Friday, December 19, 2014

50 Days to Create!

Not long after our first big rainstorm here in the Bay Area, I realized that plein air painting was going to be a challenge.   I decided to pack away my outdoor equipment for a few months and focus my time and attention on brushing up my skills and playing with new Daniel Smith Primatek watercolors in my home studio.   

I also challenged myself to create as many paintings as I can in my studio for 50 days of Winter.  That being said, here are some of my first paintings.   I am trying to keep to a schedule of painting, even through the holidays, vacation time and right up until the day I have elbow surgery.  (Yikes!)    At least it's on my left arm and not the right.   I will post many of the new paintings on my website portfolio.

To all my plein air artist friends, I hope to see you in the Spring and resume painting some spectacular vistas here in the Bay Area and along the Pacific Coast.   -- Anna Jacke

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Anna Jacke Fine Art at The Presentation Center

In September 2014, I hung my largest exhibit to date at the beautiful Presentation Center, 19480 Bear Creek Road in Los Gatos.
Snuggled into the aromatic Santa Cruz Mountains, the Presentation Center is a popular venue for ongoing Bay Area retreats and conferences.   I was fortunate to have the months of September through December 2014 to display 37 original watercolor paintings - many from my fall-theme portfolio: Colors of the Harvest.   My artwork is in the great Dining Hall, Welcome Center foyer and adjacent hallways. 

Most of the framed artwork is for sale, with the exception of a few paintings which are from my personal collection.  I also have 26 original matted works for sale in the Welcome Center Gift Shop, individual and packaged greeting cards and The Artistic Touch 6, a hardcover book featuring two of my watercolor paintings now on display at the Presentation Center (below).  A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the Presentation Center. 

-- To view some of the paintings at the Presentation Center, please follow this link to my portfolio.

Last Friday, I spent some time on the grounds of the Presentation Center, enjoying the vistas of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the fresh air filled with the scent of eucalyptus, redwood and Douglas fir. Color is everywhere!  However, in the Dining Hall, a large decorated Christmas tree reminded me that fall is now over.

On Sunday, December 7th,  the Presentation Center will host their Annual Merry Mountain Christmas event from 1:00pm to 4:00 pm.  I will be there with my husband Peter to enjoy the festivities and to talk about my art!

There will also be refreshments, carriage rides, SANTA, trails and paths to explore, tons of activities and crafts for kids, and the gift shop will be open with items including local handmade caramels, local honey, organic chocolate, artwork, books, and much, much more! This event is open to the public, free of charge, so come visit us and join in on the holiday festivities!

Hope to see you there!   -- Anna Jacke

Anna's nook in the Gift Shop
My plein air painting:  Grazing

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Art Through the Lens - Coastside Land Trust 2014 California Raptor Show

For the past 27 years, photography has been a major part of my life.   As early as 1987,  I began writing articles for newspapers and magazines as a freelance photojournalist in my home state of Connecticut. 

Over the decades my passion for photography has only increased with the dawn of digital cameras and the ease of reviewing, uploading and printing photographs.   Even though film is still superior to digital imaging, digital media is certainly more convenient and less expensive for professional photographers.  With that being said, my home computer now has an external drive filled with more than 100,000 digital photographs organized by year, location and subject matter. 


This past September, I made the decision to enter one of my nature photographs into a popular annual show at the Coastside Land Trust Art Galley in Half Moon Bay.  

Since moving to California in 2009, my husband and I spent many adventure-filled days with the Fly-By-Dawn birding group from the Bay Area.  One such trip in February 2010 took us along Coastal California and Morro Bay.   Back then, it was still raining heavily during the winter season.  One morning we drove down a back road and spotted a turkey vulture sunning on a wire fence.  I had my 70-210 zoom lens on my camera and snapped away as this cold raptor spread its wings.  

Sunning Turkey Vulture will be featured in the Coastside Land Trust 2014 California Raptor Show.  For me, photography is art through the lens.    -- Anna Jacke

Friday, October 3, 2014

Eyes on the Food Chain

The last few months, I have been observing nature at its best.   Our organic garden is chock full of veggies that are ready for harvest with an abundant amount of neighborhood squirrels who beat us to the picking every sunrise.   We wonder about the food chain and who might be thinking of eating squirrels instead of yellow squash and pumpkins. 

During the months of August and September, I started painting birds of prey after receiving a Call for Artists for photos and paintings of raptors.  Perhaps we should put up an owl box in the back yard to keep a watchful eye on our garden.

Barn Owl   16 x 16
American Kestel   14 x 18
Osprey   10 x 7

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Artistic Touch 6 - On Sale from Anna Jacke

More than a year ago, two of my watercolor paintings were accepted by Christine Unwin, NWS to be featured in her next book in a series called The Artistic Touch.   Finally, the book is published and it is beautiful!     I have 15 copies of THE ARTISTIC TOUCH 6 at my Mountain View studio location. 

The book is currently being sold by Creative Art Press for $35.00 plus shipping and handling.   (See Ad in Watercolor Artist's Magazine)  I am offering these books to my family, friends and fellow watercolor artists at more than 30% off list price.   I will also have the books on hand at the upcoming SCVWS Paintsites gathering on October 2nd at Moffett Field in Mountain View. Free shipping, too.

Anyone wishing to purchase one can do so at our lunch gathering or contact me via email   I accept cash, check or PayPal. 

Here are more photos of this beautiful book featuring some very notable watercolor artists such as Nita Engle, Jean Warren, Fealing Lin and Julie Gilbert Pollard to name a few.    I am delighted to among the artists featured in this year's book.  

You'll Love This Watercolor Painting Book If:
  • You love getting inspiration from fellow watercolor artists
  • You want the feeling of peeking inside an artists' studio
  • You love watercolor & want to improve your skills
See great completed watercolor art pieces from more than 100 artists in The Artistic Touch 6. Hear from them as they discuss how & why they paint like they do and why they love working in watercolor. Learn from fellow watercolor artists as they share their favorite pieces, and find inspiration in this curated edition of The Artistic Touch. Get great watercolor painting techniques & creative tips in The Artistic Touch 6. Perfect for beginning watercolorists & advanced artists looking for new inspiration.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ready for the Dance featured in Southwest Art Magazine - September 2014

In the beginning of July, I received an invitation from Southwest Art Magazine to feature one my watercolor paintings in the September 2014 Issue - Special Watercolor Section of Nationally Emerging Artists.   In order to get into this magazine, you have to be invited.   I was thrilled and delighted to say the least.   My painting, READY FOR THE DANCE, is featured on Page 136 of Southwest Art, now available online and at booksellers nationwide. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

POPS in the Orchard: An Exhibit the the Peninsula Outdoor Painters

On July 1st, the Peninsula Outdoor Painters opened their first group exhibit at the Los Altos Library.  This event was the culmination of months planning by POPS Members Susan Mendelshon and Christine Edwards under the direction of  Exhibit Organizer Robin Chapman of Los Altos.  This was one of the most talked about art exhibits in Los Altos!

POPS Members were invited in early 2014 to paint the apricot orchards at the Los Altos Civic Center.  Painting "dates" were held in the orchard on three consecutive Tuesdays, February 25th, March 4th and 11th.

Dozens of people attended the Ribbon Cutting and Opening Reception at the Los Altos Library and History Center.   Entertainment was provided by POPS Member Caroline Garbarino, singer and her group, Park Avenue Jazz.  

Exhibiting Artists and Library Board Members gather for the ribbon cutting.

Art-Install Coordinator Christine Edwards with her plein air painting.
Art-Install Assistant Anna Jacke with her painting, "Apricot Orchard Blooms"

Art-Install Assistant Robet Schick with his 2 oil paintings of the Los Altos Apricot Orchard.

Chris (and husband Brian) Anna and Robert spent all  morning and early afternoon receiving the paintings from artists then hanging 39 beautiful pieces of plein air artwork from POPS Members.  Many of the paintings are for sale from the exhibiting artists.  A binder of contact information is at the Los Altos Main Library.  The exhibition runs through July 31st.   Admission is free and open to the public.  The Main Library is located at 13 S. San Antonio Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
For more information, visit

A wall of beautiful art in the Los Altos Library.
Opening of the POPS Exhibit
Reception on the patio at the Los Altos History Center.
Views from the gardens.
Park Avenue Jazz Performs for guests.
Los Altos History Center Director Laura Bajuk with Robin Chapman.
Apricots and Appetizers!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hike & Sketch Views at Alum Rock Park

Yesterday, I participated in my first Hike & Sketch with the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society Paintsites Group.  After getting the parking tickets paid for, we all gathered for coffee and pastry to thank Jenny and Sylvia for 8 years of coordinating our Paintsites Group.   Brad and Jane made brief speeches in gratitude and admiration of all the work Jenny and Sylvia put into making Paintsites a success.   

Jenny and Sylvia
Our group enjoying  coffee and danish.  Thanks Brad!

New heights at Alum Rock.

Jane and I took our time coming down the mountain.

Sylvia on the trail.

Our group heading down to the parking lot.

Lunch time views of our work.

Views from the top. . . lots of sunshine.

My first good painting.

My "5-minute challenge" while sitting in full sun!