Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Oil on canvas, 10x20
Please email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com for price and shipping info!

This weekend, I read part of a book.

That doesn't sound like much, does it, but it was huge for me. I haven't read a book, or even a page of a book, since September 2010, when I began working for Patch. I have done my job, I have painted, I have spent moments with my husband and family, and I have fallen into exhausted, dreamless sleep.

Oh, at the beginning, I tried. For months, I kept by my bedside a book by Martha Grimes that Peter had given me for my 2010 birthday. After I read the same three paragraphs about 45 times, and remembered not a single word, I just gave up.

This weekend, away in a place with no cell phone and no internet, I read. I made this painting, I cooked, I talked and walked and laughed with my husband and daughter and son-in-law. I played with the dogs, I saw friends, I slept well - and I read.

It was great. It felt like knowing again, for a weekend at least, who I am. It was a pleasure and a luxury. It was a homecoming.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset
Oil on canvas, 10x10

I have realized that one of the things that I like best about painting is that it is something I do with my hands. Something I make with my hands.

I remembered my delight, when I worked in newspapers, at finding out that in most states, newspapers are categorized as manufacturers. (This was 25 years ago and might have changed since, but at the time, it was true). I loved that, and it made sense to me. I always appreciated the workmanship of a well-designed page, a well-written story, a well-crafted headline.

And painting, for me, is much the same. By and large, it is not a magical experience, spirit floating on the wind, etc. It is a physical effort. It is work. It is a muscle that grows stronger with use - so that when that magical experience does come along, when that spirit flashes across my path, I will have the vision to see it and the strength and ability to capture it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

On the Reservoir After the Snow

On the Reservoir After the Snow
Oil on canvas, 12x36
Please contact me for price and delivery

The snow comes in quiet and soft this time, a whisper of a storm dancing in overnight, touching the tips of the trees, barely covering the winter-hard earth, marking the branches with a delicate line.

In the morning, the wind puffs up cold and hard, and chases the storm away. I find myself at the edge of the reservoir, reveling in the gorgeous, clear light that follows the snow.

My canvas is large and awkward, a sail in the wind, and it's far too cold to use my clamp system. So I tape the canvas to the easel, hang my bag from the easel's legs, and set to painting.

Before I'm finished, I'm too cold to go on, but I know where I am going with the painting, and I pack it up to finish at home.

I love the way the light spills over the near trees at the left-hand edge, and the way the sky moves from white to blue. I love the brave, scrawny trees that grow along the reservoir's edge, and the way the snow dusts it all.

The rest of the day, I'm cold, chilled to the bone by my hours in the wind. But it's a good feeling, and I'd do it again, any day, to make a painting like this one.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty
Oil on canvas, 24x28
Please contact me for price and shipping info

For the first time in ages - since my vacation at the end of October, really - I had nearly a whole day with virtually nothing required of me.

It was snowing like blazes, and was quiet and pretty outside. And yes, it was cold inside. Even though there's heat in the studio, it's usually chilly up there in the winter. I'd painted outside, though, a day earlier, and found myself chilled absolutely to the bone... So, everything is relative. (That painting, of the reservoir early in the morning, as Friday's snowstorm was lifting, is a real beauty. I'll be posting it soon!)

I've been having great fun expanding my range of animal subjects. I will have the window at Center  Framing and Art in West Hartford Center in the middle of February, and I hope to have a variety of animals on display there, along with sunflowers and rainbow sunflowers, too!

Hope you are all cozy and warm on this brisk winter's day!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rainbow Sunflowers

Rainbow Sunflowers
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

I like the way this painting came out, though I admit I am a little uncertain about the background. I think it works, but I like the flowers themselves so much more. I think that the next one I do, I will fill the entire canvas with flowers, see if I can make that work.

So the article I mentioned recently about ME is now out, on line! Very cool! Here at the world headquarters of Jacobson Arts, I am FAMOUS. I hope that other artists will use my gizmos to help them paint bigger paintings outdoors. 

Thank you, all who read this, for all the support and encouragement that you give me every day, and which some of you have given me for years. I couldn't do this without you, and I hope you know how much I appreciate your reading, commenting on and buying my paintings! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Oil on canvas, 30x36
Please email me for price and delivery options

I don't usually paint backgrounds with my animals, but this is the second in a row. My friend Heather wrote, after I posted my recent frog painting, that while she liked the painting, she preferred the backgrounds that are just solid colors, like on Pugster! 

At any rate, I have this painting hanging in my bedroom office here, and it's really pretty captivating. There's a lot of paint on this one!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sunflower Details

Detail No. 1

Detail No. 2

Detail No. 3
Yes, I do have actual paintings that I have finished, and which I could be putting up on this blog, and they're good paintings - but I'm so excited about this in-progress piece that I wanted to put it up and share it!

I was making a 10x10 sunflower painting, an idea suggested by an artist friend of mine at the gallery show on Saturday, when I began fooling around with overlaying these marbled paint strokes, as petals.

From a distance, the painting is pretty cool. It looks like an interesting, slightly oddly colored sunflower painting.

But up close, isn't it wonderful? It is scary as hell to do this, because there's no going back. Well, I guess there it. I guess I could scrape the paint off and start again in an area. But the real beauty of it, or what felt like the real beauty, as it was unfolding for me, is the random swirls of marbling, and the accidental picking up of contiguous colors.

So, a finished painting tomorrow, but in the meantime, please tell me if you all think this is as cool as I think it is!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Boat Launch Ramp, Old Lyme (10x10)

Boat Launch Ramp, Old Lyme
Oil on canvas, 10x10

The represented artists' show at the Wallkill River School Gallery on Saturday was hot, chaotic, crowded - and fun! It is always a pleasure to meet  new people, and especially new people interested in art... and it was just so great to see my old friends, artists and nonartists alike.

Before the show even began, a woman came up to me and told me that she remembered "The Christmas Surprise," one of the fictional serials I wrote for the Times Herald-Record. That conversation made my day.

And then the artists came in, and began setting up, and I tell you, it felt like going home to my adopted family.

There was Shawn Dell Joyce, with whom I'm showing in April, and who I called before I made my first painting, when I realized I had no idea how to do a background.

There was Bruce Thorne, the first person I ever saw painting with a palette knife, and there was his wife, Lita Thorne, who showed me how to push limits and be unafraid to make my own paintings.

Here's my painting in the landscape
There was George Hayes, with whom I had my first show, and Nancy Reed Jones, with whom I had one of my best painting days ever. There was kindred spirit and animal lover Lisa O'Gorman, and the ever so talented Mary Muegle Sealfon and Janet Campbell, and scores of others who shared their secrets and their inspiration with me, and helped me begin to learn how to paint.

So yes, it was too hot, and too crowded, and too nuts for words, but it was great fun, and greatly reassuring, too. I am so proud to be included as one of the represented artists in the gallery. I am in such excellent company.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Edge of the Sound, Madison

Edge of the Sound, Madison

I hoped I would have the chance to paint on New Year's Day, but work took over, and so what has become a tradition got pushed off for 24 hours. Even though I was working on the Monday holiday, there was not much to do, so I had the chance to scour Madison and Clinton in the afternoon and paint, on a day of wind and sun and high wintry clouds.

It was the kind of day that made me happy to have a big hat and a warm coat and a van to get into to thaw out. And the kind of day that made me happy to be alive.

If any of you are in the mid-Hudson Valley in New York, why don't you come to the Wallkill River School Gallery on Saturday? I'm part of a group show of represented painters, and will be demonstrating during the opening, along with everyone else.

It's a little chaotic, but it's a lot of fun, and it gives people the chance to see work by everyone who exhibits at the gallery throughout the year.

The gallery is at 232 Ward St., (which is also Route 17K) in Montgomery. The show is Saturday, from 5-7 p.m.

And in April, Shawn Dell Joyce and I will be doing a two-person show, "Dreaming in Color," at the gallery - so plan on coming!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rodanthe Revisited

Rodanthe Revisited
Oil on canvas, 10x10, sold

Look familiar? My friend Bonnie got in on the 10x10 action just when I was starting the project, and when she saw the original Rodanthe 10-inch by 10-inch painting, wrote to tell me how much she loved it.

Or how much she would love it, if the sky were blue.

I took it as a challenge, and approached the painting a second time, this time thinking of the clear blue skies I saw while I was down in North Carolina.

She loves it - and so do I. And it was fun to rethink the painting, too.

Hope you all had an excellent new year!