Thursday, August 20, 2009
Linda Blondheim Art Studio Newsletter August 20, 2009
acrylic on birch panel
Landscapes of the South
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It's Pear Time
Here we are in Mid-August with Fall just around the corner. (At least in my dreams)
Each fall, I start to think about all of the things I love the most about it. The
crisp air early in the morning, the grasses and trees beginning to stop growing
and turning just slightly. The Sycamore tree in my yard showing the early signs
and the wild Sunflowers that bloom each year in late September, beginning to shoot
up now, lush and tall in their anticipation of glory.
I look forward to shiny apples and pumpkins , mums, and the excitement of the football
season. What can be better than a season of SEC football, with all of it's bragging
rights. Football season is serious business here in the South. Go Gators!!!
One of my favorite painting subjects in fall are pears. I've been working on a
series of little pear studies for my E-Class Beginning Oil painting. I wanted to
choose a subject that would be fun and easy to get. I have adopted the pears and
have been having great fun, making up stories about their adventures with me. They
went through Shark Week on a raft, adventures with Studio Dog, and some of my Face
Book friends have decided to declare this as Pear Week.
Each week after I paint at Paddiwhack Gallery, I go next door to Fresh Market to
select my pears for the week. I can enjoy spending a great deal of time looking
at pears and making my selection. As the weeks have gone by, the selections have
grown. I started out with just Bartlett pears, which are bright green. Now I have
moved up to the wonderful Bosc pears, tall and stately and olive to ocher and brown
in colors. Then there are the luscious deep Red Bartlett pears and the tiny Seckel
I take them home and put them on the table beside the easel and do little paintings
just for the joy of it. Pears have been a favorite subject for artists for centuries,
though most paintings are more traditional than mine. I like to do crazy little
paintings with lots of color and texture in the fruit.
Sometimes the pears mysteriously disappear onto a plate with sharp cheese and crackers.
Yummy!! I think pears are incredibly elegant in their simplicity, both cut and whole.
When I was a caterer I used pears in all kinds of decorative ways, sugared, wrapped
with gold and silver chain and cut into tiny birds. Every morning I would go into
the kitchen and cut a pear into a little quail, just to keep me company. I often
used three varieties to make quail families, using the Bosc for the Daddy because
he was tall, The Red Bartlett for Mommy because she was pretty, and a tiny Seckel
for the baby. They would be on a centerpiece of fall leaves, surrounded by acorns
and mixed nuts in the shells speckled with food coloring.
We have an old pear tree in the front yard that often bears fruit. The deer eat
them before we can get to them most years, but it provides food for all of our
animal friends, so that's ok. It's a funny old tree and in the winter when it is
bare it looks exactly like Don King's Hair. (The boxing promoter who's hair stands
Last week, Henry and I were cruising around the yard and looked up to see a large
flock of wild turkeys pecking around under the pear tree. They are so pretty and
quite comfortable in the neighborhood, moving from pasture to pasture. The pear
tree seems to be the water cooler for animals in the neighborhood they exchange
gossip on their pear breaks. We see foxes raccoons, deer and all manor of birds
hanging round that tree. I'd love to be a fly on the tree for some of those sessions.
Here are a few sites about pears:
acrylic on panel
Artists Dealing with Charities
Artists are generous by their nature. We give and give. We all want to help our
communities and those who are less fortunate in society. Unfortunately, we have
become easy targets for charities who go too far in their desires for our help.
I am asked for help over and over again throughout the year each and every year.
I have had to limit the number of charities I help to local ones, because i would
have no resources left if I helped the hundreds of people who ask for my help throughout
the South. Locally I have tried to solve this problem by issuing gift certificates
for my studio, rather than giving away my paintings. Most of the time this works
quite well. I can drop it in the mail and be done with it.
Lately, it seems that charities are becoming more demanding of artists, requesting
that they do events to help drive the donations up. I don't mind doing this now
and then for a charity i support and really believe in, but now charities are asking
for ridiculously extravagant donations. They are no longer satisfied with a small
painting or even a medium sized one. They are requesting that artists do huge paintings
on site at the events to give away,or asking for lots of certificates and promotional
materials. Whatever an artist offers, is not quite enough. I find this to be unacceptable.
Are these charities going to Drs/Lawyers/Accountants/Architects and other business
people and asking for huge donations of their time and resources?, not likely. Why
are artists considered to be of a lower value?
Recently a charity asked me to come and paint during their event, which I agreed
to do. I decided to be very generous and offer to do an 18x24 inch painting for
their event and donate it. I did this as a personal favor and would never consider
it in a normal circumstance. the retail for the painting would be 1400.00 This offer
was rebuffed and a huge painting was requested. Since my large paintings sell for
3,000.00-5,000.00 I was outraged by this suggestion and refused to do it. Not
to mention that it would cost me at least 200-300 dollars to do a huge painting
out of my own pocket. The charity has decided to accept my offer of an 18x24 inch
painting. I'm sure that there are local artists who would be willing to do a huge
painting and give it away, but I am simply not willing to do this.
In fact, this situation has turned me off for doing anymore events of this nature.
I will go through with the event because I agreed to and I keep my word, but I
will not do this again.
If you are on a charity committee who approaches artists for help, be considerate
and realistic about your requests.
First of all, the same old story that artists will get lots of publicity which will
result in sales, is just baloney! I have given away hundreds of dollars worth of
paintings and gift certificates for the last 20 + years. Not one of those has
ever produced a sale of a decent painting for me. I don't give them away with the
anticipation of anything in return because there is no return. I do it because I
care for my community.
It is your job as promoter to make sure that guests at events understand that the
artist is getting nothing for the donation. it is your job to encourage guests to
buy art directly from the artists who have generously donated work to your cause.
it is your job to make sure that artists receive proper receipts for donations
and the contact information for the patron who purchases their work. This should
be done in a timely manner.
If you are requesting a painting or certificate donation, don't insult an artist
by expecting them to deliver it to you. Have the courtesy to go to their studio
at their convenience to pick it up or arrange to pay for postage and shipping for
If you are asking an artist to come and paint for your event, arrange a sponsor
who will donate the cost of materials and give an honorarium to the artist for doing
the painting for you. Many art supply companies would be more than happy to have
the free publicity for donating the paint,brushes and canvas. I did a large painting
once for a charity event. A sponsor paid for my fee and for the cost of materials,
so I lost nothing in doing the painting. It was sold in the name of the sponsor
and so it was a win win for everyone involved, including me.
The absolutely best way to do art for charity is to sell the paintings at retail,
giving a 50-50 split between the artists and charity. I think auctions are very
damaging to artists and artificially run our worth and prices down. Selling paintings
at retail is the way to go. All of the paint outs I do use that system and most
of us will no longer do auctions at paint outs. There is no reason to. People who
go to retail events are prepared to pay retail prices as they should. Sales are
usually quite brisk at paint outs. I would like to see all charity committees do
away with auctions.
If you ask for a donation from an artist, do not expect them to frame paintings.
That is a financial burden on an artist. Instead, ask a framing company to make
an inkind donation for part of their expenses in exchange for publicity or sell
the painting unframed.
If your event sells tickets, be sure to send the artist two as a thank you. You
will help yourself. I always send the tickets for events to my patrons to use as
a thank you to their loyalty. They will likely buy something at the event to help
Above all, remember that the artist is doing you a favor, not the other way around.
Make no demands and be truly grateful to the person who gives so much to so many.
How About a Recipe?
An easy Pear Dessert
1 pear per person
1 box puff pastry
1 mini peanut butter cup per pear.
1 can condensed milk
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
3 T dark rum (good quality)
zest and 2 T juice of one orange
Peal, then cut pears in half and scoop out seeds with a melon baller. Place one
peanut butter cup without wrapper in the middle of pear halves.
Cut puff pastry into large squares.
Wrap pears in squares and seal at the top with beaten egg and a little bit of water
mixed together. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar.
Place pears on parchment papered sheet pan and bake at 350 until golden brown.
In the mean time, place condensed milk,orange zest and caramel topping in a double
boiler and warm up, mixing thoroughly. Add in orange juice and Rum and mix thoroughly.
Plate the pears and drizzle sauce over them after it has cooled a bit. Allow sauce
to puddle under the pears on the plate. Serve with a berry garnish with mint.
Use the English seedless cucumbers in your recipes and salads. The skin is thin
with no peeling needed. The seeds are also quite tiny, so there is no rough hard
pulpy texture in them as you will find in local cucumbers. There is almost no waste,
except for the very tips on both ends.
Notes From The Studio
It won't be long before I'm back on the trail with travels and events. My wonderful
publicist Sarah Carey has been busy planning all sorts of projects for me including
a new media kit, new publicity materials, a painting event for the Child Advocacy
Center on October 1.Then I'm off to paint the Bartram Trail in St Johns County from
October 6-10th. I'm really excited about that opportunity. I'll be taking my computer
with me so I can share that adventure each day on Face Book and Twitter.
Henry and I are soon to be out to the farms and ranches again and he is anticipating
that with joy, as am I. I sure do miss my friends at the Wood /Swink and Fair Oaks
Farm in Evinston, Florida.
I'm still hacking away at the shrubbery around the house, and I've started baking
homemade yeast bread again. This week was cheddar herb, next week will be onion
A friend of mine works in a busy hospital and has kindly been handing out my post
cards and business cards to Dr's and staff. If anyone who reads the newsletter works
in a busy office where you can hand out materials, I would sure appreciate your
help in that way. Just let me know and I'll send you cards and post cards to give
out. Don't forget that I give 10% referral rewards for sales.
My series continues on Florida Farms and Ranches. I love these places with my heart
I'll see you along the trail.
I'll be 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
Florida's Beautiful Marshes
Georgia claims to have the most beautiful marshes but they ain't got nuthin on us.
I am so fond of Florida marshes. Since we have two coasts, we have double the beauty
and wildlife of other coastal states. I am always amazed at the variety in the Florida
marshes. they are truly unique in their grasses and waterways.
Here are some of my favorites:
Ozello - midway between Homosassa and Crystal River on the west coast. A nine mile
drive of heaven for marsh lovers. I organized the very first Florida Paint Out in
Ozello in 2001. Cheryl Ritter from Ocala planned the lunch and 24 painters showed
up from Miami to Pensacola and in between. From that, Plein Air Florida, www.pleinairflorida.org
was created by David Johnson and myself. the two of us still run the organization
with about 400 members now.
The Ormond Beach Loop- Off State Road 40 to Beach Street. Incredible variety of
palms and marsh grasses. Florida nature at it's finest. My friend Barbara Perrotti
introduced me to the Loop a few years ago. What an incredible place. You drive for
miles through an ordinary looking subdivision and suddenly you a re out in paradise,
with massive palm hammocks and winding narrow roads through the marshes.The color
of the grasses is unique as well, a bronze color.
Princess Place- Off US 1 between Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach. This place has
an interesting history. it was at one time owned by a bonafied European princess.
It had the first swimming pool in Florida. A beautiful serene place for contemplation
and terrific marsh scenes to paint.
Indian Pass - Out of Port St Joe near Cape San Blas. Fabulous marsh colors and grasses.
At certain times of the day, the grasses look a chocolate brown. I have spent many
happy hours in Indian Pass. A small and glorious beach community. Cape San Blas
has incredible dunes with large palms growing right out of the sand. The sand there
is like sugar.
St Marks Wild Life Refuge- Us 98 on Florida's West Coast. Beautiful! This is a large
wild life refuge with one of Florida's most lovely lighthouses and lots of wild
Shired Island- Outside of Cross City. Very remote and primitive. Poor roads but
a fabulous view. Ladies, don't go there without an escort. It is quite primitive
but the views are wonderful.
Anastasia Island- At St Augustine Beach , lovely purplish marsh grasses in the
fall and winter months. A favorite place for me to paint dunes and marshes both.
I'm sure there are tons more great marsh locations and I don't go to South Florida
anymore, but these above are exceptional in north Florida.
Here is some information about Florida marshes:
This Week's Ebay Paintings
S & H: Free
Type Blondheim Art into the Ebay search window.
Many of you know that I lost my web site for about 5 days. I apologise for the
inconvenience, but I am trying to get it back up and running on a new server host. Thanks for your
support.In the mean time, see my work HERE