upstairs in the house. There is a bird's eye view from the cupola that I want to photograph. I might do a couple of small studies, time permitting. It will be time to start packing up and cleaning before I leave on Wednesday morning.

Day 4 at Bird Island 

Today was cool and sunny at 8 AM. It is windy here at the island in April. My other trips here have been in October, when it is hot and still. I have not been plagued with the no see ums or Mosquitoes this time. I will remember that April is lovely here. I imagine that November through April would be pleasant in this way.

I got busy around 9 AM and painted until 2 PM. I took a lunch break then headed out to the boardwalk over the marshes to do a little 5x7 inch painting of Rob and Donna's silo house. What fun! Precarious too, being high up on a narrow walkway in the wind with my paintbox.  It only took me a little while.

I did four 16x20 paintings and  one 5x7 in my four days here. A fair amount of production this time. I also got good reference photos to add to my residency files for future paintings in my studio.

I have loved every minute of this residency and hope to do it again next year. I am so very grateful to the Nelms family for their kindness and support.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Bird Island Residency

Bird Island

Notes From My Residency Journal

I'll be off to Horseshoe Beach Saturday morning to start my adventure on Bird Island. Saturday is a big day for Horseshoe Beach. I'll attend the Horseshoe Spring Festival Parade and have some good seafood at the cafe before I get a boat ride over to Bird Island. I'll be dropped off for four days of painting and enjoying the island. I'll be picked up on Wednesday morning to go back to Horseshoe, pick up my car and head for Gainesville and my loft studio. 

This will be my third trip to Bird Island and I'm looking forward to many happy hours of painting, thanks to the Nelms family.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival April 4-7, 2013

Monster Topiaries
Notes From My Residency Journal

I just returned from four days at Epcot. This was my tenth and last year as the project manager for the annual Art in the Garden weekend for the festival. I managed the plein air event for Epcot. I have many happy memories of this event through the years but it is now time for me to turn to other projects.

 This year we were housed at the Boardwalk Inn, one of Epcot's top resorts. It was good to have my last year at one of the resorts around the lake. I love those hotels. They are all situated on the boardwalk, which is fashioned after the famous New Jersey boardwalk. it is great fun, with a view of the fireworks at Epcot from the bridge. The hotel is elegant and well staffed with very helpful folk.

We were treated to a lovely banquet upstairs in the aquarium Under Seas pavilion so we could watch the fish and sea turtles swim as we enjoyed our feast of watermelon salad, shrimp and grits, pulled pork, collard greens and many other goodies. As a gal from the South, the food was heavenly!!

I met thousands of people as an ambassador for painting at Epcot, and thrilled many children by allowing them to paint on my paintings and parents were delighted to photograph their children at my easel.

I am looking forward to going back to Epcot as a tourist in the future.