Posts Tagged ‘palette-knife painting’

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

Wednesday, September 17th, 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.


Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 7/18/2014

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014


By Carrie Jacobson

I am learning to love sweating.

As the spinning of the seasons has brought us to the height of summer, I am sweating with a passion. Sweating with a vengeance. Sweating so that the sweat runs to the tips of my curls and drips off my hair and onto my cheeks and shoulders. I sweat so hard these days that my nose runs.

I vowed, when we moved to Virginia, that I wouldn’t complain about the heat. It’s not as if I didn’t know we were moving to a hot place. We lived in the South before, and that time, I was stunned by the oppressive depth and seemingly endless length of the torrid summers.

This time, I was prepared.

Still, it is in our nature to complain, and I can not count the number of times I’ve opened my mouth to talk about how darn hot it is (I would use other words) – and have stopped myself in time, remembering my promise.

It was only to myself, that promise, but it was a true and solemn one, nonetheless.

And so, instead of complaining about the heat this summer, I glory in it. I live shiny and slick with sweat, my T-shirts ringed with wetness, my neck and forearms salty with it. I revel in its cooling power, and what I believe is its cleansing power. I no longer apologize for my sweatiness. We are all sweaty. We are all hot. We are all under the same summer sun. The trick is in learning to love it.

And remembering winter.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 6/6/2014

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Summertime! Oil on canvas, 30x30By Carrie Jacobson

In just about two weeks, sunset will begin to get earlier.

And yet, it seems a moment ago that we all were feeling, even here in Virginia, that winter would never, ever, ever end.

Summer has ambled into town like a sun-blonded surfer, who suddenly seems to have lived here forever, though no one can remember him moving in. The days stretch out, long and yellow and topped with towering thunderheads, that surfer lolling on the beach and promising to work, but never quite getting at it.

These past few mornings have been sweet with the heavy scent of honeysuckle, and rich with birdsongs and the surprisingly loud flutter of wings. I’ve watered the gardens before the sun can get at them, and filled the birdbath, and enjoyed  watching the robins and their friends take ridiculously long baths, getting so wet they can hardly fly.

Before we know it, summer will amble out of town as silently as it came in. But I am going to notice. I’m going to take advantage of the sun and warmth of these long, tawny afternoons. I’m going to delight in the cool early mornings. I’m going to watch the flowers bloom and pass, the birds come and go, and I’m going to enjoy every minute of this sunny warmth.

I hope you will, too.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 5/16/2014

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
Flight Oil on canvas, 24x24

Oil on canvas, 24×24

By Carrie Jacobson

A couple years ago, my dad told me that his father’s brother had been a hobo. A real, honest to God, rail-riding hobo. He’d gone all over this country, on trains and on foot, and had traveled and bummed around Europe, as well.

When he came home, irregularly and not often, to the family’s house in Philadelphia, my great-grandparents wouldn’t let him sleep in the house. He slept on the porch, and, I imagine, ate his meals there.

He had lots of issues, including alcoholism, and he died young. And no one ever talked about him. I was 56 when I heard about him for the first time.

But it explained a lot to me.

Before we were married, Peter lived in the same apartment for 13 years. In the next 20 years, we moved 12 times. Some of the moves were for work – that’s the way it is in newspapers. If you want to climb quickly, you have to move. But some, I admit, were because I was itching to see something new.

I’ve promised Peter we won’t move from Wachapreague, here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. If he wants to move, we’ll move. But I won’t instigate it.

And I don’t have to. This artist’s life involves more driving and more traveling than I’d ever imagined. I leave today for Indianapolis and the Broad Ripple Art Fair, then head to Northampton, MA, for the Paradise City Arts Festival. A week later, I’m headed to Annapolis, and shortly after that, Rhode Island.

So I get explore my hobo heritage – and Peter gets to stay here, settled and rooted and happy being at home.

And the best part of it is that when I’m away I miss home. And when I’m home, I know there’s nowhere better on the planet.


Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 5/9/2014

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Help Me with the Title!  Oil on canvas, 30x40

Help Me with the Title!
Oil on canvas, 30×40

By Carrie Jacobson

Sometimes titles come easily to me … sometimes not. This is one of the nots.

I love the painting! Love the big cow, the ripples on the water, the huge, towering clouds. I’m really happy with it. But I can’t come up with a title. I’d love your input! Please put your title ideas in the comment area below.

The whole business of putting titles to paintings is a little mystifying. Titles are not headlines, in the same way that headlines are not titles (a confusion that used to drive me a little crazy when I worked in newspapers). Titles need to say something about the painting – and also, I think, suggest something, a feeling, an atmosphere. Sometimes I skip this last and just put a sturdy, workmanlike title on a painting… But I have a “Big Cows” painting right now, so that won’t work… and I have a “Storm Rolling In” painting, too, so that won’t work, either.

For a while, I tried lines of poetry, or lines from songs. But none of those comes to mind for this piece.

I did think of something like – – “Shouldn’t You Be Lying Down?”  So far, that’s the best I’ve got.

What’s your best?


Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 03/28/14

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Rio Grande Near Taos

Rio Grande Near Taos

By Carrie Jacobson

I made my way home to the Eastern Shore of Virginia a week or so ago, having been on the road for most of three months, painting, doing shows and enjoying the lack of winter.

I went all the way to the Pacific Ocean, then doubled back and spent my time in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, living, breathing, eating and sleeping painting.

It was a joy to immerse myself in this astonishing country – and in painting, and tasks associated with painting and my sponsored painting trip (22 people bought paintings in advance from me – I painted these, and more, en plein air on my travels). It was a pure, pure joy – and a boon to my painting. My pieces got stronger and stronger throughout the trip, I think – and new ideas and new approaches came to me more and more readily.

It was hard to be away that long. It was hard to do that much painting. It was scary to plan this trip, knowing what it would cost and not knowing whether I’d get enough sponsors to make it worthwhile.

But the fears and the difficulties vanished in the face of what I saw, and what I strove and stretched and managed to produce. There might not be many times in a life when you have the chance to devote yourself to your passion. But if the possibility exists – or if you even catch a glimpse of it – I’d encourage you to do whatever you need to do to have the experience. It will be worth whatever it takes, whatever it costs.


I had a fabulous stroke of luck while I was in Tubac, Arizona, visiting my dad. Actually, two related strokes of luck. I was taken on by a marvelous gallery there – Art Gallery H – which is a lovely place, run by a very nice, very enthusiastic couple, Karl and Audrey Hoffmann.

Every year, Tubac produces a visitors guide, with listings of every shop, restaurant and gallery in town, maps of the town, advertisements, and a calendar of events. The guide is available for the entire year, and is distributed in all the businesses in town, and many in the general area.

Gallery H is responsible for supplying the art for next year’s guide – and they chose me to make the painting for the cover!


Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 02/28/14

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Red Hills

Red Hills

By Carrie Jacobson

My heart and soul respond with joy to the colors of the West. I have loved seeing and painting the known places, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley – but what has made my painting soar are the unprotected places, the empty, unnamed lands, the spots beside the road that people drive every day to work.

These rough places, these daily sights, these truly stir me. I love the yellow grasses that line the edges of the roads. I love how the sage is green and in these winter days, a soft and gentle blue. Wildflowers grow in soft and fragile colors, and tumbleweeds blow through. The red earth delights my eyes and spirit, and the streaks of color in the mountains amaze me – and make me want to get out of the car Right Now and paint!

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 11/01/13

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Autumn on the Ridge

Autumn on the Ridge

By Carrie Jacobson
Peter came home the other day laughing. He’d gone to the vegetable stand down the road and bought tomatoes and something else, some kind of sweet potato that he’d never seen before.
He asked the person selling the veggies what it was, and she said, “Hnnggh!”
“What is it?” Peter said. “Pardon?”
“Hnngghh!” she said.
And my dear husband, who pretty clearly was never going to understand what that woman was saying, just gave up and bought the hnngghh. He bought two of them, actually, brought them home and cooked them, and they were delicious.
So today, I talked to my friend Pat, who’s lived here all her life – so far.
She said that hnngghh are haymen, an Eastern Shore delicacy. And there’s apparently a very distinct way to treat, cook and enjoy the haymen. I took a video of Pat explaining. Click here to see it on YouTube.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 10/25/13

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Autumn's Best of Cheer

Autumn’s Best of Cheer

By Carrie Jacobson

I know that autumn is inevitable, but every year, it excites me. And now that I paint, it excites me even more.

It’s more than the colors in the fields and in the trees. It’s the pleasure of kicking through fallen, drying leaves; the thrilling snap of a frosty morning on my cheeks and in my nose; the way the stars gleam sharp and brilliant in these clear and chilly nights.

But painting the fall is the best, and this scene is sort of the quintessential autumn painting for me. It’s a study for a larger painting I am doing as a commission. And for all of you in the mid-Hudson Valley, yes, it does look familiar. It’s on Route 17A, on the left as you’re heading into Florida.

I took the title of the painting from a poem by Helen Hunt Jackson. You can click here to read the entire poem; the stanza I lifted the title from is right here:

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.




Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 10/04/13

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
First Fall, oil on canvas, 10x10

First Fall, oil on canvas, 10×10

By Carrie Jacobson

Early autumn has a dusty look this year. The colors are soft, underlined with gold and tan and brown. A certain tired dryness seems etched into the still-green leaves, and the field grass crackles and whispers in the wind.

Even though it is early, and autumn’s clothes are thin, the colors pull me in, the swirl of change  and promise visible, tantalizing. It is coming, it is here in a whisper, with a hint of color, and fire, and drama – or, this early, a rich aging, a gentle turn, handsome, quiet, recognizable.

 I MADE THIS painting, “First Fall,” when I stopped in Pound Ridge, NY, to check out the site of the show this weekend, the Pound Ridge Fine Arts Festival.

Pound Ridge is a lovely little village tucked into the mountains of eastern New York, Westchester County, near Katonah. If you’re in the area, or looking for a scenic autumn drive, come to the show! It takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


HALF THE DAY Friday (today), I’ll be painting outdoors at Olana, the home of Frederic Church, in Hudson, NY. I’ve been juried into a plein-air paintout with a selection of marvelous painters, and I am excited! Painting will be followed by an auction Saturday at 5 p.m. at the estate. I won’t be there, but you can be, to see the paintings and bid on them, too.

Click here for more information.