Monday, September 30, 2013

Edge of the Shore - and Edge of the Memory

Edge of the Shore
Oil on canvas, 18x36

Ronet Noe and I had a great time Saturday painting at Center Framing and Art in West Hartford Center, CT. 

Old friends and new came by - and I forgot to take photos of anyone. Please, if you visit and I am not taking photos, remind me! You'd think it would be second nature by now, but it is not. 


I HAVE REALIZED that I really do not remember much of my childhood. I remember scenes, and I remember places, but I don't remember the things that happened. 

For instance, I can recall the Ellisons' yard, where we always played, and I know I played with Cathy and Pat Ellison - but I can't remember the actual playing, or what Cathy looked like, though I know she had blonde hair. 

Interestingly, tellingly perhaps, I do remember their dog Max. 

I remember the first time I rode my bike with no training wheels. I remember a walk my grandfather took with my brother and me when we were very young. I remember rolling back the rug in the TV room and dancing wildly with my brother to "Sabre Dance." 

But beyond those few scraps, there's virtually nothing. 

And clearly, this is disturbing me. 

Do you all remember stuff from your childhood? More than outlines? I would love to know. 


This is a photo of the sky, a couple days ago at dawn in Wachapreague. Amazing! 

Dogs of the Day

Yes, I have plenty of photos of other peoples' dogs for Dog of the Day, but I ran across this one while I was looking for something else and wanted to post it. It's Jojo, on the left, and Woodreau, hanging out at the edge of my studio, offering friendship and protection. And you know what? I haven't been attacked One Time since they decided to protect me. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Afternoon on the Marsh

Afternoon on the Marsh
Oil on canvas, 30x40

I've been painting like crazy for the final few shows of the season, and for Center Framing & Art in West Hartford Center, CT, where five of my paintings have sold in the past few weeks. Five! Whew! 

This Saturday, I'll be painting with the fabulous Ronet Noe, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the store, 56 LaSalle Road, West Hartford Center, CT. Stop by and say hello if you're in the area. I'm bringing this painting and others to the gallery, so there will be lots to see. And if you haven't seen Ronet's stuff, you are in for a treat indeed. 


THERE'S A BID on one of the paintings I'm offering at auction on Daily Paintworks! You can click on the icon just to the right to see my two pieces, or click here to bid on "This Bright Morning,"  and here to bid on "The Way of All Earth"

Both auctions end Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. 


I'VE ONLY RECENTLY begun to ride my bicycle around town, and ...  it's fun! It IS a little scary, or it was at first - I hadn't ridden a bike in 30 years or more, and I felt wobbly and ungainly and unbalanced. I guess I still feel all those things, but I am getting used to it. 

One of the great things about riding a bike is that you see stuff you wouldn't otherwise see. For instance, I think the Virginia Department of Transportation is about to dig up our little town. There are arrows and squiggles all over our few roads. 

There's a houseboat docked at one of the marinas, too. That's another thing I'd never have seen in the car. And the marsh sunsets have been amazing. Here's one: 

Dog of the Day 

 This is Looie Looie, our very old Pekingese. I took this photo a while back. Looie is not doing well, and is not going to be with us for much longer. But while he's here, alive and kicking (and growling and nipping), he very much deserves to be the Dog of the Day.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Way of All Earth - and Something New

The Way of All Earth
Oil on canvas

I am trying something new today - putting paintings up on Daily Paintworks, a showcase and auction site devoted to two-dimensional art.

As usual, with me and the internet and new stuff, it's never quite as easy as it seems. Took me much of the past couple days to get to a point where I understand (I think) what is going on...

I've been pricing my 10x10 paintings at $100, and they have been selling so quickly that I have been running out. So the auctions offer me a chance to reach more people, and to test the $100 price. Also, I am curious to see how this will work.

p.s., the beautiful red/brown stuff in this painting is sorghum.


EVEN IF YOU'RE not interested in bidding, the site I am using - Daily Paintworks - is pretty fascinating, and worth a look. It showcases art from people from all over the world.

I found it in a way I think I should share with you all. Jason Horejs owns Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. He is an interesting and active gallery owner, who publishes a great monthly catalog of art; has an active website; has written an interesting book, "Starving to Successful," to help artists understand galleries better; and does regular art- and gallery-related podcasts.

Over the years, he has been approached by many artists, asking if he would act as a mentor, to help them launch or grow their careers. He decided to offer a free mentorship to an artist, and invite everyone who applied to watch the podcasts.

I applied, and of the 500 or so who did, was nearly chosen for the mentorship. Nearly!

Carolee Clark, who was chosen, makes colorful and fun paintings, and sells them on this auction site, which is how I found it. I've been watching podcasts Jason has done with her, and learning a lot from them.

Dog of the Day

Don't know this dog's name, but he lives at the corner of Main and Pearl streets, here in town. He's always riding in the back of this truck, usually standing on top of the boxes and crates the guy has in the back. He is leashed and chained, and while a part of me worries that he will fall off a box and get killed, the other part of me says he's been doing this for years, and the guy probably doesn't take him out of town, anyways. But this dog sure does have fun here in Wachapreague!  

Friday, September 20, 2013

This Bright Morning - and More on the Anniversary Surprise

This Bright Morning
Oil on canvas, 10x10

My painting in the landscape
My sky photo
A friend and I, realizing we are both sort of fascinated with the sky, set off in March on a project to take a photo of the sky every day and send them to each other. The morning sky was so gorgeous on Thursday that after I took my photo, I set up my easel and painted the dawn.


I PAINT BECAUSE I love to paint. Of all the possible things I could do with my life, painting makes me happiest. It makes me happier than I ever thought possible. When I paint, I am released from all worry, from all fear, from all boundaries. Painting, I feel pure joy. I believe that God is in all of us, and for me, painting comes from the place in me where God lives.

Selling paintings is not why I paint. Selling paintings is what I do to keep painting, to make it possible to paint and pay the bills. Painting is not a means to an end, but is an end in and of itself. Selling, while important, is tangential to the act of painting itself.

The other day, Joe Skelly, my prosperity coach, suggested that when someone buys a painting, currency stands in for love. I love what I am doing and I love my paintings. When a buyer does, nine times out of 10, Joe said, he or she can't really express that love - but the money stands in for it.

I see his point, and I think that some of the time, he's right. But not all of the time.

In doing the shows, I've met some of the best friends I've ever had. And this surprised me, I admit! I wanted my paintings to touch people. I hoped that when people looked at my paintings, they would feel what I felt when I painted them. I never thought about these feelings passing the paintings and coloring the relationships. But they do.


IN MY MOST recent post, I mentioned a man who had commissioned a sunflower painting for his wife for their anniversary. Here's a little addendum to that story.

Here's the painting in their
living room.
The husband came into my tent at the show in Leesburg, where we'd agreed the surprise would take place, and we smiled at each other and shook hands. His wife looked in to my tent and then, to my dismay, walked past my tent to the next one. He went out and got her, and they came in and the events unfolded.

In an email today, he said that on the way home, he'd asked his wife why she'd gone right by my tent.

"I couldn't bear it again," she told him, "looking at her work and not coming home with a piece."

This is sort of IT in a nutshell - not that someone walks away because they can't have a piece, but that the paintings hit them hard enough to touch them in their souls, as they touch me in mine.


COACH SKELLY came up here for our session the other day, and afterwards, we went out and painted. This was his first effort, and he did a great job. I really like his painting, and truly admire his bravery. No quibbles or hesitations on his part - he just jumped right in!

Joe has helped me enormously in terms of earning and learning. You can have a free introductory session with him to see if he could help you. Call or text him at 757-675-6569.


NEXT SATURDAY, the 21st, Ronet Noe and I will be painting on the sidewalk in front of Center Framing and Art, 56 LaSalle Road, West Hartford Center, CT.

Ronet is a wonderful painter and a good friend, and Lori, who owns the frame shop and gallery is an amazing woman and also a good friend. We always have fun when we do this - and part of the fun is meeting people and talking to them.

So if you are in the area, please come visit. You can watch us paint, check out the paintings in the gallery, and lighten up your Saturday for a while!

Dog of the Day
It's a baby Scotty! 

Want your pet to be featured as the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Harvest Home - and an Anniversary Surprise!

Harvest Home
Oil on canvas, 6x12

Oh, my, another crappy show. I came close to making the booth fee this time, though. 

But I must remind myself that not all the sales come during the shows for me. I've gotten a nice and exciting commission from the Wilmington show, and have hopes for another. And several people in Leesburg seemed serious about commissions, so I will contact them and get the ball rolling. 

An exciting thing about one of my sales is that the buyer was the son of John Cullen Murphy, one of the men who drew the comic strip "Prince Valiant." And the buyer's godfather was Mort Walker, who drew "Beetle Bailey" and "Hi and Lois." So that was very exciting for me. 

I met lots of nice people, who liked my work but just weren't ready to buy. This is always disappointing, but I have faith. I do believe I am making interesting paintings, different from the norm, fresh and full of energy. And they are selling, just not necessarily as I expect, or how I expect, or where I expect. 

And that is OK. 


AFTER A SHOW in Frederick, MD, earlier this year, I got a call from a man who wanted a sunflower painting on a bifold door. He and his wife had seen one of my paintings like this at the show, but someone else had bought it before they could. 

We talked about sizes and shapes, prices and colors, and had fun kicking ideas around. The whole thing was to be a surprise for Anthony's wife, on their 14th wedding anniversary. 

I finished the painting, they came to the show, and we had a wonderful celebration in my tent. Here are photos: 

The painting itself and that he had planned it and made it happen brought tears to her eyes. 

They look pretty happy, looking at their painting...

... and here they are, in front of their piece. They said they were as pleased as could be! 
I love being part of a surprise. Want to see another? Click here


I always wondered how Google Maps got its photos, and on my way to Leesburg, I found out... Or at least, I found out how the Street View photos are taken. 
I know some people believe that Google is stealing our info while they are doing this - and I don't know if they are or are not. But I do know that this rolling photo-car is pretty cool! 

Ran into some traffic on Route 13...

Dogs of the Day
I met these guys at the Leesburg show. They looked like BIG dogs with SHORT legs - and in fact, their owner says she believes that's just what they are. 
The closer one, she says, is an Australian shepherd/basset hound mix, and the red one doing tricks is a golden Lab/corgi mix. They were really cool dogs! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Peace Like a River

 A while back, another artist suggested that I try painting on bifold doors.

Cool idea, I thought, and went to the ReStore in Salem, CT, and bought four. They were insanely cheap, and I brought them home, gessoed them, and began painting.

I made a sunflower painting on the first one, and instantly found out why everyone doesn't use bifold doors as canvases.

For starters, the paint dries even more slowly on them than on canvases, because you're essentially painting on wood. Where paint dries from both sides on a canvas, it really only dries from the one side on a piece of wood.

Second, it is insanely difficult to deal with them. There's no way to pick them up easily, and at 14 inches by 79 inches, they're interesting - but tough to pack.

Still, every time I have brought one to a show, it's sold.

This time, I thought I'd put the background on the sunflower painting first. (I usually put the flowers on, then fill in the background). So I started painting, and in a while, I realized that I had something more than a background. I had a painting. Yes, a little decorative, a little sweet (I hate sweet) - but abstract and expressive and interesting, too.

IT'S MY MOM'S birthday today, and I miss her more than ever. I celebrate her birth this day, even though she has died. She was the best mom, and I was lucky to have her in my life for 50 years.

Here's a photo of her, on the screened-in porch of the house where we grew up. That's my sister, Laurie, in the foreground, and Mom in the background, looking at something, or hearing something, or dreaming and thinking something - or all of that together.


Dogs of the Day

Came across this dog family as I was looking for a place to paint.
They were thin, but seemed happy and healthy,
and very friendly, indeed. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Zack and George - and Leesburg

Oil on canvas, 12x12, commission

Oil on canvas, 12x12, commission

I don't HAVE to know the pets I paint, but when I do know them, it adds an extra layer to the process. Part of it is a difficult layer - there's even more of a mark to reach, in terms of making the painting look like the animal... But part of it is an easy layer. I know George and Zack, so I can supply information that's not in the photo I'm using. 

At any rate, they are fun dogs, and I love their people, so it was a good situation all around. 

Want a portrait of your pet? Drop me an email.

 George, meet George! 

Does this painting make me look fat?  
 What do you think, Zack? 

Let's take a look! 

THIS WEEKEND, I'll be in Leesburg, VA, at the fine arts show there. Should be Fun! I am in Booth K53, on South King Street. It was a very good show last year, and I expect there will be some excellent art there this year, too! Please stop in and say hi. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mia - and, Sigh, a Downer in Delaware

Oil on canvas, 12x12, commission

Well, the show in Wilmington was terrible for me, sales-wise, terrible, terrible, terrible. And to make it even more disappointing, it was a lovely show, well advertised, well attended. The people were terrific - friendly, supportive and polite - but they weren't buying, or at least they weren't buying my stuff. 

Four paintings sold, all my smallest pieces, $100 or less. People said they loved the bigger pieces, but didn't buy them. Maybe they were simply priced too high for the venue. Or maybe it was location - I was the third booth in from the main entrance, and I think that didn't help. No one wants to make their major purchase when they've just entered the event. 

Or maybe it just wasn't my day, and my buyers simply were not at the show. I did have a lot of interest from some really great people who loved my stuff and might want commissions, and so, perhaps, that's where the sales from this show will be. 

Still, there's little in life - outside of the major events - that feels worse than ending a show in the hole. 

But ending in a hole means that the next step is likely to be up. So I am keeping that in mind. It's a new day, a new week, and I have another chance next weekend. 

Here are some photos from the show: 

Here's my booth

The show was in a beautiful park in Wilmington, DE, along the Brandywine River. 

There were TONS of people at the show, so that wasn't the problem. 

I loved this. "Kindness to God's creatures is a service acceptable to Him," it reads.

Dog of the Day

There were great dogs at the show, and this little cutie was one of them. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Delmarva Farm - and a DelMarvelous Show!

Delmarva Farm
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

I was painting this farm - half-hidden by the soybeans, nearly ready to be harvested - when the farmer who owns the place came by.

He'd farmed there all his life, he said, but had sold off a lot of the land recently, as he was 78, and slowing down. Right now, all he has is 300 acres. Soybeans is what he mostly grows, and corn, too, and he rotates the crops year by year.

His kids don't want to farm, he told me. His wife had been a schoolteacher, and his kids had gone on to get higher degrees, and schooling he'd never had. One was a teacher, and the others were in business.

And he was happy, he said, that they had decided not to farm. 

THIS WEEKEND, I'll be at the Brandywine Arts Festival in Wilmington, DE. It looks like a nice art fair (DelMarvelous, even!), and I've heard it's good, though I've never been. I'll be in Booth J03, frighteningly close to the entrance (sometimes a great place to be, sometimes a terrible place...). The show is Saturday and Sunday; admission is $5, and children under 12 get in free. The entry price includes admission to the zoo, another frightening thing for me, as I really don't like zoos. 

So if you are in the area, please come by. And if you're not, please send your good thoughts my way! 

My next show is the following weekend, in Leesburg, VA. I did that show last year, and while I didn't do well financially, I had a great time, and got a number of commissions. Click here for more information on the Leesburg Fine Arts Show

Dog of the Day

Here's Django, who lives with Ashley Harper-Oberle near Austin, TX. I met Ashley through this blog, and we've become online friends. She writes Zen Daughter, a blog that I like very much, and it's been a real pleasure to get to know her. 

She and her kids named the dog Django because they liberated him from the pound - and in Texas, that's a life-giving move. 

He is half Great Pyrenees, and half golden, she writes, "nine months young and a big bundle of love." 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Red Umbrella - and... Feel Like Hosting an Art Party?

The Red Umbrella
Oil on canvas, 16x20

I don't remember when I started this painting, or even where I was. I THINK I was somewhere north of Boston - but even that memory is vague.

I've had this painting for a couple years at least - mostly finished, but not truly finished. I think I was afraid of painting the people, though I had sketched them in, and the sketches were really pretty good.

One thing I am learning is that paintings generally need less detail than I used to believe they needed. At this distance, for example, I don't have to worry about the nose on the guy sitting under the umbrella. I need only to suggest that there is a guy (or girl) sitting under the umbrella, and get close with the posture.

So I'm glad I saved this painting, glad I saw something in it, and let it sit until I was ready.


WOULD ANYONE OUT THERE like to host an art party for me? Ideally, you live somewhere that's not in the sticks, you have a fairly large home or apartment, or basement, or garage, or access to a fairly large space. You have lots of friends who love art and want to buy art for themselves or for their friends and family.

I'd pay for the refreshments, help with the invites, supply the art and be on my best behavior. We'd have fun!

Drop me an email if you think you might like to do this! It's

Dog of the Day

The Dog of the Day is... Puffy! She looks all cute and fluffy here, but believe me, she's as tough as any dog - at least any dog in this house. Jojo won't go near the couch when Puffy is relaxing on it like this.

And here are some real dogs having a howling good time: 


Monday, September 2, 2013

Morning in Wachapreague - and Success in Charlotte

Morning in Wachapreague
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

When I was in Charlotte in May for a show in the convention center, I met a wonderful man named John. He bought a painting from me, and commissioned me to paint his dog. Magically, it seemed, we became instant dear friends. I felt that I'd known him all my life. 

With his help and guidance this week, I am now represented in Charlotte by Judith Weston Voglesanger. She has a gallery in her home, and holds art events there; places art with clients throughout Charlotte; and is hanging her artists' work at a new wine bar and restaurant in Charlotte called J. Sam's. 

I'm pleased and excited to be represented in Charlotte, which is a fascinating city that seems to pay real attention to art. And I really like the work of the other artists Judith represents. So, yay! 

Here's the photo I used for "Morning in Wachapreague"


AN INTERESTING EVENT coming up in early October is a plein-air paintout at Olana, the Hudson, NY, home of Frederic Church. I am one of 30 artists accepted to paint on the grounds there, and I feel that I am in excellent company.

Truly, I have to say that I am amazed, really, at my good fortune. I look at the work of the other artists in this show, and the other artists represented by Judith, and I am sort of stunned that I am among them. I am so grateful, and truly so surprised and excited.

Since I have a show the weekend of the Olana event, I won't be at the auction itself, but I will have a piece in it, and will be on site painting for two of the days. So if you are in the area and want to say hello, come by on Thursday or Friday morning. And if you want to bid on my piece, or the work of the other artists, please go to the wet-paint auction on Saturday!

And for anyone who is not familiar with plein-air paintouts, what happens is that a number of painters go out into the landscape and paint, then choose a piece and bring it - wet! just finished! - to an auction, and the buyer takes it home as is. They are really, really fun times.

Here's the url of the event - - and below is a postcard about the event.


MY NEXT SHOW is this coming weekend in Wilmington, DE. It's the Brandywine Festival of the Arts, and is supposed to be a good show, and great fun! So if you're near Delaware, or if you want a post-Labor Day destination, come to the Brandywine Festival! 

Scenes from the Drive

Beautiful flowers along a North Carolina highway

A cool car somewhere in North Carolina

The sky, as I drove across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

Dog of the Day

YEARS AGO, around the time that my mother died, people began sending emails to another Carrie Jacobson, instead of to me. The difference in our addresses is that I use my middle initial - B - between my first and last names, and she doesn't. 

This delightful Carrie Jacobson, who lives in upstate New York, has gotten a lot a lot a lot of emails meant to go to me - some of them very personal, very private. She has also gotten lots of painting emails, lots of work emails and lots of inexplicable emails. She has sent them all to me with tremendous grace and patience. 

Eventually, we met. She's really nice, smart, funny, individual. I liked her enormously. And she bought a painting from me, too, so how great is that? 

So this is her dog, Vince. And my guess is that he's not as fierce as he looks. 

Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at  - and don't forget that "B"!