Friday, March 16, 2018

What is my purpose in selling cards right now?

Okay.  This is it, you guys.  This is a picture of Kip and Brandon at our cabin.  We love that place!  Our family loves it but it's so small and in such bad repair.  My main purpose in earning money with my cards is to contribute to improving or building (preferably) a new cabin.  This has been a thorn in our sides for 34 years!  At the beginning of every summer Chris and I have, what I like to call, the official "Mourning of the Cabin".  We sit there and gripe about how this isn't right and that isn't right.  Then we slap our hands and say oh well.  

Top of the list is it's so small we can't have our family stay in it.  I know we could put up tents or rent trailers but we've been through that process for years and years.  2 summers ago Chris and Kip tore off the whole backside of the cabin-which meant the old old shower is gone now.  Something has to be done about that.  Their purpose in tearing it off was to try and see how the mice were getting in.  We've tried for years to get rid of them and nothing worked!  A friend even said that mice hate the smell of Bounce dryer sheets.  So we put them all over and even left an open box on the counter at the end of the season.  The next summer Chris said that it looked like the mice had a party on top of the Bounce box and then partied continually.  Yuck.  They did find out where they got in and so far, knock on wood, they solved the problem.

Last summer we had to chop down all the dead trees and do tons of work outside.  Chris even dug a well.  I was so proud of him.  I don't know how he did it but it works!  

Anyway, I just thought if I can use my talent to make extra money it will really help get things going.  It's not like we can't afford to build a new cabin.  We can but it will drain our finances too much.  

The really good news is the cards I'm selling are working out and I love painting them!  It's not a chore!  It's really good to have a goal in mind and mine is set.  It's also so helpful for me to keep busy and not have to worry about health problems, etc.  This is a healthy distraction.

Thanks everyone that have bought cards so far but I want to keep this going.  I'm reopening my Etsy shop but they're going to be more expensive on there.  If you buy them directly from me it will be less. 

Never a dull moment.  I'm got new cards I'm working on right now!

ALSO!  I will sell prints of these if you'd like!  Just let me know.

The Fresh New Spring Set of Cards!

 Stream by Yellow Lake in the Uintahs
Julie Jacobsen


$12.00 for a set of 4 cards with envelopes plus postage.
Please email me if you'd like to feel the zing of spring!

 Bootsie at Wheeler Farm
Julie Jacobsen

 Can I have an Apple?
Julie Jacobsen

Lily Floral
Julie Jacobsen

Just in time for spring when we're all about ready to scream enough! to the sky.  Cards that will remind you of why you want to be outside.  Each one is unique and can be used for whatever you want since they're blank inside.  I think that's the best, don't you?  Then you can write whatever you'd like inside.

*All rights reserved by me, of course!  I'm the one that stuck my nose to the grindstone and painted for hours.  No one else did.  All images are totally original!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Florals Cards for Spring that's around the Corner!

Floral cards-Julie Jacobsen-All Rights Reserved-Of course!

Well, guys!  This is going so much better than I could have hoped for!  After the 1st set was a huge success I decided to see if anyone would be interested in the florals.  The response was great!  Now they will be going into print as cards.  As the other set was these are $12.00 for a set of 4 plus shipping and handling.  Email me at if you're interested.  Already I'm going to have to double my print order.  I hope I don't run out!

I still have some of the other set but not much.  Let me know if you'd like some of them.  The great thing about that set is that it does have 2 cards that would work well for men-especially the cabin image.

Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

4 card images-Something for everyone!

4 cards in a set $12.00 - does not include postage if they need to be mailed
My email address is
As always for my images all rights are reserved
No copying allowed without permission

I just got the cards back from the printers and they're gorgeous!  So exciting!  You never know how these things might turn out until you do it but this was a good experiment.  The insides for all of them are blank.  I've found from past experience with printing cards that the blank ones are the best.  Do let me know if you would like to order.  If you live in the Salt Lake City area or are coming here you can pick them up.  Otherwise I'll tack on postage.  

Because they've become so popular I had to double my print order and might have to order more.  I'll come out with another set soon that has different images.  I'm trying to put some in each set that will be good for men, also.  You know how you try to buy a card and either the cards for me have bathroom humor or other unsavory subject matters.  Others might be so dull that you wouldn't even want to line the parakeet bird cage with them and bore the poor bird to death.

Very fun!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

If at first you don't succeed..............It's a real bummer!

Welllllllllll.  I am going to finish this Christmas painting even if it kills me!  Or so I have thought but I don't really want to die over this.  Anyway.  I like so much about this painting but the starring vignette of the whole thing is the one with Joseph, Mary, and Jesus.  It really has been a struggle but I think that's because I've avoided the real work on it.  So, today I admitted defeat and pulled out the rubbing alcohol.  It takes acrylic paint off quite well.  I removed as much as I could being careful not to press too hard and ruin the tautness of the canvas.  At this point I don't care about the under painting at all.  I just want to move this forward.  So, that means a good coating of white paint.

I also sat down and did a meaningful sketch of the 3 of them.  I need a plan and I was trying to wing it just like with my sketches.  Loose and free.  But I had to get tight and spend time on how I want it to basically look.

I'm an artist that's willing to show my mistakes and that gives everyone some hope, doesn't it.  It makes artists that are so much better pat themselves on the back and say to themselves, "See.  I knew I was better than her and this proves it!"  Or other artists that don't feel as accomplished can say, "Wow.  If she really can do lousy work then there's hope for me too!"  I can assure you that there's plenty of lousy work that I've done in the past but as I wrote about a while back it's okay to throw things away!  Yes, you can!  But make sure you really want to because you can't ever get them back.  There are some garbage men that are probably thoroughly enjoying some of my paintings that I felt were duds (why, oh, why didn't I think to cut out the parts that I liked and keep them!?!).  Well, you do live and learn.

This was my main project today and I'm going to make more progress even though I really want to be a slouch and work on something much more enjoyable.

I should, also, say that if you aren't getting the results you want it's a good idea to just turn it to the wall and then look at it at a later date.  You might find that now you know what to do with it.  Just don't throw it away until you've made sure.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Free form painting that creates new ideas that were never in my head before!

"Brandon the Robot" by Julie Jacobsen

I just have too much fun doing watercolor washes and then looking at all the squiggles and splotches to see if I can make anything out of them.  It always happens.  Do you remember in school when your teacher would have you scribble all over your paper with a black crayon and then have you fill in the designs with bright colors?  Well, this is similar in the way that nothing is planned.  The only thing I did ahead of time was to make bookmarks for friends using swirling colors.  I tried different color combinations.  This one I happened to really love.

My main intention with this watercolor was to make a birthday card for my grandson, Brandon.  After I saw all the creatures that popped out I decided to write a story to go along with the illustration. It just flowed right out of me because I really am an illustrator at heart.  It was so fun.  The story and card are safely in the mail and, hopefully, will arrive in time for his birthday.

If I look at this painting I can see some color combinations on their own that really look so vibrant together.  If you look inside the gray snake you can see a light peach and yellow.  Then next to that I love the pink and yellow.  I might do something with that sometime.  I also love the bright cobalt blue band, the golden yellow inside of it, and the purple/burnt sienna underneath. 

It's a very good thing that I take photos of all the art work I do before it leaves my house.  That way I can look back on them for even more ideas and fresh approaches.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


"Mr. Grizzly Having a Sweet Treat"
by Julie Jacobsen

So, here we go!  Here are the steps towards my finished product for this commissioned work.
Keep in mind that this is a whimsical approach and not meant to be a photo realistic painting.  This is meant to be a tongue in cheek type composition meant to make a lucky recipient very happy for his birthday.  I hope it does!

Well, as I usually do with my acrylic or oil paintings I start with a brilliant under painting.  This is a combination of prism violet, cadmium red light, and magenta.  I just glob it on and allow some texture.

I began with a rough colored sketch using more brilliant colors so that when the painting is finished little bits of the colors will peak through and add life to what could be, an other wise, flat painting.

Jumping ahead I began to develop the landscape first so that I wouldn't have to be careful when I painted the bear.  It always works out better that way even though it's tempting to vault ahead and do the much more fun main subject matter.  Notice that I'm careful to add distance to the landscape by muting the colors as they recede.  It also helps that I have a lot of overlapping objects to create more depth in the painting.
Now that I'm mostly satisfied with the background I begin working on the bear.
I have a problem at this point.  The aspen tree on the left is becoming too dominant in the painting but I don't want to take it out because it adds variety and I really like the angle that leans toward the bear.  I'm beginning to set up a triangular composition to lead the eye around and around.
Because we went up to our cabin a lot this year I was able to more carefully observe the vegetation.  If I hadn't I would have been tempted to paint this aspen growing straight up but they don't always grow that way.  Often you see trees that sprout up in the strangest places-like this aspen did right next to a pine tree.  They often wrap their branches right around the other tree and become very tangled.  Also, notice that the pine tree is actually 2 trees.  We actually had one just like this on our property this year that was dead and we had to chop down.

Now this is really getting to the fun part.  I love to put the leaves on the trees and it was so fun to make the aspen tree become in individual one and not just a generic representation.  Above the aspen I've started to put in a hint of the pine tree.  Notice also that I've begun working on making the stream look more realistic.

At this point I remind myself that this is supposed to be a grizzly bear.  That's the main theme of the painting that's very important to the customer that commissioned this.  Grizzlies are generally lighter.  So, I lightened it up.  Also, it's more fun to have the bear do what bears often do-go after honey in the tree!  I notice that I need to make some judgements about the values (lights and darks) in the painting.  There are areas that really need a splash of sunshine to bring them out so they're more noticeable-like the tree trunk.  In addition to complete the triangular composition I'm careful to make sure that I have light values like the aspen tree on the bear's fur, etc.  It also adds continuity to the whole feel of the painting.

After I lighten and darken areas some more I come up with the finished product as seen at the top.   It's a good idea to look at the painting upside down to see if it has a lot of interesting areas.  It's nice that the sky isn't too busy because it's a good idea to have an area for the eye to rest.  
I'm liking it enough and feel that it's done so I decide to sign the painting with my date and copyright symbol (to protect my work from unauthorized copying, etc.).  It's also necessary according to law to add a date.  This adds further protection to my work.   My favorite art teacher, Robert Rumel, used to tell me that if you feel like you want to sign the painting it's probably done.  It's not a good idea to keep going until you "eat your painting"-as my mom used to say-and ruin it.
Whew!  Now I can relax and concentrate on the holidays as I've fulfilled my obligation to my client.