Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week 52 Plus.....Epiblog !

Lincoln, Massachusetts


I would like to invite all of those who you have taken the time to follow my journey over the past year to come to Clark Gallery in Lincoln, MA on the 16th of June, or during the run of the exhibit to see, in person, all 52 of these paintings. It was quite a year. Beth ( see week #51) was extremely necessary and very patient in working with me to get each week's work published. My thanks to her. I would also like to mention the owner of Clark Gallery and friend, Dana Salvo for his encouragement at critical times, "come on champ!, there's only two more rounds, keep your feet movin' and dukes up!".....that kind of thing.

Here's me, surrounded by some upcoming "challenges".
I learned at The Armory Show that I am on the 2013 schedule to have a show at
Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York, NY., which means I have a lot of work ahead of me.
Wish me luck.

Check back in from time to time for updates.
You can continue to follow me, along with Beth on our blog:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

WEEK # 52 / Still Life with Cloche

Still Life with Cloche
James Aponovich
oil on canvas. 20" x 16", 2012

Here it is, the final week of this journey. For my last painting I decided to build myself a pictorial Anniversary cake. I had thought of other images for this auspicious week, all could be described as "cleaver" or worse yet "cheeky". Beth suggested that I don't disappoint anyone who might be expecting a valid summation of this past year. So, this is my choice, a colorful layering of repeated shapes, swelling upward. I hope you like it.

THE MANIFESTO ( sort of)

In summation, I have always had a broad based interest in everything that touches human life. Some may compare it to a beaver pond, broad but shallow. Anyways, I often reference historical paintings because I have a firm belief that the potential for human achievement is necessitated
by an appreciation of the canon of past achievements. Even though, as the poet
once said, we cannot hope to emulate those achievements, we just try.....or in his own words:

And what there is to conquer
by strength and submission has already been discovered
once or twice, or several times by men whom we cannot hope
to emulate - but there is no competition -
there is only the fight to recover what has been lost
and found and lost again and again....
for us, there is only the trying

the rest is not our business.

T.S. Eliot
The Four Quartets

The world is small now, but as artist, we must seek a new common mythic narrative, derived from the past, and thusly carry on, for humanity, a rich accessible tradition.

NEXT...............THE PARTY!

I would like to invite all of you to come and see for yourself all 52 of these paintings.

June 12- July 18
Artist Reception: June 16
Clark Gallery
Lincoln, MA

Check back here next week for the invitation!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WEEK # 51/ Portrait of Elizabeth Johansson

Portrait of Elizabeth Johansson
James Aponovich
Oil on panel, 7" x 5", 2012

Often, during this project I have mentioned my wife, Beth. By way of introduction let me present this portrait of her. I met her by seeing her drawings and to this day she is a dedicated and wonderful artist. She also takes my rough drafts and photos and translates them into this elegant format. To her I have much to thank.

Fra Filippo Lippi
Portrait of a Man and Woman at a Casement
Tempera on wood, 25" x 16", c. 1440
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Recently, Beth and I were in New York to attend the Armory Show. As we were staying on the Upper East Side, The Met was only a short walk from the hotel. We were there to meet our friends Judith and Robert and to see three exhibits,
The Steins Collection ( the collections of Leo & Gertrude Stein), The furniture of Duncan Phyfe,
and a knock out show of The Portrait in Renaissance Italy.

Jan Van Eyck
Man with a Red Chaperon
oil on panel, 14" x 10", 1433
National Gallery, London

Both the Van Eyck and the Lippi paintings were executed about the same time, and both could not be more different. The sober, lofty, idealized formality of the Italians is contrasted with the hard psychological abstractness of the Flemish. I have always striven to align myself and my painting style with the warm Italians of the Fifteenth Century, but I just can't shake that cold Northern blast from the Flemish that is really my greatest influence. Maybe these New England winters are getting to me.

Next up, the final one.

Copyright 2012 James Aponovich

Sunday, March 11, 2012

WEEK #50/ Sliced Cantaloupe

Sliced Cantaloupe
James Aponovich
Oil on panel, 9" x 12", 2012

I habitually carry a sketchbook wherever I go. You just never know what you will see that may become the next painting. It is very difficult to force a painting, usually it just appears. The trick is to be ready and to recognize it. That split second is inspiration, the rest is work, in other words, craftsmanship.
Recently, I was drawing with my friend Bob and as he was sketching a bunch of oyster shells, I noticed an old, not very valuable, Chinese bowl on the table. His wife, Sylvia, was slicing a

Study, Sliced Cantaloupe
James Aponovich
Graphite on paper, 9" x 7", 2012

.....I started drawing. Since Beth and I were going to New York for a few days
to attend The Armory Show, I had to make this painting using only elemental contrasts.

Orange - Blue
Dark - Light
Hard - Soft

Pretty basic stuff, but sometimes the best dishes are made with the fewest ingredients.

copyright 2012 James Aponovich
All content / images are copyright James Aponovich 2012
and may not be used without written permission.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Studio Still Life
James Aponovich
oil on panel, 16" x 12", 2012

Whew! This was one difficult picture to paint. It is a combination of Trompe l'oeil with standard three dimensional forms. The rules of both styles are different yet very specific and unrelenting. The painting is composed of "stuff" on the wall of my studio plus objects on the shelves. It ain't what you got, it's how you put it together.


Sometimes. As you may have already figured out, many of my still lifes have complex underlying compositional structures and / or numerical puzzles. I will often give hints. In this case it's the three push pins next to the playing card.
Why the Queen of Hearts?
Red Yellow Blue

Much of this painting is monochromatic, white, black, and shades of grey. Since The Queen has the three primary colors plus white and black I painted her first. Then I keyed my colors and values to attempt to balance the composition. Yellow tissue, blue Chinese vase and red ribbon are meant to pull those objects forward. I painted the drawings and compass in neutral greys to help me along. The important transition is the Zurbaran postcard behind the vase leaning against the wall, uniting one plane with the other.

copyright 2012 James Aponovich
All content copyright James Aponovich and cannot be reproduced
without written permission.