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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Salt Marsh Morning

Salt Marsh Morning
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

The very first time I wandered into Wachapreague, I fell in love with the salt marsh. It was an October afternoon, and the marsh grasses were golden-orange. The sky was a glorious, thin light-filled blue, a sky I often see and always love, here in this place of clean air and boundless horizons. The ocean was a deep indigo beyond the barrier islands. It was a place I knew right away, and a place that promised endless fascination and discovery. 

The marsh, right down the street, continues to be a source of inspiration for my soul and for my paintings. I've watched it change through the seasons for a few years now, and while I feel I know its outlines, I'm only beginning to get a sense of its character. 

I made this painting from a photo I took early in the morning on my way to a show. I usually go by the marsh on my way to a show and on my way back. It is a ritual of sorts, a minor detour that seems to ground me, and often gives me something to consider, too. 

***
RICHMOND, ARTS in the Park, this weekend... Saturday and Sunday, 11-6 and 11-5 respectively. I'll be in Booth 90. Jeweler Cynthia Battista will be in Booth 333, and photographer Alison Thomas, Booth 81. Click here for more info!

***
Dog of the Day

Abby, left, and Jojo have become the best of friends. Abby is still a big, dumb puppy (she ate my spare pair of glasses yesterday; the first pair, she ate just before I left on the Origins Painting Trip), but she's smart enough to know that Jojo is the one who will play with her, and snuggle with her, too. 

***

A final thought

"There is no art without contemplation."

- Robert Henri



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jake - and a Wild-Sounding Show


 Jake
Oil on canvas, 12x12
commission

I really love this one! Jake has such an expressive face, with big soft eyes and a direct glance that melts my heart a little bit. 

I paint a lot of black dogs - also white dogs - and they generally end up blue and purple, like Jake. It's a way to get the depth, and the shine, the curves and the light and the shadows - and still stay away from black, which deadens and kills a painting, at least in my opinion. 

***
THIS WEEKEND, it's Arts in the Park in Richmond, VA. I've heard this is a fun show, sprawling and busy, with hundreds of artists and jewelers and basketmakers and woodworkers, and pretty much anything and anyone else you can think of! I've never done it before, so we shall see. 

I'm in Booth No. 90, in what's referred to as "the dust bowl." Hmm. Hearing that I was in that space, one friend who knows my ways cautioned me not to bring any wet paintings. 

The show is Saturday and Sunday, 11-6 and 11-5 respectively. For more info, click here.

***
Dog of the Day


Actually, there are two dogs in the cart... one on the seat, and one on the floor. 
They're both wet, gray-faced and pretty darn happy-looking. 

***
A final thought

"Creativity takes courage."
- Henri Matisse



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dancing Dogwood - Dancing Dog

Dancing Dogwood
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

In the warm places here in the South, the grass is already thick, dark green. Slivers of leaves are starting to show, and in the deep shadows of the forest, dogwoods shine like light. 

In town, the daffodils have passed. Camellias drop their ruby blossoms onto the grass and the bright-white candy tuft. Azaleas are starting to burst all over, and inland, they pile in mounds of pure brilliance. And at home, our dogwood unfurls above the bank of brightening red and fuschia, a spring dance that fills me with joy. 

***
Dog of the Day
When I was in South Carolina early in April, the family in the cabin across from me found this dog. The two kids named her Koa, after the KOA campground where we were staying. 

The pup was just adorable - and of course, a total handful, the way puppies are. They had found her in the road outside of the campground, and the campground owners put up signs, and the family went door to door along the road, but no owner showed up. 

We all sort of fell in love with Koa, who was an energetic, funny, sweet and full of what a friend used to call "puppy brain," that manic, fanatical impulse-driven thinking that puppies have. But the family had to go to Atlanta to visit a friend, and couldn't take Koa with them. They left her with the campground owners, not at all sure that they would come back for her. 

But on Sunday, they did, and I rejoiced! A good dog story with the best ending of all. 


***
A final thought

"Go not to the object; let the object come to you."

- Henry David Thoreau


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




Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eagle Nest - and Some Springtime

Eagle Nest
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

Eagle Nest, NM, is one of my favorite places. It's high in the mountains northeast of Santa Fe, and is a gorgeous, unspoiled bit of the world. Sort of like Wachapreague with mountains. Fans of "Longmire" will recognize it as one of the places where the series was shot. 

But storms were rolling in there, one after another, when I was out west this winter, and so I didn't go. But I painted this from a photograph, as a way of remembering and saying hello. 

***
Spring has come to the Eastern Shore! Above, trees along Route 13. 
Below, a gorgeous tree in a yard on Main Street here in Wachapreague, 
and daffodils at a neighbor's house. 






***
Dog of the Day
It's Booba, whom our granddaughter Samantha found, about a million years ago. Samantha is the new mother of Emmett, and is a grown-up, fully adult woman. She was a little kid when she found (and named) Booba, who has been an interesting and amusing cat for many years.

***
A final thought

"A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror."
- Ken Keyes

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Two Pairs - and that Paradise City Magic

Two Pairs
Oil on canvas, 36x60

I think this painting is one of my best cowscapes ever. I love the expression I saw and caught on the cow right in the front. I like the barns a lot, and the trees along the ridgeline, too. The white-gray sky seems to work in this painting, and I like the rich, undulating field, too - in spite of last summer's dismay with such green blocks.

***
THE FIRST BIG SHOW that accepted me was Paradise City, in Northampton, MA. (Here's my first booth) I'd gone to the show for years, and had applied thinking that I'd never, ever get in. The work in the Paradise City shows is about the best of any of the shows I've been in. I'd go, and ooh and ahh, and maybe sometimes buy something - and always, always, be motivated and inspired. 

When I got the notice that I had been accepted, I was just stunned. Honestly, I thought someone had made a mistake. I think that that acceptance is the single most confidence-building event in my painting life. 

When I left Patch.com, and journalism, to paint full-time, my first show was Paradise City. We were living in Connecticut, and I had packed the van and was ready to go when my brother called. The Hartford Courant's entertainment magazine had Paradise City on the cover, and the entire cover, the first day after I left the safe world of corporate employment, was a painting by me. 

Paradise City has continued to generate magic for me. I just returned from Pendleton, SC, where I had a good time and met fine people, but had very low sales. This is the third low-sale show in a row, and I was feeling deflated and confused. Then, Anne Pinkerton from Paradise City reached out and told me she was doing a piece on me for the show's online magazine.  It's a fine piece, and it really brings me and my art to life - and, in the moment, helps me feel that the low sales have nothing to do with me or my painting. Click here to read it! 

The Paradise City show is May 23-25, at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton, MA. I'll be in Booth No. 415, in the Morgan Barn. Click here for coupons for discounts on the entry fee. 



***
Dog of the Day


Stormy, a very interesting woman, came into my booth in Pendleton, SC, on the second day of the show. She was clearly a free spirit, and entertained me with stories of her adventurous and eccentric life. She was wearing a great cross necklace, with a Russian Orthodox cross scratched into a block of metal. I really loved it, and traded her a small acrylic painting for it. She asked, then, if she could take a photo of me with Buster, her Boston terrier. I looked around for a dog.... She put her purse down on the ground, reached in and pulled out Buster! He is cast iron, and weighs a ton (she said 9 pounds but he felt heavier than that). She takes photos of him all over the place. So today, Buster is the Dog of the Day! 


***
A final thought

"A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles 
than any wonder drug."
- Patricia Neal

Friday, April 3, 2015

Banana Dog


Banana Dog
Oil on canvas, 16x16 
Sold

During a slow time in a show last summer in Manayunk, just outside of Philadelphia, I took this photo of a woman and her dog, who is crazy about bananas. The dog - an older guy - was totally and completely focused on the woman's banana, in spite of all sorts of people and activity nearby (which I didn't paint). 

It made me very happy to make this painting. I am still a novice at painting people, but I like the way she came out, and I like the reflections in the window, too, and the people inside the coffee shop. The woman who bought this piece loved it, and is a collector of dog art, so how perfect! 


***
 "House of Cards" fans, this one's for you 
Yup, it's the peachoid! And there really is a Gaffney, SC, too. 

Why the peachoid is yellow, I don't know. 

***
Pix from the Road

I'm in Pendleton, SC, right now for a show this weekend, and thought you all might like seeing some spring-looking scenery. Pink and white trees are blooming everywhere down here, and the pollen is turning everything greeny-yellow. And it is warm! You all in New England, take heart. It's coming your way.

*** 
Sunrise in Wachapreague on Thursday. 

***
Dog of the Day
It's Tyler! He's Erika and Paul's dog, and is sort of the 
brown-eyed version of Jojo. I guess they are step-siblings? Or maybe just cousins. 

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


***
A final thought

"There is a basic law that attracts like. Negative thinking definitely attracts negative results. Conversely, if a person habitually thinks optimistically and hopefully, his positive thinking sets in motion creative forces - and success, instead of eluding him, flows toward him." 

- Norman Vincent Peale



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tangled Up in Blue


Tangled Up in Blue
Oil on canvas, 30x30

I love this painting. The colors, the patterns, the background. It sings of spring to me, and summer, and those long afternoons stretching out toward a warm, pink sunset. 

After I'd decided on the name, I heard that Joni Mitchell had been hospitalized.  It made me think of all the folk singers I loved when I was a teenager. In a way, I think I'm doing what they were doing. 

In just a few minutes, I'll be leaving for the Spring Jubilee Show in Pendleton, SC. I had an OK show there last year - not great, but not bad - and I truly enjoyed myself. I met really nice people, the show was organized beautifully, and it was a lovely, small show. Fun! So it's a pretty good way to start April. 

***












I visited our daughter Erika (above left, with her wedding dress) and her fiance Paul this weekend. I met our new great-grandson Emmett and saw his mom Samantha (above right). I saw our older great-grandson JJ (above right, with Samantha) and his dad John, our grandson Ashton, my brother and his wife and their daughter Larkin, and I also saw my sister. Whew. And it snowed the whole time, practically!

I also delivered paintings to Center Framing and Art, 56 LaSalle Road, West Hartford Center. Lori and Forrest, below, put all my new stuff in the window. Doesn't it look great? 

***
Dog of the Day

It's Anne Pinkerton's dog Trixie! Trixie has a pal who will be featured as DOD soon. If you'd like your pet to be the Dog of the Day, please send a jpg to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

***

A final thought

"A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm." 

- Charles Schwab