Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tumacacori - and an Excruciating Experience

Oil on canvas, 10x10, $125
(Or email me - - if the link doesn't work. It's an experiment!) 

This is the first of the available Arizona Byways paintings. The first person to click on the purchase link (or to email me) will be my patron and sponsor for the trip, and the owner of this lovely little piece! The price includes tax and shipping.

Here's my painting in the landscape, just up the road from my dad's house in Tubac.


I STARTED THIS BLOG with the notion of sharing the ups and downs of my painting career, and to be honest, no matter how brutal or painful.

I've experienced two events that were pretty excruciating - but from which, I have learned worlds. Here's the first one. The second will follow in my next posting.

In Scottsdale, AZ, there's a man named Jason Horejs who heads the very beautiful Xanadu Gallery. Jason not only runs the gallery (actually two galleries, now), but he also does a lot for artists, including writing an excellent book - "'Starving' to Successful"), publishes a regular catalog in which artists choose to participate, writes a blog and runs online seminars, including a series that focuses on bringing one artist from working in the studio to selling in the gallery.

Over the years, I've participated in a number of his productions, bought his book, and become increasingly sort of awed at how much he gives to help artists.

So when I decided that part of the focus of this trip would be to screw up my courage and approach galleries, I decided that Xanadu would be one of the galleries I would approach.

I found the main gallery in Scottsdale, picked up a bag in which I'd stashed a recent painting ("Free Already"), took a handout I'd made that introduced myself and showed a few more paintings, and set out.

Heart thumping, head buzzing with fear and courage combined, I entered the gallery - palatial, gorgeous and filled with amazing art - and asked for Jason. Not here, the woman said. At the other gallery, just down the road. I set off, momentarily relieved, but thinking, "Great, I have to do this again."

At the other gallery, I strode in (this one is smaller, more intimate, and again, filled with lovely art). In a moment, Jason walked down the stairs. I introduced myself, handed him my paper, and pulled the painting from the bag.

He told me right away that at the moment, he just didn't have room for a new artist, but that I could check back with him in March or April. OK, I said, I understand. But did he want to see my painting anyways? Sure, he said.

And then, it happened. I reached into the bag and realized, to my utter dismay, that the painting had smeared. It hadn't been dry when I put it in the bag! My heart just broke. Here I was, having summoned the courage to show my paintings to this man who's helped me so very much, and about whose gallery I had had such high and optimistic hopes - and I had totally, completely and horrifyingly screwed up. I felt like melting into the floor, and I am amazed that I didn't.

Jason was kind, of course. This sort of thing happens, not my day, etc. I left, red-faced and feeling broken, and walked back to my van.

I sat there for a few moment, fighting tears. And then I decided that I would go back. I would march back in there, with a different painting, a painting I knew was dry, and ask him to look.

That's what I did. He looked, and I could see the initial, horrible impression I'd made fall away just a little. He didn't turn around and say, "Yes! I'd love to have you in my gallery!" - his rejection had happened even before the painting disaster - but I could see that I had redeemed myself, just a little.

I will keep in touch with Jason, and I will hope that this meeting was the start of a process that ends with me being represented by Xanadu. And even if it doesn't, I learned a few valuable lessons from my mortifying encounter.

Dog of the Day
Yes, I have Dog of the Day photos from this trip, but I am missing my honey and my own dogs, so Abby (left) and Koko are the Dogs of the Day, here on the couch with Peter! 

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

A Final Thought

"If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing." 

- Marc Chagall


Unknown said...

Mortifying, certainly, but nothing more than proof you are human!
Bravo on having the courage and confidence to present yourself, not once, not twice, but THREE times in all, and I hope they will soon offer you wall space!

carrie jacobson said...

Thanks, Ellen. As I just wrote to another friend, a year ago, I'd never have been able to do this, and never ever able to recover from it. So I am grateful to see progress, even if I continue to be terrified.

Clemson Patti said...

Your lack of confidence is part of your charm, Carrie! You always seem surprised when we fall in love with your paintings :)

Unknown said...

Nothing wrong with continuing to be terrified! Remember the definition of courage? Doing things even when terrified!

carrie jacobson said...

Dear Patti, you are so sweet, thank you! The truth is, I always AM surprised when people fall in love with my paintings and then part with their money to have them. Every time, honestly, it is a surprise and a delight. And while gallery sales are great, and a fine way to diversify my income, there's nothing like the pleasure of a person-to-person sale. It is so wonderful to watch someone fall in love with a piece - it moves me to the deepest part of my soul.

carrie jacobson said...

Thanks, Ellen! I will keep that in mind, for sure.