Category Archives: Art

A Request For Feedback

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At The Hungerford Building, the place where I share artist space.

Over the last few years, my passion has shifted from writing to painting.

From the start, I’ve been wedded to the idea that all my work would be original, that everyone should be able to afford an original piece of art.

And I still believe that.

And yet…

I’d like to be able to support myself as a full-time artist one day, and selling reproductions of my stuff one way to do it.

After polling people in real life and on Facebook, I realized that folks would appreciate having an opportunity to buy my work, at a slightly more affordable price point.

So now I’d like to hear from you.

As of right now, I’m planning to reproduce my work on magnets, stationery, and cork-backed coasters.

That much I know.

What I don’t know – and need to figure out quickly – is which pieces people like best.

Below, you’ll find eleven images labeled from A-K.

I’d appreciate it if you would tell me which FOUR pieces speak to you most.

And which image you like the least.

Because, you know, I don’t want to order 100 coasters of that pattern if no one is going to buy them.

That would suck.

Feel free to leave a comment on the blog or on Facebook.

I’m excited about my foray into the business world.

Per usual, I have no idea what I’m doing, but I have faith that I’ll figure things out.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

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So which FOUR do you like best? Which ONE do you like the least? And why?

tweet me @rasjacobson or SHARE my stuff on Facebook @rasjacobsonart

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The State of Undress Project: A Longterm Art Endeavor

IVY BEATS THE BLUES

IVY BEATS THE BLUES

Some of you know me as an artist; others of you know me as a writer or a teacher or a professional organizer. However, you know me, I’m guessing you’ve heard about how I’m healing from damage to my central nervous system caused by Klonopin, a medication prescribed to me by my doctor.

I’ve come a long way, but I still struggle with my executive planning function, a part of my brain function, which has been damaged during my traumatic withdrawal.

Once a mover and a shaker, I now experience nerve pain that has forced me to slow down.

 Despite my daily challenges, I’m still here.

After a 3-year hiatus from the formal classroom, this summer I’m teaching a memoir class once a week, and…

I’ve found a way to unify my passion for combining words and art in an effort to inspire others.

I’m calling my latest endeavor The State of Undress Project, which — when complete — will feature 18 paintings of women of every age, color, and social class. 

To be part of this project, women must be able to articulate an invisible obstacle they have overcome (or that they are actively working on) and be willing to frame this challenge as a strength. They must be willing to pose in some state of undress – lingerie or bathing suit, or slip (of their choosing) — and have their likeness painted as an impressionistic piece of art. 

I’ve completed 6 paintings so far, 2 are in progress, and…

I’m looking for 10 more female volunteers.

Posing semi-clothed requires immense vulnerability, bravery, and trust. Please know, I believe that every woman’s body is beautiful, and I can promise that I will turn your photograph into a fabulous piece of art.

If you’re interested (or if you know of someone who might be interested), please compose a paragraph in which you explain your story to me and send it to:  rasjacobson.ny@gmail.com by August 15, 2016. I’ll contact you we can talk about my timeline and the next step.

If you’d like to monitor my progress on Facebook, you can find me at: https://www.facebook.com/rasjacobsonart/

Would you ever consider posing in a state of undress? Why or why not?

tweet me @rasjacobson

Sketching Project: Chad

This is Chad, a student at Monroe Community College.

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A devoted husband and father, Chad’s back in school after a long absence.

He was kind enough to let me sketch him not once, but twice.

Because the first time, I royally screwed up his head.

And his ear.

And basically everything.

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After sketching Chad for the second time, a friend informed me that I’ve been using the wrong paper.

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“You have to use watercolor paper,” she told me. “Otherwise, it bubbles up.”

Who knew?

So I bought a new pad of paper, and guess what?

The right paper really makes a big difference.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.

Having the right equipment is important.

I mean, I wouldn’t wear a bikini to go snowmobiling.

I wouldn’t wear stilettos to track practice.

And I definitely wouldn’t buy a volleyball and give it to my son to use at soccer practice.

(except that i totally did that one time. poor kid. soooooo embarrassing.)

The point is that I’m learning something new every day.

Sometimes, it’s about confronting a fear, trying a new activity, having a difficult conversation.

But sometimes? It’s all about the watercolor paper.

What tiny little thing did you learn today?

tweet me @rasjacobson

 

Sketching Project: Faye

I’ve been staring at people for several weeks now and, while I initially planned to sketch one stranger each day, I’ve realized that was an unrealistic goal.

So I’ve slowed down a bit.

Still, I feel like I’m improving.

This is real life Faye.

A proud mother and grandmother, Faye is a Manager at Rite Aid

A proud mother and grandmother, Faye lives in Spencerport, NY and is a Manager at Rite Aid.

And this is my version of Faye:

A proud mother and grandmother, Faye is a manager at CVS.

So maybe this portrait doesn’t look anything like “real life” Faye, but I like what I did with her ear and her neck. And her lips. I’m seeing things differently, too, which is cool.

I’m feeling sorta inspired.

(And by that I mean, I feel some kind of art contest coming on. You know, with prizes and stuff, the way I used to do.)

tweet me @rasjacobson

 

 

 

Painting More Strangers: Update On My Progress

As you know, I’ve been drawing/painting strangers in an effort to improve my emerging sketching skills.

Seems that no matter what I do, I gravitate towards a whimsical palette.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I’m learning that I have a style as an artist, just as I have a style as a writer.

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I sketched “Helene” at my local Barnes & Noble, and while she was flattered to have sat as my subject, she refused to be photographed.

At first I was disappointed. After all, I’d hoped to include real life photos along with my sketches.

But then I realized that Helene gave me a gift.

By not including her real-life photograph, I am able to appreciate that  – somehow – I managed to capture the essence of Helene.

According to Malcolm Gladwell, it takes 10,000 hours or roughly 10 years, to become a genius at something.

Not bad for 80 hours in.

How have you challenged yourself lately?

tweet me @rasjacobson

Staring At Strangers

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My first attempt at painting a stranger in watercolor.

At age 48, in the throes of a divorce, I’m figuring out who I am.

What I like to do.

After not investing one iota in myself for the last 20 years.

People keep telling me to do things that I enjoy.

“Have fun,” they say.

It’s awful to admit, but the concept of fun has become completely foreign to me.

In an effort to find fun and fill my craving for a creative community, I joined a sketch group. Convening mainly on weekends, we travel to different locations to meet and commit art together.

I’ve found that I feel less lonely while making art in public, so in-between meet-ups, I’ve taken to visiting local coffee shops to practice painting strangers.

In stealth mode.

Unfortunately, people often got up after only a few minutes, leaving me with an unfinished piece.

Which was unfulfilling.

I was taking too long in an effort to get it right.

I realized I had to speed up my efforts and focus on capturing the essence of an individual – his or her energy – in a quick sketch completed in just 4 or 5 minutes.

Once I stopped trying to be perfect, an interesting thing happened.

I started smiling.

Suddenly, people are approaching me. They call me “brave” for painting in public. Sharing how they used to love to knit/weave/paint/sew/make quilts … until someone told them they were terrible, and they stopped.

Sometimes people pull up chairs to sit with me and we end up talking about art, children, politics, love, divorce, grief.

And then they aren’t strangers anymore.

This morning, I went to the gym and, in addition to my mat and my sneakers and a change of clothes, I brought a backpack filled with pens and pencils, watercolors and brushes. Settled next to a cozy fireplace, I spotted a man with a strong profile, staring at an iPad.

After I finished sketching, I decided to walk over to introduce myself.

Awkwardly.

(You know, because I’m still the same dork you’ve come to know and love.)

Anyway, Taylor graciously allowed me to interview him and take his photograph. I received his permission to post his face and his likeness here on my blog.

So I’m setting a goal to complete one new sketch each day for a month. I’ll see if I want to continue after 30 days.

The most important thing?

I’m having fun again.

And I’m meeting new people.

Taylor

This is Taylor. While working as a lifeguard at Walt Disney World, he realized he enjoyed the medical aspects of his job. He’s currently studying to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. And he’s a very good sport.

 

How’d I do? What brave new thing have you tried to do recently?

FRIEND – a 4×4 canvas of a Labrador Retriever, just $40

For the last few weeks, I’ve been going canine crazy. While I may not be a dog owner, I can absolutely appreciate the love that folks have for their doggies.

I started experimenting with painting dogs, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. So far I’ve done a Weimaraner, a Wheaten Terrier and this White Labrador Retriever, with more to come.

4x4 acrylic painting with texturizing medium, just $40, including shipping to those in the United States.

4×4 acrylic painting, just $40, including S&H to those in the United States. Friends in Canada need to add an extra $8 to cover additional S&H charges

If you’d like this painting to be yours, simply type SOLD in the comments, and I’ll contact or — if you have an idea for a special order, feel free to email me at rasjacobson.ny@gmail.com.

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Extra views:

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Side detail

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Side detail.

Playing with Texture: Wordless Wednesday

I’m crazy about texturizing medium, a paste used to add surface texture to a canvas. Stiffer than paint straight from a tube, I love to scoop out blobs of paste with a palette knife and mix in a few drops of paint. Once dry, texturizing paste doesn’t drip or droop. I like to create peaks and grooves with a palette knife, and you can also make press patterns into it, or use it as glue to add collage items.

 

Blobs of paint featuring texturizing medium.

Blobs of paint featuring texturizing medium.

I used texturizing paste is this part of my painting, Can you guess what these are?

What have you been experimenting with lately?

tweet me @rasjacobson

GIVE – a 4×4 canvas – just $25

This year I promised to spend more time cultivating relationships with people who bring me happiness and less time with negative and/or rude individuals. I’ve tolerated that for too long.

When you fill your life with people you love, giving isn’t a chore, it’s easy.

To that end, I’m offering GIVE today.

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This 4×4 acrylic canvas is just $25 and that includes shipping & handling anywhere in the United States! (Friends in Canada, you just have to pay a little bit extra.) I accept PayPal, so payment is secure and easy.

Interested? All you have to do is type SOLD in the comments, and I’ll contact you.

I wish you all a year of easy loving and giving relationships.

xo

 

Messy Hands: Wordless Wednesday

This is how my hands look at the end of nearly every day. I don’t mean to do it. It just kind of happens.

Thank goodness it's acrylic.

Thank goodness it’s acrylic.

When’s the last time you did something where your hands got dirty?

tweet me @rasjacobson