Thursday, September 8, 2016


Panicale (Spring)
James Aponovich
oil on panel,  20" x 16"

April is the cruelest month
                        - T.S. Eliot

For most of the year, we live in New England where Spring is defined by mud and black fly season, and the skiing is lousy. Cold, damp and dank. But in central Italy, by early March the fields are turning emerald green and the trees bud out. Although the typical Italian won't shed their parkas until June, the winds start to shift from the south bringing the smell of the Sahara. Life is good.

Benozzo Gozzoli
Journey of the Magi (detail)
fresco, 1459

In 1459 Benozzo Gozzoli landed a commission to paint the private chapel for the Medici Palazzo in Florence. It was a huge gig. The theme is the Journey of the Magi and the landscape is indeed magical.

This painting of Panicale was underpainted in earth tones during the spring of 2014 from the terrace of the ' Pink Palace'. At the time the house across the street was occupied by a man we were told was also the dogcatcher? It once had a beautiful garden tended by the man's wife, but tragically she died and the garden went to seed. Fortunately, an American has just purchased the property, so I have painted a fresh start. May she transform it once again.

I have signed the painting with my oft repeated peeled orange and it shows a woman giving one of Panicale's many dogs a bowl of water.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

SPECIAL DELIVERY.......A Box Arrived From Deruta (Umbria)

A box arrived today. A box sent from Deruta with ceramics. Last spring we went shopping with some friends at Sberna Ceramics. Having picked out a number of things from the enormous selection of pottery we decided that there was no way we could pack this to bring home to New Hampshire. So, we did the next best thing, we had it shipped.

James and I have admired Italian ceramics for years and  always hoped to get a set of dinner ware. When we finally went to Deruta we purchased dinner plates and pasta bowls.  The drive from Panicale to Deruta is beautiful, but on that first trip there we ended up lost more than once. Oh well, it was a good chance to view the Umbrian countryside,  at least for me since James was at the wheel.

The arrival of the box was like having a birthday in September, so much fun tearing open our packages to find the beautiful pieces inside. Everything arrived safely.

A platter we liked for our nearly completed  kitchen.

And here is everything else.

( painted by hand)

On my way back to the counter at Sberna, I saw this little bowl....I couldn't resist buying it.

The wine coasters are great for the table to avoid messy drips on a linen tablecloth and they make great gifts.

James immediately hung the charger on the kitchen wall. Perfect!

Now the corner of our kitchen has Deruta pottery and a sconce and iron shelf brackets from a Pienza forge, Ferro Battuto Biagiotti.

Here is the store front of Sberna in Deruta, Italy ( Umbria).
If you are in Umbria you must make a stop here.

You know, shopping tires you out and the four of us shoppers were getting hungry.  James suggested lunch in Montefalco at L'Alchimista. 

The restaurant / enoteca is on the lovely main piazza in Montefalco and the food here is excellent. Always seasonal , always delicious!

We selected a bottle of Grechetto to have with lunch. Then, since this is both restaurant and enoteca wine is available for purchase. James bought a bottle of Montefalco Rosso to take back to our Panicale apartment as a souvenir of the day.