Tuesday, June 16, 2015



Elizabeth and I were invited to a garden luncheon overlooking Lake Trasimeno in Casalini, a small borgo in the Commune of Panicale.

As people were arriving and Prosecco was being poured, a tray of antipasti was brought out, one of the items were thin slices of an omelette or frittata, neither hot nor cold, but just slightly warm. Inside the rich egg mixture was pasta. It was like it's own little egg sandwich.


Elizabeth makes a fabulous pasta Carbonara and as usual there was a bit left over along with some asparagus. So, instead of standing in front of the open fridge pushing cold pasta in my mouth we decided to try a pasta frittata for lunch.

I beat four eggs with salt and pepper and a handful of grated parmesan cheese then tossed the pasta and asparagus in. I poured the mixture into a hot non-stick skillet and kept gently pushing the sides to cook the eggs.

Then, under the broiler  until it achieved that All -American Diner 
state of perfection called 'golden brown'.


{week 42}
Copyright 2015 James Aponovich

Tuesday, June 9, 2015



A.A.R. ( no P !)
American Academy in Rome

Entrance Fountain

During my stay as Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, Elizabeth and I lived in an apartment in the main building ( McKim, Mead & White) called 'Il Cortile'. It's name is due to the fact that it overlooks the central courtyard (cortile), but , for that matter  many other apartments had similar views. I guess someone figured that's was the view.


Then, as now, rarely do I paint in Italy, I draw. Pencils and paper are immediate and less cumbersome than paints, easels, etc.  So I draw in Italy and paint when I'm back in my studio.


The apartment was clean and simple with white walls and wooden furniture. Dominating the living room was a white sofa set against the white wall, white on white. A Balthus poster hung on the wall, it seemed to fit. The only color was the red of the cotto floor. I completed the drawing there, but as I was working on the painting back in my studio in the States I couldn't remember the color of the tiles. I knew it was red, but what red?

The White Sofa
James Aponovich
pencil on paper

I needed to return to Rome to paint. This time we rented an apartment in our favorite 'Rione' ( neighborhood) known as Monti.


Monti is next to the ancient Roman Forum. Its name back then was Suburra and it is where ordinary people lived. In order to keep the rif-raf out the Emperor built a wall separating 'them from us'. When Rome burned under Nero it was Suburra that burned, not the Forum. Anyways, now it's a vibrant, totally cool neighborhood with great shops, cafes  and nightlife. It's here that I hope to finish the painting....
Time will tell.

White Sofa ( in progress)
James Aponovich
oil on panel. 16" x 20"

Copyright 2015 James Aponovich
{week 41}

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


The Italians call them Rondine and they arrive early in April. Everyday, from dawn to dusk there are hundreds of them over town screeching and flying at incredible speeds, clearing the sky of bugs. Hundreds...maybe thousands of birds.

Early Morning Light, Panicale
Johnny Apodaca
gouache on paper, 3"x3", 2015


Artists who work in open air ( plein air) are constantly subject to the extremes of weather...raining? day is over, windy?....find shelter. too cold?...wear gloves, too hot? sweat a lot. These are the obvious elements that concern the outdoor painter and determine whether the day os successful or not. But, there is one thing that most people don't consider...the "gifts" that are dropped by the birds, thousands of birds. I have had more than one drawing 'improved' by the Rondine. So when the birds are screeching and the temperature is rising, I seek the comfort of the studio, look around for an interesting object, add a supporting cast of fruit.....and....

Terracotta Pitcher and Pears, Panicale
James Aponovich
pencil on paper, 10"x 7", 2015

This is a pencil study for a painting yet to come. But, you have to hand it to those plein air painters out there in the bush.

 Bravo, Johnny! and Thank you.

{week 40}
copyright 2015 James Aponovich
copyright 2015 Johnny Apodaca