Sunday, April 26, 2015

Fiery Sky - and Disturbing Oreos


Fiery Sky
Oil on canvas, 30x30
sold
I have always loved painting skies. Blue and clear, dark and threatening, high and arcing and aching with the heat of summer, it doesn't matter. The sky is the frosting of the painting for me, really, and this sky is one of my best. I'm taking my sun-rings idea and freeing it up a little, channeling Vincent Van Gogh a bit, as well.  I'm very excited about this idea, and am pushing it hard in the paintings I'm doing now. What do you all think about it? 

I believe my love of painting skies started when my dad told me something that a painter had told him - that no one could ever prove that the sky he had painted was not the sky he'd seen. Understanding that had freed him, he said - and when I understood it, it freed me, too. 

A few years ago, I mentioned my love of skies to my friend Candy. Ever since, she and I have taken a photo of the sky nearly every day, and shared those photos by email. We're in the third year of the project now, and it has become one of my touchstones. 

When I'm painting, I am always tempted to leave the sky for last, the way I'm tempted to leave the frosting for last. But it's important to get at least some of the sky on the canvas while I'm putting in the land and the trees and everything else. All the colors influence each other, and so, much as I might want, I don't leave the sky for last. 

***
PETER AND I were shopping the other day, and I saw cookie-dough Oreos. Yes, Oreo cookies stuffed with cookie dough. I asked Peter if he thought that was maybe sort of cannibalistic. 

"No," he said. "It's incest." 

Made me laugh. 

***
FOR FOKS IN VIRGINIA, I'm in Arts in the Park in Richmond this coming weekend, May 2-3. The show is 11-6 on Saturday, and 11-5 on Sunday. The show is in Byrd Park in Richmond. I'll remind you all again, later in the week, and give you directions and my booth number. 

***
Dog of the Day 
It's a mini Australian shepherd, whom I met in West Hartford Center last month. Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

***
A final thought

"I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart."

- Vincent Van Gogh


Monday, April 20, 2015

Andy - and I Love Pet Portraits

Andy
Oil on canvas, 12x12
Commission

I question myself about nearly everything about my painting, especially after a series of low-sale shows like the three I've had so far this year. One thing I never question is my pet portraits. I love doing them! And the people who commission me love them, too. It's pure joy. And if I could make our living doing nothing but painting pets, I'd do it! 

Pet portraits are sort of like the romance novels of the art world. People love them, but they're looked down upon by "serious" artists. When I first started doing shows, I thought I'd show primarily pets - but to my amazement, juries - the people who decide who's in and who's out of the shows - hate pet portraits. Don't consider them "real" art. 

Well, I do. I don't think of them as "pet portraits," really, but as paintings that are about beloved animals. Each is a challenge, each is an experiment, each is individual and filled with its own light and personality.

Someday, someone is going to hire me to do a 60x60 pet portrait. Someday, someone is going to ask me to paint a gerbil or a hamster. In the meantime, I'll happily paint dogs, cats and the occasional parrot. The 12x12 size is $350; I go up in size and price from there. I work from photographs, and am happy to include or exclude this color or that. Drop me an email if you want to know more. These paintings make the BEST presents! 
***
Dog of the Day
I met this poodle in West Hartford Center in March. He looks pretty calm here, 
but this photo was taken after several minutes of exuberant
 and amusing leaps of excitement. 


***
A final thought

"The real secret of happiness is simply this: to be willing to live and let live, and to know very clearly in one's own mind that the unpardonable sin is to be an unpleasant person." 

- Galen Starr Ross


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Two Hanks Are Better than One


Hank
Oil on canvas, 20x20

My first cowscape happened because I got a great deal on a big canvas at the Jerry's Artarama in West Hartford, CT. I think the canvas was 30x48 and I got it for $35. Usually, it would be more than $100. 

I got it home, and stared at it for a long time, wondering what to paint on it. I'd never had a big canvas! (In my life now, that's a medium-sized canvas). I realized that I needed to paint something big - because, otherwise, what was the point of using such a big canvas? 

So I decided to paint a cowscape. I finished it, and I loved it, but I figured I'd have it forever. (Want to see that first one? Click here). I'd lug it from show to show, and no one would ever buy it - because who on earth would want a big painting of cows? 

In the first show I exhibited it in, it sold! 

I got another big canvas, and made another big cowscape, and it sold, too. And I realized that I'm not the only person who likes cows. 

***
WANT  TO SEE my newest cowscape? Come to the Arlington Festival of the Arts this weekend in Arlington, VA. The show is today and Sunday, 10-5 each day, on Highland Street in the Clarendon district of Arlington. Click here for more info

***
Dog of the Day
A few weeks ago, I got a call from Anne Pinkerton, of the Paradise City Arts Festivals. She runs Art Buzz, which tells the stories of artists who exhibit at the Paradise City shows. And she wanted to do a story on me! The piece came out great - you can read it by clicking here

In the back and forth that we had about the piece, it came out that Anne likes the Dog of the Day feature, and has a couple Corgi mixes that she adores. 
I posted Trixie a couple days ago. Here's a picture of Trixie and Hank. 

Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

***
A final thought

"Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there." 

- John Wooden


Friday, April 17, 2015

Autumn on the Lake

Autumn on the Lake
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100 



In winter, here on the Eastern Shore, there's generally not much snow - though Peter witnessed the breaking of that rule this past winter, while I was in Arizona. What happens mainly is that everything becomes sort of gray. There's not much sunshine, and there's not much color. 

I was missing color when I made this painting.  I guess it could be brighter, but I don't know how. And believe me, it is at least as bright in real life as what you're seeing here on the blog! 
***
Dog of the Day

A couple weeks ago, I was contacted by Anne Pinkerton of the Paradise City Arts Festivals. She writes stories on exhibitors at the shows, and wanted to do one on me. Yay!

The piece came out really well - you can read it by clicking here. 

Anne told me how much she enjoys the Dog of the Day, and she sent me pix of both her dogs. So, meet Trixie! Her pal Hank will be the DOD soon.

Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

***
A final thought

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."

- Albert Einstein



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Four Sunflowers

Four Sunflowers
Each is 4 inches by 4 inches / $40 each or $150 for all four

 Here's another in the mini-painting series. I'll be showing these for the first time this weekend, at a show in Arlington, VA.

It's the third annual Arlington Festival of the Arts, and it takes place Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Highland Street in the Clarendon district of Arlington.

More than 100 artists will show and sell paintings, glass, mixed media, jewelry and pottery, in an area that the promoter says has lots of good restaurants and bistros, and interesting shops.

For more on the show, click here. When I know my booth number, I'll post it here on the blog, and on the Jacobson Arts website.


***
Dog of the Day
Abby, left, and Jojo have become the best of friends. Abby is a youngster, and is big and strong, exuberant and clumsy, and she loves to play. Jojo is at least 10, 
and - compared to Abby - is small and delicate. But she loves to play, too. 

When Jojo came to live with us, she forced Smokey and even Woody to play, but eventually, they excused themselves. Now, with Abby, she has all the fun 
she's dreamed of for all these years. 

The play is rougher than I'd like, and Joey got hurt last week, but she bounced back and was racing and tearing with her young friend after just one day of rest. 

***
A final thought

"If we did things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves." 
- Thomas Edison



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Angie - Not Baaad!

Angie
Oil on canvas, 10x10, sold

I've painted sheep before - at a small farm in Groton, CT, and at a sheepdog-training event in New Hampshire  (this last one is still available. Email me if you're interested!) - and I have some great photos of sheep from a farm around here. 

A couple contemplating a commission has expressed an interest in a rural scene featuring sheep instead of cows, and so I've done a little more exploring of sheep this past week or so. Angie is one of the experiments - and I love her!  So expect some sheep paintings in the future. Fun! 

***
Dog of the Day
It's Little Bit, campground cat at the wonderful KOA in Anderson, SC. The women who run the campground are real animal lovers, and have several dogs and a few cats. Little Bit is one of the cats who stay at the campground. When I was there last year, she was very shy - but she's come out of her shell enormously in the past year! 

Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

***
A final thought

"Act as if you were already happy and that will tend to make you happy." 

- Dale Carnegie


Monday, April 13, 2015

Four by Four by Four

Four Coneflowers
Each is 4x4; $40 for each, or $150 for all four

For a variety of reasons, I don't have prints. The biggest reason is that prints don't have the surface texture of paintings, and so, in a way, they are self-negating. You can see the texture, but can't touch it or feel it, and it doesn't capture the light the way the paintings do. That being said, so many people ask for prints that I am thinking of making some available on line, and seeing how it goes. 

Another reason that I don't have prints is that I always have $100 painting available. In many shows, prints sell for more than $100. So you can come to me and get an original oil painting for less than a print! 

But $100 is substantial money, and more than many folks can afford right now. So I am trying an experiment - 4-inch by 4-inch paintings that I'll sell for $40 each. I'm making them in groups of four, and if someone wants all four, they can buy them for $150. 

What do you all think? Is this a good idea? Is $40 a reasonable price for a small oil painting? I'd love to hear your thoughts. So far, I've done coneflowers, sunflowers and sunsets. I'll post them all in time here on the blog. 
***
Dog of the Day 
It's Patsy and Vinnie, from an Easter past. Patsy, the bulldog, 
passed away last year, suddenly and sadly. Vinnie is going strong. 

***
A final thought

"If you are distressed by anything external, the paint is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."

- Marcus Aurelius