Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blue Shadows - and More Thoughts about Landscapes

Blue Shadows
Oil on canvas, 10x10
sold

My blog posts automatically on my Carrie Jacobson, artist, Facebook page and on my own personal Facebook page, but I often post paintings I've just done, or paintings in progress on those pages, as well. This little painting sold on FB in about 5 minutes. And it got more likes and more comments than anything I've ever posted in all my years on FB. That's counting Patch!

I asked people why they were so drawn to this painting, and the answers included

"vibrant colors"
"It reminds me of when we were in England and the wood's floor was covered in bluebells"
"contrast, sense of depth, diagonals in composition"
"the play of light and darkness behind the trees"
"the light is beautiful, evocative and realistic and the depth you've created with that light is very dramatic and compelling."
"it's magical"

So yes, in the face of my recent musings about landscapes and their place in my life and in contemporary art in general, I am still painting landscapes - and I always will. My challenge now is to recognize the landscapes that have that magical quality, and then paint them in a way that captures that magic - and do it all while avoiding the dreaded "pretty."

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about why this painting works for you - or doesn't!

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FOR THE FIRST step down this new-ish path, I'm making this little landscape into a big one -  and I will have it at my next show, the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival,  Aug. 9 and 10, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Mystic, CT.

You will find me at the corner of Main and Willow, across from the post office, and near the bagel place. Or for those of you who grew up there, on the corner where Sandy's used to be. (I'm right about that, yes? Before the bead place, didn't Sandy's have that spot in Mystic?)

Here's the little painting made big, in process on the easel:


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Dog of the Day


MEET KAJA, DOG about town here in Wachapreague. Every day, her humans walk and run her about 5 miles. They often go by our house, with the humans either jogging or on a big three-wheeled bike. Our dogs gather at the window and bark like lunatics at her, and as soon as she hears them, she puts her nose up in the air - literally! - and trots by without giving them a glance, as if she is just so far above them, they don't deserve even a whiff of her attention. When we all met at the post office the other day, her humans told me they've noticed this, too, and laughed.

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DON'T FORGET TO buy my book! People love it - and you will, too! Click here to get a preview, and make a purchase. 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Coneflowers - and More Coneflowers

Coneflowers I
Oil on canvas, 10x10 
sold

Continuing down the path I started clearing the other day, I decided to try my hand at some coneflowers. And thinking about a suggestion Coach Joe made a couple months ago, I think I'm going to declare Fridays "Flower Fridays." Whenever I am here on a Friday, I will be painting flowers. 

Sunflowers, delphiniums, coneflowers, zinnias - what else? What other flowers would you like to see me paint? 

I do love painting flowers, even though I still don't really like "pretty." I think flowers are miracles of nature. They are pretty, sure, but to me, they are more bursts of color, bright proofs of God, scolorful examples of the science of Darwinism - and some of the simple and pure delights of summer. 

Coneflowers II
Oil on canvas, 10x10
sold

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Dog of the Day
Here's Vinny! He lives with Ruth Hamel and Tim Schreiner, in Red Stick, LA (Baton Rouge...). Ruth is a fabulous writer, who has an excellent food blog, and at least one book to her credit. 

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video

I always love watching milk curl and unfurl its way into iced coffee... 







Monday, July 28, 2014

Colors of Our Town - and Sam, Nearing the End

Colors of Our Town
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

OK, so after the thinking and the ranting and the sifting of ideas in my most recent post, here's one of the paintings I've come up with. 

It's our salt marsh, the one at the end of Bayview Avenue, our road.  I paint it often, and spend an inordinate amount of time looking at it and photographing it. It's beautiful. 

I am very much liking this painting, though it is a landscape. I really like the abstract quality I was able to achieve, while still maintaining the look and feel of the landscape I know so very well. I think this is different. I think this stands out. I don't think this is your run-of-the-mill landscape. I know I would go into a booth to see this one. 

What do you think? 

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Dog of the Day

This is Sam, our oldest dog. He is on his last legs these days. He can't get up by himself, though when he is up, he seems to enjoy stomping around. He's fairly incontinent, and he sleeps a lot, but he seems to be pretty happy most days. 

He can be maddeningly demanding and difficult, and I some days, I find myself yelling at him, out of sheer frustration. He's fairly blind and pretty deaf, but I still feel bad about getting mad at him, and I apologize and hug him, and then work not to yell when he turns over the water bowl for the fifth time today. 

Sam has never been the smartest of dogs, but he has always been the sweetest, and  makes me very sad to see him nearing the end. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Burros - and Thoughts about Landscapes

Burros
Oil on canvas, 20x20, $500

I loved this painting so much, when I made it for a friend in Tubac, that I painted it again. I love the colors on the burros' faces, and their expressions, and their big, silly ears. 

And I love that this painting is not a landscape. 

I've been having a rolling epiphany of sorts about shows, and booths, and buyers, and what sells and why - and more particularly, what paintings of mine sell, and why. 

At the show in Westport, CT, last weekend, I had a rare chance to walk around and look at pretty much the entire show, and I was struck hard by how repetitive it was. 

In booth after booth after booth, I saw landscape after landscape after mind-numbing landscape. Most were beautifully painted and beautifully presented. They showed gorgeous light, lovely pastoral views, with split-rail fences, spills of lavender or yellow or white flowers. Or they showed quiet beaches, with curling waves catching the light just so. There were rich sunsets, delicate dawns, pink and gold clouds - and after about the 10th booth, I just wanted to scream. 

Back in my booth, I looked critically at my paintings. One wall was a 40x60 sunflower piece, unlike anything else I'd seen at the show. One wall was cows and burros, and a dog painting, again unlike anything I'd seen. And then the other wall. It was thick with landscapes. 

Some were big, some were small, and I will say that my landscapes don't look like anyone else's, and I felt good about that. But still, there they were, green hills, rural houses, waves and beaches and sunsets and dawns. 

And what's been selling? Cows and cowboys and flowers. The paintings from the Southwest have all sold - in the East, they are different! -  and the $100 10x10 paintings always sell, no matter the content. 

So I am going to change my display a little. I am going to cut down on the number of  landscapes I display, and I'm going to stretch my painting to make them more interesting. I'm going to raise the number of cowscapes and florals I display. And I'm going to see what happens. 

I love painting landscapes and will never stop. I'm working on coming up with interesting ways to sell them here on the blog and elsewhere. Along those lines, I'm planning another painting trip, and already have THREE sponsors! 

But the show display will be different. 

At the bottom of it, what I love is to paint. I love putting paint on canvas, seeing the colors, seeing the depths, seeing the random things that happen. I love paint itself, and communicating, expressing myself through painting. Landscapes? People? Seascapes? Cowscapes? Burroscapes? It doesn't matter to me, as long as I am painting. 

I'd love to hear what you all think, not only about my ideas here, but also about what you like, what you see at shows, what draws you into one booth and makes you just walk past another. 

My booth at Westport

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Dog of the Day

Oh, my. Two feral kittens underneath the not-so-general store here in Wachapreague. I've read that one female cat and her offspring will generate from 100 to 400 animals within seven years. Sigh. They sure are cute, though.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Lighthouse Inn - and So Glad to Be Home!

Lighthouse Inn
Oil on canvas, 10x10
sold

While I was in New England last week, I found myself with an unexpected free day. It was the middle of the week, the weather was iffy at best, and so I thought it would be a pretty safe time to head to Cape Cod. 

I've never been there in the summer, and it was far more crowded than in the fall, when I've usually made my treks there, but it was OK. I got a very cheap hotel, woke before dawn and got out before most of the other tourists were awake. 

I made this painting in West Dennis, between rain showers. I set up in a beach parking lot, and while I painted, I was the only one there. When I left, there was a kid sitting at the entryway. He told me there was no way I'd be allowed back in. The lot was for residents only. 

"Even though it's a rainy day and there's no one here?" I asked.

"My supervisor checks," he said. 


Here's my painting in the landscape

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SARA HARLEY, WHO designed, edited and produced my "California Calling" book, also is responsible for the PAWS for Charity books, which display animal art by photographers and painters from around the world. Proceeds from sales of the books go to support shelters in Nova Scotia, where Sara lives.

I've participated for a few years, and have always loved it. The books are beautiful, and the cause is one very close to my heart. Blurb, which Sara uses to create the books, invited her to talk about her books for a video Blurb was making. Click here to reach Sara's blog, where you can find her video, as well as Q&As from the artists involved in the newest PAWS project, including yours truly. 

And to reach the Blurb page where you can see and buy my book, produced by Sara and showcasing art from my most recent painting trip, click here. 


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My friend Tiffany went painting with her mother recently at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT. It was a free day for plein-air painters, and Tiffany - who has done some painting - tried plein air for the first time. She said she loved it! Here is her painting in the landscape. 

My friend Candy also went to the museum, with her sister Laura. Here they are with their paintings! 

I love to see people taking painting into their lives. It makes me so very happy. I really really like all three of these paintings, and I congratulate Tiffany and her mom, and Candy and Laura on their courage, their vision and their paintings! Way to go! 




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Dog of the Day


IT IS ALWAYS great to come home after shows, always. And though this trip was only 12 days, and the shows were fun and profitable, and the weather was not too hot, in spite of all this, those 12 days felt like forever.

But I'm home now, with my dear husband and our many dogs. Here are two of them, scruffy and in need of haircuts and shampoos - but happy to be on their bed, together, in the living room with everyone, including me!

And here's Peter, who still makes me laugh, after 26 years of marriage.






Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Down on the Farm - and a Fly Genocide

Down on the Farm
Oil on canvas, 6x12

I've been sleeping around a lot on this trip to Connecticut... First at our daughter's home, second at my sister's home, and third, at the home of Cynthia and Kevin. It's been fun, and I've seen a lot of Connecticut on the way. 

This small painting, which I love for its green and its quiet, I made somewhere near Storrs, on Spring Valley Farm,  a student farm owned by the University of Connecticut. I didn't see much farming happening, and I saw no farmers at all. 

But I did see a gigantic number of flies, which buzzed and droned and flew and crawled all over me, and all over the van, the entire time I painted. 

I just gritted my teeth and concentrated and applied myself to my painting and ignored the flies. If I'd started swatting them, I'd never have finished the painting. 

But afterwards, in the van, I was the architect of a fly massacre. I smacked flies, lunged at flies, hit flies, targeted flies, bashed and smashed and murdered flies, in cold blood. And still, three of them drove with me for the entire afternoon. 

Honestly, I admit, I did feel bad about killing the flies. They really weren't doing me any harm, and they are God's creatures, but I just couldn't stand them.  

Here's my painting in the landscape. 

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DON'T FORGET the Westport Fine Arts Fair, on Saturday and Sunday! It takes place in downtown Westport, at the edge of the parking lot behind the main shopping area, and it looks like an excellent show. I'll be in Booth 60, near the entrance to the "island." (You'll see!) For more info, click here. 

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Dog of the Day

It's Lori Rowe's cutie, Bella Tomato! Want your dog to be the Dog of the Day? 
Send a photo to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 7 - and Westport Fine Arts Festival

July 7
Oil on canvas, 10x10

About 200 people live in our little town, and most of them only live there part-time. 

There is a mayor and a council, and a nice woman, Lynn, who works about 20 hours a week in the town hall. Then there is the public works staff, which is JD and John. They fix stuff that breaks, paint stuff that needs it, mow the grass, trim around the signs, pick up the trash and generally keep the town looking spiffy.

On Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and perhaps some other holidays that I can't remember right now, JD and John put up flags on the telephone poles on Main Street. I love the way the street looks with the flags flying and snapping in the breeze. It's festive, and fun, and reminds me to be glad that I am an American, and to be extra glad that we live where we live. 

I always hate to see the flags come down! I'd leave them up all year, if it were up to me. But they do come down, and perhaps that's part of what makes it feel so special and so festive when they are flying. 

I happened to be walking by while JD and John were taking the flags down, on the Monday after July 4. JD was driving, and John was doing the taking down. 

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THE WESTPORT FINE Arts Festival takes place this weekend in Westport, CT. The show runs from 10-6 on Saturday, and 10-5 on Sunday. I'll be in Booth 60, near the entrance to Gorham Island. Basically, the show will be set up along the river edge of the parking lot behind the main shopping area in downtown Westport. I hope to see you there! 

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I HAD GRAND success at the Wickford Fine Arts Festival this weekend. A bunch of paintings sold, including "Dreaming of Tuscany," the large vertical on the wall below, and "Summertime!" a big, big, BIG sunflower painting. 

I have to say that the people who buy and collect my paintings (as you can see from the photo below, Andy and Ann Affleck are pretty serious collectors) are just the best people in the world. It doesn't feel like I am just selling paintings to them, but that they are sharing their lives with me, and that my paintings are part of their lives. It is a joyful experience for me, and I am always, always grateful. 



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Dog of the Day

One of the great things about doing the Wickford show was staying with Erika. 
Potsie is not quite as excited about this as I am, I guess...