Meet the Artist: Becky Jacob
By Ty Walker
Becky Jacob likes to go on road trips to find inspiration for her art. The watercolorist from Brightwood packs her truck with her camera, paint, canvases, brushes and other supplies, driving deep into the forest or to the coast to capture all the distinctive images of nature that Oregon has to offer.
“I’m an avid nature painter, taking images I’ve seen on hikes or drives and being able to paint them,” Jacob said. “There are so many unique, signature things, images you don’t see anywhere but the Pacific Northwest. It inspires me to paint and to share them.”
There are three rivers she lives near whose proximity to each other made a big impression on her. She has painted the Sandy River on Lolo Pass, where you can see Mount Hood, the Zigzag River, near Lady Creek in Rhododendron, and the Salmon River.
Admirers of Jacob’s painting describe her landscapes as ethereal and atmospheric. One of her finest recognizable signatures is her expert use of light in watercolor
“I focus on how light plays on something,” she said. “How rays of light shine through trees, sunrise or sunset.”
Her painting “Komorebi,” Japanese for “Dappled Light,” demonstrates a talent for capturing the image of light shining through trees. Another brilliant example of this use of light is her painting of Mount Hood at sunrise, with its soft pink and blush colors of morning.
Jacob was introduced to art in grade school growing up in Klamath Falls, where her parents signed her up for an oil painting class. She gravitated toward watercolors over the years because she liked the way she could play with colors and lighting.
She went on to study art and interior design at Mt. Hood Community College and the Art Institute Of Seattle. Today, she teaches classes in her home studio to about nine students, ranging in age from 14 to 70-something. This September she plans a field trip to Wildwood Trail to teach “plein air” painting, which is French for “in the open air.” That’s when you go outside the studio into the landscape you are painting.
Jacob paints her more abstract pieces from memory or from photos she has taken as a reference. “It’s more intuitive painting,” she said. “If we’re doing something stylized or abstract work as opposed to more realism.”
You can see her watercolor works on display at Coffee House 26 on The Mountain. She also maintains an online gallery at:.https://www.facebook.com/beckyjacobmtnwatercolor/
She has sold artwork on commission, but considers painting just one among her many creative pastimes. She’s also a musician who plays guitar and sings in church. A former restaurant owner, she also loves to cook.
Jacob shares her home in Brightwood with her husband, Dave, three dogs and a horse.