Saturday, March 22, 2008

James Christensen

False Magic (NEW APRIL 2008)

In the fantastic world of James C. Christensen’s paintings, fish are a symbol of magic and wisdom. “Their floating presence in the air reminds us that anything is possible,” says Christensen, “and those touched or surrounded by fish are considered truly blessed. When the fish don’t arrive, however, sometimes a person will take matters into his own hands, with compelling but less-than-convincing results. Non-magical fish, as you can see, don’t really enjoy hanging in mid-air.”

Your Place or Mine

Obviously, this fellow has been fishing for a good line for a long time. And now that he's found it, he's determined to use it. He's definitely not your medieval-of-the-road lover."This painting started out as a play on words that occurred to me while I was dining on place in a restaurant in Stratford-Upon-Avon," says fantasy artist Jim Christensen. "As I developed the characters, I realized that the little would-be Casanova has been buying a plaice and standing near the fish market for days, waiting for an attractive lady to come out carrying a similar fish so that he can use that line on her! If you look at his watch, you can see it's the eleventh hour. The fun for me is wondering what her reply will be."

Waiting For the Tide

''You can stand on the shore and demand that the tide come in all you want. Instead, maybe you should sit back, relax, smell the seaweed and enjoy life as it is. This fellow went out boating and he's not going to let the fact that the tide is not in ruin his day. It's nice out, he's enjoying a 'cuppatea' with shots of fortitude and he's enjoying his time.''

Two Angels Discussing Botticelli


"This painting is a love story," says James Christensen. "Love on many different levels, but most importantly, the power of that which is everlasting. It is rich in symbols that suggest the close of a chapter; the twilight hour of day, the final phase of the moon, the turning leaves on an autumn tree and the checkerboard road that comes to an end. Even though this couple needs help in just getting around, they seem unconcerned. Despite the limitations of old age, they are supported by loved ones, surrounded by a lifetime of favorite things and they have each other. The carnation he offers her is a symbol of enduring love."

The Fish Smuggler


Wish upon a falling star, beware of the black cat and 69 superstitions? "Life is a precarious business. Small wonder, then that our ancient forebears were keen to stack the cosmic deck. If you've ever heard that secret voice inside you says: pick up that luck penny . . . what could it hurt?, then you share something with me and most of the human family," says Christensen. A free booklet with each print explains all 72 superstitions.

St Brendian Naviga

St. Brendan’s fame rests on the mythical adventure described in Brendan’s Voyage, a 10th century romance of Brendan and a company of monks sailing the Atlantic Ocean to the Promised Land. One of the stories of the voyage relates that Brendan, wishing to celebrate Easter Mass, landed on a small island in the middle of the ocean. After celebrating Mass, Brendan and his companions built a fire on which to cook a meal and thus awakened the sleeping whale they had mistakenly identified as a small island. Terrified, the voyagers rushed to their ship and fled. Since then, St. Brendan has been associated with whales and large fish.

Sleeper Lost in Dreams

“We are, each of us, angels with only one wing.
And we can only fly embracing each other.”
— Luciano De Crescenzo
In dreams, it is said that wings represent a release of creative forces, that they give us the ability to understand and transcend the human condition. In religion, wings appear on angels, fairies, spirits and demons. In mythology, winged creatures are often messengers of the gods; they are a symbol of freedom and spirituality and a character having one wing is said to be lost in dreams. This latest release from James C. Christensen has the power to both provoke and inspire.

Six Bird Hunters

Sisters of the Sea

Sharing Our Light

James captivates us anew as he asks that we reflect on the virtue of sharing. "The light within each of us is a gift to share with others. I believe our talents grow when we share our experiences with friends, family, sweethearts, and especially the young. Like Everyman, you can also search for other thoughtful people and share your light with them."
Published from the artist’s original acrylic painting.

Serenade Orange Cat

Royal Music Barque

Princess and Puffins

Hand colored by the Magic Fish Studio; each a unique work of art!
We hope you won’t think it puffery if we pronounce The Princess and Puffins a paradigm of perfection! It’s evident that this self-assured sovereign is voyaging hence—but the whys and wherefores of the journey James would rather leave to you. Under the artist’s personal supervision, several members of the talented Christensen clan, comprising The Magic Fish Studio, will individually hand-color each release. Inherent variations ensure that no two are exactly the same. Published from the artist’s original line drawing.

Poofy Guy On a Short Leash

In the fantastic world of James Christensen, a “poofy guy” is recognizable by the inordinate layers of clothing he wears, symbolizing a touch of self-importance as well as the accumulated baggage of a lifetime.This light and airy piece just may suggest marriage, as James asks us to consider the luck we “poofy guys” have in being cared for by a responsible woman.“Thank heavens guys like us have some one holding onto us, otherwise, we’d just spin off into the atmosphere and pop!”

Piscatorial Percussion

Oldest Angel

Monarch All Surveys

This king has placed himself in a position of power, surrounded by his symbols of pride and puffery, but perhaps he should be more self-aware to see that his kingdom" is precariously balanced and it wouldn't take much to upset it.


A Hand-Tinted Original Stone Lithograph
Elegant and captivating are two of the measures we set for any James Christensen Hand-Tinted Original Stone Lithograph, and with The Messenger, he’s delivered. Is she an angel or is she human; is she from the past, present or future; she has armor, but is she a warrior; how do the key and the rose assist in unlocking the enigma of The Messenger?

Levi Levitates Fish


“Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17)
I have always loved the story of Jonah and the whale. When I read the scripture that said that the Lord had “prepared a great fish” to swallow the recalcitrant prophet, my imagination took off. If I were preparing a magical fish, it would be no ordinary whale or grouper! So I painted my version of Jonah’s special fish. The window is one way glass. The effect would be ruined if Jonah could see out!

Icarus Bound

Great Garibaldi

The Greenwich Workshop Collection of Fine Art Graphics
A hand-pulled serigraph
Look again. Paintings grow out of many things, and this one is from my love of things not being what they seem. The inside scoop is that the Great Garibaldi is the fish (the gold perch is called a “garibaldi”), not the impressive-looking mountebank or the little sycophant.

Flight of the Fablemaker

Hoist the sails, seize the tiller-you're off to wild and distant shores, where tales of imagination still roam free! We're sure you recognize the woolly bearded captain of the Fablemaker-he was the magical bard of Christensen's phenomenally popular sold out limited edition print Once Upon a Time. In that image, the bard enthralled a gathering of fairy folk with exciting human fables. Now, to celebrate the 10th anniversary release of that print, those old friends and new have skippered the Fablemaker in search of far-off legends. A lifeline trails, it's within your reach-swing aboard and join the crew!


“Fishing is fun,” Christensen says. “It’s a gentle poke at myself, my colleages, and other people who constantly fish in the same old bucket rather than explore new waters.” Popular Christensen artistic touches are here in abundance, including the ornate costumes, and, of course, the trademark fish, symbolizing the fantastic made real.

Finding Fish

A Hand-Tinted Original Stone Lithograph by James C. Christensen
Elegant and captivating are the two hallmarks you should expect of any James Christensen Hand-Tinted Original Stone Lithograph. Finding Fish is an excellent companion to Christensen’s When Faeries Talk with Fishes (Sold Out at Publisher). In James’ visual vocabulary, a floating fish connotes the presence of “magic,” the type of which he leaves for you to define. Stone lithography is considered an original art form because the image itself is created on the stone before the lithograph is made. Each lithograph of Finding Fish will be hand-colored by the ubiquitous Magic Fish Studio so each will be slightly different and completely unique.

Faery Tales

Across the sea of imagination, in the land of “Once Upon a Time,” there exists the island home of Faery Tales. James Christensen gives us a glimpse into the daily life of twenty-four of the world’s most popular stories. The Emperor is resplendent in his new clothes, Cinderella dances with her Prince, the Three Bears return home to find an unexpected guest and Rapunzel lets her hair down. How many others do you recognize?
All generations of any family can find common ground in this bright and cheery ode to the ever fascinating, fantasy world of our youth. Teach your children or grandchildren your favorites and learn some new ones at the same time! Included with each print or canvas is a key to all the faery tales in the image.

Evening Angels

Court of Faeries

College of Magical Knowledge

This is a good place for retreat and contemplation. You can see that all kinds of people go there. There are the Bird Hunters, the Fishwalker, a butterfly fisherman, the Pear Balancer, and other Fellowes of the College. The implication, however, is that there is a lot more going on that you can’t see. Charaters from all realms come to this place to develop. This is the navel of a lot of what happens in “the land a little left of reality.”
“Scientia est Potentia,” the inscription over the entrance, means “Knowledge is Power.” It doesn’t necessarily refer to the traditional human uses of power, however. This knowledge gives access to the magic, not the power to become political beings or financiers. You don’t learn ordinary things here. The Fellowes have an incredible library of stuff which we can only guess at. It informs them and gets them to where they are going… which definitely isn’t the same place that regular universities guide you to.


The Believers Edition comes with The Court of the Fairies Limited Edition print, The Oldest Professor Limited Edition print, linen bound signed copy of The Voyage of the Bassett book, and a hand-colored etching, colored by the Artist.


Balancing Act

Like The Burden of the Responsible Man, this is a very autobiographical piece. I just didn’t know how I could balance another thing in my life, and then, bingo, this idea came into my head. Life is a balance between fun and work, spiritual qualities, education, nutrition … our lives are continuously balancing acts. Of course, some of us make it a little more complex by putting our only balancing foot on the back of a moving turtle. Why are there three clocks in the image? Because we’re always balancing time.
There are many specific symbols in the image. Most of them are far from obscure, but the little neat secrets include a king statue, the symbol of the omnipresence of politics and government. The skull is a spring hare skull, with a little label that reads “spring hare – lost race.” It’s a joke, but it also symbolizes mortality. The owl and the pussycat represent marriage, which is a major balancing act. The Latin in the image means “Equilibrium (balance) is to be desired.” In other words, as long as you remain upright, you’re okay.
Those are just a few things, but everything here means something. What do they mean to you?

A Man and His Dog

A man and his “dog” enjoy a time-honored relationship in which both parties accept each other’s flaws and peculiarities. The gentleman portrayed here might assert that his waistcoat is properly buttoned, each sock is in place, and the items in his pocket are delicious doggie treats for his canine companion, yet his “pet” would never quibble. Indeed, this “dog” could easily break the tie that binds him to his master—the leash is far from strong—but he chooses to remain by his side. Our “Professor of Imagination,” James C. Christensen, advises us to assess our relationships without getting bogged down in details. “I think we can be happy with our perceptions of ourselves if we can honestly say, ‘Nothing I’m doing is importantly wrong’ ”. . . and if we can say the same of our friends.