Thursday, September 7, 2017

I have lost my mind...

The anatomy of an artist...well there is no easy way to really explain what we are or how we function as on a daily basis. I say to myself daily have lost my mind. The ideas coming out of nowhere to trying to finish what I have already started is a process in it's self. I have been an artist since being young, but did not start taking things serious until I was out of high school.

The learning process for me through out the years has been very difficult even with out an official diagnosis, but learning for me is a challenge as I learn visually and constantly work to keep up with personal things and stuff for work.

Art is fun for me and I do what I want and rarely do commissions these days which doesn't help money wise, but sure does help me to not be stressed. I use my art to meet others like me and use it to teach others. I love art supplies, the smell of paints and the feel of paper. I buy stuff even when I don't need it and have so many sketch books because I have plans lol. When I draw and paint I like my music loud and I'm usually alone when I create because I get distracted easily.

I have found as I get older art is becoming my brain and everything else that is not relevant and no longer easily retrievable. I forget names and how to do a task that I used to do. Pretty much if its something I don't do daily I will forget. Its like my mind is purging everything that stresses me from all of my career as a Law Enforcement officer and a Fire Fighter.

I believe I have always had art as a go to place when things get bad on the inside and outside. I most likely have what they call " Cumulative Post Traumatic Stress Disorder". This disorder is now seen in law enforcement officers and those in fire and rescue. Different from what our military folks suffer from but somewhat similar.

Police officers face cumulative PTSD - PoliceOne

Just over a year ago I demoted myself to ease some of my stress and to keep myself from getting into trouble or even fired, but it really took a toll on me. The feelings of failure and thinking of what others thought of me, to some co workers not even talking to me. Thinking others were out to get me to getting angry about the littlest of things. I even to this day cringe at the ring tone I used to have on my work phone to the pain in my chest from the anxiety to just to walk into work.

I have a lot of the symptoms and I had to deal with it because of fear of the ridicule, not to mention the fear of being out of work not knowing whats next or even how to get paid when the bills are due. I know I am not alone and thankful for a very supportive family and a wonderful understanding girlfriend.

After some time I finally got grip with this and I really dont worry about what others think or what they say, because it's not worth the worry or my time. I am 17 years and a month in at my current job waiting for my 20 year mark so I can retire early and get away from it all. I hope to do so with enough to pay for my insurance and to live stress free.

So its said and I put this out there because it may help another person like me. My advise to those who have these kinds of jobs, take your time off seriously and protect it, love on your family, get a hobby. The escape of a hobby like my art is very addictive in a good way and very relaxing.

Life is valuable and time is so limited so you have to get after what you want as you only have one chance at this. Fear is the enemy that keeps you down and failure is only the beginning...


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

For the love of animals...

These days I attempt to spend as many hours as I can in the studio when I am not working the day job thats really not a "day" job. In the studio I am continuing to work on the "Story of 12", which is my series on all of the things I love about the fire department and fire trucks. As a child and still today I get excited and light up when I see a fire truck.

For those who know me know I have been around the Fire Service for many years and friends know my love for fire trucks and how it resinates to my art. The sweat, the tears and the long hours of my truck art that I have been doing since 1993.This long list of drawings and paintings has been a love, hate relationship within myself.

The funny thing is no matter how much I try move on to new things my wonderful friends remind me how much they love the fire truck art and what I do as they continue to support me.

So in the latter part of last year I started experimenting with painting and drawing wildlife, pushing myself to make a new line of art featuring ducks and other wildlife. During this time I picked up my camera and began to find geese and ducks, photographing them in there natural environment. I also started painting wolves and so on... During this time I realized even as a kid living on a farm that I truly love animals.

For the love of animals, I began to realize I wanted to paint wildlife as it is a part of me just like fire truck art. As I have learned from my mentor Noah, I communicate through my art and paint, draw my story, thats what I love , what I see and what I experience. I am attempting to make my mark in the world and hopefully inspire others who are way more talented then myself.

I fail constantly and I continue to pick myself up and push through the down sides of this life and my art. I am truly blessed to have a support system of friends and family that get me through. To my artist/ creative friends tell us your story and show us what you can do, you inspire me and keep it coming please. You have the power to make our world beautiful in your own special way as its ugly out there and it doesn't have to be.

So for me there is so much coming and in the works, I am doing my part and making what I truly love and care about as a art form. Telling my story one painting or drawing at a time with lots of time spent away from loved ones and putting my best effort forward. I hope I have inspired you and please tell me if this helped you as I love to hear from you. I really need feed back on what you like about my art and what you would like to see me do. I really like to know what you would hang in your home...

For those interested the painting that is pictured above, it is in very limited , small edition print of 50, 8 x10 signed and numbered pieces by yours truly. Also the original is availble for purchase as it is 15 x20 on illustration board, done in watercolor. If interested please message or contact me through my website listed on this page.

I also will be appearing at the Remington Volunteer Fire and Rescue Departments annual Spring Bash on April 15th with the new wildlife art and my "Story of 12" prints. The event will be huge so come out and support your local volunteer fire and rescue department.

Thank you for taking the time to read this...

Take care and be safe!!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Growing up doesn't stop the imagination

This blog post was written back in September 2016 during a beach trip with family...This morning I had the rare experience of playing with these boats with my little Nephew. 
As I am at the beach this week ,I tend to let go of all of my responsibilities and thought to open up my creativity. 

So while playing boats with my little Nephew I told him this entire table was water and this hole is a wirl pool. You could see his eyes light up and as if he was like finally this guy gets what I'm seeing here. 

At some point I acted out my boat was being pulled into the whirl pool and he with out thought backs his boat to the hole to tow me out. 

This to me is so cool because we as adults forget how to play and give ourselves permission to use our imagination or be a kid again. 

I think when you open up this way of thinking you will become more creative. I find so much inspiration from so many things these days and thought I'd share this moment. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I'll pay you for it...

So this saying "I'll pay you for it" has been a topic of discussion among my business friends and fellow artist lately. Oddly enough the saying has been said to me more recently and kind of stings. The reason I think it stings is because I consider myself to be a professional, as I now get paid for my art or I don't do the work. I am like any other business person, you get a service and you pay for it. So the saying when I hear it makes me not only cringe, but helps me with my decision of taking your job or not. 

 Lately I have even said no to several opportunities, and the commissions that were the "Christmas money" in my pocket have been put on the back burner to produce newer bodies of work. Now at some point they will get done and the way things look next year, I will not do any.
Notes from the up coming painting called Pipe Dreams
 This is because I found these commisions tie me up and do not allow me to produce the art work that will be the foundation for my future as an artist. Now don't get me wrong, I am thankful for all of the love and the work I have done in the past. Today as seen above I now do a lot of work planning out my paintings before the paint hits the board or canvas.

While on this subject lets talk about cost and why I charge what I do for my art. First of all, time is money and that time is valuable. The time used to produce a piece of art which can be worked on for days or even months is time away from my family. This, not to mention the cost of the art supplies which is crazy since I use the best I can afford to buy. Today I figured up my hourly fee for what I charge on a piece of art work and found I don't make enough really to cover the cost in the end. 

In the beginning, I used art as a hobby. Now that time has passed, I realize it is not just a hobby, but a passion and the dream of being a professional turning into reality. A reality that will become my full time career in the years to come. 

When asking a creative such as an artist to do a project, remember this is not just a hobby, it is a dream, a passion, and time away from family spent on making your product all that you dreamed of and more. It is time where the creative goes into a place like no other to get the results for you in order to fulfill the wish you have of the final outcome. Creatives like artists love to see the smiles and sometimes tears because of their work, but in order for them to get those reactions, it takes a lot of energy, effort, time, and dedication. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016


As I look back on being a firefighter at a young age and I realized that choices come too often. I started in the fire department at the age of 17 and after hanging out there for almost a year I joined. This came after begging and bugging my parents to a point of getting grounded.

My dad who was a Firefighter in the Air Force, drove the oversized crash trucks, fought fires, ran plane crashes and dealt with the after effects of the large earthquakes in Alaska. My dad would always say he did not want me to join because he thought there was no structure at the department in my home town. He always said that place has to many Chiefs and not enough Indians.

As a know it all teenager on the verge of becoming grown ass man, I was like what are you talking have watched to many western movies. So I decided that I would join anyway because all of my child hood friends were there and the chicks will be into that.

Today I am 45 years old and still involved in the department. As I look back on what has happened to me through out all of this I am first thankful that I am alive...lets just leave it at that. You know if I had to make this choice again I would do again and again.

Above is some of the first name tags I had ever received and they used to be on the inside of my fire helmet. Today they are velcro'd on my drawing table as a reminder of things past. I was around before there was accountability so keeping track of all of us was a nightmare so this is a big thing today in the fire service. 

These remind me of a time early on in all of this and how the fire service will chance your life in many ways. I loved the helping people part ,but more was the rush of adrenaline you would receive riding in a truck with lights and a siren blaring, the rush getting all of your protective gear on and done correctly because your headed to a house that is on fire or that accident.

So that rush is very addictive as the fire house became my second home as I spent more time there then at my own house. As time went on and I matured, I felt that I had to run as many calls as possible and the truck had to get out no matter what, even if I was the only one. The rush was no more as that just became the norm and you dropped everything else in your life.

That choice I made to be involved or to run that every call had consiquences as later on once married as I did not have my priorities straight. I ran calls no matter what hour of the night or whatever family function we had going on at the house. All because I could not stand the trucks not getting out and letting another fire company coming into our first due. 

Well one thing led to another and became one of the worse experiences next to loosing my mother which happened years later. Today I know I had started us down a path we would not recover from because of the choices I made. 

Once again this love for the department would once again determine a choice made as when I later became a career firefighter and could not shake being a volunteer. After only two years I would allow that to make a choice again in my life returning me to a career in law enforcement instead of staying with a job I dreamed of since starting.

 A relationship or marriage should always take a priority and of course there can be a little give or take. I believe one extreme to another is not healthy and will become toxic over time. Now I have also experienced that not coming around and missing it will cause unhappiness as well. 

So to you younger folks, women and men as its all the get yourself into this kind of deal remember what is important to you and to make good choices as they may not be as good as you thought. You only get one chance at this life and you all ways want quality and as much happiness as posible.

Balance is a must and stress is deadly ... so always think before you act on something as the choices you make have lasting effects.

Hey thanks for reading and if this helped you please let me know as I'd love to hear from you!!

Take care and be safe!!


Monday, May 23, 2016

The Arrival

The Arrival is number two in the series of paintings that show my view on fire trucks and anything to do with the fire department. The subject matter in this painting is the Remington Volunteer Fire and Rescue's brand new Seagrave pumper which has not been placed in service just yet. When looking it over when it arrived I got so inspired seeing all of the chrome. Below is a small sketch of what is to come in the painting as this is a new process for me to actually plan and sketch out my painting
before I actually do the painting if that makes sence. It sounds crazy to keep working something over and over as it does get tiring, but I get to find out what problems I am going to face and I get to know what I'm drawing and painting. The production fashion of how things are going are modeled after concept art done in movies and television as its just a map of what you might or may not do.

As this is a sketch and its not perfect, by the way is full of mistakes and features my infamous "mudflap girl"which is hidden in most of my firetrucks I draw...ooops did I ever mention I do this?

The fun of doing more in a project is what you get when the painting is truly done. I wish I had done this for "Red Hat Parade" which is my latest print in this series of 12. The problems I faced and what I could have worked out as so much time was wasted. This sketch is one of many I will do through out this series.

  I am currently finishing up the final painting of this cool new fire truck piece which I hope get in the driver seat of very soon. Prints for "The Arrival" are coming soon and this very sketch used in this blog post is for sale.

Email me or hit me up on social media if you are interested in it!

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think as I love to hear feed back on this new series of truck paintings.

Take care and stay safe!!


Friday, May 6, 2016

The story of twelve...

   So "The Story of Twelve" is a series of fire truck paintings done a little differently then I have done before. As pictured above is the first in the series called "Red Hat Parade"and as the original goes to it's new owner, I personalized one piece of gear to honor her dad who was a firefighter. Now with my new found knowledge from Noah University and mentor Noah Elias, I have actually planned these projects and it's big. Lets just say if I pull this off I will change everything in my life not only to include my Fire truck brand called Jacobs Truck Art.

   As you look at the painting above you will notice I had left the coats and helmet fronts blanks as this allowed me to personalize this original and now the prints. Red Hat Parade started 20 plus years ago on a parade route in Colonial Beach, Virginia. This painting is actually my fourth attempt at painting it and this is the final finished version.

  If you grew up in the fire department and received your first pair of hand me down gear and received your first helmet then you get this. By todays standards when you start out and you have to wear a red helmet now to let everyone know your still learning. So with the combination of today and back when I started, we would dig through piles of old gear, trying on piece after piece until one fit. It did not matter what it looked like as you were just happy to have it.

  The painting shows this and one special pair which I remember was my first good pair after having several really bad sets. The liner of the gear was a light blue quilted material as it made me feel invisible from heat and any thing sharp. Of course the painting features fire trucks at rest , in action or just looking shiny because to be honest it's one of the reasons I love them so. To me they remind me of big Tonka trucks I used to ride on as a kid... Tonka trucks didn't really have a noise as I was the one behind the motor sounds.

  Anyway I look forward to sharing this entire series with you as I travel this journey. Blogs I hope to write will not only be about the paintings ,but maybe what went into it and where the inspiration or story came from.

   Pre-Order for "Red Hat Parade" starts now as if you mention "Blog" I will give you a free personalzation of 1 helmet and 1 fire coat for only $20 bucks as the personalization will be an extra $20 dollars if you don't use the code.

  Thank you for the support and reading this,if you have a gear story or something that touches you about my paintings I loved to hear about it.

To Pre Order ...
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or mention to sign you up when I post this on Facebook and don't forget the code!!
Remember I can take credit cards, pay pal and of course cash!!

Thanks again and please be safe!!