Thursday, December 09, 2010

Motherhood, 16x20, oil on linen, by Maryanne Jacobsen

SOLD"Motherhood", 16x20, oil on linen

I had painted this same scene about a year ago, in a much smaller format, (9x12) Without going into a lot of detail about the circumstances, the painting ended up looking very different from my original intentions, thanks to the fact that I doubted my own abilities. So for a long time I had wanted to do another one, this time in a larger format, but the weeks and months just passed me by.

Always daunted by the prospect of attempting figurative work, I procrastinated until yesterday. Ironically, I was right smack in the middle of checking the values of the grisaille when the phone rang. It was my sister , informing me that my mother is not expected to live more than a few more days. It was the memories of my sweet, lovely mother than kept me painting late last night, long after I knew it was time to stop.

I finished the painting today, knowing that time was not on my side in terms of continuing to paint wet into wet.

Perhaps I'll eventually go back and refine it further. I do see some things that I'd like to change. But overall, I know it is a good painting in spite of the haste I exerted in order to complete it. I used David Leffel's palette because I have come to realize that there are times to push color and there are times when you shouldn't push the color. And I just wanted this painting to be soft and peaceful. David Leffel's palette consists of colors that I rarely use, like burnt umber, terra rosa, raw umber and naples yellow. Until I become an expert at flesh tones, these earth tones make it easier for me to do a more natural portraiture than using pure color.

Motherhood is not for the feint of heart. As a child growing up in Philadelphia, I recall that there was never one day in my childhood that I did not come home from school to a clean house, a healthy supper and freshly washed and ironed clothes. I feel very sorry for the children of today, many of whom know neither what it's like to have a home-cooked meal or to have two parents. It is not the fault of the mothers that must go out to work. But, it is where we have come as a society, as a result of circumstances beyond our control , that has brought us to the state where children rarely have the same luxuries that I myself experienced and that is very sad.

A huge thank-you to Sara and Ashley and Ellie. Without all three of you this painting could not have come about. That being said, I am dedicating the painting to you, mom, because I could not have painted it without thinking good thoughts of you throughout. Thank-you, mother, du fond de mon coeur, for all that you did to make me the person that I am today.

I love you.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Untitled- mother and child

I started this painting today, not realizing how significant it would become.

I had no idea I would get this far with it in one day, but that's what happens when you are preoccupied with other things.

It's not completely finished. I'll write more later.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

"Moody Bayou", 12x16, by Maryanne Jacobsen, paintings of bayous, atmospheric paintings

SOLD"Moody Bayou", 12x16, oil on canvas

A bayou is a body of water typically found in flat, low-lying areas, and can refer either to an extremely slow-moving stream or river (often with a poorly defined shoreline), or to a marshy lake or wetland. Bayous are commonly found in the Gulf Coast region of the southern United States, particularly the Mississippi River region, with the state of Louisiana being famous for them. A bayou is frequently an anabranch or minor braid of a braided channel that is moving much more slowly than the mainstem, often becoming boggy and stagnant, though the vegetation varies by region. Many bayous are home to crawfish, certain species of shrimp, other shellfish, catfish, alligators, and a myriad other species.

The definition above was taken from Wikipedia.

I painted this painting a few months ago, at the height of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The catastrophe shook me to the core, and for many months I couldn't paint due to depression and headaches that seemed as if they would never stop.

I am not completely over the trauma of the disaster. Although my headaches have certainly abated, just a few weeks ago my husband and I spotted a large bird, probably a heron, on the beach in our little town, it's legs high and stiff in the air and its head buried irreconcilably in the sand- dead as the dead zone off the Louisiana coast. In my heart I knew what had caused its demise, but I didn't dare focus on it anymore. The future is about hope, and faith and endurance, and without these things it is hard to move forward when the going gets tough.

I have never had it tough. I have never had to go without anything. Sometimes that makes me feel incredibly guilty. The inequity in this world is shameful, and yet I hold to the promises of the Sermon on the Mount, where the meek will inherit the earth and the poor in spirit will inherit paradise, and where those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. Christianity is no longer popular on this planet. That is such a shame to me, because the world needs the teachings of Jesus Christ, the greatest philosopher who ever lived, more than ever before in the history of mankind.

I wish the followers of this blog, regardless of their spiritual proclivities, a very peaceful, joyous Christmas season, and I hope that humanity will someday be joined in total peace and love for each other and for the Creator of this great universe.

Thanks for listening.

If you are interested in this heartfelt painting, please contact Leah Sherman directly at Collector's Gallery and Framery at 941-488-3029.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

"Courtyard Hydrangeas", 9x12, oil on linen, paintings of hydrangeas, palette knife landscapes

"Courtyard Hydrangeas", 9x12, oil on wrapped Masterpiece linen (Note: Click on the image for a better view of the texture.)

I am a huge fan of hydrangeas, but have not had much luck growing them here in a subtropical climate zone.

This painting sold last week to a repeat collector. I hope to do more paintings of blue flowers in the future, as blue is my favorite color:0)

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

"Serendipity", bold color, palette knife floral painting, 12x12, texture by MAryanne Jacobsen


"Serendipity", 12x12, oil on wrapped canvas-Add a frame for only $25 and receive the painting ready to give as a gift for the holidays! (Note: Please click on the photo to see a close-up of the texture.)

I haven't done one of these gooey paintings in a while. I call them gooey paintings because there is so much paint on the canvas in the end that it literally seems as though I was icing a cake instead of painting a still life floral! These paintings almost always start out as an attempt to conserve paint. since paint is expensive and I am cheap. I try to save what is left over on my palette from the day's painting session, so I spread all the left over paint on the canvas like icing. This usually results in a thick coating of neutral- colored paint, better known as "mud" to artists like myself who save it. But then my efforts to conserve paint go right out the window, as I inevitably have to start all over again the next day with fresh paint in order to finish the painting!

Here is photo of the painting framed:

Anyhow, this painting was done with a palette knife only and was fun to do. It was serendipitous that I had a bunch of flowers, glass vases and an orange at my fingertips when I started the painting, and so I didn't have to think too much about the subject. If you like thick paint and an abstract approach to subject matter, then you'll probably like this.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

"Friendship Offering", 9x12, oil on gallery wrapped canvas, floral painting by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Friendship Offering", 9x12, oil on gallery-wrapped canvas

After a busy couple of weeks, it was good to get back to painting today! It was wonderful spending time with loved ones and friends over the holidays, but it's always a bit of a relief to get back to normal , too.

This past week was a busy one, but one that will leave many cherished memories in my mind. Over the weekend we invited friends to the house for dinner and a special friend brought me some lovely autumn flowers. Today I decided that I could not let them go to waste, so I painted them, adding the tangelo and grapes, as you can see below:

This painting was done in earth colors, on gallery wrapped canvas.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Purple meets Orange", 16x12, oil on linen, by Maryanne Jacobsen

SOLDPurple Meets Orange". 16x12, oil on linen

This painting received the People's Choice Award at Friday evening's opening reception of The Venice Art Center's newest exhibit, "Show us your Best". Because most of my newest paintings were placed in my new solo exhibit at The North Port Art Center , I wasn't sure whether to enter this juried show or not. In the end, my husband suggested this piece as an entry, and now I am glad that I took his suggestion. Although I did not attend the opening reception, I understand that the place was packed on Friday night, so I feel honored to have received this award from the votes of fellow artists and the Venice community of art patrons. Thanks to all who voted for the painting!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

"Safely Moored-Bass Harbor Head Light", 16x20, by Maryanne Jacobsen

SOLD"Safely Moored-Bass Harbor Head Light", 16 x20, oil on linen

This will probably be the last painting of Bass Harbor Head Light that I will do. I apologize if I have bored anyone but I was trying to improve upon the two I had done before this one. I am definitely happier with the rocks in this one, but I need to keep practicing rocks. They are tricky!

If you are interested in this painting, please send me an email at

Friday, November 05, 2010

"Cold Morning- Acadia National Park", 12x16, rock study, oil on canvas, original oil

"Cold Morning- Acadia National Park", 12x16, oil on canvas

I must confess that I have really been struggling with painting rocks. Ever since I came back from our trip to Maine last month, I have realized how weak I am in painting rocks and rugged structures. I suppose it's because I really don't see a whole lot of rocky structures here in Florida. Everything is flat and sandy so I have nothing to go out and study and paint from.

Anyhow, I struggled with this quite a bit and did it over at least three times. That's what studies are for! I'll keep working at it, folks. I promise. In the meanwhile, this original oil painting has been reasonably priced because it is a study. It was done with a palette knife and has a lot of texture.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

"Bianca in red", plein air, 12x16, oil on masonite by Maryanne Jacobsen, impressionist portraits, plein air portraits, mudheads, Hensche study

"Bianca in Red", plein air, 12x16, oil on Masonite

This impressionist painting looks great when you are looking at it from across the room. Get closer and it's a lot of knife strokes and heavy texture. It was painted with mostly a palette knife, though I used a brush at the end to give her features some definition. The model was wearing red and was backlit, and the red parasol had a strong influence over the entire composition, so there were some challenges involved in making a convincing statement of light. Although you can't tell from the photo of Bianca below, she had this marvelous little slice of light across her left cheek, and that was the whole reason for the painting!
I was especially happy that I was able to just mass in the hands and make them look convincing.

I am a huge fan of John Singer Sargent, and was fortunate to see some of his paintings recently when I visited the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine. One of his paintings, "Breakfast in the Loggia", always fascinated me, because of the way in which he just massed in the hands with a few deft brushstrokes. Click on the photo of his painting below to see what I mean:

I love impressionism. I am a little sad that it has not reached the level of popularity that we currently see in styles like representational realism. That being said, I'm happy for the painters that paint in that style, but will continue to follow my heart and stick with impressionism.

If you are interested in this painting, simply send me an email at

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

New Art Exhibit by Maryanne Jacobsen

If you are in the southwest Florida area this weekend, please come join me at the opening of my invitational art reception at The North Port Art Center in North Port, Florida. The reception will be on Saturday, November 6th, from 4 to 6 PM., with refreshments and beautiful art to soothe the soul!

I will be featuring some of my newest landscapes from my recent trip to Massachusetts and Maine, as well as some popular still lifes and portraits. For more info about the exhibit or to get directions, please call (941)423-6460. The art center will also be featuring a brand new exhibit entited "Idols and Icons". Don't miss it! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Block study #1", 16x12, oil on masonite

"Block Study #1", 16x12, oil on masonite

We started John Ebersberger's workshop last week with a slideshow that started with the birth of Impressionism in France, and how it eventually came to New England, through Charles Hawthorne, who was a student of William Merrit Chase, and who came to found the Cape Cod School of Art about a hundred years ago.

Hawthorne was a proponent of block studies outdoors, and that is how we spent the first day of Ebersberger's workshop. Since I had never done these block studies before, I was excited to try them. It is amazing how hard they are to actually do! Painting outdoors is challenging to begin with, but when thinking about keying objects to the light temperature and using a palette knife to aplly the paint in the blazing sun, it can get a little overwhelming. Luckily, this first study was actually a good start for me. John was pleased with it, and when I brought it home I decided not to mess with it.

I will hopefully use this study for future outdoor still lifes painted in the Henry Hensche method of impressionism.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Sophie the Mudhead", 12x16

"Sophie the Mudhead", 12x16, oil on masonite

I took a workshop last week with master impressionist John Ebersberger at The Southern Atelier. John studied with Henry Hensche during the last 10 years of the artist's life. John has certainly mastered this amazing style of painting in the impressionist manner, started by Charles Hawthorne over 100 years ago. John's paintings are filled with beautiful soft color and dynamic palette knife strokes.

We started the workshop by going back to the basics and painting block studies in the hot Florida sun. Over the weekend we headed over to Sarasota Bay and painted live models all day long. John is a hoot and we all learned a great deal about this technique while having an enjoyable time as well. All weekend there were fish literally flying out of the water every couple of minutes which added some levity to trying to learn a technique that is certainly not easy to master. We used a palette knife for every painting, but John allowed us to take out the brushes during the final afternoon.

This painting probably looked a bit more Hensche-esque before I messed around with it today, but nonetheless I was happy with the result.

John is a wonderful painter, teacher and a lot of fun. I'm very glad that I took the workshop and hopefully John will return next year to do another one in Sarasota!

To learn more about Henry Hensche and his teaching methods, , please visit the Hensche foundation website here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Portland Head Light", 12x9, oil on canvas, paintings of lighthouses, Maine art, seascapes of Maine

"Portland Head Light", 12x9, oil on canvas

This beautiful light house off the coast of Portland , Maine has been immortalized on canvas, in photography, as well as in poetry for many centuries. It is truly a magnificent site to behold what with the beautiful lighthouse perched atop the rocky cliffs overlooking a wild Atlantic Ocean crashing frenetically at its feet.Historian Edward Rowe Snow wrote, "Portland Head and its light seem to symbolize the state of Maine -- rocky coast, breaking waves, sparkling water and clear, pure salt air."
The hundreds of thousands of people who visit Portland Head each year would agree; this is one of the most strikingly beautiful lighthouse locations in New England.
My hubby and I took at least a hundred pictures of this lighthouse. This one, with the foliage in the foreground, was the inspiration of today's painting.

I painted it with palette knife and tried to feel the motion of the waves as I attempted to interpret the scene on the canvas.

If you would like to read more about the lighthouse, please go here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Safe Harbor- Bass Harbor Head Light",16x20, oil on linen

"Safe Harbor- Bass Harbor Head Light",16x20, oil on linen

I had sold the smaller painting that I did of this lighthouse so here is another painting that I just completed of Bass Harbor Head Light on Mount Desert Island in Maine. On the day that we visited Acadia National Park, the light quality was just beautiful, but towards sunset it became cloudy and chilly. The colors of the rocks and the terrain in the park and throughout the area are nothing less than spectacular. The rocks all have quartz in them so they take on an orange-pinkish tinge when the sun is low in the sky that is quite something to see.

Here is one of the photos we took from Cadillac Mountain:
It is quite a beautiful park, where the mountains meet the sea!

It feels good to actually enjoy painting again. The inspiration that I received while vacationing in New England, will probably last me for quite a while!

Note, if you wish to purchase this painting, please feel free to send me an email at If the painting doesn't sell, it will go into a two month solo exhibit that I will be doing at The North Port Art Center from Nov. 1st to January 1st.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Motif#1-the Old Lobster Shack", 20x16, oil on linen, Rockport lobster shack, Motif #1, by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Motif #1-the old Lobster Shack", 20x16, oil on linen (Note: Please click on the photo if you would like to see the impasto.)

Funny, when I saw the old red lobster shack at Bearskin Neck in Rockport, Massachusetts, for the first time last Sunday morning, it seemed like an old friend. I knew immediately that I had to paint it!

The weather was raw, but I knew I wanted to return to this wonderful spot, and so we did. We returned on Thursday and the weather was now dazzling- about 70 degrees with fair skies. My hubby took a picture of the famous lobster shack just as the sun was sinking on the horizon. The light quality was spectacular, and I knew I needed to paint this dazzling old thing as soon as I could. The boat was a problem. Gorgeous as it is, I don't like to paint boats. But I did it, since it was in the picture. The painting was done with a palette knife and has gobs of expensive thick paint throughout, so I priced it accordingly.

This scene is an icon around the world. Known as Motif #1, it is a favorite subject for artists past, present and to come. I hope I did it justice. As the saying goes,"Buckley owned it,Lester G. Hornby named it, but Thieme proclaimed it!" All three of these artists were celebrated members of the wonderful Rockport Art Association, which was founded in 1921. The building is lovely, old New England in style with cornflower blue shutters. It was closed when I was there, but hopefully I'll be back to walk its hallowed halls someday.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

"Whale Watcher's Cove", 9x12, oil by Maryanne Jacobsen, Bass Harbor Head Light

"Whale Watcher's Cove", (Bass Harbor Head Light) 9x12, oil

Just when all possibility of inspiration had seemingly dried up, my hubby and I took a trip to New England and the tide turned!

We just returned last evening and this is the first time in months that I am actually excited about painting again! We started in Boston and traveled up through Cape Anne and through the scenic towns of Gloucester and Rockport, before heading up to Maine. The foliage was lovely, the seafood was great and there were enough fishing boats, scenic harbors, lobster shacks, and quaint little towns to whet my appetite for painting and keep my creative juices flowing for months to come.

Over the next weeks, I'll share with you some of my favorite memories from the trip, hopefully with a new painting to accompany each memory!

Thanks to Susan Roux , a wonderful Maine artist, for telling me the name of this lighthouse! It's known as Bass Harbor Head Light, and is located within Acadia National Park on the southeast corner of Mount Desert Island, Maine, marking the entrance to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay. From Bar Harbor you can take a whale watching cruise out to the many islands that dot the coast there, where you can enjoy the beauty of the park from the water. It was too late in the season for us to see any whales, but next time I go to Maine, I definitely won't leave until I spot a whale and some puffins, too!

We had mixed weather on the trip. Some days were warm, and abundantly golden in the spirit of Indian summer days that truly dreams are made of. Some mornings were raw and dreary, only to burst into sunshine as the day progressed and end in soft grays scented with the pungent aroma of freshly lit firewood. I painted the lighthouse on an especially raw, rainy day on our way back to Boston.

We had stopped at a delightful Inn called the Harbour Towne Inn on the Waterfront in Boothbay Harbor. It rained like a nor'easter was descending upon us the day of our arrival and with nothing else to do, I pulled out my portable easel and began to paint. We were in a charming little room which looked out over the harbor. Here's a photo of the painting in progress:

I kept going outside on the wrap around porch, hoping the rain would stop enough for me to paint the harbor, but it never happened.

The next morning, the sun tried valiantly to make an appearance and here is a scene of the harbor from our porch on the second floor that morning:

We went downstairs to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, prepared by our delightful innkeeper/hostess Stephanie, who must have stayed up all night preparing a breakfast feast for her many guests! (It was a full house, so be sure to make reservations ahead of time, if you go.)

We enjoyed fresh blueberry juice (to die for!), a cheddar and sausage quiche with a flaky crust and lots of cheddar, breakfast potatoes with onions and rosemary, a spinach and feta cheese frittata, soft coffee buns that will make you quit your diet instantaneously, as they were warm and dripping in a lemon zesty syrup that was finger-licking good, fresh fruit with kiwi, peaches and other delectables that were still in season, and blueberry muffins that tasted as though she'd gone out in the woods and picked the blueberries the day before!

Here is a view of the parlor of the Inn and I'm sure that you'll immediately notice why this bed and breakfast was a perfect fit for me!

(Note: there was a Monet print on the second floor as well, and an abundance of original art from local artists, too.)

There were flowers leading up to the house and all around the decks and i can only imagine how colorful this lovely inn was during the summer months when all was a'bloom!

Anyway, if you would like to purchase "Whale Watcher's Cove", please use the Paypal button below, or send me an email at To learn more about the Harbour Town Inn on the waterfront at Boothbay Harbor, Maine, just go here.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, and if you are considering an autumn trip to New England, don't wait any longer! It was wonderful!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Language Barrier", 14x18

"Language Barrier", 14x18

I did this quick study last night as an experiment to see if I could paint people with a palette knife. I discovered that it was hard, but not impossible. The result is very impressionistic. I kind of like it so I'll probable do another one with even thicker paint. I've priced this very low, since it was an experimental piece and it only took me a short time to complete. So grab it if you like impressionist works that don't have a great deal of detail. (You can click on the image to see the detail a little better.)

I decided to name it "Language Barrier" because of a funny thing that happened yesterday.
I am looking after a friend's dog while they are away and yesterday when I went to their home, I let the dog out back into the fenced yard. The dog , whose name is "Sammy" could see his "friend" next door, a pit bull looking out from the sliding glass door of his home, probably wishing he could go out and play with Sammy. They started barking at each other , as is they were talking. Then a funny thing happened. I started hearing another loud strident voice coming from the pitbull's home. It sounded like a bratty little kid screaming his head off, but I know these people have no children. The racket got louder and louder and then the strange voice started whistling and heckling Sammy, who just kept barking back. I finally realized it was a cockatoo, a tropical bird which is known for its loud and rather harsh voice. I began thinking that it would be really cool if we could all talk to each other, animals and humans and birds communicating back and forth. Anyhow, that was the inspiration for this painting.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Wildflower Garden in Denmark"-12x16, oil on linen


"Wildflower Garden in Denmark"-12x16, oil on linen

A few years back, my husband and I took a trip to Denmark to visit my husband's relatives and celebrate the birthday of a cousin. We had a wonderful time and were able to go back in time and trace my husband's history, which included a dad who was a stowaway on a boat out of Copenhagen headed for America many, many years ago. The stowaway dad was discovered at Ellis Island, became a merchant marine, and the rest is history for our family!

The Scandinavian cousin took us on a wonderful tour while we were there, and today I pulled out the pictures I had taken from the trip. This one caught my eye:

I recall the moment I spied this beautiful wildflower garden. We had just come over a bridge where there was a castle-like structure with a swan in the water and some red -timbered buildings with thatched roofs to the left of us... Sorry, I can't recall the name of that particular village in Denmark, but if anyone knows of it, I'd love to have a name attached to my painting!

At the foot of that bridge was this incredible wildflower garden, and although I was not a painter at the time, I knew I had to try to capture the beauty of that garden with my camera! Anyway, the trip was wonderful, and I am glad that although I was using a pretty lousy camera at the time, I was able to translate my memories of the moment into a painting!