Eric Jacobsen

Acrylic Oil

I received my training at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, CT. My study there consisted of painting, drawing, sculpting and anatomy, all of which was done “from life” with a live model. Upon graduating I was awarded the John Stobart Fellowship which included a yearly stipend and a show at the culmination of a year of painting. I put together a group of about 75 paintings and sold over 50 of them at my opening. This was a pleasant surprise and a real boost to me in my budding career as an artist. By this time I was painting the landscape almost exclusively with an occasional portrait, still-life or animal painting. Having grown up in New England, I was surrounded by the work of great artists from that region and as my awareness grew I became acquainted with the work of Emile Gruppe, Charles Hawthorn, John Carlson, and Chauncey Ryder among others. The work of these painters made an impact on me and shaped, molded, and affirmed my own convictions as an artist. From each of them I learned the power of simplicity and suggestion in painting.
While at the Academy I was introduced to scores of great artists work. Some of whom I had heard of before like John Singer Sargent and Frank Benson but through rubbing elbows with fellow classmates I was turned on to the work of Joaquin Sorolla, Anders Zorn, Bruno Liljefors, Henry Mancini and Nicolai Fechin to name a few.
I was particularly captured by the work of the Russian painters. Their work moved me with
its spirit, power and passion in a way that I had not yet experienced. I began to search out
Russian painters and study their work, filling my shelves with books on Russian painting
and my studio walls with images of Russian work.
There are so many Russian artists whose work I admire but among the most influential and
inspiring work to me personally is that of Isaac Levitan, Fedor Zakharov and Valerian
The work of these painters is filled with such honesty, joy and raw beauty, that I cannot
possibly explain the depth of its impact and influence on me as a painter.
Like these great painters I too try to capture the mood and feeling of the scene before me. I
deliberately steer clear of rendering and high detail in favor of large simple shapes with
minimal detail. My goal is to engage the viewer and allow him/her to interact with the
painting rather than spell out every detail. Painters like Emile Gruppe, Charles Hawthorn and
Fedor Zakharov are masters of this way of painting and it took them years to acquire this
skill. I too have spent years devoted to this approach to painting and continue to develop and
refine my painting process with the goal of creating strong simple statements with my work.