Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Illustrated Tuesdays #3

Every year, my family and I take a trip to the Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton, MA. We almost always walk away with two or three really beautiful works of art, and after seeing the incredible work showcased by local artists and crafts-people, it's hard not to walk away with some inspiration as well. Last year I was lucky enough to meet Will at this festival, and make the life-changing decision to take his workshop in Italy. This year, I met Carrie Jacobson

As soon as I walked into Carrie's stall, I audibly gasped. Her paintings have this amazing impasto quality to them, which she achieves by painting entirely with a palette knife. The palette knife also allows her to bring little spots of color, little "happy accidents" into parts of the painting that you wouldn't necessarily think to put them. My parents bought me this piece as a gift, and it looks absolutely gorgeous in our apartment. I'm absolutely obsessed with it. I just love how thick and juicy the paint looks on the canvas, and how beautifully these colors work together. 

Carrie Jacobson also creates some really fun pet portraits--some of which are charitable donations to various adoption centers, and some of which are commissioned by pet owners. I decided to try my own animal portrait in the same style, using only a palette knife. Controling the thick globs of paint with such a bulky instrument is much harder than it looks, but it's a lot of fun. It kind of brings me back to those satisfying finger-painting days of kindergarten. I'm still not sure that I succeeded, since I cheated and used a small brush for parts of the eyes, ears, and nose. I'm amazed at Carrie's skill with these portraits. I guess I'll just have to keep trying. Maybe next time I'll try a landscape instead! 

Oil on canvas. Joa Stenning, 2011.

P.S. - Please check out more of Carrie's work over at her blog, "The Accidental Artist"!
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