Monday, March 30, 2020


When I was a kid, my uncle Bob was a milkman. In those Stone Age times, our milk and cream were delivered in ice cold glass bottles. The metal crate was left on the doorstep for us very early in the morning. We would leave the crate of empty bottles for him the night before he came. It was a simple, environmentally friendly way to get milk, with no waste.

My cat, Mitzi, used to wait for uncle Bob to arrive. She would jump in his milk truck and take a ride around the neighborhood with him while he delivered. He would swing by and drop her off when he was through.

There was no better taste than milk and Coke in glass bottles. We always threw a few peanuts into the Coke bottles. The salty sweet taste was superb! During this difficult time I’ve had some time for these fond memories through my life. I have mused about the good and bad periods, and I’m very grateful that the good times have far out weighed the bad.

Despite the fear and difficulty we all face now, I feel like this time of my life is swell indeed, thanks to my family and dear friends.  Isn’t it wonderful to see so many fine and brave people who have gone the extra mile for strangers? So many have given me the courage to continue and have faith in my heart
. I’m so grateful to the many who have bought little paintings. I can’t ever express enough how grateful I am.

Artists, please stay home over the next weeks in your own studios. Getting together to paint and visit puts you and others at risk. I want you all to be safe. It would break my heart to lose you. Be brave and know that there are friends and collectors who love and will support you. If you are an Alachua County artist, in need of supplies, contact Lanza Art Gallery. There is emergency gift card funding set up at the gallery web site for you. If you wish to help your artist friends with supplies, you can donate for them.

Country painters have a wonderful life....

Friday, March 27, 2020


I’ve been thinking that support has new meaning now. It is no longer simplistic. Emotional support has become more valuable than money suddenly. Yesterday, a friend offered to bring me anything I need. He was willing to leave his safe space for me. That used to have casual meaning, a mere inconvenience. Now that favor is a risk, and a sign of deep friendship.

I’ve been sending out little messages to dear ones via email, and I’ve been receiving these messages of support myself. This becomes vitally important. We send the message that our friends and loved ones matter. They are more important to us than ever.

We may be physically alone, but emotionally this connection keeps us together. Despite the stories about idiotic and mean spirited behavior, I have seen noble effort and generosity in my own community and around the world. People are sewing masks, businesses are making donations, and yes, some corporations are going above and beyond for their employees and customers.

Support has become essential and enormously valuable. Don’t give up, especially my artists friends. Keep working instead of worrying. There are friends and lovers of your art who will offer support in many ways.

Life is wonderful for Country Painters.....

Sunday, March 15, 2020


I’m having a lot of fun during my self quarantine time, working on some of my 3.5x4.5 paintings on wood panels. They are really fun and they ship easily in regular mail. I’ve always enjoyed working on a variety of small paintings in between my serious efforts on larger paintings. It gives me a break between works. It helps me to experiment with a variety of palette colors, value study and composing ideas. Many artists focus most of their time in pursuit of starting to finish complete paintings. I am of the group who like to study parts and pieces of paintings in between the  serious works.

I don’t think one can grow as a painter by doing the same process over and over again. There is the legitimate argument that doing the same subjects, the same palettes, the same brush stroke rhythm, produces very good paintings because it becomes perfected over time. I can not argue with that . It is true. Practice does make perfect. There are painters who have found that niche. They can paint in their sleep. However, seeing their work five years later, one sees little change.

It is safe and predictable, very sellable. I am envious on one hand, due to their high sales, but on the other hand, I could never be that painter. I have the quest to learn more. I love the experiments! I need the challenge and danger of falling flat on my face. I do a lot of bad paintings on the way to better skills. I don’t mind using the burn pile now and then. No artist steps up to the easel and thinks “I want to do a bad painting”. It happens when you try to push beyond what you know. Eventually, you catch up and become just a bit more skilled. I can live with that.

Country painters have a wonderful life........

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


I’ve been thinking about the pandemic sweeping into our lives as an artist in business. Most people don’t understand that artists are the most vulnerable in business of our society. We no longer have the patrons of the arts that the Renaissance artists enjoyed. 

Whenever there is an economic down turn, terrorist attack, or large health crisis, artists suffer first financially. Many don’t understand how important art is to our emotional health. Culture defines our society in many ways. It lifts us above the ugliness and dreariness of bare existence. The beautiful pieces of furniture, drapes, rugs, cars we drive are all designed by artists. The paintings that give you a vacation from the mundane, are designed by artists. Artists are the historians of our own time on earth. The world would be drab indeed without the beauty and grace of good design. 

We artists must find ways to survive the constant crises that befall our world. Being flexible is so important. One month you are selling well, then something happens and you don’t have two nickels to rub together. We go from top to bottom almost instantly. Most art lovers want to continue to support artists, but they need to find lower prices for their purchases during hard times. Artists will be wise to make smaller paintings and make them easy to buy during these times. I accept layaway on all my paintings and accept credit card, check, and cash payments at my studio and on my web page. . My prices range from 6.00 - 6,000.00 and all in between. I sell miniatures on Daily Paintworks through PayPal, and here on FB. My paintings, and art kits make lovely gifts for any occasion.

Artists must have faith in their own ability to think of new ways to sell art, making it easy and affordable to purchase. The biggest differences in good times and hard times are faith that you will survive and thrive again, and the much harder work you must do stay afloat. Hard times prove that your followers, friends, and collectors are much more important than most artists realize. I never forget that these kind folk make my career and my lifestyle possible. I feel sorry for artists who have no desire to meet and know their collectors. They have no idea what they are missing. My friends, followers and collectors make everything possible for me. Every time they share my work, I am so grateful. I pray that we all survive this terrible virus, both mentally and physically, with grace and kindness to others.

Life is wonderful for country painters........

Sunday, March 8, 2020

History Repeats

I’ve been interested in European history for some time. In the last few years I spent a lot of time reading about WW2 and the build up to it.  This year, I am studying about The Great War AKA WW1. For some reason, I had always assumed that it began solely because of the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand by the Serbians. In fact, there was a long build up to the war.

I read a book about the period before the war with a theme about Kaiser Wilhelm, Nicholas, Tsar of Russia  and George the Fifth of England, who were all cousins, by way of Queen Victoria. My research has been strangely comforting. I learned that these wars were led by inept leaders. The Kaiser was mad as a hatter. He was a total nut job and narcissistic in the extreme. Nicolas was almost a recluse and his wife was bat chit crazy, letting Rasputin guide the family in matters of state. George wanted nothing to do with governing and only wanted to hunt game on his estate, ignoring the whirlwind descending on Europe. You can’t make this stuff up!

Why is this comforting? It brings to me the reality that modern politics is not really any different. The difference is that we just know more, as the masses than we used to. The same crazies are in every era of history. There were nut jobs in the cave men days too, I feel sure. No matter how much technology we learn, or how sophisticated our society becomes, the ego driven will find a way into power. The young and naive say they can change government. The old and tired say that the status quo is comforting. Somewhere in between those two camps, we manage to trudge onward, sometimes left, sometimes right, when in between seems best to some.

I think more study of history by common folk like me, would be useful in our decision making about politics.

Country painters have a wonderful life.......

Saturday, March 7, 2020


I think it is a true mistake to lump all visual artists into one group. Artists don’t have a great reputation in the business world. I have talked with many business people who are surprised that I paint for a living full time and that I behave professionally. 

Many business people assume that all artists are disorganized, flighty, unreliable, and very unprofessional. I learned this first hand as a project manager at WDW, about 15 years ago. I was chosen to be a Garden Festival stage speaker that year. I arrived well prepared, with many props and give away materials from corporate sponsors in the art materials industry, including Gamblin, Source Tek, Grumbacher, Golden and other kind companies who are very supportive of artists. 

I was on time and ready to work, speaking twice a day on stage each day as assigned. I got to know the tech guys and producers who filmed the event. They were so surprised at my preparedness and lack of demands. I asked for nothing special and was treated as a VIP. They told me several horror stories about other artists they had dealt with. Demanding, unprepared, dressed poorly, and completely unprofessional. I have seen and heard these accusations about dealing with artists more than once since that experience. I have observed this myself at paint outs, and art openings many times. 

These artists seem to think they shouldn’t have to follow the rules or to honor deadlines. Somehow they have gotten the idea that they are more special than other people. I saw this from the business side last year at an event where I was on the committee who had to deal with the artists instead of being the artist. That was a real eye opener. 

There is a reason that corporations buy art through art consultants. Frankly, they don’t want to deal with the ego driven artists directly. Perhaps it’s time for artists to behave in a businesslike manner like other industries demand. It is entirely possible to wear your artist’s hat in the studio and your business professional hat out in the world and in your office. Please don’t send me mean posts. It is my group after all. 

Country painters have a wonderful life....

Thursday, March 5, 2020


I’ve been thinking a lot about attitude this week. Now that I am beginning to age a bit, my wants have changed significantly.  I’ve been watching the posts from the paint outs I used to do each year.  For a moment, there is a twinge of regret that I gave up that part of my career, but only for a moment. My decisions are reinforced as being the right ones. I don’t really want to do that anymore and I know I was right.

I think it is so important to leave stages and to move on with no regret. The idea that we should be inflexible and do things the way we have always done them, without thought and consideration is very wrong.  I should have learned to accept changes as new opportunities long ago. I am a bit naive in that way.

I have learned to ask myself, “am I really comfortable with this or have I outgrown it?” In the case of having been forced to make changes, have I learned to adapt and move forward with new ideas, or have I wasted valuable time longing for what no longer exists as an opportunity? Alas, I have made those mistakes more than once.

I am learning though, to become more flexible and more able to adapt to change and limitations. In fact, I am having a swell time of life now, content in my lovely Country Studio, hosting tea parties, teaching once a month here, and studying the arcane world of putting paint to canvas. I love walking on my trail and enjoying the beautiful rural land I’m lucky to be owned by. I hear the birds outside as I slouch in my studio chair after finishing this painting.

Country painters have a wonderful life.......
Linda’s Web Site

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…..