Tuesday, March 2, 2021

My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68 including shipping

Please email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com if you want this little painting

A WHILE AGO, I asked friends on and off Facebook to give me names of what I call "feel-good movies," which, in my mind, are generally (but not always) smaller movies, generally but not always with lesser-known actors. 

My friends assembled a great list, which I've included below. I'm not sure that all of these qualify as "feel-good," but I've included even the ones that I think maybe are just comedies, and not necessarily feel-good movies. I'd put "A Fish Called Wanda" in this category, for instance. 

I am not sure that "My Octopus Teacher" qualifies as a feel-good movie, mainly because the octopus dies. The narrator (who is the only other character in the movie) tells you right at the beginning that the octopus is going to die, so I was prepared. But I have avoided all sort of movies because it is clear to me, sometimes even from the titles, that the dog/cat/squirrel/whatever was going to die. 

The movie so enchanted me, octopus death notwithstanding, that I made this painting. 

OK, here's the list. If there are movies on it that you sort of remember from a while ago, but haven't seen in a few years, I encourage you to go back and take a look. I've been delighted when I've done that. 

Big Night

The Thomas Crown Affair

My Octopus Teacher

The Birdcage

Enola Holmes

Bread & Tulips (available on YouTube)

Legally Blonde

October Sky

Shirley Valentine

American Dreamer

Must Love Dogs

City Island

Strictly Ballroom

Tin Cup

Radium Girls

The Goldfinch

Don't Let Go



Just Mercy

Penguin Bloom

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

A Model for Matisse

Waking Ned Devine

Billy Elliot

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Big Little Farm

Little Miss Sunshine

Funny Farm

Keeping Mum

Lars and the Real Girl

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Baghdad Cafe

Harold & Maude

Notting Hill

Love Actually

Dear Frankie

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Mrs. Palfrey at the Clermont

Tea with Mussolini

Madame Souzatska

A League of Their Own

Hunt for the Wilder People

Whale River

Garden State

School of Rock

Julie and Julia

Something's Gotta Give


Inn of the Sixth Happiness

The Holiday


Hamlet 2

What About Bob

Someone Like You

Crazy, Stupid Love



Silver Linings Playback

The Fisher King

The Princess Bride

When Harry Met Sally

My Cousin Vinny

Joe's Apartment

Angel in the House




The Station Agent

The Dig

Nobody's Fool

Keep On Keepin' On

The American President


Romancing the Stone

Please Don't Eat the Daisies

The Hundred-Foot Journey

A Knight's Tale

The Intern


It Happened on Fifth Avenue

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Operation Petticoat

Some Like It Hot

any Studio Ghibli film


Planes, Trains and Automobiles

While You Were Sleeping

Sleepless in Seattle

When Harry Met Sally

Finding Your Feet

Grumpy Old Men

Peanut Butter Falcon

Second Hand Lions

The Proposal

Nothing to Lose

The Magic of Belle Isle

Slumdog Millionaire



Fool's Gold

Blow the Man Down

Shakespeare in Love

Book Club

Enchanted April


Under the Tuscan Sun

Mr. Holland's Opus

The Secret Garden

The Full Monty

Two Family House

Say Anything

Begin Again

Truly, Madly, Deeply
Singing in the Rain

Heaven Can Wait



"Your aspirations are your possibilities." 

- Samuel Johnson

Thursday, February 18, 2021


Chicken / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68 including shipping

LENT STARTED WEDNESDAY, and for the first time in my life, I am participating. The particulars of my journey aren't important, but in general, I am giving up my obsessions for the next 40 days.

My initial idea was to give up candy. That sounded sensible and like something that I could do. Difficult but not impossible, and good for me. I have a very addictive personality, and my craving for candy was getting a little out of control. 

Then I began thinking about Lent, faith, spirituality, the sense of and opportunity for renewal, here in the depths of winter, and I began to see a different path, a more sweeping one that could have more resonance. 

This morning, as I contemplated the next 40 days, as I thought about what obsesses me, and how to leave those things behind - or at least leave them alone - for the next days and weeks, I began to see the amount of time and energy they take in my life, and I was sort of stunned. So even in contemplating all of this, even before starting, I have received a gift - of vision and understanding and, honestly, of time. 

And so the other side of this is to figure out what to do with the extra time and space in my life. During Lent, one is supposed to give more, and give more of oneself in service, and so I am thinking about that, too. 

Are you on a Lenten journey? What are you finding out about yourself, your faith, your spiritual state of being? 



"The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred. A stream of events issues from the decision, raising unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, 
which no man could have dreamt would have come his way." 

-William Murray

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


Muskrat / Oil on black canvas / 5x7/ $68, including shipping

TUESDAY AFTERNOON, the sun shone, absurdly bright after 10 days or more of rain and gray sky. It was a single day's respite, and it was a beauty - nearly 60 degrees, windy enough to dry some of the huge puddles covering neighbors' lawns, and to blow the rich scent of springtime through the tang of the marsh air. 

Sunrise came well before 7, and sunset at 5:45. And as the afternoon warmed and lengthened, I heard peepers singing! 

Today,  it is cold again. Thursday, the rain returns. But Tuesday, for a moment, spring drew a breath, and here on the shore, we all exhaled in joy together. 



"We have more strength than will; and when we say things are impossible, 
it is often just excuses we make for ourselves." 

- Francois De La Rochefoucauld

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Two Snow Scenes

Above, Bridge in the Snow l, oil on black canvas sold. 
Below, Bridge in the Snow ll, oil on black canvas, 8x10, $120 including shipping. 
Please email me at carrieBjacobson if you would like either of these paintings! 

IT'S HARD TO PAINT SOFT WITH A KNIFE. Soft works much better with brushes, though even as I type this, I have a new idea for soft snow scenes. 

I've done a couple interesting fog pieces - softness is required for fog - by making a painting, letting it dry a little, then putting some gray white over the fog areas, and rubbing it off. Of course, it's pretty scary to do this, especially if you like the initial painting. Now I am wondering if a tactic like this might work, also, for snow. I think I will try a third piece, and post it here, in a bit. 

This painting came from a photograph on a plein-air painters group on Facebook. The person who took the picture (I think it's of a scene in Colorado) gave permission for people to paint it, and so I am including it below. 

I really love making snow paintings, but typically - for me, at least - they haven't sold. I was surprised and delighted when this one did! Who knows? Maybe the lower one will sell, too. 


"I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; 
and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again." 

- Lewis Carroll
 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking- Glass 

Friday, February 12, 2021

February Bouquet

 February Bouquet / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68, including shipping
Please email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com if you'd like to buy this painting! 

SOON, THERE WILL BE FLOWERS. There will be gardens, and sunshine, hummingbirds and the smell of lawns being mowed. 

Already, here on the Eastern Shore, sunrise is before 7 and sunset after 5:30. Already, I have smelled the scent of spring - unmistakeable, indescribable - on the morning breeze. Already, I've heard the songs of springtime birds. 

Garden catalogs have arrived. Daffodil greenery has poked through the soil on the protected east side of the house. The tips of the trees and bushes along the roadways are starting to redden. My mind has turned to thoughts of mulch. 

We will make it. Spring will come, bringing warm days and new flowers, lush lawns, dogwoods shimmering in deep woods, laughing gulls calling on the breeze, the marsh grasses changing to that thin yellow green, tender with the season, with new life, with rebirth. With survival. 



(love is more thicker than forget)

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

- e.e. cummings

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Gotta Love a Snail

Gotta Love a Snail / Oil on black canvas / 5x5 / $68 including shipping
Please email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com if you'd like this little guy

A SNAIL MUCH LIKE THIS ONE was the very first painting to sell in the Love series on the Oil & Water Facebook page my friend Susan McGuire and I started recently. (https://www.facebook.com/Oil-Water-104885681569296). 

Not only did it sell about a minute after I posted it, but directly afterwards, several other people contacted me, wanting it - so I made more. 

Here is the final snail Love piece. All my Love paintings had hearts hidden in them (or not so hidden). This one won't be dry in time for a Valentine's Day delivery, but love late is still love, isn't it? 

It always interests me, and often surprises me, when people clamor for certain paintings. Crab paintings took off in somewhat the same way, and the little mountaintop pieces I make up from my imagination, and the leftover paint on my palette, seem to always find a home. 



After all, there's no need
to say anything

at first. An orange, peeled
and quartered, flares

like a tulip on a wedgewood plate
Anything can happen. 

Outside the sun
has rolled up her rugs

and night strewn salt 
across the sky. My heart

is humming a tune
I haven't heard in years! 

Quiet's cool flesh -- 
let's sniff and eat it. 

There are ways
to make of the moment

a topiary
so the pleasure's in

walking through. 

- Rita Dove


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Nuthatch, Perched

 Nuthatch, Perched / Oil on black canvas / 5x7 / $68 including shipping
Please email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com if you'd like to have this cutie! 

IN THIS LIFE ALONE, and with the covid, and with the terrible memory I've always had, I've had to find ways to remember to do things. 

A calendar, of course, is a great start, but doesn't work unless I first remember to write stuff down on it, and then remember to look at it. 

I've come to terms with my Alexa device, and use her more and more often to remind me about things - including feeding the dogs. Peter always fed the dogs, and many times after he died, I couldn't remember if I had or hadn't. You'd think they would let me know, but dogs are all about the food. A second dinner would not be a problem for them. Any time during the course of the day, if I rattle their food bowls, they are ready and barking. 

I've learned to count the dogs out loud, not only when they come in, but also when I give them their we-came-in-the-house cookies. Yes, several times, I left one or two of them outside for longer than I should have. Same with leaving the studio. Poor Woody was locked in there for hours on several occasions. Luckily, he is pretty much blind and pretty much deaf, and sleeps pretty much 23 hours a day, so he didn't know - but I was in a panic. 

I have learned that when paintings sell, I should move them from one side of the studio to the other. From the drying wall to the sold wall. More than once, I've sold a painting twice, and have had to make amends.

Lately, I've developed a few tricks to keep myself more or less civilized. I leave the bathroom light on in the morning to remind myself to brush my teeth. 

I load my pockets with gloves and fresh tissues when I come IN from walking the dogs, since I can't seem to remember to make sure I have those things when I go out to walk them. 

But still, I lose things and forget. Months ago, I put my favorite coffee cup somewhere, and have never found it. Last week, I took out a can of potatoes (did you know they made such a thing? I didn't, but got a few cans a while ago for a recipe that required them. They did the job, but are really not very good, so I've been feeding them to Woody, who needs fiber in his diet.) I put that can of potatoes down somewhere and have yet to find it. 

What tricks have you all learned during this covid year, to keep yourselves from slipping off the edge? 

I Go Down to the Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall--
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

- Mary Oliver