Saturday, January 14, 2017

ROMAN SUN { A Year In Painting }



JAMES APONOVICH 
A YEAR IN PAINTING

"VITEA E BREVIS
ARS E LONGUS"

As our planet makes its journey around a star we call the Sun, I make my own journey in paintings, each week I present some aspect of our shared life experience through a medium of paint on canvas.

"Old men ought to be explorers"
-T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets

___________________________________________



ROMAN SUN




(detail)


Everyone should have a city that speaks personally to them. For many it's Paris, while others are enthralled by New York. For me it's Rome. Although the Catholic thing does get to me at times, I still find Rome endlessly exiting and yet comforting.

"You are either a Roman or Florentine, You cannot possibly be both."
- Barbara Rossow

All cities in Italy have an abundance of tour groups, Venice and Florence come to mind and Rome has its own share ( especially in a Jubilee year). But Rome benefits from being larger so it affords many back streets to escape to.




(detail)

But as you escape you just may find yourself in front of the house Raphael lived in or a church where Borromini is buried. It is not uncommon to be walking down an unfamiliar street and find a Roman era ruin or a column still standing yet incorporated into a wall. It's amazing, Rome is very old with many layers.



(detail)



A HOLE IN THE WALL




One day, when I was at the American Academy, Beth and I visited the gardens of the Villa Aurelia on the Gianicolo Hill overlooking the city. We came across a square opening in the wall that separates the garden from the street. Someone had placed a terra-cotta vase in it. Out came the sketchbooks.




TAKE YOUR TIME

It seems that I am always rushed to finish a painting, deadlines, shows, etc.
Not this time.




James Aponovich
Sunflowers Over Rome
Oil on canvas, 32" x 28"







Copyright 2017 James Aponovich

{ 3 }



Monday, January 9, 2017

ARTICHOKES { A Year In Painting }


JAMES APONOVICH :  A YEAR IN PAINTING

VITEA E BREVIS
ARS E LONGUS

As our planet makes its journey around a star we call the Sun, I make my own journey in paintings. Each week I present some aspect of our shared life experiences through a medium of paint on canvas.


"Old men ought to be explorers."
                                - T.S. Eliot,  The Four Quartets


___________________________________________________


ARTICHOKES


James Aponovich
Hanging Artichokes
Oil on panel,  20" x 16"


"He was a very valiant man who first adventured on eating thistles."
                                                     -James Fuller

" I eat to live, not live to eat."
                                - my Mother


THE DAILY CHORE

I grew up in a house where eating was characterized as a necessary evil. The Original Sin redeux. It was all viewed as drudgery and dinner only became a stage for family fights. With the exception of corn in the summer, vegetables came in cans and for some reason, they all tasted the same. It wasn't until I was living on my own that I discovered that vegetables came fresh. One of the more mysterious among them was artichokes, armor plated, prickly and with an inedible, aptly named 'choke'. It was nasty and my mother proved right, it was a lot of work! Boiling, scraping, dissecting and eliminating the fuzzy choke. It was all a daunting task but the reward was there, for deep in the interior was the 'heart'. With only some olive oil or melted butter, lemon, salt and pepper it could outshine any meat. It is a glorious food and, from an artists eye, a very pleasing form.



SLICING AND DICING ( not just the veggies)



James Aponovich
Trasimeno Artichokes
Oil on canvas, 14" x 10"


So, here I was, lying on an operating table ( non-life threatening stuff) with my surgeon, hard at work (on me) telling me how much he loves artichokes. He had just seen my Trasimeno Artichokes painting and he was explaining in detail how he prepares them on the grill with olive oil, lemon, etc. His parents were born in Italy, they know artichokes and taught their son accordingly. I knew he belonged to the club.


ALL PAINTINGS, GREAT AND SMALL

Last week I posted a portrait of my friend Tonino, surrounding him are all sorts of objects, all related to his occupation, or in the case of Tonino, his passion. As a group they work just fine, but sometimes a single object is enough to carry a painting.



James Aponovich
Single Artichoke
Oil on canvas, 8" x 9"









Copyright 2017 James Aponovich

#2

Monday, January 2, 2017

PAPPULIA


A YEAR IN PAINTING

VITEA E BREVIS
ARS E LONGUS


As our planet makes it s journey around a star we call the sun, I make my own journey in paintings. Each week I will present some aspect of our shared life experience through a medium of paint on canvas.

"Old men ought to be explorers."
                                 T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets

_________________________________________________________________


PAPPULIA



(detail)


    Pappulia - A Neopolitan word { pronounced pap- pu- li-a} that refers to the slow simmer
                    of a ragu cooking on the stove. The word mimics the sound of the sauce
                    slowly bubbling.


 THE COOK FROM CARIFE (Av)


(detail)



Almost every morning Elizabeth and I have coffee at Aldo and Daniela's Bar Gallo in Piazza Umberto I in Panicale. Grabbing a coffee at Aldo's is no small or quick matter. Everyone greets each other with a " Buongiorno" or will engage you with 
'una chiacchierata', or chitchat. What is intended to be a quick coffee can take over an hour.



(detail)



Nearly everyday I notice a couple come into the bar as regulars. I was told that she was English and he was an Italian who was a cook at a local agriturismo. Her name is Ruth, a sustainable agriculturist and his name is Tonino, short for Antonio, a name of endearment given to him by his mother. We all soon became friends and I was captivated by Tonino's gregarious demeanor. I knew that I had to paint his portrait and to my surprise he was delighted and would also tutor me in Italian. So, I set out to create a visual biography...
but not without some mistakes.




(detail)


At first I wanted to have him holding a rather large chef's knife.
Big mistake.... with a frown he immediately expressed his displeasure,
" James, this knife is for a butcher! I am a cook! I work with a paring knife!"
O.K. lets just take out the knives. Fortunately it was wild asparagus season and Katia had just brought over a large bunch her father had just picked. Tonino started to fondle it like a bridal bouquet and I knew that I had the right substitute.





(detail)

"Everything must be done with passion."
-Antonio Loffa

Tonino is also a sculptor of light, lamps that is. To commemorate our coffees together, I commissioned him to make a lamp pit of a Moka coffee maker that I could bring bake to the States. His studio is wild with lamps made out of every sort of found object, carburetors, tomato cans, etc.





Tonino's Studio



He is also a musician, duly noted by the harmonica he habitually carries with him. He asked if I could include it. Of course.




(detail)


THE GREEK CHORUS

All around him I painted objects directly related to his profession. Food, a mortar and pestle, a can of tuna I gave to him from a trip to Sardinia and a flower from Ruth's garden. It delighted him that I chose not to include any culinary 'machines' as he is from the old school and prefers simple implements. Remember the paring knife? 
So now the portrait is complete.


"Voglio presentare il mio amico, Tonino"
"I would like to introduce my friend, Tonino."




Tonino Loffa, Cook from Carife (Av)
James Aponovich
Oil on canvas, 33" x 26", 2016-17







Copyright 2017 James Aponovich

Monday, December 5, 2016

Early December with The Heartfelts




Another Heartfelt Family Saga





Thanksgiving is past and as the weather turns cold and the days grow short, there is nothing The Heartfelts like better than to sit in front of a warm roaring fire.






Before the first snow arrives The Heartfelts go out to gather boughs and berries to bring back into the house to decorate.
Balsam, Pine, Spruce, Red Twigged Dogwood and Winterberry are collected in the clean, crisp air of December. (Plus, an occasional raccoon or squirrel)





Early December is also the time to bring in a Fraser Fir and trim it with their favorite ornaments.





Accidents do sometimes happen.
Yello-Hoodie Boy got too anxious!




The mantle is festooned with greens and fruit, a giant wreath now hangs proudly above and a fire is set to ward off cold and darkness.

WELCOME YULE!




Copyright 2016 James and Elizabeth Aponovich

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

WHAT NOW.....?

 Yeah, last week was a tough week...in many ways, but once we have dried our tears ( we cannot cry forever) then we must hang on to what we know and who we are, and look to those things in life we cherish. For James and me that includes a list of things, but we will begin by getting back into our studios, sitting down at our easels....
......Working and Creating.



James Aponovich
Sunflowers, Villa Aurelia, Rome (detail)
oil on canvas, 40" x 32"




Music, Classical, plays throughout the day and in each of our studios. Calming, most of the time.
A restorative daily walk helps the day begin, and since we are at easels  much of the day I think our legs thank us for the daily exercise, not to mention fresh air and a good dose of Vitamin-D.
Books fill the shelves, most have been read, some still wait for the covers to be open. We absorb the words whether they tell of real events or fiction.
Music and Books........Restorative.



Elizabeth Johansson Aponovich
Oriental Poppies ( in progress)
oil on canvas



Cooking is an ongoing event in our kitchen. Cold weather cooking is especially fun with braising, roasting, soup making, etc.  We have just finished devouring our crop of figs. James has a fabulous recipe for Caramelized Figs which I will share in an upcoming post. 
Tonight we are having a pasta forno with mezzi rigatoni , parmesan and a  garlicky tomato sauce with guanciale......
Cooking.......Warm and Comforting.


Cooking Spaghetti Carbonara in our kitchen



Our daughter, Ana, lives on the other side of the state so we see her as often as we can, and talk with her frequently. We like her, and of course, love her, lots!...
....Loving & Caring

Sadly, the past week she has not been feeling well, so today we are worried, which is another  element of caring and family.



Portrait of Ana with Strawberries
James Aponovich
oil on panel



Tomorrow evening we have friends here for dinner. Having people you like around a dinner table is something that binds us all....
....Family, Friends, Conversation, Food, Wine and Laughter.




Although it is now November and the garden has more or less been tended to and put to bed for the winter planning for next season continues through the cold months of winter. There are always changes to be made, plants to move and new plants to be discovered. The garden is a place of quiet reflection...
.....Serenity





In the living room with  a fire in the fireplace and  two Negroni's  is pretty nice. This is a Sunday ritual for James and me. Nothing like it......
.....Home with the person you love.





James has just painted Rome. As he  paints he finds he can loose himself in Rome's streets, monuments and churches. It is quite incredible, and I understand that especially right now it is a good place to escape to with a paintbrush....
.....Art.....Rome


James Aponovich
Sunflowers, Villa Aurelia, Rome (detail)
oil on canvas


When I cannot sleep I close my eyes and picture myself walking through the narrow streets of Panicale. Panicle is built on a hill and the streets and stairs take you up to the top of town to the campanile and the piazza Podesta. In my attempt to fall off to sleep I never quite make it all the way up there before I fall off to sleep.....
Panicale...Imagining


Lake Trasimeno from Panicale







We think of the beauty of Italy and our friends in Panicale. ....
...Dream of Italy.....Dream of Panicale.

Beyond just dreaming of Italy tis better to be in Italy! The pace of life slows. The beauty of the place is not comparable, you must be in it. The people are kind. Food is important and made with love. The art incredible....
....Life on Italian Time



In the garden (Panicale)with friends



......Wine



OK. Let's get back to work now.






and some play.....




It is really the time to be.....
'Better Angels.'












WHAT NOW.....?

 Yeah, last week was a tough week...in many ways, but one we have dried our tears ( we cannot cry forever) then, we must hang on to what we know and who we are. We look to those things in life we cherish. For James and me that includes a list of things, but we will begin by getting back into our studios, sitting down at our easels....
......Working and Creating.



James Aponovich
Sunflowers, Villa Aurelia, Rome (detail)
oil on canvas, 40" x 32"




Music, Classical, plays throughout the day and in each of our studios. Calming, most of the time.
A restorative daily walk helps the day begin, and since we are at easels  much of the day I think our legs thank us for the daily exercise, not to mention fresh air and a good dose of Vitamin-D....
Music........Restorative.



Elizabeth Johansson Aponovich
Oriental Poppies ( in progress)
oil on canvas



Cooking is an ongoing event in our kitchen. Cold weather cooking is especially fun with braising, roasting, soup making, etc.  We have just finished devouring our crop of figs. James has a fabulous recipe for Caramelized Figs which I will share in an upcoming post. 
Tonight we are having a pasta forno with mezzi rigatoni , parmesan and a  garlicky tomato sauce with guanciale......
Cooking.......Warm and Comforting.


Cooking Spaghetti Carbonara in our kitchen



Our daughter, Ana, lives on the other side of the state so we see her as often as we can, and talk with her frequently. We like her, and of course, love her, lots!...
....Loving & Caring

Sadly, the past week she has not been feeling well, so today we are worried, which is another  element of caring and family.



Portrait of Ana with Strawberries
James Aponovich
oil on panel



Tomorrow evening we have friends here for dinner. Having people you like around a dinner table is something that binds us all....
....Family, Friends, Conversation, Food, Wine and Laughter.




Although it is now November and the garden has more or less been tended to and put to bed for the winter planning for next season continues through the cold months of winter. There are always changes to be made, plants to move and new plants to be discovered. The garden is a place of quiet reflection...
.....Serenity





In the living room with  a fire in the fireplace and  two Negroni's  is pretty nice. This is a Sunday ritual for James and me. Nothing like it......
.....Home with the person you love.





James has just painted Rome. As he  paints he finds he can loose himself in Rome's streets, monuments and churches. It is quite incredible, and I understand that especially right now it is a good place to escape to with a paintbrush....
.....Art.....Rome


James Aponovich
Sunflowers, Villa Aurelia, Rome (detail)
oil on canvas


When I cannot sleep I close my eyes and picture myself walking through the narrow streets of Panicale. Panicle is built on a hill and the streets and stairs take you up to the top of town to the campanile and the piazza Podesta. In my attempt to fall off to sleep I never quite make it all the way up there before I fall off to sleep.....
Panicale...Imagining


Lake Trasimeno from Panicale







We think of the beauty of Italy and our friends in Panicale. ....
...Dream of Italy.....Dream of Panicale.

Beyond just dreaming of Italy tis better to be in Italy! The pace of life slows. The beauty of the place is not comparable, you must be in it. The people are kind. Food is important and made with love. The art incredible....
....Life on Italian Time



In the garden (Panicale)with friends



......Wine



OK. Let's get back to work now.






and some play.....




It is really the time to be.....
'Better Angels.'