Saturday, April 19, 2014

Grizzly - and Please Spread the Word

Grizzly Bear
Oil on canvas, 12x12

When I set out to be a painter, one of the things I didn't consider was that I might be asked to paint things I'd never thought of painting. 

Like a parrot - or... a grizzly bear. 

Audrey from Art Gallery H called and told me she had a client who wanted a portrait of a grizzly bear. 

So, OK, I said, wondering - can I really paint a bear? 

But I figured that if I can do a cat, a dog, a turtle  and a frog, I ought to be able to paint a bear. And so I did. I have to say, I love it! 

One of the truly amazing things about this life I'm living is how wonderful and how rewarding it is to just go ahead. If someone else believes I can do it, well, why wouldn't I believe I can do it? 

Bit by bit, my self-doubt is eroding - and I am thrilled. 


IF YOU LIKE this blog - and I sure hope you do... actually, I believe that you do! I know that you do! (see above) - please tell your friends. Email them, forward this post to them, let them know, one way or another. 

If each of you got one person to sign up to have the blog emailed to them, it would be just great. It would double my readership - and lead to more sales, and help me keep this little boat afloat. 

So... would you help, please? Pretty please? 

Thank you! 


THIS YEAR'S PAWS FOR CHARITY book is out, and it is just beautiful! 

This is a project I've had the honor of participating in for a few years now. Sara Harley chooses photographs and paintings from artists who apply. She puts together a beautiful book, and donates the proceeds to a shelter in Nova Scotia, where she lives. This year's recipient is SHAID, Shelter for Animals In Distress. 

And if you want to buy a book or two, here's a discount! Put in this code - P4C2014 - when you are checking out, and you'll get 25 percent off. The discount is not good forever, so you should order now! 

Dog of the Day

THIS IS CHARLIE, who was smuggled into the First Tennessee Pavilion last weekend during the 4 Bridges Art Festival. He was a great dog, happy and funny, and perfectly fine with being inside his little bag.

Just a couple nights ago, Peter and I watched "Men in Black" for about the zillionth time. I DVR'd it, partly because I like the whole movie, but mostly because I love the part with the pug. So, Charlie, WHERE IS THE GALAXY????

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nobody Lives Here Any More - and Paws for Charity Discount

Nobody Lives Here Any More
Oil on canvas, 10x20

The 4Bridges show in Chattanooga gives the artists meals every day! This is unusual, at least in my experience. Sometimes a show will offer supper on Saturday night, but here in Chattanooga, we've had dinner Friday, lunch and dinner Saturday and, I'm told, lunch on Sunday, too. And coffee every morning.

I'd been standing in line for dinner on Friday, and talking on the phone to Peter about the Red Sox and Yankees. When I hung up, the guy ahead of me turned around. He apologized, but said he couldn't help but overhear our baseball conversation, and he was glad, he said, that I was on the right side of the debate - i.e., that I was a Red Sox fan.

We got to talking, and this artist, Ken Herrin, told me that he lives in Chattanooga and loves it here. He and his wife had been living in Oregon, and they felt life was getting stale. So they decided to move to Chattanooga.

Friends asked if they had jobs here. No.

Did they have family in Chattanooga? Nope.

Friends? Well, no.

They thought it looked like a good place to live, and so they moved, and they love it here.

I saw Ken's art on Saturday, and I just love it. We had a long talk about "pretty" art,  romantic art, and how neither of us wants to make art like that. This is a conversation I've had over the years with Peter, and it is always good and reassuring to find someone else out in the world who thinks like we do.

Ken's art is sculpture made from found objects, and is funny and very interesting. And decidedly not pretty. Here are a few pieces:

And here is my painting in the landscape: 


ONE OF THE very fine things about this show was getting together with Maura and Dave Ammenheuser, and meeting their children, Katie and Ryan, and Maura's dad, Jim.  When I was the editor of the Carroll County Times, in Westminster, MD, Dave was my managing editor, and Maura was a reporter. We became friends out of work, and Peter and I went to their wedding and rejoiced for them. We have kept in touch, on and off, over the past 15 years, and I was delighted that they were going to come to Chattanooga. 

The plan, I found out last night, was concoted by Jim, who lives in Charlotte, NC. He started reading this blog after he saw some paintings that Maura and Dave had bought from me, for their home in Nashville. When he saw I was going to be in Chattanooga, he suggested that he drive south, and they drive north, and we would all meet at the show and share the evening. 

We went out to dinner after the show, to a restaurant across the street from the Chattanooga Choo Choo building, which is now a hotel and restaurant, and we had a great time. Jim was fun and engaging, Katie and Ryan seemed like great kids, and Dave and Maura were as delightful and smart as ever. It was such a treat to see them, all these years later, as parents, as a long-married couple, as people who have worked hard and lived well and built a good life for themselves and their family 


THE PAWS FOR CHARITY book is out, and it is just beautiful! 

This is a project I've had the honor of participating in for a few years now. Sara Harley selects  photographs and paintings from artists who apply, puts together a beautiful book, and donates the proceeds to a shelter in Nova Scotia, where she lives. This year's recipient is SHAID, Shelter for Animals in Distress. 

You can see a preview of the book by clicking here:

And if you want to buy a book or two, here's a discount coupon! Put this code in - P4C2014 - when you are checking out, and you'll get 25 percent off. 

Dog of the Day

This cat was smuggled into a room at the hotel where I'm staying... Reminds me of a memorable trip Peter and I made, moving back from Idaho, and smuggling our dogs and cats inside hotels from west to east. This one made me laugh.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring in South Carolina - and Paws for Charity

Spring in South Carolina
Oil on canvas, 16x16

Spring touched South Carolina with the lightest of hands as I set out to paint. A fragile, shining green dotted the tips of the youngest trees. Sprinkles of purple-pink weaved through the woods, a thought of love remembered, recognized. Sunlight slanted bright and narrow down the hillsides, lighting strips of grass too new to have been walked on, or crushed beneath the weight of anyone's life. 

And through it all - but only here and there - like  a sharp breath, a quiet explosion, a bursting heart, the dogwoods blossom, their white or pink or ivory-green sprays of flowers bright in the shadows, beckoning, promising, thrilling. 

It was all I could do to drive from South Carolina to Tennessee without stopping every mile or so to paint. 

My painting in the landscape

Paws for Charity

For the past few years, I've had the great honor of having my paintings included in the Paws for Charity project books. 

These books of paintings and photographs are made by a wonderful Canadian woman, Sarah Harley. She selects the artists and the work, makes the books, does the marketing and then donates all the proceeds to a shelter. The books are gorgeous, the art always interesting, and the project, of course, is one very dear to my heart. This year's recipient is a Nova Scotia shelter, SHAID, or Sheltering Helpless Animals In Distress.

To see a preview of this year's book, click here.  I think you will love it. You can get a hard cover, soft cover or e-book. 


THIS WEEKEND, I will be in the 4 Bridges Art Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It's supposed to be a good one, and I'm excited to be included! But man, oh, man, the hours are long - 6-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday. It's more time for people to see my paintings - but sheesh, I'm usually starting to head for bed by 8 p.m. on a show night (isn't that crazy?) 

So if you are in the area, please come and say hello! I am in Booth 120. And whether you're in the area or elsewhere, please think of me in the evenings and send me energetic vibes.


This is the best barbecue I have ever had. Ever! 
It came from the Smokin' Pig BBQ in Pendleton, S.C., and it is amazingly delicious. 
Not only that, but it was also enough for lunch, dinner and breakfast the following day. 

Dog of the Day
This is Bro, and he is just as sweet and sincere as he appears to be. He is funny, too. He "sits" on the couch, putting his back end up on the cushions, while leaving his front feet on the floor. 

Bro lives with Den and Alison Latham, whom I met during the show in Pendleton, SC. Den, who is a painter and a writer (check out one of his books by clicking) here really loved my paintings, and asked me to give him a palette-knife painting lesson. I did, and we had a great time. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Storm Rolling In

Storm Rolling In
Oil on canvas, 18x18, $380


I had the good fortune, while I was in Tubac, to be out and painting on a day when a big rainstorm rolled in over the mountains. 
I like the big warm clouds at the top of this painting, and the way they've blown in, and I like the strip of light that's made its way through those clouds. The afternoon felt like this - a little chaotic, a little dangerous, but soft, also, and rich with the promise of bright sun and fresh, clean air. 

I'm on my way to South Carolina for a show this weekend, and a show in Chattanooga the following weekend. It's a beautiful time to be in the south - spring has already showed up here! Fruit trees are well into the first phases of blooming, and the air is warm already. 

It feels a little soon to be on the road again - I could have used another week at home, it's been so great to be there. But I'm excited about two new shows, and about my new paintings, too. 


IF YOU'RE ON the Eastern Shore on Sunday, please stop in at the Island House for lunch or dinner and the Artisan Trail fund-raiser. 

A portion of the Island House receipts from the day will go to help build the Eastern Shore Artisan Trail. A silent auction takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There's a social hour from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., and then a live auction starting at 8 p.m. All sorts of artists and artisans have donated pieces for the auction. I've donated a pet portrait, so if you've been longing for one, here's a good chance! For a little more info on the day's events, click here. Wish I could be there! 

Dog of the Day

Here's my friend Catherine Leonci with some of her dogs and some of her daughter-in-laws dogs. 
What an excellent mother-in-law! Looks like a fun time.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fernando - and the Eastern Shore Artisans Trail

Oil on canvas, 12x12

If you're in Wachapreague on Saturday, April 5, please come to the Island House for a day of fun and fund-raising to help establish the Eastern Shore Artisan Trail.

The Island House will donate a portion of the day's receipts to the effort, and artists and artisans in town - myself included - are donating work for an auction and silent auction.

The silent auction runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; the live auction takes place at 8 p.m., after a social hour that starts at 7 p.m.

Artists and artisans from Wachapreague and beyond have donated work for the event, which is part of the effort to make the Eastern Shore part of the Artisan Trail Network.

The network is part of the Artisans Center of Virginia, which was incorporated in 2000, as a way to serve the state's artisan community by providing funding and economic opportunities to the states craftspeople and artisans. You can read more about the program here.

So while the Artisans Center doesn't really include artists (though I think it should), an Artisans Trail along the Eastern Shore is bound to benefit those of us who make art, as opposed to craft, just by drawing attention to the bounty of creativity and talent that's here on the Eastern Shore.

I am donating a pet portrait to the effort, so if you've been thinking that you might like a portrait of your pet, here's a way to get one, and help a good cause, as well! These paintings sell for $350; bidding will start, I believe, at $200, so you might even have a chance to get one below cost.

Here's a poster of the event:

I WON'T BE able to be at the Artisan Trail event, because I will be in historic Pendleton, South Carolina for the Spring Jubilee, my first show of the season here in the east. That show takes place April 5-6.

I'll be staying down in South Carolina for the week after the show, as the following weekend finds me in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the 4 Bridges Art Festival, April 11-13.

My show schedule to date is up on the blog now, with my booth numbers if I know them. I'm planning on fewer shows this summer than last, though at this point, the schedule looks pretty full.


Peter and I took a drive to Exmore and Willis Wharf on Saturday, just to get out - I realized that, apart from one trip to CVS, I haven't left the house since I got back from Arizona! I asked him to stop so I could to take a photo of the scene below, and when I got out of the car, these geese started honking and honking, creating a ruckus like I've never heard. And they are as silly-looking in life as in this photo.

Dog of the Day

It's Smokey, a little blurry, but happy and full of life as ever. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Long Shadows and a Great Opportunity

Long Shadows, Kendrick Park
Oil on canvas, 10x10

I really love this painting. On the trip, I started experimenting with some different ideas about light and shadow, and clouds and sky.  I am really excited to be painting them, discovering, seeing what works and what doesn't. 

This painting was the first one I've made in weeks. It took me a surprisingly long time to get my engines up and revving at my regular speed after I got home. The California Calling Painting Extravaganza left me utterly and completely spent, though I didn't really realize it during the trip. The drive from New Mexico to Wachapreague did seem pretty long, I will say that. 

And back home here, I'm dealing with unpacking and restocking, doing my taxes and recovering from a monumental computer crash that wiped everything away. Had to get a new hard drive in my poor little laptop. The computer crashed on Friday, and it wasn't until Sunday, while I was in the Mac store, that I remembered that I do have a cloud backup service. I've been able to get some of my stuff back already, but the rebuilding process is onerous, and I am afraid I'll have to build our jacobson-arts website from the ground up. Oh, well. Probably was time for a new look, anyways. 


I PUT A NEW protector sheet on my phone, and I never get these things right. I believe I didn't put the protector on the phone, but instead, put the piece of plastic that came packaged to protect the protective sheet. There's no difference until you try to take a photo from the front of the phone instead of the back. That's what happened to get this photo of me. I really like it. 


THESE NEXT THREE photos, I took the regular way, but through the window of the car while it was pouring the other day.


And then, yes, it snowed, even here in Wachapreague. 

Dog of the Day

Never got his name, but he was having a ball riding on the back of his humans' golf cart! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Outside Gallup - and Happy to be Home!

Outside Gallup
Oil on canvas, 10x20

I'm home again, in wonderful Wachapreague, and I could only be happier if winter were truly gone. I managed to miss nearly all of it, but since I got home late Friday, it's been sleeting, snowing and freezing-raining, all at about 33 degrees. Lovely! 

But no matter. I'm here with Peter, and the dogs and cats, here with my friends and neighbors, and with my studio and our pretty little house, here in our quiet little town, and all that has warmed me like springtime. And I had a great trip! I went from here to the Pacific Ocean and back, painted a lot, did three shows and got into a nice gallery in Tubac, Arizona, where my dad and stepmother live. The best part of the trip was spending time with them. It was great. 

Mostly, I was amazed and awed by how huge and spectacular our country is. I really had no idea that the Grand Canyon would take my breath away, that Monument Valley would call to everything in my soul, or that the mountains and plains and prairies would sparkle with such beauty and power and fragility, somehow all at once. 

All across the country, I met lovely and fascinating people. They talked to me, told me their stories, shared their lives with me, and I was touched and honored. I met a Navajo sign painter in Utah, who stopped and talked and showed me portraits he'd painted of John Wayne. I met another Navajo who fell in love with my dog paintings and confided in me about how much he wanted a husky dog, though the Navajo culture kept him from buying one. If he finds one, though, he will welcome it with open arms. 

I met Juanita and Bill Williams, both artists, from Norman, Oklahoma, and we became fast friends during the show in Albuquerque. I met a woman who makes paintings on feathers, a couple who makes jewelry from deer antlers they find in the woods, and another woman who lines the crevices in mesquite with turquoise chips, or river stones, then uses the wood to make tables and chairs and countertops. 

My friends Cynthia and Kevin came out from Connecticut, with their dogs George and Zack. Cynthia, who is a fabulous jeweler, did the show in Tubac (she and I were in booths right next to each other, which was a blessing) and we had a wonderful time checking out the area together. 

Throughout the trip, lovely people bought paintings from me, showed me their amazing art, let me pet their dogs, gave me delicious food, revived my spirit with smiles and laughter, and happily shared their days with me. 

So it truly was a fabulous trip, and an amazing experience. It was too long, though - and so the next one, wherever it is, and whenever it is, will be shorter. But my guess is, it will be no less fun, and no less full of adventure and discovery, and joy in the people and the landscapes of this great country. 

My painting in the landscape


Here's the river in Abiquiu, NM, near where Georgia O'Keeffe lived and painted. Aren't the colors wonderful? It looked like a sunset, right there on the ground. 

These mountains were on the way out, near Animas, NM.

The show in Indio, CA - which was a bust for me - took place in the Polo Grounds, spectacularly planted and kept up. And every morning, I saw people riding polo ponies! 

Sonoita, Arizona, near where my dad and Paula live, is one of my favorite places to paint. 

I got so tired of looking at myself with graying hair that I dyed it the color that it was when I was a kid. 

There were dinosaurs all over the place out west. This grouping is outside of Santa Fe, NM. 

Catherine Lenoci, a sponsor for the trip and a longtime follower of this blog, visited Monument Valley not so long after I did, and took this beautiful photo. 

 Dog of the Day

Here's Ollie, who was fostered by my friend Lori Rowe, who is a dog lover, a Red Sox fan and a fabulous painter. Check out her work by clicking here. Ollie is now in a new home, and while Lori misses him, it's a great new spot for him.