Monday, January 9, 2017

ARTICHOKES { A Year In Painting }



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



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


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.


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


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