Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Giverny Rooftops", 11x14, oil on canvas panel


"Giverny Rooftops", 11x14, oil on canvas panel

Yesterday, my friend Sally and I painted in her garden. Sally had a photo of this scene from Giverny, so that's what we decided to work on. It was a gorgeous day. Today, it's been rainy all day and dark in my studio, but I went ahead and finished this anyway. I love the way that it came out, though it definitely needs to be photographed under better lighting conditions. I didn't overwork it and the flowers are sumptuous. It looks much better in person. I'll wait until it's completely dry and add some shadows under the eaves of the roof, but I didn't want to mess with them with so much thick , wet paint all around. Here's the photo that I worked from. It was hard to see most of it, so that left much to my imagination, which was a good thing!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"In the shadow of the Vaucluse", 16x12, oil on masonite

"In the shadow of the Vaucluse", 16x12, oil on masonite

I was just discussing with a friend recently how fortunate Europeans are. They can just hop in their cars or get on the train and within a few hours they are in an area with a totally different culture, cuisine and language from where the the trip originated. That's the beauty of Europe and I really long to go back there one of these days.

My goal in painting this scene was to sharply constrast the light and shadow passages. In Provence, the light is incredibly beautiful- rather orangey in nature with amazingly deep blue skies, and so I contrasted orange against blue and raw umber in this painting to show the shadow patterns that exist within this ancient alleyway in Provence which lies in the shadow of the Vaucluse mountains and the castle of the Marquis de Sade.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Allegro", 11x14, oil on linen, paintings of dancers, solo dancers, contemporary dancers

"Allegro", 11x14, oil on linen

I painted this back in the summer when I was preoccupied with the BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. I took it out over the weekend and defined a few passages that seemed too vague. I am very happy with this painting now - it makes me think of how much I enjoyed dancing once upon a time.

I love ballet. It is so beautiful. But there is something incredibly strong and athletic in contemporary dance that is a bit harder to detect in ballet, which when done correctly appears so effortless that strength and athleticism become invisible to the untrained eye.

Not sure if any of that makes sense. At any rate, I miss ballet class. Hopefully there's a ballet class somewhere in heaven, waiting for me, with my bunions and bad knees, and taught by Margarita de Saá, my favorite teacher, ballerina extraordinaire, and a beautiful and compassionate human being as well.

This painting is not for sale at the current time.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Raah, painitngs of roses

SOLD"Raah", 8x10, oil on canvas

My friend Joyce explained to me that the Hebrew word "raah' means to see. She said it's the kind of "seeing" that God did when He made creation and He saw that it was good.. It's not just a physical seeing. It's a spiritual seeing. It's a gift from God and not from ourselves when we can see this way.

Trying to render this rose with accuracy was hard, but it forced me to see in a whole new way. I had to study that rose and every single petal it contained in order to see it with brand new eyes. I discovered that the rose is an incredibly complex thing to paint. It has multiple petals, and each and every petal has it's own set of curving planes, some parts of the petal turning towards the light, some parts facing away from the light, some catching reflected light and some catching highlights. It took me a long time to paint this rose. But in the end I was glad that I forced myself to do it, as it enabled me to see the beauty and complexity of the rose in a whole different way- much different from the typical abstract palette knife strokes I generally use to haphazardly render one of God's most gorgeous creations.

This painting was a gift to someone special. I hope that you enjoyed seeing it again.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Big Sur, california impressionist landscpape, 20x16

SOLD Big Sur, 16x20,unframed, oil on canvas

I visited Big Sur a few years back and have fond memories of how gorgeous the wild Pacific coast was! We drove that gorgeous long winding highway known as Pacific Coast Highway 1 that skirts the mountain range through Big Sur, and the breathtaking scene translated to a painting as soon as I arrived home. Now that's what I call inspiration!

I certainly have fond memories etched into my brain of that place, and since I painted this one a while back, perhaps I will try to do another repeat scene in upcoming days. While we drove the scenic Pacific Highway, we stopped at a restaurant at the northern end of Big Sur, called Nepenthe, and enjoyed lunch on the mountaintop there. I took the photo below of a statue of the phoenix rising from the ashes that greeted us as we entered the restaurant terrace.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Swan Song", 14x18, oil on canvas, White Swan, Swan Lake, theories of black holes

"Swan Song", 14x18, oil on canvas

What do Black Swans, black holes, LOST and CERN have in common, and should we be concerned?

I have been thinking of a lot of stuff lately. Probably enough stuff to create a big, black hole in my brain. It all started after I went to see the movie Black Swan on New Year's Eve. I remember looking around the theatre after the lights went up at the end of the movie and all I could see were faces filled with shock, awe and horror. For some reason, I didn't feel shocked about the movie at all. Granted, I have had plenty of experience with ballet, Swan Lake and directing productions. That helped a bit, I suppose. Yet, the more I thought about it, I just didn't get the reaction of everyone else. Why wasn't it as predictable to the other people in the audience as it was to me?

I think Black Swan events are much more predictable than people could ever imagine, because the signs are always out there in advance, if one has their eyes open a bit. What is a Black Swan event? Well you really need to read up on that yourself, by googling Nassim Nicholas Taleb or Black Swan Theory.

To sum it up quickly in case you don't feel like googling, Mr. Taleb is a Wall Street trader and hedge fund manager, who wrote a book about risk in 2007. The theory within his book, Black Swan, according to the author is:
  1. The event is a surprise (to the observer).
  2. The event has a major impact.
  3. After the fact, the event is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could have been expected (e.g., the relevant data were available but not accounted for).
So to conclude, for the sake of simplicity, 9/11 and the assassination of JFK were considered Black Swan events. In my opinion, that movie also qualified as a Black Swan event on a Hollywood level, because :

  1. The ending is a surprise (to the observer).
  2. The end of the movie has a major impact. (people in the theatre were shocked and stunned and had to go home and talk about it)
  3. After the fact, the end of the movie is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could have been expected all along in light of the negative influences affecting Nina's psyche (e.g., the bad influence of the mother ,company director and Lily were obvious, as well as Nina's acute sensitivity, yet not factored into the outcome).
So where am I going with all this?

I hate to say it, but I believe that the world is being prepared for a huge Black Swan event.
Hollywood is a master at gauging public reaction to horrifying events, and this is called predictive programming.

I have always been pretty smart about these things, but that's just because I read and observe a lot. All we have been hearing and reading about lately is doom and gloom. Notice that? It's birds dropping from the sky, massive fish kills, the slaughter of innocent citizens and that great big paradigm-changing POLE SHIFT that the Mayans all predicted on their ancient calendars, and that people keep talking about. Now I do agree that the pole has been shifting because my husband knows all about azimuths and stuff and he said that magnetic north has to be adjusted constantly depending on where you are, in order to get the azimuth right on important things like light beam angles on communication towers.

If you expected to read about my painting , I'll forgive you for not reading the rest of this post. But if you have any curiosity about all the weird phenomenon that's been going on, including Tampa International airport repainting its lines , because the poles are shifting, just hear me out for a bit longer. I had dinner with a friend last night, and weirdly, she was distressed that her zodiac sign could be wrong as a result of the magnetic poles shifting! Huh?

"You mean I'm no longer a Libra, either", I said?


I think that there are clues that can help us predict what's going to happen in the future, so that we are not surprised by a new Black Swan event. So if you're ready, I am going to give you some clues that have been on my mind, and then you can go home and think about them, just for fun.

Ready? Here are your clues :

Black Swan, LOST, CERN, large Hadron Collider, SHIFT, Cygnus.

Okay, if you never watched LOST, you might be lost by all this, so I'll give you one last big clue- BLACK HOLE. I actually have only watched the first 10 episodes of LOST, but it seemed pretty apparent to me that the plane had entered some sort of black hole which transported the people into another dimension.

Although I haven't gotten to season 2 yet, I found this map from season two on the Internet.

Now, I am no scientific genius, but this map from the series LOST (which I discovered by googling LOST), looks like constellations of stars to me. The arrow points to what seems to be a swan, of all things. Another word for swan is "Cygnet" and I just happened to find a really cool science site that talks about the star constellation "Cygnet the Swan", which is where I am guessing the black hole occurred on the series LOST when the plane lost its gravity, based on that map.

The site also talks about the large Hadron Collider and CERN, and the search for the God particle. Oddly enough, when I googled images for the series LOST, I discovered that there are similarities between the LOST logo of the Dharma Initiative and the overhead view of the Hadron Collider. Hmmmmmmmm.....

Predictive programming?

That's about all I have to say, folks. I think we are being set up for a global catastrophe and so we may as well get religious.

One last prediction. Tonight Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky will leave the Golden Globe awards a happy man. That seems pretty predictable to me, but maybe I'll be wrong.

Hope you liked my painting. Perhaps one of these days, I'll get around to painting a Black Swan.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"In the Secret Garden", 16x20, oil on linen

"In the Secret Garden", 16x20, oil on linen

When I was a little girl, I read a lot. Those hours that i spent with books were some the happiest times of my childhood. I, along with countless other girls my age, were hooked on The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew series. I couldn't read fast enough, and the fact that I developed bad eyesight from reading in bed during a nasty bout of measles is a testament to the fact that I couldn't stop reading, even when my mother told me not to. One book that I read as a child and cherished, was "The Secret Garden", by By Frances Hodgson Burnett. In the story, Mary Lennox, a spoiled little ten-year-old girl, is orphaned by the plague in India and sent from India to England to live in a big, lonely house on the Yorkshire moors with her unpleasant uncle. Here she discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden, in a powerful story of compassion and friendship.

My son also had a lead in the musical version of "The Secret Garden" about ten years ago and I seem to recall that there was a movie version of the classic, as well.

I do believe that I was thinking of that old favorite book of mine when I painted this scene, as it is straight out of fantasyland, with the locked gate and the little girl with the swirling hair.

Usually it is very important to paint from life. But sometimes it's also fun to paint from what's in your heart and imagination. I think everyone should have their own Secret Garden in which they can wander when times get tough. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"On a Mission" 16x12, oil on masonite-paintings of roosters, by Maryanne Jacobsen


"On a Mission" 16x12, oil on masonite

I took a picture of a rooster during one of my many trips to Key West over the past 5 years, and this provided the reference photo for this new painting. This cock definitely looks like he's on a mission in The Conch Republic of the world! If you have never been there, Key West is a very interesting place to go for many reasons. Historically speaking, it seceded from the United States for one whole day and claimed a new name and flag- The Conch Republic. The islanders claim that they seceded where others failed, which is true according to this website of The Conch Republic.

Here's more from the site:
"The Conch Republic was established by secession of the Florida Keys from the United States of America, on April 23rd, 1982 in response to a United States Border Patrol Blockade setup on highway U.S.1 at Florida City just to the north of the Florida Keys. This heinous act effectively isolated Keys Citizens from the U.S. mainland since the blockade was on our only land artery to and from the mainland. This roadblock portrayed Keys residents as non-U.S. citizens who had to prove their citizenship in order to drive onto the Florida mainland! Hardly an American thing to do!

We protested! A totally American thing to do! Key West Mayor Dennis Wardlow along with a few other 'key' Conchs, went to Federal court in Miami to seek an injunction to stop the federal blockade, but to no avail. Upon leaving the Federal Court House , on the court house steps , Mayor Wardlow announced to the world, by way of the assembled TV crews and reporters, that ; "Tomorrow at noon the Florida Keys will secede from the Union!"

At noon, on the day of secession, at Mallory Square in Key West Florida, Mayor Wardlow read the proclamation of secession and proclaimed aloud that the Conch Republic was an independent nation separate from the U.S. and then symbolically began the Conch Republic's Civil Rebellion by breaking a loaf of stale Cuban bread over the head of a man dressed in a U.S. Navy uniform. After one minute of rebellion, the now, Prime Minister Wardlow turned to the Admiral in charge of the Navy Base at Key West, and surrendered to the Union Forces, and demanded 1 Billion dollars in foreign aid and War Relief to rebuild our nation after the long Federal siege!"

Okay, that's enough history. Google 'Conch Republic' if you want more. Roosters roam the streets freely there, and that is cool in a day and age where there are limitations on where roosters can roam!

I hadn't done another rooster painting since I'd painted the award winning Mr. Clucky of Miami so I enjoyed painting this new clucker. Interestingly, when I first painted Mr. Clucky and took him to gallery owner Leah Sherman at Collector's Gallery to be framed, I didn't know what to call him. Leah told me that roosters are icons in Miami, and that I should name him Mr. Clucky. It was not until today, while doing research on the Conch Republic, that I discovered that there is actually a REAL Mr. Clucky! He's a big celebrity, peace activist and a symbol for farm animal advocates. You can read more about Mr. Clucky of Miami here.

"On a Mission" was done with a palette knife only and has lots of thick , juicy paint and impasto color. Roosters are supposed to be good luck symbols so here's to good luck in 2011 for whoever buys this cocky painting!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Birchrunville Springhouse", 8x10


"Birchrunville Springhouse", 8x10, oil on wrapped canvas

I took a photo of this old springhouse a couple years back, after a trip back to Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. The dappled light across the springhouse and road was pretty stunning that day and that was what I sought to capture in this quick little study. The springhouse was just up the road from the old Birchrunville cafe and post office, and close to route 100. If anyone knows the exact road, just send me an email. It was north of Hollow Road, if I remember correctly. A dog was barking at us as we took the photo , so I didn't wish to loiter too long!

Here's my reference photo of the scene:

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Monday, January 10, 2011

"L'heure d'éte ", 14x18, oil on canvas

"L'heure d'éte ", 14x18, oil on canvas

This painting was done with a palette knife only and has a lot of nice loose impasto. It is a scene from the little village in Provence, called Saint Paul de Vence.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

"La Bicyclette", 12x16, oil on masonite, by Maryanne Jacobsen

SOLD "La Bicyclette", 12x16, oil on masonite

Over the past weeks (and actually months! ) I have lost a lot of interest in painting. It definitely started with the BP oil spill back in April. Now there is so much bad news everywhere, and especially regarding the environment, that one wonders if it's the end of the world! The recent mass die-offs of whales in Argentina , as well as fish and birds in the US, and huge floods and earthquakes around the world, has had me thinking that the world that I have known and loved is changing in a negative way.

Today I decided to try to paint SOMETHING! Not an easy task when you have had the blues for a few weeks.

France has always been a place of magic for me, so I decided to start in that place that I love-Provence. I also have had a mean crush on Rod Stewart for the better part of my adult life. So I turned on a Rod Stewart CD (and hit the replay button on a couple of my all-time favorites) and just went into a happy zone. Although in shadow, the bicycle is the focal point of the painting, since it is the starting point in my effort to lead the viewer's eye throughout the painting.

"La Bicyclette" was painted with palette knife only, since I knew I was too lazy to attempt to clean paint brushes in my current lousy state of mind. Let us hope that the earthquakes, floods and massive deaths of birds and fish was just a weird holiday aberation and that the new year will be full of health and happiness for the planet.

Hope everyone has a very happy, healthy and blessed New Year, and thanks for staying with me as I've wandered around in the desert.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011