Friday, October 31, 2014

"Prime Time", 9x12, oil on board, plein air Brandywine Valley, Chadds Ford, Pa., Winterthur, Andrew Wyeth country, fall foliage, Pennsylvania landscapes, twisted trees, autumn

"Prime Time", 9x12, oil on board

I just returned from Pennsylvania where I participated in  the Plein Air Brandywine Valley art competition and sale to benefit Children's Beach House in Wilmington , Delaware. It was my second year of doing this competition and every year is wonderful because of the exceptional places that the artists are allowed to paint. People generously offer to open up their private estates to the artists, where we can paint vistas of horses, donkeys, old barns, classic Pennsylvania fieldstone farmhouses, hay stacks and much more.

It's a beautiful time of year, with the fall foliage at full peak. Hence the name of the painting above which was painted at the Nielsen estate in Chadds Ford, Pa., home to generations of Wyeth families. I was drawn to the interesting shape of the twisted tree as well as the companion tree on the other side of the winding path, which was in full fall gala garb!

The week of painting culminates in a gala, held at the Winterthur Museum, where people who purchase tickets can choose from literally dozens or gorgeous plein air paintings available for purchase.

Unfortunately, I only painted 4 paintings this year, since two of the days were cold and rainy and I have Raynaud's disease, which is a circulatory problem that prevents me from going outdoors in cold and damp weather. But I was happy with the paintings that I did on Monday and Tuesday, and one of them was purchased by a collector.

Here I am posing in front of my paintings at the gala.

I'll be posting more of the work that I did last week over the next few days. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Guileless", 14x11, oil on board, paintings of children, little girls, girls with bonnets, children, Renaissance fair

"Guileless", 14x11, oil on board

This is a painting that I started months ago. Every so often I'd take it out and change a few things on it. Finally, I thought it was finished when it looked like this:

I liked the fact that it looked impressionistic and so I titled it "White Bonnet" and called it done.

The other day I took it out again and decided that I hated it. So I totally reworked her face as well as other parts extensively. I definitely think it's done now! The little girl now looks exactly like my niece's little girl. She's a beautiful child and her name is Faith. I met her recently for the first time , and I think I had her in the back of my mind when I decided to re-work this painting.

More often than not, I mess up a painting totally when I go back into it and re-work it. In this case, I'm definitely glad that I took the chance!

Friday, October 10, 2014

"The Red House, Swim Beach", 6x6, oil , Monhegan Island, Venice Art Center, award-winning paintings, MAryanne Jacobsen art, boats, red

"The Red House, Swim Beach", 6x6, oil

Was delighted to find out that my little painting of the Red House on Monhegan Island was awarded second place in the Venice Art Center's Mini and Maxi show this evening.

I almost didn't enter the painting because I was confused about the size requirements for the show. Turns out that the paintings had to be either very large or very small. The painting that I took over to receiving was only an 11x14, but I soon learned it was too large. So I went home, picked up this little guy and brought him back to the art center.

So happy I did!

The painting is framed in a beautiful Randy Higbee floater frame and can be purchased through he Venice Art Center.  You can call them at 941-485-7136 for purchase information regarding this little gem.

Here I am at tonight's reception with good friend and fellow plein air painter Karen Hitt. Karen rec'd the third place ribbon for her lovely little watercolor of Venice. Congrats, Karen!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

"Peaches and Cream", 16x20, oil on linen, paintings of fruit, roses, peaches, blue, award-winning art, Maryanne Jacobsen , impressionism

"Peaches and Cream", 16x20, oil on linen

I painted this one a while back and at the last minute I decided to enter it into the Venice Art Center's "Tutti Fruitti" competition. The only requirement was that fruit be included in the design.

I was pleased to find out that the painting received an honorable mention in the exhibit last month. I was in very good company on the wall with the ribbons as Hodges Soileau won first place, Bill Farnsworth won second and  Jeff Cornell won third. My friend and avid plein air painter Karen Hitt also received an honorable mention. It was a great show with hundreds of entries so I was pleased to receive a ribbon. Thanks to Judge Diane Mannion for choosing this painting for a ribbon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

"Morning Light, Alsace", 30x40, Alsace, green shutters, France, large paintings, street scenes, Maryanne Jacobsen art, doorways, flowers

"Morning Light, Alsace", 30x40

This painting was completed recently and is available through Galerie du Soleil. Please visit their website here for more information about this painting and as well is this beautiful gallery in  the heart of Naples, Florida!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

"1887 Church", plein air, 11x14, Paint the Town, Manatee Village, Bradenton Florida, historic buildings, Art Center Manatee, Maryanne Jacobsen art

"1887 Church", plein air, 11x14, oil on board
(This painting received an honorable mention in Paint the Town -Bradenton, Florida )

Last week I participated in Paint the Town in downtown Bradenton, Florida. This Paint-out is in it's 5th or 6th year and it is the 3rd or 4th year that I have participated, but happily it was the first year that I received a ribbon for my efforts!

The judge this year was esteemed artist and illustrator Bill Farnsworth. There were many other wonderful plein air artists that participated in the competition including Katie Dobson-Cundiff, Karen Hitt, Joseph Melancon, and Susie Covert to name a few, so I was incredibly pleased to have received recognition amongst so much talent.

The Paint-Out began with a quick draw last weekend at the Riverwalk, which I chose not to participate in due to the distance from my house to the Quick Draw site. (A good artist knows her limitations and I am definitely NOT a morning person!)

I went out the following day to paint in downtown Bradenton, only to find I'd forgotten my paintbrushes! A wasted day, alas, but a lesson learned in checking supplies!

Monday had mixed skies, and although I painted on downtown Main Street, I was not happy with the results. Tuesday was crazy with torrential rains at Cortez fishing village, where I went to paint that day. (More about that in a different post!)

Finally on Wednesday, the last day of the Paint-out, the skies were hot, humid but sunny and I knew I had a shot at a decent painting. I headed out to historic Manatee Village. Here's what you can find there from their website:

Step back into time at the Manatee Village Historical Park. Visit this collection of restored buildings from Manatee County’s settlement history and experience life in Manatee County before the arrival of modern conveniences such as automobiles and electricity. The Manatee Village Historical Park is a joint project of the Manatee County Historical Commission, Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court, the Manatee County Board of County Commission, and the City of Bradenton.

I decided to paint the beautiful old church there, which dates from 1887 and has housed many special events over its long history. There is currently a restoration process in progress regarding its steeple. I was drawn to its simple, unassuming lines and the fact that it had housed so many happy events over its long history in Bradenton. The shadows on the church are perfect in the afternoon and the palm trees beside it langished in deep shadow against the hot sun in the western sky.

I completed the painting in 2 and a half hours and you can see it yourself at Art Center Manatee until October 30th. I was delighted to receive an honorable mention from judge Bill Farnsworth for my efforts.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Carlsbad Morning", 12x24, oil on canvas, Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad California, eucalyptus trees

"Carlsbad Morning", 12x24, oil on canvas

Throughout southern California there are great places to hike. Whenever we visit the area, my son and daughter-in-law, who are avid hikers, introduce us to a new trail. Some of our favorites are Torrey Pines and Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlbad. There are beautiful old eucalyptus trees through out Batiquitos, so I took the opportunity to take some pictures of them since they are my favorite California tree.

The Lagoon boasts plenty of nature trails for bird-watching and hiking and kayak enthusiasts are welcome as well. To learn more about the lagoon , please go here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

1969, oil on panel, 12x12, Happy days, paintings of the sixties, Chevelle, SS 396, Grease, memories, LA High School, Lansdowne, nostalgia

"1969", 12x12, oil on panel

This was truly a blast from the past.

I found an old picture of myself the summer that I graduated high school, which was..... guessed it- 1969!

 I was wearing a tie-dyed shirt, culotte shorts and moccasins and sitting atop the SS 396 Super Sport Chevelle of my future husband, along with two friends, Dave and Ruth.

The days were carefree and high school was over. It was "We go together" all over again.

I had fun painting this. Maybe because times are less simple now. Maybe becaue it made me feel young again. And maybe it was just because those happy days were mine and  yours and ours....

Happy and free. (Oh Happy Days)
These days are ours
Share them with me.(Oh Happy Days)
Goodbye grey sky, hello blue,
'cause nothing can hold me when I hold you.
feels so right it can't be wrong,
rockin' and rollin' all week long.

Read more: Happy Days - Happy Days Theme Song Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Here's my shameless reference photo. Yeah it was a little blurry. But it still brought  back those happy days.

Friday, September 19, 2014

"Day's End, Good Harbor Beach", 8x10, oil on wrapped linen, plein air, Cape Ann, Gloucester beaches, impressionism, palette knife art

"Day's End, Good Harbor Beach", 8x10, oil on wrapped linen, plein air

Good Harbor Beach is located in Gloucester, on the North Shore of Massachusetts.  This little plein air painting was done during our recent August trip to Cape Ann, and this was my first chance to post.

Cape Ann is a rocky cape in northeastern Massachusetts on the Atlantic Ocean. It is located approximately 30 miles northeast of Boston and marks the northern limit of Massachusetts Bay. We visit there almost every summer becuase Rockport is so near and dear to my heart. We now have another reason to visit since my youngest son is attending the Harvard Kennedy School in Boston. Yay!

So in addition to visiting with our son and catching the beautiful soft sunlight on Cape Ann, we also made the trek to Orleans, Cape Cod for the American Women Artist's National exhibit.

I was very pleased to have been accepted into this prestigious national show for the second year in a row, and so oveall it was a great trip.

The sky was tinged in purple right before sunset on the August day that I set up my easel at Good Harbor. I hope you enjoy this painting. It has thick paint throughout and epitomizes the simple quaint beauty of this New England seaside town, captured quickly as the light kept fading.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Table of Blessings", 24x24 oil on wrapped hardwood, MAryanne Jacobsen art impressionism, al fresco dining, bread and wine


"Table of Blessings", 24x24 oil on wrapped hardwood

This painting was fun and challenging at the same time. I wanted to keep it loose and fresh, so deciding when to call it done was  a little difficult. I still may go back in and work some passages when it is dry. We'll see.

So I went back in and made a couple edits. Overall it looks about the same, but there were a couple subtle issues that you wouldn't be able to see on your monitor that I could see, so I fixed them .  Now it's done and sold. Hurray!

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Pacific Blues", 16x20, oil on panel, paintings of Big Sur, Pacific Ocean impressionist paitnigns of the coast of California

"Pacific Blues", 16x20, oil on panel

Whenever I feel uninspired, I usually turn to photos I've taken during my many trips to California. The very first time I was there we took a very long ride up the coast from Santa Monica all the way up to San Francisco. I can't say I didn't enjoy the ride, though it was long.

Driving along the Pacific coast highway is quite an experience, and I often had to close my eyes as I don't like heights. But whenever my husband was able to convince me to open them and check out the view, I was always rewarded. This scene at Big Sur, is one of my favorites and I've painted it  few times. All of them have sold, so I decided to pull out the photos and do it again.

I listened to a  Linda Ronstadt CD as I painted because I love the way she sings and especially when she sings "Adios". It invariable makes me cry and suspect I'm not the only one.

Got to go clean my paintbrushes, so for now, Adios, amigos.

By the way, this painting is available through Gallery 444, in San Francisco.  Feel free to contact them at PHONE : (415) 434-4477, to inquire about this painting.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Rocky Cove", 16x20 , oil on canvas, Cape Ann paintings, seascapes, Rockport, Massachusetts, Impressionism, rocks, Atlantic, Maryanne Jacobsen art

"Rocky Cove", 16x20 , oil on canvas

Sometimes I enjoy painting a scene so much that I can't wait to try it again! In this case, it was the scene overlooking Gap Cove in Rockport that I wanted to try again. I painted it en plein air when I was there a couple weeks ago, and so the scene was fresh in my mind.

Once again I decided to make the pretty house on Gap Head Road my focal point, and I decided to define the rocks a little more carefully than I had done the first time.

I will concede that painting en plein air is challenging because you must work very fast to capture the elements, and retain the original concept even as the light is changing. The benefit, however, is that the artist does not have a chance to mull over decisions regarding color mixing, value, composition- anything! You either nail it or you don't! That is why plein air work can either look incredibly fresh and spontaneous, or else be a disaster!

In the case of the painting that I did that day, I was very happy with it, so I thought it would be fun to try a bigger version. What I noticed was that I found myself overthinking decisions that I had made instantaneously the first time I'd painted the scene. I found myself playing around with the greenery in the foreground to the extent that it made the foliage seem more strained and conspicuous than the first time I'd painted it. I also had too many color choices, whereby I had substantially  limited my palette when I'd painted it that day on location.

In short, I have slowly but surely become an avid proponent of plein air painting, as a result of understanding its benefits. It has taken me 6 years to get comfortable with painting on location, and I will admit that once you get there, painting in the studio is always a little bit of a disappointment. Without the sound of the seagulls screeching in the background, and the waves lapping the rocks, the music that I normally play while painting didn't quite do it for me any more. Without the warm sun playing over my shoulders and the crisp blue sky above me, the mixture of light sources in the studio become almost confusing.

In short, although I was somewhat happy with this painting, I know the first painting was better even though it only took me one hour and this one took me 5 hours. I can't wait until the heat of this Florida summer breaks somewhat, so I can get back outdoors and paint another tiny piece of  God's glorious creation. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Straitsmouth Cove, Rockport"-plein air, 9x12, oil on panel, Rockport Massachusetts, Cape Ann, New England seascapes, impressionism, rocks, Atlantic Ocean, American Women Artists,Maryanne JAcobsen fine art


"Straitsmouth Cove, Rockport"-plein air,  9x12, oil on panel

I recently attended the American Women Artists Show at the Addison Gallery in Orleans, Massachusetts. Cape Cod is a wonderful place for an art exhibit as there is beauty everywhere and lovely shops and art galleries throughout Cape Cod.

A very special thank-you to Helen Addison, of the Addison Gallery for hosting the AWA show. The exhibit was breathtaking and I was very honored to be included in this prestigious national show for the second consecutive year. The show will run through September 15th, so if you are on the Cape, please stop by and view this magnificent show. There are still many lovely pieces available for purchase, too!

After returning to the Boston area, we spent some time on Cape Ann, in Rockport, long known by impressionist artists for its incredible light and dramatic scenery. My husband and I return here every summer to enjoy the best weather and scenery that New England has to offer!

The weather was more than cooperative this past week and I was able to do some plein air painting every single day. The painting above was done a few days ago at Straitsmouth Cove, right off of Marmion way in Rockport. I was attracted by the beautiful cool blues in the ambient light and used the house on the hill as a focal point.

The painting is completely plein air, (completed outdoors on location) and has thick passages of juicy paint throughout. Purchase through Paypal for $600 by sending me an email at

Saturday, August 09, 2014

"Bienvenue", 22x28, oil on wrapped canvas, paintings of France, Alsace windows, window boxes, flowers

"Bienvenue", 22x28, oil on wrapped canvas

Almost 15 years ago, my hubby and I took a wonderful trip to Europe which included time spent in France, Germany and Denmark. One of the highlights of that trip was time spent in the Alsace region of France. I'll never forget the trip up Mont Sainte-Odile to see the dramatic sight of the monastery,  where , as legend has it, Sainte Odile was given sanctuary from a brutal father, who wanted to kill his own daughter because she was blind.

Another highlight of that trip to the Alsace region was La Petite France, a section of the old city of Strasbourg, which is filled with canals reminiscent of Venice, Italy and studded with ancient multi-storied buildings that have stood for centuries in shades of pink, ochre and magenta under hazy skies.

Alsace is a little German or a little French depending on who was currently in control during those years of its schizophrenic history when both countries jockeyed back and forth for control of the area.

This scene that I've painted a few times before depicts a classic Alsace window, framed in colorful wooden shutters with flowers and abundant vines cascading in and out of cheerful chaos.

If you would like information on purchasing "Bienvenue", please contact Gallery 444 at (415) 434-4477 and ask for Desiree or Heidi.

Thanks for allowing me to share my memories of Alsace with you!

Friday, August 01, 2014

"Petal Dance", 10x20, oil on wrapped canvas, impressionism, impasto, palette knife florals, sunflowers

"Petal Dance", 10x20, oil on wrapped canvas

Lots of thick paint in this floral. Please email me at if you would like more information about this painting.

Please visit my website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art to see more of my original oil paintings.