Parrot Tulips in Black Vase
oil on canvas, 16 x 12
This painting is an example of one of my Italian based still lifes. It contains the recurring theme of flowers, objects and fabric set into an Italian landscape. It is hard to beat the Italian landscape for visual interest. Originally my still lifes were all set against a neutral white wall. They were getting tired and I was getting bored. I gradually fell into a deep creative slump. It was at this time I was commissioned to travel to Italy to do a painting. I don't remember what I painted but I do recall finding myself in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence looking at a painting of a guy with a strange nose.
Portrait of Federico da Montefeltro
Duke of Urbino, 1465
Piero della Francesca
oil on panel, 18 x 13
I was transfixed by the simple profile portrait set in what seemed to be an imaginary Italian landscape, pretty much the same landscape that I had just stepped out of. Visually, in many ways, Italy has not changed much in 500 years. It was the clarity of the atmosphere that struck me. Piero was painting the actual air. I realized that in order for me to paint any object I must
also paint the air in front, around and behind, in other words the atmosphere, what the Italians call"sfumato".
I returned to the studio and began to introduce the landscape (Italian) into my compositions.
However, I would find that this transformation comes with it's own limitations. More on that later.
Copyright James Aponovich 2011
All Aponovich images and content copyright of J.Aponovich