Kathy Jakobsen painting My Washington DC Book

After many years and many interruptions, the My Washington D.C. book is finally done! We had a fun road trip driving the paintings to my publisher Little, Brown/Hachette in Manhattan. It was an unadventurous trip (no flat tires), my favorite kind. It was nice to focus on the beautiful scenery instead of what I’ve been working on just twelve inches away.

It was fun to be back in the town where I used to live in Connecticut and to stay with my wonderful friend there. We even put together a last-minute book party for other friends and neighbors to show off the paintings before delivering them to the publisher.


The next day we were off to Manhattan with the book paintings carefully wrapped and packed. If I do say so myself, they created quite a sensation after being laid out on the board room table, interrupting the work of many employees in the children’s department as they came in to view the works. The consensus was “it was worth the wait!”, I was relieved to know (after spending nearly ten years on and off this project). I’m sure they were glad when I left so everyone could get back to work!

Kathy Jakobsen delivering the My Washington DC Book at Hachette

Kathy Jakobsen’s paintings delivered to Hachette Book Group in Manhattan.


Kathy Jakobsen's Jefferson Memorial painting My Washington DC Book

Jefferson Memorial painting for Kathy Jakobsen’s My Washington D.C. book.

The book itself is a sequel to My New York, telling the further adventures of Becky and Martin, now visiting Washington D.C.! I am especially excited about the free Bill Of Rights poster included in every book. Just as My New York was an excuse to paint all my favorite places in NYC, My Washington D.C. is a tour of classic landmarks such as the Capitol, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and many others, done in my inimitable style.

Kathy Jakobsen painting the My Washington DC Book

We first had to spend a few hours correcting text, mistakes and going over the “fun facts” that go in the back of the book. My editors counted the stars and eagles and found Speedy, the orange and white cat hidden in every painting. I’d brought a bunch of oil paints but was surprised at how few changes I had to make.

Kathy Jakobsen with her paints for the My Washington DC Book

Kathy Jakobsen adding any final touch ups to the book before submitting the paintings to the publishers.

Everyone was so nice, gracious and complementary. It was a fabulous trip, many years in the making! I was surprised to learn from the Art Director how few artists work in the medium oil on canvas, that I have worked in since 1978. Digital and watercolor are much more common.

Kathy Jakobsen Library of Congress painting for the My Washington DC Book

Library of Congress painting for Kathy Jakobsen’s My Washington D.C. book.

One of the “perks” of being in publishing is the “take shelf” of free books, which we loaded up on before leaving. On our last day, there was even enough time to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, my favorite in New York. It’s always an inspiration to visit a world-class museum like that. I love the Egyptian jewelry and trinkets, and the Medieval manuscripts and leaded glass. And of course the Greek and Roman wing–it’s all fascinating and impossible for me to tour in just a few hours!


On the way to Grand Central Terminal we walked past Rockefeller Center and visited the Met Store. Lo and behold, we were delighted to see My New York in the window display!


Now I am home in Florida where I can finally catch up on other commissions. After the publisher is finished with the book paintings, sometime in 2016, I get to return to Manhattan to pick them up and distribute some of them to their lucky owners. At the moment we’re just about finished with the final edits and corrections and I look forward to seeing how the proofs look.

I am very excited about this book! I hope you will be, too.

Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday,