There's such a mixture of feelings this time of year. Like many of you, I'm excited as I look forward to a new year that's filled with hope. At the same time, there's always uncertainty about what the future will bring. Meanwhile, as I look back on the year that has passed, I find the need to express my deep gratitude for the both the successes and the lessons learned.
My journey as an artist...
In 2018, I continued to add to my "signature" wildflower series while exploring a few new styles along the way. I do love to paint and fulfill the need to create something that I can share with the world. I worked with acrylic as my primary medium of choice, but I also found time to continue my journey with watercolor, even completing a "painting a day" series in July for World Watercolor Month. A challenge, yes, but there were tiny paintings so that helped me to meet the goal.
Throughout the year, many of my paintings found new homes with collectors, both long-time and first-time. It's always such an honor to know that my art brings such joy to people. And, of course, without folks who buy and collect my paintings, it would be difficult to continue to do what I do. So I am indeed grateful for every purchase! At the end of this blog post, I'm including a small sampling of paintings that sold in 2018.
...and a calling to teach
While I deeply enjoy creating art, I also get to teach and that gives me a different kind of satisfaction. Teaching is indeed a calling for me. Knowing that I can share my love and knowledge with others feeds my soul. I can easily say that over this last year, more than 100 students, ranging from 90 years old (but oh so young-at-heart) to age 5, have studied art of one sort or another with me. Offering classes at my studio in Wimberley and specializing in teaching beginners, helps me to fulfill a personal mission and brings me so much joy!
Sharing my art with the public...
Back to my life as an artist this past year, I've continued to get my paintings out into the world for people to enjoy and make the work available for collectors.
Of course, the primary and "year around" venue is our Wildflower Art Gallery that my husband and partner David manages so that I have time to paint and teach.
We opened the gallery in February 2015 so we are looking forward to marking our 4th anniversary soon.
In addition the gallery, I keep a selection of my paintings on display at Casa de Linda Art Studio. While it's not open to the public other than when I'm there teaching, my students enjoy the inspiration and many have become collectors as well.
I've also continued to show at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery, had several solo shows to Kerbey Lane Cafes in Austin and taken my fine art to shows in Texas and New Mexico. Plus, a special series of my small paintings as still available through Texas Highways magazine.
Meanwhile, my art licensing agent in the UK has continued to secure international clients who use my art on various products, including greeting cards and wall art.
Acknowledging that special someone...
Finally, I can't let 2018 pass without a shout out to my partner, David. He makes it all possible. Of course, he is so much more than just my business partner. This coming April, we'll be celebrating 23 years since saying our "I dos" on a sunny Easter morning.
And now for 2019...
I plan to continue doing what I do... paint, teach, love. Strive to express gratitude and practice patience. None of us know what the future will bring. But it is my hope that we all find peace of heart and joyfilled moments to remind us why we are here. Blessing to you and yours for the New Year!
A sampling of my paintings selected by collectors to brighten their homes-and-hearts in 2018...
In early October, David and I were able to steal away for a few days for a road trip to New Mexico. The purpose of the trip was for research. We are considering applying for a very popular art fair that is held every year during the Albuquerque Balloon Festival but wanted to check it out in advance before we decide to put it on our 2019 show calendar. While it was mostly business, we also needed to recharge our batteries and the mountains of North New Mexico were just what the doctor ordered!
As luck would have it (and sometime it does) our timing was perfect as the cottonwood and aspen trees were turning shades of gold. As we drove the switchbacks of the mountain roads north of Santa Fe that encircle the Taos Ski Valley, ribbons of golden aspens glowed against the deep green pine trees. The same was true of the Jemez National Recreation Area north of Albuquerque and west of Los Alamos, with the added bonus of red rocks that would nearly rival some of those you'd see in Sedona.
Meanwhile, stands of cottonwood trees that were often strongest along rivers and creeks put on a show of their own. Interspersed here and there were deeper yellow, orange, rust and red leaves from various trees and vines getting into the season. And among all of that fall color, incredibly, wildflowers were blooming! Most yellows and even some purples, they added to the beauty. Of course all of these images will be future inspiration for my paintings.
As for our research, we were very pleased with the show and are giving it strong consideration for next year.
Many professional artists roll their eyes and may or may not attempt to hide their disgust when something is said about "matching a painting to the couch." They would like to think that a collector is buying a painting because it moves them or they are considering it an investment. While that may be true, the reality is that when you add a work of art to your collection, it's because you want to see it and enjoy it...how, when and where you decide. For most people that means that that painting will find a home above a couch, a bed, an office desk or a fireplace. And to that I say, awesome. I WANT you to enjoy my art...all the time and anytime. Need to brighten up your dining room? What about the office? Or perhaps, even the bathroom? That's OK.
Getting to see a painting in a setting is called "in situ," (in position or in place.) While nothing beats getting to do that in person, a photo can convey the idea. Below are three images of my paintings in collectors homes (you can see more photos from my collectors by clicking here). That gives you an idea of how people use my art to brighten their homes. Next are some "mock up" shots, thanks to the magic of technology, that can give you an idea of how some of my available paintings would look in home or office settings.
Would you like to see what one of my paintings would look like on your wall? Again, thanks to technology, I can do that! Contact me for more information.
Paintings "dropped in to" photos of rooms...
Each time that my husband, David, and I travel, I like to follow up with a blog post about the trip. Since we just returned from Albuquerque, it's time again for one of my little reports for your reading pleasure and as a way that I can document my continued journey as an artist.
This time our travels took us on a 1600-mile-round trip to the Land of Enchantment for the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Holiday Festival, held Friday-Sunday following Thanksgiving. It was our first time to participate in this particular show but our 3rd time to exhibit in Albuquerque.
Before we made our way to the exhibit hall, we took the scenic route into New Mexico, leaving Tuesday around noon and stopping off at Ruidoso for the evening. We both love waking up among the pine trees and mountains! After our usual stop at Sacred Grounds for coffee, we stopped in for a visit with Judy at Long Coat Art Gallery and got to see their new location. We then made our way northward toward ABQ, enjoying the mountains, the vast valleys and wide open skies along the way.
On Thursday we spent Thanksgiving Day in a most nontraditional way...setting up for the show! Exhibitors had the option of setting up on either Wednesday or Thursday (or both) and most had already come and gone by the time we arrived on Thanksgiving morning...making it much easier and less stressful than what we usually have to deal with. This was a first for both of us and we actually enjoyed the day very much. (I did get in my "turkey-with-the-trimmings" dinner that evening at a Village Inn right next to the hotel where we were staying for the trip.)
We knew going into the show that it would be a different crowd and vibe from the last two we did there, which were held in March of 2017 and 2016. While we took a great selection of original art, we also put out a good inventory of my wildflower purses, note cards, calendars and ornaments, knowing that those would likely be the sellers for this show. And that they were! In fact, we almost sold out of both the ornaments and and the clutch purse. Plus, several boxes of note cards, a good number of my 2018 art calendars and several of the larger purses went home with happy customers as well.
We had several potential collectors look over the large paintings and feel confident that follow up sales will happen. But for the weekend, it was more about filling the gift list for most of the visitors. Knowing that my wildflowers will be bringing people smiles on Christmas morning is heartwarming!
The show came to a close on Sunday afternoon and it was time to pack out, head back to the hotel and try to rest up for the long trip home on Monday. Coming into Johnson City after dark gave us one last sight-seeing adventure to top off the trip. We turned off the main drag at the Pedernales Electric Coop sign to go see the lights they put out each year. Late on a Monday night, there was only one other car there so we almost had it to ourselves. What a treat!
We are back home now. Tomorrow, David will have our gallery open for business again and I'll be back to teaching!
I hope you've enjoy reading about our travels and seeing a few photos! Hope our paths cross soon!
How "Texas Splendor" came to be
Do you love my work and style but need something in a specific size for a special place in your home or office? I'm often asked if I take commissions or special request. As a matter of fact, yes I do!
This is "Texas Splendor," created by special request for Janie, my newest art collector. She "found" me online while searching for bluebonnet art and fell in love with my paintings. But I did not have any that fit the long-n-narrow space that she wanted to fill. So she emailed and asked about my creating something for the space. After several exchanges back and forth, we settled on an 18x48 and something in my "sunset/sunrise" series with an emphasis on bluebonnets. I special order the canvas and set aside some time to work on her painting. Once complete, I sent photos and we arranged a time for she and her husband to come see it in person. A few days later, "Texas Splendor" was in its new home in Austin.
Are you interested in a painting for a special place but don't see anything in my portfolios that fit your needs? Let me know what you have in mind.
While I've been teaching both weekly adult painting classes and children's art camps this summer, I've also been spending a lot time in the studio painting. In fact, I have really been on a roll for several weeks and, as a result, I have a new series of my large wildflowers that I'm pleased to now have available. As you'll see, even from photos, they are similar but different to my signature style. But still, you can tell they are mine.
I never know how or when I'll start a new series but it generally comes with some sort of inspiration. Our travels to higher elevations and mountainous areas of New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, for example, led to the Aspens series that I've enjoyed adding to off and on over the last few years. While we may not have Aspens or Pines where I live in the Texas Hill Country, they speak to my soul and painting them brings me joy as much as owning the work brightens the hearts and homes of my collectors.
With my teaching and studio schedule I've had, and David's job managing our gallery, we haven't had a chance to do much traveling this summer. But there have been many late evenings and early mornings that just stepping out on our deck is like taking a trip to an exotic location. You see, we have had some of the most spectacular sunsets and sunrises this summer. Every chance I get, I grab my camera and click, click, click to capture the moments... the color... the drama.
And that, my friends is the inspiration for this new series. However, there was something else that happened earlier this summer that also played a role in this new direction. And honestly, I'm still trying to understand exactly how and why, but I know it did.
Playing with a different medium
If you follow me at all, whether it be through my newsletters, Facebook posts or in person, you know that I started dabbling again with watercolor a few months back. That led to the creation of several small works that I like to call "studies." They ranged from still life scenes to landscapes and even some animals and a person! Most are really small for me, from 5x7 to 8x10 in size.
There was something about the process of painting with watercolor on small pads and blocks of paper that let me go both tighter with my style and expressive in the choice of colors. As I gained my confidence, I decided to challenge myself with a large painting on a full sheet of watercolor paper (22x30). With an entry in mind for the Texas Show at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery, I wanted to create a painting that captured the spirit of the theme. I started with a sunset, added a windmill and an oak tree and then decided it would not be Texas enough without some longhorn cattle. I completed the painting, which I titled "Texas Heritage Sunset," and was able to get it matted and framed just in time to enter it and a couple other paintings in the show the end of June.
And the winners are...
Lo and behold, I got a call to be sure to come to the reception because I had "won an award." It turned out that I won three. I had also entered one of my signature paintings of bluebonnets in the oil/acrylic category and it placed in the top 5 with an honorable mention. That painting also sold within a few weeks!
Meanwhile, "Texas Heritage Sunset," which measures 24x36 in the mat and frame, was awarded second place in water media by the show's judge. In addition, the representative for the show's sponsor, Capitol Wright Distributing, chose that same painting for the Sponsor's Choice Award.
This leads to that...new works!
Even as I played with the watercolor I was thinking about my next large canvases and what direction I might want to take. The images of the sunsets and sunrises kept coming back and I decided I needed to let that inspire me. Of course, there would still be wildflowers. But I wanted to let those colorful Texas skies dominate.
So far, I've created 6 paintings in the series, two 24x30, one 30x24, a 24x36, a 24x48 and a 36x36. They are shown below but you can also CLICK HERE to see these and my other newest additions.
I do hope that you've enjoyed reading a little about what goes on sometimes "behind the scenes" for an artist. Thanks for reading and for your continued interest in my life as an artist.
As an artist and like many of my artistic friends, I often find a way to weave creativity into my daily life. Whether or not it is through painting since creativity can take many forms. When I teach, I try to find creative ways to share my knowledge and passion for art with my students. When I'm trying to solve a problem around the house or studio, I look for creative, "thinking outside of the box" solutions. And while as an artist this comes almost naturally, I've found that being creative is more of a human trait that is common more often that not...just not always apparent.
Do you like to garden? Then I bet you find joy in creating interesting combinations with plants. Do you like to be organized? Then you are by all means creative! Are you an executive or team leader or teacher? Then creativity is part of your life regardless of how "left brain" you might be. Creativity is not just for artists. It's just that artists find a way to express it in more concrete ways and it is often plays such a huge role in our lives that we choose it as a way to make a living...or at least try to.
Since relocating my studio from a small room in downtown New Braunfels to charming, multi-room cottage in Wimberley, I've been spread my creative wings in new directions, while continuing to work on my contemporary wildflower series.
First, the building itself was like a blank canvas, inside and out. And at first, it was overwhelming. My last day in New Braunfels was January 31 and by the first of February, I was in the new space and had boxes everywhere. I was trying to decide how to best use the rooms for both teaching and working. It needed it to be efficient and happy. Yes, I needed to create a happy space for myself and my students. Once I began to unpack it seemed that everything found its home. I've continued to tweak here and there and always will. But for the most part, within a few months I was well settled into the new space. And it is happy!
Once I had the unpacking under control and classes were back in session, I started painting again. And it felt wonderful to create new paintings for my wildflower series from my new studio! But I was itching to be creative in other ways too.
I had a wooden birdhouse left over from several years back when my husband, David, and I were painting birdhouses and bird feeders to sell at craft shows and market days. I cleaned it up, gave it some coats of spray paint and began to glue stones and glass to it for decoration. Little did I know that it would be the beginning of a whole new "project." As I debated where it would go at the new studio, I decided that a little patio off a glass slider door would be the perfect place. There was already a glass-top table there with an old umbrella but otherwise it was a bare and sterile space that needed some color.
I had an old wooden rocker my sister had given me that was painted white and need some rehab. I did a little sanding and filling in on some of the rough edges and gave it some coats of spray paint that would compliment the colors on the birdhouse. Voilã! But that just was the beginning.
Now it needed some plants. Just two or three. Well, maybe a few more than that! And some really colorful planters to show them off. And some cool stuff hanging on the "walls" (wooden fence). Within a month, I turned an empty-and-boring patio space into a happy space, full of color and life. With the work on the patio mostly complete, I began adding to the front of the building, starting with some potted rosemary and a lovely little wind chime by the door.
Needless to say, that "blank canvas" building is anything but blank or boring now! And it is and will continue to be a work in progress. If and when you ever get to come visit me at my studio in Wimberley, I hope you'll enjoy the space as much as I do!
It may only be mid March but David and I have already covered more than 5,000 miles this year, introducing my art to new fans and collectors!
It started with a trip that was a bit closer to home, the Austin Home & Garden Show, held Jan. 12-15 at the Convention Center in downtown Austin. This was our first H&G show and we loved making new fans in the Austin area. I've been following up with several potential collectors of my work who were kind enough to leave their contact information. As you may know, my wildflowers are such a natural fit for homes and offices in this area!
A few weeks later, we were packed up and on the road again, this time headed to West Palm Beach for the Artnado show. Feb. 11 and 12 we were set up at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center and met art lovers from the area. This was only the second year for the show and the traffic was not as good as what we would have liked but we've been doing this long enough to know that you just never know what to expect. While the show was a bit disappointing, the trip there and back was awesome and, as always, I found inspiration along the way. Especially enjoyed walking on the beaches along the Gulf Coast and getting to see manatees in Florida.
We were barely back home when we were packing up again. This time we took a short trip down the road for the San Antonio Home & Garden Show held in the Alamodome Feb. 24-26. Since we did the Austin one, we decided to give SA a try. Again, made some great contacts. On a side note, I also reconnected with several old friends from my hometown of Floresville! What a treat to see "kids" I graduated with, "kids" I later had in art classes when I taught in the public schools there, people that I knew from when my family had a ceramic shop in Floresville and other friends from years gone by Talk about a blast from the past!
A few weeks later we were packed and on the road again. This time for a return trip to Albuquerque for the Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival held March 10-12. As always, neither the trip nor the show disappointed us. We made lots of new friends and two significant new collectors of my art! Four of my large paintings stayed in New Mexico!
We are back home now and settling in for a bit with no trips planned anytime soon. But that doesn't mean that both David and I aren't busy as ever. He's back to managing our Wildflower Art Gallery in Wimberley while I finish setting up my Casa de Linda Art Studio in its new home, also now in Wimberley (in case you missed it, read about the move in my blog post on Feb. 1).
I've included photos of the paintings that sold as well as a collection of pics from our travels. Thanks for letting me share and for your interest!
Today, Feb. 1, 2017, marks a big milestone for me personally, in "my life as an artist," and for David and I as partners in business and life.
It will be the first time since the Spring of 2004 that I can no longer lay claim to having a studio upstairs at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery. The photo I'm sharing here is from a ribbon cutting for Casa de Linda Art Studio on May 7, 2004, with the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce and a few of my NBAL friends.
For more than a dozen years, I've had the honor and privilege of teaching and working from this small studio in downtown New Braunfels. Thousands of students, ages 5 to 95, took classes with me there. Since some the children started at older teens, I even got to teach their children in recent years.
Over that dozen-plus years, I continued to develop and evolve my wildflower series as well as experiment with other techniques and themes. It was a special place that nurtured the creative spirit...whether mine or that of my students.
Between working and teaching in the studio and my NBAL membership (including participation in the Art League's committees, shows and the gallery), I've made many friends over the years. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.
On Jan. 31, David and I turned out the lights and turned in the keys. We closed that chapter and today we start the next one.
We have relocated Casa de Linda Art Studio to Wimberley in a wonderful building that's just across the street and a few doors down from our Wildflower Art Gallery. For the first time in more than a dozen years, David and I will be in the same town as he manages the gallery and I work in my studio! We are in the process of unpacking and organizing and plan to be up and running by March.
In addition to providing a place where I can continue to paint, the two studio spaces will be perfect for classes, workshops, summer art camps and painting parties. It's a larger space with big oak trees just outside and parking that's close by and convenient (and my students don't have to worry about a 2-hour limit)! We have some exciting plans for this new space and, as with the old studio, the goal is to fill it with love and creative energy.
Below is a sneak peek at the new place. I'll be posting more information as we get it closer to being set up and ready for visitors and plan to have an open house sometime in the Spring.
While I’m far from being any kind of a guru when it comes to the World Wide Web, I was intrigued almost from the beginning. I jumped on board in the mid-1990s shortly after getting my first Mac and that first CD in the mail from America Online.
America Online, aka AOL, offered one of the first ways for folks who didn’t work for institutions, universities, the government or think tanks to communicate on the computer with others through the internet. If you don’t already know the story, that’s how David and I met back in 1995. He was in Kona, Hawaii, I was in Seguin, Texas. We met in a chat room one August evening and he came to Texas visit in late November. This photo was taken during that visit shortly before he left to conclude his business on the Big Island and return to Texas the following February. We were married on Easter Sunday 1996 and, as they say, the rest is history.
By the late ‘90s I left AOL behind, created a Yahoo mail account (which I still use) and installed Netscape on my computer (both the old Mac and Netscape are long gone). While I could e-mail and browse the web, I was itching to have my own website. Although I tried, I never did master HTML but I did find something called GeoCities that provided a way for everyday people to create a presence on the Web. GeoCities was bought by Yahoo and then eventually shut down. In January 2004, I registered my first domain name, casadelinda.com, and soon had my very own website live on the Internet! I used that domain for both my teaching and art businesses for a few years until I decided I needed to separate the two. Within a few years, I registered lindacalvertjacobson.com for my fine art website. I still maintain casadelinda.com for information about classes at the studio.
Meanwhile, I started hearing more about these things called blogs and decided I had to have one too! Thanks to Google’s Blogspot, I was able to set it up at no charge and used it as a way to share all sorts of news and musings with anyone who cared to read it. I actually had four different blogs at one point. I posted there from 2005 until late 2015, when I switched over to this “embedded” blog that you are now reading from my website. That decade of blog posts still exists and for me it’s like looking through an old diary, photo album or scrapbook. I know that someday Google will pull the plug but for now it’s nice to know it’s still there.
And then along came this thing called “social media.” By 2009 I was on Facebook and it’s now a part of daily life. In addition to a personal page, I have pages for my art (facebook.com/lindaswildflowers), the studio (facebook.com/casadelindaartstudio) and I’m an “admin” for the Wildflower Art Gallery page (facebook.com/wildflowerartgallery) that David takes care of. If you are on Facebook and if you haven't already done so, I invite you to "like" any or all of those pages and please do comment and share now and then!
I’ve resisted Instagram and Pinterest but I do have a Twitter account (@LindaCJacobson) that ties in with my posts to FB. And I’m on LinkedIn, the social media site for professionals (if you are also a member you can connect with me by searching Linda Calvert Jacobson from LinkedIn.com). Both the Casa de Linda Art Studio and Wildflower Art Gallery are listed on Yelp!
Mind boggling, isn’t it, how the internet has changed our daily lives in so many ways?
Aside from the personal benefits, from meeting the love of my life on AOL 21 years ago to now keeping up with friends near and far on FB, the internet has become indispensable to my business and lively hood just as it is for many entrepreneurs and business owners.
In addition to my websites and Facebook pages, you’ll find me on other sites as well. Ranging from just being mentioned to full features, every listing plays an important part in helping to share my story and my art with others. If you can’t or don’t “find” me online, you just aren’t looking!
Below are links from recent online listings and articles.
Texas Hill Country
I was recently honored to have been interviewed by Shirley Bland for an Artist of the Week profile on Texas Hill Country online. You can read the full article at http://texashillcountry.com/wild-wildflowers/. It’s a really nice bio and she asked some questions that I don’t normally get asked. I hope you will check it out!
Tour Wimberley TX
Our gallery is featured on this local travel site with a nice write up and several photos of my art. You can check it out at http://tourwimberleytx.com/theater-and-art/wildflower-art-gallery/. If you are in or planning to visit the Wimberley area, you can find lots of other good information on this site.
As you may know, a limited edition of my small original paintings are now being sold online in the Texas Highways Gift Shop. When you click on http://shop.texashighways.com/6x6-wildflower-paintings, you’ll see a short write up and photos of the paintings for sale.
University of the Incarnate Word
The editor of The Word, UIW’s alumni magazine, contacted me last Spring for a profile in the March issue. I earned my BA from what was then Incarnate Word College in 1990. You can still read the feature online at http://thewordonline.org/2016/03/among-the-wildflowers/.
Kerbey Lane Cafe Blog
The nice folks at Kerbey Lane Cafe, the Austin restaurants where I often exhibit my art, profiled me for a blog post last May. You can read it at http://kerbeylanecafe.com/blog/featured-artist-linda-calvert-jacobson.
The online shopping and advice site, Homeclick, interviewed me last year for a profile on their website. Nice Q&A format with a national and international audience. The link is http://www.homeclick.com/dreaming-in-color-interview-with-artist-linda-calvert-jacobson/ar-2927.aspx
This is an ever-changing evironment and we never know what new-and-improved services are just around the corner. It does make life interesting and just the fact that you are reading this proves that like me you have, at least to some extent, embraced this thing we call the World Wide Web.
Thank you for reading. I hope you've enjoyed taking this trip down memory lane with me today.