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, February 23, 2014

Mini Residency at Fair Oaks February 23, 2014

The new golf cart

The bell arrives

Unloading the new bell and golf cart

Today was a momentous occasion at Fair Oaks. The big church bell arrived along with the new golf cart. This cart is a two seater. I won't go near it. I don't want to get paint on it. I will continue to use the one I fixed up during my stay there last week. 

The weather was dreary and I was exhausted from moving my studio this week to a new space, so I hung around the studio and did not paint. The bell arrived that we have been waiting for. It is quite old and was once installed in one of the Evinston churches. It is a lovely huge bell and a tower will be built to house it. For now it will be housed in the old smoke house while the tower is built. It has a wonderful deep sound and I got to ring it. 

 Lunch was really good, burgers, vegetables and Italian sausage in buns like really tasty hot dogs. 

I wondered if any of my mentoring students would come to paint in the terrible weather. Three did. One left but the other two stayed. We went upstairs to the cozy studio and they enjoyed it. It was my pleasure and privilege to spend the afternoon with them. 

After my students left, I got to take another look at the big bell. I headed home to my studio after another day in Paradise. 

Next Sunday I leave for Wekiva State Park for a week of painting with hopes for good weather and good sales. There is no wifi in the park so I'll write about the adventure when I return.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fair Oaks Residency Wrap Up

Holy Ground Field
20x24 inches
Oil on canvas

Notes From My Residency Journal

I was treated to a marvelous dinner at The Yearling Restaurant by my kind host on Saturday night. What a treat and it was such a pleasant evening with the Fair Oaks staff and friends. 

Today was beautiful, cool but not cold with lots of sun. I finished the above painting, started on Saturday out in the field, up in the studio and then gradually packed Leroy. I also enjoyed sitting out on the upstairs porch in the warm sun. 

Lunch was served alfresco in the covered pavilion down by the little pond. The views were lovely and we enjoyed sandwiches and salad from Blue Highway. It is one of my favorite places to eat. I have been thoroughly spoiled with outstanding hospitality for an entire week. After lunch I said my goodbyes with regret and headed for my studio with fond memories. 

I am announcing a studio move this week. I will give you the details shortly. I will be moving with Paddiwhack Gallery to a new space in the next two weeks. I will no longer be in a loft space so the studio will be more convenient for everyone with no stairs.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fair Oaks Residency Saturday

Huge full moon rising on Friday night.

Homemade Walking Sticks

Notes From My Residency Journal

I started the day upstairs in the studio working on an 18x24 canvas today. I wanted to leave the cart for the staff to use. They have begun to plant the trees that arrived earlier in the week. I always enjoy the studio upstairs. There is also an upstairs porch, sunny and welcoming on a cold day like this one. 

The lunch bell rang and I joined the staff for BBQ chicken, ribs, cole slaw baked beans and then pie for dessert. Wow! What a feast.  I found out there is a new golf cart coming to replace old blue. I won't come near it with my messy paints, but it will free up the one I use now more often, so I am thrilled! The cart I use has a little metal plate on it with #55. I will call it that.  It runs great and is practically new looking now that the seat holes are covered. 

Tomorrow I will clean the house, pack my car and head for my own studio after lunch. I can't tell you how much I will miss my time here this week. It has been a spectacular residency!

I will be moving to a new studio space with Paddiwhack Gallery in the next two weeks. It will  be difficult to leave my current cozy space, but who knows, the new one may be even better.

More adventures to come from paradise.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fair Oaks Residency- Friday


Notes From My Residency Journal

I got out to paint around 8:30 this morning. The light was swell today after the front moved through last night. I got two 5x7 studies in oil. You can see where I dropped one face down in pine bark. I will let it dry a bit and carefully brush it off. It has been some time since I did small ones and I enjoyed the immediacy of the small format. I have completed 11.5 paintings this week.

My friend Mary Jane Volkmann, fabulous painter, arrived in time for lunch. We lived it up at Pearl Country Store, eating sweet potato fries, collard greens, chicken for her and a burger for me. It was great to get a hot meal. 

After lunch we jumped into my trusty golf cart and headed around the fields. It is very wet now so we got stuck twice, but were able to push it out together. We saw several birds including Robins and could hear a few Sand Hills still scattered about, but many fewer than the first few days of the week. 

At the end of our adventure, we picked some citrus fruit for her to take home and enjoy. The groves here are impressive. There is an old orange tree on the edge of Collins Field that has especially sweet oranges, and I enjoyed one today by reaching across the fence for it. 

I have two more glorious days for this week and I will enjoy them more than I can say. This was the best time ever and I always say that! If I could live out the rest of my days here at FO I would be content in every way.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fair Oaks Residency- Day 6

Oil on canvas

Notes From My Residency Journal

The painting above isn't Fair Oaks. :-) it is a canvas I brought to work on. Today was quite cold and overcast until about 2:00 PM, so I painted in the wonderful studio listening to NPR and staying cozy. I often bring partially finished paintings with me to this studio. It is such a great space and I paint up there most of the summer when it is hot and buggy outside. 

I took a ride around this morning as I love to do, checking the fields. I like to keep an eye out for trees down or the occasional litter that blows in from time to time. I want nothing but footprints left behind.
It rained a bit again yesterday, so there are still places too wet to go and I am trying to mend my old habits of getting the golf carts stuck constantly. 

This place is old Florida at its best. There are so few left. Most lands have livestock and they do a lot of damage to the trees and fields. That is one of the great things about Fair Oaks. Only the pups Buddy and Shane roam the land. I'm happy to have them as friends and companions. 

Fair Oaks Residency- Day 5

8x10 inches
Oil on panel

East Hay Field
12x12 inches
Oil on canvas

Notes From My Residency Journal

The fair weather is over for a couple of days. I struggled to get two paintings despite the dreary day. Tomorrow I will paint upstairs and stay warm.  I have a large seascape painting waiting for me, and the studio has heat and a nice radio. A wonderful place to hang around in to paint. I love the old house. It is charming and cozy. It always feels like home for me. 

Today was dark and atmospheric, always a challenge to me. Some painters love that look but I am a high contrast painter by nature, and I like a warm palette. The cool grays, blues and greens are harder. This climate is good for me because I must paint out of my comfort zone. I love the challenge. 

It is already mid week. Where does the time go? 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fair Oaks Residency- Day Three

Pond View
Oil on panel

Oaks and Palmettoes
12x16 inches
Oil on canvas

Notes From My Residency Journal

The best thing that ever happened to me was my discovery of Fair Oaks almost seven years ago. For a north Florida native, there is no better place. It has all of the elements that touch my heart. These giant Live Oak trees and Cabbage palms reach deeply into my soul. 

I've been watching and listening to the cranes circling up for there migration soon to come. I wish they would stay year round. There is a pair who live here year round. I love to creep up on them slowly. They know I'm behind them and stay just ahead of me, then burst into flight!

Last night Mark, the land  manager and do everything man, hauled in a trailer full of new trees, including several kinds of oak trees, long leaf pines, and a red cedar. They look so pretty bundled together, standing tall and proud.  He has an idea to put my favorite field three into planted pines and native grasses. I think it will be so pretty and I love to paint pines. I hope he will leave the path around the edge of the field for me. 

One of the things I love the most here, are the hidey holes, portals between fields, and the lanes hidden from casual observation. They are like the secret spaces of my childhood in my parents' yard. I would have stockpiles of food and toys hidden away there and spent hours exploring. 

I have gotten used to a new golf cart now that old blue is gone. This was the first one I used when I started painting here. This afternoon Chris and I did some repair to the holes in the seat and it is tip top now! It has my official paint on the seat so I am happy. I need to find a new head ornament. It used to have a cow scull wired on but it fell off at some point. I will need to find something. 

The time is racing by. I wish I could slow it down. I always hate to leave paradise. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fair Oaks Residency February 9-16

Notes From My Residency Journal

The Barn

At last, paradise for a whole week.  I'm sitting at the picnic bench in the yard, next to the old barn. I have had two spectacular days of painting. This is the climate that we Floridians suffer through long hot summers to receive as a reward. It was cool enough for a sweater and the light was spectacular all day. I will take some photos of my paintings to post for you. I have had good production so far with two paintings a day. 

My habit at this residency is to do one painting in the morning and one in the afternoon. I take a break for an hour mid day to wait for the afternoon light. Four-six PM is the magic time here and that gets later as the spring arrives. As long as the weather holds, I'll be painting outside. If it changes I'll be up in the studio working on my new big wave painting.

It sure is nice to have Buddy and Shane with me each day. I leave Henry at home. He is not an outdoor dog and I am here to work. I worry that he might get lost. 

I've been listening to and watching the cranes prepare for migration. They have been circling up all day. I love their calls. I saw 4 Kites today and the Kingfishers were diving for fish at the little pond
late yesterday.

When I arrive at Fair Oaks in February each year, I leave all of my stress behind me. I have no desire for anything except emersing myself in its culture and beauty.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fair Oaks Mini Residency February 2


Notes From My Residency Journal

I had a marvelous day in the studio at Fair Oaks today. I finished the two above paintings, enjoying the cozy space I love so much. I did a bit of dusting and sweeping to tidy up the studio. I like to keep it nice in case other artists want to come in and paint. I keep a log book there so we know who comes in to paint. I'll spend the week of February 9-16 at Fair Oaks so I'm really looking forward to my time there. 

Lunch was terrific. We had a full house with the staff and a very nice guest, Chris' beautiful girlfriend. She looks like a model and is so nice. She is an audiologist, very smart like everyone at Fair Oaks.  As always we have very interesting conversations and wonderful stories. One of the things I love the most are our lunches. I always learn from these friends. We enjoyed lasagna, green salad and cheese toast. Yummy!

Homage to my old friend the blue golf cart. I am so sad that I have lost the use of my favorite cart. I personify my favorite things, and the blue cart is like a beloved companion to me. Due to age and illness, I can't use it anymore. Something about brushes.  The other carts are used by the staff for work, so I will often be without a cart. There is plenty to paint around the house, so I will still be able to paint, but I will sure miss my blue friend. 

I climbed into Leroy and headed to my studio after a marvelous day at Fair Oaks. I am so blessed to be there.