Saturday, July 13, 2019

Windswept,12x16, oil, Experimenting with paint, Rockport Massachusetts homes, Old Garden Path, beautiful homes of Cape Ann, perennial gardens, paintings on copper, Maryanne Jacobsen art , Impressionisnm

Windswept, 12x16, oil on copper

This is a favorite house to see in summertime, whenever I am visiting Rockport, Massachusetts. The gardens are lush with perennials- Black-eyed Susans, purple coneflowers and Russian sage. The flowers grow tall and proud on this little hillside, where the house, appropriately named "Windswept" proudly looks out across the lawn to the sea beyond.

This is my second time painting this house. I painted it over a year ago with a restricted palette of about 4 colors (I don't remember which ones) and here was the result:

"Summer Garden, Rockport, 11x14, oil on linen

And here is the house itself on the Old Garden Path in Rockport in June, with peonies and irises blooming:

There are things that I like about both of the paintings, so if I were to choose one that I like better, it would be hard. I like the loose, impressionist feel of Windswept , and the harmony that was created by using a limited palette. In "Summer Garden, Rockport", I like that there are little places where the copper peeks through, (hard to see in a photograph) especially in the stone walkway, giving it the burnished orange tone that you can see in some of the walls and rocks in the typical Rockport garden. As a matter of fact, you can see little bits of that orange in the image of the rock wall in the photo above!

So perhaps I should do a third painting of this house, using copper , but limiting my palette and trying to keep it looser and more impressionistic. In other words, kill the detail.

What do you think? Which do you prefer? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

If you are interested in purchasing either of these paintings, please send me an email at

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

"Bakers at Red Lion", 12x12, oil on panel, French bakery, Kennett Square Pennsylvania, Galer Estate Vineyard and winery, Fresh baked bread, Chester County Pennsylvania, hidden gems

"Bakers at Red Lion", 12x12, oil on panel, Note: click on the image to see the painting better.

"When the flag is out, the bread is ready!" The French flag at the entrance to this little gem of a bakery, is a welcome sign on weekends for residents of the Kennett Square, Chadds Ford/Longwood area of Pennsylvania. Because it is in this place, called the "Bakers of Red Lion" that the most sumptuous breads , boules and brownies are created by two talented and jovial women named Nancy and Barbara.

I painted this about a year ago, but never posted it because I could tell that the perspective was a little wonky. (Funny how our artistic egos are.) And although the perspective might be a little off, I finally decided it was well worth sharing this painting for the sake of introducing people in the Chester County area to this incredible hidden gem .

This is what the locals look for on the weekends... the French flag indicating that the bakers are open for business and that the bread is ready!

I discovered the Bakers at Red Lion by accident. We were having a nice little mini vacation at the beautiful carriage house on the Galer Winery estate. The Winery is located right across the road from the French bakery in Kennett Square, and as we pulled our car into the Winery's driveway, I noticed the beautiful little home with all the flowers and awnings and French flags outside calling out an invitation to explore!

And so I did, and I discovered the most incredibly delicious bread I had ever tasted!

Here are the bakers themselves hard at work turning out delectables!

My favorite was the cheese bread and even now, a year later, the thought of it makes my mouth water.

If you are ever in the area, stop by and see these ladies, grab a baguette, and then head across the street for a wine tasting on the idyllic Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery.

Here's some pics from our stay at the charming carriage house, which coincidently , is only about a mile or so from the beautiful Longwood Gardens! A little piece of Provence, right in the midst of Chester County, Pa.!

This setting was inspiring for me. If you look towards the window in the bottom photo, you'll see  the fresh peonies on the table that inspired the painting below , "Wish you were Here" .

Now that you've seen my pics and heard about the fresh baked bread and local wine, don't you wish you were there?

Sunday, July 07, 2019

"Fond Memories", 12x24, oil, house portrait, commissions, paintings of family homes, Cape Cod, seaside homes, Maryanne Jacobsen art

"Fond Memories", 12x24, oil

I was recently commissioned to paint a memento of a very special family home that was about to be sold. The house, on Cape Cod, held many pleasant memories for my client and thus it needed to be memorialized in paint.

Painting a portrait of something as near and dear to a person as a family home is always a bit stressful for me, but in my past experiences the outcome has been worth my stress as the owners are always joyful to have a little concrete memory to retain.

I took my time with this one, studied the photographs, made preliminary sketches in pencil and even painted a small 9x12 paint sketch to make sure I had thoroughly familiarized myself with my subject matter. In the end, my client was very happy with the painting and so for me it was well worth the effort.

If you would like a portrait of your own family home painted, just send me an email at and we can discuss the process!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

"Two Gander Afternoon", 12x16, oil, plein air, two gander farm, Downingtown Pa., land art events, Farm to Table plein Air, Brandywine Conservancy

"Hazy Afternoon- Two Gander Farm", 12x16, oil

Two Gander Farm is an organic farm in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and one of the Brandywine Conservancy properties on which the Farm to Table plein air painters are allowed to paint.

When I got there the skies were overcast and threatening rain, but as soon as I set up the sun came out briefly, and the landscape changed, revealing beautiful warm light on the tops of the pink rhododendrons and a nice roof shadow from the huge tree next to the farmhouse.

The farmhouse itself was in shadow this time of day, except for the roof, and as the sun started going in and out, I found myself struggling to get the correct value on the white farmhouse. I knew there was a lot of reflected light on it, making it appear warmer than it actually was, but since reflected light is still in the shadow family, I continued to struggle to get the value correct.

After about an hour of painting, the sun was gone and I realized that it was not coming back. Should I scrape out the lit roof with the tree shadow and make it an overcast day, which it truly now was? These are the dilemmas that face plein air painters all the time!

Suddenly I remembered what had attracted me to the scene to begin with. It was those few pink flowers in light that had caught my attention and so I knew I had to continue with the scene that I had started.

I don't think I pulled off the correct value on the white farmhouse, but overall I was happy with the painting anyway.

This painting will be available at the Farm to Table plein Air exhibit in October. For more information about the event, please visit my website here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

"Dappled Morning"-12x16, oil, Brandywine Conservancy, Farm to Table Plein Air, Land Art Events, Chadds Ford, Pa., plein Air. MAryanne Jacobsen art, red barn, Chester County Pennsylvania paintings, impressionism, dappled light

"Dappled Morning"-12x16, oil

I have been attempting to document on this blog the paintings from my recent trip to Pennsylvania, in which I am painting as a juried artist in the Farm to Table Plein Air event, which will culminate October 26th at Rose Hill Farm with a palette to palate extravaganza open to the public. The event will benefit the Brandywine Conservancy, and tickets to the event will be available in September.

The above painting was painted on the first morning at Fenton Farm in Chadds Ford. I had blogged previously about how much I enjoyed painting at this gorgeous property. This first morning I felt like I was in heaven. Birds were chirping all around me, roosters were crowing and a gentle waterfall was cascading over the stone wall at the entrance to the property.  The weather was as perfect as an artist could want,  and our hostess, Mrs. Fenton, is an absolutely lovely woman, who went out of her way to be helpful and make all the artists feel at home.

The painting in progress........

There was dappled light everywhere , and the challenge for me was to make notes on my drawing so I would remember which areas were in light and which were in shadow as the light changed. There was a lot going on in this scene, and I had to keep editing and deciding what to leave in, and what to leave out.

I was almost at the point of calling the painting done, when the tree above me suddenly decided to rain down a pollen deluge! Within minutes, my painting was covered with little greens specks!

Not sure if I got them all out or not, but whatever remains will add some character to the work, I'm sure!

To learn more about Farm to Table Plein Air, Land Art Events, and the Brandywine Conservancy, please follow this link to my website.

Monday, June 24, 2019

"Spring Greens", 12x16, oil on panel, land art events, Brandywine Conservancy, Chester County barns, Pennsylvania landscapes, plein air, Maryanne Jacobsen art, Farm to Table plein air

"Spring Greens", 12x16, oil on panel

Here is another painting that I did during my recent trip to Pennsylvania, as I painted as a juried artist in the Farm to Table Plein Air event.

This was a lovely property on the outskirts of West Chester that had numerous out buildings, a Springhouse, barn and gorgeous historical home. The morning was incredibly bright and sunny but just as incredibly windy. I chose to paint the barn because I liked the overlapping tree shape against the roofline and the light and shadow patterns.

But I found that it was all I could do to hold onto my easel, and it managed to blow over twice before I finally realized that I had to hold it with one hand and paint with my other hand. My brush washer holding my solvent took off as a flying projectile at one point, and the grass and my apron were instantly sprayed with solvent. I also lost the S-clip that held my brush washer to my easel and that annoyed me greatly since I knew I'd have to paint the rest of the trip with the solvent holder on the ground. Only a big deal if you have a bad back, which I do.

The lady painting behind me (a pastel painter)  had brought a brick, and she used that to weight down her easel. I didn't have a brick, and so I painted the entire time with the disadvantage of having no more solvent and having to hold onto my easel for dear life.

The painting progressed anyway, but I knew I'd have to make some corrections to the perspective in the end, because I couldn't adequately measure and paint with only one hand free.

With all that green, I knew some vivid color was needed, and since there was evidence that some marigolds and day lillies had been planted around the barn and fence, I took the liberty to embellish their growth in the painting.

I have to admit that that was the fun part of this painting- putting some flowers in at the end. In addition to losing  my solvent and S-clip, I ended up with poison ivy on my arms as a result of scouring around afterwards and trying to find the little clip! (Which I never did find.)

This is one of the paintings that will be included in the Farm to Table Plein Air culminating event on October 26th. For more information please check it out on my website!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

"Hayes Clark Bridge at The Laurels Preserve", 12x16, oil on panel, The Laurels Preserve, Brandywine Conservancy, Plein Air adventures, Farm to Table Plein air, The Farm at Doe Run, Chester County paintings, covered bridges of Chester County Pennsylvania, Hayes Clark Covered bridge, conservation

"Hayes Clark Bridge at The Laurels Preserve", 12x16, oil on panel

The Laurels is a preserve that is part of the Brandywine Conservancy in Chester County, Pa. According to the Conservancy's website "Native Americans once fished the streams that are now called Buck and Doe runs. Millworkers harnessed the water for gristmills and a steel rolling mill during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. For decades in the 20th century, the King Ranch grazed cattle in lush pastures adjacent to the streams."

This painting was an effort on so many levels, but that's how it sometimes goes with plein air painting. As a participating artist in the Farm to Table plein air event, The Laurels is one of the locations that we are permitted to paint at. Although a Chester County resident for many years, I was not really very familiar with the West Marlborough area of Chester County where the Laurels are located, but I headed out that way anyway with a map in hand, thinking, "How hard can it be to find this place?"

That was an understatement. The map from the Brandywine Conservancy was Greek to me, as I was totally unfamiliar with how to get to the roads named on the map. My navigation system on my phone was just as confused as I was, and the Google map on the Land/Art Events site did nothing to help me, either! Although I had started out in  mid-afternoon, I knew that the Preserve was open till dusk so I thought it would be a piece of cake to fit in a painting on such a sunny afternoon, no matter how long it took to get there. 

But getting totally lost was not part of the agenda, and as I grew more and more frustrated with the directions, I suddenly realized that  I was almost out of gas! My car usually warns me with a signal, but I was driving a rental that I was unfamiliar with. By now I had driven up and down Doe Run Rd. a couple dozen times looking for Apple Grove Rd. and yet I had not noticed a gas station for miles and suddenly I was filled with panic.

I suddenly remembered that my cousin, entrepreneur Dick (Richard) Hayne, had a farm out here somewhere called The Farm at Doe Run, where they make award-winning cheeses. Was he anywhere nearby, I wondered? I reasoned that he must be since I was on Doe Run Road! If I was able to find his farm, would he happen to have a gallon of gas available? I suspected that people living in such rural areas must have gas cans around!  I hadn't seen Dick in many years since my sister's wedding and as I drove past acres of gorgeous , verdant fields looking for what might possibly be a cheese farm I suddenly saw it- a Landhope Farms gas station! Hallelujah! 

It took a while to figure out how to operate the gas tank, but once I had gas in the car and had relaxed a bit, I was once again determined to find the Laurels, so I went along Doe Run Rd. looking for any sign or marker that might help me out.

Finally I saw the sign for Apple Grove Rd. and just beyond it was an almost obscure sign on a fence post that announced the Preserve. Jeez Louise they must not want people to come here, I thought!

Driving up the road a bit, I eventually found an empty parking lot, dragged my stuff out of the car and headed for the latched gate. Ominous looking clouds were gathering in the sky by now, and I kept hoping they would disappear. I headed up a gravelly dirt road wheeling my art stuff in a suitcase and hoping I'd find a place to paint that inspired me.

But there was nothing- no inspiration and no sign of people or even wildlife. I made an enormous effort to keep moving although the suitcase was not cooperating. I was walking along what was either Buck Run or Doe Run Stream or possibly the Brandywine, but the water, trees and all that green just seemed too overwhelming to paint after the stress of the past couple hours.

I suddenly remembered that another artist had painted a beautiful red, covered bridge here and I was determined to find it! According to my conservancy map, there were two covered bridges in the Preserve and they certainly looked like they couldn't be that far away from the parking lot! 

But boy was I wrong. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally came to the first bridge, which wasn't red at all, but a drab ugly grey, plus the skies had clouded over and there was no sign of any sunshine. At this point I had no desire to keep looking for the pretty red bridge! The scene before me was straightforward,  and a decent composition , and since I had painted covered bridges before, I knew this was my best bet at snagging a quick painting at this site.

By now it was late afternoon, and I set up quickly and laid in my darks which covered most of the canvas. Then out of the blue, the sun broke through and the scene looked totally different. The bridge was nestled into a dark little space fringed with leaves from the neighboring trees lit by sunlight, and the path through the open field broke into light just past the bench and fenceposts. I quickly adjusted the color notes in the foreground field and path, and worked on the focal point, which was the light on the tree leaves against against the dark bridge opening. Suddenly the painting started to come to life!

But then the sun was gone again and I began to hear thunder in the distance. I knew I had enough information to finish it now, and so I quickly packed up and headed back down the gravelly road, hoping the trip to the car would somehow feel shorter than the incoming trip had been!

I no sooner got to the car then rain started pelting the windshield! 

Wow.  What an afternoon! Just another plein air adventure to add to many others, I thought. Happily, this one ended well!

To learn more about the Farm to Table Plein air event which will culminate in an art show and sumptuous  locally grown food event, please visit my website here. Tickets to the event will be available in September. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

"Jenny's Peonies", 12x16, oil on panel, peonies, Brandywine Conservancy, Farm to Table Plein Air, Brandywine valley, Chadds ford, Pennsylvania, land art events, chester county , plein air painters

"Jenny's Peonies", 12x16, oil on panel

I recently returned from a trip to Pennsylvania's beautiful Chester County area, where I painted beautiful fields, streams and local farms that are part of the Brandywine Conservancy.  The Brandywine Conservancy protects and conserves the land, water, natural and cultural resources of the Brandywine-Christina watershed. As someone who spent the majority of her years in this beautiful area, I'm so happy to be able to be participating in a plein air event that benefits the conservation of these valuable resources!

Of the many places that I got to paint on this trip, I do feel that the Fenton Farm in Chadds Ford was possibly my favorite, maybe as a result of charming Jenny, the owner and gracious hostess who made us artists feel enormously welcome as we painted on her grounds while she tended to her beautiful gardens, goats and other animals and birds. (even a peacock!)

Also exciting for me, were the peonies in bloom in the garden in the front of the main house. Peonies are a favorite flower of mine, and since you can't grow them in Florida, and they have such a short life span, I felt incredibly lucky to snag a spot to paint while they were still blooming.

The painting in progress....

This painting will be included in the Farm to Table Plein Air event in October, featuring an art show and locally grown food- a true palette to palate extravaganza! More info about tickets to the event at my website under "upcoming events".

Sunday, May 19, 2019

"Dog Beach Afternoon", 8x10, oil, dog beach, Brohard dog park, southwest Florida, venice Florida, dogs, dog lovers art, Florida beaches

"Dog Beach Afternoon", 8x10, oil

Every dog owner in the world loves a dog beach, and here in Venice, Fl., we are fortunate to have our very own dog beach and park! At the Brohard Dog Park, dogs of every shape and size, age and breed can come and have the option of having a doggie play date, sunbathe, or lap around in the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Dog owners bring their lawn chairs and picnic baskets and watch their precious fur babies enjoy the Florida sunshine as they get in a few rays as well.

I enjoyed painting this one, as it brought back a couple good memories for me. If you're a dog lover, be sure to check out this great bark park  the next time you are in southwest Florida.

This painting is available through Collectors Gallery and Framery in downtown  Venice. You can call them at (941)488-3029 for price inquiries.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

"Friends and Neighbors", 10x20, oil on linen, classical realism, pears, grapes, Maryanne Jacobsen art, still life

"Friends and Neighbors", 10x20, oil on linen

Sometimes I think it is important for me to paint something that is more in line with the classical tradition.

I tend to prefer "looser" work, but I much admire the artists who render so beautifully fruits , flowers and vases in the tradition of the Old Masters. This was my attempt at a "serious" painting. and while I am serious about all my work, I hope you all know what I mean!

Sunday, February 03, 2019

"Red Onion", 6x6, oil on panel, onion, food as art, red, red onion, allaprima, painting every day, Maryanne Jacobsen, small studies, art practice, painting from life

"Red Onion", 6x6

Painted as Day 2 of my challenge to paint something from life every day.

Here's my reference:

My son made the shadow box for me a few years ago and it has really come in handy!

Email me if you are interested in this little gem. My email is

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, February 02, 2019

"Cookies and Milk", 12x16, oil on Arches oil paper, cookies, milk, sunflowers, quick study, painting from life, allaprima Maryanne JAcobsen art, food as art

"Cookies and Milk", 12x16, oil on Arches oil paper. (Note:, click on the image so you can see it better!)

I've decided to try to paint something from life every day for a month. I know it will definitely improve my drawing and observation skills, so I'll try to stick with it!

This was Day 1's attempt. I painted it late last night and the light on the easel was so bad that I felt like I was painting a nocturne. That being said, I did it. Day One completed.

Here was my set-up before I ate the cookies.

Please send me an email at, if you would like to purchase this study.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

"Along Flowing Springs Road", 12x16, oil on copper, Chester Springs Pennsylvania, Birchrunville, paintings of Chester County, Pa. Pennsylvania impressionist, en plein air, Airbnb , Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art, art collectors

"Along Flowing Springs Road", 12x16, oil on copper

A few years ago my husband and I found a delightful Airbnb in Chester Springs, Pa. where we stayed for a few days after I finished a week of painting in the yearly Plein Air Brandywine Valley festival. It was our treat to ourselves to return to our beloved  neighborhood where we had lived for 15 years before moving to Florida.

Chester Springs is a hamlet of rolling hills, abundant ponds that flow from underground springs and stone Gentlemen's farms with a horse or two in the pasture at all times. It is a neighborhood  filled with nostalgic memories of long walks up and down country roads, sleigh rides in winter and  my kids and dogs chasing geese and deer in our back yard.

Our rental was  a tiny cottage off a winding country road, and especially beautiful at that time of year with autumn displaying herself in full fanfare to our delight. Here's my hubby enjoying a cup of coffee in the brisk autumn air.

Of course I did my best to paint as much as I could during those brief few days, even though I had just finished a full week of painting! I painted the cottage, of course.

I painted the burning bush shrubs around the corner on School House Lane, and I painted the little church up the road as well.

I also painted an old barn with a red roof on St. Matthews Rd, a block from where we used to live.

I painted a gorgeous oak tree at Marsh Creek Lake, and if you like the painting it is available through Stakenborg/Greenberg Fine Art in Sarasota, FL.

 In short I crammed a lot of outdoor painting into a few days!!!!!

The painting above was not painted that week , but it was the scene that you saw as soon as you stepped out the door of the cottage and looked up Flowing Springs road. I did attempt to paint it but there was not much room on that tiny country road, and a school bus almost put me out of commission for days!

Here is my painting from that day:

I love the freshness of plein air painting, and alas , it is often impossible to recapture the freshness once you are indoors! I titled this one "Autumn in the Country" and it is available through Station Gallery in Greenville, Delaware.

Unfortunately this delightful little Airbnb is no longer available for rent, so I will probably not have another opportunity to capture this country road en plein air.

So I painted it again, in the studio with mixed feelings. What do you think? Which one do you like better? Plein Air or studio?

I would love to hear your thoughts! If you are interested in "Along Flowing Springs Rd.", please send me an email at

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

"Imagination", 11x14, oil on linen panel, floral, imagination, still life, experimental paintings

"Imagination", 11x14, oil on linen panel

Sometimes it is good to just experiment. There is a liberating quality about not caring too much how a painting will come out.

In this case, I took a painting that was unsuccessful and  covered it with an orangish wash. Then I just used my imagination to create some semblance of forms and.... Voila! A painting is made.

I didn't fret over value, color or edges. I just painted.

While this is not a masterpiece, it proves to me that 'letting go' is a good thing on my artistic journey.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

"A Robert Frost Moment" 8x8, oil on linen, snow, winter scenes, winter wonderland, snowfall, kids and sleds, Robert Frost, stopping by the woods

"A Robert Frost Moment" 8x8, oil on linen

It's been a while since I created a new blog post. Everything in life takes time, and blogging is no exception. I used to love blogging. What happened to my creativity?

How does one lose their creative spirit , I wonder?

I think it is a number of factors, at least for me.

For now, at least I am blogging. That's something. This painting was done a few days ago, and as I painted it I could not help but think of a Robert Frost poem that I've loved since childhood.

And although there's no horse, you can probably guess which one it is.

If you would like to purchase this painting, it is available through my website.

Happy New Year. Hope you have a chance to stop in the woods on a snowy evening and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of a freshly fallen snow.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.