Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Three Geese

Three Geese / Oil on black canvas / 4x12 / $88, including shipping

YES, YOU'VE SEEN THIS painting before! But it didn't sell, and I don't know why! It is a charming piece, better in real life than in this photo... so I am posting it again, in the hope that it will find its way to its new home. 

I've come to think that that is what happens with paintings - that there is an owner, a designated buyer, for each painting. Maybe it's one, or maybe it's one of a group of people. But it is rarely casual. Again and again, I've watched people fall in love with my paintings. It's great! And it is visible - sometimes even at a distance. Someone will be way down the street, and spot a painting on the wall of my booth, and that's it. They have lost their heart, and they will buy that painting, no matter how little wall space they have. 

So I repost some of the bird paintings that have not sold, hoping that the reposting will help find the painting's rightful owner. 

Speaking of Shows

ALMOST ALL  MY SUMMER SHOWS are canceled. The one in Roanoke is still going on, I think, but I've chosen not to participate. I just can't imagine being in a 10-foot-by-10-foot tent with people, all wearing masks, all breathing (I hope), sweating, touching things - I can't do it. 

Some of the shows are hosting virtual, online shows, and the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is one of them. I'll be selling paintings online during the show, and shipping will be free. I'll also be doing an online workshop, like the ones I do on my Carrie Jacobson Artist Facebook page on Saturdays at 1 p.m. Eastern. (Click here to reach that page). 

The workshops I've hosted so far are all available on my Carrie Jacobson Workshop Videos Facebook page - (click here).

The workshops are free, and last about an hour. On the videos page, you can stop them, and take your time painting. The live ones just go! 

For Today

Biological Reflection

A girl whose cheeks are covered with paint
Has an advantage with me over one whose ain't. 

- Ogden Nash

Monday, June 29, 2020


 Owl / oil on black canvas / 5x5 unframed / $68 includes shipping

DURING THE GREAT CONFINEMENT, as my brother calls it, I've learned I can live without some things that, in my pre-covid life, I was pretty sure I needed. 

Art shows. There are some wonderful things about the art shows, some things that I miss terribly - the artist community, the delights of seeing artist and buyer friends, the excitement of showing my paintings to new viewers and old ones. But I do not miss the huge expenses, the giant outlays of energy, the exhausting days spent on 90-degree pavement or in brutally shadeless parks or parking lots. 

Lunches out. I enjoyed my lunches out with friends - but they broke up my painting days even more than I suspected they did. Having entire stretches of days to work is a blessing. My friends here are by and large retired, and tend not to remember that I'm still working. Still earning a living. 

Going INTO WalMart. I started using WalMart pickup long before the covid, but with two exceptions, that's the way I've shopped since March. It's great. 

Hair dye. Yup. The covid has helped me make peace with my gray/white/whatever hair. 

Starbucks. Or Dunkin' Donuts, or any takeout coffee. Who knew? Along those lines, turns out I can live easily and happily without half-and-half in my coffee. Back to black, as I drank it for the first 60 years of my life. 

There is plenty that I miss these days, every day - but plenty that I'm not. And I am delighted to be living a simpler, easier life. 

What have you found you can live just fine without? 

For Today

The Owlets at Nightfall

   The sun is sinking. Each minute the air darker. The night
thickens near the ground, pulls my body down to it. And if my body
is earth, then what? Then I am down here, thickening as night 
comes on.
   There are earth things, earthly, joined, they are snuggled down
in one manger, one sweep of arms holds them, one clump of pine,
the owlets sit together in one hollow tree...
   When night comes what has been sun in me all day will drop
underneath the earth, and travel sizzling along the underneath-
ocean-darkness path... There a hundred developed saints lie
stretched out, throwing bits of darkness onto the road.
   At midnight what has been moon in me will also vanish. I will go
down toward utter darkness and find myself in the prison cell with

- Robert Bly

Sunday, June 28, 2020


Egret / Oil on black canvas / 4x4 / $48 includes shipping


IT HAS BECOME SUMMER, here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. In the mornings, I can smell the marsh, rich with dirt and mud, salt and decay, orchestrated by the salt air and thick humidity. When we walk, it feels like we are pushing through a curtain of moisture, the air is so damp, so sultry.

The greenhead flies have shown up and they are vicious, biting and snapping at Liesl and the dogs and me, enough that we will move our walks away from the marsh for the next couple weeks. They chase us inland, still, but not as they do along the edge of the mud. 

There will be no fireworks this year, no carnival. The huge family picnics that take place in the park every summer probably simply won't, this year. But the part-timers are here, driving faster than the rest of us, whether it's in cars or golf carts. 

And yet, as all this is happening, the days are shortening - and if you focus, you will notice. I've squandered the long lengths of the summer days this year, unable to last, with any hope or optimism, much past suppertime. But earlier in the year, I gave up earlier in the day, so that is progress, and I am grateful. 

For Today

River's Tale

The river flowers where I abide
   with yellow jonquils by its side
And somewhere in its broad meander
   runs roses wild and oleander
It springs down from the mountainside
   where brooklets play at seek and hide
It lazes here where flowers grow
   to swell with pride in early snow
And then to find a peaceful end
   somewhere there around the bend. 

- Guy Wilkins
From "Day Moon and other poems"

Friday, June 26, 2020

Mountain Sunset

Mountain Sunset / oil on canvas / 8x24 / $185 including shipping

AGAIN, I FIND MYSELF TIRED, at this not-so-late end to the day. I did get up early, a little after 4:30. I transplanted some tomato plants and watered the gardens, and then Liesl and the dogs and I walked for an hour. 

I did a WalMart pick-up, attended a Zoom meeting, painted a little, talked to my counselor, then painted again until late in the afternoon. I loaded the van with paintings to bring to one of my patrons tomorrow. Now I am watering the garden again and wondering why I am so tired. But when I list it all out like this, it looks like enough to make anyone tired. 

Still, I recognize that underneath everything, I am indeed tired. Losing Peter has taken from me a few degrees of - what? - youth? hope? optimism? energy? all of the above?

My days used to begin with the thought of the joy of a day of painting and cooking and doing stuff around the house. Now, my first thought is that he is gone, and I am here alone. It is not all dark. Not all sad and dismal. But I wonder sometimes if I will ever be truly happy again. If I will ever feel the joy I used to feel. 

So I will take it easy now, put off the rest of the day's tasks until tomorrow, have a good dinner and revive my energy. It is all part of the process, I know. I just want the process to be easier.

 For Today

"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks." 

- John Muir

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Two Goats, Balanced on a Board Balanced on a Rock

Two Goats, Balanced on a Board Balanced on a Rock /
Oil on black canvas, 14x14, $350 including shipping

I HAVE PAINTED SOME BIRDS while I've been quiet here, but I'm holding them until July, giving the whole project a chance to rest a little. 

I've rested a little, too, though I must admit, sometimes it's felt like rest, and sometimes it's felt like being just low. Low energy, low heart, low soul, low mood. 

Partly, I think, it's because I decided against going to Rhode Island to see my daughter and her family. Just too many possible Covid intersections for me. Partly, it's just part of the process, I think. And partly, it's because I wasn't writing in this blog. 

I can't explain why writing in this public way is helpful to me. I've been writing in my journal the whole time, but it's not the same. There is something about writing for people to read that seems to help me heal. 

That means that there's something about YOU that seems to help me heal. So thank you. You're part of my rebuilding. 

For Today

"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other." 

- Douglas Everett

Friday, June 12, 2020

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager / oil on black canvas / 4x4 unframed / $48 including shipping


I'M TAKING A BREAK next week from my bird-a-day project. I've painted and posted about 100 birds, or pretty much one a day (weekdays) since January. And thanks to you, I've sold most of them! 

My wonderful dog-sitter is available and willing to come to my house, so I am going to brave New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, and get to Rhode Island to visit my daughter for a few days. It will be a short trip, but long enough to give me a break, let me see some new sights. 

The birds will be back after my trip, though I might start mixing some other new pieces in with them. And I do wonder whether the birds have run their course? I've been thinking of a series of small florals - a Bouquet a Day. What do you think? 

Thank you for reading, for buying, for loving my paintings - and me. I know it, I feel it, I appreciate it. See you in a week or so! 

For Today

RECENTLY,  LIESL, LEXIE AND I have been letting Koko, Doc and Lulu run, in the fenced-in ballpark down the street from my house. Koko and Doc had run several times before, but Lulu has never been off leash anywhere but the back yard. Her joy (she is the one with the white legs) and her speed are remarkable. A quote in motion! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Rufous-Sided Towhee

Rufous-sided Towhee / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68

IT IS A HOT DAY, and humid. It feels like summer, and not like the start of summer - not like the start of anything. In many places in the yard, the grass crunches underfoot. The flowers are wilty. I am wilty. 

A few days ago, Norma Hickman, who was the oldest person in Wachpreague, died. I didn't know her, but my friend Liesl was her dear friend, and spoke of her daily. Norma had led a fascinating life, and was an expert on all things Eastern Shore, including Wachapreague, and the families of the Shore. As I got to know Liesl, I wanted to know Norma, but by that time, she was fading too quickly for new people. 

The night Norma died, a bright but far-off thunderstorm bloomed across the sky. I woke to see the lightning flashes, and Liesl, who was awake through it all, says she saw remarkable blue lights. 

These are called blue jets, and are a very rare event, according to the experts at the Weather Channel. (You can see photos and a video here). 

The night my mother died, there was a remarkable thunder and lightning storm - the lightning exploded all over the sky, again and again, in a night with heat much like today. And it went on and on and on, with distant thunder, and for an hour or more, no rain. Just the sky, lighting up, welcoming Mom. As the sky lighted up Sunday, welcoming Norma. 

For Today

Sonnet 29

Pity me not because the light of day
At close of day no longer walks the sky;
Pity me not for beauties passed away
From field and thicket as the year goes by;
Pity me not the waning of the moon,
Nor that the ebbing tide goes out to sea,
Nor that a man's desire is hushed so soon,
And you no longer look with love on me. 
This have I known always: Love is no more
Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,
Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,
Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales:
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn. 

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Raven in Flight

 Raven in Flight / Oil on canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 including shipping

THIS MORNING, the birds are singing, the air is clear and thin, and sweet with the smell of roses and honeysuckle and some white-flowered bush whose name I don't know. 

Yesterday, I saw a hummingbird, the second one I've seen all spring. And last night, I saw a firefly for the first time this year. 

The garden is blooming with coreopsis and tiger lilies, hostas and hollyhocks, and it is a day with promise and possibility and all the sunny length and breadth of June. 

And in every minute of it, every moment, I miss Peter, and long to share it all with him. 

I apologize if my memories and my sense of loss are too much for all of you. I thank you for reading, and for sharing and for being with me as I work my way through this. One thing I've learned is to hold my loved ones close, every day, and be gentle with them, and forgiving, and always, always remember that we are all here just for a moment. Just for this moment. 

For Today

"The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live." 

- Auguste Rodin

Monday, June 8, 2020


Owl / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 including shipping 

MOST OF YOU KNOW, I think, that I am a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober since 1987. It's a vital part of my life - one that makes all the other parts work - and was a vital part of Peter's, as well. We always said that we would stay married forever - unless one of us started drinking, at which point, without discussion, the marriage would be over. 

These days, meetings are done largely on Zoom, and that means you can go to any meeting anywhere. So on Friday, I attended a meeting in Des Moines, where the father of a former Eastern Shore resident was speaking about his 53 years of sobriety. 

His main message was that he began to find success in life and in sobriety when he turned his will and his life over to the care of his higher power. 

I realized, as I listened, that I've been holding on very tight since Peter died. I have structured my life around tasks - the bird project, training the dogs, walking every day, losing the final 19 pounds. Getting rid of things. Clearing the house out. Task upon task upon task. 

That's been fine. It's been necessary. It's been how I have been able to cope. But it has kept me from so much that I value - discovery, imagination, adventure, exploration.

I realized, listening, that I've been clenching my fists around my life, clenching my body around my tasks, holding tight, as tight as I can - and understandably, since so much that I held and held dear was suddenly just gone. 

So I have vowed to loosen up. To hand it all over to my higher power. To quit worrying, as much as I possibly can, and trust that the joy and peace and love and protection that I have always felt in my life will continue, and will hold me safe, and let me feel like living again. 
For Today

"The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, 
think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised." 

- Norman Vincent Peale

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron / Oil on black canvas / 5x5 unframed / $68 includes shipping


MY BROTHER VISITED this past week. He was eager to see something new, some place new, ride his bike on different streets, escape his home for a while. I was glad to have him, as I have seen almost no one since March. I see Liesl, when we walk the dogs, and the occasional friend here and there. I see people at the post office, and most of the time, it's fine. But it was nice to have someone else in the house, someone to talk with, share meals with, discuss the day. 

We worked to empty the shed I have, and made great progress. With abandon and zeal, we tossed things away, and then we took our time going through boxes of memories, photographs, costume jewelry, things of our mother's, of mine, of mine and Peter's, and things that came from who knows where. 

If I had been alone, it could have been a sad task. But with Rand, it was fun. We talked and remembered, and learned a little about each other, even now, after all these years. 

Here are some of the photos

Here's me and Eric Bryson, going to his prom. 

From left, me, our sister Laurie, my brother Rand

Here's Rand last Sunday. We met for barbecue in Chincoteague, and it was delicious! 

Here's me with a tie-dye chicken made by Diana Davis 
and bought for me by my daughter Erika.

For Today

"Do a little more each day than you think you can possibly do." 

- Lowell Thomas

Friday, June 5, 2020

Wood Thrush

Wood Thrush / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 including shipping


WHEN WE LIVED IN MAINE, in a town called Bolster's Mills, we often heard the most beautiful birdsong emanating from the woods up the road from our house. 

It was a song that sounded like dawn, and like water, and like diamonds and like stars sparkling in the clearest of night skies. It was ethereal, and liquid and startling in its beauty. 

It was the song of the wood thrush, and you can hear it here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrmxlez2cAg

There are birds with more complicated songs, and maybe with more melodic ones, but somehow, the wood thrush sings to my heart, and always makes me feel as though I could soar. 

For Today

"If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Do not hoard it. Do not dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke." 

- Brenda Francis

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Three Geese

Three Geese / Oil on black canvas / 4x12 / $78 including shipping

THERE ARE PLACES IN MY HOUSE where the dog hair collects. It's probably a combination of the layout of the house, the air currents, the architectural and decorative elements, and where the dogs (and people) tend to hang out. 

In this house, there's an unexplained step up from the kitchen to the living room, and at the base of that step, the hair collects. It's right by the trash can, so every time I go to toss a paper towel in the trash, I bend down first and swipe the linoleum at the base of the step. And every time - Every Time! - whether it is one time a day or 20 times a day (back when paper towels were not a luxury), I collect a small pile of dog hair. 

I started thinking the other day that there are surely places in my life and in my mind where things collect, in much the same way. Bits of architecture and pieces of mental furniture where thoughts become entangled, where they stop developing. Where they stick and stick, again and again, and probably will forever. 

I think these are thoughts and ideas about people, and thoughts and ideas about plans - and even thoughts and ideas about problems. The thoughts hit the bottom of the step and just stay there, collecting dust, until I either swipe them up and toss them out, or just forget about them. 

For Today

"Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be." 

- Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Bluebird on Post

Bluebird on Post / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 includes shipping


I LOVE TIE-DYE. I always have, though up until a few years ago, I hadn't worn it in decades. But I had a couple pieces, and after I saw Peter wearing interesting combinations of prints and colors, I decided to start wearing my tie-dye pieces again.

Not only did I not worry if I had an interesting pattern on the top and a different interesting pattern on the bottom, I began seeking different interesting patterns - what a friend's mother used to call "fancies." One fancy was fine, she would tell him, but two fancies were a no-no. Whenever possible, I go for three fancies. Or more! 

A few years ago, I found a maker of wonderful tops - Cranky Girl Tie Dye (https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrankyGirlTieDye). I have bought Ts and sweatshirts from her for years. Peter was cremated in one of my Cranky Girl sweatshirts. He loved it when I wore that sweatshirt, and he coveted it, so it seemed right to send it with him. 

Late last year, I realized that I could get tie-dye pants, if I hunted for them. And I did have to hunt, but I found a marvelous maker! Her name is Carmen, and she is also on Etsy, at Ogeechee River Tie Dye (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ogeecheerivertiedye/

In the photo of Doc and me by the Dogfish sign, which I believe I posted recently, I am wearing Ogeechee River Tie Dye pants and a Cranky Girl tie-dye top. And my jacket makes a third fancy! 

The bluebird in the painting comes from a photo that Carmen took in her backyard! 

For Today

"The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; 
it is what a man or woman is able to do that counts." 

- Booker T. Washington

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Ninja... or Maybe Ginger

 Ginger / Oil on black canvas / 4x4 / $38 including shipping

LAST WEEK, DIANA DAVIS and I met some other friends at a peony farm in Exeter, and we painted.

The peonies (and is it pronounced PEA-o-nee or pea-OH-nee? I learned the first, but people down here say it like the second. What about you?) were really done, the owners of the farm said, though they looked beautiful to me.

And no matter. It was a lovely day, it was great to See People - I've seen almost no one but Liesl since March - and there was plenty of room to paint, and to be social while also being distant.

An extra added bonus was a pair of brown and white turkeys - named Ninja and Ginger - which I believe are called Buff turkeys. According to Petslady.com, the Buff was listed as a heritage breed by the American Poultry Association (who knew?) in 1874. 

Very few birds were able to meet the APA's Standard of Perfection (isn't that always the case, with standards of perfection?) and so the breed was removed from the Standard and became extinct. But starting in the 19402, people worked to revive it, and the Buff, or Jersey Buff, as it is called now, has come back into being. It is a small- to medium-sized turkey, whose young toms weigh about 21 pounds. 

Ninja and Ginger were wandering around the peony farm when we arrived, and as we set up to paint, they came over, interested. They seemed to like me (the peony farmer said they can see bright colors) but they didn't seem to care for Diana. In the photo above, they are nibbling her.

Below, one of the paintings I made from our day at the farm. 

Peony Rows / Oil on black canvas / 4x12 / $78 including shipping


For Today

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." 

- John Wooden

Sunday, May 31, 2020

White-Throated Sparrow

White-Throated Sparrow / oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 includes shipping


TURN YOUR HEAD toward me, little bird. What do you see? A human, maybe someone with food? Someone who could help - or hurt - in equal measure, and yet, you trust - but not so closely that I could reach out and catch you. Trust but be cautious. 

Still, with time and familiarity, you come closer. Not to rest on my hand or my shoulders - I don't have the patience to build that sort of relationship with you (though Peter would have). But you flit nearby, lighting on the clothesline where the bird feeders hang, landing on the ground close to my feet, close to where I stand the bag of bird seed. 

Turn your head toward me, little bird, and take my measure. These days will fly more quickly than either of us could imagine. 

For Today

"All paintings are artwork but precious few become works of art, just as the fact that a pianist who can play all the correct notes doesn't assure an inspired performance."

- Peter Fiore

Thursday, May 28, 2020


Jacorabbit / oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 includes shipping


WHAT DO YOU MEAN, he's not a bird? Whatever you do, don't tell him! 



ON A COLD AND GRAY MEMORIAL DAY MORNING, I met some other painters in a peony farm in Exmore and we set up to paint. The peony season was pretty much past, though the flowers that remained were incredibly beautiful - deep fuschia, palest pink, brilliant white, and rich with petals fragile as torn tissue. Gorgeous.

Here are two paintings from the day.

Above, Peony Rows, oil on black canvas, 4x12, $88 unframed, includes shipping

Peony World / Oil on black canvas / 11x14 unframed / sold

For Today
(a long one, but worthwhile)


This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open - 
pools of lace, 
white and pink -
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes 
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities -
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly
and there it is again - 
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world? 
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever? 

- Mary Oliver

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Raven / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 includes shipping


I USED TO THINK that the most boring conversations on the face of the earth involved someone telling me - in detail - about their medical problems. 

Now, I think the most boring conversations on the face of the earth involve people holding forth  as experts - which they are not - on the coronavirus.

For Today

Uptown, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Even though it's May & the ice cream truck
parked outside my apartment is somehow certain,
I have a hard time believing winter is somehow,
all of a sudden, over - the worst one of my life,
the woman at the bank tells me. Though I'd like to be,
it's impossible to be prepared for everything.
Even the mundane hum of my phone catches me
off guard today. Every voice that says my name 
is a voice I don't think I could possibly leave
(it's unfair to not ask for the things you need)
even though I think about it often, even though
leaving is a train headed somewhere I'd probably hate.
Crossing Lyndale to meet a friend for coffee
I have to maneuver around a hearse that pulled too far
into the crosswalk. It's empty. Perhaps spring is here.
Perhaps it will all be worth it. Even though I knew
even then it was worth it, staying, I mean.
Even now, there is someone, somehow, waiting to me. 

- Hieu Minh Nguyen

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Cardinal with Red Flowers

Cardinal with Red Flowers /  oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68


GUY WILKINS WAS a painter who lived in Wachapreague, and died a bit before we moved here. When I landed in town that very first time, dawdling on my way back to Connecticut from painting in North Carolina, the owner of the Wachapreague Inn looked at me, covered in paint, and told me I had to meet Guy Wilkins. 

Turned out, he was in the hospital, and I never did get to meet him. But I've seen his paintings in people's homes, and on line (http://www.guywilkinsartist.com/) and have heard about him from many people. I wish I'd known him. I think we would have been friends. 

The other day, painting in a peony field in Exeter, I heard one of the other painters say she had studied with Guy Wilkins. "He would tell me to stop right there," she said. "He'd say, 'It looks enough like a tree. Leave it alone.'"

I have much the same philosophy. If I don't insist on painting every last detail, I not only keep myself from getting bored and frustrated, but I also allow you, the viewer, to add your own ideas to the painting. Add your own details. Use your own imagination. I think this makes for a much more interesting painting for both of us! 


ON A WALK with three of my four dogs, Liesl (above, left) my regular dog-walking companion, and Lexie, (above, left) a special guest dog-walker, and I (below) saw this sign outside the crab-picking shack. It amused me - and the dogs thought it was pretty great, too. 

For Today

"A country where flowers are priced so as to make them a luxury
 has yet to learn the first principles of civilization."

- Chinese proverb

Monday, May 25, 2020

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl / oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68

ON MY FIRST PAINTING TRIP, which was well more than 10 years ago, I drove to Wisdom, Montana and back, painting all along the way. 

At that point, I was using brushes, and putting on the oil paints very thinly - almost like watercolors. I was often not bringing the painting to the edges of the canvas, a thing I still do now, but in a different way. 

I have a number of paintings from that trip that have never sold - but they're good paintings, ones I love, and ones that I believe have value. 

Since Peter died, I have been clearing my life and my house and my studio of things that don't work for me. Things that make me unhappy. Some of that clearing out has involved paintings. I have thrown them away, covered them over, even burned a couple. 

But I've saved some, too. The other day, I took the painting below, of an alfalfa field near Sandusky, Ohio, and I painted over it with heavy paint and my palette knife. In the process, I remembered that trip, and how liberating it was. And I remembered falling in love with yellow. 

That area of Ohio was rich with yellow. Overloaded with yellow. It was summer - July, I think, or maybe August - and the fields were full of wheat and alfalfa and who knows what all else. The sun up there, by Lake Erie, shone golden and brilliant, especially in the late afternoons, and the world took on a rich yellow hue that I'd never noticed before. 

On that trip, yellow entranced me. Delighted me. Warmed me. Romanced me. I painted as much yellow as I could, used all the yellows I had, mixed them, pushed them, begged them to hold the light and shine that brilliance from the canvas. I lived in a whirl of yellow, and I was in love. 

All of that came rushing back to me when I painted over the Sandusky canvas. And it crept into the owl, too - a happy blur of yellow on a warm May afternoon.  

Above, the original painting. Below, the refurbished one. Both are 12x36. Please contact me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com for price, shipping and availability.

For Today

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff.
 If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."

- A.A. Milne

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Mrs. Bluebird

 Mrs. Bluebird / oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 including shipping


IN THE MORNINGS, my friend Liesl and I walk three of my four dogs. Sometimes, we take Woody, but he is 14, mostly blind and mostly deaf, and, while he wants to go on the walks, and is pretty much capable of them, he is a menace, weaving all over the place on his leash, and stopping again and again, to poop in the middle of the road, or just to stop. It is a small miracle that I haven't fallen over him and broken things, on one or both of us.

I think that Liesl (our favorite Austrian) has a well-ordered and calm life - outside of the chaos of Doc, Lulu and Koko. And so it is doubly great that she helps me walk them. 

For months, we have been letting Koko and Doc run around in a little park along the marsh. At first, it was just Koko, with her leash trailing behind. Then we let Doc run, again with his leash trailing. I call them to me, again and again, and reward them with treats, and they've been learning. And the leashes are off.

But yesterday was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day, and Doc decided it was a perfect day to romp off, scamper through yards and pretend that I was calling him in some foreign language, or maybe in a totally inaudible voice. 

Wachapreague is a place without many cars, though there are some, and at that time of the morning, in that part of town, there are usually no dogs out. So it ended up OK, with Doc cavorting back not to me but to Liesl, who had Koko and Lulu on their leashes. 

After the excitement, I said that I was mad at Doc, and exasperated. 

"Why would he run off like that?" I asked. "He knows better!" 

And Liesl told me to be happy that he had come back, and to not take it personally. "It was a beautiful day and he decided it was a good day for a run," she said. "It had nothing to do with you."

Of course, she is right. And so I will make every effort to remember this incident in the future - and not only when the situation is dog-related. 


Would you please do me a favor?

SOMETIME THIS WEEK or next, when you read one of these blogs that you like, would you please send it to one or two friends and ask them to sign up to receive it by email? I would really appreciate it. 

The email sign up box is on the right hand side of the blog - http://carriejacobson.blogspot.com

It means a great deal to me when people read what I write, and also when they buy my paintings. The more people who see the blog, the better my chances of finding happy readers and happy buyers. 

Thank you! 

For Today

"Every work of art which really moves us is in some degree a revelation - it changes us." 

- Lawren Harris

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Australian Fairy Wren

Australian Fairy Wren / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68 includes shipping

I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF an Australian Fairy Wren, but I swear, I did not make it up. I was looking for photos of wrens, and this spectacularly colored turquoise and azure and royal and sapphire blue creature showed up and blew me away. 

Usually, I only paint birds I know. I am comfortable doing that, and it makes me happy. I don't care if I paint 30 cardinals and 50 wrens, 100 chickadees and 500 robins - they are my backyard friends, and their songs, their nests, their flitting selves at my feeders help create the warp and the woof of my days. I could paint them forever, and I probably will. 

People send me bird photos all the time, and I do love looking at them. But most of the exotics that people send (and this is what they send) are beyond my skills, especially if I've never seen them in real life. 

What I like best about the bird paintings, I think, is the character and personality of the birds. Capturing those things, in the tilt of the head or the set of the beak - insouciance, or braggadocio, or jauntiness - or just a little chickadee innocence - this makes me happy. And those things are things I've learned from watching my backyard birds.

But there was something wrenny about the Australian Fairy Wren, and then, there were those colors. My brother once said to me that he thought that if blue didn't exist, I probably wouldn't be able to paint. And he might be right. 

For Today

"The chief enemy of creativity is good sense."

- Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing / Oil on black canvas / 5x7  $68 unframed

SINCE I STARTED THE BIRD-A-DAY PROJECT, I have often begun my painting day with a bird painting or two. More or less at random, I choose a bird I'd like to paint, and then go searching for photos to use as the reference. Or I start the day by going through the dozens of photos I've collected, and choosing one. And then I start to paint. 

There's no planning here, outside of the plan to make a bird painting. There is no rhyme or reason. I paint whatever I feel like painting, and, more to the point of this blog post, I paint however I feel like painting. 

Here is what occurred to me as I looked at the photo above: I've made two cedar waxwing paintings, and both of them have had an interestingly smooth look, in the bird and in the background. Here's the previous one: 

The bulk of my bird paintings don't look like this. So there must be something in the cedar waxwing itself that translates it in my mind into smoothness. It could be as simple as the implication of "wax" in the name. Nutty? Maybe. 

But who knows what causes the creative mind to swerve and dip and go in one direction or another? I know I tend to paint cardinals looking like kings, and kingfishers looking like little ruffians. My crows tend to have wild, tumultuous, loud, squawking backgrounds - or not. 

No matter what you do in life, whether you're an artist or an accountant or an architect, I hope that - at least at times - you feel you have the creative freedom to respond to your subject in the way the subject demands, or requests, or implies. 

Saturday Painting Workshop

AS LONG AS THE GREAT CONFINEMENT continues, and perhaps even after that, I'll be giving painting workshops on Saturdays at 1 p.m. Eastern. Right now, they are on my Carrie Jacobson, Artist Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/carriejacobsonartist/

The workshops are free, and last about an hour. I use oils and a palette knife, but people use all sorts of art-making supplies and all sorts of tools. I show you how I paint, and walk you through the process - actually, I kind of hurry you through the process, so that you don't have a lot of time to overthink and overworry. 

This week, we're going to paint a photo taken by a friend. She and I have been exchanging photos of the sky, wherever we are, nearly every day for about three years now. This is in her backyard, and I think it will be very fun to paint! 

For Today

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily. 

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches. 

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled 
with light, and to shine." 

- Mary Oliver

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

House Wren

House Wren / Oil on black canvas / 5x7  / $68 includes shipping


REMEMBER THE TIME BEFORE what my brother calls The Great Confinement? Of course you do - even I do, with my ever-faultier memory.

Do you remember shaking hands? Hugging? Sharing food at restaurants? Restaurants themselves?

This morning, I found myself thinking about some of the small things - like using paper towels with abandon! Oh, sure, frugal me would go a little nutty when Peter would yank off five or six paper towels to dry his hands, but aside feeding my Scottish penny-pinchingness, it was unimportant. 

Now, I find myself drying my hands on a dishtowel, usually (I despise this) - and putting damp paper towels in a basket to dry out and be used again, to wipe the floor or clean up canine indiscretions, or wipe off my palette knives. 

I haven't seen a roll of paper towels for sale here on the Shore since the beginning of March. 

And speaking of the dogs, it now falls to me to do the, uh, prospecting. At regular intervals, I walk the yard with a plastic bag and a little scooper and see what I can mine. I remember when this was the nastiest thing that could happen to my hands. Now, compared to the Covid, the nuggets seem benign. 

Some Facebook posts that have been going around have made me laugh - "Remember when we were all terrified of Romaine lettuce?" and this one - "Every time I sneeze now, I wonder if it's allergies, or if I have only five days to live."

I usually don't talk about all this virus stuff in the blog, but the paper towel thing got me going this morning. I am glad there is a little bit of a light side, from time to time. 

Be My Patron! 

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS of Peggy Guggenheim, Charles Saatchi, Paul Durand-Ruel and flotillas of Medicis, you can become a patron of the arts! Well, you probably already are a patron of the arts - but you could become a patron of THIS artist. 

Here's how it works - you sign up to give me bits of your hard-earned cash, and you get goodies, including first dibs on my sales and my collections, free shipping on everything, even big paintings, and the delights of being in my inner circle. My patrons often give me ideas and criticism, and it's always wonderfully beneficial to me.

Best of all, you have the extra added joy of knowing that you're helping to keep me going. 

I have five patrons right now, and I rejoice in each and every one of them. 

For Today

"Paradoxically though it might seem, it is nonetheless true 
that life imitates art far more than art imitates life." 

- Oscar Wilde