Saturday, January 24, 2015

Seagulls - and Off We Go!

Oil on canvas, 10x10

At the start of autumn, my youngest collector contacted me about a project. She had a new home, and wanted six beach-oriented paintings to hang on her stairwell. She knew what she wanted in each - seagulls, a beach cottage, a pier, a beachy beach scene, two beach chairs and a beach ball, and sailboats. 

It is a delicious, delightful treat when someone comes to me with a project, an idea, something that they want, and they trust that what I will do will be what they want. It's an amazing, juicy, exciting thing to be asked to make not just a painting - that, in and of itself is a delightful miracle - but to be asked to make a collection. 

It took me a while to do these, and I sweated and worried at times - but mostly, I just had a blast! I'll post them over the next couple weeks, and at the end, I'll post them all together. 

I love how these seagulls really look like they are hanging in the air. 

Heading West

Each of those canvases has two D-rings and a wire on the back. And now, about half of them are black! The process took forever, but I'm all set with all the small canvases for the Origins Painting Trip. The van is loaded, with these smalls and the larger ones, paintings for shows and galleries, all my tent stuff, and clothes for warm and cool weather. I'll be setting off in just a couple hours. Yay! 

Dog of the Day

You've got to love an older dog, don't you? This is Heather MacLeod's gal
 Gypsy, on the right, and Gypsy's cousin, Daisy, on the left. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Calla Bouquet - and a Booth Question for You

Calla Bouquet
Oil on canvas, 12x24

This is another of my new florals, with the concrete/stained-glass background. This one has a subtlety of color and form that my paintings don't often have - and I love it! Also, right now, it is my only vertical, and it gave me some fits this past weekend, while I was setting up my booth. 


THE SHOW WAS not a good one for me in terms of sales - though one painting sold, and its new owner is just delighted. Still, it was very, very good to have a show here, before I head west (I set off on the Origins Painting Trip on Saturday!). I forgot some things, and I forgot some stuff - what connects to WHAT, again? - and so it was a good run-through. And I think my booth looks really nice.                                                                                                                          So here is my question: As a buyer, which wall do you like better,  Wall No. 1, or Wall No. 2?  Would you be more likely to buy a painting from No. 1 or No. 2? 

Wall No. 1, above

Wall No. 2, above

I have a tendency to set up my paintings in groupings, as I'd set them up on the wall in my living room, or use them on a page I was designing. A comment from an artist's wife made me think that perhaps I was doing myself a disservice by displaying my paintings this way. Maybe grouping them makes it hard to see some of the paintings... And maybe it makes people feel like they shouldn't buy one, and disrupt the display. What do you think? 

Here's a grouping I really liked. Lots of people looked, but no one bought any of these paintings: 

(The cow on black sold... the gap beneath is where I had my chair during the show)

Signed on

PROSPERITY COACH JOE Skelly has been after me for a year to approach hotels with my art, either to sell it outright to them, or barter for lodging. Honestly, I've had the courage to do it once, and that was because I was staying at the place for a week, and got to know the owners. So Joe leapt into action, and lo and behold, it worked.

I stayed at the beautiful Best Western Oceanfront for free this weekend, thanks to Tim, the front officer manager.  The hotel traded me a sponsorship on my Origins Painting Trip  for my two nights' stay - and the whole staff seems pretty excited about the trip. So thank you, Joe, and thank you, Tim! 

I encourage anyone and everyone who is seeking prosperity and abundance to get in touch with Coach Joe, at 757-675-6569. He has great ideas, not only about what to do, but also about how to actually do those things. The first consultation is free - and my guess is that he will help pretty much everyone. 

Dog of the Day

Woodreau has been just impossibly adorable these past few days. 

Want your pet to be Dog of the Day? Drop me a jpg at

Friday, January 16, 2015

Morning in Westerly - and Max Gets a Special Delivery

Morning in Westerly, RI
Oil on canvas, 20x20

My first show of the year is this weekend at the convention center in Virginia Beach. My display will consist nearly entirely of new paintings, including this one, and I am excited and interested to see how these paintings are received. 

The show is Saturday and Sunday, and starts at noon each day. It's in conjunction with the Coastal Virginia Winefest, which apparently includes tastings of wine and beer, accounting for the late opening time and $50 entry fee. 

It's the first year for this art show, which is being put on by the Museum of Contemporary Art, the same people who put on the Boardwalk Art Show and the Neptune Festival. First-year shows can be dicey, but this one seems to be advertised heavily, and as part of a known event, has a better chance of success than many first-year shows. I'll let you all know how it goes. 

AFTER THE SHOW, I will spend the coming week painting and packing the van for the Origins Painting Trip.  (There's still time to get a sponsorship, and I can handle a few more. Click here for info!

Friday is Peter's birthday. We will have a nice little celebration, and then on Saturday, I will head out for the west. I am starting to get excited! 

This is Window Rock, a famous formation just a few miles from where I spent my first months. The headquarters of the Navajo Nation are right at Window Rock now. 

Dog of the Day

It's Max! I ran into him in the post office. He gave me a good sniffing - but what he was really interested in was Jackie, and the cookies she gives him every time he visits. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Light Beneath the Clouds - and the Funniest DOD Ever!

Light Beneath the Clouds
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100 plus shipping

I love this painting because it captures that eerie, greenish light that you get beneath the clouds when a thunderstorm is moving in. I think it's mostly created by the combination of the purple and yellow in the sky, and a pop of light on the field and the roof of the main building. 

I'm continuing to love the black canvases, and the ragged edges of the painting showing on it. What do you think? 


ORIGINS PAINTING TRIP! Sponsorships! Art! Travel! Adventure! Find out more by clicking here! 


'Nuff said

Dog of the Day

IN THE KITCHEN, where I do my morning computer stuff, I sit at a gateleg table. Usually, the extra part of the table is down, but the other day, it was up. So when the dogs came into the kitchen, clamoring to be let out, I didn't see Woodreau. Then he was in the scrum of dogs at the door, and I still didn't see him. But when he got to the bottom, I just had to laugh. He'd somehow gotten one leg and his tail through a leghole and the waist of a pair of Peter's briefs. The sight has kept me laughing for days. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Three Houses - and the Origins Painting Trip

Three Houses
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100 plus shipping

I'm having a great time experimenting in the studio, on these raw winter days. I've been pushing myself with new colors, new strokes, new approaches - and working to strengthen what I like and let go of habits or ideas that don't work for me. 

 I really love this 10x10, and another that I did just after this, and will post soon. I made this one on top of a painting that I made a couple years ago, and never liked that much. One of the difficulties about making this painting - but one of the things that makes it interesting, I think - is how the texture of the painting beneath this one affects and changes the texture and content of this painting. 


I'M LEAVING IN less than two weeks for the Origins Painting Trip, and I'm pretty excited about it! I'll be starting in Tubac, Arizona, visiting my dad and stepmother, and doing the Tubac Arts Festival with my friend Cynthia Battista, an amazing jeweler (click here to see her website) . 

After the show, a good visit and a couple of workshops I'm teaching, I'll head to Ganado and Fort Defiance, Arizona, to paint for a couple weeks. Fort Defiance is on the Navajo Reservation in the northeast corner of Arizona, and is where I spent the first months of my life. 

The photo above shows one of the awe-inspiring rock formations in the area. It shows the huge sky and the red earth, the amazing muscle and flow of the land. It's easy to imagine the quiet of the day and the brilliance of the stars at night. 

This is the first landscape I saw, and by painting and exploring, I am hoping to unearth some connections between those first sights and my artist's eye of today. 

You can come along with me, in a way, on this trip, and have art that I paint in plein air on the trip. Sponsorships start at $50, and run to $1000. They all include access to a sponsor-only blog of my travels, with photos and stories and all my new paintings. Sponsorships include chances to win art, a calendar and a book from my travels. They include postcards from the road, and my deepest gratitude. 

Dog of the Day

IT'S SMOKEY, totally crashed out on his bench after a walk in the cold. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sunshine Bouquet - and One Smart Cat

Sunshine Bouquet
Oil on canvas, 48x48

My first big floral of 2015! I love the colors, the flowers themselves, and the tension of the rough background to the bright flowers. I hope they brighten your January day. 

What do you all think about these new florals? 


HERE'S MY LITTLE studio as evening fell one day last month. I love how warm and cozy it looks, with the light shining out warmly from the windows, as the big pines in our back yard tower over it. 

Dog of the Day

THIS IS SPENCER, Lynn Hoins's cat. Lynn says Spencer  has learned to open drawers by himself, and will pull stuff out of the drawer to make room, if the drawer is too full. What a great cat! 

Just a thought 
A READER SENT me this, and I just love it. I was having an inexplicably sad and low day when it arrived, and it cheered me right up. 

I'LL BE LEAVING Jan. 24 for the Origins Painting Trip, and I am more and more excited about it. Find out more about the trip, and how to become a sponsor, by clicking here. 

Thank you to everyone who has already signed up! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Mowing - and a Getaway Idea

Oil on canvas, 24x24

Justin is a young guy who grew up in Wachapreague and has no intention of ever leaving. He's in his late 20s or early 30s, I think, though I find I'm getting worse and worse at guessing people's ages. At any rate, he is a whip-thin young guy, tall and strong. And he mows nearly all the lawns in town. 

He started the mowing business when he was just a kid. By now, he has big equipment, a big truck with a big trailer, a helper - and a pretty big business for this small town, in spite of charging insanely low prices. In many spots, Justin mows many contiguous lawns, going from one to the next to the next to the next, mowing pretty much the entire street - and then doing all the weed-whacking, too. 

I was watching him speed around our yard one day, and decided that I should make a painting of him mowing. It's such a summertime moment, isn't it? 

As you can see from this painting, and others I've been making recently, I am purposely leaving a sort of raggedy edge on the front. I really like this effect - but I wonder about you? What do you think? 

IF YOU'RE LOOKING for something fun to do over the weekend of Jan. 17-18, you might consider coming to Virginia Beach for the MOCA Art Show at the Coastal Virginia Winefest. This is the first year that the Museum of Contemporary Art has hosted this show, and it promises to be interesting. 

Tickets to the winefest are not cheap - they run from $30 to $60 (for a two-day ticket purchased in advance), but they include wine and beer tastings, food and more. And lodging rates are very low right now. A room at the Best Western is $65 plus change, less than half of the summertime rate. And OK, it's winter, but the beach is beautiful and wild, and you can bundle up and walk to your heart's content! 

If any of you come to the event, please stop by and say hello! I'll give a $15 discount - or donate $15 to your favorite charity - to the person who comes from the farthest. 

A WHOLE BUNCH of people have signed on to sponsor my  upcoming Origins Painting Trip. I'm leaving two weeks from Saturday! Here are my sponsors so far: 

Patrick Gallagher                          Pat Kahle and Bill Reimert                Kathryn and Paul Yamartino
Pat Hart                                         Lois Vanskike                                    Richard and Mari Hook
Sherry Sved                                   Pnut                                                    Nancy Russell
Kareem Alston                              Heather MacLeod                               Judy Beisler
Erica Moreland                             Sara Harley                                        Jim Smedley

Dog of the Day 
It's the frenemies, Woodreau (on the back of the couch) and Abigail. Woody tries to throw his weight around with Abby several times a day. She responds by stomping on him with her large feet. They both seem to enjoy the relationship - and when the workday is over, they punch out and have the dog equivalent of a beer together. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Calla Spiral - and Another Lily, Too!

Calla Spiral
Oil on canvas, 12x12

I don't often make paintings like this one, but I was hunting around for photos of lilies, and saw one that focused on the beautiful, brilliant twirl of a vivid calla lily. I just loved the feeling of the photo, of diving deep into color and motion, and that's what brought me to this painting. 

I AM GETTING more and more excited about my upcoming painting trip to Arizona. I'm leaving Virginia Jan. 24, and heading for Tubac, AZ, where my dad and stepmother live. I'll visit with them, participate in the Tubac Festival of the Arts, with my friend Cynthia Battista, an amazing, creative jeweler. 

In mid-Feburary, I'll leave Tubac and head for the Navajo reservation in the northeast corner of Arizona. I was born there, while my dad was in the Civil Service, and that landscape is what my eyes first saw. The rich colors, the bold and monumental shapes, the huge open sky, these formed the background of the first months of my life. I know that what I focused on were my parents and Sam, my first dog - but this land was around me, informing my vision and my outlook. 

On this trip, I want to find the resonances. Find the echoes of those first sights, find the landscapes that make my heart sing - and see what I can understand about those connections over time and space. 


My friend Nancy Russell stopped by for a visit on her way from Virginia Beach to Niantic, CT! It was great to see her, and have some time to spend chatting. Any time you're on the Eastern Shore, please stop in to our home and studio, here in Wachapreague. 

Dog of the Day
It seems only fitting that on a day with a painting of lilies that Lily is the dog of the day! She belongs to Jim Smedley and his wife, who live in Lewiston, Maine, a very cold place. I'd be warmed every day by this sweet face, wouldn't you? 
Want your pet to be the DOD? Send a jpg to me at

Monday, January 5, 2015

Last Night on the Marsh - and Sheds Galore!

Last Night on the Marsh
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100


It was Wednesday, New Year's Eve, and the sun was setting quickly as I walked by the marsh with Jojo. We weren't out for a long walk, just a shortie, just to make Jojo happy, and to breathe a little energy into my cold bones, and uncramp me after a day of painting in the studio.

The marsh was breathless and silvery and still, and we hurried home. I put Joey inside, and gathered my paints and went out. It was cold enough that I sat in the doorway of the van and made this painting - and another that I will post later - while the sun set on 2014.

Eventually, Peter came along with Abigail. But before and after that visit, no one walked or drove along. The only sound was the call of seagulls and, up high, a caroling V of Canada geese.

It was a good year, full of hope and promise, family and friendships, art and adventure and a sense of possibility. It felt perfect to finish it with a couple of quiet paintings, here at home.

WIindow Rock
PLEASE CONSIDER SPONSORING me on my upcoming Origins Painting Trip! You can get on the bus for as little as $50. A $125 sponsorship gets you a 10x10-inch painting that I make on the trip, and a larger sponsorship gets you a bigger painting. All the sponsorships give you access to a special, sponsor-only blog, postcards from the road, chances to win fabulous prizes - and my eternal gratitude.

I'll be painting in and around Fort Defiance, Arizona, where I was born. That landscape is what I saw first in life, and I'm looking forward to discovering the links and ties and emotional heartbeats that it holds for me now.

For more - including photos of the area, and of me and my parents, and my first dog, way back in 1956 - click here, to get to the Origins Painting Trip page of the Jacobson Arts website.  And thank you!

Shed Crazy
There are even more sheds than you can see in this photo! 
This is on Route 13, in Temperanceville (I think). Wouldn't you love to have that many sheds? 

Dog of the Day

Puppy! Cute! 
Want your pet to be the Dog of the Day? Email me a photo! It's

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Boxing Day, a Mystery, and Lois's Fun DOD

Boxing Day
Oil on black canvas, 10x10, $100

With all the shows, commissions and gallery work I happily had in 2014, it was sometimes tough to get outside to paint. Also, I admit, laziness figures into the situation a bit, too. Painting on site requires some organization, energy and at least a little travel.

But I love it. I love the immediacy of painting outdoors, painting quickly and urgently, racing to capture the light and to mark the feeling that made me stop at that spot in the first place.

All of this truly whets my appetite for my upcoming plein-air painting trip, the Origins trip. I'm going to revisit the place I was born, and where I spent my first months. I'm leaving around Jan. 24, and there are still sponsorship spots available. Please click here to learn more - and to sponsor me!  For $125 and up, you will get fresh plein-air paintings from beautiful Arizona! 

Here's my painting in the landscape

A Mystery

A FEW DAYS AGO, I walked into my friend Pat Hart's house. She urged me to go into the dining room and see the Christmas present that her son had given her.

Lo and behold, sitting on and leaning on a small table in her dining room were two of my paintings - two that I didn't remember even bringing to Virginia!

Pat's son had found them in a store in Ocean City, he thought. Or maybe it was a shop in Pocomoke, MD. He really couldn't remember.

The fact that these paintings ended up down here in Virginia is still blowing my mind.

When we moved from Connecticut, I had a couple hundred paintings that didn't please me. They didn't work, I didn't like them, I didn't think they were good, whatever. I put stacks of these at the end of the driveway, and people came and took them away.

My thinking was that artists might paint over them. I had started painting on deep, gallery-wrapped canvases, so I couldn't really repaint over them. And Peter reminded me that people might like them, that everyone has different tastes, and just because I didn't like them, that didn't mean that no one would.

So how these paintings came to be down here, and how Pat's son ran into them, and how he even recognized my style, all of this seems to be a sort of miraculous mystery. And great fun!

Dog of the Day

WHEN I WAS in Tubac, Arizona, last year, I had the great pleasure of giving a painting lesson to Lois Vanskike. She is a fun, fun-loving, ebullient woman who really liked my painting - and took to palette knife painting right away. She's featured, with her first palette-knife painting, in my California Calling book.  

Lois is a marvelous artist, great at drawing, talented at watercolors, and filled with the artist's spirit. We've become friends, and I love seeing her art and hearing about her life. 

This is a painting she made for the Dog of the Day feature!