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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Say a Little Prayer

Say a Little Prayer
Oil on canvas, 36x48

When I started painting this large floral, I wanted to paint a chaos of color and shape, a song of blossoms and springtime, a poem of shade and bright sun - and I think I got there. I love the little stream winding through the foreground, and the small surprise of the three daisies in the middle of the garden. What do you think? 

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I AM GRATEFUL for all the big things, my husband, my family, my faith, my success. And I am grateful for small things, too. The smell of lilacs, the tenderness of a sleepy little dog, the delight of a beautiful iris garden in a neighbor's yard. I hope you are feeling lucky and grateful today. 


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Dog of the Day


 It's Doc, suspicious, thoughtful, scheming, shy, devilish. One of my favorite dogs, ever! 



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A Final Thought

"The beautiful is always bizarre." 

- Charles Beaudelaire





Friday, April 28, 2017

April Dogwood

April Dogwood
Oil on canvas, 15x60

Often, I already have the idea by the time I choose the canvas, but sometimes, the shape of the canvas leads me to the idea for the painting. 

That was the case with "April Dogwood." I've had this canvas for a while, and have been saving it for something special.                                                                                           Recently, I moved it from the shed where I store many of my blank canvases to the studio, where I paint. I sold a nice cowscape at a recent show, and thought that perhaps a good longhorn would suggest itself.                                                                                           I was taking a break, gazing out the door of the studio when I noticed branches of our pink azalea reaching out past the corner of the house. I knew instantly that that was what I needed to paint on this 15x60-inch canvas. 
It's an unusual painting for me. It is delicate, and subtle, though I will say that, up close, it has lots of colors and lots of texture. I love the rhythm of the branches, the three-dimensionality of the dogwood flowers, the feeling of spring it gives me. 


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Thank you! 

FOR EVERYONE WHO participated in my April sale, everyone who took a look, thought about buying a painting, sent their friends to the sale, or bought a painting, thank you! It was a grand success. Seven paintings from the sale sold, and one buyer bought another painting from the website. I found plenty of ways to improve the process, and have some great ideas for the next sale. If you have ideas, please feel free to email them to me - carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

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Dog of the Day

(See above! It's Koko!)

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A Final Thought

"The painter has the universe in his mind and hands." 
- Leonardo DaVinci







Monday, April 24, 2017

Home Away from Home

Home Away from Home
Oil on board, 8x16, $125 including shipping
sold

One of the things I love about the palette knife is directionality - that the direction of the knife has such a strong bearing on the painting. Here, the sweeping strokes I used in the sky move your eye up, and the direction of the furrows moves your eye toward the little house.

 I do understand that maybe there is such a thing as too much movement, that maybe in this painting the sky detracts from the ground and vice-versa, and maybe it does -  but experimenting is the only way that I find what works, what is too much, what is too little.

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Stuff I've Seen

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Dog of the Day
Saw this great-looking guy at an RV park in Arivaca, Arizona, 
where you can bring your own RV, or rent a classic RV for the night. 

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A Final Thought

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."

- From Love Locks, a Hallmark movie

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lupine Garden, finished and in progress

Lupine Garden
Oil on canvas, 30x30
At Center Framing & Art, 968 Farmington Ave., West Hartford Center, CT

I posted some in-progress photos of a painting recently, and people were interested, so here's a series of photographs of a lupine painting in progress. 

I start with a minimal design, showing where I'm planning the large blocks of color. 

I paint in the darkest part of the piece. Sometimes, at this point, I put in the entire background. 

The initial flowers go in. These are destined for the final painting,
 but at this point, are also place-holders.

More flowers - and very cool shadows from the window to my left. 

Now I fill in the upper background. 


Continuing with the upper background, and starting to fill in the brighter foreground. 


Now that the background is mostly done, I can start filling out the flowers. 

And here's the finished piece. 

Above and below, some details.  

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Gentle Reminder
The April Sale has been a grand success. Seven paintings have sold so far, but there are still some lovely pieces available, at very good prices. Please click or below here to reach the page. If you want to buy a painting but pay by check, drop me an email at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com. The sale is on through Monday at 6 p.m. 


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Dog of the Day
It's Kisses! She was rescued by someone who had the courage to steal her from a home where she was abused and neglected. Then that person gave her to my friend Susan, whose own dog had died. Kisses has some understandable trust issues with humans, but is a great girl. 

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A Final Thought

"Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant; there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing - and keeping the unknown always beyond you." 

- Georgia O'Keeffe


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rising

Rising
Oil on black canvas
Triptych, 12x36x3

A couple weeks ago, a friend sent me a photo of baptisia, a perennial that I'm going to buy and put in the garden. But until that happens, (and after, too) I'm satisfying myself by making paintings of baptisia, or at least my version of the plant. 

I love the colors in this painting, and the way lights deepen to bright darks. I love the graceful sway of these flowers, and in this case, the way they run from one canvas to the next. 

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Stuff I've Seen


A few years ago, Heather MacLeod and I went on a painting trip to Atlantic Canada (check blog posts from June 9, 2010, "On Our Way,"  to July 7, 2010, "Northeast Margaree"). During that trip, we became great friends, and I began to realize how incredibly creative Heather is. 

This morning, she sent me photos of arrangements she made with pansies, eggs and carrots, on the occasion of this Easter. Aren't they lovely and amazing? 







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Dog of the Day

Dog and guy, same sunglasses!

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A Final Thought

"A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, 
those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened." 

- Albert Camus



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Blue Garden

Blue Garden
Oil on canvas, 16x16

One of my nieces is on a school trip to Italy, and is scheduled to fly back on Easter. The plane leaves from Rome. 

My sister is worried that in the current geopolitical climate, a plane with American schoolchildren, flying on Easter from Rome to the US, would be a great target for terrorism. 

While part of me agrees with her, most of me knows that I don't control much of anything in this world, including but not limited to countries with nuclear weapons, world leaders, terrorists and hate. And so, I could worry - and worry has crossed my mind - but I choose instead to pray, and then to let it all go. 

A few years ago, in a church that was connected (and I mean literally) to a garage where you could bring your car to be fixed, I was saved. It was an acknowledgement of my faith, a promise to listen, to be the best servant of God that I can be, and a prod to remember that I am not the pre-eminent being in my life, or in anyone's life. 

While I can't control governments or airplanes or the minds of humans, I can let the light of God, and of all that is good in the world, shine through me, in my life and most particularly, in my painting. I can't do anything to change the larger state of the world - but I can trust, and I can listen, and I can make my art. 

I hope you all find yourselves at peace, today and every day. 

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Sale


AS MOST OF YOU KNOW, I experiment a lot with my painting, and my guess is that I always will. It's how I learn. But it leaves me, at times, with paintings that just don't go with the rest of my current display. So I am putting a number of these pieces up for sale, at deep, deep discounts from my regular prices. 

The sale starts Wednesday at 9 a.m. There will be PayPal buttons on the page at that point, and you can use your PayPal accounts, or pay via credit card through PayPal. If you want to use a check, please email me after 9 a.m. First come, first served! 

The page will be up until about 9 p.m. on Tuesday, and then will be back, with the PayPal buttons at 9 a.m. Wednesday. 

Here's a link to the page: http://www.jacobson-arts.com/april-sale

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Dog of the Day

 In our house, we call this "Being Lulued."

 

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A Final Thought

"Here's to freedom,
cheers to art.
Here's to having an excellent adventure
And may the stopping never start." 

- Jason Mraz




Monday, April 10, 2017

Berthe Morisot



In the past year or so, the pull of painting people has become stronger and stronger. And yet, I have doubted myself.                                                                                             Painting with a knife, learning to paint without instruction, focusing on surface and impasto, color and movement, I'm not a natural portrait painter, by which I mean - in my surprisingly traditional self-valuing, judgmental way - that my portraits of humans are not accurate or realistic.                                                                                   To the way of thinking I found I had developed over most of my 60 years, I've realized that to me, this has meant that those paintings, my paintings, are not good. And so, much in the way that I have become comfortable painting houses without doors or windows, porches or chimneys, I became comfortable painting people without many facial characteristics. See Fisherman Joe, for instance.                                                                                                                           But then, happily, I think, for what it says about my own attitude toward myself, I began to want to paint faces - but still, not faces of living people, real people, people I know, people who could talk back, could comment on my paintings, and most especially, people who could be hurt by them, thinking that what I painted is what I saw. In fact, what I paint is what I am able to paint, in the context of what I see, nothing more, nothing less. My judgment, apparently, is reserved for my own self. 

It was at this point that the idea of painting artists came to me. 

The more I thought about it, and the more artists I painted, the more interested I became in it as a project. I'm experimenting with the portraits, with ways of presenting them, with ways of painting them, and with the choices I'm making. I can envision a whole wall of these small portraits, a way of celebrating the artists who helped shape our world, a way of expressing my own voice, and a way of learning and growing. At any rate, this painting is of Berthe Morisot, one of the three women who made some success in Impressionist circles. For more on her, click here.

This portrait of her is 6x12, and is $145, including shipping. 


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Tube Contest


There's a winner in the tube-cap contest! It's Sue Schneider, who guessed 126. The actual total? 128. And I admit, I am amazed. I'd have thought I used three times that much paint! They were the big tubes (225 ml), and as you can see in the middle, one pint of white. At any rate, I'm going to save the lids again this year, just to see if maybe I forgot a month or two (or six?). 

Thank you, everyone, for playing! For winning, Sue gets a 10x10-inch painting, or $100 off a painting of her choice. 

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Dog of the Day
Well, the Dog of the Day from a recent post was not Batty, as I said, but Shadow. Here is the real Batty. They both live with my friend SaraBeth, and Blanco, and they're all good dogs! 

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A Final Thought

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work." 

- Emile Zola


















Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sending Me Angels


Sending Me Angels
Oil on canvas, 24x24
Please click here to email me for price and availability

The other day, I was putting the background on a dog portrait, and decided to use some left-over paint, in the warm brick/adobe sort of range. The paint was a mix of all my colors, and if you looked closely at the reddish piles of paint, you could see veins of yellow, green, blue, purple, and on and on. 

I covered the canvas with the color, but in the end, didn't like it, so I scraped it off. 


To my fascinated delight, the canvas had been stained by the paint. All the mixes and threads and streaks of paint had left marks on the once-white white canvas. It was a beautiful, strange, exciting trail of colors, more complex and random than I ever could have designed myself.

I had a 24x24 canvas (thin, not the thicker gallery wrap) and decided to experiment. I covered the canvas with my left-over paint and then scraped that paint off. As it had the first time, it left the interesting streaks and whirls of stain and color.

I painted over much of it, though it is still visible in parts of this painting, especially the upper-right corner (honestly, I got a little taken away with the delight of painting these flowers). But there's something between the play of thin, scraped-off paint and thick, piled-on paint that is fascinating me right now.

When events like this come my way, when ideas fly into my head, or I discover by accident something that delights and surprises me, it's like God or Nature or my higher power, or whatever you'd like to call it, is sending me angels.

I am learning to listen. And when I do, amazing things happen.


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Stuff I've Seen - and Dogs of the Day
Yup, it's a two-fer, in more ways than one. For Peter's birthday, I gave him a dog DNA 
kit. He tested Lulu, the flour-eater on the left (black and white, not the little bichon). 

Turns out, she and her twin, Dr. Cooper, are part Australian shepherd, 
part Australian cattle dog, part chihuahua and part Golden. 

Who knew? 

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A Final Thought

"Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art." 

- Susan Sontag