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.
The pallet is kinda limited, just three colors plus black and white.
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)”
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.
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.
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).
And in this time of suffering, yes, there is still some beauty, as in last night’s sunset from our porch.
A Manifesto of Sorts … Why I do this, part 4.
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 Fischer, 530 Liberty Avenue, Jersey City, NJ, 07307
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