Thursday, September 24, 2009
Linda Blondheim Art Studio Newsletter, September 24, 2009
University of Florida
acrylic on wood panel
Landscapes of the South
Linda Blondheim Web Site
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September 24, 2009
Studio/Plein Air Equipment for sale
I have the following for sale:
miniature- 3.00 each (4x6)
small 10.00 each ( 6x8-8x10)
larger (12x16-16x20)20.00 each
1 heavy gold 30.00 (18x24)
a nice 12x16 inch panel drying box, 50.00
an old 8x10 drying box,needs a lid, 10.00
Art instruction books 5.00 each
email me: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
My next E-class is Values in the Landscape I. Starts September 29, beginning September 29, 2009 HERE
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Henry (AKA Studio Dog) and I have had fun this summer observing the beautiful butterflies
around the yard. It seems that we have had more this year than in years past. They
are all lined up in their prom dresses each morning flitting around the dance floor
in cobalt blue, yellow orange and even rusty red. Some wear iridescent make up as
well that shimmers as they curtsey and twirl around. Henry watches in fascination
as the colored bits fly around the yard.
One of the great features of the Natural History Museum in my town is the Butterfly
Rain Forest. I remember when the museum was downtown in the Seagl Building and
then later on campus in the underground way cool building. I loved it then, much
more than I do now. In those days they had a lot more of the antiquities on display.
I remember the rows and rows of butterflies mounted, old tools, dresses which were
installed in pull out glass cases; Lots of really cool bones, arrow heads and parts
of dinosaurs. It was scruffier then and more arcane, a place of mystery and discovery.
It was the kind of place you could hang around in for hours browsing, looking at
the dioramas and wondering about the past here on earth. Like an ancient book shop
without the generic, upscale coffee bars you see everywhere now. We are losing
all the old scruffy places now. I can live with it, but I miss them. I'm sure the
new place is much better for them, but it is too sleek and cold for me now. I miss
the old place.
The butterfly forest is cool though, and the museum now features art exhibitions
of which I have been included a few times. It's better for the new generations
coming along, bigger and easier to run I'm sure.
I watch a great show called P Allen Smith's Garden Home. I love that guy. He makes
gardens into outdoor living spaces and often talks about how to encourage butterflies
into your home garden. His show is on the create channel.
My research at: Opler, Paul A., Kelly Lotts, and Thomas Naberhaus, coordinators.
2009. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Bozeman, MT: Big Sky Institute. http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/
tells me how long my butterfly friends live.
Adult Life Span
Marking studies suggest that winged adults of many (and perhaps most) species live
only a week or two, and that the male tends to live a few days less than the female.
However, in some species, the adult life span of some generations may be much longer.
For example, in some species, adults that emerge in late summer or early fall hibernate
overwinter in a sheltered spot. Also fall-hatched monarch butterflies migrate south
in fall and northward in spring. Adults of these species may survive for 8-9 months
Total Life Span
Total life span includes time spent in the larval and pupal stages, as well as the
adult stage. Each species description in Butterflies and Moths of North America
includes the number of annual "flights" for that species. A flight is a generation
of adults. Thus, if a species has "two flights from May through September" it means
that one generation will emerge from the pupal stage in spring and a second in summer.
Actual months of emergence depend on latitude. Life spans of these two generations
will be very different depending upon the species' strategy for getting through
If the spring flight comes from eggs that were laid in fall by the previous year's
summer flight, the total life span for the spring flight is 10-11 months. Eggs laid
in May/June by those adults develop much more rapidly, due to higher temperatures,
and adults emerge in about 2-3 months, resulting in a total life span of 3½-4 months
for the summer flight, or less than half that of the spring flight. However, if
the species is one in which adults of the summer flight overwinter, then the spring
flight develops from eggs laid in spring, and in this case the summer flight is
the longer-lived generation.
Not all species have two flights per year. Some species, particularly northern ones,
have only a single flight annually, or a total life span of about a year. Some Arctic
butterflies are believed to have a 2-year life cycle due to the extremely short
growing season and the scarcity of high quality food for the larval stage. And some
desert species, which normally have a life cycle of only one year, may hibernate
as larvae or pupae for up to 7 years waiting for adequate rainfall to ensure growth
of the host plant. On the other hand, southern species may have numerous fast-developing
but short-lived generations each year. Finally, among the many species that are
distributed over a wide latitudinal zone, it is not uncommon for northern populations
to have one or two flights annually while more southerly populations have many flights
annually. In some cases, the number of flights is considered taxonomically significant;
for example, the Eastern and Canadian tiger swallowtails are now recognized as separate
species, partially based on the fact that the Canadian Species has only one flight
per year vs 2-3 for the Eastern Species.
Average Life Span
Often people want to know the "average" life span of a butterfly or some other species.
This is a very different question than the one answered above, as it requires knowledge
of age-specific death rates. These are not known for free ranging Lepidoptera(or
indeed for most wild animals). About all that can be said is that only a minute
fraction of larvae survive to adulthood, and the average butterfly life span or
life expectancy is correspondingly much shorter than the figures given above would
So, start hanging around the yard watching these beautiful and graceful friends
before they are gone!!
The Painting Process
I tend to work on series of paintings about a theme or subject. I've always done
that, since I can remember. As an eight year old painter, I loved horses and everything
about them. Of course all little girls do. I remember learning all the parts and
pieces of the anatomy, pouring over horse books and copying the paintings and photos
I saw in the books. As an adolescent I became enamored with the still life because
I had discovered Cezanne. I read all the books about the Impressionists and the
Post Impressionists. I became one in my own mind, doing endless still life paintings.
Then I discovered the Walter T Foster books and branched out to his entire How To
subjects. To this day I love those books. They are just terrific!!
By the time I landed in college as an art major, I had tackled just about every
subject I could think of. In art school I was introduced to figurative and abstract
expressionist work, which I never really took to. It's not that I don't like it
because I do, I just don't really like doing it. I really need a recognizable subject
of some kind to be happy.
After I wandered around for about 20 years, drawing, doing lots of different mediums
and subjects, I finally found myself in the landscape genre'. I have felt securely
at home there for the last 15 years. That was just about the time I decided that
I didn't have any interest in going to the Southwest to be a western painter like
everyone else wanted to do. I discovered Florida for the first time. I like painting
in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina too, but in the last couple of years my focus
has narrowed considerably, mostly to North Florida. Isn't it funny that it took
me about 30 years to discover home as the best place to paint?
My themes approach to painting has continued through all of it. I have two ongoing
themes that I revisit occasionally. The first is my "night palms" theme. I have
always been fascinated by nocturnal painting. There is something about those tall
palms against the indigo night sky that fascinates me. The second theme is the "Red
Tree" series. I don't know where that came from, but I've always loved doing the
red trees. I revisit these two themes haphazardly, never knowing when I will want
to do one and then suddenly there they are!!
About three years ago my theme was Florida Rivers. Now I am progressing through
Florida farms and ranches and this one has really pulled my heart strings, particularly
the Evinston series. I am determined to do a book about my adventures in Evinston,
with the paintings I do there.
I think working in themes keeps me focused and helps me to have a cohesive body
of work. I can have a broad theme like "North Florida" and multiple sub themes
under that like Evinston and Lake Alice.
The important thing to me for a painter is to be organized in their focus rather
than wandering around helter skelter in their approach to painting. The more I
know and love my subject, the better my paintings will be. That's my philosophy
and I'm sticking with it!
How About a Recipe?
I had a few requests from Facebook friends to re post my Crock Pot BBQ recipe.
1 large beef or pork roast, trimmed of fat
1 small onion diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper or more if you like it spicy
dash of good paprika
1 tsp salt(I like coarse ground sea salt)
1 /2 tsp fresh ground black cracked pepper
BBQ sauce- I like to use Sonnys or KC Masterpiece
Mix up spices and rub them into the meat.
Place meat in crock pot and add diced onion. Set on low heat and forget about it
for about 6-7 hours.
Open the lid and use a fork to shred up the meat. Pour 1-2 bottles of good sauce
over the meat and mix in thoroughly. Serve on buns with sweet potato fries and
If you really want to find the best recipes in the south, go to the church, band
booster, Jr League and Womens Club, college, local and regional cookbooks. These
are the books that have the old, passed down from generations recipes.
Left over rice can be re-made into a nice casserole by adding a can of cream soup,
a dash of wine, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and a half
portion of mixed vegetables from the freezer.
Spreading the Good Around
Kiva is really cool. If you are not familiar with it go to http://www.kiva.org to
read all about it. It is a lending organization that helps the working poor around
I just love this because these people are not looking for a hand out. They are working hard to support their families in often terrible conditions. Most all of them pay
back the loans in a short time. I like to help women in these countries and I have
focused on Central America, the Middle East and Mongolia. I just made my fourth
loan in about 4 years. The great thing is that you can simply re-loan out the same
money over and over. I made my initial investment in a woman who was a clothing
designer in Guatemala. That led to the next loan to a woman in Egypt for a hair
salon. I did that in honor of my daughter Sara, who is a hair stylist. It made
her happy. The third loan was to a group of women who worked together as cooperative
farmers in Nicaragua. Today, I made the latest loan to a woman in Nicaragua who
is a grocer. She needs to be able to buy more stock to expand her store. So my
little loan has traveled around the world helping women to grow and prosper. It
is such a feel good to do this. They take tiny amounts of money too, as low as 25.00
You can make a small donation to Kiva for their own maintenance and staff as an
extra each time or skip that. The entirety for the loan you make goes to the recipient,so there is no waste.
I sure wish there was a Kiva for artists in this country. I have long thought that
there should be a cooperative in each city for artists to belong to. A resource
pool in which others could make loans to artists with low interest to buy art supplies,pay for promotional materials, or emergency funds to pay for car repair or rent and support for elderly artists who are past their income stage. I know that there are many attorneys who offer pro bono work for artists and bless them for that.
It seems to me that we could solve a lot of problems in our communities by banding
together in these kinds of groups, giving just a little of our time and ourselves
to give assistance in a casual, informal way. There is so much that can be done
easily. Problem solving in groups if you will. A friend and I, Mary Jane Volkmann,
fabulous artist http://www.maryjanevolkmann.com talk about this idea a lot. We have
a "circle of influence" theory about how to improve life for many. We decided that
we can't do much for others in places far away, but we can work within our own circle
of influence to do what we can. Our circle overlaps someone else's and theirs, and
theirs, so you see how it can continue along. When you look at the overwhelming
need for decency and generosity in the huge world, it begins to overwhelm you. But
if you look within your circle of influence, you know that you can do something
Here are some things I and others have done and I know you have many examples too:
Buy a cup of coffee for someone who is feeling low or take them out to lunch or
to a movie.
Bring a take out dinner to someone's home as a surprise. ( When my old dog died,
two of my friends brought meals and desserts to my house. You can't imagine how
much it meant to me)
Contribute to someone's business needs with equipment, office supplies or a gift
card to a store where they purchase.
If you are good at computers, give someone else a hand who isn't.
Send business to a friend who needs customers. Though you may not need what your
friend sells, you surely know someone else who might.
Do business with your friends if you can.
Offer to help a friend do yard work or send someone to do it for them.
Offer to do paper work, answer emails and office tasks for someone who may be overwhelmed
Give good advice on household management or finances to someone who is struggling.
Offer to take their car in for a tune up.
Offer to be a business mentor to someone who needs good business advice.
If you are good at home improvement, offer to fix up around their house.
Send a card or letter of encouragement with a nice tea bag or dried flowers enclosed.
Offer to help a friend move, especially if they are losing their home.
If you see someone in line that doesn't have quite enough for their purchase, pay
If you know someone at work is in trouble, take up an anonymous collection and leave
it on their desk. (WE once took up a collection at an art show to pay for an artist's
rent one month, so he would not be evicted)
Get together as a group and create a money tree party for someone who is in trouble.
A church group I knew at one time did this regularly for members who were having
financial difficulty. It was really cool. They made a tree out of wire and glued
tiny clips to the branches where they rolled up bills and attached them all over
the tree. They had a party and invited the recipient and surprised them with the
tree gift. Way Cool!!
So many people volunteer at hospitals, nursing homes and libraries, but how many
ever think that they could volunteer to help their friend with their business a
few hours a week? Helping your friend to run their coffee shop, ,clothing shop,
printing business or other business might actually turn the tide and help them
stay afloat in these hard times. Sending them a new customer might make a difference.
Use your circle of influence in a positive way. Little things can mean so much.
I am so grateful to the many people in my life who have stepped forward so many
times to lend me a helping hand. You all know how much I adore you!!
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
This Week's Ebay Paintings
S & H: Free
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