Monday, November 20, 2006

Elisabeth Ferber and 2 of her paintings from the Paint Out.

L Diane Johnson enjoyed painting at Rum Island.

Peter Carolin did some lovely miniatures at the springs.

Tom Sadler at Work at the Santa Fe River

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The High Springs Paint Out

The personnel working in the Gallery were wonderful and friendly throughout the whole time and the display of the art work was excellent.

I had such a wonderful experience while painting in High Springs. The town has many places to paint and next year we will all know the town better.

While painting the downtown scene, I enjoyed meeting the residents of the town, as well as the restaurant personnel where I was set up to paint, all of whom were great hosts.

I painted two scenes in O'Leno State Park and I cannot say enough about the beauty of the Park. I'm sure it is one of the Good Lord's master pieces.

The event was a wonderful experience for me and I hope to see everyone next year,


Joe Taylor
Elkton, Florida

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A message from Dan Rountree, creator of the Adopt A River program. Dan has a website for his organization "Current Problems".

It was a joy to work with the artists that came from all over the Southeast to paint North Central Florida. I consider it a pleasure to reveal to many of the artists springs, swamps and the Florida State Parks along the Santa Fe River for the first time. O’Leno State Park and Camp Kulaqua allowed the artists unique access and a rare glimpse of our area, ranging from the boardwalk following the spring run of Hornsby Springs through the quickly changing light of a cypress swamp to the banks of the Santa Fe River in O’Leno State Park were the river goes underground to mix with our aquifer before surfacing in the River Rise State Preserve.

At the O’Leno State Park swinging bridge, the Santa Fe River was not flowing and the paintings reflected a lot of rocks in the riverbed. I spoke with artists about Vinzant Siphon upstream that was capturing the Santa Fe River. Siphons (sometimes called swallets) are places where local rivers and streams either completely or partially go underground to mix or become the Floridan Aquifer. Vinzant Siphon is largest unfiltered direct contributor of surface water to the Flordian Aquifer in the Santa River Basin, possibly in North Central Florida. Protecting upstream lands is imperative! We must educate all people, kindergarten through adults, about the intimate relationship between surface water, with all its runoff, and the Flordian Aquifer - the source of our drinking water.

Although not on the list of locations provided by The High Springs Gallery, visiting artists were led by local artists to outstanding places to paint such as Japhu Springs at Rum Island and, of course, Ichetucknnee Springs. “Wow this is beautiful” was the most common response by artist experiencing these places for the first time. I also wanted to educate the artist about our unique springs sheds such as the headwaters of the Ichetucknnee River being Lake City, Florida over 30 miles away. The underlying message of this being that whatever homeowners, farmers, and businesses of Lake City pour on the ground or spray in their yards eventually flows to springs along the Ichetucknnee River.

I personally want to thank the artists and volunteers for their support of Current Problems and its program Adopt A River – with this collaboration we can continue to bring this most important water issue to light!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rum Island
24x24 inches
oil on canvas

Linda Blondheim

" I like to have a plan before a big paint out. I spend time getting my paint box cleaned out, making sure I have enough paint in the box for multiple paintings. I get my drying box loaded with blank panels. I clean my brushes and reshape the hairs on them. I make sure I have extra solvent in my traveling supply box along with paper towels, bug spray, sun screen, and a hat.

I make sure all of my frames are pre-wired and the framing gun is in my car, so that I can install the paintings in frames very quickly.

I gather my promotional materials together and make sure they are in a lexan brochure box. I put the brochures and biz cards in the back of my French Easel while I am painting, so when browsers come, they can take a card or brochure.

I also do an email announcement about the paint out before the event and I send out a few post cards to patrons in the area where I will be painting.

If the Paint Out is far from home, I make sure to have enough clean clothes with me so that I don't have to worry about doing laundry. I take an extra pair of comfortable shoes in case the other pair gets wet.

I find that taking the time to do these chores, really helps the paint out experience to be wonderful."

Linda Blondheim

Thursday, November 02, 2006

HighSprings Kulagua Indian Camp
Charles Dickinson

Dean Davis Building High Springs
Charles Dickinson

Behind The Opera House in High Springs
Charles Dickinson

"I had such a wonderful time at the High Springs Paint Out. This region of Florida has a great deal to offer plein air artists (and visitors). I was inspired by the architecture of the little town of High Springs as well as the natural architecture of the rivers, trees, and springs in the area parks. It was difficult to settle on one site each day with so many possibilities.

It was also a pleasure to work with such talented artists and see the many interpretations of the landscape. The exhibit at the High Springs Gallery is really exciting to see. We were treated to beautiful meals and shown the greatest respect throughout this event. Many thanks to the staff and Chuck Sapp for all the hard work they did and for going out of their way to make us comfortable and welcome.

I love to participate in paint outs that not only allow me to record on canvas a new area but that also fundraise for a great cause and Adopt-a-River is a great cause. Thanks for letting me take part in this event."

From Charles Dickinson

Paintings by: L Diane Johnson

Painting Real Dreams

"After participating in many a paint out, although one of the "new kids on the block", the High Springs Paint Out ranks as one of the best I've experienced. Not only did they gather some of the top painters in all media/styles, but the service and treatment of the artists was grand.

What an adventure! We were escorted to enchanting spots in the region to paint, were fed so well by Chuck Sapp, his Staff and Dan Rountree - who made us feel like old friends. When you are painting, so many things can break your concentration or divert your energies. Not so at this event. Everything was done such that painters could paint as much as possible without interruption.

The place was magical, which came through in the Exhibition. From the soft delicate observations of earth tones to bold jewel colors of water and sky captured by the painters, collectors from everywhere should take the time at next year's event to visit High Springs Gallery. Many of the painters who participated, are also represented year-round. Don't miss the the opportunity to consider work for their collections.

I so much appreciate having been a part of this first annual event. Thanks again to everyone including Linda Blondheim who brought so much of her experience to bear on the paint out."

From L Diane Johnson

"Thanks to the High Springs Art Gallery, I was introduced to some of the most passionate
landscapes I have
ever experienced in Florida. It was truely a pleasure to paint in the town of High Springs and
in the parks near

Each of the three days I painted, I saw deer when I first started exploring a site to
paint. I can't wait to
come back to the Sante Fe River and create more art to support Adopt-A-River. And next
time I will bring my

Stewart Jones

Rum Island
Kathleen Wobie

"My days at the High Springs paint out were a delight. Being next
to the flowing Santa Fe for 3 days from morning to late afternoon
offered so many wonderous moments - beautiful color, birds
singing, people kayaking and canoeing, folks visiting and chatting
about the paintings.

I also had fun the first day painting one of
the cottages in town - it threatened rain and was overcast all day
- this made for interesting low, steady light.

The other wonderful thing about the event was visiting with the
other artists. Having done a number of paint outs now, I have
come to know so many wonderful painters - talented, inspiring
artists who share a vision of Florida. This is a state that needs
a village of visionaries who want to keep its beauty for future

Being able to support the organizations who will
benefit from the sale of our paintings is something I'm very happy
to be able to do. I want to thank everyone who helped in this
paint out effort - thank you so much."

by Kathleen Wobie

Linda Blondheim paints St Bartholemew's Church in High Springs

Gary Borse paints at the Santa Fe River.

Charles Dickinson is always a crowd pleaser.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Planning A Successful Paint Out

from Linda Blondheim

I have helped plan many paint outs over the years and the following are very important to success.

Here are the expectations the artists should have for a profitable paint out:

Bottled water available all day. 2 meals every day.

Assistants to help with equipment.

Courtesy tent or home base for artists and patrons, with maps to painting locations, a leader board with names and locations of artists during the event, PR materials from the artists to hand out, an emergency medical kit, sun screen, bug spray, one easel for artists in case one breaks, a minimal tool kit with duct tape, wrenches, hammer, heavy duty stapler, nails for emergency repairs.

An assistant who can run to art store for unexpected supply needs. For example, easel is knocked over and paints are lost, etc. A sturdy table space for framing work and a storage area for wet paintings for each day of event.

Adequate publicity for artists and the event. Without good publicity it will be a waste of every one's time. A gala opening to culminate the event, where paintings will be sold.

A pre-paint out blog or web site like this one would build interest from patrons.

Boxed patron/artist lunches are a fun way to connect each to the other. Inviting a patron to have lunch with their favorite artist is a great way to build interest.

Have a metal and plastic yard sign that sticks in the ground with Artist Working printed on it. Give one to each artist to carry with them, wherever they go to paint.

Press packets used often, and sent to all local and regional newspapers where artists live. A catalogue for the event with artists names and contact info. A poster would be advised and local businesses would need to be contacted to provide sponsorship. Sponsors would pay for all related expenses for the paint out.

Many art supply companies would donate items and equipment and at the very least, their PR materials.

Host families or hotel accommodation for artists for each night of the event.
Above all, a good contact person for the artists. A facilitator who will be a go between for the artists and coordinators.

Quality Artists will make a good paint out. The best, most experienced painters should be invited and only the best. Don't try to get 50 mediocre artists when you can have 25 really good painters.

Expectations for artists from sponsors:

Firm commitment and follow through on artistÂ’s part.

Good communication with coordinators.

Bio/resume and PR materials handed in on a timeline.

Local and regional press contacts for artists along with bio and other materials requested by the coordinators.

A positive professional attitude in dealing with coordinators and with the public.

Leave your ego at the door and be a team player.

Arrive on time and be prepared to work with all materials and equipment in good condition.

Appropriate framing and installation equipment.

Following directions of coordinators.

Gracious attitude toward hosts.

Santa Fe River -Charles Schaefer

Peanut Mill -Charles Schaefer

"The Paint Out at High Springs was an exceptional art event. The many artists there made for one of the best gallery shows that I have seen. Hopefully anyone in close proximity to High Springs will have the time to travel and see the wonderful artwork there. Also, while out there, you must drive over to the Sante Fe River in O'leno State Park and also at the Kulaqua Campgrounds. The hospitality extended to us during this event will not be forgotten, they were so kind to all of us. The Town of High Springs also let us go just about anywhere we wanted to set up our easles and let us paint away. The staff at the High Springs Gallery and Chuck Sapp was always there to guide us in whatever we needed, whether they were directions or in need of art supplies. Words can only convey a thank you to them all, just wish there were something more that we could do for them."
Charles Schaefer

Kathleen Wobie at Rum Island Park.

Mary Jane Volkmann painting at Rum Island Park.

Stewart Jones painting at Oleno State Park.

Painters take a lunch break at Rum Island.

Valerie Druga runs the High Springs Gallery in High Springs. She is an interior decorator, expert framer, and a do everything person with boundless energy.

“I had a great time and feel very humbled being around all that talent. It was a great experience for me and I would like to thank everyone that was there for letting me be involved. “

Valerie Druga

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Santa Fe River flows past and around Rum Island. It's an enchanting
place with a beautiful spring. One chilly morning I arrived shortly after
sunrise to find the steam swirling up from the warm river. The woodpeckers
were darting from tree to tree and the light was so beautiful that I spent
the first hour just taking photographs (see attached). I chose to paint
this particular view of the edge of the island because I loved the way the
sunlight was catching the tips of the trees and shining on the grass. The
brightness was reflected in the water, seemingly making it glow.

Mary Jane Volkmann

"Hay Bales" 9" X 12" oil on linen
Val Sandell

This was the first time I've painted in those specific locations in Florida and it is beautiful. Looking forward to returning is the best compliment to all who organized and executed "The Nature of Art in High Springs" event. I encourage art lovers to see the show and variety of interpretations of such interesting local landscape.
Val Sandell

Monday, October 30, 2006

This is Stacey Breheny's painting in progress on the Santa Fe River at the Paint Out.

Stacey wrote "I was challenged by that Kulaqua swamp but also loved it. Loved the complexity and mystery of it."

Rum Island
18x24 inches
oil on canvas

I have been painting regularly at Rum Island for several weeks. It is truly magnificent. There is beauty in every direction.

I so enjoyed the experience of this paint out. It was a relaxed environment. The High Springs Gallery staff and the Adopt A River staff were gracious hosts. I have been to many paint outs over the years and I must say that this was a top quality group of artists. The exhibit is stunning!!! Please go by high Springs Gallery and see it. There are still plenty of beautiful paintings to purchase.

Rum Island Park

This blog is about The Art of Nature in High Springs.

The first annual event was held on October 26-29, 2006

Twenty three plein air landscape artists painted in High Springs, Oleno State Park, Rum Island Park, Ichetucknee Springs State Park, and Camp Kulaqua for four days, producing an incredible body of work to be sold at High Springs Gallery on Main Street.

The show is still in exhibition through November at the gallery.

The blog will be active throughout the year until the next event. It will have plein air stories and travel stories from all of the participating artists, and news about the Adopt A River program, as well as news from the Paint Out sponsor Paddiwhack and High Springs Galleries.

Paintings from the paint out as well as new paintings will be posted in anticipation of our next event in October of 2007.

The 2006 participating artists were:
1. Linda Blondheim
2. Ellie Blair
3. Kathleen Wobie
4. Linda Pence
5. Mary Jane Volkmann
6. Kate Barnes
7. Peter Carolin
8. Charles Dickinson
9. Gary Borse
10. Val Sandell
11. Elisabeth Ferber
12. Elaine Hahn
13. Charles Schaefer
14. Stewart Jones
15. Hank Fleck
16. John Felton
17. L Diane Johnson
18. Stacey Breheny
19. Jackie Schendehetti
20. Tom Sadler
21. Mitch Kolbe
22. Larry Moore
23. Joe Taylor

Paint Out Sponsors:
High Springs Gallery

See links for artists and sponsors in the sidebar.