Jim Fischer

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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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What's on the Easel, January 2020

Added Feb 21, 2020

What’s On The Easel, January 2020, Vol. II, No. 1

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

Happy New Year!

And, what’s on the easel? To tell the truth, nothing new. Demands of the holidays have pretty much shut down the studio. But we are keeping busy.

Io sells…

Yup, my portrait of Io at the Monmouth County Museum has sold, at the opening no less. Not a lot of money but, hey, at least I got something else to show the IRS. 

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And the Monmouth County Museum has already accepted two other pieces for their next show, Hiroshima and No Man’s Land.

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I seem to have found a venue that likes my work. They appear to be a rare venue that appreciates and is inclusive of realist art (which probably means they understand what the public likes and will buy). This is the fourth exhibit I will be in two years and after only seven tries, 4 for 7, batting 570 here.

Win Some, Loose Some

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Can you find my works in this gallery? 

Not only are many of the works here just a pot of paint thrown at a canvass, the curators obviously felt they should be thrown up on the wall en-mass as well. To make matters worse, the venue is a bar/restaurant where people appear to be more interested in eating and drinking than viewing art. To me that’s not very conducive to selling the works. More like they’re just decorating their walls for free. Oh, well, win some, loose some.

Five Days of Chaos

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No, I’m not talking about the White House (that’s perpetual chaos). I’m talking about our house where we have now replaced all 22 1960s error vinyl windows with new ‘period’ wooden sashes. 

After much noise and wind we no longer have the wind rattling the frames, a draft wafting into each room and the street sounds imposing on us. The quiet was what we first noticed. Thank you Pella (the installers did a great job, after five days of bedlam you would never know they were here), 

And again, Happy New Year to you all.

Everyone be well.

Jim

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What's on the Easel, December 2019

Added Feb 21, 2020

What’s On The Easel, December 2019, Vol. I, No. 9

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

So, it starts…

… the winter, that is. The garden is packed up, the first snow is falling. Many people regard my profession, artist, as a glamorous occupation. The truth is it’s boring and lonely as well. And the winter is the worst. By about mid-February cabin fever will set in. I fully understand why, after a full day in the studio, artists traditionally gathered at the local watering hole. One evening, yes, at a local watering hole, I was having drinks with an artist friend. The woman to our right, overhearing our conversation, broke in saying, “I would love to come and watch you work someday.” My friend turned to her and responded, “You would be bored in 15 minutes.” Such is the life of an artist.

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What’s on the easel?

The portrait of Steph and Natalie, now finished, is installed in the dining room

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Setting personal goals and disciplining one’s self to sticking with them is another plight of the artist. I have set a goal this year of one portrait a month and, so, another portrait has been started. 

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Show season

‘Tis the season for the local galleries to make some money selling gifts of art. So, I am currently showing in three venues (from the left) Io is in the Monmouth County Museum Holiday Show, Petopia, Two Geisha’s and two other small works are in a downtown Jersey City gallery and “The Perfect Hamburger” is in a ProArts show in Jersey City Hall’s rotunda gallery. Let’s see if any works sell.

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What would you do… 

The other day I received an email from a ProArts member sent out to all members, including myself asking us to act on his behalf. A show that he was in was doing an online kind of ‘people’s choice’ contest. The voting site included images of each piece in the show but no artist names. This member was soliciting votes for his work from me and other ProArts members just on the basis of his ProArts affiliation. It was obvious that the gallery wanted a more esthetic decision based on just the art. What would you do?

In Other News…

This month’s newsletter is late due to the holidays (hey, isn’t everything delayed around this time). We spent a nice Thanksgiving with Natalie, her boyfriend, Jake, and his mother at his 1820s built house in Bergen just outside of Rochester. We had a comfortable train ride both ways (seats that recline almost flat) with no delays.

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Our annual Holiday Card (upper right in photo) is on the way.

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That’s all for now. Drop me a note if you like. I’d love to hear from you.

 Everyone be well.

 Jim

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What on the Easel, November 2019

Added Feb 21, 2020

What’s On The Easel, November 2019, Vol. I, No. 8

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

In the words of a famous man…

… It is finished! This is the largest and most ambitious portrait I have done to date. Yes, Steph and Natalie are standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Big Sur. But don’t be fooled, they were placed there by me (and the famous bridge, while nearby, is not that close to the ocean). Artist’s license.

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And from big things come little surprises … 

The large portrait has also generated twelve (and counting) smaller paintings. There are three methods I am using to ‘paint’ these works. The first, as demonstrated by the top row, involves creatively cutting up the wiping rags used during painting (they are, from left to right, Prometheus, Vesuvius and Icarus).

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The second method, shown with the three works center right) involves arranging the dried paint scrapings from cleaning the pallete (they are, from the left, Gheishas, Samurai and Shinto Priest). The third method, the bottom row, makes use of the remaining wet paint on the palette (I always seem to squeeze more than is actually needed) as scraped up and laid down on board with a palette knife (they are, from left to right, Moby Dick, Hiroshima I and Hiroshima II). Waste not, want not, eh.

Fifteen minutes of fame…

… For Io. His portrait sunning himself (and showing no pride) has been accepted into the holiday exhibit, Petopia, of the Monmouth County Museum. Go Io!

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In Other News…

What to do with all those small pieces of glass left over when a leaded glass project is done? Well, I figured out how to cut them into 3/8 inch square pieces which had been, up to now, sitting in containers waiting. For many (about 1,000 pieces) the waiting is over. With the completion of the rebuilding of the front stairs we had the porch skimmed with concrete. Sooooooo, I had the contractor leave a 14 inch circle about 1/8 inch deep in the center that I filled with this:

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AVAILABLE NOW! With the helpful advice by my friend, Jan Lorenc, I was able to create a catalog of the Whistler’s Venice Pastel exhibit. The full pdf of the book is too large for this newsletter (60mb) but if you are interested, and your inbox can handle the size, I’d gladly send it to you. Now, if you are interested in the hardcover publication (with dust jacket) I can get you one for $65. Just let me know.

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That’s all for now. Drop me a note if you like. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Everyone be well.

 

Jim

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What's on the Easel, October 2019

Added Feb 20, 2020

What’s On The Easel, October 2019, Vol. I, No. 7

A monthly newsletter from Jim Fischer

About that procrastination …

…Well, I guess it’s feast or famine, and now I’m feasting.

On the easel is the reason I was procrastinating, a full size portrait of Steph and Natalie. Putting brush to canvas as a realist painter is always fraught with risk. After all, it does have to look like something other than a pot of paint flung at a canvas (yeah, don’t get me started). So, I sit on these pieces until one day my self confidence returns and I get to it. My worst critic (second only to myself), Stephanie, thus far approves (and since it is a portrait featuring her, that’s no easily made approval, whew).

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Even Io gets into the act. I know, I did say in a previous newsletter that I would stop paying to get into an exhibit, and I just did it. But I couldn’t resist this one, a rare call for realist work featuring pets. The Monmouth County museum sent out the call for their holiday show and, since I’m batting .500 with them (2 out of four entries submitted for previous shows accepted), I kicked in the $20 bucks and submitted this ...

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I think it’s a pretty good likeness, Io is not amused. We’ll see if it is accepted, stay tuned.

Still Recycling Used Rags

The portrait on the easel has already generated a number of ancillary works from the clean up rages used thus far. They are only 5x7 and I’ve started a tradition of naming them with quotes that invoke the image I see.

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The one on the left is titled “O for a horse with wings - William Shakespeare”. The one on the right is a bit longer, “If you lose touch with nature you lose touch with humanity. If there’s no relationship with nature then you become a killer; then you kill baby seals, whales, dolphins, and man. Then nature is frightened of you, withdrawing its beauty. - Jiddi Krishnamurti” Only asking $20 each. Interested?

I’m Open For Business With JCAST

Every year at this time Jersey City organizes JCAST, Jersey City Arts & Studios Tour. It’s a big event with hundreds of artists and dozens of venues. As I have done for the past two years, my studio will be open to the public. ALL ARE INVITED!

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In other News…

The cherry trees in the garden are gone, replaced by two Japanese lantern sculptures. They got a blight and the only solution offered by the experts was to remove them and not replace them. The disease is in the soil and can’t be eradicated. I enjoyed the intimacy they gave to the gazebo and, as such, will miss them. 

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So, I continue to be an avid commentator on the NYTs website and this month I broke my previous record for ‘recommend’s. Commenting on the Iran/Houti raid on the Saudis, I got 1,672 ‘recommends, which put me in the number two spot and it was also made a NYTs selection. I think the NYTs reviewers have flagged me as a good commentator, many of my comments are now posted immediately, within seconds of my hitting ‘submit.’ Cool! 

The resident squirrel (commonly referred to as ‘rats with bushy tails’) has discovered my tomatoes in the back garden. I caught him on the wall the other day chomping away at one and now I’m racing him to pick the ripe ones before he gets at them. Ah, the challenges of the urban garden. 

That’s all for now. Drop me a note if you like. I’d love to hear from you.

Everyone be well.

JIm

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