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!