Friday, February 27, 2015

Iris - and Photos from the West

Iris, 10x10

This is the second iris I've painted, and I love it! There's something wonderful about a single flower on an interesting background, isn't there? I think an interesting painting might be a single iris, again, way off to one side of a larger canvas. So there would be a lot, a lot, a lot of the background. I will give it a try when I get home. 

I do miss home! Even with the snow, and the cold and the ongoing horrible weather, I miss being home. It's great to be away, to visit Dad and Paula, see new things, to paint in warm places, and to be in the Southwest. But there's no place like home, is there? 

Pictures from my Painting Trip

I did my laundry in Gallup, NM, where I was staying while painting on the Navajo reservation. In the laundromat was me, a bunch of elderly Navajo grandmother-type women, and a couple young Navajo women with their kids. I was a source of interest in the laundromat. People did not completely get what I was doing out there, all alone, so far from home. But it was OK. I like this photo of the little kid making the change doors swing. 

These are some of the rock formations around Fort Defiance. 

Cows, horses, goats, sheep and dogs are allowed to roam all over the reservation. Three people were herding this little group of cows back, on one of the main roads through the place. 

Dog of the Day

These are two of the dozen dogs I fed on the Navajo reservation. The possibly homeless and possibly hungry dogs on the reservation are a real problem in general, and were a huge problem for me, specifically. One of the reasons I didn't stay longer was the dogs. I did come to realize that most of these dogs are probably "owned" more or less by Navajo families, and are allowed to run free. Most of them are not starving - but they sure are hungry, and they're smart enough to find people like me to feed them. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pier - and Paintings at the Harbor Gallery in Norfolk

Pier, 10x10

This is the final piece of the six-part commission I painted for my youngest collector. I know I've said it a bunch of times already, but I loved creating this project. 

Sure, I do projects on my own - and I have a great one coming up this year - trailers! - but I really enjoy bringing other people's ideas to life, too. 

Lots of artists hate commissions - I love them. Listening to people's ideas, helping them reach the heart of those ideas, and talk about color and design, pattern and rhythm,  truly understanding what they're seeing in their heart and mind, and what they love about what they're seeing - this is a process I enjoy. 

It's great, of course, when people simply buy my paintings - when they see, in my paintings, ideas and feelings that echo their own, or images that intrigue and invite them, or colors that make them happy, or make them feel something - that's great, too, and I love it.

But there's a different, and very special, joy that comes from sharing the process. It doesn't have to be my idea! I'm happy to paint your idea. 

So my collector arrayed the six beach pieces up the wall of her stairway. Another beach painting by me greets you at the top of the stairs. She also has a large cow painting, and a portrait of her dog. I'm all over her house! How great is that? 

Dog of the Day
Here's me and Patsy, at the Harbor Gallery in Norfolk. I brought a bunch of new paintings there before I left for my current trip. It's a very cool gallery, at 1508 Colley Ave. Amy, who owns it, has excellent art, and lots of fun stuff, including glass items, wall hangings, jewelry, clothes and more. And two fun cats roam the store, which makes me very happy. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sailboats - and Fort Defiance Scenes

Sailboats, 10x10

This is the fifth in a six-piece commission I made for my youngest collector. She came up with the ideas, and set me loose on them. It was great fun to find the images, concoct a color palette for the whole thing, and make paintings that work alone and together. I loved every minute of it, and am honored by it, as well. When I post the final painting, I'll also post a photo she sent me of the pieces all together. 

WINTER HAS FINALLY caught up with me! I've been in Arizona, painting for the Origins Painting Trip, and I've had an interesting time, and made paintings I really like. 

But as I write this, I'm in a hotel in Tucumcari, NM. This is my second day here, and it might be the second of three, depending what happens with the weather. After I arrived, Saturday night, it began to sleet. That continued all night, then mixed with freezing rain and snow. The temperature dropped on Sunday, and the snow continued. It's snowing hard now, and the wind is blowing, and I am staying put until the weather blows out of here. And I might as well. The storm seems to be traveling the same road I intend to travel - I-40 to Memphis. 

Scenes from the Road

Can you imagine living on Bucket of Blood Street? At least a few people 
in Holbrook, AZ, do! So would you like to live there?  Below, a dino sculpture
on the main street in Holbrook. It must be an interesting town. 

I saw this "Water Is Life" graffiti on a shed on the road
 between Gallup, NM, and Fort Defiance, Arizona. 

Above and below, some of the amazing red rocks around 
Fort Defiance, AZ. I was born there, and the Origins Painting Trip
 took me back there to paint. 

Dog of the Day
It's Jillie, with my friend and sponsor, Rose. Jillie, a great, fun dog,
 is a real snuggler - and a great walker, but she's not so happy
 with the frigid temperatures and mounds of snow in upstate New York this winter! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

San Xavier - and Scenes from the West

San Xavier Mission
Oil on canvas, 10x10

Hi, everybody! Remember me? 

I'm in Arizona, painting for the Origins Painting Trip. I visited my dad and Paula in Tubac, did the show there (yup, won a ribbon, I know you know, but still...) and then traveled to the Navajo reservation on the eastern border of the state, to paint in and around Fort Defiance, where I spent my first year and saw my first landscapes. 

When I was in Tubac, Dad and I visited the San Xavier mission, just south of Tucson, and we painted. Well, I painted and he sketched. And we had a great time! I am so lucky that Dad is alive and so healthy and vibrant at 85. He could probably outhike me, and certainly can outparty me, any day. I spent a great couple weeks with Dad and Paula. I really enjoyed myself and my time with them. 

I will be back with another posting of the beach group of paintings, but I wanted to share a painting from the trip - I'll share a few more before I get back to real life, in March. 

My painting in the landscape

Here's Dad, sketching the Mission; his sketch is below. 

Here's one of the back roads of Fort Defiance. Our home, which is no longer standing, 
was not so far from here. 

Here's the old, and now, abandoned hospital in Fort Defiance. Our home stood 
in the empty space in the lower right corner of the photo. 

This wild horse watched me as I got out of the car in Fort Defiance to set up to paint. He wandered off as soon as it became clear that I had no food for him. 

Here is a hogan, a traditional Navajo dwelling, on a hill near Fort Defiance. 

Saw this sight as I was driving from Tubac to Fort Defiance. I think this will become a painting...

Dogs of the Day

While I was out here in the West, Wachapreague got 8 inches of snow! Yikes! That's enough to close  down the Eastern Shore completely. Of course, there are no snowplows and no one has snow shovels, but Peter says the roads had been salted, so the main streets at least, were cleared of snow pretty quickly. 

Abby, above, might never have seen snow. She thought it was great, Peter said. She romped and ran and leapt and had a ball! Smokey, below, with Abby, has always loved the snow. With that coat, he could live outside and be happy. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Beach Ball - and My First Award!

Beach Ball
Oil on canvas, 10x10

Here's the next installment of the very fun series I made for my youngest collector. I'll show you the whole grouping together soon! Whether it's me, or some other artist, if you ever have the chance to commission a group of paintings - or even a single painting! - you will find out how very wonderful it is to be in on the process from the start. It's great for the artist, too. 

I'm out in Arizona, on the Origins Painting Trip, and I am just starting the real painting phase of it, in and around my first hometown, Fort Defiance. 

I spent a couple weeks in Tubac, AZ, south of Tucson, visiting with my dad and Paula, and participating in the Tubac Arts Festival. There, sales were slow, but I won my first award! It was a general award, inviting me back for the 2016 show. Yay!  

Dog of the Day

This wolf hybrid was on a leash, with her people, at the Tubac show. A photographer near me thought that maybe it was a German shepherd, but I could tell, even at a distance, that she was at least part wolf. Those amazing yellow eyes are a real giveaway, and her behavior - looking left, looking straight ahead, looking right - again and again and again - that was another giveaway. She was beautiful, but spooky, and clearly a wild animal at heart. I would not have brought her to a show.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Beachscape - and Nice Weather for a Show

Oil on canvas, 10x10

I love the clouds in this beachscape, and also the foam on the crashing waves. This is one of the six paintings I made for a young collector, who had a great idea for a project for the stairway in her home. I had a great time making the six pieces! I felt honored to be asked to make paintings for such a rich project. 


I'M OUT IN Tubac, Arizona, visiting my dad and Paula, and participating in the Tubac Arts Festival, which started on Wednesday, and, after the show painting on the Origins Painting Trip. 

Last year, the weather during the show was cold and raw - this year, the first day dawned sunny and warm - even hot! - and there were lots and lots of people. I had a sale the first day, which certainly made me happy. 

Here's my booth: 

Dog of the Day

In this photo by my husband, Peter Jacobson, Jojo (front) and Smokey get Abby on the ground in a brawling playfight last week. They all love this! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Beach House - and a Safe Arrival in Arizona

Beach House
Oil on canvas, 10x10

This is the second of the six paintings I made late last year for a young collector. She had a great idea for a group of pieces - and it was a joy to make them, and to see the project come together. You can see the first piece, Seagulls, by clicking here.  

I loved making these paintings, and even before that, thinking about them, planning them, searching for photos, contemplating the project as individual pieces and as a whole. It was a great opportunity. I'll post the collection after I've shared all six pieces with you. 


AFTER MANY DAYS of driving, for the start of the Origins Painting Trip, I arrived at Dad and Paula's house in Tubac, Arizona, on Wednesday. The drive was blessedly uneventful, free of snow and ice and even rain. I did spend one night in a quite dicey hotel, but that was just about the worst part of the trip. 

I drove down the coast to Jacksonville, and then turned west. As I drove, winter receded, and spring showed up, in the red tips of tree branches, in the greening of fields, in the warming of the mornings and the lengthening of the days. 

I drove, and I thought about life and family and friends and painting. I thought about how to paint all the landscapes I saw, how to match the colors; handle the brushy undergrowth of Florida; the broad, flat browns of Texas; the blue mountains rising from the increasingly reddening earth. 

Peter always says I come back from these trips painting better than ever. I think it's because I spend so much time just looking at the landscape, and thinking about painting. 

Here's me, just arrived at Dad and Paula's

Dog of the Day

IT'S ABBY, in a very cool photo taken by my very cool husband. 
Want your pet to be the DOD? Email me a photo at