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Denver, CO

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Representational Paintings, Realistic Paintings, Fine Art America, Contemporary Art, Oil Paintings, Wall Art, Abstract Art, Paintings, Artist

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Aspen Tree Inspiration

Katie Jacobson

Aspen trees have always grabbed my eyes more than any other tree. It’s something about their white trunks and their intense leave color transitions that grab my attention without question. Living out in Colorado, I skied and hiked through aspen trees and they always caught my eye in a unique way. I moved from Colorado to Nashville before their leaves changed to their magnificent fall colors and I knew I had to go back to experience it in person. I dreamed about these trees daily, and begun an aspen tree series based off my imagination. After those paintings based off my imagination, I knew I needed to experience these trees changing and engulf my mind and eyes in it in person. Watching the leaf changing color “radar map” I was on-call, waiting for the day I was going to take off on the road to make way to the Aspens to catch them changing colors. We left September 21st, only planning to be there for a week and half. The trip ended up lasting three weeks because I could not get enough. My eyes experienced the leaves changing from green to vibrant yellow to radiant orange to red.  It turned from my imagination of these trees that I dream about, to trees for which I feel deep passion for and personal connection from being present with them in life. From just being drawn to their white bark and vibrant leaves, a whole new dimension of appreciation was established.

At the beginning of the road trip I was introduced to two women whose soul’s radiated, Terra Ray and Gushikawa I went to their Native American Pipe Ceremony, where they met my dogs. For those of you who don’t know, one of my dogs Sayba was attacked last winter where she lost an eye. The vet stitched her up to close the eye socket, leaving a scar for where the eye used to be. Gushikawa looked at Sayba and mindfully said, “look at your beautiful spirit eye”. That phrase and hearing her voice, say it made my heart light up. Sayba has always been my warrior princess since the attack, but now I no longer saw her scar as a scar, but a spirit eye. The next day, I was surrounded by my first aspen grove. I walked up to a tree and looked at an “eye” on the aspen and Gushi’s voice popped in my head saying “spirit eye”. I looked at the surrounding trees and saw all of their eyes, each eye unique in its own way. I sat down and looked at Sayba’s “spirit eye” against her white fur and saw this similarity with the aspen trees. Sayba’s scar has always symbolized so much to me. All the emotions and experience behind it changed both her and my lives. Feeling this connection with Sayba’s spirit eye and the eyes of the aspens, changed the way I connected with the trees.

As aspen trees grow, their top branches get the most light. Their branches need light to survive, and as they grow taller the lower branches get less light and begin to die and fall off. These branches that fall off create the “eyes” that you see on aspen trees. I learned how sensitive the bark is to scaring on these trees, whether it’s from branches falling off, bears sharpening their claws, elk rubbing their antlers, or even people carving into them. These spirit eyes and scars from animals add character to the trees and are one of the reason I find these trees so intriguing and engaging. When I look at an eye of an aspen, it almost feels like I am looking at an eye of an animal or person. The “spirit eye” on the tree makes me think about what this tree has seen all its years of living and also makes me feel like it’s a window to this tree’s soul. They almost become human like in my mind. It’s the scars in our lives, physically and mentally, that happen shapes our character and gives us a step to grow as individuals.  Just like Sayba’s “spirit eye” is a scar both physically and mentally, that shaped her into an even more beautiful creature inside and out.

I met another bright soul on the trip, Carrie, who invited us to come stay at her cabin tucked away in the mountains. Her property is backed up to a national forest and a big aspen grove you can see out her window. All of these aspens are over one hundred years old and all have what appears like a purple base from all the scaring caused from elk and bear. It was amazing to think about everything these trees had lived through over the one hundred years they had been alive. I sat out in this aspen grove for two days painting the trees. The last afternoon as I was working on the painting over my music, I began to hear what sounded like children screaming over my music. I turned off the music to hear coyotes frantically howling and as they were getting closer and closer. I grabbed Sayba and we took off running towards the cabin. My heart was pounding out of my chest, but it was a really amazing experience knowing I was truly out in nature creating. Wildlife was something I had to think about while out spending time with these trees. The three days we spent at Carrie’s, I really got to know these aspens: from painting them, to listening to their leaves flutter as I napped in a hammock underneath them, to watching their leaves begin to evolve from green to yellow, and understanding a whole new appreciation for their spirit eyes and scars. Carrie shared many stories with me about these aspens and all the wild life encounters she has had living there. Her cabin, property, and the ‘family’ of people we were with, was truly a slice of heaven. The time spent at Carrie’s was a very grounding experience and led me ready to dive deep into the heart of the gold.

We made way to Crested Butte, where a little birdie told me that it holds the second biggest living organism just behind the Great Barrier Reef. This giant living organism is indeed…. Kebler Pass Aspen Grove. I began to realize I couldn’t recall ever just seeing a standing-alone aspen. When you see an aspen, you see a bunch all around. I learned that all of the roots of aspens below dirt are all connected. So when you see one aspen standing next to another, they are actually sprouting from the same inner connected root system.  Another amazing fact about these root systems, is when a forest fire comes through, it only burns down the trees. Leaving the root system to continue the cycle of aspens. One root system called Pando, is said to be over 80,000 years old. It’s amazing to think that these huge forests of aspens, although the trees stand as individuals, are all connected beneath the surface. This also became a human like symbol to me. We as people stand as individuals, but underneath our individuality is the understanding that we are all one… we are all connected and never alone.

Seeing these mass numbers of Aspen trees all together was breathe taking. We left Crested Butte with people telling us we were crazy for going camping up in Kebler because it was going to be so cold. We couldn’t resist knowing the mass amounts of aspens we were about to see. We pulled onto Kebler Pass while watching the sunset over mountains surrounded by aspens. As it turned dark, we were unsure of where to camp so we stopped to let the dogs take a bathroom break. Matthew walked back up to the car after letting them out and said, “I have a surprise for you”. He pulled the car down the dirt road to a stone fire pit and a big fallen aspen tree with the words “Camp Aspen” carved in it. With it being dark I could tell aspens surrounded us because the ground was covered in yellow leaves, even though we had no idea what the landscape around us looked like. We built and sat by the fire to warm up and then set up camp in the car to keep warm with the dogs. The next morning as I awoke, I stepped out the car and my eyes filled with tears. The sunrise was beaming in the plush yellow leaf canopy that covered us with all the endless and enormous aspens trees surrounding us. It very well could be one of the most beautiful mornings I have experienced. After soaking up the first half of the day here, we had to make ourselves pack up camp so we could drive through the rest of Kebler pass. We knew if we were surrounded by this much gold in this one spot, this drive was about to be incredible. We ended up driving to the end, then back to the start, and back through again. We could not get enough of this landscape. It was beyond breathe taking. In the pass alone, we saw just about every size of aspen tree, every color leaf (even naked aspens), and different lighting from the time of day reflecting on the trees. With this new aspen series, it is safe to say most of the thousands of photos I took for inspiration came from Kebler Pass.

This trip was beyond, I repeat, BEYOND inspiring in endless ways. Every day, and every new location held new inspiration from the colors, weather, scenery, people, music, and conversations. We started at the Great Sand Dunes, made way to Westcliffe, Salida, Buena Vista, Cottonwood Pass, Crested Butte, Aspen, Denver, and ended our trip in Taos, New Mexico.

Spending three weeks with no phone service in nature was one of the most grounding and inspiring experiences I have ever had. All of the new friends, or who I would like to call new “family” from this trip, was an addition to all the inspiration and love I felt on the road trip. The people whom I met along this journey shaped it into the beautiful three weeks that it was. The aspen road trip turned into a “finding gold road trip” in just about everyway possible. Colorado’s nature and its people sure are something special.

 As for the Aspens: I felt a new connection with their spirit eyes. I witnessed and studied their brilliant colors in person.  I felt the community of aspens and their strength creating a whole new dimension of appreciation, understanding, and love. The creativity in my mind and eyes, during and after this trip, feels as if the possibilities for this series are endless. Words alone cannot describe how excited I am to dive into this new chapter of aspen trees. I personally want to be surrounded by aspen trees everyday and it is that love that is behind every one of these paintings. 

New Aspen Tree paintings are going to be released November 17th at 9am EST on my website. There will also be new aspen paintings at my art show in Columbus GA December 1st. Aspen prints will also be coming within the next month!

(join my mailing list to stay updated with details on painting release’s and upcoming shows)

 

FiftyForward Inspiration

Katie Jacobson

 I want to start off by saying how honored I am to have created a painting for an organization that makes such a difference in peoples lives here in Nashville. Fiftyforward is a nonprofit organization that offers endless opportunity to the elder population in our city. They have different facilities all over Nashville that offer a huge variety of activities and charities. From social events such as dances, to art classes, community card and pool games, knitting groups, and community bingo. They also have a food service that prepares food baskets and delivers them to elder people who are unable to leave their home. I could write a whole essay on everything they do, because it is endless!

Pam Brown took me on a tour of the facilities one day, and I was absolutely amazed. I saw bingo groups where volunteers were working with people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other mental troubles that come with aging. I saw the people working behind the scenes of all the food deliveries they do on a daily basis. They told me about number of people and the amounts of ground they cover to make sure people are fed. I saw ladies sitting around tables playing bridge, having the grandest time. It made me smile so big seeing them all joking around, laughing, and having the best time. I then walked into the pool room where a group of men were playing pool, again, having the best time. I watched a group make jewelry, another group take a painting class, a group of ladies knit together while chatting. At one of the facilities I even saw a salon where they can get their hair cut and nails done! This organization literally has thought of everything that the elder community could use.

I was beyond inspired after this visit to their facilities. The biggest thing that warmed my heart was the amazing since of community they have brought into these peoples lives.

I have two grandmothers who mean the world to me. I lost my grandfathers at a young age, and I am so grateful to have two grandmothers who have influenced and been apart of my life thus far. My mom’s mom and I have a strong connection and love.  She always makes me smile through my heart, and brings endless love into my life. My dad’s mom is who I give credit to for me becoming an artist. Since I can remember she had me painting and drawing. Since probably the age of three, she has always inspired me to create, taught me how to draw, and praised me with confidence in my art. My mom’s mom, Meme, has done the same in the way that she always fills me with love and confidence in my art. Meme will call me just to remind me how much she loves my paintings that she has hanging in her house. They are the most loving grandmothers one could ever ask for.

As we all know, as we get older, we lose people in our life whom we love. I experienced both of them losing the loves of their life, as well as even losing a son. It’s so hard to watch someone you love suffer from losing a person whom they have not known life without. One of my grandmothers went through depression after losing her love. I first hand saw her pain, and then saw how organizations like Fiftyforward change peoples live. Ever since she has joined that community, her happiness and excitement about life radiates. She is drastically happier and it makes me and my whole family so much happier to see her this way.

            I can’t even imagine what its like to be with the person you love for 60+ years and then lose them. At the same time be losing a son, and all of your friends. I can imagine that it would feel like you don’t know how to live without them. I can understand how its easy to be isolated and depressed after experiencing that big of a loss. Everyone at this age is challenged with that kind of loss, with illness, and even without having any family or money. Fifty Forward is giving these people the opportunity to choose life: To truly live your life to the fullest and not give in. They have created such an amazing opportunity and community. Fiftyforward gives endless opportunity for elder people to socialize: to do any activity with old friends and new friends. Socialization is such a key factor in mental health and happiness. When we are isolated, depressed, and stressed/have anxiety it is impacting our mental and physical health (no matter what age you are).

When we are surrounded by love, we feel happier, and I believe that has a huge affect on our health.

Fiftyforward is giving these people hope, love, and community. I am so grateful I had this opportunity to learn about this organization and everything it does in this city that I love and call home.

 

My painting is being used on all the invitations going out all over Nashville, announcing their 60th anniversary. Fifty Forward has also made a variety of gifts that will be given to different levels of people who donate. The person who makes the largest donation will win the original painting!

To find out more about Fifty Forward, please visit their website:

http://www.fiftyforward.org

 

To donate visit:

https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/FiftyForward/OnlineDonation.html

Humming bird painting release--- LIVE show! (Online and in Columbus GA)

Katie Jacobson

I've decided for the realease of humming bird paintings it would be fun to have a 'live' show! By live, I mean the paintings will go up for sale online and I will be showing the paintings in person. I am going to be showing the paintings in Columbus GA (Bibb City Studios) Wednesday, March 23rd, from 11:00am to 7:00pm. The paintings will go up online at these same times (making them available for you out-of-towners, and people who can not make it to the show in person). Paintings that sell online/in person will be mark sold on my website and in the show room. If you do buy a painting online, your painting will ship the following day. If you buy in person, you will take the painting home with you. For the people who live in Columbus, I will be doing a live hummingbird painting on site of the show, so you will be able to see the action behind the work! 

The new humming bird paintings range from 10x10 bird studies, all the way up to 30x40 hummingbird gardens. I will also be realeasing 12x16 prints of "Flying Color" and stationary, which will be available online and at the show. 

Online shop:   www.katiejacobsonart.com
Columbus GA show location: Bibb City Studios
3718 2nd Ave. 
Columbus GA 31904

River Road Cows

Katie Jacobson

           I’ve had a number of people ask me what’s the meaning behind my cow paintings. These cows aren’t just any cows…

 

          When I lived in Columbus, everyday I would drive up and down River Road to my parent’s house at Lake Harding.  People would always, and still do say, “How can you do this drive everyday?” and “Does your dad really do this drive everyday to work?” Yes, we do. And to me, this drive is one of my favorite parts about home. Driving up and down it multiple times a day, it’s always different every time. Everything is always changing, from time to seasons to weather, but especially, through my eyes its in the lighting. The colors. The experience. The moment that exists right there, that will never exist again. It’s the beauty of transience and the life that it holds.

 These cows especially capture my attention through the winding road. Driving past them at all different hours of the day, being taken by the evolution of the way the light reflects and absorbs on the field and on the cows. Admiring the colors that are glimmering in that moment. Catching them in different areas of the field throughout the day. From feeding time, to hiding in the shade from the blazing Georgia summer sun. Grazing the field. Getting into the creek. Seeing the evolution of life happen in those fields. Seeing a newborn grow over weeks, months, and even years, It’s constantly changing.

          There’s such beauty in this transience. I drive past the field with the moment only lasting for 30 seconds but they have such an impact on me. It is so captivating in the life that it holds. Driving past as the sun is rising, I see the sun blaze through the trees as the sun emits light onto the grass, creating elongated shadows of the subjects across the open space. Catching a glimpse of the field and cows on foggy mornings, barely being able to make out the forms and the space that I know is there, but is completely blurred.  Watching the sunset as I'm driving, and the colors evolving through the sky and how it is affecting the scenery. The repercussion colors that take place in the sky after the sun is below the horizon, and how those colors reflect on everything the light touches. The position of the sun, the time of day, the weather, all affect the atmosphere of the field and cows. It’s always different. Always evolving. 

           My paintings evolve around the evanescence of time and the uniqueness of short- lived experiences and moments. They are an opportunity to visually take in the unacknowledged, yet distinguishable, beauty of entity. These cows and the field they roam have always been and will continue to be an inspiration to me. This particular scene opens my eyes in so many ways, every time I pass them on River Road.

           I can’t wait to show you the new round of paintings I have been working on! New cow paintings are available on my online shop! 

 

 

Blue Cow

Katie Jacobson

Meet Blue Cow. He stands unique from any cow painting, and honestly any painting I've have yet done. 
One of my favorite quotes explains this cow perfectly:
“Both yoga and art aim at the same thing, that is, to re-establish our personal connection with the world around us according to our own inner creativity. To render body and mind a conduit through which the creative energy can flow freely, unimpeded by outer restrictions, in trust that this energy, being apart of the universal energy, is ultimately pure and joyful!”
           -Dona Holleman
The colors hold a special meaning to me. Ive seen these glowing turquoise and blue hues in a meditative place. I experienced these glowing colors in Savasana (corpse pose) years ago in a yoga class. Ever since then, I imagine these luminous colors in meditation when my mind wanders. They ground me in times where my minds moving 1,000 miles per hour, bringing me to a place of balance and peace. I find these colors to be a refreshing wave of tranquility. After seeing them in that meditative mindset, I tried to create/paint the ethereal glow in which I experienced. ‘Blue Cow’ un-intentionally, maybe subconsciously, turned into the colors that I have yet to be able to express/illustrate onto a canvas. I took a big blank canvas and wanted to allow my mind to take this painting to where ever it desired. I have never done a painting with such few colors, nor have I ever left a background of a painting white. I think the simplicity illustrates exactly what I experience when I my mind engulfs in these colors in mediation. A breathe of fresh air. Clarity. 

While finishing painting this cow, my roommate walked into the house in disarray, stressed from her day. I could feel her energy was frazzled. She looked at the painting and paused, shortly following with, “This cow just spoke to me." She felt the rejuvenating energy that these colors give me. It moved me feeling her connecting with the painting so strongly. I hope for the viewers of this painting to experience the same. 

| 30x30 |  oil on canvas |  

This cow will be added to my online shop, along with many more, August 31st at 9am EST. 

 

To few more images, follow link to my Facebook page, "Katie Jacobson Artist Page": 
https://www.facebook.com/412987008733527/photos/pcb.697654126933479/697654060266819/?type=1&theater
 

Rubbo

Katie Jacobson

This week, I surprised my mom with this painting. My Uncle Rubbo, one of her older brother’s passed away a year and half ago unexpectedly. Rubbo was seriously one of the coolest guys I’ve ever known. So much swag and independence. He was known for his year around “killer tan”. I can still hear his deep voice and laugh. Rubbo had the best taste in music, which was something we always connected on. To this day, one of the most favorite things I own is his collection of records from the 60s and 70s he left me. I love our memories of riding in his ’65 black mustang convertible to his “secret” shelling spot, Tiger Tail Island, jamming to his music. I could go on forever about him. But one of the most admirable things about him was he never did anything he didn’t want to, even if it came off a little stubborn at times. He literally lived his life exactly the way he wanted to. And I’ve always admired him highly for that. It’s something I’ve grown to believe strongly in; creating the life you dream of. He saw potential and would push people to work for it: strive towards being your best. Whether it golf, or personally, my art.

 

            The last dinner I had with him, was when my mom and I went on our routine visit to see him in Naples Florida. For all of you that know him, know he had his “couple of drinks” of Mount Gay and Coke, and was speaking exactly how he felt. At this point I was teaching yoga and leading my paddle board yoga business full time, with art on the back burner. He was always so supportive about my education at Ole Miss and my art, always wanting to set me up with connections to make it happen. We were talking about how I wanted to move and he asked me what I really wanted to do. I said be an artist, BUT yoga is my steady income. Rubbo started to push me telling me that I need to put all my energy into what I really want to do. He was telling me if I want to be a full time artist, I have to put all my time into it and work my ass off at it. He pushed me. He wanted me to realize my potential and that I could make it happen and to stop wasting time. A year after his death, I moved to Denver, dropping all my levels of comfort, to pursue my art full time. And now I’m here, creating art every day, working hard to make my dream evolve. I know for a fact he touched countless peoples lives like this. Especially, his little sister, my mom.

 

I wanted to do this painting for her, so she can see him every day and feel his life and presence. Just as I do when I see his records, and listen to our music. I believe that even when people leave us physically, their light still lives on. Their life lives in our heart. They can still reflect on and inspire us everyday.

 

The thing I love most about painting is it captures a moment. A moment that’s passed but yet holds such much life. Color and paint application read so powerfully and strike emotion in us. You can visually feel the life in the transitory moment painted. Paintings express the life in an experience that was short lived, documenting it forever. 

 

The process of this painting took me deeper into a painting than I’ve ever felt. My heart was so engaged, I even found myself painting with my hands, which was something I’ve never done. It was a train of emotions from start to finish, from tears to smiling. I was present with the deep love of the painting and feelings that happened along the way. It was a very inspiring experience having these waves of emotion grasping me into the painting.

 

Doing this painting has given me an even deeper, which I didn’t even know was possible, appreciation for all of these commissions I do. Whether it a person, animal, or place I know its something that the viewer and client has a deep love for. Art truly is the best gift. It’s an everlasting visual expression of light and color depicting something that awakened/touched us.

 

RIP Rob Gardner

Your light lives on <3

 

Happy Mothers Day, Mom.

I love you. 

Africa Calling

Katie Jacobson

I recently did this painting, ‘Africa Calling’. For all of you who know me or even just skimmed through my work, it’s obvious that I have a thing for Africa and it’s people.

When I was young, probably five or six years old, I can actually recall seeing those commercials on TV that raised money for African kids living in poverty. I can remember feeling this automatic deep love and connection with the kids. It was advertising the idea of donating money every month and “adopting” one of these children. Well, at the young age that I was, I remember thinking adopting meant I got to keep the child. I imagined this child was going to be flown over seas to me. I was so excited I even went downstairs and got my doll’s high chair and everything ready.  Sadly, I soon found out that this baby was not coming to live with me. 

My real interest and desire to learn about Africa began when good family friends, the Beaty’s, moved to Zimbabwe for four years to do mission work. I was so interested in what they were doing, and it was from that point on that any chance I had to do a research project or speech in school, I did it on Zimbabwe. It started at this young age, when I began trying to convince my dad to let me go.  

The first piece I did that awakened my desire to be an artist was a color pencil drawing of a young boy from Africa we did as a project in school. I was seventeen years old at that point, and ever since that drawing, I knew art was what I wanted to do. My first year and half in college I became discouraged of becoming an artist, because I had to start in all beginning classes and found it very static and controlled. For those of you that know me, know how I like my freedom and independence. Although I felt claustrophobic, I stuck with it. During the middle of sophomore year I was presented with the opportunity to finally do a big project on something I wanted. Our drawing teacher gave us two guidelines, it had to be a certain size and it had to be a mural. Immediately, Zimbabwe popped in my head.  I had studied the country and now I could create a mural to illustrate what I knew. This is when I created “Zimbabwe”. This piece was personally ground breaking, as it again reawakened my craving to be an artist.

One of my favorite paintings I have ever done is ‘American Dreamer’. I painted this while living in Florence, Italy in 2012. The model was from Africa and was posed in front of an American Flag. When our professor presented us with the set up, she told us the idea of the painting is to represent “American Dreamer”. This was based off of a show that was being exhibited at that time in Florence, in which the collection of paintings from various artists portrayed the idea of the American Dream. Well, to me this ‘American Dreamer’ secretly reconciled with me as, ‘Dreaming of Africa’. We all know of this idea of the American dream, and its meaning of freedom and prosperity. This idea began to correlate with the idea of a person always wanting what they don’t have. People tend to dream about things they don’t have and things they want. There is a positive lining here, because things we dream about are things we have the power to manifest and create in our own life. Dreams lead us to taking action, to creating them into our own reality. While painting this, there became came this relation of me dreaming of where the model was and the model dreaming of where I was. (All in retrospect because at this time we were in Italy). This ‘American Dreamer’ painting, has always meant something so deep to me, as it symbolized my dream of Africa. 

 One of my favorite quotes I practice living by is “If not now, then when?”. Now is the only time. You are the one who can create it. I have been manifesting this dream since I was young, now is the time to make it happen. I am looking into these orphanages where I will go live and teach art and share yoga with the children. While sharing and giving what I know and having learned through my experiences and education, I will also get to be surround by these beautiful people and enveloped in its country and culture. I have such a deep love and connection with my paintings of African children. As of now, my work on Africa has been a dream, and the time is coming to make it an experience and reality.

This painting ‘African Calling’ is foreshadowing a series I will be releasing this spring. The series will be based entirely on Africa and it’s people. The profits of these paintings will go towards funding my trip to Africa. Stay tuned for updates on this series!

This Africa series is one of the many things I am working on. I am so thankful to have this opportunity to dedicate all my time to my painting and began my career as a full time artist. I thank you all for your constant support and encouragement. Stay posted with me and my art on social media!

Do well and be happy. 

Namaste

Katie

“It’s not about where you take your art, but where it takes you” -unknown