Jim Fischer


What's on the Easel, April, 2021

Added May 19, 2021

What’s On The Easel

April 2021, Vol. III, No. 4

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

 Same old, same old…

No need to bore you with a photo of the easel, the same two portraits are still there, untouched..

 But the Rousseau clock is finished…



And as long as the acrylic paint set is out …

 I’ve finally finished the last of the Jones Beach series (started in the 80s). These two small canvases, 11x7 each, had been hanging around the studio with sketches on them since the mid-90s. They are now finished, acrylic on canvas. I have re-affirmed why I prefer working in oil. Acrylics dry too fast, leaving little room to work the surface. Whatever, they are done. 



Has anyone noticed they are racing the America’s Cup?

 I have, well, sort of. Can you figure out how these two modernist, minimalist pieces called Racing Yachts I and II.  They came about while I was painting some frames black. They are the markings left on the paper I put down on the work surface, thus, serendipitous art, another in the Imagination series.



If you haven’t yet…

Why not take a minute to visit my virtual exhibit at the Casa Colombo virtual gallery.


Email Flier eblast 2 April 4th.jpg

Here’s the direct URL: https://artspaces.kunstmatrix.com/en/exhibition/5597657/forty-eight-views-of-brownstone-brooklyn.

 “Those April showers…”

 Yup April is crunch time for another artistic pursuit, gardens (and if you are serious, as I am, about doing it you agree it’s an art) This year the grass needed replacing so the season has started with a new lawn.



I also had a lot of new dirt put in the raised beds, planting will begin shortly.

 Kids? Nah! Cats? Yeah!



Meet the new member of our family. Her name is Shani, which is ‘Wonderful woman’ in ancient Egyptian. She was abandoned on the street (with a collar around her neck, no less) and rescued by a local involved in such. She is a pure bred, an Egyptian Mau, one of the oldest breeds of cat, dating back to before 1500 BCE. It is believe her breed was the one that spurred the ancient Egyptians to begin their cult worshiping the cat. See those dark black markings coming off the edge of her eyes? It is thought that those marking inspired the Egyptians to wear mascara in imitation, a ritual still observed by women worldwide. So, say ‘hello’ to Shani, our Egyptian princess. 

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



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What's on the Easel, March 2021

Added May 19, 2021

What’s On The Easel

March 2021, Vol. III, No. 3

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer


Let’s get  right to it…



Trying to keep up with my goal of one portrait a month, there are two canvases on the easel (it’s a twofer, while I wait for a friend in Florida, Nicole, to send some photos for her portrait); yours truly is on the left and bro Rick on the right, waiting until one day I just walk in the studio and go at it.


What’s old is new…


The mantel clock, called The Rousseau Clock , that had been sitting around for 40 years, is coming along nicely.



It’s not the first time I have visited this theme. This mural was painted in the mid-80s in my house in Wantagh (which I was ‘permitted’ to paint after buying off my then wife, Elyse, with a fur coat). There is another small clock with this theme done in the late 70s that a friend, Stephanie, possesses.



And, finally, there is the large version, painted for my apartment in Brooklyn in the early 2000s which is now hanging in Steph’s office.



Good themes don’t die, they just get recycled. And, yes, Alan, there is a Fluck in it.



Another project is taking shape …


My interpretation of The Last Supper by DiVinci is developing. I printed out a copy and, as you can see, am putting notes on it exploring how it will be put together (in the true spirit of inspiration, most of these ‘ideas’ came to me in the wee hours of the morning, waiting until it was time to get up, that is, waiting for the sun to rise),



We are vaccinated..



Of course, being an artist and having a laminating machine available, I made little ‘V’ badges to clip onto a collar or shirt pocket, to let the world know we’re good (if you would like one just drop me a note and I’ll mail it to you).


About that ship model…


Not much to show but that’s not to say not much has been done. As I said last month, now it’s on to the long, tedious job of masts, spars and rigging, not much to show for now.


And, finally, another cartoon for your amusement


I don’t know about you, but Steph and I doodle on the kitchen calendar, here’s the entry for March 11th:



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



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What's on the Easel, February 2021

Added May 19, 2021

What’s On The Easel

February 2021, Vol. III, No. 2

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer




Leonardo DiVinci wrote, “There is no such thing as ‘perfect’ but everything can be better” (that’s why he never finished the Mona Lisa). And, I have always been unhappy with the large portrait of Steph in the red coat so I decided to rework her face. 


Now, that’s better. While at it, I fixed that missing thumb…


The eyes have it.


Go with me to a portrait gallery and you will see me as close to the canvas as possible. It’s the eyes, they make all the difference and, lest you think it’s easy (I know you don’t) here’s a closeup of Steph’s from the portrait. Detail, detail, detail.



A missing thumb restored...

While I was at it, I really messed up the anatomy of this hand, corrected now.


And, of course…


The portrait work fed into the Imagination series, four pieces thus far, including this (something from the red in the portrait) :



It’s called “2020 Man-of-the-Year: The Grim Reaper."


A piece being exhibited …


This is a piece of mine in a local show downtown in Jersey City. It’s called “And there was war in Heaven” from Revelations (the theme of the show is Social Injustice and how this piece fits in, beyond me but the Curator loves it). Icing on the cake, I got five seconds of fame on the local news as their final shot when covering the show. This is a screen shot from their piece:



A milestone.


The ship model has reached a milestone, the hull and deck features are now completed (four months work).



Now it’s on to the long, tedious job of masting and rigging. Probably another four months.


One small detail…



Yup, it’s a bucket, ‘bought the size of a human molar.


And who’s this handsome guy? 

 My good friend Johnny found this in his photo archives, it’s now one of only a handful of photos taken of me at that time, I’m 20.

Wedding frank grace cynthian.jpg

And, finally, another cartoon for your amuesment (?)




Steph and I have had our first shot, free from this nightmare by the end of March. Thank God and the scientists that know best. 


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



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What's on the Easel, January 2021

Added May 19, 2021

What’s On The Easel

January 2021, Vol. III, No. 1

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer


So, bare with me here…


The muse has struck. There’s this wall. Ever since we moved into the house I have been thinking about what to do on the wall at the back of the garden. It’s 26 feet long and 6 feet high.



Then, the other night we watched an old movie that just came to mind, The Horse’s Mouth starring Alec Guiness as a grouchy old artist perpetually looking for large surfaces to paint and getting into several hilarious encounters as he does so and I was reminded of that wall.


Then another old project came to mind, a re-creation of DaVinci’s Last Supper.


The_Last_Supper_high_res 2.jpg

But mine would be different, only the faces and hands (new faces and hands), each on a canvas and arrayed across the 26 feet of the painting (ah, yes, that wall) at varying heights as required. Just the faces and the hands.


The_Last_Supper_high_res 2pArts sized.jpg

Finally, I had an Epiphany. Because the work would be made up of 29 separate smaller canvases, with appropriate layout instructions and measurements, it could be, so to say, a portable Last Supper, set up anywhere there’s 26 running feet of wall! Thus, a major ‘Living With Art’ project is born. This one is going to take a while (like the 48 Views of Brownstone Brooklyn which took,10 years). First job, find 13 faces to paint. 


And if that’s not enough... 


I have decided to illustrate the last book of the New Testament. Revelations, using the various techniques developed for the Imagination series. I already have The Four Horsemen and War In Heaven. And just added this one:


Joseph Annunciation.jpg

“I was in the spirit of the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet …”


Now what started out as just finding art in random leftovers has purpose. So, does that make it ‘art’?


A piece to be exhibited …


Difficult as these times make it for in-person art exhibitions (and, in my opinion, the online options just don’t cut it), some are still going on. Such is the case with the Rotunda Gallery in Jersey City Hall. The February theme is, since it is Black History Month, black history. I will have this piece hung in the exhibit:


Jim Fischer_Lynching Women_oil on board_12x6_$90.jpg

It’s called They Lynched Women, Too and comes with this tag line, “If you’re not willing to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.” Malcolm X 


A great bike needs a great helmet, eh.


Last month, if you recall, I featured my new bike, a Van Moof ebike, the Tesla of the ebike world. This month I found a helmet to do it justice, mat black like the bike, it is designed for urban riding, less aerodynamic, more robust and just cool (it even has, on the left, a hole specifically designed for slipping it onto a U lock). I added my personal logo to the front and it’s good to go.



About that ship…



Steph notes that the deck is getting a bit crowded. The captain is to give you a sense of scale.


And, finally, another in the ‘What If…” series…


What if … after supper


After supper.jpg

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



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What's on the Easel December 2020

Added May 19, 2021

What’s On The Easel

December 2020, Vol. II, No. 12

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer


Odds and Ends


Yup, I’m still waiting for a ‘big idea’ but there are some things ‘on the easel’. 


I am sure every artist has unfinished pieces and projects just hanging around the studio and I’m no different. So, while I diddle around on deciding on a new project, I gathered the older ones to keep me busy. They are an odd lot of little things…



A. These are two small oils that were to be test paintings for the larger Jones Beach piece recently finished. 


B. There are three small portraits of Kruse family women ready to be done, as a challenge to my skills, in water color.

C. Then, there’s the three judges. Watercolors from photos of a Irish festival we attended in upstate New York some years ago. I had planned to send each judge their piece, that is, if they are still alive.


 D. The same with a series of bird watercolors. The New York State museum in Albany had a great collection of stuffed birds in very good dioramas. Four of the pieces are ready to go.

And, finally, in the 1980s I decorated a number of clocks with famous artist themes. The two finished are Monet and Van Gogh, the one remaining (it’s been sitting around for 30 years) is to be based on Rousseau’s jungle paintings.



So, with all these projects now scattered about the studio I’m hoping to get something done, keeping up my skills and moving stuff along.


The Devil is in the Details. 


Work continues on the Volante.



This piece is called a Peterson’s Patent Anchor Windlass. It was developed and patented in the late 1830s and is still in use today. In the 1880s a marine engineer accommodated me by making a detailed drawing of the equipment (gotta love the internet for research, his huge book on shipbuilding in the 19th century was digitized and posted free). There are over 30 parts to the finished windlass, now installed on the Volante.


And now for something completely different…


(A good friend passed along a photoshop contest challenging me to do something. This is what I came up with).


What if…


What if.jpg

Finally, my birthday gift has arrived.



It’s called a Van Moof, manufactured in Holland, it is the most advanced ebikes on the market. With it’s on-board wifi connected computer, it features an electronic transmission (no traveler), built in front and rear lights, an LED panel embedded into the cross bar with speed, battery life, and gear engagement, and an anti-theft locking back wheel with an alarm should anyone try to steal the bike and a gps locator to find the thief. The batteries are in the frame, gets 50 miles to a charge, takes only two hours to fully charge and weights only 40lbs. This is truly ‘state-of-the-art’ in ebike technology and, for the curious, yes, very expensive (but it was a gift from my father, a story for another time). I took it out the other day for an extended ride and can report, it is truly the Tesla of ebikes. I love it.


That’s all for now. Be well and have a happy holiday season. And what’s on your easel?




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What's on the Easel, November 2020

Added Nov 18, 2020

What’s On The Easel

November 2020, Vol. II, No. 11

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer


To tell the truth…


…nada. The creative muse has taken a hiatus, no projects come to mind to engage my passion. So, I have moved to other distractions awaiting the Goddess of Creativity to once again strike me. And there’s plenty to keep me busy like winterizing the gardens and taking care of long overdue tasks around the house (including such things as getting the rugs cleaned and having the heating system checked out before winter sets in). 


Another obsession. 


Then there is the ship, the Volante. Just how did I get into this? When I married my first wife in 1972 we had no money so for a honeymoon we drove up to Mystic Seaport for a long weekend. I was blown away by the models in their museum. There was a small model in the gift shop priced at a mere $600, way out of reach for me, so, being someone who believes that if a human being can do it, so can I, I started making models. In fact, that’s all I did in my spare time for the next eight years (and how I got back to doing art is another story). I made six models, three large ones (the three smaller ones were used to test techniques for use on the larger ones). Three models survive, The Charles Morgan, The Constitution (which I have) and the Gjoa (the test model for the Constitution). The large model of the Flying Fish was destroyed by a football in my sister-in-law’s living room, two of the small ones have vanished. 



And here I am, back in the model ship business. The project is proving challenging and rewarding. Progress is slow as shown by this month’s productivity, but it’s fun.



A bit about the ship.


Why the Volante? Two reasons: I wanted to do something in a larger scale, 1/4 inch to the foot rather than the standard 1/8. This would allow for more detail. I originally wanted to do a clipper ship, the Flying Cloud or Flying Fish but, at that scale the model would be over 7 feet long, not practical for home display. The Volante, officially a brig (two square rigged masts) has all the features of clipper ship design (the pinnacle of large sailing ship design soon replaced by steam).


The second reason is the history of the ship itself. The Volante is typical of the smaller sailing ships used by the Confederacy to run the Union blockade, small and fast (you might recall what Rhett Butler did during the war). In fact, the ship was captured by the U.S.S. Virginia off the coast of Texas in early 1864 as it tried to enter Galveston harbor (and I’m debating putting the gallows at the top of the main mast that they would use to hang the traitorous captain as they sailed their prize into New Orleans harbor).


And the holidays are approaching


It was time to design this year’s holiday card.



And the Imagination series continues with the smallest piece yet, Die Fledermaus at only 2 1/2” x 1”.


Die Fledermaus.jpg

Helping a friend …


During this ‘downtime’ my large format printer needs to run on a regular basis. So I’m helping a friend develop a series of place mats. Something else to do as I await the muse to strike (not to worry, this has happened before, you can only keep the creative drive at bay for a while).



Last but not least, having some fun

Meet the Covids - Vacation in Venice



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





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, October 2020

Added Oct 23, 2020

What’s On The Easel

October 2020, Vol. II, No. 10

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer




Sunday at the Beach_Oil on canvas_36x38_2020_2,000.JPG

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!



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)





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 



The ship evolves…



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?



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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




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



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



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. 



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 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.



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).


Flags watercolor.jpg

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



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; 


drying,                             curing,              trimming                        and done.


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



This year’s BBQ

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



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




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.



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





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.



“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?


Now take a closer look.


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.



Our new business opportunity


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


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 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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