Monday, December 19, 2011

Aponovich 52

Week 38 of 52.  A Bunch of Radishes.  Oil on Canvas 9"x9" 2011

Gardening friend, James Aponovich is in the middle of a grueling marathon.  And, he's not running, swimming or cycling.  He's painting!

Two Pears (painting #1)

It was last march when James's wife, Elizabeth Johansson, watched him create, in one day, the painting of the Two Pears you see here.  The 6x8 inch piece was a study for a larger work. Watching him complete that 24-hour painting, and knowing James very well, Beth was quick to recognize a good husband-wife challenge when she saw one.  So, she somewhat jokingly suggested that he should try and complete one painting every week for the next year.  James, who never met a challenge he couldn't embrace, immediately said "why not?"  And so, Aponovich 52 was born.

photo of James Aponovich by Beth Johansson
Now let's be clear--issuing a challenge to paint a picture a week is one thing if you're talking about a kid working with finger paints.  But anyone who is familiar with the work of James Aponovich will realize that's not the kind of painting we're talking about here. Both James and Beth are accomplished artists who have had paintings and drawings represented in museum collections across the country, including Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, and the Art Institute of Chicago. James paints complex still life compositions with a strong undercurrent of surrealism pervading his work. He is a prolific artist, a Lifetime Fellow of the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and, from 2006-2010, was also the State of New Hampshire's Artist Laureate.

Week 24 of 52  Still Life with Chocolate Truffles, 8"x12" Oil on Linen, 2011

James is chronicling his incredible painting marathon in Aponovich 52, a blog where you can not only view, week by week, all the completed paintings, but also follow the painstaking process that goes into the completion of each composition through notes that James posts alongside his work. It's truly a one-of-a-kind insider's look at the life of an artist.  You can also follow the adventures of James and Beth at home--in their studios, kitchen and gardens--as well as during their many travels to destinations like Italy, by reading their blog, Aponovich and Johansson at Home and Away. 

The Italian Garden at the Aponovich-
Johansson Home.  Both James and Beth
credit much of their artistic inspiration to the
beautiful gardens that surround their home.
James's incredible painting marathon was recently featured on an episode of WCVB TV's Chronicle.  And, at the end of the marathon, all 52 of James's paintings will be exhibited at The Clark Gallery in Lincoln, Massachusetts, in June (watch for more details on James's blog).

It is now week 38 of James's 52 week journey and we will be following his progress here on Notes from Juniper Hill by displaying the current week's painting in the "Links" section of the right-sidebar. By clicking on the painting, you can quickly link to Aponovich 52 where you can get a detailed account of the thought and inspiration that go into each work in progress.

Good luck, James!  We will see you at the finish line!

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