Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Rocky Cove", 16x20 , oil on canvas, Cape Ann paintings, seascapes, Rockport, Massachusetts, Impressionism, rocks, Atlantic, Maryanne Jacobsen art

"Rocky Cove", 16x20 , oil on canvas

Sometimes I enjoy painting a scene so much that I can't wait to try it again! In this case, it was the scene overlooking Gap Cove in Rockport that I wanted to try again. I painted it en plein air when I was there a couple weeks ago, and so the scene was fresh in my mind.

Once again I decided to make the pretty house on Gap Head Road my focal point, and I decided to define the rocks a little more carefully than I had done the first time.

I will concede that painting en plein air is challenging because you must work very fast to capture the elements, and retain the original concept even as the light is changing. The benefit, however, is that the artist does not have a chance to mull over decisions regarding color mixing, value, composition- anything! You either nail it or you don't! That is why plein air work can either look incredibly fresh and spontaneous, or else be a disaster!

In the case of the painting that I did that day, I was very happy with it, so I thought it would be fun to try a bigger version. What I noticed was that I found myself overthinking decisions that I had made instantaneously the first time I'd painted the scene. I found myself playing around with the greenery in the foreground to the extent that it made the foliage seem more strained and conspicuous than the first time I'd painted it. I also had too many color choices, whereby I had substantially  limited my palette when I'd painted it that day on location.

In short, I have slowly but surely become an avid proponent of plein air painting, as a result of understanding its benefits. It has taken me 6 years to get comfortable with painting on location, and I will admit that once you get there, painting in the studio is always a little bit of a disappointment. Without the sound of the seagulls screeching in the background, and the waves lapping the rocks, the music that I normally play while painting didn't quite do it for me any more. Without the warm sun playing over my shoulders and the crisp blue sky above me, the mixture of light sources in the studio become almost confusing.

In short, although I was somewhat happy with this painting, I know the first painting was better even though it only took me one hour and this one took me 5 hours. I can't wait until the heat of this Florida summer breaks somewhat, so I can get back outdoors and paint another tiny piece of  God's glorious creation. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Straitsmouth Cove, Rockport"-plein air, 9x12, oil on panel, Rockport Massachusetts, Cape Ann, New England seascapes, impressionism, rocks, Atlantic Ocean, American Women Artists,Maryanne JAcobsen fine art

"Straitsmouth Cove, Rockport"-plein air,  9x12, oil on panel

I recently attended the American Women Artists Show at the Addison Gallery in Orleans, Massachusetts. Cape Cod is a wonderful place for an art exhibit as there is beauty everywhere and lovely shops and art galleries throughout Cape Cod.

A very special thank-you to Helen Addison, of the Addison Gallery for hosting the AWA show. The exhibit was breathtaking and I was very honored to be included in this prestigious national show for the second consecutive year. The show will run through September 15th, so if you are on the Cape, please stop by and view this magnificent show. There are still many lovely pieces available for purchase, too!

After returning to the Boston area, we spent some time on Cape Ann, in Rockport, long known by impressionist artists for its incredible light and dramatic scenery. My husband and I return here every summer to enjoy the best weather and scenery that New England has to offer!

The weather was more than cooperative this past week and I was able to do some plein air painting every single day. The painting above was done a few days ago at Straitsmouth Cove, right off of Marmion way in Rockport. I was attracted by the beautiful cool blues in the ambient light and used the house on the hill as a focal point.

A perfect plein air morning!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

"Bienvenue", 22x28, oil on wrapped canvas, paintings of France, Alsace windows, window boxes, flowers

"Bienvenue", 22x28, oil on wrapped canvas

Almost 15 years ago, my hubby and I took a wonderful trip to Europe which included time spent in France, Germany and Denmark. One of the highlights of that trip was time spent in the Alsace region of France. I'll never forget the trip up Mont Sainte-Odile to see the dramatic sight of the monastery,  where , as legend has it, Sainte Odile was given sanctuary from a brutal father, who wanted to kill his own daughter because she was blind.

Another highlight of that trip to the Alsace region was La Petite France, a section of the old city of Strasbourg, which is filled with canals reminiscent of Venice, Italy and studded with ancient multi-storied buildings that have stood for centuries in shades of pink, ochre and magenta under hazy skies.

Alsace is a little German or a little French depending on who was currently in control during those years of its schizophrenic history when both countries jockeyed back and forth for control of the area.

This scene that I've painted a few times before depicts a classic Alsace window, framed in colorful wooden shutters with flowers and abundant vines cascading in and out of cheerful chaos.

If you would like information on purchasing "Bienvenue", please contact Gallery 444 at (415) 434-4477 and ask for Desiree or Heidi.

Thanks for allowing me to share my memories of Alsace with you!

Friday, August 01, 2014

"Petal Dance", 10x20, oil on wrapped canvas, impressionism, impasto, palette knife florals, sunflowers

"Petal Dance", 10x20, oil on wrapped canvas

Lots of thick paint in this floral. Please email me at if you would like more information about this painting.

Please visit my website at Maryanne Jacobsen Fine Art to see more of my original oil paintings.