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.
The American holiday Thanksgiving is a time for us to stop and express gratitude for our blessings. As I reflect on this and the twists and turns that my life as an artist continues to take, I realize that I do have much for which to be thankful.
If you read my previous blog post, you know that we just returned from a wonderful trip to California. We no more than got home when my December issue of Texas Highways magazine arrived in the mail. What's the big deal? Well, there's a full page promotion for a series of small wildflower paintings that I have created for the magazine's online gift shop under the Texas True tab!
We recently returned from a long road trip to California where I exhibited my art at the Sacramento Arts Fest. If you've followed me on this "journey as an artist" for very long, you know that I like to write about trips like this to share with my friends and fans. From when we left on Oct. 26 until we returned on Nov. 11 we put another 4, 127 miles on our Ford Transit!
AN EARLIER THAN USUAL START
For the first time, we decided to do something a bit different. Instead of waiting until morning to get an early start, we left the evening before, rolling out at about 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, and drove through the night. As you know, Texas is a big state and just getting to the border takes several hours. By sunrise we were in El Paso and well on our way. Our first stop and layover for a few days would be Yuma, AZ, where David's dad, brother and cousin live. Since this is practically "on the way" to California, we had to include the visit in the itinerary.
We made it to Yuma by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27. Over the next few days we visited with David's family, make a couple of trips across the border into Mexico, and enjoyed some amazing Southern Arizona sunsets and sunrises. We left out on Monday morning, headed for San Diego where we would be taking care of some business before making our way north to Sacramento.
SIGHTS AND SITES ALONG THE WAY
In the photo album at the top of this post are just a few of the photos I wanted to share from the journey and the show. The first five are from the show and I'll say more about that in a minute. But I wanted to say a little about the next four photos in the album. One of the fun things about a road trip is that you never know what you'll come across. The first photo is of an amazing sunset, taken from a parking lot, on our last night in Yuma, AZ. The big rusty dinosaur was at a road-side stop on the way to Yuma. The aliens in the third picture....well that was a total surprise as well. We were nearing Sacramento and needed to stop for gas. We pulled off at in Lathrop, CA (had a Facebook friend ask if we were in Roswell when I posted a pic...nope, California). While David was pumping gas, I went in to take care of other business and had one of those jaw-dropping moments. The entire convenience store was decorated in an alien theme, designed as if a flying saucer had crashed into the building and all the little green aliens were stocking up on supplies. What a treat! The fourth photo was from a visit to the rose garden in downtown Sacramento. I took tons of photos of the roses but this little praying mantis perched on a beautiful pink rose was my favorite.
ABOUT THE SHOW
This was our second time to exhibit at the Sacramento Arts Fest. We missed last year but we were there in 2014. It's one of the better organized shows with a long history, attracting art lovers and collectors from a large region. Many people remembered us from two years ago and were delighted to get my 2017 calendar and notecards again. When possible we like to take some smaller items in addition to a selection of my large paintings. We met several serious collectors but as we've seen before, when it comes to large purchases, it's not until the last day of the show that decisions are made. Nearing closing time a lovely couple, Sharon and Bruce, stepped into the booth and began discussing which painting they wanted. After a several minutes, they settled on "A Texas Wildflower Sunset."
THE JOURNEY BACK HOME
We wrapped up the painting for Sharon and Bruce and soon the show was closing down and it was time to pack out. We left the next morning, heading east over the mountains to Lake Tahoe for a brief stop and then southward along the backside of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. David and I both enjoy the perks from business trips like this of being able to see and enjoy the amazing scenery along the way. And this trip certainly did not disappoint! The next ten photos after the pink rose are just a few of the highlights that included fall color, mountains, pine trees and snow!
A NEW FAN AND COLLECTOR ALONG THE WAY
It's a rather long story but in a nutshell I had buyer, Bill, who was interested in my work and contacted me several weeks back. There was a particular painting he liked that he saw on an outdated website of a gallery that represented me at one point. As fate would have it, I was able to pick up the painting in San Diego on this trip. The buyer and I went back and forth through emails and texts discussing if and when we could meet and he could see the piece in person. He had a place in the Bay area and tried to make it to the show but it didn't work out. However, he also had a condo in Las Vegas, where he'd be during the week. Since Vegas was "on the way" home, we adjusted our route in that direction where we were finally able to catch up with Bill on Wednesday and do an in-home viewing of the piece he wanted as well as several other paintings we had with us from the show. The first photo below is of the painting he originally wanted, titled "Eternally Yours Again." And, yes, it was perfect match to the decor of the bedroom! He decided to create a "Linda Calvert Jacobson" collection and choose two more pieces, "Wildflower Escape" for the opposite wall, and "Almost Dusk" for the adjoining bathroom. So now three of my paintings are in a private collection in Las Vegas and a fourth in California as a result of this trip.
THE LONG HAUL HOME
Once we had that final sale settled, we hit the road and headed home. David decided to end the trip as started, by driving through the night to make time, only stopping along the way for gas and to rest the eyes. We wanted to be back in Texas in time for David to open our Wildflower Art Gallery Friday morning for the kick off for the Wimberley Alive event that was held Nov. 11-13. Wasn't easy but we did it! The final photo in the album at the top of this post is of a sunset in West Texas on Thursday evening.
As always, it's such a thrill to see my paintings find a new forever home where they can bring joy into people's lives. This past weekend I felt extra blessed as three of my wildflowers went home with two very different couples. While they were years apart in age and miles apart in location, they had two things in common...a visit to our gallery in Wimberley and an appreciation for how I interpret wildflowers.
Carl and Diane of Austin, Texas, purchased this pair of paintings, one titled "Soft" and other "Subtle." But this wasn't their first purchase. So here's the rest of the story...
I first met this sweet couple some 10 years ago while doing the Spring show at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. They immediately fell in love with my art and I fell in love with them (and would have even if they had not taken home three of paintings that day). Through my occasional mailings over the years, they've kept up with me and knew that my husband, David, and I had opened Wildflower Art Gallery in Wimberley last year. Recently they decided that they were ready to add some companion pieces to their collection so they made the trip over to Wimberley. Luckily for all of us, I was at the gallery and enjoyed a wonderful visit with these two kind souls. We brainstormed on which paintings might work and they choose "Soft" and "Subtle." What a loving couple and what an honor for me to know that my art is bringing joy to their hearts and their home!
By now, "Twilight Rhapsody" is hanging center stage in the master bedroom in this young couple's Houston home.
Rachel, Nathan and their nearly newborn daughter were spending the holiday weekend in Wimberley and were looking for a unique painting for above the bed. They first found me and our gallery online after doing a search and said that of all they artwork they look at, that my wildflowers spoke to them the most. Liking what they saw on the website, they were even more impressed with the work in person and, especially drawn to this 2ft-by-4ft interpretation of Texas wildflowers at twilight. I'm looking forward to seeing photos of this painting in its new Houston home!
I know I say if often but it's so true... what an honor and a pleasure it is for me to share my art with the world and to know that it makes people happy for it to become a part of their life.
We are back in Texas from an awesome week in New Mexico that included walks among pines soaking up the mountain air, making new friends and fans at the Ruidoso Arts Festival and reconnecting with a new collector.
RETURNING TO RUIDOSO AND THE ART FESTIVAL...
Anytime David and I can find an excuse to head to the mountains we try to make it happen. Ever since being juried in for the 46th annual Ruidoso Art Festival several months ago, we've been looking forward to spending several days in and around the area.
We arrived on Wednesday evening so we could be there for set up on Thursday. The show opened on Friday and continued through Sunday. Each morning we woke up to those cool mountain temperatures...cool enough for a light jacket some mornings! David and I took early morning walks in the pines and along the river before getting ready for the show each day. If you've never been to the Ruidoso and Cloudcroft area of New Mexico, you need to put it on your list! For people living in Central Texas like we do, it's a full day's drive but worth it!
The show was just wonderful! It was our second time to exhibit and, again, the show organizers and crowds did not disappoint us! Buyers loved and took home my wildflower purses and note cards and we made several contacts for future art collectors for my wildflowers, aspen and poppy paintings! At the end of the day on Sunday we packed out and spent our last night in Ruidoso, knowing that we'll be back again!
HEADING NORTH TO ALBUQUERQUE...
On Monday morning we left the pine tree covered mountains of Ruidoso and made our way up to Albuquerque. I had an appointment to keep with one of our newest collectors from the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival that we did there back in March.
One of the best things about doing a road trip is getting to enjoy the changes in scenery along the way! We opted to avoid the Interstates when possible and chose instead the "roads less traveled" where we could take our time and enjoy the drive and the scenery.
By Monday afternoon we were at our appointment with Roann, owner of A Love for Life, a wonderful assisted living facility in Albuquerque. We met Roann and Ron at the March show when they were looking for art to brighten up there training/meeting room at the facility. They fell in love with two paintings, "Garden Delight," from my signature wildflowers series, and "Evening Romance," one of my newest poppy paintings, and purchased both as the start of their new collection.
Since they were looking at adding another painting and since we were going to be "in the area," we arranged to bring the some work to them for an in-business viewing. Both David and I just love providing this personal service whenever possible! After unpacking and trying several different paintings in several areas to see how they looked along side the two paintings they already had, they choose to add "A Sunny Meadow," a similar-but-different style painting of wildflowers, and "Delightfully Red," another poppy painting. I'm posting photos of how the first two paintings look on the walls and another of Roann and I with the two new works.
Since this is a space where they meet with staff to not only train but also coach them on the importance of providing loving care to the residents, creating a joyful setting becomes an important part of the mission...and my "happy" art certainly does just that! I'm so honored to have my art be a part of this "family" and this worthwhile endeavor of making the world a more loving place for seniors!
After a layover Monday night in Tucumcari, we made our way across eastern New Mexico and across the border to West Texas to make it home by that evening. It's always good to get home but we really do love our trips westward, getting to spend some time in the mountains...whether they are covered in pine and aspen trees or hunks of rock and only dotted of cactus and cedars. It's all beautiful and inspiring! I'm already looking forward to our next trip that direction when we make the drive to northern California in early November for the Sacramento Arts Fest.
Thanks for sharing these travels with us!
If you've been following my "life as an artist" story or spent anytime checking out this website, you know that my husband, David, and I have a gallery in Wimberley, Texas. We opened Wildflower Art Gallery in February 2015 and are happy to be celebrating our second summer there! In addition to my paintings and gifts, you'll find some wonderful clay work by Canyon Lake ceramicist Kathy Rigdon and beautiful jewelry by Lynette Clauser of New Braunfels, Holly Glenn of Austin and, our newest addition, Barbara Blaschke of Canyon Lake.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Kathy works in several techniques but what she is best known for are her horse hair pottery and her raku work. At any given time, we have several of each available at the gallery in various sizes. Prices range from $24 to $280. Kathy earned her BA in Fine Arts from Southwest Texas State in 1991 and started her home-based studio in 1997.
Lynette creates one-of-a-kind fused glass jewelry often paired in sets of necklaces, earrings and even matching pins. She combines her excellent sense of design and superb craftsmanship in each of her creations. Lynette's prices generally range from $30 to $85. In addition to working in fused glass, Lynette has an extensive background in stained glass, pastels and mixed media.
We are thrilled to have Holly's hand-wrapped wire jewelry and to feature her unique Bluebonnet pendants and earrings that she created just for us! Most of the pieces range from $20 to $40. According to Holly, she designs and creates unique artisan jewelry pieces out of materials including raw stones and crystals. "My jewelry is chic, affordable and by nature, one of a kind. Each piece takes on a personality of its own, and hopefully you will find a piece that speaks to you!"
Barbara creates jewelry that is as elegant as it is unique. Working with materials including gold, silver and semi-precious stones, her prices range from about $110 up to $500. "I love experimenting with unusual combinations of stones and metal," she says. "Agates and Jaspers particularly appeal to me and I try to set them in a way that complements their swirls and whorls in all their glory." We are happy to be the Wimberley area source for Barbara's beautiful rings, bracelets and necklaces that will compliment any outfit with a special panache.
We hope you'll drop by Wildflower Art Gallery and check out all of our artists! If you have questions or need directions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 830-730-7880. The gallery is generally open Wednesday-Sunday. Click here for maps and more information.
When asked which of my paintings is my personal favorite, I'm ready with this answer: The one that just sold.
But I'm quick to explain: When someone loves my work enough to buy it and take it home, well, that's the best compliment ever!
Three of "my favorite: paintings have found new homes in the last few weeks! Two are now showcased in a lovely home in Seguin, Texas: "Summer Festival," a 30x30 that was inspired by a trip to Jackson, Wyoming, a few years back, and "Twilight Gold," one of my more recent autumn Aspen paintings. Meanwhile, "Nature's Gold" from my California poppy series and shown in the photo to the left, went home with a new collecter in Kyle, Texas. As always, I'm honored when someone chooses my art to brighten their homes and lives!