On trading newspapers for palette knives and other adventures in becoming an artist at midlife

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Today, we zoom in with Carrie Jacobson who calls herself an Accidental Artist. That’s because she was plying a career in newspaper journalism, not really too happily, when, one day, out of the Prussian blue, she was possessed by the idea of making a painting for her husband of their six dogs. And that was it. With the first swipe of the brush, she fell in love with painting. Fast forward to today, when she’s happily making a living solely from her art.

Carrie lives on the rural DelMarVa peninsula, in a town called Watchapreague, where the mayor is also the lawn guy, and the local doctor owns the general store. Carrie ’s not interested in getting rich; she says she just needs enough to pay the bills by doing what she loves, which is making art. I learned a lot from our conversation. About pricing paintings, for instance, for me, always a tough nut to crack. Carrie  prices her work by size: she charges $1.65 per square inch. And because she paints small, many of her paintings can be had for a song.

In another interesting approach to selling, she’ll sometimes post on her blog that she’s going on an art trip to some destination and that she will be painting along the way. Her followers can then buy the as yet uncreated paintings; and when Carrie gets back from her travels, she posts photos of the work on the blog and her followers get to choose, deli style, in the order in which they committed.

Carrie makes the kind of expressionistic but still realistic work that’s my favorite kind. And she uses a palette knife to really get down and dirty with the paint. It frees her, she says, from “the tyranny of detail.” Love that! She’s also just started working in fused glass. Glass is another enthusiasm of mine.

We even have former newspaper careers in common.

Anyway, you get the picture. Trust me, you’re going to love my new art friend and kindred spirit  Carrie Jacobson. Kudos to her little brother, Rand Richards Cooper, Open Studio’s go-to movie critic, for connecting us!

Above, in her happy place. Below, a selection of oil pantings done with palette knives on black canvas

 Below, her first-ever painting, a Christmas present to her husband, who loved it.

Below, lately Carrie’s experimented with fused glass.

Carrie’s findable at: