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

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.