Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Last of the Peonies", 8x8, oil on board, peonies, orange, pink blooms, impasto, palette knife floral

"Last of the Peonies", 8x8, oil on board

I set up a couple of vases of peonies outdoors last month, with the intention of painting them the next day. Well, the next day never happened because it rained continually for a week.

I did manage to take a photo of the arrangement before the rain completely destroyed al the blooms and I used that photo as a reference for this loose, almost abstract palette knife rendition of the bouquets.

Lots of thick paint in this one. Email me if interested in this painting at

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Vixen Hill Springhouse, plein air sketch", 11x14, oil on panel, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, quaint cottages in Chester County, springhouses, Chester Springs, Yellow springs, stone, fieldstone

"Vixen Hill Springhouse, plein air sketch", 11x14, oil on panel

The last time I stayed at the Vixen Hill Cottage, I took photos of the springhouse in the afternoon light, and painted it when I got home. That was two years ago, and I posted a photo of the painting on my blog here. 

I  recall that the first time I painted that structure, I was struck by how inexperienced I felt mixing the paints for all the earth colors that I saw in the stones.

This time around was much easier and the painting came together much quicker for me, even though it was plein air and completed in its entirety outdoors. What that tells me is that in two years I have grown as an artist, and grown especially in my comfort level of painting on location.

If you look at the photo below, you'll see that I tried to stay true to the colors that I saw in my surroundings, rather than pushing the color as I had done in my earlier attempt.

Am I growing as an artist? That is a question that every good artist will ask himself/herself as time goes by, and although I feel that I've had some major setbacks this year, I do see improvement as well. Whew!

If you are interested in purchasing this plein air sketch, just snd me an email at

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

"Morning Pasture, Misty Hollow Farm", 9x12, horse, paintings of horses, Springhouse, meadow, Chester Spings, Pennsylvania, horse farms

"Morning Pasture, Misty Hollow Farm", 9x12

One of the things that I love about Chester Springs and Chester County, Pa, is that there are about a jillion horse farms there. So, for an artist, there is a painting around every corner. Whether it be a springhouse, a farm, a barn with a red roof, horses grazing in a meadow- it all adds up to a painting!

I caught this horse grazing in the meadow at Misty Hollow Farm one morning. The springhouse was in shadow, and the low morning sun washing the meadow in light created a lovely juxtaposition of lights and darks in the composition.

The vivid orange tiger lillies were just starting to bloom when I left the area, so I took a little artistic license and made them bloom a little ahead of time to add a splash of color to the virgin greens of late spring.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 07, 2014

"Porch Peonies", 8x10, oil on board, pink peonies, blue vases, porch paintings, plein air, impressionist paintings, flowers, Vixen Hill Cottage

"Porch Peonies", 8x10, oil on board

During my trip to Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, I noticed that the peonies were in full bloom. I absolutely adore peonies so I determined to pick some, set them up outside out Vixen Hill Cottage, and paint them.

So one night I went out and picked a ton of them, determined to begin my painting the very next day.

I found vases in the cottage and set them up on a table outside and arranged all my paints the night before so I could get started first thing in the morning.

Instead of awakening to the usual slice of sunrise coming through the windows, I noticed that the skylights were being battered with heavy rain. So I sighed and figured it would stop before the day was over.

Well, the rain continued, and continued and went on and on and on. After 5 days, my peonies were almost completely spent by the rain. That was when I decided to collect the survivors and set them up in the porch. The sun was trying valiantly to peek through, but by now I didn't trust it!

In the end, the sun did in fact make a comeback that day, but I finished my painting on the porch, unperturbed by the prospect of another downfall.

Please send me an email at, if you would like to purchase "Porch Peonies".

Friday, June 27, 2014

"Early Morning View"- Valle Crucis B&B, plein air, 12x12, oil on board

"Early Morning View"- Valle Crucis B&B, plein air, 12x12, oil on board

There is a stunning view of the mountains from the porch of the Valle Crucis Bed and Breakfast in Valle Crucis, North Carolina.

On our trip back home from Pennsylvania we stopped there for the night and I knew I had to get up early and paint that scene before breakfast the next morning. It was a beautiful morning, not warm yet, but not cold enough for a jacket. There was a blanket of fog across the mountain ridge before I started the painting, but it dissipated quickly as I set up.

The Valle Crucis B&B is quite lovely and our "Mountain View" room was very comfortable. Our hostess Suzanne made a wonderful breakfast and the other guests were very congenial. Over all it was a wonderful stay and I recommend the Inn highly. Check it out if you are in the Boone area!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"An Invitation to Rest", 18x24 oil on board, Chanticleer, beautiful gardens, Wayne, Pa. blue adirondeck chairs

"An Invitation to Rest", 18x24 oil on board

Was very inspired by all the beautiful gardens at Chanticleer in Wayne , Pa. Be sure to visit if you are in the Main Line area. YOu won't be disappointed.

This painting can be purchased for $2000, plus shipping. Please send me an email at if interested.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"The Pergola at Chanticleer", 16x20, oil on canvas, pergolas, Chanticleer, Main Line Gardens, palette knife paintings, Philadelphia MAin Line, gardens

"The Pergola at Chanticleer", 16x20, oil on canvas

Chanticleer is a lovely estate with beautiful gardens that are open to the public. It is a place that is heaven to artists! I took advantage of my recent visit to Pennsylvania to take some photos at Chanticleer.

This painting is of the pergola, and was done with mostly a palette knife. Chanticleer is such a lovely place!

To learn more about Chanticleer, please go here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Aging Gracefully", 12x16, oil on panel, plein air, old houses, Yellow Springs village, plein air, red maple, paintings of old homes

"Aging Gracefully", 12x16, oil on panel, plein air

I painted this lovely old home during my recent trip to Pennsylvania. This old home beckoned me with its creeping ivy and red maple in the front yard. The house is located in the tiny village of Yellow Springs, where we stayed.

I will probably paint this again in the studio, where I can concentrate on the finer points of the scene.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Silent Forever", plein air, 8x10, oil on board, paintings of sculptures, heronsYellow Springs village, plein air

"Silent Forever", plein air, 8x10, oil on board

In Florida we have beautiful big birds- herons, cranes, ibises, egrets- the sky is the limit. I always take these beautiful birds for granted until I go north.

Recently, I took a trip to Pennsylvania to visit family and paint in the open air in the beautiful Chester County countryside.

We stayed in Chester Springs, where I know the terrain like the back of my hand.

IN the small village of Yellow Springs is a metal sculpture of a great blue heron. It is next to the historic Washington Building, which served as a hospital during the Revolutionary War for George Washington's groups.

So I set up there early one morning and painted the metal bird, glad that I would be soon returning to hot, sticky Florida, where the birds are real.

If you would like to purchase this plein air sketch, please send me an email at

Monday, June 16, 2014

"Yellow Irises, plein air", 8x8, oil on board, Yellow Springs, PA., Yellow springs historic village, yellow, plein air, small studies, iris

"Yellow Irises, plein air", 8x8, oil on board

I enjoyed painting the irises at the Yellow Springs art studio earlier this month. I'm glad I did because a week of continuous rain last week, wiped them all out.

I always enjoy going back to the Chester Springs area to paint. I was not yet an artist when I lived there ten years ago, so it's a treat to return and paint the area, which is very beautiful.

The Yellow Springs village has a very colorful history. Some of the first American impressionists painted there at the turn of the century, over a hundred years ago. They would go to Paris and study with the French impressionists, then return to the Philadelphia area and study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. It was there that they would form plein air groups that would travel the distance to the western suburbs and paint "en plein air" in the meadows and rolling hills of the Yellow Springs area.

I did this little study in the morning light as the sun hit the tops of the irises.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

"Red Maple at Vixen Hill Farm", 9x12, oil on board, impressionism, red maple tree, colorist art, Pennsylvania art, Chester County art, Chester Springs

"Red Maple at Vixen Hill Farm", 9x12, oil on board

I have been loving the weather in Pennsylvania this week and using it as an opportunity to get back into painting outdoors, (en plein air).

Painting everyday on location gives an artist the opportunity to really hone their skill sets. The light changes constantly and one must be on their toes in order to turn out a decent plain air painting.

In this painting, I was attracted to the long dark shadows on the ground and the beautiful light on the red maple in the early morning hours.

I did a quick thumbnail sketch to zone in on the darks and lights in the scene, before attempting to transfer my concept to canvas. 

The lights atop the maple were a beautiful reddish orange color in the morning light and served as  the focal point for the composition. Here's the photo that I took before beginning the painting...

In the end, the only problem were the gnats that started attacking the painting as I finished it up after about an hour and a half. I plucked them out gingerly. Here's the finished painting:

I painted this one with a palette knife exclusively. I hope you enjoyed  seeing my concept from start to finish.

To see more of my paintings, please visit my website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"Feed the Birds", 11x14, oil on board

"Feed the Birds", 11x14, oil on board

This is a quick study that I did a while back of one of those old-fashioned birdfeeders that no one sells anymore. If I were a bird, I'd be rather finicky.

Nowadays, the best sellers look something like this:

What happens with the above, is that the birds are all competing with each other , as well as with the squirrels, for their food. If I were a bird, I'd be timid, since that's my human personality, and I'd hate to have to fight for my food.

So birdies, come to my little birdie home and I'll welcome you with lots of sunflower seeds!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Yellow Frangipani in a glass bottle", 8x10, oil on panel, lemon, frangipani, glass bottles, reflections, summer still life, exotic flowers

"Yellow Frangipani in a glass bottle", 8x10, oil on panel

My yellow frangipanis are finally blooming and they are drop dead gorgeous this year!
I picked one and set it up in this arrangement below and I was struck by how much it looked like a fleur de lis.

I love painting glass bottles. While challenging, they are infinitely more interesting to paint with their myriad reflections and idiosyncrasies.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"Mission Morning Glories", 16x20, oil on board, morning Glories, Mission Capistrano, gardens,

"Mission Morning Glories", 16x20, oil on board (note: Click on the image to see the detail better.)

Mission San Juan Capistrano is located in southern California in Orange County, about an hour north of San Diego and just south of Laguna Beach. I have visited it three or four times and never grow tired of that beautiful place. It is a national treasure and historic monument, and most people have heard the beautiful legend about the swallows that return there every year to nest. To read more about the mission and the swallows , please go here.

If you would like to see more of my Mission San Juan Capistrano paintings, just insert the word Capistrano into the search box located in the left hand sidebar.

This painting was done with a palette knife only. It has thick, juicy passages of paint throughout.

Thanks for following my blog. To see more of my paintings, please visit my website here.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

"Afternoon Light, Shem's Creek", 9x12, oil on board, paintings of boats, Shem's Creek, Mount Pleasant Island, Charleston, South Carolina, marshes

"Afternoon Light, Shem's Creek", 9x12, oil on board
(Note: painted with a palette knife, click on image for a better view of the impasto.)

I have not been painting regularly for the last 6 months. Life sometimes gets in the way of our dreams and aspirations, and unfortunately I have lacked the ability to pick up where I left off 6 months ago.

I recall that when I regularly attended ballet class some years back, my technique and overall physical condition improved dramatically. There was a saying amongst the dancers that if you hadn't been to class in a month, it would take you two months to get back to where you were. In other words, it takes twice as long to get back to the point where you last were.

I think art is probably the same way. Not painting regularly has taken its toll on my confidence level, that's for sure. I know that drawing and  painting from life are what is now needed to recoup my confidence and joy in painting. Easier said then done, especially the painting from life part, as the Florida summer has already begun it's almost unbearable oppression on anyone who is outdoors for more than 10 minutes.

Anyway, last fall I was juried into the American Impressionist Society's annual exhibit, and to celebrate my success I decided to take a workshop with premier impressionist Kenn Backhaus in Charleston. The whole week was amazing, the show (my juried painting sold the first night!) was lovely and I met many new friends during the workshop. On the last day of the workshop we painted at Shem's Creek on Mount Pleasant Island just outside of Charleston. It was an artist's paradise- big shrimp boats, golden marshes and glorious sunsets.

My last plein air painting of the day was of a meandering marsh that led right into the inlet where some old boats were moored. This was the painting that I did there back in October and you can read more about it here.

I love how different it is to paint on location. You can practically breathe life into the painting when the scene is right there in front of you! Unfortunately, the scene was not right in front of me when I painted the same scene last night in a horizontal format. But I tried to recall my thoughts about the color of the day and the  warm light that lay across the marshes, as I painted the new one. I used a palette knife to paint the entire thing so I wouldn't get too hung up on all the details in the boats.

I was reminded of a bible verse as I cleaned my brushes last night- "Do not despise small beginnings", and so even though I feel as though I am starting to learn to paint all over again, at least I did it. And you have no idea how many beginnings have failed me these past weeks!

So onwards and upwards. I'll keep trying, and hopefully my confidence will return and my work will begin to improve again.

Thanks for reading.