Richard Jacobson was born in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. As a young man he was always writing stories and sketching so it was a natural outcome that at 18 years of age he decided to pursue art as a serious career.
He moved to Calgary and enrolled in the Alberta College of art where he graduated from the Visual Communications program with honors. Armed with a new job as art director, illustrator and production head with Business Life magazine, he proceeded to move to Toronto when the magazine decided to relocate.
Jacobson has worked as an illustrator, painter, writer, and designer. As an illustrator he painted the trillium for the Ontario driver’s license, the leaf for the Air Canada as well as 19 children’s books.
Richard Jacobson has written and published 3 children’s books winning several awards including The Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon’s award gold medal and the Ruth Schwartz award.
As a painter he has painted portraits of David Thomson, Margaret Atwood , Robertson Davies, Sir Christopher Ondaatje, Bill Gates Senior and Sir Richard Francis Burton (permanent collection of the Royal Geographical Society in London England).
He has been featured in Smithsonian and Applied arts magazine as well as The Artist’s Magazine.
Jacobson continues to live in Toronto.
1978 – 1982 Alberta College of Art Calgary, Alberta – Graduated With Honours
Lecturing regularly on the instruction of art to children for adult educational institutes:
Toronto District School Board
Toronto Catholic District School Board
Calgary Board of Education
The Canadian Library Association and schools.
From 2003 to 2010 taught extended art program at Branksome Hall School For Girls.
After leaving the north forests and farmland of Saskatchewan, I headed to Calgary and the Alberta College or art. After 4 years of hard work I came out confused and somewhat lost. Now what?
I’ve been a bouncer (1 week), I’ve been a radio switcher (1 night) I worked at the cbc (1 month) I was a stunt man (2 action movies that I never saw but I’m not alone in that) I’ve built houses, packed groceries, cut grass, I’ve written childrens books(4) I’ve illustrated childrens books (19) I have worked as an illustrator, a writer, a designer and a painter.
I’ve painted everything from diapers to strawberries, toilet paper to whiskey. I have lived a blessed life with friends and lovers always there for me. I’ve never been hungry or without a roof. I was given a passion to create that has never left me, never wavered. I have never been bored. My biggest frustration is that there just isn’t enough time in a day to do all I want to do.
My practice continues to evolve. I explore the image as a form of communication. I work in a variety of mediums watercolour, graphite, and acrylics but primarily in oil.
Oil paint is so alive as a medium. It allows complete control as needed in my current series of works focused on narrative based hyperrealistic still life paintings.
Hyperrealism is an offshoot of ‘realism’ akin to ‘photorealism’ however while I use photographs as reference I remove as much evidence of them as I can. Where a photorealist would use the out of focus detail I would not. Our eyes refocus so quickly we are unaware of blurred backgrounds, unaware of depth of field. Hyperrealism attempts to mimic the way we actually see.
I use hyper realistic painting techniques to the arrest of the viewer to give them time to start a conversation with the work.
The painting is successful when it’s meshes with a persons life if the buyer of the painting can tell a story about the paint as relates to him then it will live on. Sometimes the narrative that I envision him the paint is completely lost and a more personal narrative comes forward. I look at the title of the painting is the first line of a good book with in its word must be the first footsteps in to a new world. Stronger the painting more you can identify with its deep threads and the more personal story about the painting become.
My paintings don’t hang on the wall vibrating with energy and Visual violence
My paintings whisper here’s a story to read
My work is time dependent. The more time I give it the better it is. That in itself is not a revelation, however if you consider how short our time is here, it becomes paramount. How is it possible to justify such madness in the face of a practical finality? For me, painting is my personal revolution, the ultimate ‘I was here’ scratched on a bathroom stall.
Solo show at Abbozzo Gallery, Toronto | April 10 to 28, 2018