Thursday, April 26, 2012

"La Bicyclette", 12x16, oil on board-paintings of Lacoste, Provence, palette knife, bicycle, A Good Year

"La Bicyclette", 12x16, oil on board (Note- Please click on the image in order to see the impasto clearly.)

A modern day bicycle, sits against a crumbling wall in an ancient village in Provence. Numbering under 500 inhabitants, the streets of Lacoste are deserted right now,  as  it's that magical time of day when Provencal folk either nap, eat, drink, argue in a pub or have sex, "under the roof".

La Bicyclette waits patiently for the return of its owner who will meander down the cobblestone paths  any minute now, smiling at a distant memory and emerging with his face slightly flushed after polishing off a bottle of old red straight from the vineyard of Max Skinner, and which he imbibed alfresco-style at the lovely Cafe de France in the heart of the village.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then go watch "A Good Year" with Russell Crowe and the stunningly beautiful Marion Cotillard. You'll fall in love with Provence and it's ancient villages, and crumbling walls and purple valleys nestled in the heart of the Luberon and in the shadow of the Vaucluse.

Lacoste is truly ancient, crumbling, mysterious and exotic all at once. Forget the Marquis de Sade and his crumbling castle; the view from the Cafe de France of the Luberon valley and the neighboring village of Bonnieux is enough to make your heart do somersaults, as is most of the scenery in the area.

I painted this quickly with a palette knife, listening to a combo of "shuffled" music on Pandora that included Cafe France, Rod Stewart and the Gypsy Kings. The only thing missing was a bottle of old red.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Juicy Fruits", 5x7, oil on linen on panel, pears, grapes

"Juicy Fruits", 5x7, oil on linen on panel

This painting is a study in using specific colors and is a continuation of the Limited Palette Challenge that I joined over the weekend. In this challenge, I used only white, cad yellow medium (Gamblin), Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue and Gamblins's transparent Chromatic black.

It was quite challenging for me to try to get a vibrant red from this cold, fugitive red (Alizarin Crimson) and the impure, orangey yellow that I had to use. In the end, I had to be satisfied with much less vibrant colors than I'm used to.

However, I've been learning a lot from working from a limited palette and I would encourage all my artist friends to try it too! You can join the Limited Palette Group that is posting on Facebook here.

It's a great opportunity to mix color combinations that you would not normally use, and the color harmony achieved is a great plus! The challenge began as a result of Ken Auster's demo at the 1st annual plein air convention held recently in Las Vegas. The colors I used above are the colors that Ken used in his demo.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Summer in Zion", 8x10, oil on board by Maryanne Jacobsen, Zion National park oil painting, small painting of Zion, mountains, streams, rivers

"Summer in Zion", 8x10, oil on board by Maryanne Jacobsen

During the recent plein air convention in Las Vegas, a theme that got a lot of attention was painting with a limited palette. For me, that's not easy because I just love color. I love looking at the fresh,  clean color when it comes out of the tube and I love seeing how it looks on the canvas.

Nonetheless, I took the limited palette challenge that's happening on Facebook and painted this with only 4 colors plus white. I used only white, Alizarin crimson, Cad yellow pale, ultramarine blue and windsor green.

While this experiment was challenging for me, I do like the color harmony it produced.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

SOLD"Into the Wind", 8x8, oil on board, by Maryanne Jacobsen

I painted this little scene after returning home from a vacation in Maine, where I was inspired by all the diversity of boats. The painting was done with a limited palette of analogous colors on the color wheel. I chose violet, blue and green for my colors and must say I enjoyed the way this challenged me to think about mixing! The painting is available through Lorica Artworks in Andover, Massachusetts. You can reach them at (978) 470-1829 .

A big thank-you to my hubby for shooting this photo while we were on a whale watch in Bar Harbor! I've used the photo a couple times already and will probably use it again!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Florida Jacaranda Tree A-Bloom", 16x12, oil on canvas, paintings of jacaranda trees, purple, purple trees, exotic trees, jacaranda tree art

"Florida Jacaranda Tree A-Bloom", 16x12, oil on canvas

This started out as a plein air study of a jacaranda tree in my neighborhood. I happen to love jacarandas and since their bloom season is so short I didn't want to waste the opportunity to paint this one!

I painted the tree scene very quickly yesterday in some heavy winds and red ant mounds, and even had to go retrieve my roll of paper towels which had rolled all the way down the street in the wind!

I remembered to take a couple pics of the scene as well and here's a good image of the scene that I painted:

My plein air study was cut short by the wind but it served the purpose of helping me remember what I needed to remember for my studio piece.

I met the lady who lived in the house that I was painting. Her name is Gail and she came out to chat with me and invited me in for ice tea as well! Turns out, she is a watercolor artist! She does some lovely architectural work and I enjoyed talking to her about the differences between watercolors and oils.

All in all it was a good day yesterday, and since today was rainy in my area it afforded me a good chance to put my field study to good work!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Dyna Flow", 6x6, oil on gessoboard-paintings of old cars, antique cars, small paintings of cars

"Dyna Flow", 6x6, oil on gessoboard

This painting of this old '53 Buick is sold, but if you have a photo of an old car that you would like painted,(On canvas, of course!) just send me an email at

Friday, April 13, 2012

"A Glimpse of the Past", plein air, 14x11, oil on linen, old buildings, Old Florida art, paint-outs, plein air, alla prima, Florida art

"A Glimpse of the Past", plein air, 14x11, oil on linen

This past week I participated in "Paint the Town", an annual invitational paint-out that took place this year in Bradenton, Florida.

One of the suggested painting sites was the Manatee Village Historical Park, where I have painted before. I decided to go back there and paint the other side of the same old house where I'd stood and painted a few months ago. There were not many people visiting the park that afternoon and aside from the roosters crowing and a stray tiger cat who kept rubbing against my legs, it was a very peaceful place in which to paint for a few hours.

The last time I painted this old building I had toned my canvas orange and it really gave the painting a warm Floridian glow. This time, however, I decided not to tone the canvas with orange and instead used burnt sienna which cooled the scene more than I'd expected, especially since I was painting in heat and humidity and wanted that warmth to translate to the canvas, too! In the end, I was still pleased with the way that it came out and I felt that it helped a lot that I was familiar with the building and had painted it before.

The painting will be on display and available for purchase through Art Center Manatee through April 28th.