Thursday, September 03, 2009
Linda Blondheim Art Studio Newsletter September 3, 2009
acrylic on birch panel
wired and ready to ahng unframed, or frame if you please.
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.
It's Football Time Here in the South
acrylic on Birch panel
It's time for the annual bragging rights battle in the SEC. Oh I can't wait!!! Hot
dogs, popcorn, nachos, iced cold beer! What a gastronomic feast!
Growing up in Gainesville Florida brought a long tradition of Southern football
to my doorstep. When you grow up in a SEC team town, it is part of you in a more
intense way than for the average fan. It is an obsession here in the South, an
entire separate culture. There are foodie wars at tailgate parties, a social hierarchy
built around the sky boxes at the stadium. Where you sit at the games and which
parties you go to become important socially and politically.Serving the best BBQ
in the stadium parking lot, and owning the RV with the most bells and whistles
give you bragging rights. I'm not kidding!
When you are a college student there are a whole bunch of other issues involved
too. I remember when I was a student at UF, before I transferred to a non-football
school, the absolute frenzy of excitement before game weekends. There were a dozen
fraternity parties to choose from, and dozens of potential dates to choose from
as well. In those days heavy drinking was part of the experience, especially at
UF. Everyone had their flask. The drinking started at the frat houses hours before
the game and continued long after into the night when the bands cranked up. I distinctly remember a game where my date was passed up the row and I never saw him again. Passing frat boys up and down the rows was a common way to amuse each other at games.
In fact, few of the boys watched the game at all. The girls gossiped and the boys
drank, did the wave and passed each other around the stadium. In those days I could
get a ticket for a game for 4.00 as a student. We thought nothing of waiting until
about 10 minutes before a game to pick up our tickets.
The party life all changed when I fell in love with a serious graduate student.
Life became more sedate then. ;>)
Years later, I used to get tickets and lay around on the stadium seats during dull
games, watching the clouds fly by after everyone else left in the third quarter.
That was during a time when we weren't playing very good football. Now we have
Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow, so nobody leaves the stadium early. There is nothing
like the experience of standing on the bleachers with 90,000 rabid football fans
screaming and stomping on those metal stands. it goes all the way through your
body and it is actually frightening sometimes. I can no longer afford the tickets
to the games. I watch them on TV or at football parties. Often times I watch the
first half on TV and then go to the studio to paint and listen to the game on the
radio for the second half. It seems to be a good luck talisman for the team. They
often play lousy in the first half. I get frustrated and have to leave the TV
and listen on the radio. Henry helps me to cheer them on.
I had an interesting conversation with my daughter's boyfriend who is from New York.
He feels that people from the north are more interested in professional football
and that people from the South are more interested in college football. I wonder
if he is right. I love it all!!
How About a Recipe?
Linda's Fried Chicken
Let's talk about fried chicken in the South. it is an institution here. There are
more fried chicken fast food joints than I can count. Fried chicken is on every
restaurant menu here in the South, at least in the mom and pop diners where I love
to eat. There are two kinds of restaurants here after all. One for the yuppies
and college kids, and one for the down home, old fashioned eaters like me. I have
no doubt that there are plenty of trendy fried chicken recipes, but I'm not much
interested in trendy foods. That may surprise you, given the fact that I worked
as a caterer and in very trendy, upscale kitchens as a professional chef, having
gotten a lot of my early training on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.
It's not that I don't know how to make trendy food, I certainly do. Its more about
the comfort food of my childhood and the traditions that appeal to me.
The contemporary chefs I most admire are the ones who are researching and using traditional, regional recipes in a new and interesting way, without sacrificing the history and culture of the region.
I love the stories and history of cooking here in the South and have studied the
art of fried chicken for years. There are hundreds of recipes for it. There are
as many favorite recipes for fried chicken here to top all other food recipes combined.
If you have ever gone to a pot luck supper at church, or school or a family reunion
here, you will know that there are a dozen platters of fried chicken, all different,
all delicious. In fact, you will find some of the best food on the planet at these
suppers. They always have mac and cheese, salads and vegetable casseroles of all
kinds and Grandma's favorite meatloaf. The fried chicken always goes first. If
you are one of the unfortunates who are late to get in line, you don't get the fried
chicken. I was always one of the food servers at the band booster meetings when
my daughter was in middle and high school band. It was always depressing to watch
the chicken platters empty as I waited for my turn.
To me, good fried chicken is crisp and brown and steamed tender inside. I like it
with lots of salt and pepper, and that the skin snaps off as a separate treat. When
you cut into it the steam escapes and the meat is tender and juicy. I don't like
too much breading, but enough so that it is to be reckoned with as an eating delight.
The skin and breading has to be one together, completely crisp and brown. I hate
to cut into the chicken and see the light colored breading underneath. The next
day, I get the pleasure of eating cold fried chicken for breakfast.
Homemade fried chicken can be made in two ways. I have developed an oven fried
chicken that is pretty good and pretty healthy as an alternative to the traditional
pan fried chicken, but I also love the old fashioned kind.
Fried chicken made at home simply calls for cast iron. I know I'm a foodie, but
really, cast iron is necessary for good Southern cooking, especially fried chicken.
Buy yourself a large cast iron skillet, a meat press, and a Dutch oven with a lid
if you want to be serious about cooking.
Let's start with my recipe for pan fried
chicken. Some people like to use buttermilk
in the frying and that is what Mamma Shaw used, but I use flour only.
1 large cut up fryer for 4 people
2 cups flour
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
dash of garlic powder
1/2 tsp good paprika
dash of cayenne pepper(to taste)
cracked black pepper/sea salt
1/2 tsp onion flakes
olive or canola oil for frying about 2 inches in the cast iron skillet
Put all the spices in the flour and shake bag.
Wash and pat dry chicken, leaving it moist.
Shake chicken in the flour bag.
Put chicken on a large plate and wait 15 minutes and then shake in flour bag again.
The secret to frying chicken is not to get the oil too hot. Medium/medium high
heat is best. Lay chicken skin side down in oil, don't overcrowd the chicken pieces.
Do in several batches if you need to. Cover chicken with lid and fry to golden brown
on first side turn over and fry on the other side. When the chicken is nicely browned
place it on a sheet pan and put in your oven to keep warm while you cook the meal's
To make the all important gravy, pour off most of the grease but leave about 2 T
in the fry pan. take a cook fork and scrub off the bits and pieces of meat and
skin into the grease. Add 2 T flour and make a roux but stirring together and
cooking the flour. Add one or two cans of chicken broth, depending on how much
gravy you need. Add 1/4 cup decent white or blush wine, a dash of thyme salt/pepper
to taste and a few onion flakes. Stir well and let simmer and cook down a bit on
low heat. If it needs to be tightened up more, use a bit of cornstarch/cold water
and pour into the gravy, using a wire whip to stir thoroughly.
I love to pour gravy over my chicken so you have a combination of crispy skin and
smooth rich gravy, but you can simply use the gravy on rice or mashed potatoes as
Now for the healthy fried chicken version which is also pretty good.
boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs
the flour combination from the above recipe
1 sheet pan
Coat the chicken in the flour
oil and flour a sheet pan
Oven at 400 degrees
Place floured chicken on sheet pan. Spray the tops of chicken with Pam. Bake for
30 minutes, turn chicken over and continue to bake until nicely browned. Serve
with whatever you like.
When you cut up an onion, take the time to cut up two or three. Bag them up in individual
recipe portions and put them in the freezer door where you will see them easily.
It will save you lots of time later when you want to cook.
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?
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. Avoid purchasing work because it is the latest hot color
or the latest fad in art. Fads do not weather well. Well crafted work does.
I will get in trouble here with some artists because I am going to recommend that
you purchase original art rather than reproductions.( Artists, please don't waste
both of our time by writing irate letters to me on this issue. I can't speak for
you in your own career and choices. I can only speak for my own.) The commonly
used word "print", is actually often mis-used. 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. They are each slightly different
because they are hand made, and rolled through a press by hand. The artist usually
only makes a few of the print before destroying the plate. They are NOT copies of
Reproductions are facsimiles of original paintings, sometimes called Giclees ( pronounced
Gee-clay), color copies, or offset reproductions. They are machine made reproductions
and not original art. I cringe every time I hear an artist or patron talk about
the "print" they bought, which is just a reproduction. Worse yet,are the reproductions
of paintings printed on stretched canvas and sold to buyers who think they are getting
a painting of value, when in reality they are buying a reproduction of a real painting
along with hundreds of other buyers, not knowing that several hundred other people
are hanging the same copy of the painting in their home. There is no substitute
for original art.
I think the corporate market is a good one for reproductions, hospitals, banks and
so forth because it is risky to hang original paintings in public places, but for
individual buyers of art, I always recommend that you buy original art. Most artists
will work with you on a lawaway payment plan so that you can have the art of your
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.
Steps To Collecting Art
There are several easy steps to making a successful painting purchase.
Select a location to hang your art.
Take note of that area's color temperature. Does your room have a cool or warm feeling
and does the painting you are considering work with that color temperature.
Measure to know the maximum size.
Select a painting that you like.
Try it in the space for confirmation. Most artists and galleries are willing to
allow you time for a try out. A small security deposit is all that is required.
Determine how it should be framed.
Of all the steps outlined above, the most important is selecting a painting that
you like. You can find plenty of paintings in the right color family and many in
the size-range you need.
The second most important step is trying the artwork in the location you selected.
If your painting meets most of the criteria for quality and has some of the characteristics that make art valuable, then you have made a great selection.
If you have no place for what you like?
When you see a painting that you really like and don't have a place to hang it,
buy it with a plan to make it an integral part of your next redecorating effort.
Paintings can be given as valuable and precious gifts to friends and loved ones.
They can also be lent to others until such time that you make room for them in your
decorating scheme. I never let a lack of space deter me from purchasing a painting.
Your artwork should grow in value over the years if only in an emotional sense and
you get to enjoy it as your investment grows.
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
If the weather is terrible on Friday I'll skip this week. No fun painting in the
Painting the Region Soon
Painting the Region
Press Release :
Painting the Region
The Bartram Trail Paint Out
October 6-11, 2009
Painting the Region Paint Out
Press Release for Painting The region
For more information or to obtain a photo of Linda Blondheim, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publicist Sarah Carey
Aug. 28, 2009
Noted Southern landscape artist to paint at Bartram Trail sites Oct. 6-10
GAINESVILLE - Award-winning Southern landscape artist Linda Blondheim is among the
artists selected to participate in "Painting the Region: The Bartram Trail," a five-day,
juried event that will take place Oct. 6-10 in Northern St. Johns County.
Artists will paint "en plain air" - French for "in open air," - as they rotate between
four locations along the William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway, State Road
13, five miles south of Mandarin and Julington Creek in the communities of Fruit
Cove, St. Johns and Switzerland, Fla.
The area, part of a much longer "Bartram Trail," commemorates John and William Bartrams'time in St. Johns County during their extensive explorations of the Southeast between 1765 and 1774.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the North Florida Florida Land Trust and the
St. Johns Cultural Council.
"I have a deep love for Florida, being a Florida Cracker," says Blondheim, who co-founded Plein Air Florida and organized the very first paint-out in Florida at Ozello in 2001. "I love the culture of North Florida -- its cuisine, being a chef, and its
Blondheim has painted professionally for more than 30 years, at times supporting
herself in jobs as a professional caterer and chef. She is passionate about the
state and has shared her talent and enthusiasm for the outdoors as a signature member
of Florida Artist Group, Inc., as well as Plein Air Georgia, Alabama Plein Air Artists
and Fresh Air. Blondheim has completed many paintings of Florida's rivers in her
ongoing quest to capture "old Florida" in her unique and distinctive style, and
says she is anxious to paint the St. John's River as well as other spots in St.
Known primarily for her lush Florida landscapes, Blondheim paints primarily in oils,
acrylics and gouache. She is a listed artist with Art Price, Ask Art, The American
Artist Bluebook and Marquis Who's Who in American Art. She has a museum history
in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and is gallery represented in Florida, Virginia,
Her work is often described as painterly or as representational painting. Sometimes
she is referred to as a representational expressionist or an American Impressionist.
She enjoys plein air painting fall through spring, during the mild Florida climate,
and enjoys traveling throughout the South to capture the beauty found in each state.
Although some of Linda's work is done en plein air, she also enjoys
working from plein air studies and photographs to complete larger works in the studio.
Her paintings are found in private and corporate collections throughout the United
Whether she focuses on landscapes, rivers and lakes, or, in her new series, Florida
Farms and Ranches, Blondheim throws her skill into artistically capturing and preserving the South in which she was born, has raised her daughters and works as a self-supporting artist.
Blondheim holds a BFA degree from the University of Tampa, performed post-baccalaureate
studies at the University of South Florida and has been painting for 30 years.
Deeply committed to land and water conservation in Florida, Blondheim supports both
the Alachua County Land Trust and the Conservation Trust of Florida. She realizes
that not only is she painting what she knows, but she is preserving parts of Florida's
history as well. Barns may collapse from disuse and time, horses and cattle may
become displaced by human "development," but Blondheim's paintings will capture
and save forever the South that once was, still is but less so, and that may one
For additional information:
*Visit Linda Blondheim's Web site at: www.lindablondheim.com or e-mail her directly
*Learn more about "Painting the Region: The Bartram Trail," at: www.paintingtheregion.com
I've started painting in the yard again, getting back into the swing of location
painting after a four month hiatus in the studio. it is hard to go back out. Painting
is so much easier in the cozy air conditioned studio. I am quite rusty at location
work now. It will take me a few weeks to get used to it again. I am wrestling with
a decision on whether topaint on location with oils or acrylics. I've been having
a high ol' time with acrylics for the last four months, but they are so difficult
for me on location in a large format. Most of my clients like larger paintings.
I sell very few small ones anymore, so I need to paint larger work on location
now. I bought myself a lightweight field easel that folds up to go with me. I have
been working on a large 24x36 acrylic in the yard but I fear that the acrylics are
just to process oriented for location work. I need to paint quickly and oils are
quick. I may keep doing acrylics in the studio and switch to oils on location.
I'm very happy to be painting on the William Bartram Trail this fall and hope to
get four decent sized paintings completed for the event, along with a few 5x7 studies.
Notes From My Desk
One of the things I've learned as a professional artist is that word of mouth is
my best friend. There are lots and lots of landscape painters, especially in the
Southwest, California and Florida. I have to use my resources effectively if I am
to survive in this market. That means I have to have help from the people who care
about me and and support me and my work. If you read my newsletters, subscribe to
my blog, or are my Facebook or Twitter friends, you can help me to get the word
out about my unique view of the South through my landscape paintings.
If you work in a busy office with lots of people coming and going, you can help
me by putting a stack of my postcards on the counter. If you know people who love
the Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama landscapes as much as I do, you
can pass the word about my work to a friend. I can send you lovely referral postcards,stamped
and ready to drop in the mail to friends, or just refer them to my web site. http://www.lindablondheim.com
I often hear from people who love my work but can't afford to buy it. In these times,
I can understand that. If you love my work but can't afford it, you can help me
keep painting by spreading the word about me and my work to others.You can help
me by writing a testimonial about my work, just a short paragraph will do. Placing
these testimonials on my web site assures potential buyers that I am a legitimate
professional who they can trust. They need and deserve that reassurance. If you
can do that, please email it to me at email@example.com
When you meet interior designers, gallery owners, and art patrons, pass the word
about my art. Make it a habit.
I alway give 10% of any referral painting sold to the person who referred their
friends to me.
In summary, you can help your favorite artists to continue on their journey in very
simple ways. Word of mouth is golden.
I am deeply grateful to the people who have supported me in so many ways over my
30+ year career. I never take that support for granted and I hope you all know
how much I adore and respect you for your support.
This Week's Ebay Paintings
S & H: Free
Type Blondheim Art into the Ebay search window.
I have a request to write about the River Styx, here in north Florida. I have painted
there, but I need to take some time to research the history of the river for an
article. Don't worry, I'll get around to it before long.