Panicale: Still Life with Apricots and Cherries
oil on paper, 9.5" x 12", 2011
Each year Beth and I go to Italy. We go to Italy to work, draw and study the amazingly rich trove of paintings, sculptures and architecture that abound there. That being said, we also do not ignore the wonderful food, wine and people that make our time in Italy so wonderful.
I am a painter by trade, but I find it difficult to transport all the "stuff" it takes to execute an oil painting there. Flight restrictions, transportation and "wet paint" make it a chore, so I draw , or more precisely I sketch.
Sketchbook pages from Italy
In April of 2010, prior to our annual trip to Umbria, my good friend Bob, himself a noted artist, gave us a beautiful travel set of watercolors to use on site. We purchased a couple of blocks of watercolor paper and set off to Italy.
While in our favorite town of Panicale, I purchased some fruit from the local greengrocer.
I placed the apricots and cherries on a plate and began to make a mess of it with watercolor, a most difficult medium.
Recently Beth found it in the studio, dusted it off and suggested that I finish it. for this project. No more watercolor for me, I instead sized the paper and painted over it with oils.
A Dish with Cherries and Carnations
Giovanna Garzoni, 1600-1670
Tempera on paper
Palazzo Pitti, Florence
One of my most admired still life painters is Giovanna Garzoni, who was a miniaturist of considerable renown in Rome, Florence and Milan. It was not easy for a woman to break into the trade union of painters. She painted with such clarity and simplicity.
Copyright 2011 James Aponovich