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).
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”.
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
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