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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Good Day Sunshine


Good Day Sunshine
Oil on black canvas, 30x40

Earlier in the year, I came to the conclusion that I must - must! - make paintings that are bolder, brighter, and even bigger than I've been making. And so, I am on my way. 

When you visit my tent this summer, you'll see fewer paintings on the walls. The colors will be more vivid. The images will be larger. 

 I'm going to concentrate on canvases that are 40x40, 40x60 and 20x60. I will have some 10x10s, and I believe I will have a small bin of paintings on panels and perhaps on paper, or canvas paper. But that's it. 

I will have to get my thick skin on, and be ready and willing to sit there and wait for the buyers to come along. There will be shows when I sell nothing. But that's OK. There are always shows where I sell nothing. My point in this will be to sell bigger paintings for bigger prices, and to stand out from the rest of the people at the shows. 

When I make smaller pieces - and I'm sure I will - they'll be available from me on line, and in some of my galleries. And I will always be happy to make smaller pieces on commission. 

So what do you think? Good idea? Bad one? Am I shooting myself in the foot? I'm interested in any and all feedback. 
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The other day, it was warm enough, even late in the afternoon, to hang laundry on the line. I did have to put it in the dryer for a few moments, but if it had had 30 more minutes on the line, it would have dried! Amazing. 

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Dog of the Day 
It's Koko, sitting pretty in the studio. Most days, she's still too much of a puppy to be a good studio dog. But every now and then, she has a spell of calmness and sits or sleeps out there. 

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A Final Thought

"There is no 'must' in art, because art is free." 
-Wassily Kandinsky



Monday, December 28, 2015

Ashton

Ashton
Gouache and oil on canvas, 12x12

I was a bit disheartened after my portraits of Emmett and JJ - not truly disheartened, but a little, but determined to push on - and then I made this painting of Ashton, and it changed everything. I love this painting! It looks a lot like Ash - maybe an older version of Ash, but a distinct version of him. 

Making this piece taught me a lot. Hair makes a big difference. The nose is a good place to start - it's where I start in dogs and cats, so why not in humans? The shadows on his face in the photo I had were harsh and deep, and I was worried about them, but they make this painting. 

For a while, I had a sign posted on my computer that said, "Carrie, Paint the Light." It was a reminder not to paint THINGS, but to paint light, and shadow, and how light and shadow define things.  That very Big Lesson came back to me with this painting. 

***
At my site on Fine Art America, you can have my paintings printed onto all sorts of things. You can get actual prints, on paper or metal or acrylic block or canvas. You can get my paintings on pillows, iPhone covers, duvet covers, tote bags (these are really great) - and also on shower curtains. 

During the summer, I stay with my brother and his family often, when I'm doing shows or delivering paintings or visiting in New England. They live in Hartford, which is pretty central, and they have a nice bedroom for me. They take me in, they feed me, they put up with me, share their house and life with me. I know he's my brother, but still, it's a lot. I wanted to thank them, so I had a shower curtain made of a painting I'd made of their daughter and one of their dogs. 

The shower curtain is great - but their bathroom is very narrow, so narrow that there really was no place to step back and look at the painting, as huge as it is. So Rand had a great idea - to put it on Larkin's tree house. Doesn't it look great?


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Dog of the Day
Saw this giant at the SoNo Arts Festival this summer in South Norwalk, CT. 
Happily for everyone, he was very friendly. 

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

"Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master." 

- Leonardo Da Vinci 






Sunday, December 27, 2015

JJ

JJ
Goache and oil on canvas, 12x12

So here is the second of the great-grandkid portraits. In some ways, this was easier than Emmett's portrait. JJ is older than Emmett, and it seems that the younger the kid, the more difficult the portrait (at least for me). 

Kids' faces are still changing! Things are not quite where you'd expect them to be. The forehead on a child is different, in terms of how much space it takes up, than the forehead of an adult, for instance. The eyes seem to be spaced differently. The mouth is in a different spot than it seems to be in adults. None of these are huge differences, but they're all there, and they seem to matter.

Also, JJ's dad, our grandson John, is half-African American. So JJ is a quarter African-American, and has beautiful, caramel-colored skin. It's lovely to look at, but difficult to capture. This painting bears a passing resemblance to JJ, and it was a good effort. 

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Here's Peter in a hat Erika gave him for Christmas. The hat went to Afghanistan with a friend of Erika's, who is in the National Guard. I think it suits Peter to a T! 

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Dog of the Day
Met this girl at the vet a few weeks ago. She was not real happy to be there. 

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

"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all."
- Michelangelo



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Emmett

Emmett
Gouache on canvas, 12x12

Before Christmas, I set out to make a portraits of our two great-grandchildren, one still-young grandson and a beloved cat who wandered off one night and was never seen again. 

And I decided to try gouache paints, which are basically very thick, opaque watercolors. Another artist who paints with a knife had suggested that I try them. He said they have the consistency of oils, and the depth of colors, but they dry quickly. 

I learned a lot from the experiment. The gouache paints are OK. I really don't like that they dry so quickly, though in this case, that was what I needed. Given my druthers, I like being able to go out the next day or even the day after that and still be able to change the paint. 

Painting people continues to be a challenge. This one looks a bit like Emmett - but also looks a lot like Clarence, my long-dead grandfather. But stay tuned. My people improve! 

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Busiest Gal in Town 
Wachapreague is so small that our mail is not delivered to the house. We have to go to the post office to pick up and send our mail. Jackie Zang is the postmistress, and she's great. She's funny and cheerful and careful, and she goes out of her way to be kind to me, a frequent mailer. 

Jackie had her hands full throughout December, and especially in the week leading up to Christmas, when our little PO received dozens and dozens and dozens of packages every day, as opposed to three or four. 

Jackie will be very happy when December comes to an end. 

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Dog of the Day

Met these three in South Norwalk, at a rainy show this summer. 

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A Final Thought

"Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."
- Claude Monet

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Christmas Spirit

The Christmas Spirit
Oil and gouache on canvas, 12x12

One day last week, I set out for Wal-Mart, feeling grumpy and un-Christmas-like. For the moment, I'd lost my gratitude. I was unhappy with myself for feeling put-upon, feeling far away from the Christian feelings the season usually evokes in me. 

I turned from the Wachapreague Road onto Route 13, and in the gathering dusk, saw this old, beaten-down trailer, with Christmas lights shining in the windows. 

In that moment, my whole spirit changed. Those people, who clearly don't have much, had enough Christmas spirit to light the long, dark lights with their faith and their love. They changed my outlook, fully and completely. They brought Christmas back to me. When this painting is dry, I'm going to give it to them. 

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Thank you for the gifts you've given me - your attention, your support, your words, your encouragement. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share it with your friends. 

Merry Christmas to you all! 

Carrie






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A Final Thought

"Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye. It also includes the inner pictures of the soul." 

- Edvard Munch


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Heart in the Mountains

Heart in the Mountains
Oil on canvas, 16x16
commission

A while back, I received an email from a person who'd stumbled onto my blog on a day when I'd mentioned my blank-canvas paintings, and showed a photo of one of them. She was at a place in her life where the blankness of the canvas called out to her, and she was interested in having one of these in her life.

This was pure delight to me! I love making these paintings, but it's impractical to bring them to shows. They are just too fragile for the loading and unloading, people's dirty fingers, and the miles bumping over American highways in the van. So to sell one on commission, that's just perfect. 

***
 
One of the things I enjoy about living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is my frequent brushes with incredibly gigantic pieces of farm machinery. I rarely have any idea what these things DO - but I find myself strangely attracted to them. I have no idea why. So, here's one I saw on Route 13 the other day. Isn't it amazing? 

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Dog of the Day
Woodreau, crashed out after a long day of barking, digging and defending the property. 

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A Final Thought

"Painting is a means of self-enlightenment."
- John Olsen



Friday, December 18, 2015

Abe and Kahlia

Abe and Kahlia
Oil on black canvas, 24x48

I am learning not to argue against ideas when they come. This is a hard task for me, but is part of the learning process. 

Ideas show up in my head and my heart, and if they are strange, if they are different, if they constitute a detour, I balk. If I don't follow up on the ideas, though, they follow me. They keep declaring themselves, again and again, until I listen. 

It's like when you're dieting, and what you really want is a brownie - but you shouldn't have a brownie. So you have an apple, a yogurt, a piece of cheese, a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter - but in the end, you have the brownie, because it's what you really want. It's what your body is crying out for. You'd have been far better off if you'd just had the brownie in the first place. 

That's how it works with the ideas. I can't get to the next painting until I paint the one that keeps declaring itself. Thus, Abe and Kahlia. 

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WANT TO GIVE ME a Christmas present? 
Get ONE of your friends to subscribe to my blog! 

Send them here - carriejacobson.blogspot.com - and ask them to put their email address in the box at the top of the right-hand column.  

I'd appreciate it So Much!  I'd look even happier in my Cat in the Hat hat!  

Alternately, if you want to send me your friends' email addresses, I'd be happy to write and invite them to subscribe. 
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Dog of the Day

I met this blue-eyed beauty at the SoNoArts festival, in South Norwalk, CT, this summer. 

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

***
A Final Thought

"I don't say everything, but I paint everything."

- Pablo Picasso



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Spike

Spike
Oil on canvas, 12x12
Commission

Winter brushes the Shore with warmth these short December days, surprising and delighting me, bringing hope and life into a time that was starting to feel all too close, too tight and dark. 

Here in Wachapreague, Christmas lights brighten the long nights, and in the day, festive wrapping paper, holiday music and a parade of sweets and treats soften the edges. 

In a fit of cleaning out and tossing out, I find  my Christmas hat, and my Christmas spirit, though the latter has blown in and out a bit, like the summery wind of these past few days. 

Ghosts visit me in this time of joy, this time of celebration of Christ's birth. While I miss them, they remind me that I am grateful beyond measure for what life has brought me, for the time I spent with them, and for the love that makes my heart ache in their absence. What a celebration we would have, if they were here with me. 

Then I know, they are, indeed, here with me. They live on, in my heart, in my memory, in my prayers. It is a time to be thankful for all I have had and all I have now. 

And that includes you. 

***

THE 101 DOGS project is chugging right along! There are spaces left, for sure, but the list is filling up. Yay! 

The project is fun, it's good for art-buyers, pet-lovers and the generous of spirit and heart. You can check it out by clicking here

It's too late for me to finish a painting in time for Christmas, but if you want to give one as a present, I can email you a nice gift certificate that you can print and give to the giftee! Click here to drop me a line and I'll let you know how to proceed. 

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I HAD A GOOD time as the featured artist at the Jack Richardson Gallery in Onancock this past Friday, during the town's Art Walk.

I met lots of nice people who were interested in my painting. Many of them are artists, and it was fun to enlarge my circle of creative acquaintances here on the Shore.
***
Dog of the Day 
Yes, I know it's a lot of Koko, but I'm a little in love... 
Here she is snuggling with Smokey, her hero. 

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A Final Thought

"The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting."

- Vincent Van Gogh




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jumping for Joy

 Jumping for Joy
Oil on black canvas, 48x54

Those of you who've been following this blog, and my career, and have supported me and encouraged me over all these years, you know what a departure this painting is.

I've painted pretty straight-on, over the years. Yes, I use wild colors. Yes, I edit landscapes liberally. Yes, I build interesting surfaces that catch the light in inventive ways. But all in all, my paintings have been based in the visible, based in the real.

This painting, and at least one more (almost finished!) find their feet in the land of hope, rather than the land of reality. These pieces have come directly from the people in motion idea, and from the breadth of response that all of us seem to be feeling about the state of the world.

I was going to say, a couple paragraphs earlier, that my paintings have not carried any sort of message to date - but that's really not true. In the face of everything, in the face of all history and all humanity, I do believe in the goodness of people and in the power and fertility of optimism. I think my paintings have expressed that belief, unwaveringly.

And so, to that degree, my paintings have carried a message. It's the same as the message in this one, I think, though this one is certainly more overt.

So what do you think? I'd love to hear your responses to this piece!

***

 I'm the featured artist at the Jack Richardson Gallery this Friday during the Art Walk in Onancock. I think my stuff looks great in his window and up on his smooth gray walls! If you're in the area, please stop by. I'll let you all know how it goes.


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Dog of the Day 
It's Smokey, our big old bear of a dog. And the one who's chosen him is Koko, who's snuggling with him in the photo above. Smokey is Koko's hero, and it's a well-deserved accolade. In spite of his age, his arthritis and some eye problems, Smokey is optimistic, loving, always enthusiastic. And he is very, very soft.  

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A Final Thought

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home." 
-Twyla Tharp

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Small Fall - and the Art Stroll

Small Fall
Oil on black canvas, 6x6
sold

On the second Friday of very month, the town of Onancock (that's the Big City, when you live in Wachapreague) has an Art Walk. All the galleries in town are open late, artist studios are open late, and many shops are open late, too.

This month, Jack Richardson, a talented and well-known painter who owns the Jack Richardson Gallery, is featuring my art. Yay!

If you're in the area, I hope you will stop in and see the gallery, meet Jack and check out my new paintings in real life. The Walk runs from 5-8 p.m.

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I happened to be behind a Peter Pan bus a while ago, 
and had to wonder - Just what is Mr. Pan doing? 
Love to hear your thoughts! 

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Dog of the Day
It's Koko, waiting at the studio door. She's still not a great studio dog, but 
she's beginning to get the idea. She and Abby like it best 
when I have both doors open, and they can include the studio 
on their racing laps through the yard. 

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A Final Thought

"An artist cannot fail. It is a success to be one."
- Charles Horton Cooley







Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Abigail - and Sure, Stuff Again!

Abigail
Oil on canvas, 12x12
Commission for the 101 Dogs project

I've started painting for the 101 Dogs project, and I'm just as excited as can be! The project involves me making paintings of 101 dogs, then putting the paintings together in a book and a poster, and donating money from each sale to a good, dog-related group.

You can be a part of the project, at pretty much any level you wish - sponsorships start at $25! To get an original oil painting and a book or poster starring your dog, you'll pay a minimum of $375. Bigger paintings, and multiple paintings, are part of the project at higher prices. 

Patrons will also receive dog-painting-related items, from buttons to mugs to notecards and stamps, and more. 


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Yes! 

Prints, totebags, pillows, shower curtains and more, printed with the paintings you choose, at my site here, or search for me on Fine Art America.

Calendars - cowscapes, Eastern Shore paintings, dogs and flowers, available here, or search for me on Lulu.com




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Dog of the Day

Guarding the car! 

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A Final Thought

"There's no retirement for an artist. It's your way of living, so there's no end to it."

- Henry Moore