Friday, May 13, 2011

WEEK #7 / BOXED FRUIT SERIES: Bowl with Fruit with Flame Orange Tissue

Boxed Fruit Series: Bowl of Fruit with Flame Orange Tissue
James Aponovich
14' x 15", oil on canvas, 2011


Of all the formats, a square canvas is the most difficult to compose. Since a circle fits quite nicely within a square there is a tendency to have everything revolve around and focus on the center. In other words it becomes static.

Buddhist Mandala

Here the center is meant to dominate. Everything radiates out from it and condenses back into the center. It is a sacred guide to deep meditation.

My composition is not a square but it is based on a circle. The rectangle is created by six key points on the circle. It's a bit complicated but the rectangle is divided into two central squares and four flanking 'Golden Section' rectangles. It is serious business and is referred to as
The Painter's Secret Geometry. The center of the clementine sits on the center of the rectangle.


Mathias Grunewald (1475-1528)
Resurrection and Transfiguration of Jesus,
from the Isenheim Altarpiece

Grunewald was the original German Expressionist. He did not hold anything back. By the way, the composition is comprised of a square below (soldiers,rocks,etc) and a Golden Section rectangle above. Powerful stuff.
Color is used for full impact. Out of the terrestrial palette of earth tones, Jesus rises with the twisting fabric changing from cool whites into violet and crimson. A flame orange nimbus radiates celestial yellow all set against a ink black sky.


  1. I didn't realize that people were using the Golden Ratio anymore. I recall reading an interview with Peter Busa from the '60s in which he talked about dividing up his canvas based on the principle. I thought it might be a passing fancy. It makes me want to go back and read about it again.

    Another great painting! Steve

  2. To Steve,
    Thanks for following along on this journey. I will be returning to the Golden Section from time to time.

  3. I greatly appreciate your still life painting of the fruit and flame-colored paper. Magnificent. I stumbled here while doing online research for an amateur commentary on Grunewald's resurrection. You might be interested:
    On Grunewald's Resurrection

    Thanks for the wonderful paintings.