Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunflowers Mini

Sunflowers Mini
Oil on canvas, 3x4, $35 with tiny easel for display
Email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com for shipping/delivery options

I am thinking about doing something radical for the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival: bringing only really big paintings and really small paintings.

Journalists I've known have often used something called the Ladder of Abstraction to determine what stories a staff should do and where and how those stories should be played. It's a great name, eh? The idea of the Ladder of Abstraction (which was devised by Aristotle, I believe) is that stories (or words, or ideas, or what have you) can be arrayed in a continuum, with the most concrete at the bottom, and the most abstract at the top.

A good newspaper will compose itself primarily of stories at the bottom and the top, with the middle rungs of the ladder being at a minimum. Readers, it's thought, are most interested in the teeny news (police reports, barbecue dinner schedules, honor rolls) and the most high-flung ideas and think pieces (why five-acre zoning is a terrible idea, why the new crop of politicians thinks it can solve the issues the old ones couldn't, where will technology take us in the next decade, how to help boys perform as well in school as girls).

At any rate, I was thinking of this when I decided to do the very large/very small thing. Of course, I will have to set the tent up in the driveway to see just how this will work, but I am intrigued.

The Mystic Outdoor Art Festival is Aug. 14-15. I will be at the corner of Willow and Main, a good spot, I think, near Tim Horton's. Stop by and see me!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shady Camp

Shady Camp
Margaree Forks, Cape Breton Island
Oil on canvas, 11x14
Please email me for price and shipping/delivery information

It was a fresh, bright wind that blew over Prince Edward Island, keeping it cool and pleasant all the time that Heather and I were there. The wind might be a contributor to the erosion we saw there, though.

On the Gaspe Peninsula, we spoke to a nice couple whose back yard was falling slowly into the sea. They had had to move their garage; just down the street, a hotel had had to close, as the land where it stood was crumbling beneath it.

On Prince Edward Island, the sea and the wind cut into the soft red earth of the cliffs, making for beautiful scenery but a treacherous environment. An immigration official we spoke with at the border said he believed Prince Edward Island wouldn't be there in 100 years; the ocean would simply wash it away.

Cape Breton, for all its crags and cliffs and wind and waves, offered more shelter. Trees and hills closed in around this closed-up camp, and the Margaree River ran behind it. Heather and I spent a cool afternoon painting here, while a soft breeze blew and the shadows lengthened. No one disturbed us, no one questioned us. It looked like no one had visited this place for years.

Cowscape in Progress

Cowscape in progress
oil on canvas, 36x60

Friends delighted me today, buying two paintings, commissioning another, and amusing me with insight.

A friend from my youth bought "Canada Rocks," after returning a couple weeks ago from a vacation to Maritime Canada (we missed each other there by days!)

Another friend, one of the very first followers of this blog, wrote (about the second sunflower painting), "Dear Carrie, you have finally broken me. I must have this painting!"

And a third friend, another unemployed journalist, commissioned me to make a painting of his cat, to give as a present to his wife.

Galen McGovern, a friend from my last newspaper job, made me laugh out loud with the first line of her newest blog post: "Most of what I've learned I've forgotten," a sentiment I've felt, many times in my life.

I spent much of the day working on this big cowscape. The photo here is bad, I know, but you can get an idea of the painting. It is too large to lug outside for in-progress photos, but I should be finished with it tomorrow or Wednesday, and will get Peter to help me carry it downstairs for a good photo. But many of you asked for an in-progress shot, so here you go!

Friends and strangers, followers of this blog, thank you always for your support, financial, spiritual, philosophical. It means the world to me.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunny Flowers

Sunny Flowers
Oil on canvas, 8x24
Please email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com for shipping/delivery info

Yesterday, my granddaughter Samantha turned 18. It was a bittersweet birthday, I think, for her and for our daughter Erika, Samantha's mother.

Samantha herself has been looking forward to her legal adulthood for a while, and talking enthusiastically about it - until a few days ago. Spiritually, philosophically, she wants to be an adult, but faced with it, she seems to realize that she is not.

I hope, for her sake, that this doubt continues.

Samantha has vast potential, but so far, has shown only glimmers of it. After dropping out of school two years ago, after fighting and other issues ended her up in trouble with the law, she worked desultory jobs for six months and saw precisely what a dead end road she was walking. She returned to school and for the first time in her life, applied herself. She made the honor roll, and even more excitingly, found that she loved learning. It was a marvelous stretch for all of us.

But then the old Samantha kicked in, and she began finding fault with teachers, and becoming the victim, and then she couldn't manage to get herself to school, and so it all slid back into crumbles, and she dropped out, months from graduation.

Erika decided, rightly, I think, to take herself out of the situation. She'd done it all once, truancy court, halfway houses, school administrators, special programs, the constant pushing and pushing and pushing. This last time, Samantha was 17, and Erika had had enough.

So my now 18-year-old granddaughter is a high school dropout, living at home, looking for a job, and facing a life with issues and problems and dangers she has never imagined.

Erika's adolescence was anything but smooth. But now, she is living well, doing well, and appreciating every bit of it. In all honesty, Peter didn't find himself until he was in his 30s. So I continue to hope for Samantha, and to pray for her, and to make myself available as a grandparent and friend. At this point, I believe, that is all I can do.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Oil on deep-cradled canvas, 16x20, $350
Please email me for information on shipping or delivery

Two years ago, in the fall, I heard about the acres of sunflowers on Route 165 in Griswold, here in Conn. Last year, I got there a day or two after the last ones had been harvested. This year, I got there on time! And for anyone in or around the area, there are probably still a few days to see this miracle.

Buttonwoods Farm began planting sunflowers a few years ago, and has expanded the harvest to 14 acres. The farm sells bouquets of four beautiful flowers for $5; proceed go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (see http://www.sunflowersforwishes.com/ for details).

It's quite the place, and quite the attraction. I was there twice on Thursday, and both times, people came and went, oohing and aahing and taking photos of their kids and families and dogs in front of the fields of flowers. Droves of professional-looking photographers were there, too, with tripods and big lenses and serious expressions.

Many people stopped to watch me paint, and many told me that my painting reminded them of Van Gogh. I used to shudder at this, thinking that people believed I was trying to copy him. Now, I take it as a compliment.

If you're in the area, and especially if you have a child, you might think about going to see the sunflowers. It's a truly amazing sight. You can take a ride through the field in a cart. You can buy the bouquets. And if you're willing to wait, you can get some pretty darn good ice cream, too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Oil on canvas, 12x12
Memorial commission

This is the first morning in weeks that's been cool. I turned off the window air conditioning units, opened the doors and windows, and am deeply breathing this beautiful, fresh air. It's bringing me back to life a little, and bringing life back to me.

I woke up today excited about possibilities. My big cowscape is coming nicely... and there's a huge field of sunflowers, apparently in bloom, that I've been itching to paint for a year now. So this cool, bright morning holds promise indeed.

Heather MacLeod, the artist who came with me to Canada, is primarily a sculptor. She is building a lovely, shady sculpture garden near her house in Brownfield, Maine. She also makes these delightful little creations that she calls "SparkBugs." They're made from spark plugs and handles of utensils. Some of the handles have designs or initials on them; some don't.

I think they are just wonderful! You can email her to find out about price and shipping.

Here are a couple photos:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Oil on canvas, 12x12. 

Beau is a memorial commission, one of three I'm in the process of painting.

I have been thinking a lot about life and death lately, about what we bring to each, what each brings to us, what we leave here on this earth.

Through my marriage, I have been blessed with a daughter and grandchildren, but I do not have a child of my own womb. I spent decades working in newspapers, telling a community about the fleeting events of the fleeting day; the stories are forgotten in a day. The newspapers will be forgotten in a decade.

I will leave hundreds of paintings, thousands, probably. There are scores of bowls and vases and cups I formed and glazed and fired. I've written millions of words. But I'd be a fool to think that any of these will matter, or be remembered, 20 years after my death.

Saturday was the fourth anniversary of the death of my mother, who was a larger force of nature than anyone I've ever known. I think of her daily, and talk to her. I sing songs that she taught me, read words that she wrote, touch things that she touched, and she lives on, for me, my siblings, for my mother's friends. But in 30 years, there will be almost no one who remembers her smile, the touch of her hand, the sound of her voice.

All that matters, she would say, is what we do today. All that matters is who we are, and what we make of this opportunity. We are only here for a while, and the good that we do today will be our one and only measure.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Not-So-Black Lab

Not-So-Black Lab
Oil on canvas, 12x12, $350
Please email me if you'd like to buy this painting, or if you'd like me to make a painting of your pet

I am toying with the idea of bringing only 10 or 12 paintings to the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival. Four or five would be giant paintings, and the rest would be very small.  This could be a great idea or a terrible one, I don't know. I do know it is an interesting one.

I have a 48-inch by 60-inch canvas I got for something like $29 a few month ago at Jerry's Artarama in Hartford. I woke up very excited today about using this canvas for a giant cowscape I'd paint from photos I took of some long-haired cattle on the Gaspe Peninsula.

But Kaja, the big old chow-German shepherd, really needed a walk. She has bad arthritis in her back legs, and without the walks, she is stiff and bored. It's just been too hot to walk her much these past few weeks, but this morning, it was OK. So after I took everyone out for their morning pee, I beckoned to Kaja.

Well, Sam wanted to come, too. And the black dogs wanted to come, too. So the five of us set off into the neighboring conservation area, with me still in my jammies, and we poked and strolled and sniffed and explored, all the way there and all the way back.

Then, I really truly had to water the gardens. And I really, truly had to get four plants in before they died.

And then, between the dogs and Peter and me, the kitchen floor was a disgusting mess of tracked-in grass and dirt and spilled stuff and dog hair and dust. And so I swept and Swiffered.

I did all of this, then had breakfast, then did my email - and then one of the hugest thunderstorms I've ever seen roared in, with explosions of lightning and simultaneous thunder, and downpours so thick they seemed solid - and the power went out for three hours.

Artists are always telling me that they want to paint more, but they don't have the time. I always tell them that they have to make the time, that they can't continue to think of themselves as a dog-walker, or a gardener, or a cook or a house cleaner; they must think of themselves as an artist.

Great advice, eh?

At about 4 p.m., this dog-walking, house-cleaning, email-answering gardener-painter finally got down to business.

And you know what? It's all fine.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Oil on canvas, 12x12, $300
Please email me if you'd like this painting, or if you'd like me to do a painting of your pet! 

Well, the Art on Groton Bank show went by with nary a sale for me, but somehow, that was OK.

I helped Audrey Heard and the AOGB committee put the show together. My role was small, but it was good to know that I participated. It made the day richer.

For lots of reasons, it felt like a day to celebrate. The sun was out, a strong breeze blew, summer baked us all at the top of the hill, and I looked back and looked ahead, and felt hope and regeneration and the power and beauty of art.

I felt as though I planted seeds on Sunday. I talked with people about paintings large and small, about pet portraits and landscape commissions and other paintings I plan to make from photographs of Canada. Only two of the hundreds of people I invited came - but two people came! That's more than none, and I will be forever happy and grateful for their presence.

In the absence of people I know, I met many, many new people. I had excellent conversations. I made inroads to a couple friendships. I met people who loved my paintings, and had come to AOGB to celebrate art and community and creativity.

I suppose I should feel bad about the day, but I don't. I feel protected and successful and pleased. If that makes no sense, well, it makes no sense. But it is fine.

Thank you for reading, and for all of your support on this journey.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

North East Margaree

North East Margaree
Cape Breton Island
Oil on canvas, 8x24. Please email me for price and shipping information.

It is early morning here, and I am getting ready for the Art on Groton Bank show. I'm pleased to be exhibiting some of my Canada paintings - and I am pleased, too, that this is the last of three back-to-back-to-back shows. Tomorrow, I can start really painting again!

I have found that, after these painting trips, I need a little while to recharge. The first one, I went right out and painted, and I suffered, and my work suffered. I need to remind myself that while these trips seem like a vacation, they are not. They are, in fact, the most intense period of work! It is marvelous, delightful, fulfilling work, but it is the work of painting, and growing as a painter, and it is rewarding - and demanding.

So, off to the show! I will take a photo of my set-up and post it tomorrow.

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Canada Rocks

Canada Rocks
Moosehead, Nova Scotia
By Carrie Jacobson
Oil on deep canvas, 11x14

Moosehead Shore
Nova Scotia
By Heather MacLeod
Watercolor on Arches paper, 12x18

It had been a long day of driving in Nova Scotia. We had left Cape Breton, and we were clearly leaving Nova Scotia and going on our way home, and I was sad. I fall in love easily, I do, and I was in love with Maritime Canada and I did not want to leave.

The ease of my passion has nothing to do with its depth. I will be in love with Maritime Canada for the rest of my life. If I have the chance to go again, I will go. If I have the chance to live there, I will move. And whenever I can think about the places and the people, or make a painting from a photograph I took, I will. Neither time nor distance will change that.

Maybe that's one of the reasons I am so attracted to land and to landscapes. People leave, friendships wax and wane, lovers forget and are forgotten, but the beauty of a landscape does not change.

Yes, I know, it does - in the particulars. But the grandeur of the light, the tracing of the line where the sky meets the land, the noise that the waves make when they hit the beach, these things do not change. Will not change in my lifetime.

Here, in Nova Scotia, at the edge of the Atlantic, Heather and I painted. The tide rose, the sun edged down, the day cooled. People came to the beach and left. People went out in boats and fished and came back in to shore. Birds soared and called and landed, and the shadows lengthened.

My sadness lifted as I painted, and in its place came memory, and vision and, of course, this painting.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Turn Around

Oil on canvas, 8x10, in (real) antique frame
Call 860-442-0246 or email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com for price and shipping information

I stepped from newspapers into painting, and found myself in a new world. But I'd be foolish to think it was not connected to the old world.

On our way to Canada, Heather and I saw a huge field of lupines, massed along the edge of a dirt road. We stopped to paint (you can see that painting here). The field was gorgeous, the air sweet with lupine scent, and we painted happily. When I was done, I could see that I had some time left, and so I thought I'd do another painting.

I got out my canvas, and turned to look for something fresh - and saw, right behind me, the scene you see in the painting at the top of this post. It was far more interesting, far more engaging, far more arresting than the scene I'd painted first.

When John F. Kennedy's body was lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda, Jimmy Breslin went to Arlington National Cemetery and spoke to the old man who was digging the grave that would hold Kennedy's casket. That story (you can read it here) became famous for lots of reasons; as an editor, I always made sure that young journalists read that story. I made sure that they'd at least heard about looking beyond the obvious.

Apparently, it's a lesson I'm bound to learn again and again.

Here's another lesson I'm bound to learn again and again: Don't give up.

I fared abysmally at the show in Niantic. A friend bought one painting (this is a dear friend, who has bought far too many of my pieces) and then, as I was packing up, I let a stranger bring a painting home to try it out. She has ended up buying it, so I did sell two - but at the end of the show, I'd only sold the one piece, and it was depressing.

But I had looked at my tent, at my display, and I hadn't liked it. So when I recovered from the heat and exhaustion of that show, I set to work to redo things. I took away the sheets and the ribbons I'd been so happy with. I took away the yellow. I repainted the exhibition panels white, stripped down the display, got new, fresh ideas.

The first day of the Wickford festival, I liked the new look. Liked it a lot.

By afternoon, I was stumped and discouraged again. Many people had stopped in, and I'd had wonderful conversations with them - but no one had bought anything.

So I rose at 4 on Sunday morning, brought half of my paintings back up to the studio, brought a few different paintings down, loaded up the van and reworked the display. I priced some paintings higher than I'd priced them on Saturday, and priced some lower. I also made sure I was wearing my lucky earrings and my stack of silver bracelets, both of which I'd neglected to wear on Saturday.

And on Sunday, I sold six paintings! And the people who bought them were more excited about my work than anyone who's come into my booth all year.

Was it the earrings? The bracelets? The prices? The new arrangement?

I don't know. But here are the photos. I'm happy to hear from anyone with comments, insights or ideas.

Here's the booth in Niantic. I couldn't get far away enough to get the entire tent in the photo:

Here's Wickford on the first day: 

Here's Wickford on the second day: 

Here are the girls who sold cold drinks in the driveway across the street from me the first day in Wickford, and made more money than I did: 

OK, they're adorable.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Oil on canvas, 11x14

Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me
if you are interested in buying this painting

Driving north from Margaree Harbor, along the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Heather and I saw beautiful scenery, small hills with houses set prettily on top of them. The ocean rolled to our left, making the air smell of salt, and filling the sky with a clean, soft light.

Then, soon after we saw a sign telling us we were entering the Acadian region of Cape Breton, we saw what might have been the strangest sight of the entire trip. In a field by the side of the road, near a little trailer and a shed, stood a circle of strange, almost frightening scarecrows.

I turned the car around and we drove up. Here is what we saw. Click on the photo to enlarge it!
Scarecrows, dozens of them, wearing masks and dressed mostly in clothing of trades, stood, arms outstretched, in a giant circle. Most of them had pieces of paper pinned to their breasts, papers that, on closer inspection, told odd little tales about whom they represented. 

You might be able to read the signs if you click on them; I can't, but on a bigger screen and with better eyes...

Joe's Scarecrows, as they are known, were created by the late Joe Delaney. He started this odd project innocently enough, surrounding his vegetable garden with scarecrows. By the time he had eight scarecrows, people had begun to stop to see them.

According to an article displayed on a table at the site, Joe's Scarecrows now number 38. They attract 8,000 visitors a year (!) and have become one of the top tourist sites in the area.

The display is free, and there are donation boxes, along with boxes where you can (and are encouraged to) leave comments and tell where you're from. There's a gift shop, which I was keen to see, but it wasn't open.

The article said that many of the masks are like masks used in Mi-Careme, which occurs halfway through Lent. To break the monotony of the 40 days of deprivation, people took to making masks and visiting neighbors, while trying to keep their identities secret. You can read more about Mi-Careme, and about the village of Cheticamp, at the Cheticamp website (http://cheticampns.com/).

Before we left, we took photos of us with the scarecrows. Here's Heather:

Here's me:

Across the inlet from Cheticamp is a spit of land with a few houses on it. Most of the land is a communal pasture, according to signs we saw. I liked the way the bank curved and the water washed in along it, and I liked the way the mountains faded in the distance.

While I painted, Heather explored the little beach and picked up rocks and shells. One car passed us. On the way out, I saw this house for sale. I am still working on Peter, hoping he might like to move.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sunset, Margaree Harbor

Sunset, Margaree Harbor
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Oil on canvas, 8x10

Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com 
if you are interested in buying this painting

I fell in love with the countryside of Atlantic Canada, and with the people, and also, I admit, with something called "poutine."

Here's plain poutine: French fries, cheese curds, meat gravy. Here's poutine with the works: French fries, cheese curds, browned and crumbled hamburger meat, peas, onions, gravy.


Cheese curds sound disgusting (anything with "curd" in it sounds horrible to me) but they are delicious. In short, they're little pieces of cheese that just haven't made it into the big wedge of cheese. If you get them when they are fresh, they squeak against your teeth. They are a little chewy, and a little salty. Imagine mozzerella, but a little tougher and saltier.

The cheese curds melt, between the gravy and the fries (frites). The dish is fabulous, but fattening and hideously bad for you.

Apparently, it was invented by French Canadians in the 1960s, and persists as something you can get pretty much everywhere. The very best I had was at the Frosty Treat restaurant, a summertime-only place in Kensington, on Prince Edward Island.

I tried to make a healthier version of poutine here a couple of nights ago. I made oven fries instead of french fries. I used low-fat hamburger, and made gravy with gluten-free flour and some fat-free cream. The peas were the same. It was OK, but it wasn't great. It didn't approach even the least good poutine I had in Canada, but it was fun, and it reminded me.

Here's the Frosty Treat:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Margaree Harbor

Margaree Harbor
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
By Carrie Jacobson
Oil on canvas, 16x20
Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com 
if you are interested in buying this painting

Cliffs, Margaree Harbor
By Heather MacLeod
Watercolor on Arches paper, 12x16

I've been home for a week now. Canada seems a century away, and as bright as a dream from which I just awoke. The paintings help keep the memory,  I know, but even more than that, the places we saw awakened something in my soul.

Going there, especially in the Gaspe and in Cape Breton, felt to me like going to the past - but a past in which I've never lived. The huge, open sky; the bright wind that blustered day in and day out; the little houses and the roads and fields close to the sea, all of this felt like a land of promise and potential, a land not yet fully carved, or smoothed or finished. It felt like a place where people had made inroads, but a place they'd not yet mastered, or even tried to master. It felt like a place where man and nature have found ways to live together, without too many problems.

Heather and I stood on cliffs above the sea to make these paintings. Barely a car passed as we painted. The air warmed, then cooled, in the long northern dusk, and the sea and sky changed colors a dozen times.

We went looking, the next day, but never found the two white houses and the red barn.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Edge of the Sea

Edge of the Sea
Mabou, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

The first day of the Niantic Outdoor Arts and Crafts Festival was fun and exhausting and exhilarating. I did not sell a single painting, but I met hundreds of people, and had the joy of watching many of them become enchanted by my paintings.

This does not put money in my pocket, or groceries on the table, or gas in the car - but it fills my heart and gives me hope.

It also makes me wonder how to translate that engagement into sales.

My nephew Cyrus, who has been making a killing selling watermelon slices outside his house, told me that my prices are too high. A painter at the show told me that my prices are too low.

And so, Goldilocks, are my prices just right?

I am working at being a better salesman, at using every word and every gesture to close the sale. It is not my nature, but it is a skill and I am improving at it, I think.

Today, I am going to change my inventory a little, pull down some of the Canada paintings (I think - though these have generated a lot of interest) and put in some boat and shore paintings.

Mostly, I am going to enjoy myself today, take pleasure in people's pleasure, and in the process itself.

If you have ideas for me, please let me know. I am open to any and all suggestions about how to improve my show performance and my sales - or any other aspect of this adventure.

Thank you for reading!

Friday, July 2, 2010


Colindale, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
By Carrie Jacobson
Oil on canvas, 16x20
Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me
if you are interested in buying this painting

Colindale, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
By Heather MacLeod
Watercolor on Arches paper, 12x16

The day after the fog, we made it to West Mabou Road in Colindale. 

Early in the morning, the sky was still gray, and the sea was gray, too. Lobster boats churned off shore, motoring in again and again, the thrum of their motors bouncing oddly off the cliffs below. 

As we painted, the clouds lifted and the day became sunny and beautiful. This is great - but it can be difficult to master the changing light. The color of the water, and the color of the fields, shifted two or three times as we painted. 

Also as we painted, we met Hugh the Barber, a lovely retired man who came along in his car on his way to somewhere else. He admired our paintings, and on his way back, invited us to stop in when we were done. 

And so we did. Hugh's place, a cabin he and his wife have had for nearly 40 years, was as neat and tight and inviting as any home I've lived in. When we arrived, Hugh was building a bunkhouse for some of his grandchildren. He showed us his handiwork, then showed us around his cabin, then gave us coffee and cookies, and told us all about the neighborhood. 

Meeting Hugh was one of the high points of the trip. His warmth, his generosity, his welcome have left a deep and happy impression on Heather and me. In some ways, he has come to represent Canada to me, and it is a Canada I am pleased and proud to have met. 

Here's Hugh: 

Here's the view from Hugh's deck:

p.s. I am home now! And on Saturday, I'm showing my work, including paintings from the Canada trip, at the Niantic Outdoor Arts and Crafts show (http://www.nianticartsandcraftshow.com/start.html). The show is at Niantic Town Hall, 108 Pennsylvania Ave. I have been to this show, though it was a few years ago, and it was easy to find. There's a map on the website - also, Niantic is not very large, and the show was (at least in my memory). 

So if you're in the area, or you can be, please come! 

If you can't make Niantic, I will be in the Wickford, R.I., Outdoor Art Festival, next weekend, and Art on Groton Bank, in Groton, Conn., the weekend after that. Details will follow. 

Thanks for reading. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Fog Is Rising

The Fog Is Rising
Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
By Carrie Jacobson
Oil on canvas, 11x14
Call me at 860-442-0246 or email me
if you are interested in buying this painting

Misty Morning
Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
By Heather MacLeod
Watercolor on Arches paper, 12x16

We arrived in Cape Breton late in the afternoon, and got off the main road in a small town called Port Hood, on the western edge of the island. The day had been gray and showery, and as we drove along the harbor, the setting sun broke through the clouds, sending rays earthward in what I've always called "God skies."

On the gray surface of the water, the rays made bright patches, like spotlights.

I did not mess with this photo at all. That's just how the scene looked from the car. I've never seen anything like it.

Looking for more of this, we turned onto West Mabou Road, a dirt road, and drove up into the hills. There, we saw the most spectacular scenery - fields running to the edges of the dark red cliffs, houses nestled in tight against trees and hillsides, overlooking the bay and the sky and the sunset. 

And so, we said we would paint there, right there on that road, in the morning. 

That night, it poured, and in the morning, fog blurred out the views. Each time we thought it was lifting, it came back down again, a curtain of white, obscuring magnificence. 

But we found a place with shelter, and we painted, and when, finally, the fog covered everything, we used our memories and imaginations to finish our paintings. We spent the day exploring the countryside near Mabou, and the next day, painted where we'd planned.