Monday, May 31, 2010

Cantaloupe and red grapes on white linen, 14x11

Cantaloupe and red grapes on white linen, 14x11

I always promise myself that I will do more still life paintings. Then I never do them. Why? I can't say, other than it's a royal pain to do the set-up, get the lighting just right and figure out how to approach the painting. (from above, below,straight on, etc.) So I never do enough still lifes, even though I know they are the key to success for portraits, which I also rarely do.

A special thank-you to all the veteran's and families of veterans who have had the formidable job of protecting this country and its citizens over the years. Have a happy, blessed and safe Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Ofu Island", 16x12, oil on linen, paintings of tropical islands, paintings of Ofu Isalnd, American Samoa, MAryanne Jacobsen paintings

"Ofu Island", 16x12, oil on linen,

As I have half-halfheartedly followed the news about the so called "top kill" of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I tried to get my mind off of things by listening to Susan Boyle's lovely CD (which I rec'd as a Christmas gift), as well as painting something far away from the Gulf of Mexico. This painting of Ofu Island, which is part of American Samoa in the South Pacific, near Hawaii, was the result. Ofu Island is part of America's national park system. If you wish to purchase this painting, please contact me at, and I'll send you a PayPal invoice.

I am also looking forward to continuing to get my mind off of things with tonight's finale of American Idol. I know I sound like a teeny-bopper, but I have been following this season avidly because I feel such a deep and profound connection to Crystal Bowersox. I have no idea why, since she was born even after all of my children were born, but if she wins tonight I will be the first to run out and purchase her first record/CD/ album or whatever the heck they call those things these days. She is a unique artist with her own vision, and has a voice that even angels must respect.

I watched her audition in Chicago months ago on Idol and immediately predicted she would win. (I also predicted David Cook would win and confess I didn't watch Idol last year so my track record is meager!) But just ask my hubby if I didn't go ape-sh.......t when she first auditioned with her little baby boy in Chicago). If she doesn't win, I'll be disappointed for her, but will also know that it was simply not God's plan and will for her to join the ranks of so many people who were talented and subsequently swept up in the current that is Hollywood's rock-star idolatry, which usually results in the rock star's ultimate demise.

Crystal, you are amazing. Your rendition of "Up to the Mountain" last night, left me crying as any artist would who has felt the amazing presence of another artist's pure talent. God must truly love you so to have brought you so far. Don't ever lose that thought, regardless of tonight's outcome.

"Up To The Mountain" lyrics

I went up to the mountain
Because you asked me to
Up over the clouds
To where the sky was blue
I could see all around me
I could see all around me

Sometimes I feel like
I've never been nothing but tired
And I'll be walking
Till the day I expire
Sometimes I lay down
No more can I do
But then I go on again
Because you ask me to

Some days I look down
Afraid I will fall
And though the sun shines
I see nothing at all
Then I hear your sweet voice, oh
Oh, come and then go, come and then go
Telling me softly
You love me so

The peaceful valley
Just over the mountain
The peaceful valley
Few come to know
I may never get there
Ever in this lifetime
But sooner or later
It's there I will go
Sooner or later
It's there I will go

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beauty at the Beach-Venice, Florida, 9x12, oil on Raymar panel

"Beauty at the Beach- Venice, Florida, 9x12, oil on Raymar panel

This painting was done with both brush and palette knife and the colors are much more vibrant in person than the photo depicts. I've painted this scene before , en plein air, but even if I hadn't, I'd be able to paint it with ease, since I know it almost as well as I know my own name.

I have really come to look at our Florida beaches in a whole new light since this tragic oil spill occurred last month. Sadly, I confess that I have taken my beach for granted. I have even complained about the harsh intensity of the light and heat and humidity, and I feel guilty about that now. I have had the pleasure to visit many gorgeous beaches throughout my life, including the lush and tranquil beaches with aquamarine waters off the beautiful Caribbean islands , to fragile coral lined beaches in western Mexico with rugged mountains as a backdrop. The never-ending drama of California beaches never ceases to amaze and inspire me, from beautiful Coronado Beach in southern San Diego, through fashionable La Jolla with its tranquil coves, to artsy Laguna with its jaw-dropping cliffs, and north through the central coast through heart-wrenchingly beautiful Big Sur and up and up and up. Yet, somehow I always find my heart returning to my own little piece of paradise, right here in unassuming Venice, Florida, where beaches are never crowded and simple folks who could care less about designer sunglasses and fancy T-shirts happily sift for shark's teeth in the company of graceful egrets and great blue herons. The birds in southwest Florida are gorgeous- from the roseate spoonbills with their unabashedly pink feathers to the tall, red-headed sandhill cranes who mate for life and roam the streets right along with golf carts and disoriented turtles. Our Southwest Florida beaches are also a very special place for sea turtles. It is here that many species of sea turtles migrate every 20 to 30 years to come back to their birthplace and lay their fragile eggs. Only one egg in a thousand ever makes it to adulthood anymore. A few weeks ago I was out with my family fishing on the Gulf and a loggerhead turtle the size of my dining room table swam by, followed by a friendly dolphin who stuck his head up right next to the boat, hoping we would be one of those folks who would break the rules and throw him some snacks. We weren't, but we waved at him anyway. My heart breaks as I think about what this calamity will do not just to our beautiful beaches, but to all these incredible creatures of the sea and air. The feeling of helplessness just grows, as does this horrendous tragedy to our eco-system. People think that if they don't live in the Gulf, it won't affect them. I've got news for those people. Our seas are all inter-connected and the hideous effects of this catastrophe won't just stop in the Gulf.

So, in the meantime, I can only continue to paint my lovely little beach near Sharky's pier, and hope and pray that God will save our fragile eco-system from the mess that is spewing from the floor of the Gulf.

If you've read all this, thanks for allowing me to vent.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Yellow Shutters and Blue Hydrangeas, oil on linen, paintings of Europe, garden views, paintings of gardens and courtyards, paintings of hydrangeas

"Yellow shutters and blue 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. The owners of this villa in Corsica obviously do not have the same problem!

I used lots of luscious thick blue paints (cobalt blue, Cerulean blue, ultramarine blue, etc.), layered on with a palette knife like frosting on a cake, for the hydrangeas, and the painting was also done on an archival Vincent wrapped linen support as an extra measure of artistic extravagance.(as Don Sahli says, "Paint like a rich man!") So it is a good value for people who like Maryanne Jacobsen palette knife scenes.It has been in an exhibit since last summer, but is now available for purchase.

I found the reference photo online,at a popular picture upload site site, and would love to credit the photographers for the stunning picture, but I was unable to find an email address attached to the photo.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fields of Gold, 12x16, oil on canvas, paintings of sunflowers, paintings with impasto, impressionist paintings, farmhouse painting, yellow


"Field of Gold", 12x16, oil on canvas panel
(Note: Click on the photo to see the thick passages of impasto)

The first time that I heard the song "Fields of Gold" was when my middle son was in college. He had joined the acapella group, The Colgate Thirteen, and this was one of the songs on the album that they released that year. I bought the cassette and played the song over and over until the tape broke- that's how beautiful the song was and I especially loved the way that the Colgate Thirteen sang it acapella.

Colgate13.Stargazing.Track12.FieldsofGold.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object): - Sent using Google Toolbar

Anyhow, that song was playing though my mind when I painted this one. No, there's no barley, but there's nothing like a field of sunflowers to spread a little happiness to a plain old wall! The painting was done with palette knife only in a loose impressionist style and has a great deal of nice texture throughout. It has been in an exhibit for the past 10 months and so I had to dust it off a bit before I photographed it.

If you would like to purchase this painting for $295, please use the PayPal button below, other wise just enjoy the beautiful lyrics to "Fields of Gold" below.

You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in the fields of gold

So she took her love
For to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold

Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in the fields of gold

See the west wind move like a lover so
Upon the fields of barley
Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth
Among the fields of gold
I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We'll walk in the fields of gold
We'll walk in the fields of gold

Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold
You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in the fields of gold
When we walked in the fields of gold
When we walked in the fields of gold

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jacaranda Tree in Bloom, 12x16, oil on canvas, paintings of trees ,paintings of jacaranda trees, purple trees, exotic trees, Florida trees

SOLD"Jacaranda Tree in Bloom", 12x16, oil on canvas

Last week I was driving through a Sarasota neighborhood and I was struck by the image of a jacaranda tree in full bloom. Here in Florida, these gorgeous trees fill with beautiful purple blossoms for only 2 weeks in the entire year, and so it is always a treat to see them start blooming in early May.

This one was at its peak the day that I drove by and the kindly gentlemen whose yard is graced by this lovely tree was gracious in allowing me to take a few photos of it.

As you can see, the tree was making a purple carpet fit for a queen to walk upon! If you would like to purchase this painting, please use the Paypal button below.

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Friday, May 07, 2010

God's Palette, autumn landscape, 36x24, oil on canvas

SOLD to collector Donna Gomez of New York

"God's Palette", 24x36, oil on canvas

This painting has been a favorite of mine and has never been offered for sale before. It has been hanging in my family room since I painted it back in the fall of 2007, and has also been in a few shows, but now I have finally decided to part with it. I used a reference photo that I took one day out at French Creek, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. It was a beautiful autumn day and the trees were at the height of their glory. I used a combination of both brush and palette knife on this painting.

Due to the size of this painting, all sales are final. If you wish to purchase this painting and are outside of the United States, please send me an email with your zip code and I will get back to you with a quote on shipping.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Dog Day Afternoon, paintings of dogs at beaches, Venice Florida dog beach painting

"Dog Day Afternoon", 10x8, oil on wrapped linen-SOLD through Collector's Gallery and Framery
Here in Venice Florida, we are fortunate to have a beach that is made exclusively for dogs! Dog lovers from far and about come here to just indulge their dogs, and as a dog lover myself, it is quite a feast for the eyes to observe these dogs in total freedom of movement!

For the past few months, I have had the honor of dog-sitting my son's
Vizsla, a type of hound-dog that is sleek and muscular and cries all the time....

At any rate, I took the dog to the beach near my home a couple of times and he absolutely was in his glory! He made friends with other dogs that were there, had a dog park that was fenced in where he could run around and be totally free, and then at last there was the lovely beach.... I just wish my golden retriever had had a chance to run around on this beautiful Gulf beach before she'd passed away! Many dogs like retrievers swim in the warm Gulf waters, some don't swim at all, but regardless of their nautical expertise, a good time is had by all the dogs that come to this lovely beach in Venice, Florida!

I grabbed a few pictures recently while I was at the dog beach, and today I decided to use one for a reference for the above painting. The colorful beach umbrella added a heightened sense of FUN to the scene, so please enjoy!

By the way, here is a cute YouTube video of one dog's adventure at the Venice Dog beach, which is called South Brohard Beach and Paw Park.