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The Creation of "Bite Me"

Before I begin telling the story of this particular painting, I wanted to shed some light on Alexa while when were growing up.

As kids, Alexa was drawing and practicing her hand-writing whenever she could.  She became everyone's designated Sign Maker, especially for our No Trespassing signs we hung outside our hideout in the attic.  She drew spooky, melting letters in hopes of intimidating our parents from penetrating our secret lair.

While we watched sitcoms as a family, she'd have her sketchbook on her lap with a small Spongebob Squarepants sticker stuck to the page as reference.

Her talent was evident to us all and before she even became a teenager, we knew that she'd become an artist someday.

I am proud to be writing this Blog to showcase such a miraculous piece by my baby sister.

I hope you enjoy.

drawing of Spongebob by Alexa Jacobs at age eleven

How it Began

As you may remember, Alexa was commissioned to do her own version of Marilyn Monroe in an Andy Warhol style.  The owner of the original wanted it to be 5' x 5' and the canvas that Alexa purchased for it came in a pack of two.

So here she was with an extra blank canvas the size of half her house.

She knew she needed to use it before a sharp object found it, but what?  What could she paint at such a large scale?

Bite Me

For artists, it isn't uncommon for them to have a folder of saved images as inspiration.  Alexa was scrolling through hers when she stumbled across one she saved of a woman biting a bullet.

As soon as she saw the image the second time, she knew exactly what her extra canvas was going to be used for.

To get started, all she had to do was draw the outline in pencil.  This is something I still can't understand; how does she free-hand such a large image so precisely?!

Just like her childhood Spongebob drawings, her pencil drawing of the lips and bullet were spot-on.

Time for Paint

First, was getting the red base coat for the lips and that wasn't easy.

"Red is the hardest color to work with because you can't lighten it like you do other colors.  It turns pink if you add white so whatever red you start with, that is your light red.  From there, you can only darken with blues and purples."

Next was filling the bullet in and around the lips to get the skin tone started.  Shadows were added around the bottom lip and under the bullet.

Hi Alexa!

The painting was starting to look like something at this point so she had to post it on Instagram.  Duh!

After she added the first section of skin tones, she decided to change the background to make the bright red and gold pop.

This was when she grabbed the black and white and started blending in a pretty charcoal.

First layer of gray was down and I think she made a good choice, don't you?

Since most of the base coats were finished, now it was time to add more gloss to the lips.

"I was surprised at how much white I needed to make the lips look extra glossy" said Alexa.

It was unnatural for her to leave such large blocks of white unblended, but she wanted to step outside her norm and try something different.

Salvador Dali has always been an inspiration for Scott and Alexa; even me.  His surrealism and creativity in his work make him an idol to many.

To pay tribute to such a Master, she made her painting look like the bullet and lip gloss were melting off the canvas.

The only problem was that she wasn't happy with the look of the drop falling from the back of the bullet.

In her opinion, it looked too bulky compared to the rest of the image.

After three attempts repainting that pesky drop, she finally got her desired look!  Three smaller drips falling from the bullet were just what the painting needed!

One of the final steps was finishing the background by adding texture.

She did so by using a 5-inch house paintbrush to unevenly spread the oil paint.

Now, time to sign this 60" x 60" Original Painting!

After almost exactly one year, Alexa had finished her second five-foot original!

It is currently hanging proudly in Jacobs Gallery in Deadwood.  So if you're in the area, be sure to experience it yourself.  It's impossible to miss it and if Alexa is there, be sure to tell her you read its story.

The Finished Painting, "Bite Me"

by Alexa Jacobs

Click the image for information.

 

Leave a comment to help us stay relevant and for Alexa to read your thoughts!

Thank you for reading,

Olivia

32 thoughts on “Alexa Jacobs’ New Painting, Bite Me

  1. James Powell says:

    Being a firefighter for 35 years, I really appreciate the melting effects as if the original was melted by the fires heat.

    • Olivia Jacobs says:

      Hi James, that’s a good point! I remember seeing that effect when our neighborhood burned down in 2007 and a trailer melted then dried.

  2. Marcus and Jill McInnes says:

    Wow, such intensity and creativity, loved the story of the paintings evolution. As I write this Janis Joplin is playing in the background, how appropriate, Cry Baby.

    My oldest mate, John is intensely proud of his family and their achievements and Jill and I love that he shares your work.

    We look forward to seeing more from Alexa and your supporting stories.

    We will share this clip with our creative career grandchildren.

  3. Terry Bray says:

    Oh I just love this painting! And I enjoyed reading the story behind it! Would love to see it in person some day!
    Your friend from the High Sea’s Rally ~ Terry Bray
    P.S. I think I got your first autograph ~ You and your Sis sighed your Dad’s book where your picture’s are……..years ago
    on the High Sea’s Rally <3

  4. Sean C. says:

    Such a cool idea – and so different than the Monroe collage. This artist has some serious chops!

  5. Julie Westervelt says:

    Alexa’s painting is definitely outside of the box – what a remarkable talent…and chip off the old block! I especially like how you chronicled her effort. Well done Olivia, and Alexa, Happy New Year!

  6. Michelle M. says:

    Absolutely one of my favorite pieces! I already can’t wait to see what her unique eye and creativity comes up with next. On Olivia’s note, Alexa – you’ve ALWAYS been sketching/painting since we were kids and you continue to blow my mind with every new piece – proud of you!

  7. Tiffany says:

    All of Alexa’s paintings are amazing, but I really love this one. The amount of time, dedication, and skill it took to paint such a huge pice of art so wonderfully is truly remarkable. It looks like she has had a little more than a knack for this sort of thing her entire life! It must run in her blood! Keep up the good work girl!

  8. Kelcie says:

    Knowing this story first hand I remember always seeing Alexa doodling in class in the margins of her papers. The fact that she turned her marginal artwork (pun intended) into her career with such dedication and talent has made me respect of my best friends more than she might actually know. I love this painting and all of her artwork and hope she gets the recognition she deserves.

  9. Randy Wilson says:

    What a talented family! I enjoy my three pieces from the gallery. So lucky to have you close to Spearfish. I love going to your gallery when I visit my parents. It was nice to meet all of you as well as the tour of your home above the gallery!

    • Olivia Jacobs says:

      Hi Randy,

      I’m glad you enjoy our gallery and business almost as much as we do! 🙂

      We look forward to seeing you next time.

  10. Phil says:

    I really enjoyed the story of this peice
    I love the whole look of it the melting really the eye catcher for me
    Would love to see some photo realism from lex
    Pretty please 🙂

  11. Randal Marksberry says:

    Fine and very detailed work. As you I also like Dali, and you done him proud to say the least. Very well done.

    • Olivia Jacobs says:

      Thanks Randy!

      Dali was quite the artist and I will be sure to pass on your praise to Alexa. She’ll appreciate it.

      Olivia

  12. Leon Muenks says:

    Olivia I have read this blog, Alexa does amazing art work, this painting is no exception , I have 2 of her prints and 1 of her originals! If I make it out to Sturgis this year I will be sure and stop in to see this 1, please put me on your blog list.

    • Olivia Jacobs says:

      Hi Leon,

      You have become quite the collector! I will add this email to my newsletter. If you go to the Blog homepage, you can see I published a new one last night on our trip to Cuba!

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