Thursday, April 9, 2020

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 includes shipping

ALL OVER TOWN - and town is all I've seen - spring is flowering. My favorite trees are the pinks, from the palest weeping cherry to the vivid fuschia of the redbuds to the azaleas, screaming with color, just starting to come now.

The dogwoods - vivid, green-tipped white - are beginning to bloom. My daffodils have come and gone, but they are the earliest in town, and on other streets, the dogs and Liesl and I see other daffodils blooming in their cheerful way. And behind everything, the grass is green and thick and lush. 

Before long, the blossoms will have turned to leaves. The summer's heat and sun will thin and brown the grass. The daffodils will bend and wither and make room for the summer's heat-loving plants. And life, I imagine, will be back to normal. 

I sit outside in these warm spring evenings and watch the dogs run around the yard. I inspect the lilacs, which are weeks from blooming, and the hydrangeas, which are even more weeks from blooming, and I linger in the sweet, soft air. Of course, I think of Peter, and it is always with a sense of loss - mine and his, both - but I can see progress. My thoughts are not always colored by sadness. 


I AM GRATEFUL for Liesl, my Austrian neighbor, a dedicated and long-time walker. She has encouraged me to walk with her, and has the patience and kindness to suggest we bring the dogs, too. 

What are you grateful for today? You may add in the comments below, or drop me an email. 

For Today

"When I get to heaven, I'm gonna shake God's hand
Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand
Then I'm gonna get a guitar and start a rock-n-roll band
Check into a swell hotel; ain't life grand?"

- John Prine, who died on Tuesday from the corona virus

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Kingfisher on Branch

Kingfisher  on Branch / oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68


IN PAST SUMMERS, we festooned our front dogwood tree with hummingbird feeders. There's one out there now, and there are circles of fishing line hanging from a few branches, ready for when I fill up the rest of the feeders. 

This morning, a little wren tried over and over to pluck what she thought was just a bit of fishing line. I'm sure she is in the process of building her nest, and apparently, the fishing line looked like ideal material. 

After three tries, she gave up. I'm sure she will find better stuff around in the yard - but I felt a little sorry for her, and a little guilty, to have unwittingly tricked her with the fishing line. 

Painting Workshop

ON SATURDAY, AT 1 P.M. EASTERN, I'll be giving another painting workshop, Live on my Carrie Jacobson Artist Facebook page  ( . The workshops are free, you don't have to register, and they last about an hour. 

So, a little before 1 p.m. Eastern, put on your tie-dye and click on the page, then look for the Live thing to happen. I think it's easier to find if you follow or like the page first - it will probably show up in your notifications list. There's also an Event listing, and if you find that and click "Going," I'm pretty sure it will remind you. 

Get set up with whatever you like to paint with and whatever you like to paint on, and join in. It will be fun! 

Here's the photo we're going to use as the basis for our painting: 


TODAY, I AM grateful for the blossoming trees, and how they decorate my small world with their fragile, gentle beauty, and their lovely, tender colors. 

What are you grateful for today? Please use the comments below, or send me an email. 

For Today

"Strive not to be a success, but rather, to be of value."

- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Crow Landing

Crow Landing / oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 includes shipping


DURING THIS TIME of isolation and quiet, I've been painting a lot. 

For years, I've painted pretty much every day - but before this, my painting days were often broken up. Shopping, cooking, cleaning. Visits with friends, lunches out, meetings, trips to the Y, and to Virginia Beach, and heaven knows what else. I'd paint four or five hours a day. Now, many days, it's nearly twice that. 

I say "I paint," but of course, it's not all painting. I inventory and order materials and supplies. I blacken and wire canvases. I look for subjects to paint. But if I am in the studio for nine or 10 hours a day - and often, these days, I am - I'm painting for eight or nine of those hours. And I feel like I'm making progress, that all this time is amounting to something. Taking me somewhere. 

Looking for a blank notebook yesterday, I ran across a ledger from 2009. For the first few months of the year, I'd listed all the paintings I'd made, and there were 23 or 24 each month. They were mostly small - and cheap! 

I am cheered to see that I'm continuing that sort of pace. This year, I have photographs of more than 50 bird paintings I've made so far, and I haven't counted the other pieces I've finished. 

By the time I started out in this painting life, I had 25 years of newspaper experience. Twenty-five years of daily deadlines. When I floundered at Being an Artist, at the beginning of this journey, I sought success in what I knew, and set deadlines. I required myself to make at least one painting a day. 

Over the years, this sort of productivity has helped me develop my voice. It's helped me build the muscles I rely on to push all the crap aside right now and forge ahead. It helps me try new things when I am pretty sure I have the strength to do the lifting. And it helps me know when that is. 

A new painting I finished last week, the start of a series of people talking while they are walking their dogs, is one that I've been thinking of for a few years. At the time, I knew I didn't have the chops for these paintings. Last week, I thought, I do. And so I set out to make this painting - and I love the way it came out.

So if you are a painter, an artist, a writer,  musician, whatever - if you are seeking a creative outlet and want to sharpen your abilities - the best thing you can do, I think, is to produce. Good, bad, middling, whatever - the point is to make the art, write the sentence, compose the music, and go from there. Look at what's good about the piece - what you like about it - and what you'd change. And then, in the next one, which will happen today or this afternoon or tomorrow, change that thing. And then do it again. And again. And again. 

And again. 


In this time of loss and now of isolation, I work hard to be grateful. I thought I'd share a gratitude with you all each day, at least for a while. 

If you'd like to share things that you're grateful for, you can use the comments below, or email me... I'd love to hear what you're grateful for. So here is today's: 

Though Peter is gone, I am grateful, so very grateful that I found him, 
and that I had him as my husband since 1988.

For Today

"There is no word for art. We say it is to transfer something from the real to the unreal. I am an owl, and I am a happy owl. I like to make people happy and everything happy. I am the light of happiness and I am a dancing owl." 

- Kenojuak Ashevak

Monday, April 6, 2020

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird / oil on black canvas / 5x7 / unframed / $68 including shipping


I KEEP THINKING I see hummingbirds, but when I look again, nothing. The twitch of a branch, a wren flitting through the coming leaves, or just a trick of the mind. 

The 2020 hummingbird migration map does show one or two nearby, so maybe I have been seeing them - though it is unlikely. 

Still, like spring and summer and the end of this quarantine, the hummingbirds are coming. So today, I will make some nectar and fill up some feeders and keep looking. 

Have you seen any hummers yet? 

For Today


I catch the pattern
Of your silence
Before you speak.

I do not need
To hear a word.

In your silence
Every tone I seek
Is heard.

- Langston Hughes

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Blue Jay

Blue Jay / oil on black canvas / 5x7 / unframed / $68 includes shipping


IN THE EVENING YESTERDAY, Justin came and mowed the lawn. It was chilly and windy, and he was dressed like the Unabomber, in a dun-colored jacket with the hood pulled up, and a baseball hat underneath. 

My yard is tiny, but the grass was high, unmowed since October. Justin buzzed through in his huge lawnmower, finishing in moments, then whacked the weeds and blew the pine needles off the little back decking area, and then he was gone. 

As dusk lowered into night, the rich, deep smell of the spring soil, cooling after the day's warmth, underlined the fresh, bright-green smell of the grass. I stood in the nearly dark yard and watched the dogs race around, surprised and delighted by the short lawn, and I thought about Peter, and how he would have stood here with me, enjoying this simple, lovely moment. 


For Today


Loneliness terrific beats on my heart,
Bending the bitter broken boughs of pain.
Stunned by the onslaught that tears the sky apart
I stand with unprotected head against the rain. 

Loneliness terrific turns to panic and to fear.
I hear my footsteps on the stairs of yesteryear,
Where are you?  Oh, where are you?
Once so dear.

- Langston Hughes

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren / Oil on black canvas / 4x4 unframed / $68 including shipping

THE WIND WOKE ME Tuesday night, howling of limbs and branches and the tearing off of spring blooms. It screamed of winter's not-yet-ended grip on our nights and our mornings. It called to the dark and jagged places in me, where loss and sadness and anger dwell, and it scared me a little, reaching through the windows and the walls, through the blue metal roof, and into the sleeping warmth of the dogs, my only companions, curled with me in the too-big bed.


For Today

"Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark."

-Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Egret / Oil on black canvas / 8x10 unframed / $98 including shipping


STARTING FRIDAY, APRIL 3, I'M HOSTING a Spring Flower Show and Sale on my website,  To reach it, please click on the link, then click on the Flower Show and Sale. When you see a painting you like, click on the email associated with it, and send it to me, and I will send you an invoice, and put your painting in the mail as soon as it's dry enough! If you would like to pay in installments or by check or cash, please mention that in the email, and we will make it work! 

On Saturday at 1 p.m. on my Carrie Jacobson, Artist Facebook page, ( I'll host a live painting workshop. Please either friend me on my personal Facebook page, and/or follow me on my Carrie Jacobson, Artist page, then go there on Saturday, look for and click on the the Carrie Jacobson is Live  note in your notification list, and you'll be there. 

Get set up with whatever art-making medium you like, whatever tools you have, and whatever you want to make art ON. The workshop is free, there's no need to register, and it will last about an hour. Here's the photograph we'll be using: 

Thanks to Janet Gisleson Furst Vadon for the photograph. Please feel free to print it out. 

For Today

"I don't ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful." 

-Pete Hamill