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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blondheim Art

Availabe through

Just a quick post to thank everyone who has "tagged" me over the last several weeks. I know not what this is about to be honest. I think it is some sort of communication system between bloggers. I never have much free time for this sort of thing, but thank you all for inviting me. I belive we were supposed to write a list of things people don't know about us?

Here are mine:

1. I am a Lord of the Rings film junkie. I watch it over and over and am fascinated with the film. Who knows why?

2. I love novels about the Mafia.

3. I am a minimalist in my lifestyle. I do not like automated locks or wing dings in cars. My car has almost 200,000 miles on it. No AC, no automated features. It does have a radio but no CD player. I don't like things and am not a collector of chochkis. I like very minimal homes with wood or stone, no rugs, clean simple furniture. No accessories except for paintings or sculpture.

4. I do not like watercolors. I know it is shameful to admit.

5. I love the modernist painters like Rothko, DeKooning, Francis Bacon, Jim Dine, Alex Katz, Milton Avery.

6. I love herb gardens and arboretums.

7. I like to be around people who are smarter than I am. That pretty much includes most of the world's population.

Thanks agan to those who tagged me. Very kind of you.

Blondheim Art Oyster Boat

8x10 inches
oil on panel
silver frame
Purchase HERE

Painters Tip

Using the KISS Rule

When I paint boats or objects that move, I use the KISS rule. This painting was done in very smoky conditions, during the Florida wild fires and the boat was at anchor but moving in the water. I used the basic simple lines to block in leaving out some of the details. I stopped to have lunch and when I returned the boat was gone. I had to finish the painting from memory but I had enough basic information down early in the painting to finish it with little trouble.

Anytime you are painting objects from life that can move, they will. The secret is to get all of your basic shapes, colors and design done at the block in stage of the painting so that you can "wing it" if necessary.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Blondheim Art Study of Roses oil on index paper

See my paintings HERE

Painters Tip

In painting flowers I use a basic three value mix to start. I lay in the middle value, the darkest and the lightest, very clean without blending, rather like laying in flat shapes or puzzle pieces. I then go back in with more values to subtlely change and refine the shapes and petals. It is very important to keep crisp clean color in flower painting. It is that beautiful color that viewers look for in florals. Pre-mixing your palette for florals is a great way to retain the clean color in the painting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Blondheim Art Goldenrod 5x7 acrylic

5x7 inches
acrylic on panel

See Linda's Paintings HERE

Painters Tip

I like to think about drawing and painting in terms of shapes and angles. Just about everything can be started with a geometric shape. Think of bottles and vases as square or rectangle first. Make you basic shape and then fill in the bottle inside of it. If you make a line down the center of the shape you will have two halves to work with. When you look at a live oak tree, think of a half circle for the basic canopy shape. Looking at objects that way will open up new ways to draw and paint. Try not to look at a tree as a tree, but rather as form, mass, shape, line, angles, tone and color. Artists must train themselves not to look at objects the way other people do.

Monday, May 28, 2007

John C Campbell Folk School Flowers North Carolina

6x8 inches
acrylic on panel
gold frame

Purchase HERE

Painters Tip

I have been running into a lot of artists who do not paint from life. They are using tracing paper or projectors to put the outline image onto their canvases and then painting from reference photos. I have no problems at all with that method. I would like to suggest to them that they add sessions on painting from life to their regular routine. Just setting up a couple of apples or pears is fine. Get a lamp and shine a light on one side or the other so that the light source is clear. Do a few small paintings and drawings each week from life to enhance your skill level and all of your painting will improve, whether you paint from life or not. If you are doing landscapes from photos all of the time, please sit out in the yard and observe trees and land each week. Do some small pencil sketches from life if you do not wish to paint on location. Think of painting from life as an extra tool in your box.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Blondheim Art Field in North Carolina

8x10 inches
oil on panel
Purchase HERE

Painters Journal

I can't remember the last time I was this tired. I am a zombie. I am heading home after lunch today and I will probably have to stop overnight just to sleep some. This year has been an incredible adventure, but now I must go home to recuperate for the summer. Of course that doesn't mean I will be idle. I have a commission to finish, an open house for the studio and a one day workshop all in June.

Workshop Observations

I notice in some workshops that there are students who come in with pre-set notions of how they should be painting. They are inflexible and unwilling to try anything which deviates from their usual system of painting. Many of them spend a great deal of time talking over the instructor and saying things which draw attention to themselves. Spouting their so called knowledge in an effort to look smarter than the teacher. In reality, any painter who has been a professional painter for 30 + years and who was formally educated in the arts is going to know more than any intermediate painter. That is just a fact. Experience counts. I always wonder why on earth they have invested their valuable time and money to take a workshop. They get nothing out of the class and plunge the rest of the students into confusion.

The purpose of a workshop is not self aggrandisement. It is not for doing what you always do. It is not for producing fine paintings or as many paintings as you can get. A workshop is for learning and trying techniques which you are not familiar with,in order to grow as a painter. A good workshop teacher is simply adding to your toolbox. You may wish to save the tools to use and add to your technical procedures, or you may throw them out after the workshop. Attitude is everything.

I see three main problems to overcome:

One is ego. Please leave it at home. Come in as a beginner and try everything. This means following directions and listening instead of talking over your instructor.

Two is fear. Don't be afraid to look dumb or to try everything. You cannot look stupid with a good workshop teacher. There are no stupid questions. Be brave with joy. No one does their best work at workshops, including the teacher. We are distracted and busy. Get over your fear and experiment with joy.

Three is Frustration.

Don't become so easily annoyed when things are hard to understand or to do. Be gentle with yourself and keep frustration at a minimum. Get up from your painting and take a walk. Remember that painting is process oriented, not finished beauty oriented. Enjoy the journey rather than racing to the finish line. I never worry about whether my paintings are wonderful. I enjoy the process itself instead.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Scarecrow and Bee Hives John C Campbell Folk School

12x16 inches
Oil on Panel
Gold Frame

Purchase HERE

Painters Journal

This painting was done in the garden at the Folk School over a period of three days. It is my favorite view of the school. I This place is so special, I confess I have never had an experience like it.

Painters Tip

When you take a painting workshop go in with an open heart and mind. Expect to try new things and new ways to study. If you are an experienced painter, leave your experience at home and be willing to try someone else's techniques. Waste no time trying to show the instructor how much you know. Let go of your way and try theirs. What can it hurt? You just might learn a better way.

If you are a beginner, soak it in like a sponge and waste no time beating yourself up for not doing good work. The biggest deterrant to success for you is frustration. Let go of your fragile ego and enjoy every process. Success must come later when you have gathered more experience.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

John C Campbell Folk School

I am writing from then John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown NC. It is in the Southwestern mountains. A Lovely place and so dear. It even makes my cynical heart melt, which is no easy task. We sing songs and have blessings before each meal. The food is served family style and it is fresh and good. I am listening to a mandolin player as I write this.

It has gentle rolling hills and the blue mountains can be seen everywhere I look. There are fields of tall grasses and large shade trees, cattle and red barns. It is peaceful and genuine and so sweet.

My room is in an attic of the old farm house with antique furniture, cozy and comfortable.

We paint all day in class and then I paint for myself in the evening.

It is a wonderful experience.

More later......

Friday, May 18, 2007

Blondheim Art Forgotten Coast

Simmons Bayou
8x10 inches
oil on panel

See my Forgotten Coast Paintings Here

Painters Journal

Well, I'm about half way in my re-packing for the trip to NC tomorrow. I finally got a good night's sleep which was helpful. I've caught up with the 200+ emails and uploaded the paintings on my web site from my last trip so I am ready to roll again.

I have to stop and reflect on how lucky I am. I have a glimpse of other worlds in my travels. Artists like me exist in multiple classes of society really. I have few material things and live very simply, but I am privileged to travel in very high circles indeed through my work. I am always shocked by how rich people really are. I feel awe when I come to their homes and hear about their lives. It is fun to imagine myself living that way. What must it be like to never have to worry about money? I am counting my change here, getting ready for my next trip. How I would love to have the kind of patronage which would guarantee my future income.

I'll see you all here after NC.

Painters Tip

I have discovered three of the great colors for outdoor painting. I use them every day as a basic workhorse. Daniel Green brand Sap Green and Prussian Blue are awesome for darks, lights or anything in between. Combined or separate. This brand of sap does not have that icky yellow bias. It is a cooler sap than any other brand I've used. I get it through my sponsor Jack Richeson & Company. The other paint I love is Utrecht brand Cad red light. If you like a warm palette it is terrific as an under painting for block ins. It makes beautiful salmons and pinks combined with Naples yellow. If I have those three colors, I can do good work every time. I know that I don't need either to mix good color b ut I like them and they save lots of time when I am under pressure to produce a lot of paintings.

For the Forgotten Coast Paint Out I used the following palette:

Sap Green
Prussian Blue
Thalo Blue
Cad Red Light
Transparent Red Iron Oxide
Cad yellow lemon
Cad yellow medium
Naples Yellow Light
Ivory Black
Flake White
Titanium White

This palette was larger than I usually paint with but the scenery was very diverse, so I felt that a larger palette was warranted.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blondheim Art Cape San Blas

Cheryl's View of San Blas
8x10 inches
oil on panel

Painters Journal

I arrived home today around noon (Thursday). I leave on Saturday AM for NC to teach. I will spend tomorrow re-organizing and sleeping as much as time permits. It feels like I have been away for a very long time.

I wanted to acknowledge the kindness and generosity of several people I met on the Forgotten Coast.

My thanks to Richard and Judy Carroll for making the Paint Out possible.
To Kim,Joe and Sandy for making it run right.

To my hosts Carrie and Charley for the sweet little house they gave me to live in and the fine meals and tours from Apalach to Mexico Beach.

To Linda and Polly for their kindness and positive spirit.

To all the staff of Steamers Restaurant who not only fed me, but gave me a cap to keep the sun off my face.

To Jo Heslin for her Southern Comfort and charm, and for the fine meal she gave me.

Cheryl from Coastal Realty for her kind hospitality.

To the Apalachicola Museum for hosting an exhibition of our paintings.

To all of my artist buddies who are such fun and a lifeline for me when I'm away from home. Many of you may not realize how important these friends become for each other. We are away from our homes so much and the other artists and people we meet associated with these paint outs become our families when we are on the road. It can be desperately lonely, traveling all the time, but they make it fun and good. My workshop students, and the artists I coach also become like family to me. I so look forward to hearing from them and seeing them at workshops.

Thank you all for a wonderful life.

Painters Tip

When you are between painting trips, take the time to get your painting supplies cleaned up and refreshed. Even if you are home for only a day or two, it will pay off to restock and clean up your equipment. I don't know about you, but after painting for 7 days, my brushes are in frightful condition. I must take them out and wash thm, getting the ones that are hopeless out of the box and replacing them if necesary. I am terrible on brushes and equipment. I guess it is because I paint so much. Some people have equipment which lasts for years. I'm lucky to make it through a year.

Even though you are tired, it is important to start off again with freshened supplies.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fish Camp View
Indian Pass
8x10 inchs
oil on panel.

Painters Journal

This is my last paining day today. I got three paintings so my total is 16. A good week's worth I think.

I met a lady today who's house is the size of a city block. It is right on the beach and it has an elevator. Way Cool.

Tonight is the first opening for our show. Even though I don't expect sales, I will put in my best smoozing effort.

Too tired for a painter's tip today. I'll get back to you all when I get back from NC if not before.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Indian Pass Palms

8x10 inches
oil on panel

Painters Journal

I have been running all over the place, painting like mad since my last post. I am still in Apalach. Tomorrow night is the first opening for the show of our work. This has been a wonderful experience and I regret that I will have to leave Thursday and miss the last few days. We are painting at San Blas and Indian Pass tomorrow on my last official day. I have thirteen paintings in total and expct to get two more tomorrow so I have had good production with 2 12x26 and 11 8x10. Not bad considering many interruptions for various events. I m getting very poor images of my paintings because it is dark in my room by the time I get home. I'll re-shoot what doesn't sell to post again.

One of the best things here is the fresh seafood in endless variety fresh each day. I am enjoying it so much.

Painters Tip

When you go to a paint out where your work will be sold, stay visible to curious folk and take the time to welcome them and be friendly. It will pay off later when they view the paintings. Patrons form a personal attachment to artists and so it is important to single yourslf out from the crowd. I carry biz cards with me at all times. I hand them out to everyone who stops to watch me paint. You never know when someone will keep thinking about your painting and come back to buy it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Blondheim Art Apalachicola Bay

8x10 inches
oil on panel

Painters Journal

Here I am in Apalach, painting happily. I am staying with a new host this year for the paint out. She is a real doll. She lives in a restored craftsman bungalow, my favorite architecture. She has a converted garage behind the house, made into a small apartment where I am staying. It is really cool. I have my own entrance and car park. Her yard looks out on Apalachicola Bay. She makes my breakfast every morning and we dine al fresco while watching activites on the bay. I could definitely get used to this lifestyle.

Yesterday I painted with my friend Mary Jane, on the deck of a restaurant called Steamers in Apalach on the bay. The nicest most generous people ever. The started out by insisting on giving us cold drinks. We had planned to eat lunch there, but the would not take our money at all. Finally, as we left, they gave us one of their logo baseball caps. One of the things I find over and over again in my travels, is the generosity of many of the people I meet. Even though I live very modestly, I have a rich life.

I'll check in again as time permits. It is 5:00 AM as I post this.

Painters Tip

Doing professional paint outs over the years has taught me a thing or two. First of all they are very demanding and stressful. You have a short time to produce a fair amount of paintings, so you are working for very long hours. The paintings must be of a consistent sellble quality because the promoter must recoup his investment, and of course, you need to sell to make a living as well. Most painters go out for a few hours to paint, stop for lunch an then head back home to relax. Professional painters at events must paint from 7 AM- 8-PM for 5-10 days at these paint outs.

My suggestion is that you start the day with your most complicated composition. You are fresh and able to focus on your work the best each morning. Take your time on this one and do it right. In mid day choose a spot with shade if you live in the south. As the day goes on, simplify your compositions and use less detail because your brain will start to go on automatic mode. You will have less ability to focus as your mind starts to numb and your body starts to ache from fatigue. Take a break for lunch and get out of the sun for a bit.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Blondheim Art Lake Alice University of Florida 8x10 oil on panel

8x10 inches
oil on panel
gold frame

Purchase HERE

Painters Journal

This will be my last blog post until June 4, 2007. I am going to be on an extended travel schedule, first to NW Florida to paint in the Forgotten Coast Paint Out, and then to North Carolina to teach two workshops. Please don't give up on me. I will be back.

I now have a Browse Bin Special on my specials page of the web site along with cartoons. Here

Painters Tip

This post is addressed to those of you who make a living from art. I have made the mistake of working too hard this year. Last year I made the mistake of getting involved in groups which were not good for me and they made me unhappy. I finally got away from that and replaced it with overwork. I am overbooked constantly. It is too easy to work 18 hours a day when you work for yourself. No time clock to punch, no overtime worries from management. I am single, so there is no spouse to answer to. Saturday I got away for three hours to paint all by myself for the first time in months. I enjoyed it more than I can say. It made me wonder why I have worked myself into a situation where I am constantly doing some project that keeps me in the studio, painting for publicity, or working at the computer rather than out on location enjoying what I do best. It seems like just yesterday I used to be out painting regularly just for the joy of it.

Here is what I must do about it. I have already started. I am gradually weaning out most of the organizations I belong to. I have given up all of the art magazines which used to take up my valuable time to read, I am taking a month off from committments in July and January each year from now on. I have two one day committments in July already scheduled but other than that both of those months will remain empty from now on. That gives me time to paint for myself uninterrupted during those two months. I will consider them to be painting holidays for myself.

I am getting activities prioritized, sorting them into levels of importance in terms of what I like to do and what I must do to provide a living for myself. The "must do" has to stay at the top of the list in order to continue as a professional artist. The "like to do" must at least have a chance to be on the schedule. Without that, there is little pleasure in my job. The third category combines the two "like and must". I can do this because I like it and it makes a living for me. That category would include research and teaching as well as professional paint outs.

I must be more careful about what I am willing to say yes to. I have found myself asking " Why did I agree to this?" too many times this year. I must be more selective about what will actually pay off for me both financially, emotionally, and in good PR. That means taking time for analysis before I say yes and not allowing myself to be pressured for an answer immediately. It also means asking the tough questions about money and expenses to those who invite.

These are issues that every professional artist faces eventually.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Blondheim Art Original Plein Air Alla Prima

30x40 inches
oil on canvas
Available at:
Painters Tip

More on traveling to paint

One of the things I do before a painting trip is to open up both my acrylic and oil pochade boxes and do an inventory for paints, mediums and brushes. I take all of the brushes out and wash them in a mild soap. I gently put the hairs in the right direction and let them dry good on the counter before I put them back in the boxes.

If I will be away for weeks, I make sure to take extra paints (especially white), brushes,paper towels, painting panels, and items I usually have with me. Some places will simply not have paints, brushes, solvents, etc. for sale. There is nothing worse than discovering that you are going to run out of a paint color you need, or finding that your production is good and running out of canvas or panels, or frames. That happened to me last year at a paint out and I was lucky to find another artist who had one extra frame in the size I needed. I sold that painting too and payed her for the frame. That was just good luck but poor planning on my part. Always have as many frames as panels. :>)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Blondheim Art Original Landscape Palms

5x7 inches
acrylic on panel
See more of my art HERE

More on Traveling

Now let's talk about the marketing side of travelng. The preparation for this is just as important as the trip. Before I go to an area to paint I go to my mailing list and pull names from the region where I will be painting. For example, for my trip to the Forgotten Coast I have sent promotional materials to people in Port St Joe, Mexico Beach, Cape San Blas, Apalachicola, Tallahassee, Panama City, and the Destin Area. I also sent press releases to all newspaper and style magazines in those areas. Both of my trips are prominently displayed on my artist resource page and home page of my web site.

Taking the time to do advanced publicity will single you out of the crowd to a certain extent. Name recognition may sway an undecided buyer in favor of your work because they know something about you.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Blondheim Art Original Landscape Oil Painting

8x10 inches
oil on panel
gold frame
Purchase HERE

Painters Tip

Getting organized for travel.

I'm getting ready to take a long trip. Seven days in NW Florida, nine days in North Carolina with one in between day at home to repack and take off again.

Being prepared is important for these kinds of marathon painting trips. I recommend a daily chore list and a master list to use and check off. Since I will be teaching in NC I will need to have both my acrylic and oil boxes. I am going to take them with me on the first trip fully loaded. If I don't use them both, I will have one packed in the car ready for the next leg of my journey. In fact, I am going to pack all of my materials and supplies for both trips at once. When I'm home for a day in between, I can unload my suitcase, do laundry and put it back in the car. I will remove the paintings that I have left from the paint out and store in my studio while I'm in NC.

Less packing and re-packing for both trips. The easier I make this for myself, the less fatigue I will have to endure early in the game. I will need my strength by the time I get to NC.

I am staying with a host person while in Apalach who will have breakfast for me but no other meals. I am going to take a box of foods like tuna and canned chicken, so I can make my lunches in the car each day while painting. Two meals a day gets expensive in restaurants. Planning ahead with simple foods easy to prepare will save money and time, giving me more time or painting each day. I will take a lunch break each day and go to the internet cafe to read my mail.

Saving room is also a priority on a long trip. Using flat painting panels rather than stretched canvas saves a lot of room. They are also less fragile than canvas. I keep various sized panels in a box and have all of the frames wired and ready in boxes.

I keep a supply box in the car which has extra solvent, various mediums, both oil and acrylic, brushes, duct tape, masking tape, sunscreen, bug juice, bottled water and a plastic tarp for rain emergencies. I throw it over my easel, not me.

With the exception of one standard ironed outfit for openings, I roll all of my shirts, shorts, etc. so that they fit nicely in one tote bag. It looks like a gym bag. I can fit about ten days worth of clothing, shoes and toiletries in that bag. That is all the luggage I need. I check off items as I load them into the car the day before I leave.

Before you get the idea that I know what I am doing, let me tell you that I forget a lot of what I need even with my list. :>)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Linda's Toons Ruby Slippers

Ruby Slippers
8x10 inches
Purchase HERE

Painters Tip

Side Line Art

I've always loved cartooning and the cartoon style of art. The flat shapes outlined in ink are very appealing to me as an artist. I've used my cartoons to entertain and to make pretty good money. People like them and commission me to do them for specific occasions as invitatiuons and momentoes.

Just because you are a portrait painter or a landcape painter by reputation, that doesn't mean you can't make income and have fun with other art. Why not? Art doesn't have to be formal or stuffy.

If you are concerned about your brand name or reputation, it's easy enough to market alternative art under another name. Lots of writers do that so why not artists too?

It's a good idea to market work which is very different separatly. I put my cartoons on a separate page on my web site than the paintings page and it works out fine.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blondheim Art Original Acrylic Painting

12x16 inches
Oil on panel
This week's Ebay Painting HERE
Look for Blondheim Art at Ebay.

Painters Tip


So many artists ask me how many paintings they need for a body of work. A lot depends on whether you are a hobbyist, semi professional or whether you make your living from your art entirely. As a hobbyest, you are painting for pleasure. You may sell some of your paintings but there is no urgent need for a large inventory. If you are making a living, it is wise to have a deep inventory to draw from. For example, I have been contacted twice this week with new exhibition opportunities, one a couple of hours a way and one in Virginia. In both cases the person was interested in specific themes for the show and gallery. Because I have a large inventory of work, it was fairly simple to come up with 6 larger sized Florida theme paintings for one show and 5 small paintings for the Virginia venue which were not Florida themes.

Once you have a brand name you are in demand and opportunities come to you out of he blue. Sometimes you are only going to get one chance to get into a gallery or show. If you can't come up with a body of work instantly, you get passed over for another artist who is better prepared.

I do from 300-400 paintings a year, most of those are small but a few are large. I don't expect everyone to be that prolific, but you should be working everyday and producing a fair number of paintings if you expect to make a living and be taken seriously. If you cannot keep 20-30 paintings and frames available in your studio at any given time, you are going to miss out on some good opportunities.