Monday, December 22, 2014

12 Days of Christmas

Hello Everyone,

I hope that everyone is getting prepared for this joyous season which is now upon us. Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year, but as a child I always got somewhat depressed on the night of December 25th because I thought it was all over. As an adult, I learned that December 25th was actually the beginning of Christmas, whereas the time before is known as Advent. Traditionally, as the song says, Christmas lasts for 12 days, beginning on the 25th. I wish I would have known that as a child.

The Southeastern Wildlife Expo is celebrating this with their exhibition of The 12 Days of SEWE Christmas. While the exhibition is happening well after the Christmas season, it promises to be one of the most unique exhibitions to ever happen in the field of wildlife art. I have the honor of being selected as the artist to create all 12 paintings for this one-of-a-kind exhibition that will happen from February 13-15, 2015 in Charleston, SC at the Charleston Place hotel.

So far I have eight of the paintings completed, and only a few have been revealed to the public. Below are some of the paintings with an explanation as to how they correspond to the song The 12 Days of Christmas. The entire set will be featured at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo, along with some of my other newest paintings. The 12 Days paintings will be sold via silent auction, and you can bid on the entire set or an individual painting. All paintings are 9"x12", oil on linen panel, and will be framed identically. If you are interested in placing an early bid on any of the 12 Days paintings, please let me know. I hope to see you at SEWE to celebrate with me this incredible honor of being selected to create this once in a lifetime exhibition. Have a Merry Christmas!


Jason Tako

12 Days of SEWE Christmas
Three French Hens
Pretty self explanatory, I saw these hens in central Pennsylvania in a barn. It was a joy to paint them with their simple yet beautiful soft feathers. I combined soft and hard edges to create a pleasing variety of textures in this painting.

12 Days of SEWE Christmas
Four Calling Birds
In my research on the song The 12 Days of Christmas, I learned that the song has gone through numerous lyrical transitions since its first known documentation in the 18th century. The original version of the song was not "four calling birds" but "four colly birds," which was a regional English expression for "black." These immature ravens have both bases covered.

12 Days of SEWE Christmas
Six Geese a Laying
I couldn't think of a better goose to show in a Christmas-themed painting than Snow Geese. These geese are resting/laying on the shoreline of a pond. Once again this painting shows a beautiful handling of edges and values.

12 Days of SEWE Christmas
Seven Swans a Swimming
Once again pretty self explanatory, this was actually the first painting I did for the series. This painting combines palette knife work with soft brushwork and has received praise from both artists and collectors alike. The swans are painted in a manner not usually seen in wildlife art.

12 Days of SEWE Christmas
Eight Maids a Milking
This one may make you scratch you head a little and is probably the last thing you would think of when you hear "Eight Maids a Milking." Applying the phrase to wildlife art was a challenge until I learned that female Monarch butterflies love milkweed blossoms for laying eggs in. I guess if they are laying eggs then technically they would not be maids, but it was close so I went with it.

12 Days of SEWE Christmas
Ten Lords a Leaping
I agonized for a long time on what I would do for this phrase in the song. Some people suggested lions but you usually wouldn't see 10 male lions in one place jumping over something. In Wyoming, I saw some mule deer leaping over a fence and it clicked. One use of the word "lord" in Renaissance times was to refer to someone of the male gender. After the rut, deer will eventually form back into bachelor groups. This shows the last of 10 bucks jumping over a ranch fence.

Other paintings available

Absaroka Elk Study
While in Wyoming, I saw a large bull elk while wandering around the Absaroka mountains late in the evening. This painting expresses the feeling I had while in the vast wilderness as night quickly approached.
9x12, oil on linen panel
$1,000, framed
Contact Jason at to inquire.

Thunder on the Prairie
The prairie is known for incredible storms, and bison are a trademark of the American west. The word "thunder" has a double meaning, for both the storm and the sound of bison roaming the prairie.
18x24, oil on linen
$3,000, framed
Contact Jason at to inquire.

Blue Barn and Hay Bales
This was such a unique and beautiful barn, how often do you see blue barns? Its color was a perfect compliment for the surrounding late autumn foliage and rust on the aluminum roof.
12x24, oil on linen
$2,600, framed
Contact Highlands Art Gallery at 908-766-2720 to inquire.

One Last Look
Almost every morning we were visited by mule deer at the cabin we were staying at while in Wyoming. This beautiful buck arrived toward the end of our stay. Mule deer are well known for their tendency to look back one last time before running off. Of course this tendency doesn't help them during hunting season. I have been asked which scenario applies in this painting. I leave that up to the viewer to decide.
18x24, oil on linen
$3,000, framed
Contact Jason at to inquire.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Two New Paintings

Hello Everyone,

I hope that everyone is enjoying the Christmas season which is almost upon us. I have two new paintings below. These paintings are one of a kind original oil on Belgium Linen and would make a priceless gift for someone special, or for yourself.

The first, called One Last Look, is based upon a smaller study I previously had done. This beautiful Mule Deer buck takes one last intense look at the viewer before he bolts across the sagebrush. This painting uses soft, subtle light and tones, combined with thick applications of paint to capture the texture of the sagebrush. The composition gives the viewer a strong sense of direction and excitement.

The second painting is based upon a field study I did in the Absaroka Mountains in western Wyoming. This was such a peaceful area of incredible beauty. While I painted I could only hear some occasional birds and the sounds of the high country breeze. This painting captures the incredible distance and majesty of the Absarokas.

Contact me at to inquire about either of these two paintings. See more at Take care.


One Last Look
Oil on linen, 18"x24"
$3,500, framed.

Dunior Valley
Oil on linen, 16"x20"
$2,200, framed.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Waterfowl Festival this Weekend

Hello Everyone,

I hope that all is well and everyone is having a lovely autumn. This weekend is the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland and I will be exhibiting my latest paintings there for the 9th consecutive year. Below are some of the new paintings that I will have at the show, but be sure to come and see numerous paintings that I cannot even show online yet because they are still wet. I will have more wildlife art at this exhibition; more than I have had in recent years.

I will also be teaching the Waterfowl Festival Master Class Workshop at the Academy Art Museum this Thursday from 9am to 3pm. This class will focus on landscape painting in oil with a demonstration and help while you create your own oil painting. There is still some room available but sign up soon to reserve your spot.

Lord Nelson's Gallery in Gettysburg, PA sold one of my large bison pieces to a new collector of my work. Many thanks to the folks at Lord Nelson's!

Also, if you have not already done so, don't forget to stop by Highlands Art Gallery in Lambertville, New Jersey to see other new works I have in The Art of Autumn exhibition going on this month.

Curious Mulies
Oil on panel, 8"x10"
$500, framed.
Come see it at the Waterfowl Festival.

Mt. Moran and Horses
Oil on panel, 8"x10"
$500, framed.
Come see it at the Waterfowl Festival.

One Last Look
Oil on panel, 8"x10"
$500, framed.
Come see it at the Waterfowl Festival.

Evening Stroll on the Osage
Oil on linen, 24"x36"

See more at

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Art of Autumn this weekend!

Hello Everyone,

I have been very busy painting for the upcoming Waterfowl Festival and for The Art of Autumn Show at Highlands Art Gallery in Lambertville, NJ. The Art of Autumn opens this Saturday evening, October 25th at 6pm. Yours truly will be present with some of my latest paintings, fresh off the easel. While these paintings are pictured below, you must see them in person as a photograph can never do a painting justice. Highlands Art Gallery boasts some of the top artists in the country; be sure to come and see this show with some of the finest art around!

Aspen Hills
This painting was inspired by the shimmering yellow aspens I saw in the Absaroka mountains on my trip to Wyoming.
11"x14", oil on linen panel
$1,200, contact Highlands Art Gallery at 908-766-2720 to inquire.

Blue Barn with Hay Bales
I have painted this incredible barn before and thought it deserved to be in another painting. I explored different ways of handling the composition.
12"x24", oil on linen
$2,600, contact Highlands Art Gallery at 908-766-2720 to inquire.

See more at

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wyoming Painting Trip

Hello Everyone,

I hope that all is well. I just returned from a wonderful painting/reference gathering trip in northwestern Wyoming and the Badlands in South Dakota. My family and I stayed at a cabin just north of the cowboy town of Dubois, with the Absaroka Range visible from our window. The autumn colors were at their peak in the Teton Valley. I painted and photographed at an exhausting rate and I must say I got some of the best reference material ever in my artistic career. This material includes aspens in full autumn color, mountains, red rock canyons, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and even a pair of mule deer bucks clashing antlers. I can't wait to get working on new paintings from this very inspiring trip. Keep an eye on my blog for these new paintings and attend my upcoming shows to see them in person as internet images can never do a painting justice.

Be sure to come to Highlands Art Gallery in Lambertville, NJ this October, 25th from 6-9pm for the opening reception of The Art of Autumn Fall and Equine Show. I will be there in person and have some of my latest work on display and for purchase. Highlands Art Gallery is one of the most prestigious galleries on the East Coast representing some of the top artists in the country. Don't miss this incredible show.

Below is one of my latest paintings "Thunder on the Prairie" which was inspired by one of my trips out west. My latest trip reminded me of the beauty captured in this painting. The bison that roam the prairie are soon going to be under a massive thunderstorm that approaches in the background. On the prairie, one can see a storm coming from a great distance. In this painting the storm is very close and a crack of lighting threatens the bison. Contact me at to inquire about adding this painting to your collection. See more at

Thunder on the Prairie
Oil on linen, 18"x24"
$3,000, framed.
Contact Jason at to inquire.

Detail of Thunder on the Prairie

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Paintings and Upcoming Classes

Hello Everyone,

I hope all is well. I have been working on some new paintings, a few of which are below. If you would like to add any of these beautiful works to your collection, let me know at

Also, my class at the York Art Association on painting wildlife and landscape begins on September 10th and runs through November 12th, every Wednesday from 12:30-3:30pm. This class will focus on painting landscape and wildlife. The student can choose which subject they would like to focus on, or they can focus on how to incorporate an animal into a landscape and make it look natural. To sign up contact the York Art Association at 717-755-0028. I hope to see you there. See more at

Aluminum Barn
Oil on linen panel, 9x12
$1000, framed

Blue Harbor
Oil on linen panel, 11x14
$1,200, framed

Eastern Harbor
Oil on linen panel, 8x10
$500, framed
Sale Pending.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Workshop next week!

Some people can paint, but when it comes to teaching another how to paint they may give a demonstration with few, if any words about their thought process and technique, then they will proceed to let you paint and pass you by with a few words of encouragement. You may go home inspired, but no better an artist than when you first arrived.

If this has been your experience, and you want to really learn the fundamentals of good art, as well as the advanced techniques that will make you a better artist, then I invite you to consider one of these three options:
I will be having a three-day workshop Capturing the Landscape Quickly at the York Art Association next week, August 21-23. Learn how plein air artists capture a landscape in a matter of a few hours. Learn the techniques used as well as equipment and tricks of the trade. Contact the YAA at 717-755-0028 to sign up.

If you want to put your artistic progress on the fast track, then Private Instruction, in my studio or in the field is for you. Personal assessment of your work, one on one instruction, flexible schedules, focus on your favorite subject matter are just a few of the things private instruction has to offer. Go to to learn more.

Do you live far away or have limited time, or perhaps you have a particular painting that you would like to have looked over by an experienced eye before you show it to the public? I offer Online Instruction to help you improve the quality of your work and your knowledge of painting. See more at

Are the workshops and private instruction worth the cost? Will they help you become a better artist? See comments below from some of my students. If you are interested in becoming a better artist, contact me at

"Jason Tako is not only a superb landscape and wildlife artist; he is also an exceptional teacher. I began taking lessons with Jason as a supplement to classes I am taking in a Masters of Fine Art Degree program.  I could not be happier with Jason’s ability to communicate his in depth knowledge of painting fundamentals including elements of composition, value structure, color harmony and mixing, subtleties of light, brushwork techniques and intricacies of plein air painting. Working with Jason has given new direction to my painting and his passion for painting and the creative process is a joy to see and experience, and I look forward to each and every lesson." -J. Swenson, Arlington, VA

"I just wanted to say thanks so much for a great experience. I learned so many new things and you were so easy to work with." -Mark Pimentel, New Hampshire

"As the vice president of the Waterfowl Festival, I am writing to inquire if you would consider doing another oil painting class at the 2014 Waterfowl Festival. Last year's participants gave you rave reviews and we would love to have you teach a class again this year." -Edward L. Delaney, Ph.D. and Vice President of the Waterfowl Festival, Easton, Maryland

"Perfect mix of teaching and demonstrating, great assisting!" -Anonymous review from student at the Masterclass Workshop Waterfowl Festival 2013

"I learned more from you in 10 minutes that from multiple workshops with other instructors." -Anonymous review from student at the Masterclass Workshop Waterfowl Festival 2013

"Your critiques have been very helpful. I'm excited about using this knowledge on my next painting." -Paulo, Online Student

Nautical Patterns, 11x14 quick draw from Door County Plein Air. Painted from start to finish in two hours.

Jason painting Nautical Patterns in Door County.