Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Project Ends but More Projects to Come

A Big Thank You!
We have come to the end of this specific project: Six Artists Six Prairies, and would like to thank our sponsors and each one of you for your interest, encouragement, appreciation and support.  It has been an interesting time for all of us.  We learned so much ourselves, not only about prairies, but more importantly about the role artists can play in bringing about an awareness of the unique world around us and the need to protect and conserve it.  Art and conservation are natural partners!  Stay tuned as we continue our artistic journeys and projects....

 Linda Blondheim
 Mary Jane Volkmann
 Steve Andrews
 Charles Dickinson
 Scott Hiestand

Monday, May 7, 2012

Palm Hammock Fish Prairie

Notes From Fish Prairie

I love to drive the trails through Fish Prairie in the golf cart provided for my residency at Fair Oaks. The palm hammock is a favorite spot for me. The prairie changes drastically with the seasons. It is just now becoming summer, but the color is still fresh and lovely green. It hasn't yet been suffocated by the humidity and brutal heat of August here in Florida.

Linda Blondheim

Saturday, April 28, 2012


This studio panting of a Louisiana Blue Heron was done from photos taken on a recent trip to Paines Prairie.

Scott Hiestand

Friday, April 20, 2012

Old Boundary

"Old Boundary"
   I would like to express a very late thank you to all who attended out opening show for the Alachua Conservation Trust. I enjoyed meeting and talking with all of you about art and the prairies.
   It is in the works for a second show at the Visitors Center at Paynes Prairie. Opening dates have not been set as of this post, but as soon as more information becomes available, I will be posting it here.
Scott Hiestand

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fish Prairie

Ferns on Fish Prairie April

 Fish Prairie February

18x24 inches
acrylic on canvas
Notes From Fish Prairie

I spent a week at Fair Oaks as part of my residency project there. Part of Fish Prairie is on the Fair Oaks property and I love painting there. The staff has cut nice trails through the prairie and I spend very happy hours deep in the prairie painting. I was traveling through March, so I missed the gradual transition from winter to spring. Yesterday I drove around back there in the golf cart, thoughtfully provided by the owner for my painting excursions. It looks so different from the winter time I painted last that I thought I was lost a couple of times. It is now jungle, with tangles of vines, weeds, huge ferns and rich greens. I could have been in the rain forests of Latin America with a bit of imagination. Though our project will end in June, I hope to continue to paint at Fish Prairie for years to come.

Linda Blondheim

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Show at ACT

The big event this past weekend was a lot of fun.  We had a steady group of people looking through the paintings and getting to see the fantastic facilities of the Alachua Conservation Trust.  The paintings are available for viewing at the headquarters of the ACT through March 16.  Check the link and call to make sure that there is no conflict, but they are planning on people coming and seeing the paintings.   Remember they are all for sale and your purchase will benefit the ACT.
Everybody’s work was exhibited together and I think the work worked well together. (Can I say work worked?)  I think that’s the best way to put it.  There was a good harmony.   I guess it’s not proper to talk about my own work, so I’ll mention my favorites from the other artists in the project. 

Mary Jane Volkmann:  I loved her large piece of the typical Florida jungle that must have been the edge of prairie.  Beautiful muted grays and greens with the center of interest a palm tree lighted by sunshine and rustled by a gentle breeze. 

Charles Dickinson:  I really liked his painting of the old railroad trestle.  Charles is a master of dappled light.  His paintings are simple but intricate.  There’s a neat story to that painting too.  Apparently he painted it on location then came back some days later to finalize the work and whoever is in charge had cleaned and painted the trestle.   All of the old patina was gone.  So if you love the trestle your going to want to get Charles’ painting.  Otherwise you’ll have to wait a long time to see the patina again.

Linda Blondheim:  Linda had a bunch of great pieces.  My favorite was a large almost square piece of a path to the prairie.   Deep colors and lot’s of colors.  Palms, Oaks, Spanish Moss, vines, leaves, branches all pulled together in a nice inviting and color filled composition.

Scott Hiestand:  It’s hard to pick one of Scott’s.  He has a great light touch.  My favorite was a small piece titled, I think, “Early Spring”.  Beautiful muted red grey background with a delicate small tree with whispery early springs buds the center of interest.  The tree was beautifully painted with light grey green color and hints of the coming of spring. 

So there you go.   I hope that encourages you to get out there and take a look at the artwork.  These are my favorites I would love to see some comments added with your favorites.

 Scott Hiestand

 My painting "Storm Comimg Hopkins Prairie"

Scott and Linda's Paintings

Thanks for looking

Steve Andrews  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How do you paint a prairie?

The project is winding down.  Here's a link to the big event that will give you an opportunity to answer the question in the above title.  How do you paint a prairie?  Just give the assignment to a group of artists, and part of the fun is coming out and looking at how each choose to interpret what is generally considered a flat, boring piece of ground.  So come out this next Saturday, February 25th.  The address and directions are in the link.  All of the paintings from the project will be hanging for you to see.  All of the paintings are also for sale and each sale will benefit the Alachua Conservation Trust.  Also, all of the artist will be there and will be painting  during the day.

The painting above is from Hopkins Prairie in the Ocala National Forest.  I'm aiming at the hot dry grasses against the cool pine forest in the background.  A worm's eye view. (Do worm's have eyes?  I wonder why they don't call it a snake's eye view?  Hmmm?  Those snakes always get a bad rap.)  Anyway, I love to meet you and talk with you about the fun and adventure of painting these prairies.
Hope to see you there.

Thanks for looking.

Steve Andrews