Saturday, November 14, 2020


 Grace is something we sorely need this year.  More and more, competitiveness has become the norm. I am appalled to see most of reality TV is about competition, even with young kid shows.  Winning or losing is all important now.

I believe we need to consider that being gracious winners or losers is more important than the prize. Perhaps we have forgotten that all of us win and lose regularly in life, from small irritations and victories to large and important. 

Most of our differences can be ignored. We all want our families to thrive. We all want respect and dignity. We can start with that without the anger and resentment of defeat or the righteous superior attitude of victory. I know I need to work on this myself, do you? 

I learned about grace from two important women in my life, my mother who was a traditional southern woman on the surface, and made of steel underneath. My other mentor of grace was a woman I worked for and have known for many years. She lives in Kentucky now. She was also made of steel but had incredible grace toward those of lesser means and status. 

It is never too late to reach out to each other, despite our differences. Treat others with grace, though they may not want it.

Life can be grace filled for country painters.......

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Florida Land Owners

 I must speak up on behalf of Florida’s rural land owners, farmers, and ranchers. I have known and been friends with Florida land owners for most of my life.

Yesterday I found myself in a meeting with several urbanites who belittled ranching, farming, and rural people. Many of them were vegans. I have nothing against vegans, to each his own. I am an omnivore personally.  

Many urban people are unaware that ranchers and rural people are excellent stewards of the remaining private lands in Florida. We are all that stands in the way of developers, who would be happy to pave the entire state.

Ranchers allow universities to come on to their land to study wildlife, water quality improvement, and do many studies for climate research and habitat improvement. Ranchers maintain valuable habitat and remove invasive plants that are not endemic to our natural world. They love their land passionately. These vast ranches are home to many wild creatures and trees, and are cared for by educated and intelligent families. We are multigenerational Florida natives. The next time you go to Publix, be grateful to land owners.

Life is wonderful for country painters....

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Election Stress

The election draws near. Lots of early voting this year. I voted early too. I can feel the stress building now, more than in any other voting year I can remember. Everything is at stake for our leadership and future as a nation.

 I confess that it disturbs me greatly, when I read that some of my friends have voted against my candidates. I know they feel the same way about me. We both react initially by thinking how could they vote for that horrible person? We are deeply divided politically in this country. I feel a terrible dread that we may repeat 2016.

 If that is to be, then I must prepare myself to live with this political climate for another four years. So many of our natural resources are being destroyed and that would continue. We only have a few more years to save our planet, and we are going in the wrong direction. We are going in the wrong direction away from civility as well.

 I must continue to respect others though we deeply disagree on so many issues. Unlike some, I want to reach out to others who feel deeply that I am wrong. I won’t ever change my beliefs in decency, good moral values, conservation and civil rights for all, but cutting those who disagree with me off, will not bring solutions for our future. Friendships create shared values at least on some issues.


Politics are stressful for country painters…

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


 A college student wrote to me to ask questions for a sustainability project he is doing about the art industry. He had several questions and they were quite thoughtful. I love that he chose this topic for his project. 

One question was about sustainability and environmental impact of art galleries and artists’ studios and materials. What would I change about them? After thought, I  answered that packaging was the biggest issue for me. Everything is housed in plastic now. Canvases, hard boards, and other substrates are wrapped in plastic. All paints are now in plastic tubes, mediums are now in plastic bottles.

Why not go back to recyclable metal tubes and glass bottles, as they were once packaged? Art boards and canvases don’t need to be wrapped in plastic. I think plastic is far more damaging than the paint it holds. 

Another interesting question was about using recycled materials as art forms. He was familiar with recycled machine parts in sculpture. I pointed out the wide use and acceptance of recycled paper products like old book pages, maps, tea bags, and hand made paper, for two and three dimensional art. There are endless possibilities now for recycling materials and I often recycle frames. My collectors love knowing their paintings are in recycled frames. 

Sustainability is important for country artists.......

Wednesday, October 7, 2020



                                                                       Linda’s Web Page

I think it’s really important to be thinking ahead as a painter. Change is always on the horizon. I never put all of my eggs in one basket. I am constantly thinking about other opportunities for marketing and promoting my work. As our society changes rapidly, so does the art market and the way people buy art. Moving your work around as selling venues change, is the method I use to stay fresh and lively with my art. I spend a lot of time in the studio discovering new things and I must adjust my style and painting skills to my aging abilities. Having RA, hand tremors, and partial blindness are mere inconveniences.

In years past, street art festivals morphed into galleries for me.  After the recession it became essential for me to sell my own work as many galleries closed and that business model began to fade.  I still show in a few galleries but I am more comfortable as a self- supporting painter. Now social media, in the COVID age, has become much more important than the paint outs I did for 10 years.

 Watching financial trends, shopping trends and keeping my ego in check has helped me to survive in a less than stellar economy. Focusing my love and fidelity on my collectors and potential collectors is much more important than entering contests and winning prizes. I began to understand some years back, that competing and prestige among artists was not very important to my career. I don’t have to impress artists.  I want to please those people who love and support me with their hard earned dollars. They make my long career possible and I am humbled by their kindness. I know what my priorities are and I focus on them consistently. 

Life is wonderful for country painters.....

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Be Generous

 Let’s be more sharing between artists. When I was a young artist I began to notice that established artists were rarely willing to share anything, especially marketing information.  Gallery owners tend to be that way as well. 

There is a tendency for artists to horde information, collectors, and even supplies, fearing what? They are afraid another artist will out distance them in popularity? Someone else will steal their collectors? They will have fewer sales? Someone else will win the prizes? 

Perhaps another artist is popular because they are kind and generous. Perhaps they live with a sense of gratitude toward their fans, followers and collectors, earning the popularity without harming other artists. Other artists cannot steal your collectors unless you are careless in your relationships. It is perfectly alright for collectors to enjoy collecting a variety of art. 

Selling art is not about how many paintings you sell. You don’t need to know if you are out sold by other artists. You are missing the point. I know an artist who brags frequently about being the most popular artist and having the most sales in his/her town. He/she doesn’t include the fact that his/her pricing undercuts everyone else’s prices in order to claim that questionable fame. 

As a younger competitive artist, I won a drawer full of prizes. You know what? I never sold a painting because of prizes. Prizes are nothing but an ego booster. People who only buy art from prize winners are shallow. Prizes are a capricious decision by judges from university art departments. I have judged many art shows in my long career. It boils down to personal taste. Be generous with artists coming up behind you. It will only make you a better artist, and person. 

Life is generous for country painters......

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Tea Party Fun

 I’ve been expanding my menu for tea parties at my studio. I found some swell new baking ramekins, a soft blue color, that go with the plates I use for tea. Monday before the vaccination bombs exploded, I made six little shepherds pies in the ramekins, for afternoon tea parties. I will also be making little chicken pot pies for parties.

Expanding into real cooking makes me feel like I am back to my old and loved parties before Covid. I always liked to serve serious food at my parties. I am not one for the cheese and crackers or dip and chips food. Anyone who looks at me knows I like real food. 

My guests always get homemade food. A variety of sandwiches, fresh fruit, savory spreads, and homemade desserts. My next tea party menu will be: shepherds pie, chick pea and cucumber salad, fresh fruit, chicken port wine and cheese spread, and white chocolate bark for dessert. My friend is coming out in a couple of weeks to commission two paintings, so we will have much to talk about. I can’t wait to see her. It has been a long time.

Tea parties are wonderful for country painters.......

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Career Mentoring

 Mentoring and receiving mentoring is vitally important to an artists' career. I have had both sides in my long career.

For professional artists, I recommend a business mentor, not in the art industry. My best mentors have been lawyers, bankers, framers, accountants, PR experts, ranchers, farmers, and shop owners. Over the years I have had lots of help from the business community. Business people have a more realistic view of the day to day operation of businesses than artists do.

Another way to get mentorships are through business blogs, marketing blogs and podcasts. Many artists focus on art podcasts and blogs. I get the best help from business and marketing podcasts.

If you are starting out as an emerging artist, a studio art mentor and business mentor is vital for your career. I have mentored many budding artists. The frequent problem is that the mentee expects the mentor to do the work and give all advice. They expect the mentor to hold their hand and communicate frequently. That is the responsibility of the mentee. The mentee must ask the right questions and have a clear agenda for each meeting. The mentee must make the effort to utilize the knowledge regularly, understanding what information he/she needs. Mentors are not quick fix people. Using resources wisely will help your art career.
Learning is wonderful for country painters.......

Friday, September 18, 2020


 I read an article yesterday in a science journal that reinforced my long time belief that being goal oriented and having a purpose filled life is the key to a well balanced, positive thinking mind.

The article research showed that purposeful life goals prevent narcissism, and mental instability. Goals promote independent and higher order thinking skills. There was no particular emphasis on the level of education. I believe that this view of life can benefit people at any stage or education level. My daddy had a third grade education, yet he became a successful machinist at a university because he was purposeful and had goals of self education. He was a prolific reader. 

A purposeful life keeps me busy. I don’t get caught up in the chaos and hatred swirling around. Yes, I care deeply about public issues. I put my money into support for organizations who fight for human rights, who fight to protect our planet. I don’t get involved in the shouting matches with unstable purposeless people. 

I keep to my goals both as a painter and person of decency and civility, helping those I can.  I believe most Americans are decent and patriotic, on both sides. I refuse to give up my conservative and independent friends because we don’t always agree. There are lunatics on all sides. I move forward!

Life is purposeful for country painters.....

Monday, September 14, 2020


I’ve been on a course for a few years now to improve myself as a person and a painter. I’ve discovered the key to my improvement is simple gratitude. we can focus on the good in our lives, avoiding the chaos and meanness in our current world.

There is nothing I can directly do to end the violence, political anger and strife whirling around me. I simply inch forward one step at a time, helping other artists when I am able and wake up grateful every day. As I age, I have become aware of the rare privilege of being a painter.

We record the culture and visual elements of our time here on earth. We landscape painters record in our own unique texture and style of the life, earth, smells, and tastes of the places we live. We are highly influenced by the regions where we live and grow up.

I believe when we offer dignity, kindness, and appreciation to others, we are an example to those around us whom we can influence. Artists have great power, in that we are admired and are influential to our collectors and students. The way we behave is noticed by others. It is not just our work that we put out to the world, but also ourselves.

If you are an angry, resentful artist, frustrated about your place on the food chain, perhaps you are missing the greatest opportunity, that of being grateful to have this wonderful gift. No one forces us to be professional artists. We make that commitment, knowing that it will be difficult financially for most, and there will always be artists who paint better than we do. Instead of anger and jealousy, let us redirect ourselves into artists who are grateful for the privilege each day. 

Life is privileged for country painters.....