Thursday, June 11, 2009
Linda Blondheim Newsletter June 11, 2009
Fair Oaks Farm
acrylic on panel
Linda Blondheim Art Studio
Landscapes of The South
Please forward my newsletters to your friends. I need to grow my business. I'll
reward you with a tiny abstract painting.
Don't forget that I offer 10% of the sale cash referral rewards when you send a
new patron to me who purchases a painting.
Florida is Heaven For Birds
Every year in late winter my mother and I pull up our lawn chairs in the front yard
as we hear the Sandhill Cranes start to circle up and call to each other, packing
their bags and booking flights to depart from Florida. It is an annual treat for
us, going back for more years than I can count. The cranes are beloved part time
residents of our part of the world. I see thousands of them on the prairie and at
the farms in my neighborhood and in Evinston where I love to paint. There is a pair
at Fair Oaks Farm who have become permanent residents. Who can blame them for their
excellent taste in lodging?
I travel to many wild places in Florida and one of the real treats for me is seeing
the beautiful water birds up and down the rivers. The great Blue Heron is a favorite
to me. Last spring at the Wekiva Springs Paint Out I saw many of them on that beautiful
river. We were lucky to have a river boat captain who took us up and down the river
on a large pontoon boat. We took hundreds of photos of the otters, alligators,
turtles and many bird species. One magnificent Blue Heron decided to pose for us
for quite some time, even spreading his wings to show off for us. He was a star
and quite full of himself.
My mother has several bird feeders stationed right outside of our window in the
living room. Her chair is right in front of that window and she spends many happy
hours observing the Cardinals, Tit Mouse, Blue Jays and Sparrows jockeying for position
on her feeders. Then the squirrels run in to wreak havoc and scatter seed everywhere.
The tiny birds shake their fists and hold up protest signs, but the squirrels smugly
know that they will get away with the havoc having no bird authorities to stop them.
The birds write letters to their representatives to no avail. The bird sheriff is
called, but is too busy to come. Things settle back down for a bit and the chaos
begins again. Meanwhile the Hummingbirds ignore the ruckus and dart in and out
among the flowers. They are smugly above the crass goings on at the feeders.
My dear friend and wonderful artist Jean Hood
a nice journal on her bird feeder goings on in the Texas Hill Country. She posts
it on Face Book each day.
The experts at Bird Watcher's Digest have compiled this informative food and seed
chart to help you attract the birds that you want to your feeders.
Quail, pheasants- Cracked corn, millet, wheat, milo
Pigeons, doves- Millet, cracked corn, wheat, milo, niger, buckwheat, sunflower,
Roadrunner- Meat scraps, hamburger, suet
Hummingbirds- Plant nectar, small insects, sugar solution
Woodpeckers -Suet, meat scraps, sunflower hearts/seed, cracked corn, peanuts, fruits,
Jays Peanuts, sunflower, suet, meat scraps, cracked corn, baked goods
Crows, magpies, and nutcracker -Meat scraps, suet, cracked corn, peanuts, baked
goods, leftovers, dog food
Titmice, chickadees- Peanut kernels, sunflower, suet, peanut butter
Nuthatches- Suet, suet mixes, sunflower hearts and seed, peanut kernels, peanut
Wrens, creepers -Suet, suet mixes, peanut butter, peanut kernels, bread, fruit,
Mockingbirds, thrashers, catbirds -Halved apple, chopped fruits, baked goods, suet,
nutmeats, millet (thrashers), soaked raisins, currants, sunflower hearts
Robins, bluebirds, other thrushes- Suet, suet mixes, mealworms, berries, baked goods,
chopped fruits, soaked raisins, currants, nutmeats, sunflower hearts
Kinglets -Suet, suet mixes, baked goods
Waxwings- Berries, chopped fruits, canned peas, currants, raisins
Warblers -Suet, suet mixes, fruit, baked goods, sugar solution, chopped nutmeats
Tanagers -Suet, fruits, sugar solution, mealworms, baked goods
Cardinals, grosbeaks, pyrrhuloxias-
(a type of cardinal) Sunflower, safflower, cracked corn, millet, fruit
Towhees, juncos- Millet, sunflower, cracked corn, peanuts, baked goods, nutmeats
Sparrows, buntings- Millet, sunflower hearts, black-oil sunflower, cracked corn,
Blackbirds, starlings- Cracked corn, milo, wheat, table scraps, baked goods, suet
Orioles- Halved oranges, apples, berries, sugar solution, grape jelly, suet, suet
mixes, soaked raisins, and currants
Finches, siskins- Thistle (niger), sunflower hearts, black-oil sunflower seed, millet,
canary seed, fruits, peanut kernels, suet mixes
Bird Web Sites
Fair Oaks Farm - Evinston Florida
acrylic on birch panel
An Article For Collectors by Tony Moffit
Why Buying Art Online Makes Great Sense!
By Tony Moffitt
In the days of the great Masters; men such as Rembrandt and Vermeer... art galleries
Instead, the artists of the day worked in their studios. Through word of mouth,
their talents were spread far and wide... and from distant destinations, art collectors
came to see the work and to purchase.
Now, in the 21st century, we've come a full circle in many ways.
Art galleries are no longer the only venue available to collectors of fine art.
More and more, artists around the globe are making use of online resources to take
us back to the days of old; the days when artists could deal direct with clients.
The media is different. Word-of-mouth has been replaced by the internet. An artist's
showroom is not only their studio. It's their Blog and Website.
But though these things have changed, the core benefit remains the same.
For the first time in many, many years, clients have unprecedented opportunities
to deal directly with artists.
Buying art online give clients a wonderful opportunity to make contact with, and
then build a relationship with their favourite artists.
There are no physical limitations.
With the flick of a switch, you can be viewing the work of an artist on the other
side of the globe.
It's a very exciting time for art collectors. And it's an opportunity that should
not be passed up.
The Global Financial crisis has done wonders for the art world. The days of ridiculous
high-end prices are gone. Common-sense has returned to the market. But even more
importantly, a host of new and very talented artists have begun to emerge via the
There are many thousands of artist Blogs and Websites on the net. They represent
the new way of doing smart business.
Clients looking to purchase art are streaming onto the net. Through online art purchases,
and by dealing directly with their favourite artist, it is possible to save huge
amounts of money that might otherwise be paid in traditional gallery commissions.
The removal of the art gallery middle-man means greater value for purchasers, and
a direct line of communication with the artist.
Technology has facilitated the boom.
With the advent of secure online purchase facilities via companies such as PayPal,
purchasers have unprecedented security to protect their purchases. The days of snail-mail
and cheques have long gone. Now payment online takes place in a matter of moments.
It's safe. It's secure. It's efficient.
Artist and Patron Relationships are changing for the better
I like the new trend I am seeing within the art world. Artists are forming much
more satisfying relationships with their patrons. This was uncommon just a few years
ago. When I was in art school a hundred years ago, you had but two ways to reach
patrons, brick and mortar galleries or street fairs. As art students we were discouraged
from forming relationships with patrons. That was the gallery's job. Most of the
time we had no idea who bought our work and we weren't supposed to want to know.
Galleries projected a sense of elitism about buying art. I believe that has been
their downfall in the more casual living style we prefer today. One of the reasons
I have enjoyed having my work at Paddiwhack Gallery in Gainesville, is because Paddiwhack
is a casual fun gallery with all sorts of silly things, unusual furniture, and beautiful
home decor. The staff is fun and friendly and I always feel welcome there. It's
a happy place.
Since the world has become Internet savvy, artists like me have been able to form
real relationships with patrons. Many of my friends started out a strangers who
bought a painting, but over time we have become close friends. We have a common
love of nature and the land as well as our love for art. We find many common interests
including cooking, travel and a love of Florida and Southern culture. I get to meet
their children and spouses and they are no longer just a name. Friends often see
a painting on the web site and decide to come out to the studio for a good visit.
Last Sunday I spent a pleasant afternoon in the studio with a friend who had seen
last week's newsletter painting and wanted a closer look.
I correspond with friends from all over the country about my art and ship many paintings
every year. None of this wold have been possible just a few years ago. The Internet
has allowed me to have a direct relationship to the people who love my art and there
is nothing better to me than that.
Some artists still prefer to have no contact with patrons. They rely solely on their
galleries to sell their work, preferring be in their studios without any communication.
While I respect them for their desires, I believe they are missing a very important
opportunity to expand their minds and to form genuine, long lasting friendships
with people who are vital and exciting to know. I thank God every day for my supportive
friends who have blessed me in so many ways. It makes me happy to know that my paintings
are in the homes and offices of people who treasure them, and who support my life's
Richardson Farm- Evinston Florida
acrylic on Birch panel
Bartering Makes a Come Back
Bartering was a common way to do business years ago and it makes good sense. It
is going through a revival in interest now due largely to our economic woes of the
last year or two. I have had some success in bartering with my art over the years.
For example, I am trading a future painting with my veterinarian for Henry's care.
Here is a list of things I would barter paintings for, including commissions. Contact
me if interested.
I need to have the exterior of my studio pressure washed and painted.
I need to have the carpet removed from the studio, hauled away and then the concrete
floors stained and sealed.
I need to have the jungle in my yard cleaned out and trees/shrubs trimmed.
I need to have my Mothers mobile home pressure washed and painted.
I need to have the floors replaced in the mobile home.
I need to have the ceiling plastered in part of the mobile home.
I need to have a commode/plumbing for it installed in my studio.
I need a new compact H-Frame Studio easel for my studio.
Here is some information from the University of Illinois web site to help you with
your bartering plans.
Even when your income drops, you're not without resources. Take stock of all non-money
resources you have as a family. Among these assets are time, knowledge, possessions,
property and creativity.
Swapping resources with others is a time-tested way to stay in control when money
is tight. Be creative. List your skills, talents, and interests. (Use our Bartering
Ideas worksheet to help you identify these.) Next, try to match your skills and
talents to community needs. Try making your first swap with a friend, neighbor or
relative to build your confidence.
Bartering helps us stretch our dollars. Family members, including those who don't
have a paid job, can contribute to the family's resources by bartering.
Think about what you'd like help with as well as what you do well. Do you have a
bountiful summer garden? Perhaps you can trade fresh flowers and vegetables for
help with car maintenance? Are you handy with home repairs, but hate doing taxes.
Here's an opportunity to barter.
The challenge of bartering is finding someone who needs your services, and then
setting the value of your service. Some communities have a clearinghouse, civic
groups or publications to help. You may be able to advertise your services through
your church or social organizations.
Determine your expectations in advance to avoid misunderstandings.
Guide to Successful Bartering
Know who will supply needed materials. Usually it is the receiver; but the provider,
in some cases, may have the needed tools, such as a lawn mower. When materials must
be purchased, work together to determine specifics, cost limits, quality of materials,
deadlines and other details that could become irritants.
Don't assume anything. Be sure to agree on the details of exactly what will be done.
Be sure expectations are clear to all. In some cases a contract or written agreement
may be a good idea.
When You Provide a Service
Be sure you are clear on details of expected service. Don't take on tasks that you
cannot do well.
Keep the receiver well-informed on your progress. Inform the receiver also of any
problems or delays.
Decide when the service is to be provided. If needed by a certain date, be sure
you have enough time to do it.
If you receive income from bartering, you may be required to pay taxes on this income.
Refer to IRS Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, for more information.
If You Receive a Service
Carefully explain what you want and supervise the work. Don't be caught with a completed
job that is not what you expected.
Don't hesitate to check the provider's qualifications.
Make sure the delivery of service is convenient and within the time you want the
If the task requires your presence or help, make sure you are aware of this.
Paynes Prairie from the Observation Tower
acrylic on panel
How About a Recipe?
My favorite Squash Casserole
1 large Butternut Squash cut into pieces, seeds removed.
Place in microwave bowl with 1/2 cup water and steam until tender. Peal off skin
1 cup sour cream
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Mash squash and mix well with above ingredients. Set aside.
Mix 1 box Stove Top Stuffing with 1/2 cup melted butter.
Use an oven safe dish. Spray dish with Pam. Place 1 layer of stuffing on the bottom.
Spoon the squash mixture into the dish evenly. Top with the rest of the stuffing
mix. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.
If you bake a lot it's nice to have flavored sugars. Buy a few large glass jars
with wide mouths and lids. Fill them with sugar. Use various fruit and spices
to insert into the sugar of each jar. I use lemon rind,pineapple slices, peach
peals, orange rind,vanilla bean,cinnamon sticks. It will take a bit of time for
the sugar to be infused but it smells wonderful when you open the lid. These sugars
are wonderful for pies and cakes as well as hot or iced tea.
Linda Blondheim Art Studio
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June's special rewards my loyal friends who already own one or more of my paintings.
I want you to know how much I appreciate you. If you have purchased a Blondheim
painting at any time, you are eligible for the June Special.
Chose any unframed 12x16 inch painting in my studio or on the web site and purchase
for only 400.00. The unframed price for that size is normally 700.00.
You can use my layaway plan for this purchase.
Offer Expires: June 30, 2009