Monday, August 07, 2017

"Empty Chairs and Empty Tables", 9x12, oil, paintings of interiors, candlelight, Buckley's Tavern, Maryanne Jacobsen art, Bombay cat, Les Miserables, loneliness , isolation, grief, black cats

"Empty Chairs and Empty Tables, 9x12, oil on linen

A few years ago I had a lovely birthday dinner at Buckley's Tavern, in Centerville Delaware. I was up north for the annual Brandywine Plein Air festival, which always happens to fall on my birthday week.

By the time our meal had ended, it was late and the guests were pretty much all leaving for the night. I loved the warm firelight  that exuded warmth and old world charm into the formal dining room, so I snapped a couple of photographs for future artistic reference.

Last week I was feeling rather morose- our lovely  Bombay rescue kitty Sebastian was diagnosed with liver and kidney disease and the prognosis was bleak. I found myself crying inconsolably and feeling isolated  and alone with my sadness since my husband is unable to ever feel quite as deeply as I do. It's not his fault. I am an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), and thus everything I feel is magnified tremendously compared to the emotions of a non-HSP. So my husband has never been able to identify with the sometimes unbearable levels of sensitivity that I feel in almost all situations.

It's tough being an HSP, but as the years have gone by I have managed to understand myself better and know that I am this way along with many many other sensitive individuals who are overcome by feelings that affect most people to a much lesser extent.

Anyhow, I decided to translate my feelings to paint and added the lonely figure in the back of the restaurant to the painting. Maybe I was trying to transfer my feelings of sadness and loneliness to the canvas in order to alleviate my own pain. I don't know. As I painted I played the soundtrack from Les Miserables, since the sad song, "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables", seemed to fit the theme.

I'll be returning to the Brandywine valley again this October and will probably celebrate another birthday dinner at Buckley's. I hope by then that these feelings will have subsided as a result of knowing that Sebastian is either well again, or that he is in a much better place- a place where spirits can soar free of the burdens of these earthly bodies of ours.

I hope this post is not depressing. I don't want it to be. I celebrate the wonderful life that we have given Sebastian and the joy that he has given us, and I know that as in all sad times- it too will pass.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

"Drama Queens in a Green Vase", 12x16, oil on linen, paintings of peonies, white peonies, Maryanne Jacobsen art, impressionist florals, outdoor still life

"Drama Queens in a Green Vase", 12x16, oil on linen

This was the first time that I ever attempted to paint a grouping of white flowers. I think the reddish centers of these peonies gave the painting the extra color needed to keep the painting from being boring.

I used a fairly limited palette of two yellows, two reds, and two blues, plus Winsor Green, and I found that this helped me from getting confused about how to mix the warm and cool neutrals.

When I look back to the first paintings that I did of peonies earlier this summer, I can see that I am becoming more proficient with painting these difficult, but beautiful blooms. This is probably the last of my peony paintings for awhile, since they are now out of season. Hopefully by next summer I won't forget what I learned this summer!

Saturday, July 08, 2017

"Kathy's Vase", 14x11, oil on linen, pink peonies, still life green vase, Maryanne Jacobsen fine art, Peonies, impressionist florals

"Kathy's Vase", 14x11, oil on linen

So if you follow my blog, you probably know that I work on peonies every year during the month of June, when they are in season in northern parts of the country. I go to Trader Joe's in Sarasota and scout out the best peonies I can find, and then the journey begins.

It is definitely a challenging journey to paint these things, because they are troublesome to capture. At least for me.Once they start opening , their petals go on and on forever like the pieces of tulle in a ballerina's tutu.

Here was my set-up in my shadow box in the studio:

I put them in the refrigerator overnight, but the one front and center lost most of its petals when I took it out, so I had to wing it.

I definitely will need another decade, before I can master these beautiful flowers!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

"Candlelight Vigil for a Dying Peony"8x10, oil on panel-study, small works, peony study, painting from life, all prima, Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art


"Candlelight Vigil for a Dying Peony"8x10, oil on panel-study

Peonies are only available for a short period time, and so I always rush to Trader Joe's every June and stock up on these gorgeous flowers. You can't grow them in Florida, and by the time we get them from areas where you can grow them, they have been through the trauma of transportation, so they' re never quite fresh enough. The result is that they only last a few days after I buy them.

I struggle with painting these beauties, probably because I don't have enough time throughout the year to practice them at my leisure, or maybe I am just making excuses. They are truly complex! So this peony study was an attempt to get a little better at painting them.


As you can see from my set-up, although it had already opened completely, the peony wasn't in bad shape when I began the painting. However, since I got the bright idea to light the candle directly under the peony to add some "atmosphere", the peony became a victim of my stupidity and quickly wilted.

Oh well. These elusive flowers are like most things beautiful- they never last forever.

This little study is available to purchase through my website for only $300, unframed. Shipping is free! Just click the link here to purchase or visit my website.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"La Jolla Wildflowers", 9x12, La Jolla California, yellow wildflowers, nasturtiums, plein air study, Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art, impressionism, seascapes, Pacific coast, southern California art



"La Jolla Wildflowers", 9x12

Back in April I spent a couple days in La Jolla, California, one of the prettiest places in the whole country! All the rain that California experienced in January and February paid off , because the wildflowers were blooming everywhere! On the hillsides and the highways and byways of southern California, nasturtiums and purple statice were blooming everywhere in a riot of complimentary colors! Although the San Diego area is always lovely, I had never seen the area so verdant before.

So I took the opportunity to go to La Jolla cove and paint one morning. There was a slight breeze and the temperatures were perfect for painting.


The next week proved to be the beginning of a challenging couple months for me, of which I am still recovering. But I am happy that I had the chance to fit in a fun painting before the  problems started.

The additional good news is that this painting recently won a ribbon at the Venice Art Center's summer exhibit. Special thanks to juror Katie Dobson Cundiff.

If interested in this work, please send me an email at maryannejacobsen@aol.com.

Please check out my new website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art

Friday, June 23, 2017

"Katie's Pitcher", 12x16, oil on panel, yellow ranunculus, oranges, plein air florals, Maryanne Jacobsen art

"Katie's Pitcher", 12x16, oil on panel

This painting was started a year ago in the garden of friend and fellow artist extraordinaire, Katie Dobson Cundiff. Katie would set up floral arrangements in her back yard once a week, and we could come over and paint them. The set-ups were always beautiful, but even more special was the opportunity to watch Katie paint!

I never finished the painting that day, but took it out yesterday and started working on it again. Unfortunately, I didn't have a photo reference, so I had to wing it.

Overall, I was happy with the way it came out.

Feel free to contact me at maryannejacobsen@aol.com, if you have any interest in this work, and do check out my new website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

"Dark Roast with Cherries", 11x14 on Canson oil paper, paintings of roses, impressionism, Maryanne Jacobsen art, cherries, coffee, coffee break, morning coffee

"Dark Roast with Cherries", 11x14 on Canson oil paper

My old computer crashed last week, taking with it the photo editing program that I have used for years. I now am using a MAC, but have no idea how to edit or if the photos of my paintings look the way they are supposed to or not! This image looks dark to me, but I don't know how it looks to others! Very frustrating.

Anyhow, this painting was a nice break for me to do before I start a couple commissions next week. I love painting flowers and especially roses, and the Canson art paper is so much fun to paint on! Unfortunately, it's a little trickier to frame, but it can be done. I think this painting would look great with a linen border and that is probably how I'll frame it.

If you would like to save me the trouble of framing it, it is for sale! So please email me at maryannejacobsen@aol.com, if you're interested in this painting.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

"Paisley Scarf", 16x16, oil on linen, beautiful women , women with scarfs, impressionism, gesture painting, Maryanne Jacobsen fine art, Paisley patterns, redheads

"Paisley Scarf", 16x16, oil on linen

I have recently been trying to get more painterly in my approach to portrait painting. So I have been prating 30 minute gesture drawings a couple times a week. The goal of these little gestures is to get freer, more spontaneous, in the approach to the subject, and not working about resemblance to any degree.

After doing about half a dozen of these quick gestures, I decided to try a bigger one with no time limits. "Paisley Scarf" was the result and I was not unhappy with it.

I love the old romantic looks of women from the silent era films and roaring twenties. This was an attempt to re-create that feeling in a woman's portrait.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

"Along the Brandywine", 8x10, oil, Maryanne Jacobsen art, Brandywine Creek, Hagley Museum, Breck's Mill, Rising Sun Bridge, metal truss bridges, autumn colors

SOLD
"Along the Brandywine", 8x10

Back in October I enjoyed a lovely afternoon painting along the Brandywine, during the Brandywine Valley annual plein air event.

The original plein air painting that I did that day has sold, but yesterday I decided to try the scene again, remembering how difficult a scene it was for me to paint with the rapidly changing light that afternoon.

Even though this is a studio painting, it was still difficult for me because there were so many elements to deal with-water reflections, foreground rocky mess, trees in shadow, trees in light, etc. I enjoyed it nevertheless as it is best to challenge oneself with subjects outside one's comfort zone.

The subject was the old truss bridge just downstream of Breck's Mill near the Hagley Museum. I believe it is called the Rising Sun Bridge, if I remember correctly. The metal span is supported by stone structures on either side and it is one of only two metal truss bridges left in the area. I'm looking forward to returning there again in the fall.

This  little painting is available. Just send me an email at maryannejacobsen@aol.com , if interested.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

"Summer Reverie", 16x20, oil on panel, Maryanne Jacobsen art, original oil paintings, impressionism, plein air versus studio, gardens, flowers, romantic gardens

"Summer Reverie", 16x20, oil on panel

I did a plein air painting in my back garden a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it so much that I thought I'd try a larger version in my studio. The image above is the result.

It's a weird thing about plein air. You are working against the clock to capture all that you see in front of you, and as a result you don't have time to over-think things. So generally speaking, plein air work has a more spontaneous feel to it.

The benefits of working  in the studio, are that you can study what you did wrong in the plein air piece, and take your time thinking through how you could do it differently, in the hopes that you might improve upon what you did quickly outdoors.

Here are the two paintings side by side:
The funny thing is, I like the plein air painting better! Yes, I was able to soften edges in the larger one, and think more carefully about the background, but somehow, the transparency of the tablecloth, the texture in the flowers, the boldbess of the brushwork,  and the spontaneous way in which I threw in the leg and its shadow underneath the table, appeals to me more.

Anyhow, if you stop by this blog and have a read, please let me know what you think!

Monday, April 03, 2017

"The Colors of Capistrano", 12x16, oil on board, Mission San Juan Capistrano, California mission, MAryanne Jacobsen art, impressionism, bougainvillea, beautiful places

SOLD
"The Colors of Capistrano", 12x16, oil on board

I painted this a while back and took it out just last week and looked at it. Overall, I was happy with it, but felt that there were some areas that needed strengthening. So I simplified the flower bed beneath the bougainvillea tree to unify the mass overall. Next I simplified the shadows on the ground and lightened them since vertical planes on the ground are lighter, even in shadow. I strengthened the shadow mass on the right side of the bush in the back and then just tweaked some roof tiles. I think it helped quite a bit to unify the painting, and I was happy with it.

Serendipity occurred over the weekend, before the new paint had even dried, when  a new collector inquired about it and bought it instantly as a gift for his wife. I love when that happens!

Below is an image of the painting before I tweaked it, so you can see the changes that I spoke of. It is always encouraging to me to be able to take out a painting and make it better. It helps me know that I am continuing to learn and to improve my craft!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"First Light, Rockport Harbor", 12x16, oil on panel, paintings of Rockport Massachusetts, Maryanne JAcobsen art, Rockport harbor, sunrise, baots, clouds

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"First Light, Rockport Harbor", 12x16, oil on panel

My husband and I discovered Cape Ann back in 2011 and have gone back since almost every single year. I think it is my favorite place in the entire world. The light is like no other and there is so much charm in the seaside villages that dot the North Shore peninsula. Over the years it has become home to hundreds , if not thousands of famous painters, who also discovered it's charms and chose to either live there, or escape there.

When we visit there, we have developed a habit of getting up just before sunrise, grabbing some coffee and then head over to Rockport harbor to watch the sunrise. It's always a beautiful sight, and afterwards, we get to watch the fishman loading their boats with bait, as the gulls circle around, waiting for breakfast. Then they head out, to catch the delicious fish that New England is famous for.


I've taken many photos of those sunrises over the years, but this week, I finally decided to use one for for a painting. I'm not sure it captures the actual beauty of the scene, but then again, only the Creator can do that.

If you have any interest in this painting, it is available. Just send me an email at maryannejacobsen@aol.com.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Relish & More", 12x16, plein air, nocturne, Lighthouse Plein Air Festival, restaurants, Cafe Centro, Ray Chang, Relish & More, Old Northwood Historic District, Palm Beach, piano bar, MAryanne JAcobsen art

"Relish & More", 12x16, plein air nocturne

This painting was the most fun to do during the Lighthouse Plein Air Festival a couple weeks ago. I am behind in posting my paintings from the event, because I came home sick, but this one I really wanted to post because of all the fun involved in the creation. The restaurant is located in Old Northwood Village, near Palm Beach. Old Northwood Historic area is a lovely neighborhood of classic Mediterranean and Mission style architecture made popular by distinguished architects in the 1920's.

The restaurants and shops in this neighborhood are both artsy and eclectic, and I chose to paint here twice, because I was so enamored with the colorful buildings and fabulous architecture. On the second night of the plein air festival, I came here in the evening to paint a nocturne, and chose this spot because it was well lit and I loved all the lights twinkling at Relish & More.

My hubby and I had had a delicious Italian meal that night at Cafe Centro, which is directly across the street from Relish and More, so I felt comfortable setting up there on the corner where Cafe Centro is located.

As it turns out, it was a Thursday night, and Ray Chang's piano bar was on hand to provide me wonderful entertainment as I painted! The music varied in style, but there was not one single song he did that I didn't thoroughly enjoy! As it was, I found myself bobbing up and down to the music as I painted, totally immersed in the joy of the moment and dancing with my paintbrush. (Hey, the blog isn't called PaintDance for nothing!) By the end of the evening, a congo line had formed and people much dancing in the streets to some contemporary stuff with a killer beat. Such fun!

I have only done a handful of nocturnes in my life and am rather inexperienced at the skill required to paint in the dark, but this will go down in memory as of of the most enjoyable paintings that I ever did, thanks to Ray Chang! I so wish we lived closer so I could go back every Thursday night!

Here is a photo of my set-up on the corner:
The thing that makes nocturnes so difficult, is that the light is so distorted that it's hard to judge values on your palette, or even see your canvas very well, what with the glare from the headlamp that you need to use in order to paint. It wasn't my best painting of the week, but it certainly was memorable.

Thanks so much Ray Chang and Cafe Centro for the great meal and music. To get a little taste of what it was like to hear Ray sing, here's a link to a couple videos from the CAfe Centro website or Ray entertaining the crowd. Enjoy!

Friday, March 17, 2017

"The Scent of Romance", 12x16, oil on Ampersand panel, flowers, gardens, Maryanne Jacobsen art, romantic art, studies, plein air, table settings hydrangeas

"The Scent of Romance", 12x16, oil on Ampersand panel

This is a quick study that I did in my garden yesterday. It was cold by Florida standards, so I had to work quickly so I could go back inside!

I like the way it came out, so I have decided that I will do a bigger version of this one in the studio. If you would like to purchase this small study, just contact me at maryannejacobsen@aol.com.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Roosevelt and Churchill discussing cigars", plein air, 11x14, Lighthouse Plein Air Festival, MAryanne JAcobsen art, Palm Beach art, plein air, Society of 4 Arts, President Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, allies, cigars, bougainvillea, beautiful gardens, garden sculptures

"Roosevelt and Churchill discussing cigars", plein air, 11x14

This was another one of my favorite paintings done during the Lighthouse Plein Air Festival.

I had partipated in the festival two years ago and painted at The Society of the Four Arts before, so I was familiar with the grounds and the beautiful pergolas covered with bougainvillea that are throughout the gardens. So I decided to try my hand this time at adding the sculptures of the the two dignitaries  (President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill) into the painting this time, figuring it would be a piece of cake.

Wrong! Painting bronze images of figures is very different from painting real people! The surfaces are different (skin is soft, metal is hard, flesh tones are predictable, statues in metal are an odd color!) So in spite of the fact that I knew I could nail the background pergola, I struggled with the figures of the 2 allies for quite some time.

Here is a photo of the two friends in the garden, and a couple photos that someone took of me painting them:

In addition to afternoon Florida heat, many people stopped by to chat with me, adding to the difficulties of completing the painting. In the end, it took me 2 afternoons to complete, but I was ultimately happy with the end result.

If you are in the Palm Beach area, be sure to visit the Society of 4 Arts. The grounds are lovely and the Chinese Garden is a special favorite of mine, which also produced a painting last week!