Posts Tagged ‘wachapreague VA’

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 1/16/2015

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

MowingBy Carrie Jacobson

Justin is a young guy who grew up here in Wachapreague, VA, on the Eastern Shore. Justin has no intention of ever leaving. He’s in his late 20s or early 30s, I think, though I find I’m getting worse and worse at guessing people’s ages. At any rate, he is a whip-thin young guy, tall and strong. He loves fishing. He works at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, which is right here in town. And he mows nearly all the lawns in town.
He started the mowing business when he was just a kid. By now, he has big equipment, a big truck with a big trailer, a helper – and a pretty big business for this small town, in spite of charging insanely low prices. In many spots, Justin mows many contiguous lawns, going from one to the next to the next to the next, mowing pretty much the entire street – and then doing all the weed-whacking, too.
I was watching him speed around our yard one day, and decided that I should make a painting of him mowing. It’s such a summertime moment, isn’t it?
As you can see from this painting, and others I’ve been making recently, I am purposely leaving a sort of raggedy edge on the front. I really like this effect – but I wonder about you? What do you think?

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 1/2/2015

Thursday, January 1st, 2015
A New Day

A New Day

By Carrie Jacobson

This day dawned bright and sharp, the light fragile and pink, the field white with frost. The beauty of the morning startled me, woke me up, and I hurried to get my easel and paints, and then painted, standing there in the yard in my pajamas and a sweatshirt.

I hope that your days and your year dawn with such beauty and grace and power.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 12/12/2014

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
Mr. Owl

Mr. Owl

By Carrie B. Jacobson

Where the heck have I been? Texas, New England, and flat on my back with strep throat. But no matter, I’m home and getting well, and painting again.

At Wal-Mart the other day, I was waiting in a line at customer service (there were no lines at the checkout stations. Zero. A Christmas miracle – or just the way they run things down here).  I got talking to the man beside me. It was in the 40s outside, and windy, and we chatted about it before I pointed out that I was wearing only a denim jacket, and he wasn’t wearing a jacket at all.

“Sure is better here than where I moved from,” he said, and after a little bit more talking, he told me that he had moved from Monticello.

I told him we’d lived in Cuddebackville, and we laughed about the small-world thing, and confessed that we never hoped to live anywhere else but the Eastern Shore.

Those of us who live on the Shore love it. I love the light here, the pace of life, the friendly people, the beautiful landscapes.

Of course, life here is not without its drawbacks. It takes 90 minutes to get pretty much anywhere, if you want to see friends or family away from the shore, or if you want to shop at more exciting venues than Wal-Mart or CVS. It’s tough to ship packages from here, though the women at the print shop that does FedEx shipping are saving boxes for me to package my paintings. Medical services are perhaps not the best here, but where are they the best, outside of huge metropolitan centers?

So shopping and shipping and doctors might pose some problems. But the air is clear, people wave when they drive by, and our little town is quiet and peaceful and decked out for the holidays. Lights are strung across Main Street, and a Christmas tree stands in the gazebo in our little seaside town park. On Saturday at dusk, we’ll turn out to sing carols and celebrate the lighting of the tree, and we will shiver and rub our hands together as the wind blows in off the Atlantic.



Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 8/8/2014

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
Pink Driveway

Pink Driveway

By Carrie Jacobson

Down here in the South, there’s a kind of tree called crape myrtle, which, according to my friend Pat, blooms for 100 days, starting in July. There are white crape myrtles, and lilac-colored ones, but most of them bloom in various shades of pink, and they are everywhere. They color the sky when you look up, and their petals gather on patios, and the edges of the roads, and in driveways, turning the ground pink. They are amazing, and I love them, and how they light up these hot summer days.



Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 7/11/14

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
July 7, Main Street

July 7, Main Street

By Carrie Jacobson

Wachapreague, where we live, could barely be smaller and still be a town. In addition to Peter and me, there are just about 198 other souls living here, some of them only part-time.

As for municipal staff, there is a mayor, but he doesn’t go into town hall unless there’s a meeting. There’s a town clerk who works maybe 20 hours a week, and then there is the public works crew, JD and John. They do all the mowing and trimming, pick up the brush and the trash, keep the town signs painted and the town property sparkling, fix stuff that breaks, and put up and take down the flags on Main Street.

Main Street, as you might imagine, is not very long. There aren’t that many flags. But when the flags go up, I feel festive and happy. I love seeing them hanging, bright and shining and fluttering in the wind.

Our teeny town had a great July Fourth celebration, which the hurricane blew to  July Fifth. There was a small, sweet parade, with golf carts, kids on bikes, Coast Guard guys towing a Coast Guard boat, and two floats, one legitimate, one just a sort-of float. It took about five minutes – the right length for a parade, in my book.

Afterwards, there was a cookout, and a band, and people paragliding out of a plane. And at night, there were amazing, amazing fireworks, funded and set off by a guy in town.

And then on Monday, JD drove while John took down the flags. I was sorry to see them go.

This weekend felt like America to me. It felt like the dream of America, the idea I had as a kid, of an America of sunny summer days, spent with people that I love, laughing and enjoying life, in a small, quiet place.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 7/4/2014

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Probably Not oil on canvas, 20x20

Probably Not
oil on canvas, 20×20

By Carrie Jacobson

The other day, someone I met at a show messaged me on Facebook, and included her thought that I was “so cool.”

I immediately wrote back that while I appreciated her sentiment, I am about as far away from cool as you can get. I mean, here I sit, in my paint-covered clothes, having sweated the entire day in my un-air-conditioned studio, to which I retreated after spending hours trying to settle, and cleaning up after, an ancient dog whose demise is on the horizon.

I’m sweaty and dirty, I’ve stepped in dog pee a dozen times, cleaned up two turned-over water bowls, forced myself to take my 35-minute walk, charted my 1,200 dieting calories, failed to get to the post office (again) – and nearly forgotten (again) to post on Zest.

But after I wrote to my admirer, I spent some time thinking about it, and I realized that while I, myself, am far from cool, the life that I’ve catapulted myself into is cooler and more amazing than anything I could ever have imagined.

I mean, really! After dealing with my beloved and ancient dog, going on a healthy walk, and taking the time to plan my meals and calories, I have stood and sat in my studio, with the windows open to the hot Virginia wind, and spent my day making paintings. Making art. Painting what I see in my imagination, painting what moves me, building a life that finally, finally, makes a difference.

And I had the freedom to make the choices that brought me here.

So today, Independence Day, I celebrate for all us uncool people making way cool choices. I celebrate the country that has opened opportunities for me, and for all of us. It is a joy to be able to scare myself half to death, to find creativity in me, to meet people who are willing to buy my paintings – and to do it all in total, pure freedom.


Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 12/06/13

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Bank of Waves

Bank of Waves

By Carrie Jacobson

Autumn has spun off into winter, even here in the south. If our mornings are not surprisingly cold, and smelling insistently – and falsely – of snow, then they are thick with fog and quiet.

Our little town empties out in winter. One day last week, I think we were the only ones at home on the whole street.

And that’s OK. It is a breath out, an exhalation, a quieting of soul and life and air, and the very town.

I have shows already for 2014, and find my mind drifting ahead, to California in January, Arizona in February, New Mexico in March. A wide roundup of the southwest, with visiting and family and painting, and sun and open skies and the wide adventures of the west.

But here in Wachapreague, it is now, and it is winter, and I will exhale, and I will paint and I will treasure this quiet life.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 09/13/13

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
Where He Loves to Fish Oil on canvas, 20x60

Where He Loves to Fish
Oil on canvas, 20×60

By Carrie Jacobson

A couple from Tennessee was visiting our next door neighbor, Miss Dulcie, when I got home one evening from a recent and exhausting visit to Charlotte, NC. I spent most of the next day sleeping, but roused myself in the afternoon to carry the ancient Pekingese outside. I’d been out there for, oh, 10 seconds when one of Miss Dulcie’s visitors showed up at the fence.

“Hi!” he said. “I hear you’re an artist! That’s so wonderful!”  It became clear to me, even in my exhausted dim dumbness that he wanted to see my paintings and my studio, so of course, I showed him, and his wife, and Miss Dulcie, too.

Turns out that, decades back, he had turned down a full scholarship to Notre Dame to go to art school. Then he was drafted, came home, married, took a job, and pretty much forgot about art.

But way back then, he had painted with a palette knife, as I do, and he was tremendously excited to see my paintings. He swore that when he got home, he was going to start to paint again.

If you get anything from my story (I started making art seven years ago, at the age of 50), get this: You are never too old to make art. You are never too old to START making art – or writing poetry, or making quilts, or throwing pots, or creating mobiles, or making movies – or whatever it is that your heart’s been telling you to do.

Take a class, read a book, watch a video – or just get some materials and give it a try. Your life will be richer, and you will be happier. That’s a promise.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Dawn, Tuesday

By Carrie Jacobson

Here in Wachapreague, the sun comes up in a sky as clear as any I’ve ever seen, and fills the land with colors that sing and light that shines true and clear through air with no haze, no smog, no pollution. Whatever it touches springs to life with a sort of bright glory that I’ve only ever seen in the land around Wisdom, Montana.

I can’t count the opportunities that have passed me by. The doors that have closed behind me, never to open. The roads I didn’t take, the chances I failed to see.

As life goes on, these line up behind me, a trail of failures and misses and could-have — even, maybe, should-have — beens.

And yet, it seems, the right things have happened. All that has happened has brought Peter and me here, to a place where we are happy, a place where opportunity seems as wide as the sky and as bright as Tuesday’s rising sun.

Yes, I hear the echoes of those doors slamming shut, and yes, from time to time, I feel regret. But today, I turn ahead, and walk forward, and try, forever, not to look back.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Sunrise, Tuesday

By Carrie Jacobson

The sun is just up, and I’m facing a big day. A day with chores and duties and a lot of challenges – probably more than I can handle, and I know it, even this early.

It’s exciting, yes, and it is daunting, and as I close the laptop, I’m already thinking ahead, planning Chore No. 1 – gathering all six dogs, letting them out, herding them and shushing them in this early morning quiet.

I open the door of my boat-garage studio and head down, start toward the house. I am concentrating. Focusing. Planning.

And then the light catches my eye, and I look up – and everything changes. The chores recede. The challenges shrink. What must be done, what should be done, what demands attention, all that can wait. In this moment, there is nothing more than the clouds and the sun and the joy of being alive in a place like this, and in a life like this.

This little painting is a celebration of the simple beauty of the world, and a reminder to enjoy it.

Chores can always wait.