Notes From the Loft Studio
Today was my annual cookie party. I enjoyed chatting with old friends and meeting new ones. There were enough cookies left to bring a few home and to share with the staff at Paddiwhack and the Fair Oaks staff tomorrow. This annual party goes up and down in attendance.It is less popular than my cake, chili, and hot dog parties and I suspect that December is just too busy for people. There are parties and studio openings everywhere in December. I can barely get the cookie party done because of so many activities, so I think a slower time of year may be more enjoyable. I may turn it into a popcorn party with information about collecting, framing art, installing etc. in July. More time to plan and a more relaxed atmosphere. I have a friend with a real popcorn machine and that would be fun. I could hire a musician to come in as part of the entertainment.
I've been thinking too about my focus for 2014 both in painting and marketing. I am planning to continue my study of trees for next year. I want to learn to paint some of the less known trees to me. I have been painting pines, bald cypress and live oak trees this year. I want to stretch the learning curve to do sycamores, bay trees, dogwood, swamp maples and sweet gum trees. They are common at Fair Oaks and Fish Prairie so I will be able to study them easily.
I want to focus on building my commission market and large format market for 2014. Commissions have been very good for me this year and I have learned to enjoy the challenge, now that I have gotten smart enough to paint only landscape, cattle, canine and tree commissions. I will not make the mistake of doing portraits again.
Now that I have a plan, I am feeling relieved. I hate facing a new year without focus. I am one of those people who has to plan and execute ideas. I don't wing it!
Posted by Linda Blondheim at 11:34 PM
Notes From the Loft Studio
I've been a busy girl this month. I've been working on my annual "My Yard" series with Henry in the yard. I love doing that every year. I can get Monday and Tuesday around 3 PM free for awhile until all of the leaves are gone.
I went to Disney for a day with family, and my cousins rolled in to town for a visit for a couple of days and I finished my latest tree painting, 30x40 inches in oils. Tomorrow is my annual cookie party and that is my last art related activity for 2013. Our store hours extend next week until Christmas eve so I'll be painting up in the loft some every day. I'm trying to replenish my 5x7 studies for the bin in the studio. They are getting low. Lots of them sell this time of year. I'll do another tree demo out on the sidewalk next Saturday. That was quite popular with visitors.
Come to my Cookie Party Saturday from 11AM - 4 PM
Posted by Linda Blondheim at 5:44 PM
Notes From My Pochade Box
I've done a couple of paintings this week in my yard. I went out around 4 PM to paint and will continue next Monday and Tuesday again. I do this every year in the late fall when the leaves are almost down and there are bits of color with the last few stragglers. Henry enjoys it too, he sniffs around and rolls in the leaves and dirt, scattering it onto my painting. It just adds texture. I don't worry much about how good the paintings are. I just enjoy the air and the scenery. Sometimes they are pretty good and often they are a train wreck, but it is all part of the process of learning to paint.
I have really enjoyed my French Resistance pochade box from Judson Plein Air. It is my favorite box. I think I will want to buy the larger edition soon. It has a bit more room to the palette and more storage for the paints and brushes. These are nicely designed boxes and I am quite comfortable with them. I've had quite a few easels, French easels, and a variety of pochade boxes in the last 30+ years of painting. I like the Judson boxes because they are well made, very sturdy, but not a piece of fine furniture. I like boxes that I can throw around and get paint all over. I don't need fine furniture to paint on like the Open Box M. That is over kill to me.
I'm off to Disney tomorrow to see the sights and spend family time. It will be long day there and back but I must be home to go to the Loft Studio on Thursday. Many long hours this time of year.
Posted by Linda Blondheim at 5:19 PM
Notes From My Loft Studio
I decided to do a demo out in front of my studio today. It is small business Saturday, and a football game so I knew there would be crowds out and about. I had a swell time, actually more fun than I expected. I worked from 10 AM-Noon and finished the painting. Oil on 9x12 inches. A couple of artists came by to stop for a moment, but mostly the interest came from shoppers. It enticed two couples to go up to the studio, so I consider it a huge success. There was a lot more interest from shoppers than I anticipated, and a lot less interest from artists than I expected.
That is the odd thing about this town. Artists aren't really close here. They don't really get involved with each other much. There are small pockets of clickish artists, but not much community support. Many of them will pay for art lessons but not show up for a free painting demo by a professional painter. Go figure! My target was to build interest from potential collectors, so I'm well satisfied.
Posted by Linda Blondheim at 1:38 PM
Notes From My office
Despite my grumpiness yesterday, I have much to be thankful for:
I get to be a painter
I have Henry, my beloved French Bulldog
I have my family, including my new grandson Ike
I have my Fair Oaks family
I have many friends who support me
I have residencies around Florida thanks to my many friends and collectors
I have my own home/studio, bought and paid for
I have my Loft Studio in Gainesville, rented
I have Leroy, my truck, bought and paid for
I have electricity, a/c and heat and running water
I have easels and canvas and paints and brushes ( there have been times in my life when those were hard to acquire)
I have my cactus and herb gardens
I get to bake bread and cakes to sell to my friends
I have an Ipad and cell phone and a computer
I have a washer and drier
I have a futon bed
I have enough clothes and shoes to be comfortable
I'm Rich!!! Who Knew???
Posted by Linda Blondheim at 9:10 AM
The holiday season is here but I don't really sell well during the season. People are looking for gifts, not paintings. Art is such an individual preference that people shy away from it. They like to buy art for themselves. My Ebay sales have been ok this fall but soon they will nose dive until mid January. My year from January- July was really excellent, but has been poor from August to now. I have long studio hours from now through December 24th.
I am not much of a holiday fan. I am a person of routine and the holidays are anything but routine. Truth to tell I have to really fight against depression through the holidays. I always come out of it refreshed and ready for the next year after the first of January.
Posted by Linda Blondheim at 2:00 PM
Notes From The Painting Studio
I started a new 30x 40 inch painting today. The subject is the same as my last commission, but this time I have the freedom to paint it as I want to. I often go back and do a commission idea after the commission so I can have the freedom to do it my way. I almost always like the second version the best.
I decided it is time to get in a bit of practice with brushwork. I'm holding the brushes with all of my fingers in a loose gripping form and far back on the brush handle. I'm painting in a parallel motion for all of the painting until near the end. It forces me to use more texture and layers of paint without getting detailed too quickly. Brushwork is one of the most important skills for a painter and far too few instructors emphasize practice.
I decided to do a painting demo out in front of my studio on Saturday morning on the sidewalk. I'm trying to build up interest in my work, so why not? I'll see if it draws a crowd. If people are interested, I'll do it once a month.
Posted by Linda Blondheim at 7:58 PM