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."
Hairy Woodpecker / oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68 includes shipping
GRAY AND COLD AND RAINY today, and windy - a storm in advance of the first hurricane of the season.
On Saturday, when the forecast for that day and Sunday showed temps in the low 80s, I decided to put my winter clothes away and get the summer clothes out. Yesterday afternoon, I had to pull some of those jeans and long-sleeved shirts, and so I am dressed right, but the chill has made its way to my bones. Somehow, it often seems colder after a couple days of summery heat.
The dogs are all sleeping, and have been sleeping very deeply since our quite damp - well, OK, wet - walk this morning. I think there must be something in their little dog brains that tells them to sleep sleep sleep when the barometric pressure falls. I would wager that's because, centuries and eons ago, there was little chance of catching anything to eat when it was raining - and so, sleep was what made sense.
I made this painting while I was in Arizona, where summer came in February. I had put it in a box and forgotten about it, but found it over the weekend. It makes me think of the orange and red landscape of Arizona, the huge turquoise sky, and the weeks I spent out there with my dad and Paula, and all my Arizona friends. It feels like a long, long time ago.
Like Rain It Sounded Till It Curved
Like Rain it sounded till it curved
And then I knew 'twas Wind -
It walked as wet as any Wave
But swept as dry as sand -
When it had pushed itself away
To Some remotest Plain
A coming as of Hosts was heard
It filled the Wells, it pleased the Pools
It warbled in the Road -
It pulled the spigot from the Hills
And let the Floods abroad -
It loosened acres, lifted seas
The sites of Centres stirred
Then like Elijah rode away
Upon a Wheel of Cloud