Francis and the Birds

$400.00$850.00

Completed: May, 2015
Image size: 17 ½” x 14 ¾”
Paper size: 23 ½” x 20 ¾”
Edition Size: 100 Prints
Paper: Somerset Enhanced 330 GSM
Archival 100% Cotton-Rag Paper

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Description

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS depicts Saint Francis’ feeding and preaching to the brightly colored and patterned birds gathered around him. The large and small all peacefully gather together and accept Francis’ gift of food. We pause from our own lives to give to others.

Stories, poems and songs on Francis’s love of nature inspired me. He spoke to the birds as his brothers and sisters, and they loved him in return.

Lord,
Make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

– Prayer of St Francis

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS- Giclee Printing
In May, 2014, an archived 4″x5″ film transparency was pulled of John August Swanson’s 1983 painting, FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS.
This 4″x5″ film was scanned at 1,400 dots per inch, and saved as a digital file. Using a slide for reference, the colors of the digital file were lightened and enhanced.

In December, 2014, the digital file was examined by John August Swanson, and a series of digital changes and enhancements were planned.

On January 28, 2015, the enhanced digital file was sent to Kolibri Art Studio in Torrance, CA, and a proof was printed. This proof was used
by Mr. Swanson as a starting point for a new acrylic painting of FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS.

Four months later, in April, 2015, the newly completed acrylic painting of FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS was taken to ArtScans Studio
in Los Angeles and scanned at 512 dots per inch. On April 15, 2015, the digital file of the 512DPI scan was delivered to the Swanson Studio.

Under the supervision of John August Swanson, additional color changes, and light blue and yellow borders, were added to the digital file.
The final and completed giclee image file was sent to Kolibri Art Studio on April 20, 2015 for printing.

In May, 2015, the first twenty giclee prints were delivered and approved by John August Swanson.

 

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS
AND THE BIRDS

4″x5″ Film Transparency

 

May, 2014

 

 

Slide Scan
FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
Acrylic, 1983

 

Scan of 4″x5″ Film Transparency

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
May 2, 2014

 

Lightened Scan of 4″x5″ Film Transparency

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
May 2, 2014

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS
AND THE BIRDS

4″x5″,
Acrylic Painting,
and Giclee

 

January – April, 2015

 

 

Enhanced 4″x5″ for Proof
FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
January 28, 2015

 

Scan of Acrylic Painting

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
April 15, 2015

 

Completed Giclee Image File

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
April 20, 2015

 

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS- Image History
Before completing his painting and giclee of FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS in 2015, John August Swanson had visited, sketched, and worked on the idea of Francis. He thought and worked on different poses and ideas, of how Francis interacted with the birds.

Below, you may view a few of the paintings and sketches which led up to FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS, 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
Study and Painting
circa early-1980

 

Study Of Birds
from Sketchbook

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
Watercolor
1983

 

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
Sketchbook Studies
1984-1985

 

Study Of FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS from Sketchbook
1984

 

Study Of FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
from Sketchbook
1984

 

Study of FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS

from Sketchbook
1985

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Preparing and Printing
Lithograph
1985

 

Study For Lithograph
Watercolor

 

Printing at Efram Wolff
Lithograph
1985

 

Color Correcting at Efram Wolff
Lithograph
1985

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Lithograph to Painting
1985-1999

 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Early Lithograph Proof

 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Lithograph
1985

 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Painting
1999

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Details of Francis and the Birds
Lithograph to Painting
1985-1999

 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Early Lithograph Proof Detail

 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Detail from Lithograph
1985

 

FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Detail from Painting
1999

 

 

 

 

PAPAGENO
Painting to Serigraph
1986-2008

 

PAPAGENO
Watercolor
1986

 

PAPAGENO
Serigraph
2008

 

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS AND THE WOLF
Serigraph
2002

 

FRANCIS AND THE WOLF
Serigraph
2002

 

FRANCIS AND THE WOLF
Detail from Serigraph
2002

 

 

 

 

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
Painting and Giclee
2015

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
Scan of Painting
April 15, 2015

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
Photo of Framed Painting
April 18, 2015

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS
Giclee
April 20, 2015

 

FRANCIS AND THE BIRDS – Reflections
and commentaries of other writers and theologians.

 Julien Green
God’s Fool1985, Harper and Row, translated by Peter Heinnegg, page 165

All sorts of different birds await[ed] Francis in a vast meadow at the outskirts of the town. There were also an incredible number of birds in the trees all around. The crows and their cousins, the long-beaked black rooks, added a serious note to that colorful gathering, which was lightened by the clear notes of the wood pigeons and the orange-throated bullfinches. All the birds of the countryside were there, the birds that pilfered and those that lived only to sing and the ones that haunted the rocks or nested in the furrows. When Francis drew near, not one of them budged, not even a magpie.

 

 

Fr. James Torrens, SJ
Who Feeds The Birds?

 

Preacher Saint Francis
serves up the gospel to birds;my neighbor’s bright red feeders
sweeten the hummingbirds;the fish under the pelican flotilla
end up as lunch for birds;the world’s surplus of flies
is a feast for flycatcher birds;patches of suet on a tree trunk
fuel the winder birds;a carcass delights a buzzard,
who isn’t the pickiest of birds;

worms wriggling through wet ground
are a morsel for early birds;

Francis with his handful of seed
caters to fine-feathered birds;

The Lord of heaven
portions out the song to birds.

 

“My little sisters the birds, ye owe much to God, your Creator, and ye ought to sing his praise at all times and in all places, because he has given you liberty to fly about into all places; and though ye neither spin nor sew, he has given you a twofold and a threefold clothing for yourselves and for your offspring.”

 

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Sermon of Francis

“O brother birds,” Saint Francis said,
“Ye come to me and ask for bread,
But not with bread alone today
Shall ye be fed and sent away.”

 

Xavier Schnieper
Saint Francis of Assisi

1981, Frederick Muller Ltd, page 80

 

 

Francis came to see the world and the cosmos as creation praising and magnifying God. This was how he arrived at a vision of nature as reality without sin, the pledge of God’s love. He therefore turned to animals and birds, and to flowers and trees and sought to open the eyes and senses of his contemporaries to the innate essence and wonder of the natural life about them.

 

Fr. Jack Wintz, O.F.M.
St. Franics Belongs on the Birdbath

September 28, 2005, Friar Jack’s E-Spirations

 

We should see ourselves as stewards within creation, not as separate from it. Francis was ahead of his time, He saw himself, as do today’s ecologists, as part of the ecosystem, not as some proud master over and above it. Francis addressed creatures as “brother” and “sister”—as equals, not subjects to be dominated.

 

Gerard Thomas Straub

The Sun and Moon Over Assisi

2000, St. Anthony Messenger Press,
page 169

First, we must understand that Francis was not merely a nature lover. That’s too simple. Francis loved God…and because God created nature, Francis loved nature. The different kinds of birds symbolized people–people of all races, nationalities and personalities who together make up a single diverse flock of humanity. And Francis has gathered them all together so they can hear him proclaim the Good News of the gospel. Francis is telling us that we must not only take care of nature and each other, but we must also share the Good New with all creation.

 

Murray Bodo, O.F.M
Francis The Journey and the Dream

 

2011, St. Anthony Messenger Press, page 83

Because he possessed nothing, he was possessed by all the free creatures of God. All of creation loved him, every bird and animal, and Francis knew it and loved them in return.
Francis loved most tenderly the larks of Umbria. In comparison to them as they soared high in the blue skies of spring, he was the merest sparrow of a man. Sparro! How fitting a name for himself. A poor ragged little sparrow. That was Francis. Feathers ruffled and frayed at the ends, brown and plain, perching on the balconies of Assis, chirping his love songs to the poor and meek, the outcasts and beggars who do not need a lark to make them happy. Even he, poor sparrow of faded brown, could cheer them happy. Even he, poor sparrow of faded brown, could cheer the meek who seldom raised their eyes high enough to see a lark magnificent in its soaring and swooping in the clear skies of freedom.

 

John August Swanson
Artist’s Notes for PAPAGENO

 

Birds appearing in dreams are often viewed as symbols of freedom. They may also represent thoughts, imagination, and ideas that, by nature, require freedom to manifest. In ancient times, birds were believed to be vehicles for the soul, possessing the ability to carry the spirit to heaven.

 

 

Additional information

Framing

Framed, Unframed