My Story

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my story artist jackie jacobson

Chapter 16 – Beijing China

Let’s Get to China – Beijing China

 

If you were raised by my mother, you were told to finish all of your food. Leave nothing on your plate. Why? Because there’s children in China who are starving, so I was not to waste any food.

 
I do recall, being about 7 years old and at the sand beach in Michigan with my friends. We would dig, and dig some more. Our goal was to dig deeper with the hope of getting to China. Somehow I recall thinking that it was possible to achieve that goal.
 
Well it’s 1986 and as I’ve said, Al was spending much of his work time in and around mainland China. He took me to Hong Kong several times for a long weekend. But now with his tons of free United Airlines miles, and my having a general manager, we planned a three week trip, starting in Hong Kong, and ending in Beijing. There it was. My childhood fantasy being realized. I guess we dug deep enough. I was now at the Hong Kong airport on my way to Beijing. 
 
We were in line, waiting to board our flight, when I thought that I recognized a couple a few lines away. They looked like the Berks. They were with another couple who I also recognized from our townhouse neighborhood in Chicago. We had all lived in close proximity when our children were in grammar school. Al and I left that area when our kids were getting ready for high school and somehow had lost touch with most of that community. We ultimately left Chicago and explored living on the great west coast. 

 

Beijing China – It’s a Very Small World

It was now 20 years later and life has a funny way of reuniting old friends. Yes we were booked on the same flight with Nort, Renee, Marilyn and Eddie. They were on a tour, and staying in the first and only (at that time) American hotel, The Sheraton Beijing. We tried to get added to their tour but that wasn’t possible. So plans were, to spend their one free night together, where Al would be their tour guide. He took us to his favorite Chinese restaurant in Beijing, at the Beijing hotel. It was incredible to reunite, and it seems that Renee and Nort were living in Hong Kong and invited us for Passover dinner on our return to Hong Kong. Talk about small world happenings. But I have digressed.
 
Al was to be my tour guide, and he had a whole adventure planned for me. But of course he needed a driver, and one that could speak a little English, to take us on his tour of Beijing. Outside of the Beijing airport, he hired a taxi driver who was free for a week of touring. He made plans for Lo to pick us up every morning at 8 am and drive us to Al’s chosen sites. So off we went to Tiananmen Square, to the Emperors tomb (many stories below ground), to the Great Wall and the Beijing Art Museum, to name a recognizable few. 

The National Art Museum of China in Beijing - 123263351

It was at the National Art Museum that Lo joined us and acted as our interpreter and guide. The show was an exhibit of Japanese and Chinese calligraphy. Lo played a game with me. I was to guess if the piece was Japanese or Chinese. It took no time for me to recognize the difference between the two culture’s  manner of expression artistically.
 
I learned a lot about the nature of the Japanese culture from Al’s boss Mr. Yano, who stayed with us at our home in Seattle. His directness showed in all of his mannerisms. And that directness is what I could see in the Japanese calligraphy. The Chinese, on the other hand, are much more gentle and humble. Their calligraphy had curves and a lighter quality to their brushstrokes . 

Beijing china

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In the gift shop of the museum, we purchased bookmarks and paper cuts, that still hang in my studio to this day. But I also saw a piece of art that I fell in love with. The sales person gave me a card from the artist. And now we were at the second coincidence of this trip. On Al’s many, many trips, he always bought me some Chinese art supplies from a small shop in an area called, LiLuLiChang. The interpretation was Portuguese trading area. All of the buildings were faced with Portuguese tiles. 

 

Beijing China – The Artist Studio

The artist, whose card was now in my hand, was located in the LiLuLiChang area. So off we went to find this artist. We entered the front of the shop, were greeted in Chinese by the only person there. I presented the card, pointing to the artists name and she held up a finger indicating she would return. She disappeared behind the hanging curtained doorway, and returned with a woman who could speak some English. 
 
This woman apologized, and said that their master was not available but that his disciple was asking to show me around and she would interpret for me. We now were led to the back room studio behind those burgundy curtains.
 
The disciple, who was maybe 19 years old, told me about what the art study was under a master artist. He had to master three art forms. Calligraphy, horse painting, and chop carving. And what he’d like to do, as his guest, was to demonstrate how he paints a horse painting. We were seated in front of this humble man, who used Chinese ink and brush, and slowly and gently moved his brush on the rice paper. After about thirty minutes he finished the piece of art and presented it to me. 

 

beijing chinaIn appreciation for his kindness, I felt a need to reciprocate. And so I asked if I could do his portrait, explaining that my specialty was portrait painting. He said yes and I asked him to sit in my seat. There we were, the four of us, with another four watching,  in Beijing China, artist to artist, interpreter to interpreter.
 
I took his spot at the table. All that I had to draw with was a pencil. He gave me his roll of rice paper, but the pencil would not work at all. I looked over at the pot of ink and brush, and asked if I could use them. And was told he would be honored to watch me with his art media.
 
So I lifted the brush out of the pot of ink and saw that the bristles were about two inches long and floppy. This brush was unlike any I had ever used. And the ink was thick, not runny like inks that I had used before. I recalled his holding the brush, not like a pencil, but clutched in the palm of his hand. As he painted he moved his whole body in order to move the brush, and now I know why.
 
I actually moved into a meditative state, and once the brush was moving, I swear I was in a past life experience. I suddenly felt at home with the tools. I started the drawing with his eye and recall nothing after that. It took about twenty minutes and my last brush stroke was to draw, with one swift and deliberate stroke, the cowlick on the top of his head. At the end of that stroke I heard what sounded like a hundred hands clapping. It seems that in my trance-like state, I had attracted a crowd of about 30 people. To this day I don’t know where they came from, But in Al’s photo of me painting in Beijing you can see some of them. 

beijing china

I signed, wrote a thank you note and presented the piece to this gentle artist. He was honored and so was I. Yes this was the highlight of my art career
 
I hope that I have taken you to China with me. Imagine this, we did dig deep enough in the sand and we reached China together. In Hoyt Axton’s words,”Joy To The World and joy to you and me.” Life’s adventures are joyful experiences, so I’d love to hear about some of your adventures. Just write them down and share. Bring your joy to the world!
 
NEXT CHAPTER… more about my new artist friend in Beijing

 

10 Best Beijing Art Museums

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g294212-Activities-c49-t28-Beijing.html

Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 15 – Manage & Travel

Manage & Travel

Travel to New York CityMy life has become a series of trips to NewYork and managing 3 stores. Yes I had a manager in each of the 3 stores. My free time was buying trips to New York, 3-4 times a year. 

 

What happened next? My pal Al fell in love with a down comforter line he was buying for the stores. The company was in Japan and the comforters were manufactured in China. Al phoned the owner, who lived in LA and told Mr. Yano that he’d love to represent them nationally. And of course Yano was absolutely up for that idea. So Al took the job and left me a new inheritance. 

 

I inherited the 3 stores and the fun (that’s a joke.) I did go to market in NewYork at the same time that Al was showing his down comforters in NewYork. We actually stayed in different hotels. He was with his sales team at the Grand Hyatt, I was closer to the linen showrooms and the Art Museums at the Hilton.

 

Al and I did get to have dinner a couple of the nights he was in NewYorkbut of course with the Japanese enclave. Many of my first week nights I was entertained by the sales reps. Broadway shows and dinner. One year I saw the same broadway hit 2 nights in a row. (The reps don’t check with their competitors about what shows they’re taking me to.) I stayed on for a total of 10 nights, 5 for work and 5 for art. That was a bonus to myself. I visited one art museum and at least one gallery a day for those extra 5 days. And I ate in my favorite delis and pizza places (enough of that rich food.)

 

MEET NEWTON

Manage & Travel with NewtonI was also a big hit in the showrooms with my new note taking device. Yes this started my technology fetish that exists to this day. It was the new Newton by Apple Computer. They introduced Newton in 1987, and I bought it instantly.  It’s an early device in the PDA category.

Personal Digital Assistant (the Newton originated the term) was the first device to feature handwriting recognition. 

 

The best part of my weeks in NewYork was also about my wardrobe. Considering that I no longer was willing to be dressed by professionals, and lose myself ever again, I chose 4 black dresses for my trip. Easy to pack, the “little black dress” (little is correct, I was skinny then) And my distinctiveness were the incredible scarves that I added to the little black dress. The scarves were an art piece, and made my look very unique. They actually were my jewelry. I was comfortable and traveling was easy. One medium suitcase for 10 days…not bad!!!

 

Al spent at least 19 days to 2 weeks a month in China working with the factories, and eating Chinese food????. It seems that Japan and China are really enemies, so Al became the company’s go between Japan and China.

 

Those trips to New York museums made me really miss the canvas, the paint, the paper and my first passion painting. But I had these stores and no time for art. 

 

On one of Al’s weeks home we planned a trip to the California wine country with friends. It had to be brief because I couldn’t leave the stores for more than ten days. On our way down we stopped at a small motel in Yreka CA. The owner was a woman who had just bought the motel with her retirement from a tech company in San Francisco. I asked how she was going to handle all the work of a motel. She said, “Oh I have a general manager. I only do this one day a week.”

 

The final wine country destination was a bed-and-breakfast in a two story restored old home in the center of Healdsburg.. The first floor was a jewelry shop, second floor was a B&B. The owner was an enthusiastic and energetic woman who was up at 5 am baking biscuits and then serving home cooked breakfast at 8am (she baked and made the incredible food) After breakfast she was changing sheets, cleaning rooms and more. There she was in the late afternoon turning down beds with the same energy that she had at 5 am.  And here I was, exhausted from owning these 3 stores. I asked her how she does this. She said, “Oh I have a general manager. I only do this one day a week.”

 

Well there it was. The big message and I got it. 

I went back to the shop and hired a general manager. Michael became the key to my studio. What a blessing that trip was for me. I’ll never forget those two ladies. They changed my life and my art career.

 

Meet Barbara Nechiswatercolor painting

PAINTING BY BARBARA NECHISbarbara nechis studioBarbara Nechis in her Studio

Here’s the first thing that I did after Michael was on the job for 6 months. I loved an artist who lived in Calistoga, California.  Barbara Nechis is a world renowned watercolorist. Once a year she teaches in her incredible architect designed studio, sitting on the vineyard she and her husband owned. The studio had views of Sterling Winery.  I phoned, signed up for both weeks, drove down, and left there very skilled in watercolor, and a new fondness for wine?

 

Barbara and I are definitely kindred spirits. I painted in watercolor for the next 10 years. Although I didn’t continue painting with watercolor, I certainly have great respect for those who do. My love for oil paints and the smell of turpentine won me back. But thanks to Michael I was back in the studio. 

https://barbaranechis.com/paintings/

See her original painting on the link above. As a treat also check out Barbara’s book …. Watercolor from the Heart: Techniques for Painting the Essence of Nature by Barbara Nechis It’s in your local library or on Amazon. 

 

In the next chapter you’ll learn about the highlight of my art career. Stay tuned.





my story artist jackie jacobson

Chapter 14 – My Inheritance

 

My Inheritance – in Bellevue Washington

After Al’s phone call I agreed to go into the store and help with the books, a couple days a week. That lasted for 2 weeks. The couple days became 5 days a week, then 7 days a week. But then my creativity, entered the store. Down came the drapery fabric samples and up went a 40 foot hexagonal glass cube wall. Each cube held a different color group of throw pillows. There were 50 cubes that became an impactful color palette. The wall was definitely a piece of art. 

throw pillow display

Here you see my color idea only in hexoganal glass cubes

Next I added glass cubes and shelves with top brand sheets and towels. More color. Then bed pillow, shams and bedskirts. We renamed the store Bedspread and Linen House and much of my creativity went into this new project. Yes I was being creative. Of course I hired a store manager so none of us had to work the 9-9 shifts.

And what was Al doing. First he added down comforters to our assortment. And then custom made down comforter covers from any of our sheet patterns. Then Al was out looking for a 2nd location with the guy who owned the shoe store, next door. The second location was in the city of Seattle. Our manager ran the Bellevue store and we ran the new Seattle store.  

I really liked being back in a city so I didn’t mind the second store.  There was a mattress store next to our store. One day a sales rep from a company who sold merino wool mattress pads stopped in, after showing his pads next door. They were partially interested and he thought he’d give us a try. I had never seen or felt a wool mattress pad. It was unbelievably incredible. And since they are warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, hypoallergenic, and a ton more benefits, I was very, very interested. So at the end of our meeting I purchased the whole next shipment. That meant 500 wool mattress pads. No my inheritance wasn’t money, but I have more courage than I knew I had.

YIKES…what was I doing??? Have I lost control of Jackie again?  I spent a couple of days meditating. My question …where has the artist Jackie gone off to?  

My Inheritance was My Newest Art Project

Then I saw the whole picture and what to do with my inheritance. When I left art school my goal was to create affordable fine art for real people. Meaning I was not wanting to be represented by a gallery or an art broker. But rather to show my work to people who love art and have limited amounts of money for art. 

Well here I am. My newest art project is a collaboration. I’ve never done an art project with another artist. But I must say, this time the other artist is the creative man that I married. He thinks fast on his feet, puts it all together in a moment and is ready to move on. His method is unlike my experience of 8-10 weeks on a painting. In the end I have a piece of art. So my partner and I make a perfect pair to work on this bedding project. 

I’m the artist who could stay with it. I’d refine it, reflect on it, then begin more refining and reflecting. In the end it usually matches my goal; an affordable piece of fine art. 

Affordable is the keyword here. Since the concept of BLH ( I love acronyms) is to sell affordable high fashion bedding, it really is an art project. Now I was really invested. 

Sales Seminars

I’d spend at least one hour a day on the sales floor listening to customers comments and objections and make sure that I’d addressed those issues. It was always a lesson about my buying, the displays or the sales presentation and focus.  I also spent one day a month doing sales seminars with the staff around those customer reviews. Yes STAFF, the hardest part of this project. I really was meant to work alone, or like this project, with one other person. Now I have a STAFF. 

What did I cover in most sales seminars?  The importance of working with someone’s most personal and intimate space. Yes, that’s our bedroom and I definitely wanted the staff to be patient and respectful.

Each prospective customer is trying to create their own picture. And that picture does not have anything to do with what color is in fashion, what look is in fashion or any of those magazine ideas. 

To me each person should be able to leave excited with what they have selected for their bedroom or any other bedroom in their home. I just kept reminding the staff of this concept. The concept was the backbone of the success of BLH. Yes it was a well accepted shop. It was 2 years before Bed Bath and Beyond opened their first store. So I definitely had a head start in my concept. 

My Inheritance and New Departments

Now that I had my inheritance, what did I add to this creation? A kids bedding department including children’s bedtime books. I definitely would sit on the floor of the store, reading books to the kids, while their Mom shopped. That was probably the best part of this project! You can tell that I was longing to be a grandmother. So I practiced with the little visitors. kids bedsheets 1990

Then I moved on to the kitchen. Dinnerware, flatware, kitchen linens and of course a huge display of placemats. That was a really fun department. I’d shop the gift shows in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Dallas for unique and artistic items for the kitchen. I was applauded for my broom selection. They were colorful and basically a functional art piece for the kitchen. So every item that I chose for BLH had to be both artistic and useful. Yes I was 2 years ahead of my time. 

As part of my interiatance , I would eventually be shopping in manufacturers showrooms in NYC . I’d travel four times a year and was compared to the buyers from BB&B. The sales teams from Wamsutta, Martex and Fieldcrest were always excited to have me shop with them, because my selections were ahead of fashion. What a compliment. 

Loyal Customers

What I’m really proud about is the customer base we built. My concept of make each person who walks through that day know how much they are treasured. Treat these visitors as friends who have arrived to look around and feel really comfortable about visiting.

As an aside, we spent 17 years welcoming people, who returned almost monthly to see what was new. And they were so loyal that when much bigger stores opened, they stayed with BLH. When we moved to Palm Springs (many chapters later) and started to show at the street fair, these loyal people recognized us mostlyfrom Bellevue,Washington and become loyal visitors as they returned on vacation yearly.  My concept of affordable art for real people proved to be my success in any art project I became involved in. To this day I’m appreciative of each and everyone of you, as you read my story.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellevue,_Washington

What was Al doing?

As I was busy with the responsibilities of my interitance, what was Al doing? As I said, Al definitely moves on. He heard about a new center opening in the North part of Seattle. The anchor tenant was going to be Mervyns, and since he knew of them from his travels, he selected a store in that new shopping center. That makes store three. And 40 employees. 

My bottomline is that I was definitely creating, but after a few years I began to miss the canvas, the paint, the paper and my first passion. What do I do now? But now I had a big project, my inheritance.

You’ve got it…that’s the next chapter. 

 

Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 13 – Decision Time- What To Do Now?

Decision Time – I Found Jackie – My Goal Achieved

Decision time has arrived. I signed up for the classes in Tahoe to sort myself out. So after 3 years I moved out of despair and into undreamed-of solutions. I would run up to Tahoe, take six weeks of classes and teach six weeks of classes. Then back and hangout in LA for a few weeks (no maybe just two weeks) then back up to Tahoe/Carson for more sorting out with my safe group of friends. I now had a connection to a source of wisdom within.

 

What To Do Now? Decision Time – Move again and where?

 

My weeks in LA were spent drawing, drawing and more drawing. Oh, I also spent a whole lot of time eating, eating and more eating. Tahoe//Carson had a few good restaurants but LA has a never ending source. My favorite of all times. Canter’s Deli in the Fairfax area. Old world incredible corned beef on rye, with a dill pickle is my absolute favorite. And then I’d buy cakes and treats in the bakery section. 

On Saturdays I would go to an offsite branch of UCLA’s art department. Life figure drawing with incredible models. What makes a model incredible? The way they move , and posed their bodies. There’s a rhythm in their movement. It’s like freezing a ballet dancer’s position . Most of all, because many were professional dancers, I’d leave with great drawings. I didn’t really do any painting. But the truth is, painting in oils is my very favorite. I just hated making a mess in the house. So drawing was it.

Decision time

I spent three years in the Fourth Center with kindred spirits. Everyday felt safe. There were no influencers in my life.  I was now completely familiar with Jackie. Spiritually awakened, I loved every minute of everyday.  Was it time for the big decision? I wondered, what would happen if I left this safe mountain community permanently? Would I lose myself again? Or could I bring my higher energy to a new business and social community, and be a positive force in a whole new place?

You got it. Time to move on. But where would we go. Al decided to retire from his “national on the road” textile sales career. And since Al couldn’t live in Tahoe or Carson’s elevation, we agreed it had to be closer to sea level. Since I couldn’t breathe in the smog of LA, it had to have fresh air. And we both agreed that very cold weather was not for either of us. 

So I put the Carson house up for rent. Looked at a map with Al. and he suggested looking in the Seattle area, where he had some wonderful friends who were customers. Airplane ticket and maps in hand, we flew off to Seattle. I took out a map of the Seattle area and a pin and literally threw it at the map. The pin landed on the City of Redmond, Washington. It was east of Seattle, but Al’s best customer lived in the next town. As the plane flew over Mt. Rainier I saw heaven, and immediately said, “this is perfect. I definitely want to live here.”

Redmond is at the bottom of the Map MAP WOODINVJLLE WA

 

Redmond Washington

We got into our rental car, and on the road to find our new residence. Drove all over Redmond and it did not interest me, at all. There was not one appealing house, downtown area, or shopping. But we kept driving and looking. 

Frustrated we decided to head out to Al’s friend. As we were driving, I looked up the hill at a beautiful area that did really did appeal to me. It overlooked a valley, and I wasn’t far off from my Redmond map idea. Right there on the Woodinville-Redmond road was an open house sign. Why not look. The gates to the area read Hollywood Hills. Ironic, that we’re leaving LA right near Hollywood, and we’re looking in Hollywood Hills. Is this a sign?

Hollywood Hills

hollywood schoolhouse 1912

And of course it was a brand new house, on a horse acre. Yes ir was the perfect house. A wooden footbridge led us to the front door. the house was a Northwest contemporary with 3 bedrooms, a great kitchen and living area with a large deck that was 3 stories high. It was definitely on a hill. On the lower level was an unfinished 1800 sq ft unfinished room with plumbing and another deck. And below that a storage room. Both decks overlooked Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. And that unfinished room could definitely be my art studio. It was so perfect that before nightfall we purchased the house. chateau ste michelle winery

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

woodinville washington homeOur Woodinville House

What attracted me to Woodville? Although it was in proximity to a large city, Woodville was soooo quaint. The house was one mile from town. There was a stop sign which indicated you’ve arrived. You’re in town, which had a grocery store, a bank, a feed and grain store, an incredible nursery, a restaurant, and a strip joint. That was it. Downtown Woodinville.

Now the project was to sell the adorable little house in LA. When we left Thousand Oaks we purchased this little house in West Los Angeles, built in 1932, and lived in by only one couple. It had stained glass windows in the front, cherub sculptures adorned the ceilings, and hand carved wooden swinging doors between the dining room and kitchen. And for Al, a 48 year old rose garden. It was in a choice location, and we actually sold it in a week.  

Off to Woodinville

I knew what I was going to do in Woodinville. You’ve got it. Paint in that incredible studio. And the big question…what was Al going to do in Woodinville, Washington? 

Some of Al’s customers, who manufactured bedspreads, convinced him to open a bedspread store. I pleaded with him not to do that. My father was an interior designer, who retired from his incredible job. He opened a drapery store. And as a 14 year old kid who was good at math, I worked in his store, figuring up his custom drapery orders. My Dad was not at all happy with his decision. He continually talked about how difficult it was to own a small retail store. 

So I again pleaded with Al not to do the same thing with his retirement money. But I wasn’t able to convince him to do something else. Like maybe buying a small house, renovating it and selling it. Al’s a really handy guy and that would be a perfect thing for him to do as a retired young guy.

Instead, he spent weeks looking for a space to rent. He ultimately rented a store in a brand new and the first discount shopping center in Bellevue, Washington. The anchor tenant was Loehmann’s, a large discount clothing chain. Al’s location was two doors from Loehmann’s. He setup the store as a warehouse, with steel shelves filled with bedspreads, floor to ceiling.  He named it Bedspread Warehouse. Of course his fabric customers, from his now retired career, also convinced him to offer custom draperies. So he put up a wall of drapery samples and one of his old customers made his drapery orders. Memories of my father and his drapery store. I shudder when I think of it. 

New Art Life

In the meantime I discovered the Bellevue Art Museum, where I volunteered 2 days a week. That immediately introduced me to the local art community. I met a couple of artists who told me about a Saturday life figure drawing group in downtown Seattle. Within a month I was part of the Seattle area art community. After a few months I was actually offered the opportunity to teach life figure drawing in my studio. The Seattle Art School (later to become The Seattle Art Institude) did not offer life drawing classes and referred their students to me. I was able to set up a model and have 12 students in my wonderful studio. I was in heaven and so were the students.

A brief aside….Here I am, a Chicago born and raised  woman, with a house in anything but a city. My class is underway and everyone is busy drawing the model when there was a loud bang on the glass doors to the deck. I ran to the doors to discover a cow. Yes a cow! It seems the house at the bottom of the hill had a cow, a pig and some chickens…And there was city born Jackie dragging a cow down the hill. Your cue…vision that’s and it’s time to laugh…End of my aside.

I actually went back on my word from my Evanston Art Fair days, and volunteered to work at the annual outdoor Bellevue Art Fair. I know it was my positive energy that created this incredible new art life. 

New Problem

Then came the phone call from Al. He hated working in the store, and wondered if I would come into the store and help him a couple days a week. Maybe I could do the books or something and be with him in the store. 

Why did he hate his store? Here’s a man who travelled the whole country, sold millions of yards of drapery fabric nationally, and he couldn’t believe he just spent over one hour with a customer who couldn’t decide between two twelve dollar throw pillows. So much for his decision to open a store. 

And that’s where the next chapter begins…and my big test of living in the world, with no spritual group to support me. 

Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 12 – Too Much Snow

 
 
 

SNOW BECAME THE PROBLEM

 
My dream home/studio in Lake Tahoe became a snow problem. It seems that the builder did a wonderful job with windows. He put a window in any spot that he could see the lake. So I had great window views and a sprawling deck. But his problem was with the roof. He built it at a steep angle not taking into consideration the snow load, and what would happen when the snow melted. SnowLake Tahoe gets an average of 215.4 inches of snowfall, or a little under 18 feet.
 
The snow would avalanche off the roof and take off the deck and stairs to the front door. Actually it did that twice and I had to have the stairs and deck rebuilt, two years in a row. The third spring melt convinced me it was time to leave. So I sold the house to a local police officer who loved it, lived in the neighborhood and didn’t mind having to replace the stairs and deck. He actually bought it with no stairs or deck. The only entrance to the two story house was thru the garage. That is if I could get the driveway plowed, then I could get to the garage. Not always possible!
 
NEW ADVENTURE
 
My next adventure was a little way down the mountain. Down to 4800 feet above sea level from an elevation of 6286 feet. Not as much snow. But definitely higher than our LA home at 305 feet. Yes we left Thousand Oaks and moved to LA. (more on that later)
 
It was definitely time to explore artist Jackie in an entirely new place. You don’t form as many bad habits if you just keep moving and growing. Onward!
 
CARSON CITY NEVADA & SNOWGovernors Mansion Nevada - No snow
New home/studio was in Carson City Nevada. Carson City is just down the hill from the Fourth Center and my classes at the lake.
 
With an average of over 265 days of sunshine per year, the pleasant, semi-desert climate is hard to beat! During the summer months, high temperatures average around 90 F; during the winter, around 45 F. Average annual rainfall is approximately 11 inches, and average annual snow is 22 inches.
 
Less snow, lots of sun. Downtown had the governor’s mansion, and a few small stores, one grocery store, a casino and a brothel nearby. I didn’t work at the brothel (not my talent?, but I did work at the small art supply store, one block from the governor’s mansion.
 
It seems that the elementary school had no art or music program (budget cut.) So the art supply store was thrilled when I asked if they’d like me to teach children’s art classes. This would definitely be a new experience. I wondered how I would teach these adorable kids. So I decided to do a class similar to the classes I was teaching adults.
 
I hired models, who dressed up in costumes and I limited the classes to 9 years and older. Every Tuesday or Friday. after school, for two hours. The class size was limited to 6. It was a very small store. 
 
MEET JOEY
 
Then there was little Joey, the six year old brother of one of the students. Joey kept pleading with his Mom to take the class. After about three weeks of his crying and begging, I broke my rule and said yes Joey can take the class, starting next Tuesday.
 
He arrived with the biggest joy-filled smile, and said “Mrs Jackie, thank you so much.”  So I walked Joey over to an easel, showed him his materials. Charcoal. Pastels, and charcoal pencils. And his big drawing board with 18×24” paper, just like all the big boys. 
 
My instruction to Joey was to stand back and  look at the model (who for this class was dressed as a ballet dancer.) And when he felt ready, to start with the charcoal and to draw her, as he sees her. Then to use the pastel wherever he felt his drawing needed color. Every fifteen minutes I would have the kids stop, stand back, look at the model, look at their drawing and look back at the model. They did their looking for about 5 minutes, drawing for another 15 minutes.Then I’d announce “ You’re done please sign your drawings with the charcoal pencil and also date it.”
 
Break time meant snacks, and I’d go around the room and ask each one to tell me about their drawing experience. What they liked and what they didn’t know how to do? The project for the next drawing was to work on what they didn’t know how to do. Of course we discussed what they needed to do. Interesting that it took very little instruction. 
Then I got to Joey. So I asked, what do you think of your first drawing Joey. And his answer, in a very low but proud voice, “I think it’s damn good.” Priceless answer that I’ll never forget. And truth is I thought it was too. What a cutie Joey was. 
 
THE MUSTANG RANCH
Mustang Ranch Nevada - no snow Who was the model. One of my adult student’s aunt was the Madam at the local brothel. The famous Mustang Ranch in Carson City Nevada. She supplied me with models for both my children and adult classes. 
 
And what did I learn there in Carson City. Not much about the oldest profession. But definitely… when someone has a desire to make art, don’t limit them based on age, but respect their passion. When a kid was really not into the class, I told their parent to find another creative outlet. Try music, dance, sports or even cooking/baking. Not everyone is interested in making art, but we’re all creative in some way. 
 
Bottom line…I really loved teaching the kids. My demonstration was how I would draw the model. Nevertheless I was determined not to influence their unique ability. They just needed to learn how to use the materials.  And a reminder to look at their model and then at their drawing. The object was to compare what they see to what they drew. The project was always the same…learning to see. I’d help them with ideas of how to approach their problems. My demo was on a different piece of paper or on the side of their paper. I’d make sure to erase it so that they wouldn’t copy me. When they left class, they each left with their own unique creative pieces of art. 
 
Another wonderful move on my part.
 
VISIT CARSON CITY NEVADA

https://visitcarsoncity.com/

Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 11 – Finding Jackie

I said kismet would take care of helping me find Jackie. And Destiny definitely did do that. Just so that you know where to find Kismet, she’s on the same road as my friend Bill’s good friend Serin Dippety. 
 
It was February in Chicago, just two months after my French restaurant experience, when into the door of Al’s greenhouse, walked Kismet. She arrived overnight in the 20 degrees below zero Chicago night storm.
 
What did Kismet do?
 
Simply put she froze Al’s greenhouse heater and all of his prize plants in the greenhouse. Al was out on a sales trip and when he returned he found all of his prize plants dead
 
Al’s only statement was “That’s it! We’re out of here. We’re  putting the house up for sale on Monday.”  And in walked Kismet again and the house sold in three weeks. We needed to stay for school year end in June, and that’s how the sale contract was written.  But we were preparing. 
 
Al flew off to California, on business and in search of a new house. He found a house immediately in Thousand Oaks California, north of Los Angeles and south of Santa Barbara. I flew out on a midnight flight, met him at 4am and we drove to Thousand Oaks. We had breakfast around 6am at Du Pars Restaurant and Bakery. 
 
Du Pars has been a landmark and one of the best breakfast restaurants in the Los Angeles area. He knew he could win me over with food. He is a really good salesman. And he definitely sold me. 
 
We met the realtor at 9 am. It was in an area called Lynn Ranch. The house was on the edge of a gorge and had a peek view through the canyon to the ocean. The property was perfect for growing tropical plants and palm trees. It was an ideal replacement for the frozen greenhouse. No freezing weather here. By noon the papers were signed and we would be moving to Thousand Oaks in June. 
 
Dreams realized.
 
Enter my cousin Evelyn, who was more than family to me. She was my dearest friend and basically my older and very wise sister. I was the oldest sibling in my birth family and she was the youngest in hers.  A few years before our move to California, Evelyn had moved to the Berkeley area, and then to Lake Tahoe. So once again we were going to live near one another. How perfect. 
 
Evelyn had opened The Fourth Center and taught classes in meditation and self-healing. So there was kismet at work again. The classes were six week sessions, and perfect for me, since I was in search of finding Jackie. Eight weeks before our move date, I flew to Lake Tahoe and took that first six week set of classes. I stayed with Ev in her incredible two story, one bedroom cabin, with pot-belly wood burning stove, high up in the mountains on the backside of Squaw Valley. Not a place that most city born Chicagoans would choose to live. No fancy clothes, high heels or false eyelashes. The idea was to learn how to live in the unfamiliar. I was feeling more comfortable than I had in years. 
 
On my walk one afternoon, three lots from the cabin, was a brand new house with a for sale sign. I know I was directed to take that little hike up the road. The house looked exactly like an artist’s home/studio that I had seen some ten years earlier, while in Gatlinburg Tennessee. I programmed it, as I stood in those Great Smoky Mountains, that one day I would have a house/studio just like that. 
Tahoma California
And here it was, in Tahoma California. Yes, the next day I called a realtor, and made an independent Jackie decision. I bought that house, as a second home and mountain studio retreat. The realtor. friend of Evelyn’s, was Trinkie Watson, who has remained my dear friend to this day. When I phoned Al and told him of my dream realized, he said, “Other women shop for clothes” I was not like other women, but I was in heaven. Mot really heaven but 6286 feet high.
 
The New Adventure
 
Evelyn came up with a great idea for me. I could come on an art retreat, and teach drawing classes at the center. I would do them in six week sessions. Of course I had never taught. But her concept was that teaching is a way to learn what you know and what you need to learn. Truth is, I discovered more of me in her classes. That more of me became a really great drawing teacher. 
 
What I taught was a class for people who believed they had no talent. Yes I used all that I had learned about the difference between skill and talent. My students, like me, were in classes learning how to find their authentic self, letting go of their destructive past. And giving that new self some creative expression was a perfect healing. 
 
Teaching on the Road To Finding Jackie
This is how I taught. I taught how to use materials, i.e. charcoal, ink, crayons, and paper. I used live models, and taught many different drawing exercises. Draw without looking at the paper. Draw the model with eight lines, Then with seven, then with six and ending with only five lines. Draw with one continuous line. Do one minute drawings for ten minutes, followed by two 5 minute drawings. Several sets of those short poses, made the final twenty minute drawing feel like you had a ton of time.
 
Squaw Valley
 
One of my favorite memories of a student, was from classes that I taught at the original movie theater in Squaw Valley. The movie theatre and bar was first built for the 1960 Olympics known as the Far East Building.
Squaw Valley Winter Olympics 1960
I stood up on the stage with the model, while the students sat in the theater seats, with their drawing boards in hand and against the seat in front of them. One of the drawing exercises that I was teaching was to draw with your non-dominant hand. That’s a way to really loosen-up your drawings. 
 
Everyone was busy drawing when I noticed Robert. I had totally forgotten that he had only one arm. But there he was, charcoal pencil tucked under the armpit of his missing arm. He was leaning over his drawing board and moving his body to make his marks. He actually did a great drawing. Proving that when there is a desire there is a way.
 
Stardom and Talent
 
Another favorite memory is of a phone call from a local area resident. His name, Hoyt Axton, singer and composer of “Joy to the World” He said he heard that I was teaching classes for people who believed they couldn’t draw because they had no art talent. His wife was his pianist, and although she was musically gifted, she believed she had no other talent. So Hoyt made a deal with me. If I taught her to draw and helped remove that belief he would give me a very special gift.
 
On his upcoming Johnny Carson Tonight Show appearance, he would send a car for me to be his guest. And so a Rolls Royce appeared at my house and took me to the green room. And in that famous green room I watched the show until they returned after their appearance
 
Dinner at the Axtons
 
Yes Donna did some great drawings and removed the belief that she could never draw. They also invited me for dinner at their home. Hoyt had published several books of his drawings. He proudly gave me signed copies of three books.  Line Drawings: Vol. I and 2 Paperback – January 1, 1973 by Hoyt W. Axton (Author) and I Want You To Be Haopy 1973.
Hoyt Axton Drawings and SongsHoyt Wayne Axton
 
So Hoyt believed that we all have talents that we don’t use. Well I don’t know that they’re talents, but I do know that we all have more than we believe of ourselves. It’s just give that more of ourselves some information and tools, and we can all draw, paint, sculpt, do pottery, sew, cook, or do many other creative projects. And then become professional at it, if we stick with it. I call is stick-to-it-iveness. It’s about inspiration and perspiration. 
 
Lesson Learned
 
As I said, I really learned to teach. At the end of the six week set of twice a week classes, I would send each student off to draw, draw, draw. They couldn’t take another class with me for four months, and only if they returned with sketch books filled with drawings. Most people only needed two or three series of classes. They were now skilled and ready to work on their own with the artist that they awakened. I definitely believe that the student never grows as an individual, if they become dependent on a teacher. I definitely didn’t need any more dependents. 
 
This discovery of the authentic Jackie worked really well up there on the mountain top. It was all about me doing my own thing in a community of others on the same path. 
 
 
 
 
 
Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 10 – Tale of Two Lives

 

Jackie Medow-Jacobson

 

The artists life. 

 

The artists life. What’s the artists life like, with a family and friends? Mornings were to get my three kids off to school. And one day a week I drove to piano lessons. Then there were the denists, doctors, orthodontists, groceries etc. Some days I’d volunteer at the art department of the high school. 


Back to the Artists Life 

 
The next part of the day I was off to the studio, where I spent too many happy hours. Some days I would get lost in my painting and miss getting home in time for the family’s dinner. Dinner was usually prepared and ready, but sometimes I wasn’t ready to get back home. The studio was my sanity. And that’s the best part of the artists life. Of course, this part of my artists life was supported by my “sugar-daddy.”  Yes Al helped me with all of my art life expenses. Therefore those are the expenses that I couldn’t cover from sales of my art. 
 
And then there was my social life. We were friendly with two couples who lived in our area. One couple was extremely wealthy and did nothing all day. Their drug habit took up most nights. But their lives came to life on the weekends. The other couple worked as women’s clothing reps. They sold high end and very high fashioned clothing. 
 
Now the clothing couple felt that I definitely needed their help. They didn’t approve of one thing that I owned. So they were my fashion gurus. They selected my clothing and often gave me samples to add to my wardrobe. In other words, on weekends I was dressed by my friends.  
 

Let’s talk about my regular wardrobe.

 

My wardrobe basically consisted of jeans and tennis shoes. The majority of my artists life wardrobe was embellished with oil paints. 
 
Well, except for my weekend, ”go out for dinner with friends’ choice of clothes”; none of which I chose. All were chosen for me
 
Then there was my weekday makeup and jewelry.
I wore none except for my wedding ring.
 
But on the weekend I tried to follow my glamorous sister’s guidance. Makeup done by the Chicago area makeup artist for the models, Marilyn Miglin Studios. Skin, lips and eyes by Miglin. Eyes were the most fashionable false eyelashes made for both top and bottom lids. 
 
Yes I was a mannequin who socialized every weekend with her fancy friends. We frequented the finest restaurants in Chicago, mostly Italian and French. The artists life socially was not really me. That woman could fit into any Neiman Marcus display window. 
 

And then came the evening that definitely did me in. 

 
Here’s the details of the evening. We drove down to Michigan Avenue. Our car was given to the doorman and we climbed the stairs to the most elegant intimate French restaurant in Chicago. We were seated in this candlelit, quiet, very quiet little space. It was dark by normal standards, so dark that I was having a really hard time reading the appetIzer menu. After ordering our cocktails I heard Gloria say ”just bring us the left hand page.”
 
For a moment I thought I heard her wrong, so I said, Gloria did you just order the left hand page of appetizers? Yes she said. There were about 12 or 15 appetizers on that page. Quietly I asked “Why would you have done that?” Her answer, “how will we know how they all taste if we don’t try them?” I sat quietly for a moment, swallowed hard and realized I was lost. REALLY Lost!
 
I stood up and said, “I can’t do this anymore. And I started peeling off my eyelashes, then I took off the jewelry, one ring at a time. I removed the very uncomfortable fashionable jacket, and off came the necklace and those perfect bracelets. I turned to Al and said I don’t know who I am. Jackie is stuck between their world and reality and this is crazy. I have to leave and I am now in search of Jackie. She’s somewhere in here I know, as I tapped on my chest and said…. 
 

I can’t play this game of let’s pretend for one more minute.

 
My announcement was that I love all of you, but our values do not blend with one another’s values. I have to leave. I’ll take a taxi home. I’m going on a search for Jackie. 
 
That was the last time that I wore makeup, fancy clothes, high heels and the rest of the costume. No more dress-up for 10 years. Oh and I gave up wine and French food too.
 
What did I do next? Kismet took care of that.

 

My inspirations life

https://www.notablebiographies.com/Ni-Pe/O-Keeffe-Georgia.html
Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you.

 

Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 9 – Belly Dancer

 

The Model is a Belly Dancer

 

This story is another about drawing from the model. The model was a belly dancer. I’m back with my art career, and all distractions are in the rear view mirror. And I’m drawing or painting at least 5 days a week. 
 
So I’ve reunited with many of my artist friends. I’ve put out the word that if someone is hiring a new model, I’m really interested.
 

I must tell you about hiring models

 

With so many art schools, art groups and artists in the Chicago area, there aren’t many models doing the circuit. After a while it does get really boring, drawing and painting the same model week after week. 
 
The model who I remember vividly is a guy who posed in costume. I had him all through art school. His costume was Napoleon Bonaparte. I know you don’t need to see one of my drawings. Your imagination is absolutely correct. Weird. Very weird. And there were many weirdos among the stable of artist models. But this guy looked like Napoleon. 
 
So today I’m going to tell you about my favorite drawing of an artist model. My friend phoned and said that she has found a new model and has hired her for the next week. Would I like to draw with her and share the model fee? She’s hired a belly dancer, who was new at modeling. The arrangements my friend made with this model is that it would be one pose for the three hour session. 
 
Of all of the models in the Chicago circuit, there were many dancers but none were belly dancers. I was absolutely excited and couldn’t wait til the next Wednesday session. 


Wednesday arrived and I drove off to the suburb where my friend lived.

 

Her studio was in the 4rd floor loft. I arrived to find a note on the door, “We’re in the studio, Just come up“ This trip meant 3 flights of stairs with my heavy leather portfolio, drawing board and my favorite Oak Tag Manila paper. I actually had to stop at the third floor for a breath.
 
The door to the 4th floor loft was closed, but as I opened it I could hear the music, see my friend and the easel she had set up for me. Now from the bathroom where she had changed into her belly dancing skirt and top, came the belly dancer model.
 
Her skirt was on just below her navel, her breasts hardly fit in her top, her hair piled high on her head. She may have been a belly dancer, but she weighed somewhere between 350 and 400 pounds. Yes she had a belly, a very big belly. 
 
This surprise model could not have happened in the same month as the last guy that I drew, but it was in the same month. OK what should I do? Leave was one option, but I agreed to pay half the model fee. So I stayed. We spent at least 20 minutes trying to come up with a pose. 
 
The model said she had no problem standing and we agreed to make it just a two hour session, not the usual 3 hours. That meant 2- 20 minute poses with 2-10 minute breaks, each hour.

 

I did not draw in the first 20 minutes. It took me 20 minutes to setup my easel, side table, and attaching paper to drawing board. I used my favorite oak tag clipped to the board in landscape format, meaning 36” wide by 24” high. and clipped a second piece to a second board. And then I walked all around the model looking for the perfect view for my drawing. 
 
I picked my spot, moved my easel and stuff, and was ready to draw after her first break. The drawing began with her navel at the top of the page and drew just down to her knee (skirt included) Then I clipped the second piece of paper to the first and drew up from the navel to her neck.
 

At the break the model came over to see what I drew.

 
She paused, looked at the two pieces of paper clipped together and asked “couldn’t you get all of me on the two pieces?” I was excited to answer, wait until you see the rest. She went back to her pose and I took out a third piece of paper and drew in her legs and feet. I really loved her ankles and toes. And I must say I did a great job on her big toe. Another break and then another piece of paper. And now for the chin to the top of her head. She really had a pretty face and I became fascinated with all of the curves I’d been drawing. Her mouth had beautiful curves, her eyes were really curved and pretty, and her belly the most beautiful of all the curves
 
I did the drawing with a soft charcoal pencil, which meant for her hair and for her skirt, that I could blend the charcoal. Whereas the rest of the drawing was mostly lines of different weight. 
 
In the end the piece was now 96” tall x 36” wide. I think it was really a masterpiece if I must say so myself. And the model thought so too. I titled it Curves. 
 

Now there were my children and this drawing.

 

I had the four pieces framed individually in a narrow black moulding and hung them on the dining area wall. My chair at the table faced that wall. My three children sat at the side of the table and hated that they had to look at her through every meal of 5 years. But of course they were embarrassed that there were naked people on many walls of our house. 
 
It was difficult growing up with a Mom who was an artist. Their friends, on the other hand, thought it was cool. 
 

Well there you have it, Two of my favorite artists model stories.

 

No more about model stories. You now know what it’s like to hire models. Onward to some interesting parts of this art career.
 

10 Famous Belly Dancers

https://www.worldbellydance.com/10-famous-belly-dancers/

 

My Painting of Celebrities

https://jackiejacobson.com/product-category/wall-art/canvas-prints/celebrities/

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

Effective next story, I’m moving the schedule to every other Friday. I’m apologizing to you for the change, but I’m actually too busy painting, website upgrade and story writing. So I’m slowing down and so is my publishing schedule. See you with the next story in two weeks.

Thanks Jackie

Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you.https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-series/

Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 8 – Drawing with Illustrators

Photo -JACKIE – 1972

Life Figure Drawing

Artists Model

 

As good fortune would have it, weeks after I closed Botany House I got a phone call from my art school life figure drawing instructor. He knew that I loved to do life figure drawing from an artists model. 
 
George said that they have formed a group of Chicago area illustrators who worked for local newspapers and ad agencies. He told me that they meet every Thursday evening, 5 to 8 pm, at his downtown Chicago studio. He was wondering if I’d be interested in joining them. And actually after the session, they all go out for dinner at a local Greek restaurant. 
 
What a great way of getting back to my art career and to good Greek food. George is Greek so the food has to be good. And surrounded by professional illustrators would definitely be inspiring. Drawing from the artists model is my favorite weekly exercise.  
 
The following Thursday I packed my large black leather portfolio with a stack of 24×36” oak tag manilla colored papers. That color and size was always my favorite. Sturdy in body it didn’t wrinkle and stayed flat against the backboard I used to clip the paper onto. Of course I had other pads of paper but I loved the 24×36” size. My favorite drawing tools were charcoal pencils. which danced and sang on the smooth manila color paper. Occasionally I used very thin black ink pens. 
oak tag drawing paper
I arrived about a half hour late, heavy traffic from the suburbs to downtown Chicago. Then it took time to find parking. I trekked up the narrow creaky staircase with my large and very heavy portfolio in hand. I opened the door to the second floor studio where there were about 10 men, yes only men, seated and busily drawing from the model.
 

The Model

 
The model was on a model stand in the corner of the room, and everyone formed a semi-circle around him. As I walked around the room to find an open space and easel to set up for my drawing area, I noticed that not one of the artist’s drawings included the model’s penis. It was as if the model came without one. Amazing, these were professional illustrators, who were very used to details.
 
The model was a male, black man, nude with the longest penis I had ever seen. Now understand we had plenty of nude male models all through my art school years. So when I say the longest penis that I have ever seen, I have seen and drawn many and this was the longest!
 
So I set up my 24×36” tall paper and started at the top with the model’s navel. I decided to go to mid-thigh and to do a portrait of the part of the anatomy that none of these guys could see. I made this drawing extremely detailed since it was a closeup “Portrait of a Penis” my title. On the 10 minute break I continued to add details to my drawing, since I arrived late. Remember this was a life sized or larger than life drawing.
As the guys took their break, word got out to take a look at my drawing. They’d stretch, yawn and wander near the windows behind me to see what I was doing. After the break they returned to their spots and continued on what was this long one hour pose, with two ten minute breaks. 
 
As is customary in a long drawing pose, you would walk up closer to the model to see details that are hard to observe from a distance. Those were usually details in the face, but not in this case. And so I did walk up close to observe veins, hair etc that I chose to include in this once in my art career drawing. On completion I think it was one of my finest drawings ever. But most of all it was a statement to these guys who were there to draw, but obviously intimidated.
 
As for me it was how I introduced myself to my new found art friends. We ultimately did become art buddies and I can report that they did include all parts of the anatomy in their drawings after they took their break and saw my drawing. It’s a fun memory. I actually can’t share the drawing because it was sold to a silver and goldsmith artist who loved the scale I chose for this portrait. Goldsmiths work on tiny detailed pieces. 
 
This could have been another piece in the “Erotica” series, but I didn’t repeat the moment or that kind of portrait again. I really prefer drawing faces. It was a fun moment in time in this lengthy art career.

 

The Art of Modeling

https://www.artofmodeling.org/

 

Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you. https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-series/

Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 7 – Botany House

 

Bromeliads

Al Collected Bromeliads

 

About Al’s Hobby

My pal Al had a great greenhouse and he specialized in bromeliads. His plant collection of bromeliads was world class. Al learned all that he knew about this family of plants from the man who discovered them in Costa Rica.
 
Al met Mulford Foster on one of his business trips to Florida. Mulford brought back live plants from Costa Rica and recorded them with the Smithsonian. The two men became good friends, Foster in his very late 80’s and Al in his mid 40’s. 
 
Al’s territory was national but somehow he kept flying off to Ocala Florida where Foster “father of Bromeliads” recreated a rain forest on his property which was filled with the original plant species he discovered. Al would come home to Chicago, suitcase in hand filled with gift plants from Foster, which were wrapped in newspaper and slightly damp. The bromeliads got potted up, put out on our patio and neighbors and friends would buy every single one.
 

Magazine Feature

 
Word got out about Al’s collection when Better Homes and Gardens was starting a new magazine. They approached him for an article and an introduction to his mentor. 

Bromeliads

Well it wound up that they photographed and featured me in Al’s greenhouse with his incredible bromeliads. Those are the plants that were my models for my Northwestern University Library art show.
 
On a trip to Florida Al had a brainstorm. His brilliant idea was that in the center of Northbrook Illinois, the Chicago suburb where we lived, was a wonderful old historic house that was for rent. Al’s idea was to rent the house and open a plant shop on the first floor. And we could use the second floor for art studios, where my studio partners and I would all paint and sell our art and be a wonderful artistic attraction. We submitted our idea along with a rental application.  Al flew off to Florida and ordered $3000 worth of bromeliads from several growers.
 
Yes you guessed right. The city would not approve our rental. But of course the plants were already shipped. And we actually had incorporated the new business which we called Botany House. Great name, no house. 
 
So Al rented a warehouse in a small industrial park. Since he was the family bread-winner he wasn’t ready to quit his job, so I got elected to get his little business started and he would takeover when it was up and running.
 

BROCHURE

Bromeliad

I called on some of my art buddies, one who photographed the plants, and one who designed posters and handouts. They created a mailer to send to all florists in the city of Chicago and within a month I had a customer base and an active business. My staff consisted of a 17 year old, one of our sons friends. After school, he did all of the potting, plant care, and preparation for shipping the next days orders. My father now in his 70’s did all of the order deliveries by truck. I had an assistant who shared the office with me and my Dad. 


Botany House was an immediate success.

 

No wholesaler in Chicago carried bromeliads. We were so busy that we had to start importing from Holland. Our first order arrived in time for Valentines Day. The airline unloaded our shipment at OHare airport and left the cases out on the runway in early February. Yes you’ve got it right…the entire shipment froze on that runway, and we lost 90% of our Valentines plant orders. Disaster!
 
Meanwhile I had not been in my studio for months. Galleries were calling wanting some of my artwork and there I was,  running a plant business. My studio partners were asking when I was going to return and I began to wonder if success would end my art career.
 
In March I asked Al to quit his job and takeover Botany House. He said he would do that at the end of his season. I bought his story, mostly because Al was a very good salesman.

I ordered plants from Hawaii for Mothers Day and was hopeful that soon I would return to making art. The Mothers Day plants arrived in mid April. The plants looked beautiful until the next morning. They were shipped damp, and they all got fungus from the darkness and dampness.
 

The next morning I arrived at the warehouse and totally black dead plants. 

 
After I finished screaming and crying, I phoned Al in Florida, and told him that by the time he returned home, the business would be dissolved. Yes dissolved, ended, completed…done.  Next I phoned our lawyer to immediately start that process, and I phoned a friend who ran a large factory. Then I drove all of the remaining plants that were alive and healthy and sold them off at cost to his 100’s of factory employees. I really meant DONE!
 
I did a warehouse sale of the office furniture and equipment and Botany House was now history. What remains to this day are a few beautiful handouts and a great magazine article. 
 
Another one year chapter in the adventures of my life has ended. And my goal was to get back to making art.
 
Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you. https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-series/

 

Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 6 – Evanston Art Fair

 

Art Center Evanston IL

Do You Volunteer?

 

Evanston Art Festival

 

I was asked to join a group of volunteers to address envelopes. In other words for the following years Evanston Art Festival. Of course I said yes. Nothing hard about addressing envelopes. Moreover, I can print nicely. I arrived to find this very corporate looking group of people seated and dressed in business attire. However they were not exactly who I thought of as artists. I was seated at a long conference table sounding very businessey. The group talked about raising money and the usual cost of the annual event. Above all who would do what and who will head up committees.
 
I never raised my hand, never asked a question, and never answered any questions. Where were the envelopes that were to be addressed? At the end of the evening I was elected co-chairman of this art festival. In conclusion to this day, I don’t know how they knew I was in the room. And for sure I don’t know how I wound up co-chairman.
 
And last but definitely not least. I never did get to address envelopes!
 

My project was titled Fund Development.

 

Development literally means run around and plead for money from local big businesses. I was told it’s about building relationships that will make those fundraising activities sustainable. Fund development for an art festival involves strategic targeting of prospective donors. In other words clear and impactful communications, and strong internal structures that support philanthropy. Yikes that’s definitely not artistic
 

The Art Festival Phyical Layout

 

My other project was to do the physical layout of the festival. The property is right on Lake Michigan, so my plan was for large sculptures, conceptual art, and ceramics to be displayed outdoors. I even used the beach for modern interpretive dance. However the outdoor property would also have the food vendors and music. 
 
For the first time in the art festival history- all visual art would be indoors with a small 3 piece classical music group. I was quoted in the Chicago Tribune that “Visual Art-Drawings and Paintings deserve the respect that an indoor exhibition provides.”
(Remember please that I display and sell my visual art prints at an outdoor street fair in Palm Desert California)
 
The art festival is in early August on the grounds of the historic Harley Clarke mansion. It is an annual Saturday event with an attendance of 20,000 expected. Therefore I spent one difficult year of volunteer work. The festival work took up most of every day of my life and left me no time for my studio, for painting, for family and for friends.
This art festival was life consuming. I did much of the work because volunteers weren’t easy to come by. 

Most of all…I hated fund raising. Asking large corporations for money was not my thing. But I had to do it
 

The Jury

 
Firstly the art festival is a juried art show. Secondly there were over 600 applicants in the visual arts area. Tons of artist wanted to be in this prestigious art festival.  Thirdly and most importantly after the jurying only 39 artists showing paintings, prints and drawings were selected. Moreover only 18 sculptors and 15 ceramics exhibitors were chosen. In conclustion It was a tough jury, but a very high quality group of artists were selected. I was very proud of our show.
 

Showtime Has Arrived

 
The indoor show got hung on Friday. I couldn’t wait til the morning. And here’s what happened on Saturday morning…
 
A major rain storm arrived which was NOT forecast at all. Above all I mean STORM.  The artists started to set up when it began to pour. I had to call the fire department to block traffic access. Everything had to be moved. After that everyone (the artists and their artworks) were moved indoors…except for the dancers. They were wanting to do their modern dance in the rainstorm on the beach behind the mansion. It was a mess and no one could really attend. However, the storm continued with no letup, thru Sunday afternoon.
 

One year of work, literally, washed down the storm drains.

 

Budget wise, I bought thousands of dollars worth of hotdogs, buns and drinks. In addtion they were donated to local churches (the churches were very happy) Therefore, other than for the churches, nothing good came from this event. For instance not for the artists, not for the city, and definitely not for me. Above all, I knew for certain that outdoor art festivals were not my cup of tea, or coffee, or anything liquid. As records have it, this was the first rainout for this annual festival in ten years. 
 
And…I never volunteered for any envelope addressing or chairmanship or for sure fund raising – ever again.
 

Evanston Art Center today

https://www.evanstonartcenter.org/

 

New Products

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Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you. https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-series/
Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 5 – Art Show Northwestern

 
 

One Woman Art Show

 

Art Show – Northwestern University Library

 

Would I be interested in having a one woman art show?

On one of my days at the Evanston Art Center I was again approached by a board member, who asked if I would be interested in having a one woman art show at Northwestern University library. I actually had an art show a few months before at a small gallery in Chicago. 
 
But Northwestern was a much more prestigious idea. Pretty exciting for me in a relatively short time after leaving school. I visited the library and saw that it was a very large space. Perfect because I actually had a large body of work on canvas, mostly nudes. In fact 90% nudes, and mostly females. I also felt that it would be comprehensive with just one theme. 
 
The date for the art show was 4 months away. I was beyond excited. Approximately 6 weeks before the show I received a phone call advising me that the press releases have all been released to the major newspapers. That meant the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times and several regional papers. And a photographer was coming to do a photo shoot for a magazine article. Now I was really excited. Not bad for someone whose art career started with paint by number paintings. I think my largest paint by number canvas size was 18”x24”. And this art show would be with canvases most 48”x60” 
Then the last minute statement in that phone call. The speaker, “Oh Jackie, were you told that there is one stipulation? Because it’s a public library, you can’t show nudes.” My answer, “You’ve got to be kidding? Nudes is what I have been showing everywhere.” Nudes were my specialty. And that was my body of work. I swallowed hard and said, “then please cancel the show.
 
She said Jackie, “this isn’t some small town, IT’S CHICAGO. It’s 6 weeks away and if you ever want to show in Chicago again, you can’t cancel.”  Now I had a giant dilemma. 
 
I needed to have at least 10 new paintings 48”x60”, my medium was oil paints and they took weeks to dry even if I could paint them. What could I possibly do? 
 
My solution was my small at home art studio. I announced that for 6 weeks I would eat and sleep in our finished basement, and paint in the little 12’x15’ studio. Al stretched 10 canvases for me. And I went to Al’s greenhouse where I selected 10 of his interesting small bromeliad plants. They all were in flower, and the flower shapes were very erotic.
 
I needed to have at least 10 new paintings 48”x60”, my medium was oil paints and they took weeks to dry even if I could paint them. What could I possibly do? 
 
My solution was my small at home studio. I announced that for 6 weeks I would eat and sleep in our finished basement, and paint in the little 12’x15’ studio. Al stretched 10 canvases for me. And I went to Al’s greenhouse where I selected 10 of his interesting small bromeliad plants. They all were in flower, and the flower shapes were very erotic.
 
 
art show
art show
 
But they weren’t nudes. The plants were in 4” pots and were about 6” tall. I blew them way up in scale, drew them on white backgrounds, and they became erotic shapes of intense color. My solution was to use thin layers of oil washes, layer after layer until they became extraordinary. I slept little and painted joyfully. The family was so supportive, and brought down all my meals.
 
The completed body of work was seven- 48×60” pieces and one triptych of 30×40”each. I also showed six 18”x24” framed and matted charcoal drawings of these bromeliads.
I called the series “Erotica”. Of course there was no way to keep the background of the canvas white without color splatter. So my final week was to paint a new layer of white paint and I carried the paintings into the art show…WET. Yes wet paint! I had small signs hung that said… WET PAINT. The show was hung the day before opening night. All I wanted to do was sleep.
 
I arrived on opening night and found a totally crowded show. I mean crowded. At least 100 people. Wine and snacks, happy talk and music. I was overwhelmed. And how was the show received? It Sold Out the first night with an additional 3 custom commissions.
art show
Erotica – Just a Little Pink
 
One commission was memorable. They wanted the most erotic drawing blown way up but painted in sepia and white with just a little pink. Title of course Erotica – Just a Little Pink. It hung in the window of a Michigan Avenue Hair Salon for years. Then it ended up in a divorce custody battle.
 
It wound up being moved to Palm Springs California. And.some 30 years after that art show, I too moved to Palm Springs. I actually got to visit that piece …Just a Little Pink. It hangs in a restored mid-century home with the traditional colors of the1950’s… pink and turquoise. How perfect. 

And what did this show really do for me. It gave me the courage to leave the familiar and to explore new ideas. And to this day I do that very think.

Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you. https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-series
 
INTERESTING ARTICLES ABOUT TALENT
https://www.thoughtco.com/van-gogh-sold-only-one-painting-4050008

10 Master Drawers (and What They Teach Us)

 
 
Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 4 – Invite to Studio

ART STUDIO

 
During my three years in Art School I worked evening hours, after my kids were in bed, doing income tax returns for an accountant. 
 
Yes I actually am one of those people who uses both sides of their brain. I took accounting classes when living in St. Louis, so that I could use that skill in our business. It kept me well employed so that I could pay for tuition and art materials.
 
Right after I graduated art school, we built a new home in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook. Down in our finished basement was my 12’ x15’ art studio. A wonderful room, with a shelf along the wall to hold paintings in progress, and several easels, a table with a glass palette for the oil paints, large bottles filled with paint burshes (at least 50 large sized brushes (nothing smaller than a size 18, with 2 little ones #4 and #6 sable brushes for signing) I always painted with brushes larger than anyone in my art classes.
 
I also joined the Evanston Art Center, an incredible old mansion on the Lake Michigan waterfront in Evanston IL. It was a great place for artists to gather, exchange ideas, and where classes were offered. In the 3rd floor ballroom, it became an art studio where we had models and drawing sessions several days a week.
 
On a monthly basis there was an art show of members’ artwork. I entered a show and, amazingly, I was awarded first place for a painting. I no longer have the piece. Unfortunately my whole portfolio is gone. Too many moves, too many moving losses.
But…a few days after the show I was approached by two artists, who were inviting me to share a loft studio that they had in Chicago, right near Loyola University. It was in an old loft building. 
 
The art studio was 6000 square feet, with an additional office and sitting room in the front. The sitting room had windows, and the main space had only a door to a fire escape. 
 
My space was in the center next to the conveyor belt which came up from the loading dock on the street level. I was lucky enough to have a storage room in my space, where I kept all of my canvases and extra supplies. 
Ventilation was not to be had, but great company was always available. And every once in a while the conveyor belt would start to work and one or two guys would appear to see who and what I was painting. They loved my nudes. 

There were four of us in the back and one person in the front office. Alan was our leader, he collected and paid the rent and ordered the groups art supplies. Alan’s night work was with NBC where he was film editor of the Chicago feed of the Today Show. His art consisted of many 12 foot long paintings of a single goldfish. Remember he was staring at tiny film strips all night.
 
Eleanor Dixon, Alan’s wife painted small paintings and drawing of imaginary little people. I always wondered about her people until I saw her other artwork. She was a courtroom illustrator who did the best watercolor illustrations of sensational murderers on trial. 
And Olga shared the space next to me. Olga was a retired radio actress. After her 30 year career she enrolled in the Chicago Art Institute and graduated with a fine art degree. Olga worked in cold rolled steel which she etched with acid, to create incredible surfaces. And all while she worked she would in the low toned Russian accent of one of her instructors say “ Olga you do not have an artists sensibility.” What she didn’t have was a sense of how harmful to our health those acids were. One afternoon as I painted awaym I looked over her way and she was about to pass out. Thank goodness for the fire escape, where I dragged her half conscious body. 
 
Last episode of the many studio adventures. On my second day in the art studio, Alan said “the reason I invited you to join us is that I could see your potential. But now you have to forget everything you learned in those three years in art school and find Jackie.” She’s not visible in your work but your instructors are.”
 

It took about a year but I uncovered Jackie.

 
That’s the artist that you know today. 
 
OK just one more story. Late afternoon and I’m home watching the news. The big news was a 4 alarm fire on Loyola avenue. Yikes, it was the building next to our studio. I grabbed the phone, called Alan and asked if he got us fire insurance. You know he was very much, a typical artist. Details, finances and things like insurance were not his long suit. Of course we didn’t have insurance. Fortunately that fire did not affect our building, thanks to the Chicago Fire Department.
 
I took over paying all the bills for our studio group. Bought fire insurance and balanced the books monthly. My gift wasn’t that I was born with talent. My real gift is being able to use both sides of my brain. That gift has carried me far in this lifetime.

Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you. https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-
INTERESTING ARTICLES ABOUT TALENT
https://www.thoughtco.com/van-gogh-sold-only-one-painting-4050008

10 Master Drawers (and What They Teach Us)

 
 
Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 3 – Hair

 

HAIR

About My Hair. 


Now that I have confronted and conquered my lack of ability to draw, it became obvious that it was time to confront my biggest problem in life. 
 
I had this stuff on the top of my head. Now I was a young girl, about age four. No I wouldn’t call it hair, I guess it would be called a bush. Fuzz, fuzz and more fuzz.
 
My mother would try to brush it and I would spend the next ½ hour crying. The brush would pull and be so painful. She’d eventually get the hair into long finger curls and by the next morning it was fuzz again. And the pain would start all over.
 
Now it was time to go to school. No time for that kind of ritual, so she’d take me to the beauty parlor where I would definitely leave without beauty. The lady would basically shave me head and leave me with what looked like a boys haircut. Until high school I just lived with the pain of how I appeared.
 
But then I started high school which was a mixed race school. I also had very dark skin, and after a summer in the sun, I was extremely suntan with black fuzz on top. I was now in charge of my hair, so I let it get a little longer. My problem was that it would not stay in any style for any period of time. And in those days there were no hair products. But in a mixed race school, I actually felt like I belonged. There were plenty of girls who had my same problem. And I was accepted because I didn’t really look out of place. 
 
In the last half of my senior year we moved about 40 miles to the Northside of Chicago. New school, all white and me and my hair. But I was welcomed into the class, met Norma who is my dearest friend to this day, she introduced me to Bobbie, and we were 3 buddies. Norma had and still has the most beautiful perfectly thick, straight light brown hair. Oh how I envied her hair. We graduated, went on to the University of Illinois, Chicago Branch. But that was short lived. I met Al who accepted me, with that very dark skin and very difficult hair. He never saw me that way. In his eyes I was beautiful.
 
My obsession became the beauty salon, where I would have hair washed one day a week, and go back two more days a week for what was called comb-outs. Oh the money I spent on my hair. I even considered going into partnership with my hair stylist. We were now living in St Louis Missouri. I was told my hair would relax after childbirth. I gave birth to two my two daughters in St.Louis Relaxed hair was a myth. After our move back to Chicago my hair got totally unmanageable. Many a night I cancelled on our dinner dates and would retreat to bed, where I would hide from myself.
 
I was doing my ritual 3 day a week beauty salon, when Robert my hairstylist asked me the very best question. How can you as an artist, devote so much time on your appearance? Why don’t you just let it be really natural?
 
And so here’s the  photo of my acceptance of my wonderful hair. That was the last salon visit. I trimmed my own hair when it needed it and do that to this day.
Another problem confronted and resolved. It only took 30 years. As part of my art life, I would model for other artists. Here’s a painting done by Chicago artist, Tom Dudas. Everyone loved painting my hair. And I loved their paintings.

Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you.
https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-series/
Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 2 – Art School Years

 

 

Art Academy Years

I registered for a 6 week class in drawing/painting at the local community center. The results of those six Wednesday night, 3 hour classes. One partly completed oil painting of tulip flowers. I spent 3 of those weeks trying to draw the tulips, before I touched the paints. Everyone else finished 3 paintings in the 6 weeks.
 

About The Art Academy

 

My friend took me to her school. There I was at The American Academy of Art in Chicago. I registered for a 3 year program, studying studio art with a concentration in oil painting and figure drawing.That’s a big change from Craft Master paint by number kits. My drawing instructor said drawing is all about seeing. So for 6 weeks we focused on drawing in charcoal from plaster casts, until we could really see what was there; the old master’s way of drawing in those European academies.
 
Then for six more weeks we painted from photographs. Here is my first painting after 12 weeks of classes.
art academy painting

Drawing and painting from life

 
Now we began the real work.  That means from a breathing and often moving human being. Three times a week we spent 3 hours drawing from the nude live model. 1 minute poses, 3 minute poses, 5 minute poses and the long 20 minute pose at the end of the session.  Three more hours of painting from another model, who was sometimes clothed. Oh yes and then there were the drapery sessions (drawings of cloth in charcoal to learn how to see clothing)
 
In year three I built the human form in clay, starting with the skeleton, adding the muscles and then the flesh on one side of the sculpture.At the end of those three years I now had the skill of being able to see, and to draw. They call that graduation. I call that just the beginning of my adventurous art career. Because what I now know is that once you have the skill, what you do with it becomes the Gift. To keep things somewhat in time it is now 1968.

https://www.aaart.edu/

Checkout my cuttingboards

https://jackiejacobson.com/product-category/home-decor-gifts/gift-idea/cuttingboard/

 


Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you. https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-series/

 

 

Artist Jackie Jacobson

Chapter 1 – Gift of Talent

 
 

Gift of Talent!

 

“Were you born with the gift of talent?”

That’s the question that I’m most asked.

 
Every person who sees a piece of my art says “ I can’t draw a stick figure, you must have been born with the gift of talent.”
So today I’m going to talk about my lack of gift of talent at birth and beyond. 
 
My gift and passion since I was four years old.has been for color, I was a happy little artist with coloring books, crayons and a knife to scrape the wax. Without the coloring book I was unskilled and unable to do anything artistic. 
 
Continuing on to grammer school, I literally showed no talent. My gift was my academic ability. So after 4th grade I worked in the principal’s office doing typing, during art and music classes. Yes I was one of the few kids who could type in 4th grade. I became a little secretary.
 
The Reason for no Art classes… I could not draw. Remember I wasn’t born with the gift of talent.
 
My gifted Dad, who could draw, drew all of my report covers. Actually he did that for me through high school ( where I volunteered in the department for the blind instead of taking art and music )
 
Onward to my mid 20’s. I discovered paint by number. I was in heaven, painting every clown, horse, vase of flowers, etc. Craft Master Paint by Number was my opening to a career in art.
 
I graduated to ordering large sized paint by number kits. I bought an easel and at night my kitchen table became my studio. With a palette on the table next to my easet, I mixed color # 10 with color # 12 and created transition colors for my masterpiece.I was now in my 3rd year of painting by number. That was my obsession. One evening I was painting a large famous artist reproduction when an artist friend came over to visit in my studio ?
 
She asked with amazement in her voice “What are you doing? Why don’t you just buy a canvas and paint?” My admission. I wasn’t born with the gift of talent and I could not draw. She changed my life. She told me that  drawing is a skill and can be learned, just like sewing is a skill. I could sew. She eventually took me to her art school where I registered and spent 3 years learning the truth.
 
Oh yes I can now draw.
 
It’s a skill that can be learned. But truth is I was not born with talent, I was born with a love of color. And most of all perserverance. 
In the coming weekly chapters you’ll travel thru my art career and life adventures.I’ve often been told that with my interesting life experiences, I should write a book. Well here it is. Stay tuned and thanks so much for reading along.

Would you be kind enough to have friends and family who’d be interested in this series “Meet The Artist”  sign up to become a friend of the artist. Thank you. https://jackiejacobson.com/meet-the-artist-
INTERESTING ARTICLES ABOUT TALENT
https://www.thoughtco.com/van-gogh-sold-only-one-painting-4050008

10 Master Drawers (and What They Teach Us)

 
 

About Vincent Van Gogh Bedroom Paintings

Van Gogh Painting His Bedroom

Two video lessons on the art of Vincent van Gogh’s Painting Of His Bedroom. We learn about van Gogh’s famous Bedroom painting and the van Gogh self portrait. Enjoy both videos. It’s an opportunity to learn the hows, whys and whats of Vincent van Gogh.

Enjoy!

Jackie-Jacobson- artist

Speakers: Dr. Beth HarrisDr. Steven Zucker

Van Gogh

van Gogh “The Bedroom”

Vincent van Gogh, The Bedroom, 1889, oil on canvas, 29 x 36-5/8 inches / 73.6 x 92.3 cm (Art Institute of Chicago)

The Bedroom, 1889
Oil on canvas
29 x 36 5/8 in. (73.6 x 92.3 cm)
Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection, 1926.417
Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture Gallery 241  Art Institute Chicago — Permanent collection label

 vanGogh – About “The Bedroom”

Vincent van Gogh’s three versions of this composition are the only record he made of the interior of the Yellow House. Arles in the south of France iswhere he lived.

The house embodied the artist’s dream of a “Studio of the South.” A community of like-minded artists working in harmony to create art for the future.

The first version of The Bedroom (van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) was one of the paintings van Gogh made to decorate the house in anticipation of the arrival of his first guest, Paul Gauguin.

“It’s just simply my bedroom,” he wrote, “only here color is to do everything. To be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In a word, looking at the picture ought to rest the brain, or rather the imagination.”

Gauguin’s stay at the Yellow House would be fraught with tension. After two months, van Gogh’s self-mutilation and Gauguin’s flight back to Paris ended the Studio of the South.

van Gogh made this second version of The Bedroom about a year after the first, While he was living at an asylum in Saint-Rémy.

Post-Impressionism

The work of van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Seurat together constitute Post-Impressionism. Yet their work is so varied and unrelated, we might never otherwise think of these four artists as a group.
 
Certainly van Gogh and Gauguin were friends and they briefly painted together. Each of these artists was concerned with solving particular issues that had to do with their own individual sensibility. Ironically, if anything ties these artists together it is this focus on subjectivity.
 
Read more intersting articles. https://jackiejacobson.com/blog/

Georgia O’Keeffe

I’m GEORGIA O’KEEFFE

Georgia O’Keeffe Paintings

Georgia O’Keeffe  paintings – my inspiration. Well here are the New York City paintings.

Once again she’s got me. I really long to live among these skyscrapers, and here I am in the desert. She did both!

How fortunate to have this video : to see her and hear her describe some of her life experiences. Enjoy with me!

artist - Jackie Jacobson

NEW YORK CITY

Georgia O’Keeffe Paintings

The Barren Landscape

and expansive skies of the desert, Georgia O’Keefe would become chiefly known for paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones, and the quiet beauty of open skies and sun-drenched terrains. However, it is her paintings of New York city done in the 1920?s that have always captured my imagination and linger in memory.

The drama and excitement of the modern metropolis at that time in history was unmistakable. Embodied in landmark skyscrapers like the American Radiator Building located at West 40th Street, in midtown Manhattan. Designed by Raymond Hood, the combined Gothic and modern styles in the design of the Radiator Building was massive. Therefore, solid, and illustrious. In other words, a feat of wonder erected to match the prosperity of the period.

Black brick on the frontage of the building (symbolizing coal) was prominently featured while other parts of the facade were covered in gold bricks (symbolizing fire).

The entry was decorated with marble and black mirrors in a style reminiscent of an Ayn Rand dream. Ornamented and sculptured, it was an edifice of opulence, particularly after dark when the upper floors were illuminated with floodlights.

 

Night View

The building at night in the changing skyline of New York that Georgia O’Keeffe captured in her wonderfully theatrical interpretation, “Radiator Building at Night.”

Painted from her window on the thirtieth floor of the Shelton Hotel.  She shared the apartment with her husband, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. O’Keeffe detailed flooded lights illuminating the sky at right.  And at left, a bright red marquee ablaze with the name “Stieglitz” in its glow.

Georgia O’Keeffe painting of the Radiator in 1927 (the same year as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, tellingly) is remarkable for its color. And for the depiction of the artificial light of the city night – the purple/blue tints of floodlights and the fluorescent whites of the office towers. There’s a touch of warm incandescence in windows here and there. The stylized smoky steam arising from the building at the right echoes the flipped curved cornices of the Radiator’s top floors. It’s pure theater.

City Night, 1926

The importance of the skyscraper at the time cannot be overlooked; it was considered a distinctly American “thing,” signifying symbols of modern technology. How it was to be represented in an accurate and aesthetically pleasing way became a challenge to photographers and painters alike in the New York art world. For artists like Charles Demuth and Charles Sheeler, for example, the mystique of the skyscraper was so great, it ultimately, became their muse.

Europeans visiting New York were equally fascinated with the architectural feats. “The appeal America exercised was possible because America was free. It was unlimited in space, it abounded in natural resources and in money. It knew no tradition, it had no history.”

During those early years in New York, Georgia O’Keeffe grew to know the many early American modernists who were part of Stieglitz’s circle of friends. They included Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Paul Strand and Edward Steichen. Strand’s photography, as well as that of Stieglitz and his many photographer friends, was instrumental in inspiring O’Keefe’s work (as evidenced below).

New York with Moon, 1925

Georgia OKeeffe Painting

Georgia OKeeffe – Painting “New York Moon”

While Georgia O’Keeffe’s New York paintings bear a romantic characteristic. In other words resembling that of the Romantic movement and its fascination for glowing celestial bodies and halos. Painted  in mystical colors, her urban works are most closely associated with the American art movement of the 1920’s known as Precisionism, or Cubist Realism. 

The Shelton with Sunspots, 1926

Georgia O'Keeffe Paintings

Georgia O’Keeffe ” The Shelton with Sunspots”

 Many critics found mystical meaning in her work. O’Keefe, herself,  claimed she had no tolerance for such faulty interpretations. In response to those misguided dreamers, she emphatically noted:

“The things they write sound so strange and far removed from what I feel of myself. They make me seem like some strange unearthly sort of creature floating in the air. Like I  breath in clouds for nourishment. When the truth is that I like beef steak – and like it rare at that.”

Georgia O’Keeffe was considered the premier female artist of the 20th century, a title she considered sexist.

Unusually private, O’Keeffe was rather bored by people and society, preferring to live and work in relative solitude. She was an intense, plainspoken woman who lived in the moment, focusing on the essence of things in her life. As well as her art, and eliminating the superfluous.

 

Hang Pictures #2

 Wall Decorating Ideas

Precise Rules for Hanging Pictures

[leadplayer_vid id=”51B5E2E6E8B6C”]
It’s not uncommon to see people who have a lot of art who don’t know how to hang it.

Yes, the Wall Art is beautiful, but the way it’s hung takes away from both the art and its surroundings.

So here’s a few simple rules. Follow them, and you’ll get oohs and ahhs from every visitor.

Hanging Pictures – Rule 1 – Aim to have a painting occupy two-thirds to three-quarters of a wall.

wall decorating

Nashville Interior Designer Beckwith Interiors

Large walls occupied by postage-stamp sized pieces result in art that loses its potential impact.

Rule 2 – Keep your art centered at eye level.

Keeping the art at this height makes it easier for the viewer to appreciate the painting.

Take into account whether you will be sitting or standing when you view a piece. This painting hangs a little lower because it’s in a dining room where it will be seen when sitting.

Rule 3 – Picture Arranging Ideas  The bottom edge of a piece should hang no higher than 6 to 12 inches above the furniture.

paintings

by New York Interior Designer Glenn Gissler Design

The idea is that the painting helps define the space. If it floats too high above furniture it will feel disconnected. If it sits lower, it will help tie together a furniture grouping. Here’s where the 57” rule applies.

 

 Rule 4 – Create a gallery wall tied together by colors, theme or materials.

Gallery -  Art

New York Interior Designer Thom Filicia Inc.

Taupe, beige and sepia tones come together to create a gallery wall that feels very integrated.

 

 Rule 5 – Make art the inspiration for the entire room. 

decorating walls

Atlanta Interior Designer Christy Dillard Kratzer

Deep brown and reds were used as a starting point to design the rest of the room, to great success.

 

START WITH THE ART FIRST

Wall decorating

Dahlia I • Rose XXX • Dahlia Bouquet © Jacobson 2013

Yes I like to start with the artwork and then create the rest of the room. But that’s not always possible, so choose art that makes you feel good in Your Room.
If you feel good with the artwork…so will your guests.

Hang Art

Hang Pictures – Eye Level • Dahlia I Painting ©Jacobson 2013

Rotate Your Art. That’s all it takes to redecorate and make your home feel new.
Think seasons and change your room by changing where the art is hanging.
When you move the art, it will look entirely new to you. And your home will feel new too.
I hope you enjoyed this article, learned something new and that you’re inspired to move around some of your art pieces.

Please leave your comment below. I love hearing your thoughts and ideas.

 

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Here’s a video that got great reviews.
It’s always hard to know just how to hang those pictures
Well now you will.
How High to Hang you Artwork?

CLICK HERE  – WATCH THE VIDEO – 57” Rule

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Are You Visiting Palm Springs Soon?

What should you do on the weekend in the Palm Springs area?

  • Shop and have fun at the largest Street Fair in the area?
  • 340 Vendors
  • Arts – Crafts – and much more
  • Free Parking
  • Free Admission

Meet me at the College of the Desert Street Fair. I’m in booth #75, every Saturday and Sunday, October – May.  I do paint in the studio from June thru September. If you’re in town, please call and make an appointment to visit my at home studio. 760.831.1190  You’ll find hanging pictures and wall decorating ideas in my booth at the street fair and at my home/studio.

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Hanging Pictures

HANGING PICTURES

Wall Decorating Idea

 

 

 

Hanging Pictures

Today’s wall decorating idea is about hanging pictures.
For sure…most pictures are hung too high.
To perfectly enjoy your artwork or photos, here’s the rule used by art galleries and museums.
No guess work…no extra holes.

57″ is Eye Level

 

Hanging Pictures

Hanging Pictures – Eye Level

Rooms Where You Sit – Hanging Pictures

  • Living/Dining Room
  • Kitchen
  • TV Room
  • Home Office

How High should you hang pictures?

The center of the picture should be 57″ from the floor is the answer. That’s eye level

The main thing is to be consistent. Do it the same every time.

It creates balance rather than having things feels scattered.

Hanging Pictures – Step by Step – How To…

  1. Measure and lightly mark 57″ on the wall.
  2. Measure from the top of your picture to the middle (or take the height and divide by 2)
  3. Measure the top of your picture to the tightened wire (a small amount)
  4. Subtract this last amount to tell you how far above 57″ your hook should go
  5. Measure up from 57″ with this last amount and lightly mark on the wall.

There it is…the Center of all of your hanging pictures is 57″ and you are just figuring out  ” where the hook goes above it”

Not bad. That’s pretty easy.

Whether you’re hanging a single canvas or a group of framed art pieces the technique is the same.

Exception

Hanging Pictures

Hanging Pictures in Hallways

All rules have an exception.

I prefer 60″ in rooms where you’ll see the art when STANDING, such as hallways and  bathroom, .

So the same rule applies, just change your number from 57″ to 60″

Time to Hang or Rehang Your Pictures

Now get out that tape measure and hammer.

Have fun hanging pictures so that both you and your guests will say WOW…that’s a great picture!

 

It’s all about pictures. Col

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Are You Visiting Palm Springs Soon?

What should you do on the weekend in the Palm Springs area?

  • Shop and have fun at the largest Street Fair in the area?
  • 340 Vendors
  • Arts – Crafts – and much more
  • Free Parking
  • Free Admission

Meet me at the College of the Desert Street Fair. I’m in booth #75, every Saturday and Sunday, October – May.

 

 

 

Georgia Okeeffe

GEORGIA O’KEEFFE

NEW YORK CITY PAINTINGS

 

 

NEW YORK CITY

Enthralled by the barren landscape and expansive skies of the desert, Georgia O’Keefe would become chiefly known for paintings of flowers, rocks, shells, animal bones, and the quiet beauty of open skies and sun-drenched terrains. Yet, it is her paintings of New York city done in the 1920?s that have always captured my imagination and linger in memory.

The drama and excitement of the modern metropolis at that time in history was unmistakable, embodied in landmark skyscrapers like the American Radiator Building located at West 40th Street, in midtown Manhattan. Designed by Raymond Hood, the combined Gothic and modern styles in the design of the Radiator Building was massive, solid, and illustrious, an engineering feat of wonder erected to match the prosperity of the period.

Black brick on the frontage of the building (symbolizing coal) was prominently featured while other parts of the facade were covered in gold bricks (symbolizing fire). The entry was decorated with marble and black mirrors in a style reminiscent of an Ayn Rand dream. Ornamented and sculptured, it was an edifice of opulence, particularly after dark when the upper floors were illuminated with floodlights.

It was this vision of that building at night in the changing skyline of New York that Georgia O’Keeffe captured in her wonderfully theatrical interpretation, “Radiator Building at Night.” Painted from her window on the thirtieth floor of the Shelton Hotel (some scholars dispute that, claiming it was the 28th floor penthouse) at 49th and Lexington, that she shared with her husband, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz, she detailed flooded lights illuminating the sky at right, and at left, a bright red marquee ablaze with the name “Stieglitz” in its glow.

Georgia O’Keeffe painting of the Radiator in 1927 (the same year as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, tellingly) is remarkable for its color and for the depiction of the artificial light of the city night – the purple/blue tints of floodlights and the fluorescent whites of the office towers. There’s a touch of warm incandescence in windows here and there. The stylized smoky steam arising from the building at the right echoes the flipped curved cornices of the Radiator’s top floors. It’s pure theater.

 

Matisse – Chapelle

ENRI MATISSE

CHAPELLE DU ROSAIRE DES DOMINICANES DE VENCE

Continuing with the weeks focus on Chapels… from a Master of Color… the Light of Faith. A visit to Vence and the Henri Matisse Chapel. In this video we learn about Matisse and the Chapel project.

Enjoy!

artist - Jackie Jacobson

Article
By E.A. CARMEAN JR.

Matisse - Chepelle du Rosaire de Vence

 

The chapel is arguably the greatest religious art and architecture project of the 20th century.

Jesus’ Parable of the Mustard Seed, with its imagery of a seed growing into a plant big enough for birds to perch in, is often seen as foretelling the growth of Christianity. Arguably the greatest religious art and architecture project of the 20th century, Henri Matisse’s Chapel of the Rosary, provides another reading.

While recovering his health in 1943, Matisse had hired a young nurse who four years later became a novitiate in the Dominican Sisters of Monteil.

Once, Sister Jacque-Marie mentioned to Matisse her order’s dream of a new chapel. Four years later, the Chapelle du Rosaire des Dominicaines de Vence, perched above the French Mediterranean coast, was consecrated by the local bishop. In a statement read at the occasion, Matisse wrote, “I consider it my masterpiece.”

Planned principally for the sisters’ daily prayers, the chapel is modest. Yet it is replete with Matisse’s glorious creations, from the images on walls and the vestments worn by the clergy, to the altar and its liturgical objects.

Matisse - Windows Vence

Matisse’s stained-glass windows are the center and glory of the chapel.

There are two tall windows behind the altar, and another set of 15 windows divided into two groupings—six along the nave; nine placed behind the sisters’ stalls in an area adjacent to the sanctuary.

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THE COLOR PALETTE

For an artist long held as a master of color, the windows’ palette of only three hues—yellow, green and blue—may seem restrictive; but Matisse planned on the complementaries of red, orange and purple being cast by the filtered light’s shadows, even testing this effect in his studio.

Matisse’s colors provide a corresponding Christian iconography, with yellow a symbol of the sun and heavenly light; green of plant life and the earth; and blue of the sky, the sea and the Madonna.

The sanctuary is commanded by a towering figure of St. Dominic, the patron saint of the sisters’ order, who was said to have been given a rosary by the Madonna, thus making those prayers the center of Dominican practices. Matisse’s model was Father Couturier wearing his cowl.

The walls’ somber notes are provided by the Stations of the Cross, which Matisse placed directly opposite the altar’s Tree of Life window, perhaps acknowledging medieval texts that held that the wood of Christ’s Cross had come from the Tree of Life in Paradise.

For this Passion series, Matisse turned to Old Master paintings; for example, the Station I image of Christ before Pilate borrows from a work by the Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna.

Matisse participated in virtually every detail of the project, creating the interconnection of elements sometimes called a church’s Holy Fabric.

His work included both the altar’s simple shapes made of a brownish, porous stone—to suggest the bread of the Eucharist—and the liturgical objects upon it: a crucifix and six candlesticks, and the tabernacle and the ciborium used to hold communion bread. Matisse also designed the vestments, planning each of the half-dozen different chasubles in one of the six church-appointed ecclesiastical colors for Seasons and Holy Days.

Before and after its June 25, 1951, consecration, Matisse’s chapel was sometimes disparaged. But praise won out. Pope Pius XII requested a set of the chasubles for the Vatican, and soon so many visitors began coming as to require restricted open hours to preserve the chapel’s—and Matisse’s—intended purpose of serving the sisters. Amusing—and telling—was the story of an English tourist asking directions to “the chapel of St. Matisse.”

As for the artist, Matisse said that “I wanted to create a spiritual space.” He did.

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Rothko Chapel

ROTHKO CHAPEL

HOUSTON TEXAS

One of my favorite places in Houston. As an institution, the Rothko Chapel functions as chapel, a museum and a forum. It is a place where religion, art, and architecture intermingle. A day of quite meditation in the Arts District in Houston.

Enjoy the experience in this video

artist - Jackie Jacobson

 

History of The Chapel

 

The Rothko Chapel was the last and one of the most important endeavors that Dominique and John de Menil, its founders, worked on together.

This modern work of religious art commissioned for Houston is comparable in importance to the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence by Henri Matisse or le Corbusier’s Chapel in Ronchamp, France.

MARK ROTHKO

Mark Rothko, one of the most influential American artists of the mid twentieth century, was commissioned by the de Menils in 1964 and given the opportunity to shape and control a total environment to encompass his work, resulting in a group of fourteen paintings created specially for the meditative space.

He worked closely with the original architect, Philip Johnson, on the plans, and then with Houston architects Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry who completed the building.

Since its dedication in 1971, the Rothko Chapel and Barnett Newman’s sculpture Broken Obelisk, which faces the Chapel and is dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have achieved world recognition as examples of the greatest artistic achievements of the second half of the twentieth century.

The Rothko Chapel is free, open to the public, and accessible to the physically challenged every day of the year. It has become a pilgrimage stop for thousands of visitors who are drawn by its importance both as an artistic masterpiece and as an ecumenical gathering place for people of all religious beliefs. Students, art lovers, and scholars from all over the world visit the Chapel for research and inspiration. Modern art books and catalogues worldwide feature the Chapel.

Formal Recognition

Rothko Chapel

In 2001 the Chapel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Chapel regularly makes top ten lists of places to visit, and is a featured entry in National Geographic’s Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations, published in 2009.  Locally, the Chapel has received numerous awards, including the Peace Award from The Houston Baha’í Community (1998), a Community Award from the Museum District Business Alliance (2000), The James L. Tucker Interfaith Award from Interfaith Ministries (2004), an Urban Greenery Award from The Park People (2005), and recognitions from the Houston Peace and Justice Center (2008).

FOOTNOTE: The Rothko Painting at the Tate was vandalized.  Read more here

The Rothko Chapel, founded by Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate sanctuary available to people of every belief. A tranquil meditative environment inspired by the mural canvases of Russian born American painter Mark Rothko (1903-1970), the Chapel welcomes over 60,000 visitors each year, people of every faith and from all parts of the world.  On the plaza, Barnett Newman’s majestic sculpture, Broken Obelisk, stands in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Rothko Chapel is an independent institution, a sacred place open to all people, every day.  In 2011 the Chapel celebrated its fortieth anniversary, having achieved, in those years, recognition as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the second half of the twentieth century.  In 2001 the Chapel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, an honor awarded before the institution was fifty years old. The Chapel regularly makes top ten lists of places to visit, and is a featured entry in National Geographic’s book Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations, published in 2009.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Rothko Chapel is to inspire people to action through art and contemplation, to nurture reverence for the highest aspirations of humanity, and to provide a forum for global concerns.

What Mark Rothko Thinks About Modern Art and People

https://youtu.be/EI29ye41gYs

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Are You Visiting Palm Springs Soon?

What should you do on the weekend in the Palm Springs area?

  • Shop and have fun at the largest Street Fair in the area?
  • 340 Vendors
  • Arts – Crafts – and much more
  • Free Parking
  • Free Admission

Meet me at the College of the Desert Street Fair. I’m in booth #75, every Saturday and Sunday, October – May.

 

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Chuck Close – Fingerpainting

CHUCK CLOSE

 

Chuck Close Fingerpainting – Fanny/Fingerpainting

Chuck Close (artist)
American, born 1940
Fanny/Fingerpainting, 1985
oil on canvas
overall: 259.1 x 213.4 x 6.3 cm (102 x 84 x 2 1/2 in.)
Gift of Lila Acheson Wallace
1987.2.1

 

Chuck Close - Painting

This ain’t fingerpainting you did in kindergarten! That’s artist Chuck Close “painting” a portrait of his grandmother-in-law with his fingertips.

 

Chuck Close fingrpainting. The painting Fanny/Fingerpainting, a portrait of Close’s grandmother-in-law, represents one of the largest and most masterly executions of a technique the artist developed in the mid-l980s.

That technique involved the direct application of pigment to a surface with the artist’s fingertips.

By adjusting the amount of pigment and the pressure of his finger on the canvas, Close could achieve a wide range of tonal effects.

Typically, he worked from a black and white photograph which he would divide into many smaller units by means of a grid.

He then transposed the grid onto a much larger canvas and meticulously reproduced each section of it.

The result is a monumental, close-up view that forces an uncomfortable intimacy upon the viewer.

Seen from a distance, the painting looks like a giant, silver-toned photograph that unrelentingly reveals every crack and crevice of the sitter’s face. Closer up, the paint surface dissolves into a sea of fingerprints that have an abstract beauty, even as they metaphorically suggest the withering of the sitter’s skin with age. The fingerpaintings provide a far more literal record of the artist’s touch than most abstract expressionist brushwork — but are at the same time dictated by an abstract, distinctly impersonal system.

ABOUT CHUCK CLOSE

Chuck Close was born on July 5, 1940 in Monroe, Washington. At the age of 14, Close saw an exhibition of Jackson Pollack’s abstract paintings, which helped inspire him to become a painter. Throughout his career, he has concentrated on portraits based on photographs he had already taken and has been called a Photo-Realist, Minimalist, and Abstract Expressionist.

  • NAME: Chuck Thomas Close
  • OCCUPATION: EducatorPainter
  • BIRTH DATE: July 051940 (Age: 72)
  • EDUCATION: University of Washington School of Art, Yale University School of Art and Architecture
  • PLACE OF BIRTH: Monroe, Washington

 

Childhood

Charles Thomas Close was born at home to Leslie and Mildred Close, a couple with a leaning toward artistic pursuits. Leslie Close was a jack-of-all-trades with a flair for craftsmanship, he built Charles his first easel. His mother was a trained pianist but unable to pursue a musical career due to financial restraints. Determined to provide her son with opportunities she herself never enjoyed, Mildred pushed Charles to take up a myriad of extracurricular activities during his school years and hired a local tutor to give his son private art lessons.

Charles had a difficult time with academics due to dyslexia, although teachers were often impressed with his creative approach to projects. He was also diagnosed at a young age with facial blindness and a neuromuscular condition that prevented him from engaging in athletics, making the social aspects of school life difficult. Once in college, and upon deciding to make a career in art, he excelled.

Read The Whole Story Here … https://www.theartstory.org/artist-close-chuck.htm

 

 

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