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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Alpaca Farm

Alpaca Farm
Oil on black canvas, 20x20

This morning, this wet and rainy and cold and dreary morning, Doc picked up a fallen baby bird from the wet grass and brought it to its death, or nearly to its death, which is even worse. I got it away from him and put it on a paper towel outside of the yard. I don't know if it was dead yet, but there was no way to save it. I could not bring myself to deliver the final blow. Couldn't.

The poor thing was tiny, teeny, and wet to the skin, and I can't stop crying about how scary and cold and painful its death must have been. I got so mad at Doc that I made him and his sister go into their crate, and I am mad at myself because I know it is just his nature, and I shouldn't be angry. Doc couldn't have grabbed the little bird from its nest, so it must have fallen or been pushed, but no matter what happened, it's just broken my heart on this gray, cold morning. 

I said a little prayer for the teeny bird, and apologized for Doc's part in its death, and for mine. I just hope the tiny thing passed quickly into peace, out of pain, into a soft, warm place far away from here. 

When I was young, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I failed calculus, and that ended my hopes. Now, I am thankful, so thankful, that I didn't make it. There's little in life that makes me more sad than seeing an animal in pain. 

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There is no Dog of the Day today. I just can't. 

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A Final Thought

"Art is to console those who are broken by life." 

- Vincent Van Gogh




Saturday, May 20, 2017

I Knew Love


 Knew Love
Oil on canvas, 20x20

It feels like I've found somewhat of a niche - flowers. Even more than landscapes, even more than cows, the florals elicit reactions and sales.

While this delights me, it also scares me a little bit. Do I want to be a flower painter? Do I want to be known as "that woman who paints the flowers"?

But then again, if that happens - for a long moment or a short one - is it so bad?

A friend of mine, Teresa Haag (click here to see her art), a nice person who is a fabulous artist, has a strong niche - cityscapes, particularly in and around Philadelphia. Her paintings are gorgeous, her palette is exciting, her approach is unusual and her technique is marvelous. At a recent show, a collector came into her booth and bought all her paintings.

This is every artist's dream, of course! I've thought about it a lot, since it happened last weekend, and realized that she made it more possible, more probable, by having a tightly controlled focus - and, of course, wonderful paintings!

I'm not a tightly controlled, tightly focused person, and not a TC, TF painter. I'm not sure I want to be. It's fine to be known as that flower painter - but I think I will always have cowscapes, landscapes, dogs and whatever else interests me, even if it dilutes my presentation.

That being said, if you know someone who wants to buy a booth full of bright, palette-knife paintings, heavily floral, please send them to me! Next show is Paradise City, in Northampton, MA, May 27-29 (Memorial Day weekend).

What are your thoughts?

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Birthday! 

ON TUESDAY, I turned 61 - YIKES! - and  I was overwhelmed by my birthday celebrations. Above, what I found when I woke up. Below, tulips from my dad and Paula. Left, my birthday dinner - meatloaf, asparagus and tater tots, cooked by my dear husband. My gifts included plants of all varieties, a water cannon to use for canine management (or whatever), a Stanley thermos, a gorgeous scarf and books, a cordless drill, tomatoware and two Buddha lamps, and a perfect tomato. Also, Peter is pruning the shrubbery around the entire house! About a million people sent me birthday wishes on Facebook, everyone in the family called, and I was treated like a queen. Thank you, everyone who made my birthday such a celebration.


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Dog of the Day


It's Molly, the feral cat adopted by Jacki, our postmistress. Molly was waiting for breakfast! 

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

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A Final Thought

"I am no longer afraid of becoming lost, because the journey back 
always reveals something new, and that is ultimately good for the artist." 
- Billy Joel



Monday, May 15, 2017

Babe

Babe
Oil on black canvas, 12x48

Sometimes, I paint on traditionally shaped canvases, 16x20, 36x48, etc., but I prefer square canvases or ones that have ratios of 1:3 or 1:4, so 10x20, 12x36, 12x48, etc.

I've written a bit about these long canvases , and how the shape can suggest content. I've thought about canvas shape ever since I wrote that "Dogwood" entry, and I think that part of my response to the odd shape comes from my years of working in newspapers.

As a page designer, and the boss of page designers, I spent lots of time working with photographs. At a couple of the papers - the Virginian-Pilot and Times Herald-Record primarily - page designers worked hard with photographs and photographers to put as much graphic power as possible into the art. This often ended up in interesting crops. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't, but the experiments always taught me something.

So the house in "Home Away from Home" (or, frankly, any of my "Big Field, Little House" paintings) doesn't need to have windows or porches or chimneys; the painting is not about the house. The dogs in my portraits (like Red) don't need to have legs or tails. And the cows in the long skinny cowscapes don't need to have legs, either, or noses. The crop focuses the painting on the interesting part, and leaves it there.

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Stuff I've Seen
My friend Julie is a master gardener and a member of the Eastern Shore Master Gardeners Association. She not only planted this beautiful shade garden, but also built the lovely, curving path through it. Her garden and others were open on Friday for viewing. 



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Dog of the Day
Another cousin of Doc and Lulu! Met this Australian cattle dog at the show 
in Tubac, Arizona. He was quite a serious fellow. 

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A Final Thought

"The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed. 

Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can. 
The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it's a job. 

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people. 

I call the process of doing your art 'the work.' It's possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that's how you become a linchpin. 

The job is not the work." 

- Seth Godin


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Storm on the Salt Marsh

Storm on the Salt Marsh
Oil on black canvas, 20x20

When I drove into town - on a lark, six or seven years ago - the salt marsh captured my eyes and my heart right away. I set up and painted. It was late September or early October, and the marsh was golden, the sky a light blue tailing up to manganese, and the light was round and bright and loaded with color.

I've painted the marsh again and again since that first meeting, and over the years, have begun to get to know her moods and colors, the rhythm of wind and season, the sway of the marsh grasses on a windy, rainy day, and the every-enticing colors of her landscape.

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Stuff I've Seen

On the way to Harborton stands this adorable little store, run by a woman named Eva. Every day, it is stocked with fresh vegetables and fruit, frozen soup, fresh or frozen homemade bread, and delicious-smelling baked goods. 

Eva's is all serve-yourself. Prices are written on post-its, and you're trusted to do the math correctly, not steal anything, and put your money in a little box on the outside of the building. 

At one time, Eva grew everything in the store. That, apparently, has changed, but she gets as much local produce as she can, grows what she can, and does all the baking. It's a real treat! 





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Dog of the Day

Met this guy out in Tubac, Arizona! What a beauty. 

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A Final Thought

"Art is the reason I get up in the morning, but the definition ends there. 
It doesn't seem fair that I'm living for something I can't even define." 

- Ani DiFranco




Saturday, May 13, 2017

Patty's Song

Patty's Song
Oil on canvas, 20x20

It's been raining here, raining and raining and raining, and while all that rain brings its issues - smelly, muddy dogs; a halt to the flower-planting; two leaks in the roof - it also creates a marvelous, quiet, focused atmosphere in which to paint. My studio (left) is the former boat garage, in the back yard, over near the west neighbors. On warm days, I leave the front and back doors open, and open all the windows. This is great for letting in the breeze, the sun and the light, but it also lets in the dogs and all their barking. Running in one door and out the other is a great game for them, too, and while I don't mind, it is distracting. But in the rain, my dog friends aren't interested in playing in the yard. Even when they are, no one is out to be barked at.

I've enjoyed the focused time to paint, and hope you like the pieces I've created. This one is from a gorgeous photograph taken by my talented friend Patty. 

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Stuff I've Seen


Hahahaha! Saw this turkey-painted rock on the road to Arivaca, Arizona. I love that someone saw this, thought about it and then went back and painted it. 

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Dog of the Day
Saw this loony Australian shepherd at the Richmond show. A cousin of Doc and Lulu! 

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A Final Thought

"All forms of madness, bizarre habits, awkwardness in society, 
general clumsiness, are justified in the person who creates good art." 

- Roman Payne

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Carrie, Samantha, Miranda & Charlotte

Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte
Oil on canvas, 36x48
Please click here to email me for price and availability

I had the great good fortune in February to meet a young man who wants to give his parents a cowscape, as a present from him and his fiancee before their wedding.

He sent me a photo of some cows in the pasture in front of his parents' home, and I made the painting and am about to send it off to him. I liked the grouping of cows so much that I asked if I could incorporate them into a different painting, and he said OK.

So... Same cows, totally different paintings. Fun!

Which do you prefer?

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Stuff I've Seen

 Wow! Double rainbow Saturday in Richmond! 


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Dog of the Day

Two beautiful Samoyeds at the show in Richmond this past weekend. 

They made me think of my Sam, who passed a couple years ago, 
but who I remember every day. He was one of the sweetest dogs ever. 

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

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A Final Thought

"Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can." 
- Danny Kaye


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cosmos

This painting - Cosmos, 12x36 - was one of a bunch  of paintings that sold at the Art in the Park show in Richmond, VA, over the weekend.

It's been a while since I've had a really great show, and part of me had forgotten what incredible fun it is to see person after person come in to the booth, be caught up by my paintings and fall in love. It's thrilling.

I'm still getting comfortable with selling. It is still hard for me to say, in essence, "Aren't I wonderful? You should buy my art!" I wasn't raised that way. Wasn't raised to talk about myself in general, and more specifically, not to brag about myself.

At times, I do it all wrong, and, more times than I can count, I've recoiled in internal horror at my blunders. And as many as I've made, I'm certain there are that many more - at least - waiting for me.

But when I get it together, I have learned to simply treat people the way I would like to be treated. In other words, don't really sell them anything. Let them fall in love and get out of the way.

If they want to hear a story - and many do - I tell them the story of the painting, or the story of my becoming a painter, whatever seems to be calling to them.

I don't talk much about price, unless they are having trouble deciding on one painting or another. At that point, I usually offer a bundled price. It's a good deal for me, and a good deal for them, and frankly, my paintings do well together. They like having their friends around. And sometimes, this is a great option for the buyer, who simply wasn't thinking about that option.

I never want to talk someone into buying a painting. Never want to "sell" a painting. I want people to want to have my art in their lives. That's the perfect thing. And that is when selling is a thrill, as it was this weekend.

For all of you who think you'd never be able to do this because you're so uncomfortable selling, you could. It is a process, and you will find your own way. I am learning, every show, every situation. It's a delight to be able to say that, at least this weekend, it was fun!

My booth in Richmond

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Stuff I've Seen
Hahaha!!! These are gas tanks in the town of Sonoita, Arizona

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Dog of the Day
This is my childhood friend, Susie Gorra, with her adorable dog, on the beach 
where I spent my summers growing up, in New London, CT.

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A Final Thought

"No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit." 

- Ansel Adams