Blog

I paint to make sense of the world.

The Iris
The Iris

By: Jacobina O. APRIL 15, 2024

Looking for new inspiration, I don’t have to go far. The first thing I see from my bedroom window are budding Irises with the blue mountains in the distance. Flowers are a source of inspiration because...

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Blank Canvas
Blank Canvas

By: Jacobina O. APRIL 8, 2024

Nothing is as scary as staring at a blank canvas wanting to be filled. Once you put down the smallest of marks, it will never be white again. The mark will talk to you, asks you questions and...

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The Other Side
The Other Side

By: Jacobina O. APRIL 1, 2024

Waking up on the other side of the story is as exciting as a child on her birthday. “What will the new day bring?” Transition is always a process. Even though it looks like an overnight experience for outsiders, the truth is...

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Leaving the Coast
Leaving the Coast

By: Jacobina O. MARCH 25, 2024

Zeeland, the province where I was born, means Sea-land. From a delta in the North Sea, a couple of islands formed where my ancestors learned to make a living. They survived for centuries...

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Size Matters
Size Matters

By: Jacobina O. MARCH 18, 2024

With less then 117 feet to play with in my current situation I am looking forward to a 400 square foot studio. I am not complaining because having been evicted from my 1200 square foot three bedroom house was...

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Crazy Times
Crazy Times

By: Jacobina O. MARCH 11, 2024

Yesterday I heard someone say that we live in a crazy time. Not only the political situation but also the weather patterns have been abnormal. The conclusion was that it is unsettling to be alive as a human in todays world. The world...

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Master and student
Master and student

By: Jacobina O. MARCH 4, 2024

Its important to understand that the student came to his master with the goal of acquiring something, in this case knowledge, and once this is done, there is no point anymore for the student to be there unless...

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The Move
The Move

By: Jacobina O. FEBRUARY 26, 2024

Moving for anybody is a big ordeal. Moving for a visual artist is probably worse. I think it is important for artists to move around. It is not mere restlessness or lack of inspiration, the true motivation is finding a place where you can...

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Passing
Passing

By: Jacobina O. FEBRUARY 19, 2024

You can refer to someone's death as their passing, if you want to avoid using the word `death' because you think it might upset or offend people. After spending hours reading through thirty years of daily journals, I remember...

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George Hendrik Breitner
George Hendrik Breitner

By: Jacobina O. FEBRUARY 12, 2024

Bob Dylan once said, “It is only natural to pattern yourself after someone. If I wanted to be a painter, I might think of Van Gogh. You cannot just copy someone. If you like someones work the important thing is to be...

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Talent
Talent

By: Jacobina O. FEBRUARY 5, 2024

The question around talent comes up a lot in the classes I teach. It stems from insecurity with students about having any talent or not. Because if they are going to put in the hard work and dedicate many hours to learn to draw...

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Moving to Asheville
Moving to Asheville

By: Jacobina O. JANUARY 29, 2024

An autobiography called ‘True Colors’ is now published on Amazon and for everybody to purchase…. So I thought. Many people cannot get to Amazon USA and it is not available on Amazon.nl. Sorry guys. Let’s make a deal;

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What is a Kiss?
What is a Kiss?

By: Jacobina O. JANUARY 22, 2024

To be an artist and express the unique way I see the world is a blessing and a curse. Today I have the strong feeling that my work is meaningful to others. This has consequences. The place in Englewood where I used to live was great to develop inner confidence through practicing my techniques and discover possibilities in manipulating paint. It was cathartic in the sense that I could work through the trauma’s of my ancestors and even my cultural baggage.

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True Colors published
True Colors published

By: Jacobina O. JANUARY 15, 2024

A while ago David Bradshaw inspired me to write my memoirs. I am thankful he took the initiative. At a young age I knew my life would be different than that of my parents. Not that I knew how to do that, but I am ambitious, although being young...

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Cup of Coffee
Cup of Coffee

By: Jacobina O. JANUARY 8, 2024

To get out of the house I often go to Starbucks down the street and write my stories where I meet people. I wish them good morning and I feel like I am part of a community. The cheapest coffee you can get is a tall regular and when you bring your own cup you get 10 cents discount. It adds up to $4.65 and then the machine asks if you want to give a tip. Tip?...

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Fast Pace
Fast Pace

By: Jacobina O. JANUARY 2, 2024

Through this channel I wish you the very best life for the year 2024. The unrest during New Years Eve with cars flying over Interstate 41 made me think how valuable a slower pace of doing mundane things actually is. Especially in America we are used to fast food, fast lanes and fast European vacations. This makes the experience of life shallow. Think about cooking. Making a meal from scratch, using fresh ingredients, herbs and spices is a joy in itself. The smell of rosemary or freshly squeezed celery does something positive for our mood.

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Resilience

By: Jacobina O. SEPTEMBER 26, 2023

Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands. Resilience is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to external and internal demands...

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The Power of Now

By: Jacobina O. SEPTEMBER 19, 2023

Many people wait for better times to do what they really like.The sun might be too hot, they don’t feel well, there is not enough money or they cannot leave granny alone. All legit, no doubt. However, one day you might run out of options. My peers are getting ready for retirement. Often they don’t know what they want to do with their spare time. What has felt like a luxury in their working days all of...

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Inspiration

By: Jacobina O. SEPTEMBER 12, 2023

Inspiration is illusive. It is like a dream you want to remember in the morning after waking up. To dwell in the dream is tempting, because it removes us from the harsh reality of daily life. The more we want to hold on to the images, the sounds and the feeling, the faster it slips away. Inspiration feels much like a dream. You cannot force it, nor control it. It appears like a thunderbolt. Unexpected but clear. Much like falling in love with an idea.

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In Search for Community

By: Jacobina O. AUGUST 22, 2023

On Facebook was a picture of Georgia O’Keeffe, staring seriously at the horizon. The text said, “If there is nobody to greet you in the morning when you open your eyes and there is nobody to say goodnight, if you don’t ask anybody to be part of your day, is this freedom or loneliness? When I lived on a tropical island the inhabitants formed my community. When I was married, the children and grandchildren were a specified group of people with the last name Trump. When I lived at the Manasota Beach Club, I was an artist in residence and thus part of a community. The same held true for the Hermitage Artists Retreat. All these were geographical places where the inhabitants had to deal with the weather patterns, the local rules and food distribution. It created community.

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New Season

By: Jacobina O. AUGUST 15, 2023

Most of you know about my passion for drawing and have experienced for themselves how the mind opens up to new idea’s once the preconceived attitude goes away. To teach on-line has the benefit of studying in your own time, privacy and speed. Even though I am a big proponent of on-line classes they also have their down side. To meet people in person creates a stronger bond.

The Adult & Community Enrichment and I agreed on working together on long term plans teaching continuing education in calligraphy, basic drawing, colored pencils and sketchbooks. This will all be in person at the location in Beneva Road, Sarasota. This means that you now can choose between on-line continuing art classes with me or live sessions, privately or in a class setting.

From all the choices you have in on-line classes I am providing personal feedback on your art work. If I don’t have classes you would like to see, I will do my best to accommodate you and share my lifelong experiences in the field. Let’s have a conversation to make something extra-ordinary happen this season.

Patron Registration begins Tuesday, September 5. Online, Phone, & Walk-in Registration begins Monday, September 11 of the Adult & Community Enrichment (ACE) at Sarasota County Schools, 4748 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL 34233

ACE Office: 941-361-6590

Diamonds, Love and Art
Diamonds, Love and Art

By: Jacobina O. AUGUST 8, 2023

Although an uncut diamond doesn’t have any sparkle, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth anything. When art is in the process of being created doesn’t mean there is no value. I am thinking a lot about value these days. The value of a house, a diamond or a painting. In the Golden Age a black tulip was super expensive and if you could afford it, was a sign of wealth.

But aside from the obvious choice of the stones as a symbol of a loving relationship, diamonds also hold deeper spiritual meanings thanks to their rarity, purity and brilliance. Formed over billions of years and composed of pure carbon, diamond crystals help to bring together the mind and the body, helping them work to cleanse and restore your mind, body and soul.

The shapes, textures and materials all play a role in creating a powerful message that speaks to the world. Art has the same effect. Just like diamonds, artwork can be extremely mesmerizing. Every painting, sculpture or drawing contributes to the symbolic elements that represent a meaning. But, just how similar is visual art to nature’s creation, diamonds?

Yesterday I made a drawing of a family with simple pencil. The people who gave me the commission were mesmerized. The first reaction was “How did you do that so fast?” I am always chocked over the lack of knowledge about how fast a drawing or a painting should materialize. Just like the growth of raw diamonds takes billions of years, it takes a fairly short time to cut it into a diamond. Is that fast?

My response is as usual “Do you mean that 40 years nurturing an art career is fast?” The value today of my art is not about the amount of hours I am spending on one piece but how much emotion is touched by the viewer. I might be able to paint a valuable painting in one day and receive $5000 for it, but is this money made fast? I don’t think so. My average hourly rate is still probably $5 an hour.

The strength of the emotion means there is a deeper spiritual meaning which is purely personal and has much value.

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What is Reality?

By: Jacobina O. OCTOBER 23, 2020

Reading an article a student sent me about the fly on Pence’s head during the vice presidents debate, and how flies have been used through the centuries in paintings, made me think about the importance of art. Art makes us reflect on the deeper meaning of things that happen in the world. Flies have long held symbolic meaning in the history of art. In portraits made in Renaissance Europe, the presence of a fly symbolizes the transience of human life. In the great scheme of things, our lives are no longer than that of a fly.

For me as a painter of ‘trompe l’oeils’, the article was a moment to reflect not only on the history of flies in western painting, but to begin considering how much we like to be deceived.

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Zen and Drawing

By: Jacobina O. SEPTEMBER 4, 2020

Zen is the direct experience of what we might call ultimate reality, or the absolute, yet it is not separate from the ordinary, the relative. This direct experience is our birthright. The practice of zen meditation is a way of realizing the non-dualistic, vibrant, subtle, and interconnected nature of all life. I discovered that through using simple tools that hardly cost anything like a pencil or a pen I was able to calm my mind through drawing. Looking for the benefits of drawing I couldn’t find another more compelling reason than the connection to nature and the skill that only humans have, to draw accurately. When you start drawing with a Zen approach the world is going to change.

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Feeding and Weeding

By: Jacobina O. JUNE 3, 2017

This morning I woke up with an image of feeding a monster. Once calmed down with a cup of coffee, I contemplated what the dream meant. What does the word feeding mean?... feeding is the act of taking or being given nourishment.

An almost full moon rose in the East the day it was my turn at the Hermitage Artist Retreat to feed the newly arrived artists on the beach. It is a treat and a tradition to organize a friendly welcome to travellers who came from northern States, often having left snow covered streets that morning, at their place of origin.

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