Small History of Flying Fish

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If we set the little paraffin lamp out at night, flying fish were attracted by the light and large and small, shot over the raft…flying fish7

It sometimes happened that we heard an outburst of strong language from a man on deck when a cold flying fish came unexpectedly, at a good speed, slap into his face…

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…They always came at a good pace and snout first, and if they caught one full in the face they made it burn and tingle… flying fish8

But the unprovoked attack was quickly forgiven by the injured party, for with all its drawbacks, we were in a maritime land of enchantment where delicious fish dishes came hurling through the air…flying fish1

We used to fry them for breakfast, and wether it was the fish, the cook or our appetites, they reminded us of fried troutlings once we had scraped the scales off…  Thor Heyerdahl, Kon Tiki, 1950

Flying FishThere is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish.  But what are they among so many people?…flying fish4Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all… DSC_0064Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted… flying fish2When they were satisfied, he told, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.”

flying fish3So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets… John 6, 9-13 NRSV

In the dark and unlit ceiling of the Loretta Chapel there is a lonely painting of a chunky fish atop a heavy slab of bread.   At the moment Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa log raft was colliding with a dusty man breaking bread in the grass of Palestine.  The long pilgrim road leading through elder drifts, slabs of rock, mountains of hailstones, unearthly fish with a mouth like a grave.  The sign of Jonah.  Provision comes unlooked for, and fear is weathered away.

 

Visions of Jonah

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Walking Man and Jonah of the Ancient Ocean (detail askew)

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Medium #2

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Cobalt

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Tiny, there on the easel after the huge canvas that preceded it.

Luminous Earth

Those of you who are regular visitors know I have been slowly overhauling the pages here at The School of the Transfer of Energy.  If you are new, know you know too.  There are still some pages to rebuild, but for the latest, please take a few moments to visit the new Painting page.  This has been perhaps the most personally interesting page to remake.  Seeing so many of my paintings re ordered and in a fresh context has been revealing.  Below are a few samples.  I hope you enjoy them,  and thank you for visiting.  -Jack

The Ancient Ocean (detail)

The Ancient Ocean (detail) (in progress)

Jonah (1998)

Jonah (1998)

Go On, John the Baptist (2008)

Go On, John the Baptist (2008)

all images are held in copyright by Jack Baumgartner. use by permission only

Morels, Sangreal, Forge and Tree

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The End of the Valley, guitar, accordion, fiddle and banjo.

If you are having trouble viewing the slideshow try clicking the post title to go directly to the post.  -jack

Thomas Grisaille

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Progress on the underpainting in grisaille for the Thomas panel since abandoning egg tempera.

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DSC_0110I have been working with Tad Spurgeon’s text lately.  It is chalk-full of information on the craft of painting, from technique to philosophy, historical research and criticism to in depth analysis of oils and their endless permutations, pigments, resins, additives, and etc, with many useful formulas and recipes.  I have not explored enough to venture a review, but I am enjoying it.

Go On, Pilgrim

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Go On, Pilgrim, the Outer Life and Inner Life Version.  

Featured today is a small cabinet painting modeled after the Northern European alter-pieces of the 15th and 16th centuries.  This was painted in 2003 with oils on oak panels.  The case-work is black walnut.

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Crushed By Egg Tempera

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Saint Thomas is now on the easel to receive a grisaille underpainting in oils.   After being crushed by my attempt to make an egg-tempera grisaille underpainting on this panel of Thomas and Jesus, et al.,  I have decided to move my historical experimentations to a panel of more manageable dimensions.  Moses in the Rock is the only picture I have made using egg tempera as an underpainting and it is quite small.  This represents the largest panel I have ever undertaken with the most fully developed charters as well.  Egg tempera is very slow (and I already work very slowly), and having already allowed a 5 year window to make this picture,  I shall try to fully embrace those other challenges in a noble fashion in addition to honoring my time.

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Mixing the medium for the thinning of colors for underpainting.

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Applying a coat of thinned shellac over the absorbent gesso and egg tempera.

Please take a moment to visit my friend Mike Schultz interesting post on his blog the other day.