Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Finish!

I’m so happy to report the my monumental efforts and my sister Becky’s equal efforts paid off. It has been a hard couple of weeks but the former closet in my studio is now a lovely display room for my Art Lover Kits and large paintings.

It has been quite a journey, including carrying two chests of drawers out and up the steps to the back porch, burning debris for five days, sorting and pitching old paintings, frames and lots of whatever! The utility room has new shelving too. I had planned to simply paint over the patched holes, but the paint I found was a warmer, semi gloss white, so I painted the whole room yesterday.  It is a delightful little nook, adding intrigue and charm to my studio. I’ve wanted to do this project for two years. I’m glad I finally faced the gauntlet and finished, just in time for my tea party scheduled tomorrow. 

My frame sale starts on Monday, so the tea room is full of frames, but I have set up the studio for the tea party. I can’t wait to see my visitors! The menu will include tiny stuffed baked potatoes, corned beef pate, three layer brownies, scones, and fruit. 

Life is wonderful for artists.......

Friday, February 21, 2020

What a busy Week!

What a busy week! 

I started on my renew my “closet” to display room project on About Friday of last week, and my big yard burn on Monday. My studio is a huge pile of everything that used to be in the room. My sister helped me to move the two chests of drawers onto the back porch. They will live there now. 

Today I removed the two shelves, to be relocated to the utility room. I patched all the holes in the room with wood putty. Later today I will sand the patches. I have ordered the paint. By Monday, I’ll be able to paint the patches and wall flaws. Monday afternoon I’ll stage the room for display and be ready to finish up the studio clean up during the week. Just in time for my next tea party next Thursday. 

During this redo I’ve been steadily burning yard debris, the huge burn pile and burning old paintings, reams of old notes, workshop books unusable frames, and other stuff I have hung onto for far too many years. 

It feels great to have this project at least half way finished. It is one of those I dreaded and put off for about two years. It is also cathartic emotionally, to get rid of what is just taking up space with no purpose. I am very much in favor of living a purposeful life. I believe we waste our lives without dreams, goals and new ideas. Letting go of old art, and other possessions is sometimes hard, but when it is over, those won’t be missed. Going through a project like this is like a walk through your past with a look toward your future.

Life is wonderful for artists......

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


It is easy to be too tired to right the world. I’ll be 70 in June. I do get tired. I take an afternoon rest now in between my working sessions. It restores me to go forward with my day. I work six days a week to run my own business. Most of my peers are retired, doing as they please. I’ll never retire. I like painting.

It is very easy to be tired of the politics swirling around us. I no longer watch much of the news, as it is depressing for me. Politics wears us down into numbness. Left, right, or moderate, there are always going to be ugly politics. I would like it if more people studied history. I have learned that at every era of modern politics, there have been ugly nefarious plots going on. There have been incompetents running the world for generations. I don’t think our thoughts and actions should be about our political persuasions.

Instead, they should be about the business of being decent, honest and kind humans toward each other. I have many conservative friends. We treat each other with respect, find common interests, and value our friendships. We find ways to improve our little part of the world together, without politics.

It is easy to wring our hands about the ills of the world and do nothing. It is too easy to just ignore bad behavior, instead of making an effort to behave honorably ourselves. Every kindness we extend, matters. Every bit of respect and positive effort we give matters. Every penny we donate to positive and decent organizations matters.

Protests look impressive, but I would rather use my energy supporting the natural world organizations, and the organizations who support human decency, than to stand around with signs. We cannot change minds with anger and hatred. We can change minds with kindness welcoming others into our circle. One day at a time, one friend at a time matters. I won’t let being tired stop me from using all my potential.

Life is wonderful for artists…..

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Closet

I have a space issue in my studio. I have a nice small room/closet that is jammed full of old dressers, tools frames and art. It really does me no good at all, and I could be using it for display space.

I am gradually moving the bulk of my paintings to my Country Studio. I still have a small room and wall area at my town studio, which is secure for 2020 and unknown for 2021. 

More and more of my collectors enjoy visiting out here in the quiet country side for a cup of tea. I must make more display room here.

The task is daunting. I have two dressers full of teaching material to move out to the back porch of the house. Then far too many odd frames. It is time for me to have another used frame sale. I do this about every three years. My current students and former students love this sale. I sell all large frames for 10.00 and all small frames for 5.00 You can't beat that! The frame sale will be the week of March 9-14 if anyone is interested.

I am feeling overwhelmed at the moment, but in the end, this will be a smart effort. Why waste perfectly good display space?

That building has had many jobs over the long years. It was well built by my Daddy's friend Lester Wigglesworth, the premier mason of his time. It was my Daddy's workshop, then my home for a few years. The closet I am going to clean out was at one time my bedroom, cosy and useful for a single bed with a tiny night stand and lamp. Is it any wonder that I love my studio so much!

Life is wonderful for artists....

Wednesday, February 12, 2020



As most of you know, I'm a dog person. I've owned dogs all my life, from the age of ten. Dogs are intensely loyal. I had a cat once, as a child. Her name was Mitzi. My momma was allergic to cats and so Mitzi lived as an outdoor cat. Nowadays they are called feral. She was a wild one. She used to bring home her kills, and lay the on the front stoop for my inspection. I had a pet hare, who got out of his pen once. Mitzi herded him up to the front stoop and let me know, guarding him like a sheep dog.  In her old age, she disappeared one day. That was my one experience of cat ownership.

Cats have never liked me, nor I them. There seems to be an innate distrust between us. My daughter has a big Main Coon named Elliot. I always refer to him as Elliot the Cat. He lures me in slowly, purring, rubbing up against my arm in the chair. Finally, I think, he must be warming up to me. I reach out and pet him slowly. Just as I begin to get comfortable with the companionship, bam! He takes a bite out of my hand. This happens almost every time we are together. It reminds me of  Lucy, holding the football for Charlie Brown. I fall for it every time. My sister has an orange cat, named Blue. He avoids me like the plague as well. 

I get a sense that cats are the owners in their relationship with humans.  Cats are the emperors, the kings, the superiors. This is not appealing to me in any way. I don't like the idea of being a servant to my pet, paying his bills, feeding him and cleaning up litter boxes, knowing he considers me to be a servant. Wild cats are magnificent. Lions are my favorite big cats.

I have  a series of little cartoons that I do now and then called Fat Cats. I use Elliot the Cat as my model. My veterinarian used to have a practice cat that was the fattest cat I've ever seen. He was one of my models too.

I'l stick with dogs.

Artists have a wonderful life.......

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Who's Fault?

Who's fault that some artists can't make a living?  I know a lot of artists who automatically go to the old standard reasons. The economy is poor. Young people don't buy art. People only want famous artists' works. There is little art education in schools anymore. Everything is digital now. If you don't paint abstracts, no one will buy your art.  There are really hundreds of reasons why artists have a hard time making a living.

Who's Fault?

I am the first to admit that selling art is a difficult task. I've been in the art business all of my life. I do think it is far too easy to wring hands and say it can't be done. Making a living as an artist is daunting, but it can be and is a viable way to make a living. Attitude and willingness to succeed are everything. This goes for any occupation.

Who's Fault?

I don't spend my time worrying about any of the reasons that art doesn't sell. That is a complete waste of my time and resources. I do instead, spend a heck of a lot of time thinking about what I can do to sell enough art to pay my bills and buy art materials. My goal is not to become wealthy, though that would be lovely. My goal is not to be famous. There are obligations attached to that that I am not willing to do. My goal is to continue being an independent self sustaining artist, paying my own way through what is left of my time on this good earth. A simple, doable goal.

Who's Fault?

I never for a moment think that I can't succeed. That is out of the question. I will not fail. I work very hard. I depend on others to aid me. My followers on social media are my referral team. I know they will help me and I will help them. I know my collectors want me to be successful, and they help me with referrals. I know that my work is of a subject that appeals to niche collectors. I don't try to appeal to every market. I don't try to be trendy. I don't switch my painting subjects and styles to fit the latest interests. I don't try to fit in to art societies, or groups.I go my own way, secure in that my efforts are truly genuine.

Who's Fault?

No one's! There is no blame for lack of success, only props that give you excuses to fail!

Life is wonderful for artists.......,

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Party After Thoughts

Yesterday was my annual Chili Party. I consider it a success. I had about 15 people for the day. Not a big bunch, but all super nice and great fun. Many of them are old and dear friends, who have supported me for many years. It is a comfort to see them walk in. Some of my annual parties are bigger crowds, and some have only a few who come, but that is not really the important element. 

The good will and pre-party PR really count. These annual parties are a lot more work than my tea parties, but there is an inclusive quality to them. Everyone is welcome and there are no RSVP's needed. I cook for 50 and feed whoever shows up.  Surprisingly, I always make pretty good income from the parties, whether few or many come. People are generous and kind.  

The other element to these parties are that my name, and art get out to a number of folk. It keeps my mailing list active and keeps my art going into their homes on the postcard invitations I send. It is not so important that they actually attend, but that my name and art are reminding them for future times when they might be in the market for art. Many artists ignore postal mail now, but the postcards are a big part of my marketing success. I always expect that about 5% of invited, actually attend, but the rest are getting a reminder that I have work to show.

I think that social media, and postal media are equally important. I always have a postal address sign up at my parties, rather than email. People change their email addresses like underwear, but postal addresses are good for quite a bit of time. Also, when I do mail outs, I get to clean up my mailing list when one comes back to me, address unknown. It also gives me the opportunity to send a thank you note. 

It has been said by Seth Godin and others that you don't need a huge collector base. You need about 100 collectors who actually buy art. I believe and agree with that assessment. I don't have enough collectors, but I have a group who buy regularly. My job as a marketer is to find enough collectors who believe in me and who will support my work. Then I must depend on their word of mouth to others to bring new collectors. Eventually, they must stop buying, so spreading the word becomes their support to me. I must be grateful for their love and support and to be supportive of their endeavors in life. That is my main job as their friend and supporter. It is a two way street. it is more about them than me. Many artists don't understand or appreciate the people who generously support them. 

Life is wonderful for artists......

Saturday, February 8, 2020


In thinking about my art career, I used to make a lot of mistakes running hither and yon, doing every event that came along, with little regard for whether it was a viable way to generate income directly or even indirectly. My calendar was full to the brim with paint outs, juried exhibits, meetings with other artists, and every other whacky idea. It makes me tired to even think about it.

I realized years ago I was doing it all wrong. I was one of the sheep in the art pen. I worried about whether other artists approved of my painting finesse. I wanted to fit in. I followed all of the so called successful painters. I joined all of the cool national organizations for painters.  These organizations favor the elite few who are signature painters. The rest for the artists support the top tier, hanging on to their coattails by the virtue of being a member.

I have come a long way since those years. I am less dependent on others for my self esteem, and more interested in learning how to paint. Most of the time I spent in the art community is now spent at my easel, hopefully learning how to paint. I no longer worry about what other artists are doing, except to encourage them to excel in their own journey.

I’ve always thought that a reversal of the age of learning and knowledge would be a good idea. What could I have accomplished if I knew all of this at 25, instead of 69?  I would not have so carelessly wasted all of those years chasing after the wrong things.

The most important thing I have learned in all these years is to turn my focus on the people who support me and my career. It is great to have a lot of artist friends, and I do appreciate them, but my collectors and other friends are so  important to my self esteem. They don’t expect me to be perfect. They like me, flaws and all. They understand that art is never perfect. They like it anyway. My supporters mean everything to me and I enjoy their take on the world. They are liberal, conservative, independent, or anything they are comfortable being. I love them all. We have many common joys, outside of the world of politics. I learn all about science and other interests from my brilliant friends. They have interesting jobs and backgrounds. They don’t judge.

Life is wonderful for artists…..

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Saving Our Earth

                                                                   Linda’s Web Site

I've been very worried about our good earth's health. I know that the bird population is rapidly declining, along with our bee population. Deforestation around the world is on the rise. 

I see that political decisions are harming our lands, ecosystems, wetlands, and rolling back the protections for our wildlife and wild spaces.

It is easy to fall into despair. As a hobby naturalist, and landscape painter, I feel despair frequently. My livelihood and happiness depends on our good earth's health. Every landscape artist should be concerned.

I've been thinking about the ways that I can help, within my own circle of influence. There are too many people who moan about our politics and our wild places while doing nothing really to help our earth. Moaning about issues accomplishes nothing, except to increase our depression and angst.

I've always been a doer. I think about possibilities. Here is what I have done and will continue to do, "putting my money where my mouth is" as the old cliche goes.

1. I support land trusts in my state. Every penny helps them to purchase and maintain wild lands. They purchase the lands, save them and most importantly, they educate the public about the value of saving what is left of natural Florida and it's wildlife. 

2. I purchase a family state park pass for my grandson each year for his birthday. I want to pass my love for our beautiful state on to my grandchildren, just as I did for my daughters.

3. My mission as a painter is to educate others about the beauty of natural Florida, and our agricultural lands. I rarely paint the coast, boats, beaches or tourist towns. I want Florida visitors to understand the real, wild Florida and to adore it's beauty as I do.

4. I research our earth sciences so that I know  the best choices to make in managing my own small nature trail.

5. I support the Nature Conservancy by purchasing through Amazon Smile. I try to support businesses who make products that are earth friendly, recycle vintage art frames and other ideas and opportunities.

6. I support environmental action groups.

This is just a ripple in my tiny, insignificant pond, but at least it is a start. It is better than wringing my hands and doing nothing. We have but one opportunity in our lives to try and save our precious earth.

Life is wonderful for artists.....

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

My Annual Chili Party

Today was my last day of painting this week. I need to get ready for my annual Chili Party. Saturday, February 8th from 11AM - 4PMish. Gosh, I’ve had this party about 15 years now. I love homemade chili this time of year. This year I’m making it with savory pot roast instead of ground beef. Yummy! I am serving it with the usual toppings, sour cream, diced onion, Fritos, and homemade corn bread made in my big iron skillet. I am also making my peanut butter, chocolate chip crust brownies. They are always well received. I’ll throw in a bowl of fruit to balance out the goodies. Naturally, we will have a variety of hot teas. The studio directions from Gainesville to my Country Studio are on my web site at the bottom of the pages
Tomorrow, I’ll be setting up the studio. It doesn’t need much work after the party I had last week. I have to hide my easel, work tables sweep, and set out the chairs. My tea room is all ready. 
My friend Mark set up the hardware for my dart board a couple of months ago, so the board will be ready for darts at the party. I still need to get my corn hole game, on my to do list. Anytime I can have a party at the studio makes me so happy. I love all my friends and new friends that come. 
I have my new Tea for Two and Art kits and Bird Lover and Art kits ready. It is one of the best ways to combine my love for art and tea and birds. I’m so glad I thought of the idea. I plan to add Wildflower and Art kits to my kits soon. My collectors love these kits. I will have to raise the price a dollar soon. The labor time is high. 
Please come to the party Saturday at my Country Studio. Dear Woods Trail is open for a nice stroll and I have new paintings to show. As always, the hallway gallery paintings are 210.00 Join my collectors club while you are here.

Life is wonderful for artists......

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Tea Party Fun

Today’s tea party was splendid in every way. Unfortunately there were several cases of flu in the family, so only three were able to come. It was wonderful. 

The ladies couldn’t have been nicer or more delightful! We had two technology experts and a high school English teacher. Our topics included several books about history and historical fiction. I recently read a book about Tsar Nicholas, Kaiser Wilhelm, and King George before WW1  and they shared books about WW2, relating them to out current lives. I learned that the famous Von Tropp family escaped to America during the war and still have a farm here. All the information was very interesting to me. I love my tea party guests. I always learn something new.

We spent a lovely afternoon drinking tea and chowing down on corned beef pate’, blueberry lemon sandwiches, Brie in puff pastry, chicken salad roll ups, scones and white chocolate bark. Who doesn’t love tea parties? 

My friend brought me a beautiful gift. A set of beautiful tea spoons. Each one is a different flower. They are so pretty. I can’t wait to use them at my next tea party. What a special gift! I have the most wonderful friends.