Thursday, July 23, 2009
Fair Oaks Farm Summer
acrylic on birch panel
wired and ready to hang unframed
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.
North Florida Critters
I had a busy week learning all about the food chain for snakes and critters here
in North Florida.
We have had two unwelcome visitors to the yard, a Cotton Mouthed Water Moccasin,
and a Cane Break Rattle Snake. After two different sighting of these deadly serpents,
we called our wonderful neighbor who solves many problems for us. He came down and
beat the tar out of them and those two snakes are no more. I have no problem with
snakes around a farm, it is their neighborhood too, but I can't have poisonous snakes
hanging around ready to bite Studio Dog.
In the midst of all this yard drama, I decided I needed to do some research. I
learned that snakes hang around hoping to catch mice. Then I learned that owls love
to eat mice. This led me to the conclusion that I need to invite owls to live in
my yard and the woods behind the house. The also like insects so that works too.
I found some owl nesting boxes at Wild Birds Unlimited in Gainesville. http://www.wbu.com/
This was my first trip to the store, recommended by my bird loving pal Linda Martin,
who is just too much fun for words!! Anyhoo, the store has all kinds of very cool
birdie stuff and they had Screech Owl boxes for 46.00. I bought one. I am going
to look for the plans for barn owl boxes and beg my wonderful friend and fine cabinet
maker Neil Johnson to build me a couple. The bird store expert told me the barn
owl boxes are too big to ship and are special order only. Lots of money!!
You know the most odious situations can be interesting. Because of the snake, I
am now the excited anticipator of having wonderful owls in my yard. I can't wait
to get all the boxes put up. I am going to do some photos of the owls when they
move in and perhaps some paintings will come of the adventure.
I just find life to be so interesting. The minute I am going along doing the same
routine, something comes up to challenge me and turn my interest to new ideas. Isn't
life just the most fun?!!! (No, poisonous snakes are not fun, I'm not that crazy.)
Here are some links of interest about snakes, owls and such.
Charles Lee, a wildlife expert with the Kansas State University Extension Office,
said the best way to keep snakes out of the house and yard was to make the habitats
inaccessible to them. These measures may include eliminating prey such as rodents
and insects from the premises, removing protective living spaces like rocks and
boggy areas from the yard and sealing cracks and openings in the house.
"You have to make it unattractive to snakes," Lee said. "You try to exclude the
things that snakes find necessary to live."
Lee said the most important tool for preventing snake bites was to teach people
not to necessarily fear snakes, but to learn how to identify them and what to do
when surprised. Parents, he said, should set a good example for children.
Living Art Vicariously
Living Vicariously with Pleasure
Last week I got a lovely and kind email from a newsletter subscriber. She wanted
me to know how much she loves my stories about my childhood and living in the South,
and the paintings I post every week. She also enjoys the cooking and other information
This really made my day because I sometimes receive criticism from artists who think
I am wrong to put these topics on an artist's newsletter. I think to myself, "It's
my newsletter, so I can put whatever I like on it", but I don't say that to them.
Artists are not stamped out in factories. There is more to my life than my paintings.
Yes, they identify me to the public, but friends know that I have many interests.
I share the interests of many of my readers. There is something I have learned,
like a light bulb going off in my head. I don't have to be a gardener to enjoy reading
about beautiful gardens, landscape design, gardening tips and tools.
I don't have
to actually make the thousands of recipes I research every year to enjoy cooking
shows and traveling around the world to kitchens on the Internet and TV. I get
just as much pleasure out of reading about them, and watching TV.
This vicarious pleasure opens a whole new world for us, one of unlimited interests.
I can learn about woodworking, flower arranging, water conservation, botany and
many other subjects without having to be directly involved with them.
When I was a young artist, I thought that I had to study every medium in painting
and every style. Whenever I saw an artist's work that inspired me, I ran out and
bought the supplies to try that technique and medium. I see copy cats all over the
Internet for popular painting styles originated by Charles Sovek, Richard Schmid,
and Carol Marine. Because their work is "cool" and popular, many artists try to
jump on that bandwagon. When I matured as a painter, I realized that I could enjoy
the work of other painters, with no desire to be them or copy their style or palette.
Maturity gave me the confidence to be me. I knew at last I had something to say
with my work, uniquely mine.
We don't actually have to do any of these interesting things to enjoy them. I had
a conversation with a friend at breakfast the other day, who doesn't cook very
much. She loves the recipes and cook's tips I do on the newsletter. She doesn't
actually have to cook to enjoy them.
I discovered that being an artist is not one dimensional. Why shouldn't I share
stories about my dog, the restaurants I go to, old stories and how to do interesting
and useful things?
Live vicariously and enjoy it !!
Living Vicariously as Patrons
Over the last 30+ years I have heard countless people say "I wish I had talent and
I want to learn to paint like you." The fact is that most artists who are long
time professionals got that way through endless hours of hard disciplined labor
in front of an easel. I work seven days a week and paint 7 days a week, fifty weeks
Few people have the commitment to be a successful artist. Many, who express this
desire, will never be an artist nor do they have the real desire and commitment
to do this. It sounds very romantic to be a professional artist, but it is really
hard work. Far too many people spend a fortune on supplies, workshops and lessons
only to find that they simply don't have the patience or commitment to learn to
paint well. Their dream is short lived and they have wasted their resources in a
My advice instead, is to live vicariously through your favorite artist, achieving
the pleasure associated with an artist's life the easy way, through patronage and
support of artists and the arts. This will be so much more satisfying than a dream
not based in reality. The fact is that there are too many artists for society to
support. Many artists live marginal lives, doing odd jobs with little financial
support. They could use the support and patronage of those who are interested in
art, love it, and who love being around artists.
At one time in history, this was common. Most artists had patrons who supported
them, offering lodging, yearly stipends, and public support of their favorite painters.
They provided referrals for artists to other affluent and influential people in
If you have a great desire for art and living the lifestyle of an artist, consider
being a patron rather than an artist. Rather than being just another hobbyist you
will be revered and adored in the arts community.
There are many ways to support your favorite artist:
Offering good business and marketing advice
Offering barters or trades of services for art
Donations of studio equipment and artist materials
Offering studio space
Studio facility enhancement ( flooring, furniture, painting, lighting, landscaping,
Offering your vacation home for artist retreats
Providing printed promotional materials
Offering to pay for Ads in publications
Hosting Art Salons, Dinner Parties to promote artists
Web site enhancement
Take an artist out to lunch or dinner
Letters and emails of encouragement to artists who are struggling.
There are lots of ways to be a patron and to know the satisfaction of helping artists
to thrive. Consider this when you think "I wish I was an artist."
Meet my Publicist
I am delighted to announce my association with Sarah Carey, M.A.,APR, who will be
serving as my publicist. Some of you may already know Sarah, as she has lived and
worked in Gainesville for some time. She is a graduate of the FSU creative writing
program and has more than 25 years of experience in news, communications and media
relations. Sarah is an accomplished and published writer, specializing in poetry.
Members of the media who need assistance with PR relating to my events or activities
may contact Sarah via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Notes from the Kitchen
I have loved BBQ my entire life. BBQ is as important in the Southern food culture
as fried chicken and that is saying a lot. Of course, every region down here claims
to have the best BBQ. I tend to love the St Louis style pork ribs and the Texas
beef brisket the best. To me you cannot top beef ribs smoked and slathered with
BBQ sauce. When I worked as line cook for Victoria Station in Texas, we would cut
prime rib bones off the rib, leaving huge chunks of the meat attached, grilling
them with wood chips and BBQ sauce. These massive ribs went on a platter and the
cooks devoured them with steaming hot loaded baked potatoes and tossed green salad.
If you are not salivating by now, you are truly a vegetarian!! There is nothing
like BBQ'd prime rib bones. All dark and caramelized by the grill. Of course, I
love the pulled pork, crisp skinned BBQ Chicken too. In fact I never found a BBQ
I didn't like. Down here in the South, BBQ means smoked meat. I hate it when food
shows talk about grilling as BBQ. They are not the same thing at all. If it ain't
smoked, it ain't BBQ!!
When I was a kid, smoked BBQ was a common food around the neighborhood. Most of
the Daddies had a smoker of some kind or homemade grill for smoking. I have seen
car engine cavities, barrels, and all kinds of smokers built by innovative grill
masters. Just like the fish fries, BBQ was a neighborhood entertainment. There
were contests with money put down for BBQ grillers. Bragging rights were escalated
to the level of Football Team worshipers. You simply did not get between a Daddy
and his smoker!! They spent hours going through rub recipes, BBQ sauce recipes
and baked bean recipes. I sure do miss those kinds of neighborhood parties.
After the feast the race for the perfect rub or sauce would be on again until the
next time. In those days, that was the only acceptable cooking for men unless they
were professional cooks. Thank God times have changed.
How About a Recipe?
I don't make real BBQ, but I do have a fabulous crock pot recipe which is a yummy
Crock Pot BBQ
1 pork or beef roast, trimmed of fat.
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt/cracked black pepper to taste
1-2 bottles good BBQ Sauce, whichever variety you like. I like to use one spicy
and one honey BBQ
1 onion chopped
Place roast in crock pot, add spices, onion. Do not add liquid. Cook all day until
tender and flakes apart. Add BBQ sauce and stir it up. Leave in pot cooking on low
for 30 minutes. Serve on toasted buns with salad or slaw and sweet potato fries,
for a meal fit to eat.
Get double duty from your poultry. Whenever you roast chicken or turkey, save the
bones, roast them on a shallow pan on low heat until they are nicely browned. Put
them in a stock pot of water with onions, celery, leaf thyme, rosemary and carrots.
Simmer for about 2 hours on low heat and strain the stock into zip lock freezer
bags to use for stews, and soups. Roasting the bone first will give great color
and flavor to your stock.
This Week's Ebay Paintings
S & H: Free
Type Blondheim Art into the Ebay search window HERE.
I alwas love reading your feedback and topic ideas for the newsletter dear friends,
July Special Celebrates Plein Air
My plein air studies are featured for July. You can find them on the small paintings
page at the bottom, on my web site.
8x10's- 110.00 ( Normally 125.00)
6x8's- 65.00 (Normally 80.00)
To purchase the special, email me firstname.lastname@example.org and write special in
the subject line.
Offer Expires: July 31, 2009