Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Linda’s Web Site

I’ve been running around like mad this week. I picked up my easel and two cases of canvases donated to the Autumn Paint Out as a gift for the artists from the Gainesville Michaels Store. Bless you general manager Ron Kelly! He is one of my collectors and does more nice things for me than I can name. In this morning‘s mail, there was a lovely card from a dear friend with a donation for snacks for the artists. So many of you have been supportive in this way. Bless you all for your generosity and kindness!

I got my closet resettled and the studio is almost ready for my contractor to get back and do a bit of fix up while I am at Fair Oaks next week. I’m hoping she will have time to put my dart board together and figure out how to hang it for studio parties.

After the Autumn Paint Out, I will have freedom from volunteer work for awhile. I have some fun plans. It has been 12 months since I used oils to paint with. I am pulling out my oils and setting them up in the studio, soI will have an acrylic station and an oil station. It is always so fun to start a medium I’ve been away from for some time.

On Saturday I deliver 2 easels, and canvases to Fair Oaks, then pick up my sweet grandson for a sleep over at Gma’s house. Sunday I drop him off on my way to Fair Oaks for the official opening of the paint out. I won’t have time to paint, but I will be working at the paint out. You can see my paintings inside the tent and see my miniature paintings at the Wood and Swink Post Office in Evinston all the time.

I need a nap!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Messy Closet

This week I’m tackling my storage closet in the studio. I need to lend my easels to the Autumn Paint Out committee for the event. The easel was in the back of the closet and there are tons of frames, paintings ,tools and endless other items shoved in front of it. As nice as my studio is, it is too small. I am a pack rat when it comes to art supplies and frames.

I decided to get rid of a lot of old frames, and some that were odd sized. I will probably burn some failed paintings too while I’m at it. This is one of the projects that you dread, because it takes days to do. It messes up the studio and you wonder what to do with half of the items you pull out. I had put this off for over a year, so getting the easel out forced me to do it. I may as well do it right. 
Next week I’ll be driving artists around at Fair Oaks in Evinston for a week for my volunteer job. I hope to see you there. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Blue Cypress Lake Road Ranch

Studio Parties

I have four studio parties a year, always in the same months and always with the same themes. People like to know they can expect the party and what its theme is. They are all food themed. I am not a wine and cheese kind of gal. I make real food. I stopped serving alcohol at my parties about 15 years ago. Everyone said people won't come. They were right and wrong. The free loaders who used to come stopped. Those are the folk who show up at every art opening, eat and drink as much as they can and never buy art. Getting rid of them was really a blessing. Now, true friends and collectors come to the parties.

Sometimes the party is a wash. Today is my annual Hot Dog Picnic party.  A tropical storm blew up almost overnight in the gulf and now there will be rain out here in the country. My studio assistant who works at all my parties called five minutes ago to tell me she is sick as a dog. Great! Not her fault. My dart board for the party arrived but it is not assembled. I can't figure out how to put it together. My handy girl is out of town on a job, so it won't be ready in time. My sister and I will be eating hot dogs and potato salad for about a month. It is ok. These little problems come up now and then. If four or five people come, I'll be very pleased.

All is not lost. The effort I put in will yield success in the future. The post cards I sent, the promotion of my studio, serve as reminders to my collectors and potential collectors, making them ever aware that I am here and I welcome them to my studio, not just for parties.  I'm here and the picnic will be ready at 11 AM. Ya'll come on out for a visit today!

Friday, October 18, 2019


Festival Memories

I became a festival artist right after art school. I knew nothing about business or marketing, fresh with my art degrees. In those days art students weren't taught anything but studio art and art history.  The festival circuit seemed to be the best idea. The first few years weren't bad. That was before the over saturation of reproductions. Festival goers actually bought original art. What a novel idea!

The work was physically very hard. I had to load my vehicle with lots of paintings, tents, signage, stands, weights, and other equipment. Then came a long drive with a paper map. I usually left the studio on Friday to arrive for a predawn set up on Saturday. Most of us slept in our cars in the artist parking lot, unless we traveled by RV. I often washed up in handicapped bathrooms in stores, because they were private with a sink. There were few artist amenities in those days. I was on my own for food, having to leave my tent unmanned for quick potty breaks.

It was probably the loneliest time in my life for 20 years. 20 shows a year from Friday - Sunday on the road. There were always weather issues of course. Florida is either flooding, windy or brutally hot. One show was laughingly referred to as Bake by the Lake. More than once I had a river of water flowing through my tent. Sales were up and down constantly, and show fees climbed regularly.

The last two or three years were truly agony. I was totally burned out. I can go along, seemingly forever doing these hard things and then I am over it. I used to fight that feeling, pushing myself to continue, but I am learning now to know when it is time to go.

Eventually, I moved into the gallery scene for a few years, but in 2009, most of mine failed. Abstract became the new rage for galleries and I left most of mine. Artists have to do a lot to make a living. It is not the career for the lazy or the faint of heart.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Mr Moon

Early Trail Light

This morning when I hiked around my Deer Woods Trail, I was led by Mr Moon. It was just dawn and the sun was still sleeping in the east. This is my week to get up before dawn and let my French Bulldog out for his break from his crate den. The almost full moon threw off just enough light in the west to guide me along the path. When it is near dark, I am more aware of the sounds rather than sight along the trail.

I could clearly hear the song birds waking up to talk back and forth. Blackie the crow and his pals were not awake yet. They usually start cawing and flying about 7:30, looking for a diner for breakfast. It was even too early for the owls to clock out for sleep. They must have been off getting in that last quick hunt before bed time.

Strolling along in moon light is a really lovely way to start my day as a painter. I observe large shapes and think about the atmosphere as it gradually lights along the way. The soft cool moonlight over the tall pines in. the west is lovely to see. 

I think about my projects for the day and listen to small animals rustle along the edge of the path in the woods. The tortoises are asleep, but I call them by name as I pass their dens. Having a life in rural north Florida is extraordinary for a landscape and nature painter. As I age, I have become an amateur naturalist, happiest out here in the woods and farm land my parents thoughtfully purchased almost 60 years ago. life is wonderful for a country painter.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Morning on Deer Woods Trail

I can't decide whether I like morning or afternoon the best on my trail. It looks so different from one to the other. There are three parts to the trail. Trail one and two are best, early in the day. Trail three feels safer, a bit later, when there is plenty of good light.

Trail three goes through the cypress swamp area behind my studio. it is full of tall aged cypress trees, hickories and other hard woods, standing in water during the wet years, and dry now and then. There is a long creek that runs through my property and along the other land in the neighborhood. Trail three can be spooky looking in low light, and of course there are gators and snakes occasionally. I even have otters from time to time.

Trail one and two are upland trails, with pines and lots of tortoise dens. The trails are not large but they are beautiful. I am so glad to own the land and have my studio in the woods.