Saturday, June 27, 2015

Abby - and a Good Norwalk Show

Oil on canvas, 30x30

After Erika and Paul's beautiful wedding, we headed back to Virginia, and then, a couple days later, I ricocheted back to New England, for the Norwalk Art Festival, which takes place this weekend. 

The show is Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Matthews Park. My friends Cynthia and Kevin (Cynthia will have her beautiful jewelry at the show) tell me that the mansion at Matthews Park was where "Dark Shadows" was filmed! 

ALL MY COWSCAPES (and all my cowboy paintings) sold while I was on the road. Also, the three plein-air pieces I did on the way also sold (click here to check out "Lonely Lola" and here to see "The Long View"). 

It's always interesting to me to see which pieces people like and buy. It helps me decide what to paint next, and that's helpful, as I am attracted to so many things, and happy to paint so many things. 

That's how I decided to paint Abby here. Usually, I do cowscapes on very big canvases, but I didn't have any, and didn't have time to get any. So I found a photo of a single cow, instead of my usual collection, and went to work to make the image big and strong and attractive. And I have to say, I really love this painting! What do you think? 

HERE'S A PHOTO from Erika and Paul's wedding. Click here to go to the Jacobson Arts website and see more. 

Dog of the Day

Saw this guy in Columbus. Isn't he adorable? I'm going to paint him! 

A Final Thought

"A man paints with his brains and not with his hands." 

- Michelangelo

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Lonely Lola

Lonely Lola
Oil on canvas, 16x16

Painting in plein air - outdoors, right in the middle of the scene I'm painting - is just about my favorite thing in the world to do. So when I realized that I had time to stop and paint between Omaha and Chicago, where I spent a couple nights with friends between shows, I jumped at the chance. 

It was late in the day when I started this painting, and I knew the shadows would be growing longer and more interesting as the sun went down. The light became warmer and softer as dusk wore into evening. Birds flew and sang, and a rabbit ran across the driveway ahead of me. 
At one point, I looked up and saw a large cow staring at me. You can just make her out, behind the fence on the left side of the painting. She was in pretty deep shadow, and I don't know how long she had been watching me before I noticed her. 

We looked at each other for a few moments, and then I went back to painting. When I looked up again, she was gone. 

Later, after I'd finished the painting, I walked up the short driveway to see if I could find her. But there were no cows to be seen. 

Above, my painting in the landscape. Below, the happy buyers! 

Our smart, beautiful and accomplished daughter Erika is getting married today! She's marrying Paul Chiaradio, the twin on the left in the photo above (Peter is his brother, in the checkered shirt). Paul is a great guy, and we are happy to have him in our family! 

Dog of the Day
Here's me in the front seat of the car, with Woody (white), Jojo (black and white) and parts of Abby (striped) and Smokey (gray blur on the left side of the photo). We're waiting for Peter to get breakfast, on our way to Rhode Island for the wedding. It was a long drive with five dogs, but they did well. 

A Final Thought

"In our time, there are many artists who do something because it is new; they see their value and their justification in this newness. They are deceiving themselves; novelty is seldom the essential. This has to do with one thing only; making a subject better from its intrinsic nature." 

- Henri de Toulouse Lautrec

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Long View - and a Scary Show

The Long View
Oil on canvas, 24x48
I got back from my Midwest trip on Monday, tired and worn out, but very happy. It was a grand trip, in terms of sales, and meeting nice people who liked and supported my art. There's really nothing quite as wonderful as that!

The trip was not without its trials and adventures, though. The weather was a constant worry and stressor. It was very, very hot the whole time. Most show days were in the upper 80s or 90s, and humid, to boot.

It rained during Summerfair in Cincinnati, and during the Omaha Summer Arts Festival, too. But they were nothing, compared to what happened in Columbus.  My booth was on a bridge across a river, maybe a quarter-mile wide. It was a prime spot for foot traffic.

The breeze blew nicely at the start of the the fair, cooling the broiling day just a little. But as Friday wore on, the breeze grew into a wind, a stronger and stronger wind that had my paintings flapping frighteningly from the walls. The wind turned into downpours, and I closed the walls of the tent. When the rain cleared, the wind went down some, though it did continue to blow and bluster for the rest of the day ... and night. (The show started at 11 and ran through to 10:30).

The second day, there was less wind and far more rain. Downpours happened on and off, building and building until at about 8 p.m., the sky opened with a vicious thunder and lightning storm. All of us on the bridge were sitting in our zipped-up tents, and while I don't know about the rest of them, I can tell you I was scared. A river was running through the back of my tent. Wind was smacking the sides. Rain was pounding on the roof, while lightning split the sky and thunder crashed all around.

But I lived - and had a good show, too. And this coming weekend, our daughter Erika is getting married!


And here are the happy buyers of "The Long View."

Dog of the Day

A trio of (need I say?) well-behaved shelties, at the show in Omaha. The one with the fancy necklace had a sort of prancing walk that was delightful. His humans said he's always walked that way.
A Final Thought

"You come to nature with all your theories, and she knocks them all flat." 

- Pierre Auguste Renoir

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Barn on a Hill - and Photos from the Road

Barn on a Hill
Oil on canvas, 24x24, $650
Please contact me for price and delivery options

This painting, based on one I did a few weeks earlier, is an experiment, my first painting with gold leaf. Having the soul of a crow, as I do, I am drawn to bright and shiny things, and so I am interesting in trying all sorts of stuff with gold leaf. I have ideas! 

You can see this painting at the Columbus Arts Festival, Friday through Sunday, in, you guessed it, Columbus, Ohio.  I'm looking forward to the show, though the tales of wind and disaster do have me a little spooked. I will weight my tent, tie it to the bridge (yup, my booth location is right smack dab in the middle of the bridge) and I will hold tight and think good thoughts. 

HERE ARE SOME PIX from the road 
Yes! I stopped at Antique Archaeology, home of Frank, Mike and Danielle and the TV show "American Pickers." It was pretty cool to see the store, and to recognize some of the picks I've seen on the show. I was disappointed that there was not more old, real antique stuff to buy, though. Most of what's for sale is promotional items for the show. Still, it was fun! 

Here's Carole, the wife of Jon Wool, a childhood friend of my brother, and a childhood bother for me, older sister. Jon has grown into a very sweet adult, and Carole and I hit it off right away. I had a great stay with them! 
Grinnell, Iowa, was a very pretty town, with a downtown that made me remember my childhood in New London, CT. 

And, really. Nice Avenue? What Cheer? Fun! 

Dog of the Day
It's Tedi! He belongs to Gregory Wool, son of Jon and Carole. But Gregory is in Thailand for a few months, and Tedi is staying with Jon and Carole. He is a great dog! And he slept with me the two nights I stayed with them. Don't tell Jojo. 

A Final Thought

"To love and live with a painter means marveling at the space 
between the things they see that you cannot see, that they then make." 

- Elizabeth Alexander

Monday, June 8, 2015

Eenie, Meenie, Mynie - and Fun in Omaha!

Eenie, Meenie, Mynie
Oil on canvas, 36x60

In the past few weeks, I've had two shows that have showed me that there's more success possible than I ever imagined.

The market was tumbling and the economy crumbling in 2007 when I left the editorship of the paper in West Warwick, RI, and set out to Wisdom, Montana, on my first painting trip. The radio reported financial disaster after financial disaster, as I drove west.

A year after that trip, I went back into journalism, working for When I left there a few years ago to paint full-time, the economy had hit bottom and was just beginning to be healed.

So I've never been involved in shows when the economy has been strong. I've heard tales from other artists, but have not really believed them. I still don't believe the hype - but after the past few weeks, and the Paradise City and Omaha Summer arts festival, I have a new idea about what shows can be.

At both shows, I had good sales. Steady sales. I didn't wait the entire show to sell one painting. In both these shows, people came into my booth, loved my art, and bought it. It was pleasure for all of us, and an eye-opener for me.

Click here to check out the Happy Buyers page on the Jacobson Arts website!

And, in addition to buying my art, and telling me how much they liked it, the people of  Omaha were as friendly, polite and pleasant as could be. I felt welcomed and appreciated. Thank you!

HERE ARE SOME photos from the Omaha show

My booth in Omaha

Comic book characters roaming the show, 
to publicize a comic-character murder mystery play

Some Friends of Bill W., who stopped by my booth

Saturday morning rain... People came out in surprising numbers, in spite of the weather! 

Dog of the Day
There were lots of dogs at the Omaha show, including these two, happy to be on a bike! 

A Final Thought

"The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. 
The strokes come like speech." 
- Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Rainbow Marsh, Happy Buyers & White Squirrels

Rainbow Marsh
Oil on canvas, 36x48
Please click here to email me for price and shipping/delivery costs

I took a lot of chances with this painting of the salt marsh near our home. I had an idea to do one thing - a bright lower sky, very smooth, with a not-smooth dark upper cloud moving in, over a marsh thick with grass and movement and colors. 

But my original idea just didn't look right, so I went into that smooth sky and stirred it up. I added more paint, I juddered and jittered the knife. I added a path of broken color. I made one part of the foreground bright and rich, and the other soft and less brightly lighted. And then I began scratching. I scratched the heavy clouds in the upper right corner. I scratched the trees on the hummock. Here and there, I scratched the grasses. 

And I ended up with a painting that I think is maybe the strongest I've ever done! What do you think? 

PARADISE CITY in Northampton, MA, was an excellent show for me, one of my best ever. Happy people bought happy paintings! Many friends and collectors came to say hello and see my new work. It was busy and rewarding and fun. 

Summerfair, in Cincinnati, was not as good a show for me, but it was not a disaster, either. I met lots of very nice people, friendly and supportive. The show itself was beautiful! 

This weekend, I will be in Omaha, and next weekend, Columbus. I'm excited about both shows... and about our daughter's wedding, the weekend after Columbus. What a busy summer! 

Check out my new Happy Buyers page by clicking here. If you've bought a painting from me and I didn't take a happy buyer photo of you, please have someone take a shot of you with your painting, and I'll post it on the Happy Buyers page! If you buy a painting from me and I seem to be forgetting to take the photo, please remind me! 

The White Squirrels of Olney, Ill. 

I had heard about this place, but forgotten until I ended up there, to pick up new weights for my tent. Then I saw the sign welcoming me to the Home of the White Squirrels! Wow! I got some postcards, and then the woman at the gas station said that she often saw the squirrels just over there (a nod of the head). I thought I might have to spend half the day waiting for the squirrels to show up - but no! I pulled the van over, and lo and behold, white squirrels! 

Dog of the Day 

The Cincinnati show prohibited dogs - but a few got in. This cutie was with a woman who'd broken her leg and was in a wheel chair. 

A Final Thought

"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."