Monday, May 30, 2011

"Ofu Island", 16x12, oil on linen, American Samoa, islands in the Pacific

"Ofu Island", 16x12, oil on linen

This painting has soft pastel purples, blues and pinks and a calm, serene feeling to it.

If you have never heard of Ofu Island, it is a volcanic island in American Samoa. It has a population of only 289 persons as of a year 2000 census. Can you imagine?

Here is a little more from Wikipedia:

Ofu is the western part of the volcanic outcrop of Ofu-Olosega Island. The main village of Ofu is located on the western shore, protected behind an offshore islet (eroded tuff cone) known as Nu'utele. Ofu has a small airport and a boat harbor that serve the population on Ofu and Olosega. The flight from Pago Pago takes about half an hour.

Olosega village 1896

Most of the southern shore and associated coral reef are part of the National Park of American Samoa. The U.S. National Park Service is presently (2005) negotiating with village councils on Olosega to expand the park around that island.

Situated on the south coast of the island is Ta'oga lagoon which has a high diversity of corals and fishes. The marine site has been part of long term research and study on coral reefs and global climate change.

The island is also home to the Samoa Flying-fox (Pteropus samoensis), a species of bat threatened by habitat loss.

If you are interested in this piece, please send me an email at, or visit my website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art if you wish to see more of my original oil paintings.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dog Days of Summer, paintings of dogs, beaches, bikinis

"Dog Days of Summer", 20x16, oil on linen

This painting has evolved over time, using work that was started in a figurative session with a live model and evolving into a beach scene, using photos that I took on our dog beach last year, as well as photos that my husband took of my legs, lol.

In the figurative session, the model was nude and staring to the right under all that hair. Whenever I paint from a live model, I always try to finish the work at home from photos taken during the session. In this case, there were no reference photos to take home so what started out as a promising work would either end up in the trash , or I would have to become creative. I decided to get creative. I asked my husband to photograph my legs so that I would have some sort of reference for her lower half. Then I covered her bosom in a bikini, added the dog on the belly board and the red blanket. Overall, I am not displeased with this painting, since it was a challenge to meld all the different light influences into something cohesive.

I am going to enter this in the upcoming "Summer Fun" exhibit at the Venice Art Center.

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Sally's Roses in a Brandy Snifter", 10x10, oil on canvas

"Sally's Roses in a Brandy Snifter", 10x10, oil on canvas
(Note: you can click on the image to see the impasto better.)

My friend Sally has a garden full of beautiful roses. Whenever I visit her, she has them placed around the house in different vases and I always am eager to snatch some photos for references for future paintings.

I like the way this painting came out. The impasto in the flowers is hard to see from a monitor, but there is beautiful harmony between the flowers and the background. The painting has happy pink roses teamed up with shades of blue, green and purple. The painting is sale priced with free shipping for Memorial Day weekend! I hope you enjoy Sally's roses as much as I do!

If you are interested in this piece, please send me an email at, or visit my website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art if you wish to see more of my original oil paintings.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Jacaranda Tree in Bloom", 12x16, by Maryanne Jacobsen

"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 are interested in this piece, please send me an email at, or visit my website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art if you wish to see more of my original oil paintings.
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Friday, May 13, 2011

"My Serenity Garden", 12x12, oil on wrapped canvas, by Maryanne Jacobsen. impressionist garden paintings, flowers, wine, big hats, hat ladies, sunshin

"My Serenity Garden", 12x12, oil on wrapped canvas, by Maryanne Jacobsen

This painting evolved slowly over this past week. Whew!

I am definitely not used to working on the same painting for days on end! I am more of an alla prima painter, but this one was hard for me to paint for some reason. Perhaps because it was actually a self-portrait, with yours truly becoming the subject of my painting.

Self-portraits are tricky. One always wants to bring out the best in one’s own appearance while still staying true to the design and subject matter! Sigh.

“Paint what you see!”

That’s what all the experts say, and since I have been reading Richard Schmidt’s wonderful book, “Alla Prima” since I came back from the Portrait Society of America’s conference last week, I decided to take his advice to heart.

Unfortunately, I have very bad eyesight and so painting what I see is not always very clear for either me or the viewer. I try not to think about my eyesight very much or I’ll get depressed.

I feel very grateful that I have had so many wonderful opportunities to engage my passions over the years. Just recently, in addition to receiving a fabulous scholarship to attend the PSOA conference in Atlanta, I also won a first place ribbon last month in an exhibit, and just received representation at the drop dead beautiful Gallerie Unique in the exclusive Bell Tower Mall! So I am definitely not complaining!

My husband snapped this photo of me in our garden a few weeks ago. Actually he snapped a number of photos of me in the garden that day. His photos that day proved to be paint worthy.

I painted this little guy quickly- without thinking too much about the result. In the end, I loved the expressive result and the painting was quickly acquired by a repeat collector. So I decided to try a different pose from the same batch of photos.

This one I’m much less sure of. In wanting to make it Right, perhaps I made it Wrong.

At any rate, I may work on it some more in upcoming days , or maybe I won’t. At any rate, it is not for sale at this time, but please tell me what you think about it!

If you are interested in this piece, please send me an email at, or visit my website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art if you wish to see more of my original oil paintings.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

"Maitland Art Center", 16x12, oil on masonite by MAryanne Jacobsen

"Maitland Art Center", 16x12, oil on masonite

Well, after yesterday's rather disastrous Hensche study with my hubby, today he wanted to try the same painting again, only this time using brushes instead of a palette knife.

I am glad that I obliged him. He was very happy with how his painting came out! (It was actually quite good- very impressionistic, but he won't let me post it.) I was abundantly more pleased with my own painting as well. I like the softer look that I get with brushes, and I was more confident going into this painting, because I already knew what needed correcting value-wise after doing yesterday's painting.

In case you didn't read yesterday's post, my husband has taken an interest in art. He asked me to teach him the Hensche method of landscape painting and so I said that I would. Unfortunately, between the heat and the lovebugs here in Florida, neither one of us wanted to go outdoors to paint, so I pulled out an old photo that I took at the Maitland Art Center a few years ago.

I chose the scene above because I thought it would be easy to paint, but as it turned out, the low light contrast made it more difficult, IMHO. In addition, painting from a photograph is never ideal. The hubby gave up on the Hensche idea before he could get through the first notes, and because I had a ton of paint on my palette, I decided to finish my painting. Just scroll down the page or go here, to see the same scene painted with a palette knife.

The Maitland Art Center is located in Maitland Florida. It has many activities year round and is a very popular spot for weddings year round as a result of the lovely gardens. The architecture is very eclectic, with a strong Aztec/ Toltec emphasis as a result of the founder's travels and influences.

If you are interested in this piece, please send me an email at, or visit my website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art if you wish to see more of my original oil paintings.

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Monday, May 02, 2011

"David Leffel Profile Study", 16x16 oil on canvas

"David Leffel Profile Study", 16x16, oil on canvas

I came home from The Portrait Society of America's annual conference totally inspired. The 4 days were chock filled with incredible artists doing demonstrations, face -offs and workshops on lost and found edges, composition, drawing, portfolio reviews, etc, etc.

The first solo demo of the event was Friday morning. David Leffel will go down in history as an art legend, and I for one will always be a huge fan and avid admirer of not just his magnificent work, but of the man himself. He is always gracious, willing to answer questions, incredibly witty and intelligent, and overall just an enigma to those who are fortunate enough to come in contact with his work and his teaching. I was fortunate to have taken a workshop with David last spring, and after getting to know him at the workshop, I was especially looking forward to this particular event at the conference.

As usual, David was in rare form and had the audience cracking up even as he was in the throes of a self portrait on stage and a complex explanation of his craft!

Today I used the photo that I snapped from about 10 rows back in the ballroom to render this quick study of David as he painted. He was wearing a funny gypsy type scarf around his head, but no matter what he wears he is always a striking image with his chiseled features. I would love to try a more finished piece in the future, when I have some decent linen to work on. Here's my reference photo and some more photos from David's demo.

This is the photo that I used for my reference. They had wide screens set up on either side of the stage so that it would be easy to see no matter how far back you were seated.

David discusses edges before he starts his portrait.

The advantages of modern technology!

You've got to love the scarf!

I am so happy that I got to see him do another demo. It was quite a treat!

Photo from last year's workshop.