This month’s featured artist is truly inspirational. Still reeling from the loss of two of her dogs Jojo and Zoe, within two weeks of each other, Carrie Jacobson has found a way to channel her grief into a new project ‘101 Dogs.’ A beautiful, creative tribute.
A portion of all proceeds will go to help groups that rescue, shelter and train dogs.
Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your project and the following information with us:
What inspires you?
The beauty of the natural world, and the creatures in it, are all I need to be moved to paint. The love on a dog’s face, the light on a field of ripe soybeans in autumn on the Eastern Shore, the colors of the sky and sun lighting the planes of a mountain, these sights make me catch my breath and make me want to paint.
Do you have a favourite subject(s)? If so, what is it about that subject that speaks to you?
I paint lots of things, and I think I would have to say that light is my favorite subject, generally. I try to paint not the thing itself, but the thing as it is defined and illuminated by the light. Beyond that, I love painting dogs, cows, flowers and landscapes.
I’ve just launched a big dog-painting project, so my focus is on dogs now. I love painting dogs in part because I just love them. Given a choice to spend time with most dogs I know or most people, on most days I’d pick dogs. Their hearts and souls show on their faces, and that’s why I love to paint them – and be with them. Dogs don’t lie or hesitate. They don’t complain or whine. They’re not embarrassed by their love or their hate or their need to find their place in the world.
What is your preferred medium, why?
Oil paint! I am attracted by the depth of color, the smooth quality of the paint, the way I can pile it up and give it texture and surface so it captures the light. I paint with a palette knife, and I work to build an impasto that adds to the character and voice of the painting.
Where is your favourite place to paint?
Outdoors. My best day is to drive to a place I’ve never seen, and be struck by a breathtaking view, then pull over and paint. Second best is my studio at home, with the dogs barking in the yard, and coming in to say hello and cause trouble. The dog of my heart, Jojo, was my studio dog, and spent her days in there with me while I painted when I was at home. She died in September, and my life in the studio is changed forever without her.
Artists connect with the pieces they create. Please share with us the work(s) that are most meaningful to you (evokes positive or negative emotions) and why.
Great question. The paintings I’ve made of our own dogs, the ones who have passed and the ones who are living, are surely closest to my heart. My first painting ever, which I made nine years ago, when I was 50, is probably the most meaningful to me.
I made a painting trip to the Navajo Reservation this past winter, and painted there, and many of those paintings have deep ties to my heart, good and bad. I was born there, and went back to see what I would see, what I would feel, and whether I could draw any links from the early landscape of my life to my outlook as a painter. It was not a journey of joy, but it was one of insight.
One dog painting stands out. I donated a gift certificate for a portrait to a nonprofit group that runs an auction at a show in which I often participate. The couple who won it have a daughter whose beloved dog had just died. They had me make the painting, and then they brought their daughter to a show I was in. I hung the painting on the wall, and they showed up, with the daughter not knowing anything about their gift.
Is there anything (else) you would like people to know about Carrie Jacobson?
My project, 101 Dogs, is just taking off. I’m going to make 101 paintings of people’s dogs and collect them in a book and a poster. If you sign up at $375 or more, you get an original painting (or more), a book or poster and some other merchandise from the project (depending on your level). I will donate a portion of each purchase to a dog-related group, so it’s really good for everyone.
Artist’s favourite colour?
It seems to change! Right now, it’s yellow, though my brother has told me that if blue hadn’t been invented, I couldn’t paint.
Please click links (shared above) to learn more about Carrie and her beautiful work.