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, May 28, 2014

Crystal River Residency - Day 6

My good friend Linda

Our view for lunch

Notes From my Residence Journal

Today I painted with my friend Linda and her friend and painter Ron Affee, http://www.ronaffee.com in Inverness at the town lake front park.

It wasn't too hot. I chose to study some trees and found a good shady spot, so I enjoyed myself. They chose different spots. I ended up in a nice conversation with a sculptor from the town so that was interesting and fun.

Linda and I traveled back to Crystal River and stopped at a restaurant called the Ale House. It was a great place with a covered patio, so we dined alfresco. There was a nice breeze and storm clouds building so it as very pleasant. Linda is an easy going comfortable friend who is easy to talk to. I always enjoy her company.  The food was very good. I had the shrimp basket with perfectly cooked large shrimp and good cole slaw. Linda had a bowl of broccoli soup. It was great fun watching the boats come and go past us. 

I barely made it back to the condo before the sky opened up with a good shower to cool things off. I spent the afternoon washing the bedding and doing a bit of cleaning, as I leave tomorrow morning. I'll stop for breakfast and head for my own stomping grounds. I have a cake order, so I need to get my chef's hat on and get busy with that. I'll be back in the town studio on Friday, with fond memories of this wonderful place. 

If you love nature, this is your vacation home! There is a nice pool, the boat dock is right in front of me and the view from the deck is spectacular. There is a large comfy bed on the top level bedroom and full bath. There is a nice half bath downstairs, a modern galley kitchen, and very comfortable furniture. A cozy, modern condo carefully disguised as a simple cottage, fitting into natural surroundings beautifully. 
The owners rent the condo by the week or by the month. Let me know if you are interested. I recommend this as a marvelous vacation setting.

My heartfelt thanks to the Daly's for this wonderful week in paradise

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Crystal River Residency- Day 5

Marsh Clouds
8x10 inches
Oil on panel

River Study
 8x10 inches
Oil on panel

Roy Thomas Road
Off Ft Island Trail

Notes From My Residency Journal

I went to A J's Cafe today for breakfast. It is located on Us 19 on the west side if you are headed south. It was a bit nicer than most of the others I've visited in terms of decor. It has a typical breakfast menu. I had corned beef hash and fried eggs with homefries and rye toast, all good with excellent service. I've been impressed with the number of breakfast restaurants in this small town, at least four. Since breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out, I like all these choices, all in the range of 8.00-9.00. 

After breakfast I did some more exploring on my way back to my temporary studio. I found Roy Thomas road, a narrow dirt road that goes through the marshes and eventually dead ends at what I imagine is some sort of fish camp, with a couple of houses and public buildings like a camp.  The views of the river are glorious there. I didn't stay long, not wanting to be a bother. No one seemed to mind or care that I was there. I got some nice quick snapshots of the river and headed back to Ft Island Trail. 

The marshes here are fascinating in color and texture, in one direction they will be greenish bronze, in another wheat. Sometimes they turn to chocolate in color. They remind me of the Forgotten Coast marshes up along Simmons Bayou and Indian Pass, in the Port St Joe area. Exotic and ever changing. This is also a wonderful place to study cloud formations. 

Another day in paradise thanks to The Daly's. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Crystal River Residency - Day 4

Marsh Palm
5x7 inches
Oil on panel

Palm Hammock
8x10 inches
Oil on panel

Marshes along Fort Island Trail

Notes From My Residency Journal

I started my day with breakfast at a local dive named Oysters. It was quite by accident. I stopped for gas first and the restaurant was right next door. I decided, why not? I'm glad I did. They had a nice breakfast menu with a fair number of options. I discovered a fisherman's breakfast as one of the selections. The fish options included catfish, cod or grouper. I chose Grouper, one of my favs with eggs, grits and toast. It was superb. The fish was fried the old school way. No panko  breadcrumbs or tempura batter here. It was fried the classic Florida way in cornmeal. Crisp and hot and steaming in the middle. It was a large piece and all was wonderful, including the crisp brown toast. The coffee was excellent and bold. This feast was 8.50 including the coffee. What a great way to start my day!

I spent some time photographing Ft Island Trail with its many side roads and got some great reference photos. I headed back to my temporary studio to paint the above two paintings. Just before 4 PM, I headed to my hosts' beautiful marsh house for a second feast for dinner. We enjoyed crackers and cheese first, then grilled chicken, a beautiful colorful salad with poppy seed dressing, asparagus cooked perfectly, sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob, followed by fresh watermelon for dessert with coffee. Truly delicious! I had such a great time swapping stories with them. They are wonderful friends, and Linda is a fine painter. We will be off on Wednesday to a town called Inverness to paint with her painting group. I'll enjoy meeting new painting friends. 

Another wonderful day in Paradise.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Crystal River Residency -Day 3

River Canal
12x16 inches
Oil on canvas

Marshes on Fort Island Trail

Ft Island Trail Park

Notes From My Residency Journal

I woke early and ventured out to breakfast at Granny's restaurant. I had corned beef hash and eggs with hash browns, all tasty. I always eat breakfast there at least once when I visit Crystal River.  I headed back down the trail to admire the lovely marshes along the way. There are several parks and trails off the main drive and I enjoyed stopping along the way to take photos with my IPhone camera. I will go again tomorrow with my IPad that takes very good photos. 

I like this cozy little cottage where I am hosted by the generous Daly family. It fits into the nature of the marsh so well. It is environmentally friendly in that it nestles into the marsh with little disturbance, leaving a completely natural landscape. The clapboard siding is painted a neutral color and the decking and walkways are all unfinished wood, so it grays with time with the marsh trees along the canal. The only paving is in the small parking lot, rimmed by trees. 

As a Florida native, I hate seeing the mini mansions along the River with manicured lawns, devoid of natural plantings. They don't fit into the environment in any way and have no respect for the marshes. I'm not naive enough to wish for no development in our beautiful state, but environmentally friendly development is possible with as little disturbance as possible to the land and sea. I continue to fully support our state land trust organizations and encourage others to do so. 

I'm having an excellent time painting everyday. I'm working on my 4th painting. 
Here's to another wonderful day in paradise.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Crystal River Residency - Day 2

Marsh Morning
 9x12 inches
Oil on canvas

Marsh Palms
8x10 inches
Oil on canvas

Notes From My Residency Journal

This lovely place truly provides all the scenery I could wish for. I feel no need to go anywhere looking for a place to paint. It is all here in front of me. I've been watching the boats go up and down the canal all day, while happily painting. The condos are all on stilts above the marsh, so the tide goes in and out under us. Rustic wooden boardwalks meander through the property, with palms growing here and there through the walkways. It is lovely and natural. As I walk along, I see tiny crabs skittering along the boardwalk.

I will venture out for a bite to eat later. It's very hot so I am happy with my views from the air conditioned condo for the duration of the heat wave. I'll be going out with a group this week to paint in the area for a day.

A good painting day in paradise.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Crystal River Residency - Day 1

View from the deck 1

View from the Deck 2

My lovely abode

Notes From My Residency Journal

I arrived around noon and am settled into this lovely condo for the week. My friends Linda and Tom made this residency possible. Thanks so much to them for this privilege. It is a lovely cottage like building out over the water. Sliding glass doors face the marshes with a generously sized I deck. It is so hot this week that I will enjoy painting the view inside during the day.  I'll head out to explore tomorrow, early and then head back here to paint where it is cool. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fair Oaks Mini Residency - May 18, 2014

Sunflowers in front of the old shed
9x12 inches
Oil on panel

Notes From My Residency Journal

I was so very happy to have a day at Fair Oaks. I've not been there as much as I like due to other responsibilities. It was as perfect as Florida ever gets. The fields were full of early summer flowers, tiny and white with yellow centers, tall, like a blanket over the field. So lovely!  The first thing I noticed was a row of Sunflowers in front of the old shed and they drew me in like magnets. I spent the morning painting the scene. 

Lunch was from Blue Highway and delicious. I love their chicken and BBQ pizza and the marvelous salad. Our friend Sue Wood contributed a peach pie, so it was really a great lunch. 

My students arrived and I got them all settled in their favorite spots.  I spent the afternoon driving back and forth in the trusty golf cart, checking on their progress.  At 5:30 we gathered in the pavilion to look at the paintings and talk painting. It was a swell day in paradise. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Wedding

Groom and Bride


Pretty girls Magda and Jackie

Selfie fun with my pal and co- trouble maker Matty.

Saranette and Mary Jane and Becky in front.

Cake top
Groom Cake Top

Cake front
Groom Cake front

Notes From My Residency Journal

The wedding was incredibly gentle and sweet. It was nostalgic, country and wonderful. It was the best wedding I've been to in years. The bride was just stunning, her dress, gorgeous on her beautiful figure. The groom tall and handsome with a fresh haircut, so proud of his lovely wife. We sat on fruit crates under the fine old Live Oak in the back yard at Fair Oaks. What a wonderful setting for this new beginning. Mark and Anna have nurtured and loved Fair Oaks for some time. There were tall wild flowers along the isle in jars, perfection! The youngest flower girl rode in a wagon full of wild flowers, so very sweet. 

I saw many friends of Fair Oaks among the guests, including former employees who now have professions after their college years, artists who paint its beauty and friends of the host of Fair Oaks. A wonderful mix of all who are devoted to this wonderful and magical land. 

The reception was held up the hill at the Ashley and Saranett Wood farm. The tables were set with China and crystal on white linen. There were pine limb coasters holding glass jars filled with flowers and other interesting candles and objects. 

There was a sign on the table listing the local food sources for the wedding, a nice touch. We enjoyed a tomato, mozzerella, basil bruschetta appetizer, beef brisket, green beans,roast chicken, squash, cucumber tomato salad, corn bread, all from local farmers and Mark and Anna's garden. That made the food taste extra special. 

There was a nice classic music style through dinner with tunes from Tony Bennett. After dinner and the toasts, the band cranked up with songs for the young crowd. The lights from the band reflected in the glass jars on tables, making them beautiful. I cut the cake before I headed for home after a lovely day in paradise. 

I'll get back to my other job as a painter tomorrow.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Frosting Day

Notes From My Bakery

Today was frosting day for the wedding. How many batches? I lost count! This is a huge cake! Three layers for each tier. The top tier is very tall. My next worry is that they might get messed up on the drive but I have an extra batch of frosting for repairs and a large cake tool kit to take with me. I can't wait to see it finished! 

Sunday I get to be a painter again!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Wedding


Flowers for the Cake

Notes From My Residency Journal

My residency journey leads me in many paths to many adventures. I have two careers, the first as a painter and the second as a baker of cakes and bread. Sometimes they are intertwined.  This Saturday I will deliver the cake for Mark and Anna's wedding. The ceremony will be at Fair Oaks. I love these kids as if they are my own. Mark is the estate manager for Fair Oaks. He and Anna are the perfect pair. I have come to know both of their families through occasional visits to Fair Oaks over the years. I'll be thrilled to contribute to their celebration. I'll share some photos of the event with you.