Monday, May 30, 2011

A look back at a special moment....

When we moved to the lush, green, tree-canopied scenery of Florida from the wide open spaces of Namibia nine years ago, I found myself longing for a vista. One morning not long after the move I grabbed my paints and drove to the lookout tower at Paynes Prairie. It was windy and misty, but the colors and the feeling of space were revitalizing to me. This was what I painted in that short moment. I have returned often and will continue to do so ~ paints in hand!

Mary Jane Volkmann

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Recon at Fish Prairie

Notes From Fish Prairie

Today I visited Fish Prairie via the Sebastian Solski Trail at Fair Oaks. I enjoyed a leisurely exploration of the prairie and the trail this morning. The prairie is full of small trees and grasses so getting a glimpse is not easy in the summer. I imagine it will be a bit easier in the winter when much of the foliage will be gone. I still enjoyed the trail and got many reference photos for paintings. I disturbed a lovely doe who leaped away into the woods adjacent to the prairie. This prairie, unlike Paynes is secretive and mysterious. It appeals to me for its natural Florida scenery. It is a hideaway bordering private land. I believe I am going to enjoy painting this prairie. I hope to get there in June again to do some small field paintings.

Linda Blondheim

Friday, May 27, 2011

Prairie Rim

I often enjoy painting from the rim of a prairie. I've always loved portals or windows from one scene to another. It's like being on the edge of a party, enjoying the chatter and activity from a distance. In the shadows under a tree canopy, I can watch the birds and animals as they search for their next meal; enjoying the peaceful scene while I paint, unknown to the birds and animals I watch with pleasure.

Linda Blondheim

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Paynes Prairie

This painting is inside Paynes Prairie State Park . I love the view. There is a large hammock of palms in a grassy field just off the road. I have painted this scene many times and in many seasons. There is such a diversity of scenery at the prairie, from overgrown thickets of trees and grasses, to the serene vista from the observation tower. Now the park has a new visitor's center so be sure to take a drive there and enjoy one of Florida's most interesting prairies.

Linda Blondheim

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fish Prairie

Trees along the Solskis Trail-Fish Prairie Study

I will be painting Fish Prairie a lot during our project. I'm fond of it because its rim is adjacent to Fair Oaks, my favorite painting location, in Evinston Florida. We will also have access to it from Mr Ben Franklin's land. It is a small prairie and I've not learned much about its history yet but I'm hoping some of the farmers and land owners I know in Micanopy and Evinston will reveal bits of its history to me.

My friend Sebastian Solskis has made the prairie access possible at Fair Oaks and owner Rick Knellinger gives us free access to the prairie. We are grateful for the privilege. As soon as the summer is over, I'll be painting there regularly, allowing it to reveal its magic little by little. The trail along the prairie rim is deep and primal in character, a glimpse of Florida as it once was.

Linda Blondheim

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Welcome to Six Artists Six Prairies

Welcome to our project blog. We will be posting regularly about the six Florida prairies we will be painting over the next eighteen months. Each artist will have stories and images to share as we explore these essential and fragile ecosystems. Stay tuned for scheduled events.