Thursday, August 30, 2012

Canton Sunflower Farm

Canton Sunflower Farm
Oil on canvas, 12x48
This life offers some odd interactions.

I am painting this morning, on the side of Route 44 in Canton (pronounced the Ohio way, not the China way), when a red truck pulls up.

The door opens, and out steps an old guy wearing a T-shirt and a sort of strange hat. He looks to be in his 80s.

He comes over to me, and peers around the easel.

He stares at the painting for a moment, then turns to me.

"Do you ever paint regular?" he asks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Oil on canvas

The Berkshires show was a total financial bust for me. Over three loooong days of the show, not one painting sold. Not One. Ouch.

But I met some delightful people, including jeweler Cynthia Battista, who makes fascinating pieces in different kinds of metal and stone (click here to check out her work at; printmaker Leslie Peebles, who makes fantastical prints of nature and animals (click here to check out; and James Takaki, who makes metal garden ornaments in his Iron Arts studio in Vermont (click here to check out Below, there's a video of James talking about what he did with a big bag of money he earned at a show in Montana.

And I got some insights, too. James thinks that shows like this one, outside of urban centers, are just on the skids. Cynthia characterized the (very few) people who came to this show as "Martha Stewart" types, who are clearly not looking for my rough, vivid paintings or her unique, strong pieces. Peter says it's his theory that, at least in New England, the farther the show is from the coast, the less chance I have of selling.

I don't have theories yet. I am listening, and watching, and thinking. Do you have a theory? I'd love to hear it!


This weekend, I am at Olde Mystick Village, in Mystic, CT, for the Meet the Artists show. It's a small show, and includes the fabulous and fun painter Ronet Noe, the oddly humorous Greg Stones, work by show promoter Denise Morris Curt - and many more. I hope you'll come by, if you're in the area. It's Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and it will be fun! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Woodland Hills

Woodland Hills
Oil on canvas, 10x10

On Sunday in Mt. Gretna, PA, a lovely woman who'd been there Saturday came back with her fascinating and creative daughters and bought a $100 painting, Salt Marsh Mosaic, one of my favorites.

And that was it. That was the one sale of the entire show.

It was demoralizing, but it gave me time to think. I have changed my display a little. I am going to focus, for a while at least, on large paintings and small paintings, and not the in-between sizes. I'm going to make square paintings and long rectangular paintings - as soon as I go through my current canvases.

And most important - with Peter's help and support, and the help and support I get from all of you who follow this blog - I am beginning to understand that this is a long, long journey I am on. One show is just one show, one step on a pretty long road. Taking that view, one show doesn't matter. It was great that I got in, it was an honor, but it's not the show for me.

So this weekend, I am at Ski Butternut in Great Barrington, MA, for the first August edition of the Berkshires Outdoor Art Festival. The July festival has been going on for a while, and is a good show, I am told. This is the first year for this one, and so who knows. I have no expectations. It's a three-day show, and there were few people there Friday. And no one bought a painting.

But today is a new day, and it is beautiful here in the mountains! I've had the chance to paint these past couple days, and that sets everything right for me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Oil on canvas

The first day of the Mt. Gretna show was a disaster for me.

It is a gorgeous, magical place, a beautiful park surrounded by what I can only describe as troll houses, from the book "Doris & the Trolls." The ones near the park are several stories high, and entry is via narrow, precarious staircases. Flowers and vines grow all up and down the outsides of these homes, and people sat on porches all day, enjoying the art and the show and the comings and goings of the world.

The show is enormous, with more than 250 artists, and the work that I saw was very good.

And people were buying. They were buying hand-decorated bowls ($195 for a 12-incher). They were buying hand-turned pens. They were buying pottery and ceramics and sculpture made of rocks - they were just not buying paintings by me.

There are good shows and there are not so good shows. I have had the good fortune to have several good shows in a row. I hope that the sale-less part of this show was today, and that Sunday, buyers will show up, happy and ready to purchase.

I did meet a ton of very, very nice people, interested, pleasant, willing to share. They loved my work! They just didn't buy.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Oil on canvas, 12x12

I am often asked to donate work to charitable causes, and I am willing to donate 12 pieces a year. I can't give much money, and the Art for Shelter Animals Project is a little slow these days, but I still want to give of myself, and respond when asked.

Often, especially if there is an auction involved, I offer up a gift certificate for a pet portrait. Emma is one of these - and the first one where the owner has opted for a minimal kind of portrait, as opposed to one with tons of paint.

I've done a few of these. Here's one of Bert, my brother's bulldog, now deceased. Here's one of Gus, my first dog, now deceased. I like these, I love these actually! But it's scary to do them.

This weekend, I am at the Mt. Gretna Art Festival in Mt. Gretna, PA. I have heard that this is a fabulous show for painters. It's in a wooded park, which sounds fun, and apparently it draws a big crowd! The communication from the show's organizers has been spectacular, and I am excited by everything I've heard, and by the prospect of a new show in a new place. 

The following weekend, I'm at the Berkshires Art Festival, in the first year for an August show. It's at Butternut Basin, or Ski Butternut, or whatever it is called now. That sounds fun, too. 

And the weekend after that, Labor Day weekend, you can find me at the Meet the Artists show at Olde Mystick Village. 

This is a busy stretch, and I am loving it! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Woody - and 100 Cubed

Oil on Canvas, 10x10

At long last, I've started a Carrie Jacobson Artist Facebook Page (click here to go there)  - and have put up all the 100 Cubed paintings I can find in my computer.

The 100 Cubed is a series of 100 10-inch-by-10-inch paintings that I'm selling for $100. Nearly all of them are plein-air pieces... I'm using them to focus myself, to experiment, and to loosen up!

According to myself (not the most reliable source), I have completed 57 of the 100. Well, 58, counting little Woody here, the terrorist tsar of Wachapreague. I normally wouldn't do a dog on a 10 by 10 canvas, but I was painting at the South Norwalk show, and all I had was 10 by 10 canvases!

My question for all of you, and my request, is: Please go to my facebook page, look at the 100 Cubed project, and let me know if there are paintings that you remember, or you own, that I've not posted! I would really appreciate it.

And while you are there, please like me. Oh, please, please like me.

Sheesh, what Facebook has done to us.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Burton's Shore

 Burton's Shore
Oil on canvas, 10x10

One of the reasons, I think, that Wachapreague and the surrounding areas on the eastern shore of Virginia are so beautiful and untouched is that there are really no beaches there.

Instead, there's a gorgeous salt marsh that draws all sorts of birds, and deep inlets that are home to all sorts of sealife.

And there are barrier islands with beautiful, untrammeled beaches - but they're out between the bay and the Atlantic.

I am thankful for this, much as I love beaches. It has kept the eastern shore from looking like Virginia Beach or the Outer Banks, or any of a thousand other seaside spots that have been built up and built up and overbuilt up.

Here and there, of course, there are strips of sand, small beaches - like this one, on Burton's Bay. It is lovely, and filled with fiddler crabs. One of these days, I'll go swimming there. This time, I just painted.

Here's my painting in the landscape. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mystic Outdoor Art Festival - Yay!

My booth in Mystic on Saturday

The Mystic Outdoor Art Festival was great for me for all kinds of reasons. It was HOT, and that was not so good, but that was one small thing.

Homeless (the house is empty though the sale has not closed), I stayed with one of my very best friends two nights, and with my daughter and her family two nights. Both were just great.

At the show, tons of friends came by to say hello, friends from my recent life and friends from past lives - high school, The Westerly Sun - and it was great to see them.

People who have bought paintings from me came by to say hello, which was great! They are all loving the paintings they have, and that made me feel really good.

Lots of people were very interested in my new paintings, and took cards and post cards. They asked great questions that made me think - and they generously shared insights and moments in their lives with me. That's part of the shows that I really like.

And sales were excellent! A friend from Patch bought my turtle painting. A new friend - and collector - bought two of the 100 Cubed pieces. And a woman who had been in love for years with the Canadian Cows painting - my biggest - bought it! I helped her hang it in her living room, and took this photo. Doesn't it look great?

My painting in the buyer's living room

I don't know that I have ever been happier to sell a painting. The buyer had been at the very first show where I hung this painting, and had fallen head over heels for it. But it was large and expensive, and she couldn't quite bring herself to do it. She came to show after show, visiting the painting, (I have done this myself and I know what it's like) - and on Saturday, she realized she had to have it.

I delivered it and helped her hang it. She was so right, the painting was perfect for the space.

And the show was perfect for me.

My booth in Mystic on Sunday, cowless

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Storm Coming, Parksley

Storm Coming, Parksley
Oil on canvas, 24x24

So an interesting - and scary - thing is happening. My big paintings are selling - and I need quality big paintings to replace them!

As challenges go, this one is grand and delicious. I love painting big, love it! And the challenge gives me an emotional carte blanche to USE the big canvases I have, to USE the paint I have, to USE the time I have to make big, juicy paintings.

My tendency, and you can hear my Scottish and German heritage in this, is to pinch those pennies till they bend. Save the big canvases. Don't use one drop more paint than necessary. Don't gamble.

But one of the many joys of big paintings - especially big plein-air pieces like this one (24x24 is medium big, but big for a plein-air piece) is the risk. Especially when I am painting in the face of a storm. Gotta do it quickly, gotta do it without fussing, gotta be bold!

The sky down here on the Eastern Shore is a huge, marvelous, inspiring thing. The clouds climb like mountains into the clear air, the sun reflects their size and beauty, and the flat open land gives me full access. I love painting here!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday Morning Salt Marsh

Wednesday Morning Salt Marsh
Oil on canvas, 10x10

The show in South Norwalk, CT, was fabulous! It was my first time in it, and I was nervous. I've never been to South Norwalk - or to much of any place down in that corner of the state. I had heard that this show had very high-quality work, and of course, that made me nervous, too. Finally, it was my first time "camping," (sleeping in the camper in a "campground") and that had me nervous, as well.

I had a good spot, next to my friend, the extraordinary artist Ronet Noe. I drove to South Norwalk and found my spot Friday night, and I was glad I did. I got lost four times - and set-up was Saturday morning, which is always difficult; I had no time to spare.

There was a good crowd, and they understood art and were there to look and buy. By and large, they liked and responded to my paintings - and that's always great!

The big Clinton Marsh painting sold, as did Saltwater Farm, one of my long-time favorites. I was a little sorry to see both of these go, but I was happy for the sale. And a delightful couple who have been collecting my work bought three of the 100Cubed pieces!

Staying in the teeny camper made for a totally different experience. The "campground" was pretty much wall to wall GIANT RVs, many of which spend the entire summer there. I did see a few tents, and I believe I saw one woman and a dog sleeping in a van. I wouldn't call what I did "camping," but would call it RV-ing - and it was fun. There are a few hurdles I have to get over still, but it seems like an enjoyable and relatively cheap way to stay during at least some of the shows.

This weekend, I'll be at the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival! That's such a fun show, and if you're in the area, I hope you'll go. I'll be at the corner of Willow and Main streets, across from the post office and near the bagel place.

Here's my tent at SoNo:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Millwrights Restaurant!

Four of my five paintings in Millwrights! 

Well, it turns out the restaurant folks didn't buy 11 paintings - but they bought five! And they look fabulous up on the wall in the very lovely Millwrights restaurant in Simsbury, CT.

The restaurant is a treat for the eyes and I would bet good money that it is a treat for the taste buds as well.

It is narrow and high-roofed, with lots of wood and an earthy but high-flown feel. One entire wall is glass, looking out on a beautiful river and waterfall. The other wall is filled with my paintings. I couldn't get far enough away to get all five in the shot, but don't these four look wonderful?

I met chef/owner Tyler Anderson, who is very well known around Connecticut and nationally, too. In CT, he ran the famous and much beloved Copper Beech. And he won "Chopped," the TV show where chefs make delicious dishes out of incongruous ingredients.

He was as nice as he could be, despite the fact that it was several days before opening, and the chaos was just about overwhelming.

I also met maitre d' Brent Bushong, who was riding herd on the restaurant before Tyler got in that day. Brent was all angles and energy, seeming to know everything that was going on in minute detail.

These two could not have been more welcoming, taking time from their intensely busy days to shake my hand and tell me how much they love my paintings.

The restaurant focuses on inventive, sophisticated American food, locally sourced and fresh as possible. The value of local foods and local farms has long been a passion of mine, and so it makes me even happier that my paintings are hanging in a place with an ethic and a mission in which I believe.

So if you're looking for a delicious, interesting meal, go to Simsbury and check out Millwrights. And be sure to tell them how much you like my paintings!


If you're in western Connecticut this weekend, please come to the SoNo Arts Celebration in South Norwalk! I will be in Booth 448, on the plaza near the railroad overpass, at the intersection of Washington and North Main streets. I am excited about a new show in a new place - new for me! Please say hi if you come!

Thursday, August 2, 2012



For anyone following the ins and outs of our home sale here in CT, feel free to let up a little cheer - the water test came out A-OK, and so the sale of the house can go through.

I am doubly, triply glad about this, because my water duties this past weekend (running the hose for 10 minutes every hour) meant that, at the very last minute, I had to pull out of the Meet the Artists show in Olde Mystick Village. Again, I apologize to anyone who went to the show looking for me!

This weekend, I'm in a show in South Norwalk, CT, the SoNo Arts Festival. I'm in Booth No. 448.... Don't know where that is, but I imagine the booths will go in numerical order, so I should be findable. This is a new show for me, and I have heard it's excellent!

The following weekend, it's the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival! This is a good, busy time.

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