Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Raising a Cloud - And Happy New Year

Raising a Cloud
Oil on canvas, 30x30
Please contact me to find out about price and availability

It's been a great year, thanks in large part to all of you, who have supported me spiritually and financially, encouraged me, critiqued my paintings, and told me to pick myself up when I felt down. 

I truly appreciate it! 

Today, a person who has bought a number of my paintings came to visit, with his girlfriend. We have become friends over this year, and we had a lovely time, talking, looking at my paintings and going out to lunch. Chris gave me a beautiful piece of art that he had made. It stands in a place of honor with art given to me by Catherine Lenoci, Cindy Bennett, Bonnie Brankey and ... have I forgotten anyone? 

The decision to leave a regularly paying job to make my way as an artist was terrifying and energizing. I'd never have done it without my husband. I'd never continue it without the support and love of my brother and sister, my dad and stepmother, and the hundreds of people who've bought my art, read my blog and cheered me on. 

So I go into 2014 happy and hopeful and grateful - and so optimistic. 

I hope that the new year brings you all everything that your hearts and souls desire. 


Snow Geese

You can just barely see them, but they are there, in the last sky of 2013. It's the first flock I've seen this winter - I'm so looking forward to seeing them covering the fields here on the Eastern Shore. 

Dog of the Day

Here's Heather MacLeod's dog Gypsy, looking a little less than thrilled at the Maine snow.
 And winter has only just started up there! 

On the Easel 
Another cowboy painting! This one is 20x60. I can hardly wait to finish it!

Monday, December 30, 2013

December Farm, Route 13 - and the Joy of Homemade Soup

December Farm, Route 13
Oil on canvas, 20x20

It's early in this cold, late-in-the-year day, and I'm sitting in our little kitchen. It's warm in here, and aromatic, because I'm making soup. 

And that's my message for today: Make More Soup. 

It's great on all sorts of levels. It makes me shop differently. I buy different cuts of meat and poultry, because it will be delicious today, and then will go to great use in soup. 

Soup makes use of all the leftovers, too, turning stuff I used to throw away into stuff that's delicious and healthy and smells great all day. 

Today's soup involves the bones of our Thanksgiving turkey, which I froze after Thanksgiving; a couple of chicken carcasses from a chicken we cooked, and an already-bought chicken, also frozen. Right now, the bones are cooking with onions, carrots, celery, and lots of basil and oregano. 

This afternoon, I'll add some roasted vegetables I froze from our Thanksgiving dinner, and add the remaining vegetables and pork from our Christmas dinner. We have some odds and ends of this and that that I'm going to throw in, too - sausage from Sunday breakfast, the tail end of some ham we had last week, and a turkey kielbasa I found in the meat drawer. And this afternoon, while I'm painting, I will cook some potatoes and carrots and onions in the oven, and add them, too. Toss in some beans, some canned corn and some broccoli I froze this fall, from a neighbor's garden, and tonight's soup will be yummy! Tomorrow's soup will be even better! 

Above all, I love making soup because it uses what we have, and puts it all together in new ways. In our house, soup is always an adventure, and often, a metaphor. 


THIS VIDEO made me laugh, and cry all at once. So you have been warned. 


Dog of the Day

This beautiful guy is Benji, foster dog of Lori and Greg Rowe. In addition to being a Red Sox fan, and a beautiful, tall gal, Lori is also a fabulous artist. I love her work in general, and her portraits of pets in particular. Check out her stuff at her website, artbylorirowe.com

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Through the River - and Woody's House

Through the River
Oil on canvas, 12x24
On Christmas Day, I went into the studio to paint. I'm stocking up for the coming show season, which starts with my California Calling Painting Extravaganza (there's still time to sponsor me!) and the Southwest Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.

I've not been unhappy with my recent paintings, but I've had the feeling that there's been something missing, some quality of joy or satisfaction, that highest note that maybe only I can hear.

I used to dread this feeling, this hard-to-describe malaise - but I have come to welcome it, since it inevitably heralds a breakthrough.

And this time, it was a doozy. I was sitting in the studio, and I had a small canvas, 6x6, and the idea came to me to make a painting of a cowboy on horseback. I went searching for a photo, and found one, and painted Cowboy Up!  And I loved it.

I've been painting cowboys ever since, and having an absolute blast. This is the second painting I've done, and I am still loving it, barely able to wait until the sun comes up to go out to the studio and start painting.

This new phase, as all of my art, is, I believe, God working through me. I drew horses when I was a kid - but that's it. I have no special knowledge of horses or cowboys or anything - and yet, here are these paintings, and I think they're good, and exciting - and they feel authentic.

So I am grateful and excited - Yee ha!

Dog(house) of the day

We decorated Woody's house for Christmas - and he seems to love it! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cowboy Up! - and Five Gifts to Give Yourself

Cowboy Up
Oil on canvas, 6x6

I hope you had a lovely holiday, no matter what you celebrated. And if you don't celebrate anything, I hope you had a peaceful day at home, or at work. 

We had a nice Christmas,  though our Christmas dinner was delayed until Boxing Day, as we ran out of propane, in spite of being on automatic delivery. Oh, well. There are plenty of worse things than Chinese food for Christmas. 

In the spirit of the season, and with inspiration from Marc and Angel  and, yes, I admit it, tags from my Yogi tea, I've come up with a list of five things you can give yourself, now that Christmas is over. These are all free, and when you're in the right place, they're easy.

1. Believe in yourself. What you feel, what attracts you, what inspires you, this is all legitimate. If you're drawn to a person, an idea, a pursuit, go with it. If you can't make time for it, if doing it seems difficult or insurmountable, whatever it is is probably not for you. Do what you're good at, and what feels good.

2. Tell the truth - or as my mother would say, tell your truth. Whenever you can, no matter how scary it is, you're better off telling the truth - especially to yourself. If telling the truth is going to hurt someone else, and you don't want to do that, then stay silent. Do anything but lie. 

3. Forgive yourself. Whatever you did or didn't do, said or didn't say, promised or didn't promise, it was then. It was in the past. You can't change it. What matters is this moment. What you can change is this moment. What you can participate in is this moment. 

4. Forgive the other guy. Forgiveness is liberation. It frees you from the bad feelings. It keeps you from living in the past. Forgiveness lets your forget, or at least minimize anger, hate, bad feelings. And without them, believe me, today looks much better. 

5. Accept who you are and where you are in life. You are perfect. It might not seem so, from time to time, but you are. The things you think of as failures, they are learning experiences. They are growing pains. The things you think of as shortcomings, they are motivating opportunities. The things you don't like about yourself, someone else loves. So today, take this moment to accept yourself. 

What would you add to the list? What gifts are you giving yourself today? Please use the comments below, or drop me an email at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com.


NOW THAT CHRISTMAS is over, I am turning my thoughts and energy to my upcoming California Calling Painting Extravaganza! 

There's still time to sponsor me, at any of four levels. Sponsoring me means you will get art by me, access to a sponsor-only blog/newsletter, postcards from the road and a chance to win any painting I make, or that you want commissioned. 

As I found with my Tubac and Back painting trip, sponsorships change the landscape for me. Not only do they help me defray my expenses up front, but they also mean that I paint for you. I'm not painting for random people who might come into my booth, but for people who trust me enough, believe enough in me, and like my work enough to pay for art before I even make it. It turns a fun trip into a magical one. 


Our former neighbor, Dulcie, who is 92, has moved from Wachapreague to her family's farm/compound up the road in Quinby. We went to visit her in her new place a couple days before Christmas, and found her cooking dinner for eight people. Here she is in the kitchen of her new place. On the wall behind her is one of the paintings from my Tubac trip. 

Dog of the Day

This is Big Mama, a cat we met at the vet when we took Sam in the other day. She had sunburn so badly that her ears had to be amputated. But she can still hear, and in that marvelous way of animals, she clearly doesn't feel sorry for herself. She strutted right up to us, demanding attention and petting.

Want your pet to be Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

And It Came to Pass...

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
 lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


I hope all of you have joyful, beautiful holidays, filled with love and peace and the best of the season. 

Here are trees of some of the readers of this blog

Bonnie's tree

Candy and Jeff's tree

Mary's tree

Linda's tres

Linda's other tree

Tiffany's big tree, and Tiffany's bird's tree, in the background

  Our tree, with a star made by my friend Cindy

My studio tree

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Groton Reservoir - and Let's See Your Tree!

Groton Reservoir
Oil on canvas, 30x40

One of the great things about living in Ledyard, CT, was being near the Groton Reservoir. I painted it often, and in all seasons. Some of my very favorite paintings from the years we lived in Ledyard are of the reservoir - and this is one of them. 

It is one of the first large paintings I did with a palette knife, and while it had some of the feeling I was hoping to communicate, it was lacking something - a little life, a little breadth, a little color? So I went back in and worked on it again, and this time, whatever was missing is there.

May We See Your Tree?  

In Saturday's entry, I posted a photo of our Christmas tree.  My friend Bonnie Brankey, a wonderful artist,  sent me this photo of her tree. Could we share our trees, or our Hanukkah bushes, or our holiday-decorated pink flamingos - or whatever you decorate? 

Please send a jpg to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com, and I'll post them here on the blog on Christmas Day. 

Dogs of the Day

 Gotta love 'em! Want your pet to be dog of the day? Send a jpg to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Kathryn's Brothers - and a Lovely Sunset

Kathryn's Brothers
Oil on canvas, 30x40

While this one was in progress, I posted it on Facebook and asked for title ideas. Kathryn, who sponsored me on my Tubac trip, and is sponsoring me again (yay!) on the California Calling Painting Extravaganza, said it looked like her brothers. 

Well, she said, she has five brothers (can you imagine???) - so maybe these four donkeys were all watching the fifth. 

Whatever is going on, I think it's a cool name for a painting, rivaling only "Rusty Refrigerator," which has to be my favorite title ever - and is one of my very favorite cowscapes, too. 


This was the sunset tonight in Wachapreague. It was oddly, bizarrely warm today. Nice - but not much like December. 

And today (Saturday) is the shortest day of the year. Sunset has already started getting later. So now, sunrise will start to get earlier. Yay! 


Here's our tree! 

Dog of the Day

Here's Woody, in the midst of playing with Jojo... 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We Three Kings - and a Hat-Stealing Ho-Ho-Hound

We Three Kings
Oil on canvas, 36x48

I've not been feeling very Christmasy. 

I've been painting hard, and am excited about my new pieces, "We Three Kings" top among them. (I love the black canvas!) I've been thinking about what I need to do, what I need to paint and what I need to buy for the California Calling Painting Extravaganza, coming up soon!!! (Click here to find out how to sponsor me - and please consider it!

I have been, and am always, moved by the real celebration of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, but that is a personal thing for me, and not one generally marked by what I think of as "the Christmas spirit."

I've been thinking about the troubles our now-oldest dog is having, and how tough it's going to be for Peter when I'm on the road. I've been thinking about one family member's recovery from hip-replacement surgery, and the sad and sudden dissolution of another family member's marriage. 

My birth family, the Coopers, had our holiday gathering weeks ago, and it was great, but it was weeks ago. In my own little family here, the season has difficult emotionally for a few years, and Peter and I have not done much for each other for Christmas. 

I told a friend about all this, and she shared with me that she really begins feeling the spirit when she focuses on giving. So that's what I did. I put on my Santa hat (thanks, Ronet Noe!) made some donations, got a couple others ready to go (stuff for the animal shelter and for a church second-hand store). 

Then I put up our Christmas tree, and I went out and went shopping and bought a couple small presents. And it was fun! 

Since I left my regularly paying job, I haven't "gone shopping," except at local thrift stores. You know, I haven't cruised around, looked at everything, tried stuff on, imagined how this or that would look on me, or on him, or on that friend; how this person would delight in using that; how we don't really need this, but wouldn't it be nice... I haven't been a consumer in spirit or in deed. 

But on Tuesday, I was, and it was fun. 

Between the giving and the buying, the Santa hat and the silly dog that stole it (see below), I managed to crack open the Christmas spirit. 


(Thieving) Dog of the Day

I met this dog on the street in Onancock, a cute little town just north of here. Rambunctious, exuberant and thrilled with the smells of our dogs, he jumped up on me, stole my Santa hat, and set about trying to kill it. He managed to put one little tooth-hole in it, and more than anything, he made me laugh. 

Want your pet to be Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thinking of Summer - and a Painting in Its New Home

Thinking of Summer
Oil on canvas, 10x10
As I am planning my trip to California to paint, give workshops and do shows, I have found myself thinking of summer, even though it's plenty cold here in Virginia. 

To me, summer is more than warmth. It's early dawns and late sunsets. It's the coolness of shady trees, the smell of freshly turned dirt, the brilliant colors of flowers. It's bare feet, and the sounds of people playing and doing things outdoors, and fireflies lighting the gentle nights. 

That's where my head was, in summer, when I made this little painting, a rare abstract, and one that I really like. 


AFTER SPENDING MOST of the day struggling to put together a not very complicated easel - and failing mightily - I just put it aside and started a cowscape. I really like it, especially on the black canvas. The cows are going to be standing in water, so chances are that this will not be a minimalist painting - but I might try some more cows on another black canvas, and leave it without much non-cow stuff. 

I think this painting has a little bit of the feeling of cave drawings, and I like that! 


 Late in the summer, a lovely woman from Delaware commissioned me to make the painting you see above. It's 24 by 72 - big! - and what you can't really see well is that there's a couple, a child and a dog walking along the beach.

Here's how it looks in their home. Nice!

Dog of the Day

She was aged and arthritic, but what a dear face. I am sure she was a sweet dog. But her aches and pains finally got the best of her, and her owners decided it was her time. 

No one will ever replace Flossie, but she's been followed into the family by Gonzo, 
pictured above. He's bound to bring love and joy and entertainment, 
and help Flossie's family put distance between themselves and their sadness. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Max and Carrot - and Woody, Too

Oil on canvas, 12x12
So where does inspiration come from? I can't say that I know. But I do know I recognize it when it comes calling. 

And that's sort of the answer for me. 

Inspiration is not here with me 24 hours a day. The muses just aren't always singing. 

Luckily for me, I had a lifetime before this one that also brought me into contact with inspiration and the muses. And I learned, from my years of writing and editing, and writing headlines and captions, that the best way to greet the muses when they do show up, and entreat them to stay for a while, is to be prepared. 

When I was writing and editing a lot, I eventually began to think of those activities as muscles that needed to be exercised and strengthened every day. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and edited and edited and edited, and so, when inspiration showed up, I was tuned in enough to recognize it and lithe enough to capture it. 

The same goes with my painting. 

I paint and paint and paint. I paint every day. I try things, and try things again, and then try again. And when, for instance, Max goes from being a cardboardy face on a canvas to taking on the soul of the dog, I can recognize the moment of inspiration and grab hold and, if I am lucky, hear those muses singing. 

What about you? Do you think that inspiration deserves more respect, more of a princely welcome? How do you seek and find inspiration? 

Oil on canvas, 12x12

p.s., Carrot and Max live together, and their portraits are going to hang together. Fun! 

Want to give a pet portrait as a Christmas present? I'll send you a gift certificate to give to that special pet-loving someone. Email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com


AS MOST OF YOU know, I think, I am embarking in mid-January on a painting trip to California, and I'm looking for sponsors. 

Sponsorships run from $50 to $750. For your hard-earned $$, you receive art that I paint on the way! You also receive goodies from the road, including a 2015 calendar of paintings to the trip; postcards from my travels; regular emails with paintings, stories and photos from the road; and a chance to win a big painting of your choice. 

Sponsorships make great Christmas presents! If anyone wants me to suggest to a friend or significant other that you might like a sponsorship, please email me at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com, and I'll drop the hint. 

Dog of the Day

Here's Woodreau. He's a bichon we rescued; he was so messed up, it was a year before we could pet him. He did make friends with the dogs right away.

Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Send me a picture at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter's First Snow - and... Finished?

Winter's First Snow
oil on canvas, 10x10
A friend and reader of this blog sent me a photo from the winter's first snow in Connecticut. I love making snow paintings, and had never tried a minimal one, though of course, it is a natural, right? 

I had an absolute blast making this piece, and then my friend bought it. So, fun for both of us! 

If you'd like a snow painting, 10x10 for $100, please let me know. I love painting them, but as a general rule, they don't sell at shows. So I'm happy to paint them for you - and I have ideas about giving them as Christmas gifts. 

Want one? Drop me an email at carrieBjacobson@gmail.com, or call me at 860-442-0246. 


SO, CLEARLY,  MY conversation with my artist friend has had an effect on my painting, as I've done three minimal pieces in a row. And that's good! I needed to add more to my repertoire. 
This wave is 24x40, so it's big. And I think it's finished. What do you think? 


 Above, the gazebo in town, with the Christmas tree lighted up. There's a great story about this tree, but I need to wait until the weekend to tell it.

Below, Main Street in Wachapreague on a rainy evening earlier this week.


Dog of the Day

Today, we honor and remember Xena, the wonderful dog who lived for the past 13 years with my friend Tiffany Williams and her family. 

In addition to being a good watchdog and a well-behaved girl generally, Xena allowed animal after animal to come into the house and be fostered. 

She went to the Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday, and she will be missed forever by all who knew her. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Storm Over Eagle Nest - and What's in Sparky's Ears?

Storm Over Eagle Nest
Oil on canvas, 6x12

The other day, an artist friend focusing on 2014 shows asked me whether I'd made the shift from wall-to-wall-paint pieces to minimal pieces. 

I said I hadn't, not really, and when this artist asked why, I had answers, but I was really hemming and hawing, and my friend picked up on it. And challenged me.

If I didn't have the nerve to commit to an entire tent, an entire display of minimalist paintings, this artist said, I was not going to find success with them. 

When we stopped talking, I'll tell you, I was mad and I was hurt. This was not the first time that this person had challenged me. During the summer, when I was in New England for six weeks, doing a series of shows and visiting friends and family, this artist had suggested that instead of doing so much visiting, I should be doing more painting. Should be more disciplined, more productive. 

Both times, I felt like snapping back: I didn't ask for your opinion. I don't tell you how to do your work. I would never suggest changes to your display, or to your art. 

But I didn't say any of that, and after my flash of anger subsided, I was able to see the truth behind the challenges. 

Yes, this summer I could have done more paintings. I could have been more disciplined. 

Right now, yes, I don't have the courage to commit fully to the minimalist paintings. They come with problems I don't know how to solve yet, and a market I don't know how to find. 

But I can make inroads. I can initiate evolution. I do have the courage for that. 

Would you challenge a friend the way this artist challenged me? How have you handled being challenged by people who, while they are friends, are not your close friends or family? 


REMEMBER SPARKY, here, the Dog of the Day from a couple weeks ago? Well, a blog reader, Andrew Graham (he's a fabulous interior designer - you can see his work by clicking here) - saw a secret in Sparky.

Take a look at his ears. In each one, you can see the face of a woman. Right? Spooky!


THE CALIFORNIA CALLING trip is shaping up! I've been juried into three good-looking shows, and I'm quite excited. 

The Southwest Arts Festival, in Indio, California, runs from Jan. 23-25. I will stay in California and paint for a week or so after the show, then head to my Dad's house in Tubac, where I'm in the Tubac Arts Festival from Feb. 5-9. I'll paint in Tubac, and, I hope, conduct a couple workshops there, then head home at the end of the month, after participating in the Rio Grande Arts Festival in Albuquerque. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Morning Hours - and Sponsors Are Signing Up

The Morning Hours
Oil on canvas, 24x48

I never used to like paintings of flowers, but then I started making the sunflower paintings and my attitude changed. After a few years of sunflowers, I started some delphiniums and then hollyhocks - and now, I have to say that I love painting flowers. 

I don't know that these are as transporting as landscapes, or as personal as pets - but they are pretty and uncomplicated and filled with sun and the promises of summer. And on a good day, that's enough to make me happy. 

The poem from which I took the title is at the end of this blog post... 


People are signing up to sponsor me on my California Calling trip - and I hope that you will, too! There are four price levels this trip, starting at $50 and going up to $750. Everyone at every level gets access to the special Tubac and Back newsletters. Everyone gets a chance to win a painting, up to 36x60 inches. Everyone gets a calendar of paintings from the trip, and some other goodies, and everyone in the top three levels gets art! 

And everyone, everyone gets my undying gratitude. 

Buy a sponsorship for yourself, or to give as a present, or go in with some friends on one of the multi-art levels... or shoot me your ideas and I'll see if I can make them work! 

Dogs of the Day

Sam the Samoyed and Zoe, lhasa apso, are both very old. They're also both pretty blind, and now, are going deaf. And they are very sweet. I'll tell you, though, when one is trying to go up the back steps, and one is trying to go down, it's chaos. 


Here's the poem, by Alfred Austin, from which I took the title of this painting. 

A Country Nosegay
Where have you been through the long sweet hours
That follow the fragrant feet of June?
By the dells and the dingles gathering flowers,
Ere the dew of the dawn be sipped by noon.

And sooth each wilding that buds and blows
You seem to have found and clustered here,
Round the rustic sprays of the child-like rose
That smiles in one's face till it stirs a tear.

The clambering vetch, and the meadow-sweet tall,
That nodded good-day as you sauntered past,
And the poppy flaunting atop of the wall,
Which, proud as glory, will fade as fast.

The campion bladders the children burst,
The bramble that clutches and won't take nay,
And the pensive delicate foxgloves nursed
In woods that curtain from glare of day.

The prosperous elder that always smells
Of homely joys and the cares that bless,
And the woodbine's waxen and honeyed cells,
A hive of the sweetest idleness.

And this wayside nosegay is all for me,
For me, the poet-the word sounds strong;-
Well, for him at least, whatever he be,
Who has loitered his morning away in song.

And though sweetest poems that ever were writ,
With the posy that up to my gaze you lift,
Seem void of music and poor of wit,
Yet I guess your meaning, and take your gift.

For 'tis true among fields and woods I sing,
Aloof from cities, and my poor strains
Were born, like the simple flowers you bring,
In English meadows and English lanes.

If e'er in my verse lurks tender thought,
'Tis borrowed from cushat or blackbird's throat;
If sweetness any, 'tis culled or caught
From boughs that blossom and clouds that float.

No rare exotics nor forced are these;
They budded in darkness and throve in storm;
They drank their colour from rain and breeze,
And from sun and season they took their form.

They peeped through the drift of the winter snows;
They waxed and waned with the waning moon;
Their music they stole from the deep-hushed rose,
And all the year round to them is June.

So let us exchange, nor ask who gains,
What each has saved from the morning hours:
Take, such as they are, my wilding strains,
And I will accept your wilding flowers. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Patagonia Hills - and California Calling!

Patagonia Hills
Oil on canvas, 10x30

This is another of those paintings, like "The Red Umbrella," that I started a while ago - and never quite knew how to finish. 

I have loved this painting since I made it, on my first trip to Arizona, several years ago. I was inspired by the clear, bright light; by the rhythm of the mountains, and by the thick, high grass growing along the path.

The original painting became almost an underpainting. Then I put more paint on the canvas, raising the highlights and lowering the lowlights. I added some colors, added some movement, and there you go. 


I LOVE THAT I found and reworked this painting, because it helps me invite you to join in my next sponsored painting trip, the California Calling journey! 

This time, I'm heading to Indio, California, for the Southwest Arts Festival, Jan. 24-26. Reports are that this is a high-quality show, and so I'm thrilled to have gotten in. And I've never been to California! 

My plan is to drive to my dad's house in Tubac, drop off some stuff, then continue on to California, do the show and start painting. 

I've also been accepted into the 55th annual Tubac Arts Festival, in Tubac, AZ, where my dad lives, from Feb. 5-9, so that is also exciting! Tubac is a lovely town, and has a rich arts history. 

From there, I'd love to go up into Utah, and also to New Mexico and maybe Colorado, but my travel and painting will depend on the weather and on what other shows accept me. But I will stopping throughout the southwest to paint in plein air, as I did on my first trip, and I am so very excited about it! 

I've worked out some of the kinks I encountered in my first trip, and made changes that I hope will make the sponsorship idea even more fun. 

Here's how it works: For your sponsorship, you receive goodies from the road, including art, postcards from along the way, and a daily or nearly daily newsletter/blog with paintings, stories and photos from the road. And everyone gets a chance to win a painting, either a commission, or a piece from the trip, or from after the trip.

This time, sponsorships run from $50 to $750. The different levels get you different sizes and pieces of art. I've limited the numbers of sponsors at three of the four levels, so if you're interested, please click here to go to the jacobson-arts website, and find out more. 

People who sponsored me on my trip last year to Tubac (want to see the sponsor-only blog from my Tubac and Back trip? Click here) said that they not only loved the art that they received, but also enjoyed my postings from the road. 

Their sponsorships helped me defray the costs of travel - and also changed the entire feel of the trip. I was not making paintings that some unknown strangers might buy at shows in the future. I was making paintings for particular people, people who had trusted me and believed in me enough to support me in this fun and exciting venture. 

Dogs of the Day

From left, Woodreau, Jojo and Smokey, waiting to go out on Black Friday. 

Let there be light! 

Just before Thanksgiving, I had the garage door taken off my studio, and had it replaced with a sliding-glass door. The guys who did the work also had a large window they'd gotten from another job, and I had them install that, as well. Now, instead of freezing in the winter and being bitten by bugs in the summer, as was the case with the garage door, I have light and a barrier between me and the elements and the creatures. YAY!