Friday, January 17, 2020

Bluebird on the Wing

Bluebird on the Wing / Oil on black canvas / unframed / 5x7 $68


I MYSELF WILL BE on the wing soon, heading to Arizona to spend a few good weeks with my dad and stepmother. I am hoping to encounter sunny days, and warmth - and I know I will be in a landscape I love, and with people who are dear to me. 

I will be posting a bird a day on my trip, if I can find good, safe internet - and will be painting birds while I'm out there. Also while I'm there, I'll be showing and selling my paintings during the Tubac show, Feb. 6-9. I'll be on the patio at Sweet Poppy, near Shelby's on the Tubac Road. 

You, my faithful blog readers, have probably already figured this out, but just in case, the Bird A Day birds show up first here on the blog, if everything works right. Then, I post them on Facebook and, then, if they're still available, on my website, Jacobson Arts. I try to get the blog to SEND at specific times, so that the birds appear in your inboxes before they show up anywhere else, but that seems to be beyond my control. So if you want to have first dibs on the birds, check this blog in the mornings. 

For Today

"Measure your health by your sympathy with morning and spring. If there is no response in you to the awakening of nature - if the prospect of an early morning walk does not banish sleep, if the warble of the first bluebird does not thrill you - know that the morning and spring 
of your life are past. Thus may you feel your pulse."

- Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Goldfinch, Oil on black canvas, 5x7, unframed, $68

AT THE HEIGHT OF SUMMER, goldfinches are brilliant bits of color, flitting around the yard. But they're not always that color. In the winter and the spring, they are a dull yellow, almost olive, a color no one would ever describe as "gold." 

Of course, this winter is an especially dark one for me, but truly, I feel that I am much like the goldfinch. Dull in winter. Sapped of color, of energy, of drive. I don't flit, I plod. 

In a week or so, I head to Arizona for a month, to see my dad and Paula, and to do a show - in a different way than usual. During the Tubac show, Feb. 5-9, I will be set up on the patio at Sweet Poppy, 19 Tubac Road, near Shelby's. 

I am hoping that by the time I drive through Texas and New Mexico and Arizona, and spend a week or so in the sun, that I will start to get my golden goldfinch color back. 

For Today

"Fortunately, however, birds don't understand pep talks. Not even St. Francis'. Just imagine, he went on, preaching sermons to perfectly good thrushes and goldfinches and chiff-chaffs! What presumption1 Why couldn't he have kept his mouth shut and let the birds preach to him? "

- Aldous Huxley

Note from me, Carrie - I am a big fan of St. Francis, and I believe that he did let the birds preach to him. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse / oil on black canvas, unframed, 5x7, $68 including shipping





Deep inside, or maybe not so deep, I am 8 years old. 

For Today

Wind is a part of weather we experience all the time, but why does it actually happen? The air will be still one day, and the next, powerful gusts of wind can knock down trees. What is going on here?
The main cause of wind is a little surprising. It’s actually temperature. More specifically, it’s differences in temperature between different areas.

How would temperature differences make the wind blow?

The gases that make up our atmosphere do interesting things as the temperatures change. When gases warm up, the atoms and molecules move faster, spread out, and rise. That’s why steam coming off a pot of boiling water always goes upward. When air is colder, the gases get slower and closer together. Colder air sinks.

The sun warms up the air, but it does so unevenly. Because the sun hits different parts of the Earth at different angles, and because Earth has oceans, mountains, and other features, some places are warmer than others. Because of this, we get pockets of warm air and cold air.

Different temperatures lead to different pressures

Since gases behave differently at different temperatures, that means you also get pockets with high pressure and pockets with low pressure. In areas of high pressure, the gases in the air are more crowded. In low pressure zones, the gases are a little more spread out.
You might think that the warm air would lead to a higher pressure area, but actually the opposite is true. Because warm air rises, it leaves behind an area of low pressure behind it.

Here comes the wind!

Now we’re getting to the part where wind happens. Gases move from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas. And the bigger the difference between the pressures, the faster the air will move from the high to the low pressure. That rush of air is the wind we experience.

But why does the air move at all?

You might be wondering why the air would move from high pressure to low pressure in the first place. This is something that happens in nature all the time: things always try to even out. It’s called diffusion.

Even people do it! When people get onto a bus, do they all sit on the same side of the bus first? Do strangers sit next to each other when there are plenty of open seats? No way. People want to spread out as much as possible.

Next time you feel the wind blow, think about where it’s going, and what temperatures and pressures are causing it to do that.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Crow on Red

Crow on Red / Oil on black canvas, 5x7 unframed/ $68


WHEN PETER WAS A BOY, his father brought home all sorts of animals. Most were babies, many were wounded. Some, Peter thought, had fallen out of their nests, or been pushed out, as they were often not quite right. But Peter always thought his dad was not quite right, and Peter sometimes wondered whether the elder Jacobson had stalked the nests and dens and burrows and stolen the babies. There was not much love lost in that relationship.

All that being said, when Peter was 15 or so, his father brought home a crow. Sam was smart, in the way of crows. He learned that the neighbor lady was afraid of dogs, and Sam learned to bark and would bark at her whenever she came out to hang the laundry.

And Sam collected things, bright things - wooden clothespins with the clamping mechanism still shiny, coins, bits of tinfoil, pieces of costume jewelry. After Sam left, Peter looked inside a tire in the garage and found where Sam had stashed his shiny treasures.

The other day, I found myself across the highway from a Cabela's store, and I started weeping. Long ago, before Cabela's had stores everywhere, I drove to Wisdom, Montana, on my first painting trip. In Nebraska, Chappell, to be exact, I saw the original Cabela's and I got off the highway to visit.

I went around the town and the store, talked to people, took photos, bought stuff, and then called Peter to tell him about my adventure.

I didn't stop because I was personally interested in Cabela's. I really didn't care. But the catalog had come to our home as long as we had been together, and Peter had always received it with excitement. I knew this stop would make him happy. And that made me happy, making him happy.

And so, I sat in the parking lot across the road from the Cabela's and I understood for a moment who I was and who I am, and what I've lost, and I wept.

Then I dried my eyes and I set off, on my way, watching the landscape unfold. I am a seeker, an adventurer, a gatherer of bright and shiny things - paintings, experiences, a bit of jewelry, a shiny sun-filled dawn, a sparkly promise of new horizons.

For Today

The crows in your neighborhood know your block better than you do. They know the garbage truck routes. They know which kids drop animal crackers and which ones throw rocks. They know the pet dogs, and they might even play with the friendly ones. If you feed them, they probably not only recognize you but your car as well, and they might just leave you trinkets in return. These birds live their lives intertwined with ours, carefully observing us even as most of us barely take note of them. That’s how they survive, and they’re good at it: In recent decades the American Crow has taken over our suburbs, and even moved into the hearts of our big cities. As we’ve reshaped the landscape, we’ve created an ideal environment for an animal that is canny and perceptive enough to exploit our riches.
If you have time to read the entire article, please do. It's fascinating! 

Chickadee on Cherry Branch

Chickadee on Cherry Branch / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 /  $68 including shipping


THE LITTLE BIRDS - the chickadees and wrens, the sparrows and titmice, the little brown and gray guys - the little birds seem cheery, going about their business without bustle or fuss.

I know this is me anthropomorphizing, but I do watch them, I do pay attention, and really, the little birds have their quiet ways. Some flit up to the feeders and eat there, but most eat on the ground, feasting on seeds the bigger birds toss aside.

The little ones generally don't squawk or fight like the jays, though I've seen them steal plenty of seeds from each other. They don't insist like the cardinals, though I've seen them push and shove and barge their way in. They don't collect devouring clouds like the starlings and crows, though I've seen gangs of them fluttering at the base of a feeder.

They flit and perch, shake their mundane feathers, tip their often drab heads and stay mostly in the background, as important as all the others, but staying quiet about it.

For Today

"Little flocks of Black-capped Chickadees enliven the winter woods with their active behavior and their cheery-sounding chick-a-dee callnotes as they fly from tree to tree, often accompanied by an assortment of nuthatches, creepers, kinglets, and other birds. This is a very popular bird across the northern United States and southern Canada, always welcomed at bird feeders, where it may take sunflower seeds one at time and fly away to stuff them into bark crevices. "

- From the Audubon Guide to North American Birds

Friday, January 10, 2020

Cardinal on a Snowy Branch

Cardinal on Snowy Branch / Oil on black canvas, unframed, $68


Sometimes, I miss the winter days, the way the sharp cold light drains the color from the sky - or adds it, either way, shifting it, reminding me of growing up, winters in Connecticut, the sky so close, a part of the day in ways it wouldn't be again for years, until I started painting. Until I started looking.

The cardinals are as jewel-like in Virginia's gray mornings, though there is something to be said for the way they strut their color in a New England winter morning, and shake the new snow from a thin branch, announcing their flashy beauty.

For Today

Wild Geese
Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Thursday, January 9, 2020


Roadrunner / Oil on black canvas, unframed, $68 including shipping

WHEN I WAS a kid, and through until today, the roadrunner cartoons were always among my favorites. On one trip out west, I saw an Acme brick company. Wish I could remember where that was.

At any rate, I laughed out loud when I saw a real roadrunner for the first time. They really DO run.

For Today

By Angelina Sarsficio

Roadrunner, roadrunner
Where are you running to?
Fast you are, but I've seen you.
What did you do? That's why you're looking around.
Are you looking for me?
. . . I'm standing over here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

What Are YOU Looking At?

What Are YOU Looking At? / Nuthatch / Oil on black canvas, 6x12, $135 including shipping


THERE IS SOMETHING to be said for the little birds, brown and gray. Not flashy. Not vivid. Not iridescent. Nothing that invites you to look twice.

There is something to be said for the small, quiet way they go about their business, blending in, flitting, chirping. Thriving. At the feeder, there will be dozens of the little birds to one of the brighter one. Numbers of them feeding on the ground while the bright blue jays and queen-red cardinals push the food aside, tossing down clouds of seeds, to find the one bit that pleases them. And then the little birds on the ground pick up the leavings, happy to have them. 

I love the little birds the way I love gray skies, color-drained winter fields, the smart and shy and quiet people in my life. 

As I pack Peter's clothes to be donated, or given to my family and my friends, what I find is mostly colors that aren't bright, that don't draw attention. Browns and grays, the colors of the small birds that we both watched and fed and loved. 


Winter Field / Oil on black canvas, 16x16 (?) / Please contact me for price, size, availability

I WILL BE IN ARIZONA during the Tubac show, Feb. 5-9, and will be exhibiting, but not in my regular spot. Instead, I will be on the patio of my gallery there, Sweet Poppy,  19 Tubac Road, near Shelby's restaurant. 

This is a gamble for me, not exhibiting at the show, in the space where I have always shown and sold my work. But it is a simpler set-up and offers me some freedom and flexibility. This is the year for me to try different things, and so I am giving it a go. 

If you are in Tubac during the show, please come to Sweet Poppy and see my new paintings. 

For Today

Sonnet 97
William Shakespeare

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness every where!
And yet this time removed was summer’s time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow’d wombs after their lords’ decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me
But hope of orphans and unfather’d fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
   Or, if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer
   That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Little Wing

Little Wing /  oil on black canvas, 5x7, unframed, $70 including shipping


LAST NIGHT, when I let the dogs out, I heard Canada geese calling, their cries ululating, thin, eerie, wavering loudly through the wintry air. They call me to the past, to other cold nights, in Idaho, in Montana, in Maine, nights that could not have been darker, more strewn with stars.

We picked out the easy constellations, watched the greenish dances of the Northern Lights, marveled at the distant glow and blur of the Milky Way, and counted dozens - or hundreds or thousands? - of meteors shooting across the black infinity.

And I thought that it would never stop. That these shared, clear nights would be as regular as the comings and goings of the birds, as typical, as predictable, as unending.


A Thought for the Day

GUY WILKINS WAS an artist who lived here in Wachapreague. He died just about the same time we moved here, and I have always, always been sorry that I never met him, never painted with him.

Friends on the Shore here have paintings of his, and I wish I did, too. His paintings are bright and colorful, cheery and different and unusual. I have a postcard of one of the general store here in town, and I look at it almost daily, loving its color, its attitude and its odd perspective.

Guy Wilkins also wrote poems, and I'd like to share one with you here. It is from his book, "Day Moon."


What a full blown beauty you were
That day we first set sail
We had lavished every spar and every rail
With the best in varnish
And the brass we thought would never tarnish
And the gloss would never pale

Now look at you
Warped and twisted
Like the rest of us
With the brass we thought would never tarnish,
And the luster somehow vanished
Oh I wish they could have seen us
You and I, when we were young

To see paintings by Guy Wilkins, please visit

Friday, January 3, 2020

Cardi B

Cardi B / Oil on blue canvas / 5x7 unframed $70, including shipping

I RARELY PAINT on any color other than black, but I am using the Bird A Day project as a platform for experimentation, and that includes trying paintings on different backgrounds. So this little guy is on blue. What do you think?

The project also involves my efforts with technology - and I am, as usual, feeling my way through. So if you click the button here and it doesn't bring you to PayPal, please get in touch - email me at, or call or text at 860-442-0246. 

The button won't work if the painting has been sold. I will do my best to let you know when the painting has sold, but sometimes, I'm in the car or off the grid, and there will be a delay. And if you don't get this bird, there will be another on Monday. 

Thank you for participating in the Bird A Day project! 


I AM DOING as well as can be expected, given the loss of my husband in October, 86 days ago. My friends, my family, my collectors, even friends of friends have been remarkable, reaching out with kindness, condolences, prayers, generosity. Thank you, all of you, thank you so much. 

The box above is about the size of a shoebox, and as you can see, is filled to the brim with cards. Though is was heart-warming and life-affirming to open all of these cards, it also was emotionally difficult. I opened them as I was able, and on Jan. 1, finished. I found the bag of mail I thought I had recycled without opening. So, if you sent me a card, I received it, and I thank you for it. You are more giving, more wonderful, more numerous than I ever could have imagined. 

For Today
I Am Offering This Poem
By Jimmy Santiago Baca

I am offering this poem to you
since I have nothing else to give.
Keep it like a warm coat
when winter comes to cover you,
or like a pair of thick socks
the cold cannot bite through,

                         I love you,

I have nothing else to give you,
so it is a pot full of yellow corn
to warm your belly in winter,
it is a scarf for your head, to wear
over your hair, to tie up around your face,

                         I love you,

Keep it, treasure this as you would
if you were lost, needing direction,
in the wilderness life becomes when mature;
and in the corner of your drawer,
tucked away like a cabin or hogan
in dense trees, come knocking,
and I will answer, give you directions,
and let you warm yourself by this fire,
rest by this fire, and make you feel safe

                         I love you,

It’s all I have to give,
and all anyone needs to live,
and to go on living inside,
when the world outside
no longer cares if you live or die;

                         I love you.

Thursday, January 2, 2020


Oil on black canvas, 5x7, $70
To buy this painting, click the button below - 
or email me at, or text or call me at 860-442-0246

THIS IS THE SECOND DAY of my Bird A Day project, which will take place weekdays in 2020, for as long as it seems that it should go. The bird paintings will all be small and unframed, and will mostly cost $70, which will include shipping.

I think this is a fun project, and is one that I can manage, as I finish the 101 Dogs project and navigate through this, my new and solo life. I will be doing shows, but not as many as I have in past years. I will be selling more on line, more from my studio, more from my galleries, and doing workshops in person and online. All will happen as time and healing permits.

I will be posting the paintings here first, and then on my Bird a Day Facebook page.


I WRITE THIS on the first day os 2020as the sun begins to go down on the first day of the new year. I've been up since 4 a.m., and I am tired - but pleased beyond reckoning that this is a new year, as artificial as that distinction might be.

It is a year that holds no memories of Peter, nothing to miss or mourn. We did not wait up for midnight last night. We did not watch for fireworks, we did not share breakfast or lunch or talk about what we would have for dinner.

I thought about him, and I missed him, but I didn't have to miss him being in 2020, being a part of this new, fragile year.


A Final Thought 

Sonnet I by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied 
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain                                   *
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
to go - so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.