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Linda Blondheim Art Collector Map
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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Make an Offer, Painting at Fair Oaks Farm, Patrons helping Artists

The winner of the 50.00 gift certificate for December is MARY NEAT Mary, email me at:

This Weeks Make and Offer painting.
Indian Pass Palms
8x10 inches
oil on Masonite Panel

Your offer must be at least 10.00 with 4.00 shipping or pick up at my studio. If you are a Florida resident add.0625% sales tax. Make offers to me at: Put OFFER in the message line.

Fair Oaks Farm

This month during the holidays I have been doing a lot of painting outside. The weather has been marvelous and I enjoy painting with my companion Henry(Studio Dog), my French bulldog. We load up the car with my painting gear and head out several days a week.

One of my favorite places to paint is Fair Oaks Farm in Evinston Florida. Evinston is the home of the Wood Swink Country Store and Florida's oldest post office. You will find my small paintings at the Wood Swink, depicting the farms and ranches in that area.

Fair Oaks Farm is just a mile or two from the Post Office. It is owned by a very kind and generous friend to painters, Rick Knellinger. Rick is an attorney by trade, but his passion is for his farm and the art that his friends produce. A few of us are lucky to have all the time we want to paint on this lovely farm. It is a privilege I don't take lightly.

Live Oak at Fair Oaks Farm
8x10 inches
Oil on Masonite Panel

Palm Hammock at Fair Oaks Farm
8x10 inches
oil on Masonite Panel

The farm is graced with ancient Live Oaks, Magnolias and tall graceful Palms. The lawn is emerald green with interesting patterns and shapes or dark green made by the cast shadows of old trees. This formal lawn is surrounded by fields dotted with palms, an orchard with lemon, grapefruit,tangerine and orange trees a lovely pond and bee hives. A lovely old Cracker barn sits behind the old house. The farm is home to Sand Hill Cranes and many other birds who take up residence in the winter.

Fair Oaks Barn
12x16 inches
oil on Raymar panel

The farm is lovingly cared for and treasured by it's owner and all who visit. I always meet interesting people there, and the ever charming Rick never fails to extend the most gracious hospitality.

Rick shared this wonderful story with me about the farm. In his words:

" Fair Oaks was originally part of a very large plantation.
The mansion burned around 1900. The present home was the guest house. The
stories that have come down to me are few. During the Civil War, soldiers
on leave were constrained by chaperones, but were wily enough to take the
objects of their affection for a ride in a tiny row boat on Clearwater Lake.
Room only for two! They threw balls to raise money for the Confederacy.
The lake is now a seasonal pond due to dropping water levels. The
cistern is all that is left of the mansion. It is 18 feet deep and about 9
feet in diameter. I would love to find someone to restore it.
For 35 years, Faye and Guy Miles, she a concert pianist and he a
literature professor, "camped out" here. My friends and I would come out to
dine and read Shakespeare on the balcony just before the gloaming, then
meander downstairs to a piano concert and much laughter where no one was
Puck was a regular visitor here too. Some of Faye's smallest
visitors saw him hiding in the bushes and ran to her to report it. In the
morning she would point out to the children the fairy rings in the fields
where they had danced in the starlight, and the dew kerchiefs they
carelessly left behind. Faye is the Muse that continues to guide each day
here. She would "let nothing be ordinary", as she held the fresh head of
lettuce, pulled it apart with her hands, and deeply inhaled its freshness.
She "joined the cosmos", as she promised to do, a few years ago. Every
person was welcome to her hospitality. For her 85th birthday, we surprised
her with a concert in the back yard, with renowned violinist Elwyn Adams.
He arrived in his huge 1974 Cadillac convertible with a broad straw hat, and
renewed his friendship with Faye from his first concert in Gainesville.
Faye was lucky to tip the scale at 100
pounds....very lucky. She wore torn jeans and formal dress with equal
panache. Once she was playing in a concert, where someone had failed to
lock the wheels on the Steinway. The longer she played the further the
piano slipped away from her hands and the lower her organdy dress slipped
from her breast. She relates that she had never played the piece with such
speed and authority managing to keep the audience in rapt suspense as to
which performance would finish first."

Being a painter gives me the opportunity to meet and visit many wonderful places in the world. It is a special life for which I am most grateful.

Most artists live a fairly minimal lifestyle, particularly if they are single. We are not wealthy financially, but we have a privileged life thanks to many patrons like Rick who share their lands and provide assistance. There are many ways to enhance an artist's career and assist them. Providing a space to paint, lodging at beautiful locations, equipment, referrals, commitments to financial support, and good business advice are just a few. Sometimes a simple invitation for coffee or lunch will boost an artist's feelings. If you admire and respect an artist, think about ways you might help them with their career.

See my paintings HERE

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This Week's Make an Offer painting,An Ice Cream Adventure, Art Collecting Decisions for gifts

Winter Marsh
11x14 inches
oil on panel

This Week's Make an Offer Painting

The offer must be at least 10.00, with .0625% sales tax for Florida residents. Shipping is 9.00 via USPS Priority Mail, or pick up at my studio to save shipping charges. Make offers at Put OFFER in the subject line. This painting will be available for offer until 6 PM 12/21/08.

This week I stumbled upon a terrific little Ice Cream shop in Gainesville, Florida. It is tucked away in a little strip shopping center at 3437 West University Avenue. There is not much ambiance to work with in this store front, but the owner, Michael Manfredi, makes every effort to make you feel important and welcome. I had my French Bulldog Henry with me, so we sat outside, waiting for others to bring out the ice cream treat, a lovely hot fudge sundae. The ice cream was rich and smooth but not so rich to be overwhelming. The fudge was the real thing, thick and creamy, just right. The portion was generous and yes, I ate the whole thing, I'm ashamed to admit.

Mr Manfredi came outside to meet us and to admire Henry. He has a Boston Terrier and wanted to meet Henry up close. He brought Henry two dog biscuits, which was a kind gesture. He serves a large variety of ice cream flavors, made right in the shop. The waffle cones are crisp and tasty. He has art on the walls, a nice touch of sophistication for such a small,unpretentious location. He has tables and chairs out on the patio for alfresco dining. It is well worth the trouble to find him. Telephone: 352.378.0532 This shop is a bit old fashioned, which appeals to me, no slick marketing or toney style, just excellent, homemade ice cream from someone who cares about his customers.

Collecting for Others

I have been collecting art for my daughters for years. Each year I choose a new painting for each of them as a gift, either for birthday or Christmas. Several of my clients purchase paintings from me to give as gifts each year. When you think about it, there is absolutely no gift which can be more unique or valuable than original paintings or sculpture. They are one of a kind and will last for generations.

When purchasing for others, think about their home environment. Modern,traditional,cottage style? What about the furnishings and wall colors? Their taste? Landscapes,florals and still life paintings are sure to appeal to many people. If you don't know, choose something that is fairly neutral. Bright splashy paintings may not appeal to everyone.

If you are not sure what to do, pick an artist you think they will like and purchase a studio gift certificate from the artist. I am always happy to provide gift certificates for my studio.

Plan an outing with the person you are giving the art to. Have lunch together and a studio visit to choose the painting the person will enjoy. I love to have studio visits. I always try to make it an occasion, with candles, music and a snack and beverage for visitors. What artist doesn't want to show off their latest paintings? It will be a special day for you and the recipient together.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Florida Orange Shop, Collecting by Subject

The Orange Shop
14x18 inches
oil on Masonite Panel
See my paintings HERE

One of my favorite old time places to visit is the Florida Orange Shop in Citra, Florida.

The Orange Shop
PO Box 125
Citra, Florida 32113-0125
Phone: 1-800-672-6439
Fax: 1-800-345-6888

This is a wonderful place. It has all the great tourist stuff that you found years ago all over the state. it is completely authentic with the original building in wonderful condition. It is owned by Pete and Cindy Spyke. The shop has fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice for sale each day and that alone is worth going for! I try to go over at least twice a year. I subscribe to their newsletter. Their fruit is fantastic and always fresh. You will be treated to a warm welcome when you visit this part of the living history of North Florida.

Collecting by Subject

It's really fun to build an art collection around a particular subject instead of a more general collection like still life, portraits or landscapes. If you have a fondness for Orchids, or vintage Mustang Convertibles, or Palm Trees, it's a great way to collect a number of different styles and artists. You will still retain harmony and consistency of subject while creating a very diverse collection. It will generate much interest and attention from guests who visit your home or office.

Another way to do a subject collection is to purchase a series of paintings by one artist who delves deeply into a subject, exploring it with many paintings over time. This is the kind of collection which shows well in groupings through our home or in large facilities like corporate buildings or offices.

This week's Make an Offer painting. Current High Offer: 55.00 email lindablondheim@gmail to make offer. Put OFFER in the subject line.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Florida's Cattle Ranches, I'm a Florida Cracker

Produce at the Wood Swink Store
8x10 inches
oil on panel

This week's Make an Offer painting was done during the Heart of Florida Paint out earlier this year. It was cold outside so a group of us set up our easels in the store to paint Freddie's produce. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.

Offers for the painting must be at least 10.00 and you must pay a 4.00 shipping fee and .0625% Florida sales tax if you are a Florida resident. Send offers to an put OFFER in the subject line.

Current High Offer on the above painting is $55.00.

Here is my latest Florida Farms and Ranches painting.

Palms at Florida Cattle Ranch
20x24 inches
oil on Birch Panel
Wired and ready to hang, unframed.
shipping 95.00 or pick up at my studio.
Purchase HERE

Many people think that cattle ranches always look like Montana or Colorado. Here in Florida, we have a variety of flora and fauna on our ranches. North central Florida has stately old Live Oaks with Spanish Moss dripping off them and rolling hills. In south Florida, there are vast cattle ranches with tall graceful exotic palms and tall grasses instead. In North West Florida there are majestic old pines in the landscape. All of these ranches are beautiful and exciting to me and I'd love to be able to paint them all. If you own a cattle ranch or horse farm in Florida, or know of one that the owners would allow me to paint and photograph, please email me at:

I'm a real Florida Cracker. There aren't so many of us left these days. I was born in Gainesville and grew up there. My Mother's people are from the White Springs and Lake City area. In fact, my ancestors came to Lake City in a covered wagon, long ago. They established a little community called Falling Creek and built a church there, which is still used once a month today. An itinerant Pastor comes for the service. The graveyard has the graves of Confederate soldiers who were killed in the battle of Olusti near Lake City. They used to have reenactments of the battle and I imagine they still do. The family still owns the old home, which was a Cracker house with a dog trot between the kitchen and the rest of the house.

My mother was born in White Springs Florida, a very interesting old town adjacent to the Stephen Foster State Park on the Suwanee River. Her grandparents owned a store and a boarding house. I have painted in that park many times and at one time did demonstrations there.

It is well worth the drive to visit the beautiful park and see the old town, an artist community of sorts.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Florida Keys and Islands,Deciding on the right sized painting for your home,

Wood Farm
Evinston, Florida
12x16 inches
acrylic on birch panel
Wired and ready to hang unframed
shipping 20.00
You can purchase this painting HERE

I've started a new series about Florida's Keys and Islands. Everyone thinks of the Florida Keys south of Miami, but I mean the Keys from Tampa north. Most visitors have no idea that these beautiful places exist in North Florida. I have painted and photographed many of them over the years, so I think it is time for me to pay homage to them with this series.

At this time, I am doing research on the islands I have in mind, including Horseshoe Key,Shired Island, Honeymoon Island,Hontoon Island,Chicken Island Pine Island and several others. When I start a new series, I like to learn something about the history and legends of the places I paint. If you know of a Key or Island you would like to have me explore and paint, please comment about it and I'll check it out.

I have begun to paint 5x7 studies in acrylic of some of the compositions. These small paintings are warm ups for larger works. They give me feel for the location and allow me to refine the palette and composition for a larger painting later.

Stay tuned for more about this lovely project. I'm looking forward to it.

Sizing your painting

You visit my studio but can't decide on the size you need for a painting. Before you come, buy a roll of brown craft paper and some painter's tape. Measure and cut out several templates of the sizes you may be interested in out of the craft paper. Be sure to add about 4 to 6 inches to the paper in both directions to include framing. Tape them up on the wall, trying several sizes, and also two or three smaller templates hung as a grouping.

Stand back after you tape up each one and this will help you decide what size painting to look for or whether two or three smaller hung together would work just as well. This will make your decision in the studio or on the web site so much easier. You will know exactly what you need in size and orientation, whether it be vertical or horizontal. I'm always happy to do custom sized commissions and colors to match your decor.

This Week's MAKE AN OFFER painting. Type OFFER in the subject line and email me at:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A great film about Florida,Collecting Art

Rawlings Home
24x24 inches
oil on canvas

I love north Central Florida and was born and raised here. Back in the late 1980's I lived in the little town of Micanopy. I ran a small restaurant there for a year or two. At the time, the film called Cross Creek was filmed in the area. It is one of the great films about old Florida, starring Mary Steenburgen,Peter Cayote, and Rip Torn. I met them all, and made the pecan pie in the movie. It was a wonderful experience to watch them film segments in Micanopy. I consider it to be a real art film, with fantastic scenery of Florida, and a beautiful sound track. It is one of Rip Torn's finest performances. If you love Florida as I do, buy the DVD or rent it. You won't be disappointed.

Collecting Art

Getting your basic art education may sound like all work and no play, but quite the contrary. If you like art, learning about it by going places and looking at it, reading about it, and meeting interesting artists in the process is pure pleasure. And the fringe benefits are that the more you do, the better informed you get, and the more discriminating you become as a buyer. Visiting an artist's studio is a wonderful way to learn more about art.

Don't forget to enter the contest here on the blog!

This Week's Make an Offer Painting

Send offer to Put OFFER in the message line.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Horseshoe Key, Choosing Quality Art

Evening at Seahorse Key
Cedar key Florida
acrylic on birch panel
wired and ready to hang unframed
shipping 20.00
Purchase HERE

My research tells me there are over 600 Cotton Mouth Moccasins living on Seahorse Key. I will need to be very careful on the island if I go there to paint and photograph. The photo for this painting was taken from the boat on my recent tour.

Don't forget to enter the contest on this blog to win a 50.00 gift certificate toward art on my web site. See the contest widget at the top of this blog.

Choosing Quality Art

Here are some guidelines and questions to use for measuring the quality of the artwork you are think you would like to buy.

Is it obviously a creation of a skilled craftsman or artisan?

Is the finish and the medium likely to last more than a few years?

Has the artist used high quality paints and an archival support for the painting?

Does the design have an effect on your emotions?

Most importantly, do you like it?

If you want to brighten your world and enhance your environment, stick with well designed, quality artwork.

I will get in trouble here with some friends because I am going to recommend that you purchase original art rather than reproductions.

The commonly used word "print", is actually often mis-used. Real Prints are hand pulled original art, which is made from wood blocks, lithograph stones or metal plates, done by hand one at a time on archival, high quality, rag papers. Each original print is slightly different because of the pressure on the press, or hand pressed paper.

Reproductions are facsimiles of original paintings, sometimes called Giclees ( pronounced Gee-clay), color copies, or offset prints. They are machine made reproductions and not original art.

I’d rather save up for the real thing. There is nothing like an original painting, drawing or print. To know that the artist put paint to canvas, using their emotion and love to craft a fine work of art is important in this world where fine craftsmanship is lacking in most things.

Affordable, Original Art. That's my motto!!

This weeks "Make an Offer" painting. Send offer to Type OFFER in the subject line.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

This Week's Make an Offer Painting, Art Collecting Tips

This Weeks "MAKE AN OFFER" painting.
Palms at Rawlings Estate
8x10 inches
acrylic on panel

You must make an offer of at least 10.00 and pay shipping of 9.00 or pick up at my studio. Send offers to Sales tax of .0625 for Florida residents. Put Offer in the message line.

Art Collecting Tips

Buy art because you like it and because it moves you, and because it enhances your life.

Visit as many art galleries as you can, gallery staff can be helpful guides in your art education.

Get on gallery mailing lists so you'll be invited to openings and special events.

Visit and join your local Art Museums and Non Profit Art centers.Curators sometimes give lectures on collecting art.

If you know art collectors talk them and find out what they know and what they've learned about collecting.

Read art and art history books or books on collecting art.

Subscribe to a few art magazines.

Read reviews by local and national art critics, but keep in mind that reviews usually just reflect one persons opinion.

Once you've educated yourself and have fallen in love with a work of art, buy it, take it home and enjoy it. Don't worry about whether it goes with the furniture, Excellent framing can bridge that gap. Don't wonder about investment value. Just love it with all your heart.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

My Cedar Key Florida Adventure

Palm Grove
20x24 inches
oil on Birch Panel

Yesterday, I took my mother,sister, and Studio Dog (Henry, the French Bulldog)on a boat tour of Cedar Key Islands. It was splendid in every way. In fact, I plan to go back and do it again by myself, to take photos of the Islands for paintings. I'm also planning to take the Suwanee River boat tour and the Birding Tour.

We placed ourselves in the very capable hands of Captain Doug. He was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the area, as well as the birds, flora and Fauna of the islands surrounding Cedar Key. He knew just where to go to see all of the interesting birds, like the large white Pelicans, which I have never seen in all my years of painting on the Florida coast. They were large magnificent birds, snow white with black feathers under their wings. One of my favorite islands was Horseshoe Key, now leased by the University of Florida's Marine Science lab. The lighthouse there is used as a dorm for students and researchers. There are many beautiful palms growing wild on the islands and the beaches are white sand. Happily, all of these outer islands are owned by the national and state land preservation agencies, so they cannot be developed. That makes me very happy indeed.

We were able to watch the Dolphins and they played surfing games in the wake of our boat. We saw a huge Bald Eagle nest and two Eagles at another island. We even got off the boat at one Island to explore the trails.

Captain Doug was in every way accommodating to us, allowing me to bring my dog and helping my Mother on and off the boat with great care. Mrs Captain was warm and personable and we met their daughter who is also a boat captain. The whole family was delightful.

Here is some information for you about the tours:

Captain Doug invites you to experience the pristine waters surrounding the Cedar Keys and Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge aboard Cedar Key's finest touring vessels.

We offer Island Tours, Suwanee River Tours, Coastal Back Country Tours,Birding Island Drop offs, Group Charters, Weddings and Memorials.

Telephone reservations: 352.543.9523 or 352.949.1996
Web Site:

We had a wonderful dockside meal at the Seabreeze Restaurant. The waitress was personable, happy and friendly. She gave us excellent service and the food was fresh seafood and fantastic.

It was a wonderful adventure and I look forward to the next trip with Captain Doug. I hope to get started on some paintings soon from Cedar key.

This week's Make an Offer Painting. Make an offer at Current high offer is 50.00

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A boat Trip, My painting Process for Collectors

I'm off this Friday for a new adventure. I'm taking my sister, my 85 year old mother and Henry(AKA Studio Dog), on a boat tour in Cedar Key with Captain Doug. HERE I have wanted to do this tour for a long time and decided, Why Not? I plan to take many photographs along the route which I will use to make paintings later in my studio. I have long loved the wild places in the South and spend much time at rivers and lakes, photographing and doing small studies of scenes for later use. I will be sure to post about this adventure after the event and share some of the photos with you. If you are traveling in the area, be sure to take the boat tour.

Perhaps you will enjoy an explanation of my process in this. I use photos a lot in the studio for larger paintings. I feel that my best paintings are done in the studio where I can take the time to craft them carefully, stopping along the way in my process for drying periods and thinking periods between sessions.

I do smaller paintings on location to use as studies for possible compositions later in studio. These pochades (field studies) are road maps if you will, for larger works done more carefully in studio. These studies are almost always done alla prima, which means all at once, wet on wet with no drying period. They are usually quite simple in composition dealing with basic values and color. They give me the information I need to translate the scene into a larger work later. Alla prima is also done in the studio with the same approach in mind to use these small paintings as studies for larger works or to experiment with painting techniques and thematic subjects. Contrary to popular misconceptions, alla prima and plein air are not interchangeable. Alla prima means painting from start to finish in one session. Plein Air means painting out in the open air, or outside rather than in a studio.

Plein air painting may be done in multiple sessions with drying periods in between, though most painters do smaller works alla prima on location.

Sometimes, I will start larger paintings on location, doing the basic block in, color, shadows and composition. I then take these paintings back to the studio, where I take my time to complete them. All of these methods of painting produce interesting work.

As you consider paintings for your collection, you will need to think about which method is most pleasing to you. Studio work is more refined than alla prima plein air work. Alla prima work tends to be more simplistic in composition and design and looser in brushwork. It has a more abstract feel to it than studio work though they may both represent the same subject.

This Week's Make an Offer painting.
Curent Highest offer 50.00

Snd your offer to Put Offer in the message line.