Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 9/19/2014

Rooster No. 5

Rooster No. 5

By Carrie Jacobson

I was emailing a friend who is also an artist and a collector of my paintings, and she wrote about how scary it is to make a painting for someone. For anyone, really. They might not like it, it might not look like the person/dog/scene that the buyer was picturing, the buyer might think you’re a talentless hack…. and on and on.

I confessed that I’m scared pretty much all the time. As I drive up to a show, and especially to a new show, I am often literally shaking. I’m afraid that the people at the show, buyers and artists, are going to look at my paintings and see right off the bat that I am self-taught, that I don’t know the rules, that I’m a messy painter, that I can’t draw, and on and on and on.

But I told her that I just get a hold of myself, pull myself together, and go on and do it. Be scared, sure – but do it. We are all scared – or at least, I suspect we all are.

After I wrote this to her, I went to the home page of the Piedmont Plein Air Paintout, that I’m participating in this week. I started looking at the paintings by the participating artists  – and totally freaked out again. Sigh.

I left the site, got a handle on my fear and paranoia, and went back to the site later in the day. When I looked again, I could see clearly that my paintings do stand up next to everyone else’s – and after all, I was chosen to participate! That should be enough to quiet the fears, right?

I’m sharing all of this not so you all will tell me that I’m a good painter, etc. I’m sharing it because so many people tell me all the time how frightened they are – of painting, of trying to paint, of applying to shows, of thinking of quitting their jobs to follow their dreams. People tell me how brave I am – and I just wanted to share that, really, I am not brave. I am scared and hesitant, but I go ahead and do it anyways. And anyone can do this. It doesn’t take not being afraid. It takes not letting your fear paralyze you.


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9 Responses to “Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 9/19/2014”

  1. MichaelKaufman Says:

    Thank you for sharing those feelings, Carrie. I can relate. Meanwhile, this is just about the best painting of a rooster I’ve ever seen. I love the colors!

  2. carrie Says:

    thanks, Michael! A friend suggested I try painting roosters, and they are the most fun subject I’ve ever painted!

  3. Karen Says:

    Love the rooster! There are so many perfectly competent professional women who spend our lives in fear that “they” will find out that I haven’t a clue what I am doing! Keep on keeping on.

  4. Robert & Ursula Garrett Says:

    We agree with Michael, the rooster painting is fabulous. Beautifully intense color, and equally intense knife strokes that add great drama. But how in the #%&@ did you get the critter to pose so well? Bribe it with cute chickens?

  5. carrie Says:

    Robert and Ursula! I bribed that rooster by promising to wake up whenever he crowed! Karen, thanks… keeping on keeping on is the whole thing, I think. One foot ahead of the other.

    I am so glad you all like that rooster! You can see more of them on my blog. And there are more to come.

  6. gloria bernstein Says:

    carrie, i grew up on a farm. never saw a rooster like this.
    but i always knew this is the way they should look. would like to meet you.. best, gloria

  7. carrie Says:

    Hi, Gloria – I am sure this is the best rooster in the best pose on the best day – and I know there’s a little dose of imagination in there… It’s always great to meet Zest readers. I don’t know where you live, but if you live in the mid-Hudson, I’ll be doing a show in Northampton, MA, Columbus Day weekend – Paradise City – check out It’s a fair drive from the Zest area, but an excellent ride on a beautiful October weekend…

  8. Marshall Rubin Says:

    Carrie–Your paintings have a Van Gogh-like quality which in your case is nothing to be apprehensive about. In fact impressionism, despite being described as “shorthand painting” is much more difficult to achieve than realistic styles. Realists paint what they see, impressionists paint how they FEEL, and you never disappoint!

  9. CarrieJacobson Says:

    Hi, Marshall – Thank you so very much for your kind words. I try, always, to paint what I feel – in hopes of evoking feelings from you… and sharing feelings with you. It’s great to hear you say that my paintings “never disappoint!” Wonderful words to give me faith and strength.

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