Monday, August 31, 2015

Home in a New Rhythm

Home in a New Rhythm
Oil on canvas, 30x30

Usually, I make large cow paintings with large cow images. Sometimes, though,  I do paintings like these, with smaller cows, paintings that are more like landscapes with cows, rather than portraits of cows, or cowscapes, as I call them. 

I do love painting the large foreheads and wet noses and huge eyes of a cow seen up close - but it's fun to see what I can do with the shape of the cow bodies, and whatever colors seem to work, what I can suggest, what I can leave out, what I must put in. 

When I have solid hours and days and weeks to paint, it's a true delight to have the time and space and canvases to experiment like this, and that's what I've been doing. Some of the paintings I'm going to post in the next week or so will be in my upcoming shows - in Dayton, Ohio, Sept. 25-27 and then, Paradise City in Northampton, MA, Columbus Day weekend. Others will be in galleries up and down the East Coast. So email me if you're interested! ("Cows on a Ridge," just above, has already sold). 

John O'Donohue's poem, "For a New Beginning," is below. It's where I found the words for the title of the top painting. 


Coming back from the Big City last week (Virginia Beach, woo-hoo!), I noticed two signs on this fabric store on Route 13. As long as I remember, there's been a spray-painted sign, "Open 1-4 p.m. Every Day." Now, beneath it, the same person has spray-painted "Everyone Matters." 

Dog of the Day
Jojo has had a cough for a year now, and the vets have not been able to figure it out. Until recently, it seemed possible that she had injured her throat pulling at the leash and barking during walks. But now, it's become what's called a productive cough, and it is persistent. She's also off her food, and when I took her for a short walk yesterday, just to try to cheer her up, she poked and dragged along, a world away from the jaunty, pulling, barking, energetic Jojo she always has been. I'm bringing her to the vet today; think good thoughts for her, please. 

A Final Thought
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on, 
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this. 

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plentitude opening before you. 

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire. 

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you. 

- John O'Donohue

Thursday, August 27, 2015

That Old Barn, and Thoughts on Abstraction

That Old Barn
Oil on canvas, 16x16

During the summer, I ran out of paintings between shows in the Midwest. I'd thought (I'd hoped) this might happen, and I'd known I would have some time, so I brought canvases and paint with me, and as I drove, I looked - as I always do - for landscapes that touched my soul. 

I found this one in Iowa. I could see it from the highway, but it took some figuring to find it. Lots of times, I see a beautiful scene from the highway, but when I go looking for it, it turns out to be the back field of a farm, private and unreachable. 

This was a hot July day, with a little wind, and high, thin clouds. No one drove by during the hours that I pained. The barn was old and rickety, full of holes that the sun shone through. I really liked he couple that bought this painting - and the very first 10x10 in the 100 Cubed project! They live in West Virginia, have a cool dog, and loved my paintings. 

Abstract paintings are making their presence felt in my life. Peter has been making abstract paintings on the computer, my friend and collector Kathryn has been experimenting, and I've become friends with a lovely Connecticut woman who makes lots of abstract paintings, too.

I have made a few abstract paintings, and I am interested in them. A few days ago, I had the beginning of what might be understanding.

It occurred to me that a good representational painting shows the outsides of things, and implies or hints at the insides. By "insides," I mean structure, or architecture, or even soul.

A good abstract painting, I think, shows the insides of things - and implies the outsides.

A bad representational painting fails to contain any thought of the insides, and a bad abstract painting fails to contain any though of the outsides.

Does this make sense to anyone?

Dog of the Day

Met this dog at the show in Ann Arbor. She was a great old girl! 

A Final Thought

"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it." 
- Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Big Sunflowers, Big Shows, Big Head

Big Sunflowers
Oil on canvas, 48x72
 I had a couple really good shows in Connecticut this month - Mystic and SoNo - and returned home with NO big paintings at all.

That's right, all my big paintings sold in those two shows.

What a miracle! Really, truly, any time anyone buys a painting from me - or any living artist - it is truly special.

It's so much easier to buy prints or reproductions. So much cheaper to go to Marshall's and buy some painting made in China, and already framed, and all for $37.

When someone goes out of their way to go to a show, and then allows themselves to fall in love with a painting, and actually buy it - sometimes for big $$ - well, so much has to happen to make that work, it's really somewhat surprising that it ever happens.

When a series of those events takes place in the life of an artist, it's sheer joy and celebration! People bought big paintings, people bought small paintings, people bought merchandise I was trying out - and people came to just look and talk and have fun. And there's joy in that, too.

So I am home, and I am painting like mad for autumn shows and for galleries that need new stuff. It's great to be here, to spend time with my honey, in our hometown, and to have the luxury of weeks on end to create.

Thanks, all of you who came to the Mystic and SoNo shows. Whether you bought anything, or whether you just said hello and looked at the art, your presence helped make my shows successful.

MY FRIEND CANDY asked me what my favorite meal is. I was staying with her and she was going to cook. Well, I have lots of favorite meals, but my favorite summertime meal is a tomato salad, corn on the cob and fish. Yum! Candy sliced and diced and cooked a delicious dinner. Doesn't this salad look scrumptious?  

Dog of the Day

It's Big Head, the goofy, fun neighbor dog who loves pretty much everyone. 
He really does have a big head

A Final Thought

"It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints 
as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. 
There is no such thing as good painting about nothing."
- Mark Rothko

Friday, August 14, 2015

Candy's Sky - and a Cool Bag

Candy's Sky
Oil on canvas, 10x10, $100

I had a great, fun time - and success, too! - at the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival last weekend. To all of you who came to the show, thank you! It was great, so great, to see friends, collectors and family - and to meet new people, too. You honor me when you come to the shows; I know what it takes to get there, to park, to walk around in the summertime heat, and to find me and spend time with me - and buy paintings, too! Thank you. I appreciate it so very much. 

I still don't know my booth number or location, but will post that on the blog here, on my Carrie Jacobson, Artist Facebook page and on the Jacobson Arts website as soon as I know. The show is Saturday, 10-6, and Sunday, 10-5 in South Norwalk. Click here for the SoNo website.

Here's a happy buyer, hiding from her husband, who told her (joking... sort of) "Go to the show, but don't buy another painting from Carrie!"  Here she is below, showing off her purple sunflower painting. 

I'VE BEEN EXPERIMENTING with sponsor gifts for my upcoming 101 Dogs project; one of the best, I think, is the tote bag. A toteb ag with the painting of Abby is modeled here by a friend and supporter who bought it at the Mystic show. 

The bag is really great. It comes in various sizes, from 13x13 ($25) to 18x18 ($35). You can find them on my Fine Art America page

If there is a painting you want to have printed on a bag, pillow, notecards, etc., please email me  at and I will get the painting there, in the right size for whatever you want. In upcoming shows, I'll have totebags for sale, too. 

Dog of the Day

It's Taz, left, and Tyler, the dogs who live with our daughter Erika and her husband Paul and son Ashton, in Westerly, RI. They've had Tyler for a while, and recently decided to get him a friend, so they found his twin in looks and spirit. Wouldn't it be great if humans could decide they needed a friend, and then just go out and get one? 

A Final Thought

"Art, undeniably, is conducive to happiness."

- unknown

Friday, August 7, 2015

Peter, Paul and Mary

Peter, Paul and Mary
Oil on canvas, 36x60

So much of what I learn, I learn by accident. In one cowscape, I made the cows larger than I usually do. I needed the painting to be done quickly so it could dry, so I could get it to a show - and so I made the cows bigger. When the painting was done, it was clear to me that the large images had more punch, more power than the smaller ones. This now seems like a no-brainer, but for me it was a discovery. More cow, less landscape - better, stronger painting. 

"Peter, Paul and Mary" contains my biggest cows to date, and I really like it. What do you think? Are the cows too big? Would you like to see them bigger? Smaller? It's always great to hear your opinions and ideas. 

TWO WEEKENDS, TWO SHOWS! Come to the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, this weekend in Mystic, CT. I'll be at the corner of Willow and Main, across from the post office! Or come to SoNo Arts, in South Norwalk, Aug. 15-16. Don't know where I'll be yet, but I'll post my location here on the blog. Both shows are 10-6 on Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday. I'd love to see you! 

Summer on a Plate

Tomatoes from the stand at Occohannock Road in Exmore, and cucumbers from my friend Pat's garden started this salad, along with leaves of Thai basil from our now-deceased plant... a little sugar, oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Let it sit for an hour or so, if you can. Yum! 

Dog of the Day

Saw this guy at Jerry's Artarama in Virginia Beach. He was a youngster, with a pretty strong streak of assertiveness. 

A Final Thought 

"Love always brings difficulties, that is true, but the good side of it is that it gives energy." 
- Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Burton's Bay - and a Great Knife Rack

Burton's Bay
Oil on canvas, 16x16

When Peter and I moved from Connecticut to Wachapreague, one of the places that we fell in love with was this little inlet area on Burton's Bay. We went out there last week, as a hot afternoon lengthened toward evening. The place was quiet, except for the sounds of cicadas and crickets. Fiddler crabs scuttled across the sand and into the reeds. I walked into the water, muddy sand sucking at my sandals. The water was bathtub-warm, shocking for someone who grew up in New England. 

There wasn't time or light to paint in plein air, so I took a lot of photos and painted this in the studio yesterday. I really like this painting, the way the light filters through the tall pines, the amazing electric blue of the sky, the calm reflections. I'll have it with me at the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival this weekend, in Mystic, CT. I'll be at the corner of Willow and Main; stop in if you're in the area!

Best Knife Rack Ever! 
My friend Heather MacLeod gave me this knife rack, and it makes me smile every time I see it. Isn't it great? Heather has an amazing imagination and more creativity in her little finger than most people have in their entire bodies, me included. See more of her stuff - and wonderful art by her husband Josef Keller, as well - by clicking here. 

Dog of the Day 
Another thing that made me fall in love with Wachapreague was a scene I saw like this. Our little town is so small and so quiet that cats can, and do, just hang around outside on the warm afternoons. It was sweltering the day I took this photo, and I can't imagine how hot the trunk of that car was! 

A Final Thought

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." 
- Pablo Picasso

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Two Slices of Summer

Two Slices of Summer
Oil on canvas, 5x5, $40 plus shipping

For some reason, I've become interested in painting food! It's fun, for starters (earlier in the year, I painted small canvases with a strawberry, a slice of cherry pie, a burger, and something else (??)). In addition to being fun, these paintings are great kitchen paintings! You can hang them, lean them on a shelf, or even balance them on that ledge of backsplash beneath the cupboards. 

So stay tuned for some small summertime food paintings here on the blog, and also at the Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, Aug. 8-9 in Mystic, CT; and SoNo Arts, Aug.15-16 in South Norwalk, CT. 

And let me know what summertime food you'd like me to paint! 

Dog of the Day

We took Smokey to the vet the other day, and watched as this dog fought to Stay Out of the Back! She was going to be boarded for a week, and she wanted no part of it. But once her human left, sand she was pretty sure she wasn't going to be poked or prodded, she was wagging and apparently happy to be there. 

For better or worse, Smokey apparently doesn't have an injury. In a way, I wish he did. Since he doesn't, this weakness is the start of the final decline, and that makes me very sad. But he did have a big weekend last weekend, and so the vet said some quiet time might help. In a few days, we can start him on a program of short walks to build up his muscles. But mostly, it will be a time of rugs and pain medication and as much love as we can give. I know he will give it back. He always does. 

A Final Thought

"The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. 
Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."
- Robert Hughes