Thursday, July 30, 2009
Linda Blondheim Newsletter July 30, 2009
Ormond By the Sea
oil on Masonite panel
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.
Feed the Birds
I have been struggling through my jungle of a yard for the past two weeks, trying
to trim back and clean it up a bit to discourage the snakes from moving into the
Blondheim Hotel. During this process, I've had some time to listen and observe
the birds around the yard and enjoy their sweetness. My friend, Mary Jane Volkmann,
fabulous painter www.maryjanevolkmann.com gave me a good tip on keeping the squirrels
away from your feeder area. She uses a suet laced with hot peppers. Evidently, you
can buy such a thing, so I am going to investigate this at Wild Birds Unlimited,
my new favorite store. She told me that people in Africa plant hot pepper bushes
around the perimeter of their yards to discourage wild animals from coming in. I
wonder if it would work with snakes ? I have also read that snakes don't like mint.
I have an old post outside of my studio and I'm on a mission now to find the right
bird feeder to hang on it. There are all kinds of bird seed and all kinds of feeders
available. I think the best thing to do is to go to a store like Wild Birds Unlimited
at least once, to get good advice on what is the best feeder for your garden. I
say this because my mother and sissy have tried numerous feeders in the front garden
and some have been unsuccessful.
You also have to consider the location, whether city or country. We get a lot of
gold finches, blue birds, black birds and such out in the country.
I remember that the city birds were different when I was a child living there. We
had a huge Mimosa tree in the yard, growing up beside the carport. I used to climb
up that tree, run across the roof and jump onto the roof of my play house. I wore
a cape and I had a sword that my Daddy had made for me. I was Zorro, a legend in
my own mind. I remember the Blue Jays and Mocking Birds would become very irate
when I climbed the tree with them. They would dive bomb me across the roof as I
ran. All of this great fun ended with a thud when my Daddy pulled into the carport
and caught me in mid air, jumping off the roof. My career as Zorro ended abruptly
with my sore bottom!!
I think it's a good idea to put your feeders where you can see the birds feeding
from your window and where the birds will have some protection from predators.
If your feeders are close to bushes or trees, they have a place to run and hide.
It's also good to have a little bird bath for them, especially in the summer when
it is so hot.
Here are some links to bird feeder, bird bath, and other bird watching products:
Bread is so much a part of our culture here in the South, just as it is around the
world. Globalization has brought many forms of bread to the South, but I'll address
our indigenous breads today.
When I was fresh out of art school, I went to work in a bakery. Naturally I was
broke, but I knew I could bake so I took the night shift. I was assigned pastry
making and it was fun. The men who owned the bakery were Swiss with heavy accents.
They barely spoke English. They were heavy drinkers and would go outside at midnight
and howl at the moon.
Later, I went to work for a commercial bakery. I learned a lot there too. All of
these baking jobs taught me a lot about the art of bread.
Cornbread is my personal favorite southern bread. There are literally thousands
of cornbread recipes here. My favorite is made with white corn meal. I love that
slightly bitter taste in white meal bread. My mother and sisters like yellow corn
meal bread the best because it is sweeter. This is an ongoing discussion in the
family. There is a small chain of grocery stores called Hitchcocks in the satellite
towns around Gainesville. The make the best cornbread in their deli. There is nothing
better. They sell it in squares with their boxed lunches. I love to go in and buy
a sack full, carefully hoarding it to use for my morning breakfast toast. Throw
a couple of slices of Wrights bacon on the griddle, add two fried eggs, a couple
of grilled tomato slices and cornbread toast and you have a meal to remember.
(Thank goodness my doctor isn't reading this)
Next comes the beautiful biscuits, golden brown, flaky, and crusty on the bottom.
Every serious southern cook brags about their own best recipe. There is a restaurant
in Gainesville who makes pretty good biscuits called the Mill Bakery and Deli. What's
a biscuit without sausage gravy? Theirs is good.
Here in the South, we make a lot of quick breads. I love to make cherry, pumpkin,
apple cinnamon, peanut butter, cranberry nut, and carrot. For many years, I supported
myself making bread, cakes, and cheesecakes.
What I love about southern, down home café's and restaurants is that when you order
your meal, the server brings a basket full of corn bread and biscuits. You know
you're in the right place!!
I'll cover the yeast breads in another newsletter.
How About a Recipe?
This is the corn bread recipe I like to use. it's really easy and good.
No-Stick Cooking Spray
2 cups Martha White® Self-Rising White Corn Meal Mix
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1. HEAT oven to 450°F. Spray a 9-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch square pan with
no-stick cooking spray; place in oven to heat.
2. COMBINE all ingredients in large bowl; mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. BAKE 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
I bag my leftover corn bread up and keep it in the refrigerator. It slices better
without crumbling to make toast.
You can dress this recipe up with all kinds of ingredients:
rosemary with olive oil
Get creative with your corn bread.
Art is Green
There is a lot of thought and emphasis on going green in our world. I think this
is a great movement in our society and long overdue. This got me to thinking about
how "green" art is, compared to other decorative elements in our homes. We never
have to replace a fine original painting. We can pass them down to others, or sell
them on the secondary market. As long as they are cared for, they will last for
hundreds of years. They don't fill up landfills the way worn out old couches, wall
paper and other objects do.
I have been going green over the last year by changing my supports to wood panels
for paintings. Wood is natural and beautiful. It will not deteriorate if cared for
properly. As long as it remains in climate controlled conditions, there is little
problem with warpage. Wood shows the grain, flaws, marks and interesting knots
in the surface and is just wonderful as a painting surface. It combines all of the
features of fine furniture and painting into one surface. The other advantage to
wood is that it can be wired with mirror hangers and hung without the cost of framing
if you wish. I recently showed an entire body of work on the wood panels unframed
and shown together. So many people loved the clean look of the paintings hung without
frames. It was a big hit.
I paint with gouache, casein, oils or acrylics on wood, so it is a natural ideal
surface for paint.
I've also gone green in my studio by using fluorescent bulbs, recycling old furniture,
and turning used copy paper into note paper for myself in the office. I use a substitute
solvent instead of turpentine and dispose of mediums and solvents responsibly. I
use my old dabs of paint to start my next painting, so there is no waste or paint
to throw away. I take older paintings and make small abstract paintings from them
to give to friends and supporters. Artists are recyclers.
Landscape painters value the land so much because we have a deep relationship with
trees, farming, and the rivers and ponds we paint. We are rooted to the land as
are the trees we love and we are ever aware and supportive of its conservation.
Make owning original art part of your "green" strategy. It will outlast you and
I've started painting out in front of my gallery in Gainesville; Paddiwhack Gallery
next to Fresh Market on 16th Avenue. I'll be there on Fridays, unless I'm traveling,
from 11 AM-1 PM for the summer. In the fall, I may extend the time. It's a great
way for me to make new friends and show my paintings to others. Come by on a Friday
and chat with me.
Paddiwhack Gallery next to Fresh Market
11 AM- 1PM
Please Indulge me in a quick shout out for my daughters :>)
Sara Blondheim (left) is a super hair stylist at 716 Salon , 716 West University
Sara's Services include:
Hair Cut and Styling for men women and children
Jackie Blondheim Tucker (right) has a new company:
Murray and Company
Custom Scrapbooks for:
Middle/ High School /College Band
College Sororities and Fraternities
Grandparent Brag Books
My daughters and I have been through so much together. They both finished high school
and college without ever getting into trouble and they are now young women to be
proud of. Thanks for letting me brag.
This Week's Ebay Paintings
S & H: Free
Type Blondheim Art into the Ebay search window HERE.
Thanks for the encouragement I received from so many of you last week.
As artists, we sometimes put ourselves out into the community and open ourselves
to harsh criticism. It is safer not to voice our opinions about the world of art
because we open ourselves to controversy,however I have never been one to hide behind
banality or to play it safe. I can only express my opinions based on the experiences
I have over the last 30+ years. I don't expect that anyone will always agree with
me. I try not to take it personally when I receive irate emails. We have to take
the sugar and the lemon to make lemonade.
This is life!!
acrylic on Masonite panel
Is a "make an offer" auction for this painting. You must offer at least 10.00, and
be willing to pay sales tax and shipping, or pick up at my studio. I will post the
highest offer on the newsletter each week, and the offers will close on August 31
at 9 PM. To make an offer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]Write
"Make an Offer" in the subject line.
The winner will be notified on September first.