Jim Fischer

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What's on the Easel, October 2020

Added Oct 23, 2020

What’s On The Easel

October 2020, Vol. II, No. 10

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 

Finished…

 

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An interesting confluence of art…

 

Hanging around my studio for the past 40 odd years has been a small watercolor, one of my first of a person and part of the Jones Beach series. When I finished the painting this month the woman crossing behind the first red flag looked familiar. Sure enough, it’s the same woman in the watercolor. We must have been walking down the beach together, me a little faster than her. Together again after all these decades!

 

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Also finished.. 

 

..a small (8x10) portrait of Steph’s niece, Cody, who is somewhat trapped by covid in Oxford, England, and going to school. (hi, Cody)

 

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Masks…

 

Steph and Natalie continue to evolve the mask business. They just completed a nice order for Uncommon Goods combining Steph’s new mask design with Nat’s jewelry. Go take a look at their handiwork at https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/handmade-mask-necklace-set 

 

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The ship evolves…

 

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The ship project has evolved into something I needed, a distraction from the art studio. Forcing the art process has never really worked for me, projects need to be enthusiastically embraced and to be real, that’s not a constant state of being. Sooooooo, the ship gives me something to occupy the ‘artistic downtime.’ It also is helping me keep away from the studio when I should. It’s too easy to spend everyday, seven days a week, in the studio. Now I am spending my weekends on the ship. Like the nine-to-fivers, I get two days off a week!

 

That’s all for now. Be well. And what’s on your easel?

 

Jim

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New works

Added Oct 2, 2020

As I continue my Imagination: Serendipitous Reality series, take a look at my latest works including Ningyo (Fishman), Icebergs, Starships Afire, and Charge of the Light Brigade. Thank you for your support.

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What’s On The Easel September 2020

Added Sep 24, 2020

What’s On The Easel September 2020, Vol. II, No. 8

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 

Almost…

 

What’s on the easel? Well, the same thing as last month (and the month before) but now it is almost finished. 

 

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And, as I finish up, opportunities for the Imagination series continue to develop.

 

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These are “Attack Ships Afire Off the Shoulder of Orion” on the left and “The Charge of the Light Brigade” on the right.

 

And now for something completely different!

 

As many of you know, back in the 70s I took a long hiatus from doing art (6 years to be exact) and did, tadda, model ships. I finished six with a seventh one unfinished. Just the hull of the Volante (New York, 1853) got done and it has been following me around for 40 years and six moves now. Sooooooo, looking for something to fill the extra hours in lock down this winter (now spent in the garden), I have decided to finish the ship. I estimate, with a couple hours a day, it will take about two years to complete. I have no clue what I will do with the finished model. Occasional updates will be posted for your amusement. 

 

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In the garden this month…

 

Video link: Some help mowing the lawn, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zukeT-QMH5Q (cut and paste URL in new window to view on youtube)

 

Important topics Steph and I discuss as we continue in lock down (Fauci says until end 2021. Ouch!).

 

Besides the continuing entertainment from politics, Steph and I have been discussing movies. Watching a comedy the other night we got on the topic of what we considered to be the funniest movies we’ve ever seen. We got six so far: Blazing Saddles (hands down #1, “Where be the white women?”), The Big Lebowski (“Not on the rug, man”), Animal House (“Road trip!”), Life of Brian (“Always look on the sunny side of life”), Gold Member (“At first I thought you were crazy, now I see your nuts”) and Duck Soup (“Pick a card, any card. That’s okay, you can keep it, I got 51 more.”). Now, using these as our standard (gotta be way out there crazy funny), we’re stuck. Most others, while funny, were no where near as persistently insane as these (well, maybe Oh, Brother (“We’re in a tight spot”)). Any ideas?

 

That’s all for now. Be well. And what’s on your easel?

 

Jim

 

 

Jim Fischer, 530 Liberty Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, 07307

To unsubscribe to this enewsletter, simple return this email with the subject line ‘unsubscribe.’

To subscribe to this monthly email, drop me a note at theartistjimfischer@yahoo.com

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What’s On The Easel August 2020

Added Sep 24, 2020

What’s On The Easel August 2020, Vol. II, No. 7

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 

Looks can be deceiving.

 

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What’s on the easel? Well, the same thing as last month or so it appears. 

 

The reality is very different and demonstrates the process of art; sporadic and contemplative. For the past month I have been unsure of the next steps in continuing this painting. So, I stopped painting and started contemplating. I see the piece every time I am in the studio (which is a lot) and think out my next steps. Yes, I am painting in my head and, when the time is right I will continue to paint. Maybe it will be done by next month’s newsletter, maybe not.

 

But, I’m not sitting on my hands…

 

The watercolor is finished. And if anyone is interested in having it, just drop me a note (first come, first serve).

 

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Small pieces continue to be created from the scraps of the large work.

 

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These are particularly small pieces, 3x5 and 4x4 (and, if you're paying attention you will see the colors I have used on the large painting thus far). On the left is “The Doomed Cricket” and on the right “Butterflies (Disney effect).” I have also spent my time creating a box set of high quality prints for the entire collection, called “Imagination: Serendipetous Reality,” with 64 pieces already done and more on the way I’m sure. Regarding the creation of these little gems, I quote Leonardo DiVinci:

 

"You may discover in the patterns on the wall a resemblance to various landscapes, adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys and hills in varied arrangement; or again you may see battles and figures in action; or strange faces and costumes, and an endless variety of objects, which you could turn into complete and well drawn forms. The effect produced by these mottled walls is like that of the sound of bells, in which you may recognize any name or word you choose to imagine." Leonardo DiVinci

 

The big news is the garden

 

A bumper crop harvest of garlic was collected; 

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drying,                             curing,              trimming                        and done.

 

And, with over 400 plum tomatoes, we have one gallon of marinara sauce already, another on the way.

 

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This year’s BBQ

Was, of course, canceled but we did our best to celebrate my 70th birthday with brother Rick and Jean. 

 

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Hopefully we will be back on track next year for the 20th anniversary of our annual BBQ.

 

Lastly

 

The house behind us has been demolished. Built in the 1860s when the Heights was a summer community (facing west on what is now called the Western Slope and getting a constant breeze off the Meadow Lands), the house was too small by today’s standards. They will build a monster two family that looks like a WW1 army barracks (affectionately known as a ‘Bayonne Box’). So it goes, I guess.

 

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That’s all for now. Everyone be well. And what’s on your easel?

 

Jim

 

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The Master Mask Seamstress at work!

 

Jim Fischer, 530 Liberty Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, 07307

To unsubscribe to this enewsletter, simple return this email with the subject line ‘unsubscribe.’

To subscribe to this monthly email, drop me a note at theartistjimfischer@yahoo.com

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What’s On The Easel July 2020

Added Sep 24, 2020

What’s On The Easel July 2020, Vol. II, No. 7

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 

“Because photography is not good enough”

 

That’s what the artist David Hockney told an interviewer when asked why, in today’s art environment, he continued to paint in a realist style. He went on to clarify by saying that all photographs are a compromise of something, only the art of painting allows the creator to control what the viewer will ultimately see. And nothing demonstrates this more than the piece I am currently painting. If you compare the painting, it’s sky and sea, to the photo I am using you will see a clear demonstration of this idea.

 

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“All painting is a trick of the eye”…

 

Is what the realist painter, Leonardo Da Vinci had to say in his defense of why painting is, by far, the superior art form (a debate he won). Take, for example, the watercolor I am working on alongside the oil. See the group of figures in the distance on the right?


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Now take a closer look.


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Da Vinci, during his study of sight, noted that the further away an object was the less distinct to the eye. He advised painters to follow this rule when doing distance painting. I call it the ‘six feet’ rule. When I paint I imagine the viewer standing six feet from the piece and adjust the clarity of distance accordingly, thus tricking the eye.

 

And then there is the kale…

 

…and the pole beans, and the tomatoes, and the garlic (ready to be harvested) and the basil (amazingly grown from seed). The garden is producing fresh veggies and providing a much needed distraction as we continue to hunker down in this world of Covid-19. We hope everyone is staying safe as well.

 

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Our new business opportunity

 

A new family business has emerged from the pandemic, masks.


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Researching designs and adding some innovations, with Stephs considerable seamstress talents we are producing masks to sell through Natalie’s jewelry customer resources. We learned that a three ply cotton mask, with quilt batting as the center filter, is very effective (above 80% and washable). I figured out a way to get a piece of wire into the top to bend over the nose and we found a design that covers most of the lower face, reaching far around the sides and using laces to tie tightly around the back of the head rather than hanging off the ears. Add a stylish vintage fabric and there you go. We have sold about $1,000 worth already at $25 each. Who would know that a young, rural Iowa  girl’s sewing lessons would come in so handy.

 

That’s all for now. Everyone be well. And what’s on your easel?

 

Jim

 

Jim Fischer, 530 Liberty Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, 07307

To unsubscribe to this enewsletter, simple return this email with the subject line ‘unsubscribe.’

To subscribe to this monthly email, drop me a note at theartistjimfischer@yahoo.com

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What’s On The Easel June 2020

Added Sep 24, 2020

What’s On The Easel June 2020, Vol. II, No. 6

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 

As previously noted, Niagara in Winter/Horseshoe Falls Rapids is finished …


… and in it’s new home in our dining room.

 

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So, What is on the Easel?

 

Yup, you got it, nothing again!

 

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Actually, I found an old slide from the Jones Beach series that I had been meaning to do as a large painting. It’s been around for 35 years, amazing it survived. It’s next. The canvas is being prepared in the shop.

 

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One problem, while my scanner has an optional attachment for scanning slides and negatives, it costs $600. I don’t have enough slides to warrant the expense. Soooooooo, 

I rigged up something with a light behind it and it worked! 

 

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You know, sometimes low tech is the way to go.


Something else to do, a watercolor

 

Here’s another view of my studio, the watercolor station where a different version of the Jones Beach ‘Flags’ piece is set to be done. There are actually seven work stations in the studio: Easel for oils, a counter/sink for set-ups and messy things, a drawing board for colored pencil work, a small rolling table for small pastels (the Whistlers were done on it), a desk for general computer use, a watercolor station and a printer/scanner computer station. All in 144 square feet.

 

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Nice natural light in the afternoons and a pleasant view of …

 

The garden

 

After an unusually cool Spring (I was truly worried much would be lost) the vegetable and herb gardens are chugging away. With the pandemic lockdown, the garden is our safe haven now. Lockdown is not so bad with this… 

 

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A Manifesto of Sorts … Why I do this, part 5, The Finale.

 

Using My Gifts, Testing My Limits (10)

 

I am blessed by God with some extraordinary gifts: perception, memory, coordination, confidence, and many more. But they mean nothing unless I develop them into specific talents. I find that doing art (of all kinds) is the absolute test of my ability to manage God’s gifts into something worthy of having them. That’s why, among all the talents I have, doing art has always been at the top of my list (and I believe I have attained great heights in my pursuit of this endeavor). I know I can leave this world with a smile on my lips and, when I stand in front of God and he asks me what I did with the gifts he gave me, I will have one word; “Art.”

 

That’s all for now. Everyone be well. And what’s on your easel?

 

Jim

 

Jim Fischer, 530 Liberty Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, 07307

To unsubscribe to this enewsletter, simple return this email with the subject line ‘unsubscribe.’

To subscribe to this monthly email, drop me a note at theartistjimfischer@yahoo.com

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What’s On The Easel May 2020

Added Sep 24, 2020

What’s On The Easel May 2020, Vol. II, No. 5

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 

So, What is on the Easel?

 

Finally got going on the canvas.

 

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The pallet is kinda limited, just three colors plus black and white. 

 

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And, of course, there are ancillary works coming out of this piece from the wiping rags. This one, at the unusual size of 14x11, is titled “And there was war in heaven (Revelations 12:7)”

 

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Minerva Restored, A Strange Tale

 

So, if you’ve been out in our back garden you will recall a statue of Minerva giving the gift of grapes to a young Bacchus. It was a plaster cast of an original 1890s French sculpture made into a lamp I bought 15 years ago at a yard sale for $20 and refurbished in bronze paint. Well, plaster doesn’t do well exposed to the elements so, after all this time, and patching, she finally fell apart. Ah, but then fate intervened. 

 

One day, pre-lock down, I was on my way down our block to an appointment. At the end of the block there was a dumpster and two workers hauling garbage cans full of brick-a-brack and household items from the house. The old lady who lived there alone had died (happens when you live in an old neighborhood, and the workers were just tossing everything. I decided to go I and have a look. Inside the workers continued their cleaning out and, just as I walked into the living room I saw one of them about to toss a triangular box with an American flag into the garbage can he was filling along with a photograph of someone in the Air Force circa 1960s. “You can’t do that with that flag.” I said, grabbing it out of his hands, “This needs to be properly disposed of.” He showed me a table where he said the boss man was putting things to keep. I put the flag there and told them to tell him to do the right thing with it. I saw the Minerva statue in a corner but, now running late, I moved on. 

 

On the way home from the meeting the dumpster was still there and the workers were gone, the house closed up. But, there on the sidewalk, right in my path, was Minerva waiting for me. I picked her up, took her home and bronzed her like the previous one. She now presides over our back garden again. It appears God was thanking me for my small good deed and we have a new Minerva for the garden.

 

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Natalie Makes the Big Time

 

So, sooner or later you might come across Michael’s, the craft supply store’s latest advertising campaign featuring (tadda!) our daughter, Natalie. She has been chosen to represent them as a maker for craft jewelry. They spent a day filming and interviewing here for the campaign (and, of course, paid her handsomely as well). Perhaps not by coincidence, since the campaign launched Nat has had a stead stream of business. She told us the other day she was walking down a street and someone recognized her from the campaign, mask on and all. We’re thrilled.

 

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Another Kind of Art

 

That’s right, bread. In the spirit of ‘sheltering in place’ I decided to make some baguettes and something called War Bread (a hodge podge of flours traditionally made during times of want with what ever was at hand). 

 

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And in this time of suffering, yes, there is still some beauty, as in last night’s sunset from our porch.

 

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A Manifesto of Sorts … Why I do this, part 4.

 

Proselytizing (1)

 

This word seems to define today’s artist. Sending a message through art is the ‘hot thing’ to do, it’s, as one curator said, “cutting edge.” What ever happened to just the pursuit of beauty. I don’t do art to convert or convince anyone, I do it to entertain myself and others with something beautiful. After careful reflection (and reading War and Peace, twice) I have come to the conclusion that the purpose of life is the pursuit of beauty (Plato agrees). This is a big reason why I do my art, the only message being sent? Enjoy!

 

That’s all for now. Everyone be well. And what’s on your easel?

 

Jim

 

Jim Fischer, 530 Liberty Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, 07307

To unsubscribe to this enewsletter, simple return this email with the subject line ‘unsubscribe.’

To subscribe to this monthly email, drop me a note at theartistjimfischer@yahoo.com

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What’s On The Easel, April 2020

Added Sep 24, 2020

What’s On The Easel, April 2020, Vol. II, No. 4

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 

So, What is on the Easel?

 

That’s right, a blank canvas. You gotta start somewhere. And don’t be fooled, it takes a lot of effort to prepare a canvas. This one if for the bigger version of Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls (picture to the left). It will take about two weeks when I decide to get off my butt and pick up a brush.

 

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But that’s not to say I’ve been idle.

 

Io’s head in Leaded Glass

 

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This project has been around a while, became necessary when I gave away the piece that was in the kitchen window (I’m a sucker for the “I love that” exclamation. “Really? You want it, it’s yours). The original I worked from was a smaller piece Steph uses as her logo with her jewelry line, Nyx Jewelry (Nyx being the Greek goddess of night).

 

Discovered! The Ultimate, Can’t Fail Coronavirus Cure

 

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That’s right, it’s chicken soup (I have it on the good word of a little old lady down the block). We keep the left over chicken and turkey bones in the freezer and every few months I make broth. This time, given the covid-19 situation, I decided to make some of it into chicken soup. The meat comes from picking the bones after steeping the broth (you’d be surprised how much meat is left on them after a meal). I also got six quarts of broth and we’re already starting to gather another batch of bones for the next time around.

 

Another Artist Inspires a Book

 

I got this promotional email from a fellow Jersey City artist announcing the publication of a book of his art, What Would Jesus Draw? (and, of course, soliciting purchases). Well, I sorta took offense at the artists presumptuous attitude with regard to Jesus and I got inspired. This month continued to see a flow of what I call Serendipitous Realist works. Many of them are in uncomfortable themes, death, evil, etc. So, I decided to do a limited edition book of my works call What Satan Would Paint.

 

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Featuring The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (of course). White, Red, Black and Pale

 

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It’s not available yet, not finished yet, needs three more pieces to make the required 20. They will come, although, given the nature of the creative method I’m using, I haven’t a clue when or what top. 

 

A Manifesto of Sorts … Why I do this, part 3.

 

Posterity (8)

 

Ah, if you can’t have fame now you can at least extend your life through your work. I agree. It is my observation that most people are forgotten 100 years after their death (maybe a few photographs survive with the verbal coda “That’s my…”). That’s it. So, is art a way to extend my presence into the future after I’m gone? Well, maybe. Most of the art being done today, in my opinion, will land on the garbage heap within that same 100 year time frame of memory (yes, there’s a lot of bad work out there). History has shown that only a small handful of artists can break through this barrier .. except those who paint portraits! Even bad (called ‘naive’) portraits survive (as witnessed on Antiques Roadshow). So, in recent years I have focused on doing portraits of my friends and family (and, of course, commissions). It is hard to imagine them not being passed down in the families for many years until some day, 300 years from now, someone will point to my work and say, “That’s my great, great…” And my name will be on it!

 

That’s all for now.

 

Everyone be well.

 

Jim

 

Jim Fischer, 530 Liberty Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, 07307

To unsubscribe to this enewsletter, simple return this email with the subject line ‘unsubscribe.’

To subscribe to this monthly email, drop me a note at theartistjimfischer@yahoo.com

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What’s On The Easel March 2020, Vol. II, No. 3

Added Sep 24, 2020

What’s On The Easel March 2020, Vol. II, No. 3

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 

Well, to be honest…

There is nothing on the easel at this time. But that’s not to say I haven’t been busy.

 

Forty Eight Views of Brownstone Brooklyn to be exhibited …

This project was started ten years ago, moving along to completion in 2019. The flier says it all (yup no date for the artist’s reception for obvious reasons, I will send out a notice when a date is set). I hope many of you can find the time to stop by the gallery (and if you plan to do so, let me know, I'll meet you there and give a tour).

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A week in London, just before the madness set in …

After a great week in London, 7 museums, five fine restaurants and three pubs, we returned on the 2nd of March just missing the onset of the plague on the island. Here are some highlights of our trip worth noting:

 

The count stands at 17…

That is, with the addition of the two Vermeer's we encountered at the National Gallery, my worldwide count for viewing Vermeer's is now 17. There are two more in London we could not get to. Another trip (and I’m still pissed at the Lourve for closing the gallery when I visited some years ago).

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Steph is on the left and, for the life of me, I can't understand why the guy with the serious camera on the right is taking a photo. Hey, guy, go to the gift shop and buy a superior print.

Sometimes…

Sometimes you encounter a piece of art so stunning that, as I did here, you get choked up and giddy at the same time. Words and photographs cannot describe the impact of this Rembrandt piece in the National Galleries. It literally emanates light and the robe on the central figure sparkles and glows in it. 

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How the hell did he do that??? We went back the day before we left for home to see it again. I am still stunned.

 

Lisa C., look what we found in the Victoria and Albert Museum…

 

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Not exactly a ‘no art production’ month…

I did have this small commission, a charcoal sketch of his granddaughter for a friend .

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A Manifesto of Sorts … Why I do this, part 2.

 

Fortune (a 1 for me on a scale of 1, ‘not important’, to 10, ‘very important’)

 

Selling works is, I suppose, one measure of fame. But, in my observation, the marketplace is glutted with over priced mediocre work. (For example, at a recent art fair, 14c here in Jersey City, one of the exhibitors was a guy who salvaged strips of shredded paper and glued them, one line after the other with no rhyme or reason, onto large canvasses. More therapy than art and I can’t believe the so called ‘curators’ of the event even gave this guy the time of day). It’s hard enough to get through this clutter (fame) let alone get an uneducated, small screen focused public to shell out for it. But, more to the point, I don’t need the money. This situation allows me the privilege, as with not pursuing fame, to do as I please. It also affords me the opportunity to give away my work which, in turn, lays down the foundation for next month’s segment; legacy.

 

That’s all for now.

 

Everyone be well.

 

Jim

 

Jim Fischer, 530 Liberty Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, 07307

To unsubscribe to this enewsletter, simple return this email with the subject line ‘unsubscribe.’

To subscribe to this monthly email, drop me a note at theartistjimfischer@yahoo.com

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What's on the Easel, February 2020

Added Feb 21, 2020

What’s On The Easel, February 2020, Vol. II, No. 2

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 Finished…

This month’s newsletter was delayed as I wanted to finish and deliver this portrait:

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The Process …

The finished piece rarely shows the process so here’s some pics; the untrimmed board with my test strokes in the margins, the palette at the peak of painting the background and the two key photographs used.

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Collateral products …

In keeping with past work, I continue to use the left over materials to create small pieces. And now I have come up with a new art form to describe these works: Serendipidous Reality. You see, the works are not intentionally planned, they are left over paint on the pallet smeared on a scrap of paper, scraped up paint from the pallet dropped on a mat board scrap and cuttings from the rags used to wipe the brushes. Using a cut mat template, I look for images, then I match the image to a quote. The quote serves the purpose of pulling the image to reality thus a collection of paint becomes a moth flying to a flower, Joseph dreaming about an angel, a grizzly bear fishing for salmon, and so on (you can see the full title quotes at my website, www.theartistjimfischer.com). Serendipidous Realism.

These are some of the results from the creation of the portrait:

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A Manifesto of Sorts … Why do I do this?

An artist friend of mine, recently rejected from an exhibition, expressed to me her frustration with moving her art agenda forward and got me thinking, why do I do this? Nobody is buying and there are way too many competitors (with much mediocrity). So, I decided to do an exercise of self examination to reinforce my determination to forge on. There are six sections which I will publish in the newsletters one at a time starting with…

 Fame (6)

 Yeah, I guess anyone who makes an effort at something would like public recognition but I’ve come to the conclusion that (with rare exception) you can’t force it. If you are good enough fame will find you . So, I have decided to just do what I want to do, take it or leave it, and if fame should find me, so be it. But, I am not going to let the pursuit of fame detract from my enjoyment of what I am doing.

 (The number after the section title is the amount of importance it is to me, 10 being highest).

 That’s all for now.

 Everyone be well.

 

Jim

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