Saturday, April 27, 2013

And Away We Go - with Delphiniums

Oil on canvas, 18x24
Please contact me at for price and delivery info! 

Isn't this a cool painting? I love it so much! And on Sunday, it will be up in my tent at the Art on the Square show in Williamsburg, VA.

The show is on from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's a one-day show, with set-up starting at 5 a.m. Yowch! Nonetheless, I am excited about it, and about the whole season starting. I have good feelings about sales and shows and spring and summer.

In the past two days, I've been bumped from the wait list in two shows, the Boardwalk Art Show in Virginia Beach, June 13-16, and the Amagansett Fine Arts Show, in Amagansett, NY, July 5-7.

To see the rest of my show schedule - and plan your own summer art viewing! - check out my website, Jacobson Arts.


A couple tidbits:

YESTERDAY, I WENT around Accomack, the county seat, went into a couple businesses and a couple government offices, with a big tear in the back of my pants. It wasn't until the wind blew, and I felt it on the backs of my thighs, that I discovered the problems. Arrgghh!

Reminds me of the story a friend told me about her first day of work at a newspaper in a big Midwestern city. She was happy that she'd found an apartment within walking distance of the paper.

She walked to work that first day and thought - What a friendly city! Everyone is honking and waving at me, and smiling!

Later, she found out that she'd inadvertently caught the hem of her skirt in the waistband of her pantyhose. Sigh.


THE NEWEST EDITION of "Paws for Charity" is now available. Created by Sara Harley, it's a book of art about animals. I have been lucky enough to have my art included for two years now. The books are beautiful, the art is stunning and fun and varied, and all proceeds go to help shelter animals. ALL PROFITS. The books are available in hard and soft cover. The hardcovers are $11 more, Sara says, but make great coffee table books and are well worth it. I'd add that one of these books would make a great present for Mother's Day or Father's Day, or any birthday or any animal-lover. To see the books, click here:
You can also get the book as an eBook: 


AND FINALLY, the dog of the day is Charlie, Sara Harley's new pup! Want your dog to be Dog of the Day? Send me a jpg of him/her/them -

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Beach Houses

Beach Houses, Fort Monroe, AL
Oil on canvas, 10x10

I lived in Boston for 10 years after finishing college there. While I was at Northeastern, I lived a half-mile from where the bombs went off. Later, I lived two blocks away. 

It's been ages since I've been back, but still, I remember. Pretty much exactly where one of the bombs exploded, there was a famous club whose name I can't recall, where I heard lots of music, and met and interviewed BB King and his band. 

I remember, in the giant snowstorm of 1978, walking down the middle of Commonwealth Ave., closed because of the snow. I remember how amazingly quiet it was, and how frightening to see the armed National Guard guys making sure no one broke into the closed and powerless stores. 

I remember countless Patriot Days in Boston, wild, rollicking times, when you went to Fenway, or you went to the Marathon, or you just joined the party, which started early and lasted all day. 

Business shut down, no one stayed inside, and the feeling of festival - mostly a Boston festival, maybe a Mass. festival - but something the rest of the country didn't even know about, that made it feel sort of secret, sort of in-crowd, sort of special. 

Even this, even this horrible, deadly, crowd-injuring insanity, even this will not bring the celebration, the tradition, the festival to an end. Nothing. Next year, watch - it will be bigger, more exuberant, more enthusiastic than ever. And even more special. 

Here's the photo I used as reference for the painting

Scenes from the Shore

Yes, indeed, these are chickens, making it safely across the road in front of my car yesterday,
 just around the corner from our home. 

Spring is coming quickly to the Eastern Shore. I love this yellow stuff, even though I suspect
 it's what's making me sneeze. But it sure is pretty! 

Nice-looking cows, just outside of Wachapreague


  And here are George and Zack, the Dogs of the Day! They live with my friends Cynthia Battista and Kevin Ireton, in a beautiful antique home in Connecticut. 

DON'T FORGET to send a photo of your dog, if you'd like him or her or them to be 
the Dog of the Day! Just email me at  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hillside Farm, Pulaski, VA

 Hillside Farm, Pulaski, VA
Oil on canvas, 10x10

Here are some thoughts I had on the trip, and some things I noticed that never made their way into my emails: 

IF YOU WANT A JOB, the South wants you.

Starting in Georgia, I began to see huge highway billboards announcing jobs available. I saw these through Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana. 

In general, I didn't recognize the companies, but they seemed to range from manufacturing to oil to high-tech, just judging from the names. Of course, the pay levels were not listed on the billboards. But there are jobs for people in cities in those states. 


FROM NOVEMBER until just about 10 days ago, an arsonist here on the Eastern Shore burned more than 70 abandoned buildings. Night after night, the fire alarm would sound, and the little volunteer fire companies would go out and find an old, abandoned building ablaze. 

Police came here in droves, and tried everything they could think of to find the culprit, but the fires continued, night after night after night. 

Finally, a cop pretty much stumbled on them - a man and his girlfriend - and made the arrests. The couple confessed to setting most of the fires. The remainder were set, I am sure, by opportunistic homeowners. 

Maybe this is something that only someone who lives on the Eastern Shore would understand, but as I drove along through the South and toward the West, and saw abandoned building after abandoned building, I found myself thinking: "Gee, I bet the arsonist would like THAT building..."

It was only then that I realized that I'd been thinking those very same thoughts for months about abandoned buildings here. 

AS I DROVE THROUGH LOUISIANA, and the outskirts of New Orleans, I saw a sign for the French Quarter, Le Vieux Carre. I've seen photos and movies of the French Quarter all my life, it seems. Heard people's stories, read travel articles and restaurant reviews, read novels set in and around New Orleans. 

My decision not to go into the city brought with it a certain feeling of finality. If I didn't go to New Orleans this trip, it seems unlikely that I will ever go to New Orleans. 

I remember leaving Key West during an unhappy art-fair trip to Florida in November and realizing that I would never go back there. I'd seen Key West, I'd stood on the edge of America, seen Mile Zero, seen the descendants of Hemingway's cats - and I would not be back. 

I'm 56. Not old, but not young, either. There are millions of places to see, and I am not done seeing them. 

Sometimes I think of life as a long, long hallway with many, many doors opening onto many, many choices and many, many experiences. I can't quite see the end of the hallway, but I am starting to know that it is there. 

While there are hundreds of doors ahead of me, some of the ones behind me have swung shut and are locked tight. 


Scenes from the Road

This scene from Fort Monroe, AL, is going to make it into a painting soon. 

This Texas farm was abandoned, I think. I like the way the buildings sit on the land, and in the big Texas sunshine. 

These saguaro cacti were growing pretty high up, on the road to Sedona. 

THE DOG OF THE DAY is Gypsy, who lives with Heather MacLeod and her husband Joe Keller in snowy Brownfield, Maine!  Your dog can be the Dog of the Day, too! Send me a photo at 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sahuarita Saguaro

Saguaro, Sahuarita, AZ
Oil on canvas, 10x10

Our daughter, son-in-law and their two kids - 10 and 11 - are visiting, and I painted as much as I could in advance of their visit.  

Painting from photos of the trip brings the sights and sounds and scents of these beautiful places back to me in full. No, it's not the thrill of painting right on the site, but it is just as fine, in a more contemplative way. 

For those of you who haven't painted en plein air (outside, on scene), it can be just the greatest thing in the world. Standing in the landscape you're painting, you can see the light and shadows with real clarity. You can smell the earth and hear the wind and feel the sun (or rain) ... (or mist)... (or snow)... on your face. 

You can mix a color on your palette and hold it up to compare it to the color of what you're painting. You can easily shorten or lengthen distances, take out trees, push mountains back - make the adjustments you need to make to make the landscape a painting - and still check your changes against reality. 

I love it - but it's not a utopia. That wind can and does tip your easel over. Bugs fly around you, and get stuck in your paint. Sand and dirt and dust and little bits of who knows what also fly all over the place and end up in the painting. The sun can bounce off the canvas and pretty much blind you to colors. 

And above all, the light and shadows can change in a minute, so you'd better learn to paint fast. 

With all this, I have to say that it's my favorite thing to do. 

My next favorite is doing these studio pieces. I am enjoying the luxury of time, of easel stability, of light that doesn't change. It's great to be able to use the bathroom in the house, to get a hot cup of coffee, and to make a fresh sandwich to enjoy during my lunch break. 

And all the time, the photos and the paintings remind me about the places, the people, the discoveries of my trip out West. 



Here are some tidbits about saguaro cacti, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The cacti, the defining feature of the Sonora Desert are found exclusively there. 

Most important for their growth are water and temperature - though elevation is a factor. Too high, and the cold weather will kill them. 

The cacti don't all grow arms, though many do. 

They can live 150-200 years, if conditions are right! 


Scenes from the road (and elsewhere) 

I love the way the road winds along the hillsides of this New Mexico town, and I think it would make an excellent painting.

I haven't done a donkey painting, but I think I might have to give it a try. 

I think I need to make a 10x10 of azaleas! 

And, finally, an invitation: Since I am home now, it's a little tougher to get a Dog of the Day. I can always send photos of my dogs, but how fun is that? My friend and sponsor Sherry Svec sent me this photo of me with her dog Jack, and so Jack is the Dog of the Day today. 

Here's the invite: Send me a photo of your dog - with or without you in it, as you wish - and your dog could be the Dog of the Day. Click here to email me at

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Back Home and Painting!

 Near the Border
Oil on canvas, 10x10
Tubac Trip Painting no. 21

I am home, finally, in beautiful downtown Wachapreague, where I'm unpacking, touching up paintings, editing photographs and ... painting! 

I took hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of photos on the trip, and dozens of them are destined to make their way into paintings. 

This house, on the Texas/Louisiana border, was one that I knew would be a painting as soon as I saw it. This piece is a 10x10, and I am also going to make a larger one. I love the way the house sits on the land, and the way the sun plays on the faces of the building. 

I thought about stopping and painting it, but there were people at home at the time, and they were looking at me oddly as I took photos, so painting on site seemed a stretch. 


I've found my next project - and it is part of this one, in a way. My final day of driving was a long one, taking me from eastern Tennessee to home, through western Virginia. 

It was a long, gray day, that started with fog and ended with rain. Not a day for painting, not even considering the long drive I had. But it brought me through absolutely gorgeous countryside, and I took tons of photos. 

I've started to paint these, and will continue to paint them - but when I am finished with the Tubac trip paintings, I intend to drive to western Virginia and paint for a few days.

Scenes from the Days

The following photos show some of the beautiful Virginia farms I passed on my way home from Arizona. I am going to paint these as part of the Tubac trip, then go back to the area and paint more of them.

The photo above and the two below show Wachapreague, VA, the lovely Eastern Shore town where we live. It's just about the most beautiful place on Earth, I think. The building in the photo above is the Island House, a restaurant we're lucky to have in town! 

One of the inlets of our beautiful town

Dogs of the Day are two of our dogs! Jojo to the left and Woody to the right... or Jo and Yo and I sometimes call them...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Some of the Tubac Paintings Are Hanging Now in Groton CT

Some of my western landscapes

Carden Holland and I hung our show "There and Back" at the Groton Public Library on Friday and it looks great! 

All of the 10x10s I've made so far from the Tubac trip are hanging, as are three of the large pieces. 

Carden has a whole bunch of beautiful pieces, some in oils, some using a multimedia technique she's developed over the years. 

The show will be up through April 26, though Carden is going to pick up her work earlier. 

On Saturday, I'll be at the library pretty much all day, so please stop in! 

Some of Carden's work

For all of you who don't know Carden, she taught art for 23 years in the school system in Ledyard, CT. She now lives in central Pennsylvania, where she makes art and rides her horse Lauren. 

Carden says she makes art because it's what she has always done. 

"Drawings always enhanced my schoolwork, mural work beckoned me, and once I was in junior and senior high school, I was in art classes and working on the school magazine and yearbook. No wonder I went to art school, where I majored in painting." 

"I found my voice as an art teacher and remained one for 33 years," she says. During that time, she painted, made ceramic sculpture, participated in many juried shows, and had a few solo shows, as well. 

"Now in retirement," Holland says, "I am still inspired by my new surroundings and I am  still making art in a variety of media." 

Her work in our show is really wonderful. There are a few oil paintings, and the rest are paintings made with a fantastic process that uses gouache and ink. She makes the pieces on paper, then washes them in a tub and recolors them. They are fascinating and alluring pieces! 

The Groton Public Library, 52 Newtown Road, Groton, is open seven days a week, though the hours vary. For info, check the site at

Gorton's Pond, by Carden Holland

Fort Monroe, AL, by Carrie Jacobson

New London Fishermen, by Carden Holland

Our shared wall


p.s. Though I don't know where my next painting trip will take me,
 I already have my first sponsor!