Friday, September 9, 2016

Mr. J At Work And Play

  Two big things happen in September this year....Johnny's birthday, which we just celebrated in style by having a delightful dinner at our local favorite Italian spot, La Balena......
  ...And our upcoming show "Fieldwork"(Sept 17!!), which we are busily preparing for.

  It made me think about doing this post...a post that is all about Mr. J, at work and play in Umbria.
  Hey, what better time? I tried to find some photos that have not already been featured either here, or on the gallery Facebook page, but it was hard. Luckily, there are a few scattered about here.

  These photos are a pretty good peek at the day to day work life we lead while we are over there. It's a great 'second life', whether we are out working on paintings, or sitting lakeside having a sip of wine.

  The days we go out and work are often long ones...March and April can be cold, wet and windy, so any day that looks like a sunny one is a day we rush out early to get as much painting in as possible....
(i keep saying 'we'...i just keep record of it does all the heavy lifting...)

Not actually Umbria, this is Pienza, in the neighboring region of Tuscany.
It was early on, and still very cool. The sun was nice.

Drawing closer to home, on a chilly day.

Clouds be damned, Johnny still needs to paint.

  Notice the big blue work coat? It's Johnny's 'go to' for painting. Not only does it keep him clean, it's a good layer of warmth over his regular coat. He buys these at the local 'feramenta', the hardware store.    
  He has bought several over the years, and they are great. One always stays in Umbria, with all his art supplies(grazie, Roy& Diane!), and there is usually one in the California studio, too.

Yes, it is honestly

Getting a late afternoon painting in, before an oncoming downpour.

Johnny likes to tuck into a shady least when the sun is warm.

Sometimes it's all sunshine.
Out in the fields, of course.

  I would say it's half and half....Half the time we are down some dirt road, in a field, and half the time he sets up on the side of the road near the car.

  As I have mentioned many times on my own blog, Live Pronto, while Mr. J is working, I'll take photos and make short videos of him, then I like to take off on a walk and explore. If it's really cold, I'll snuggle up in the car with my book.
  I enjoy this routine. I never get this kind of time here in California...always there is something needing to be done.

Johnny getting serious about it all.

  This year, spring 2016, Johnny painted over forty small plain-air works while we were in Umbria. 
  Here are several spots.....

Pescatore, a favorite spot for work and play.

Near the boat launch in Castiglione del Lago...

In a special friend's garden....

On the road between Panicale and Paciano...

Just outside the main gate of Paciano...

On the road to Missiano....

Near Villastrada....

The road to Sanfattuchio...

Near Lago Trasimeno....

Ummmm.....Oh! Below Valiano.
Dodging raindrops, if I remember ...

A very nice day, on the road to Paciano....

Above Varacca...

Near Moiano....

A favorite spot to paint-
Near Casalini.

Just outside of Panicale.

  We love our Panicale apartment, 'The Artisan's House', and at this point feel like we are arriving home when we do get there.
  The second bedroom slowly fills with paintings as the trip goes on.....

Paintings spread out on heavy duty plastic sheets, so they can slowly dry.
All are oil painted on Italian birch panels bought
in Florence and Rome.

  We line the paintings up on the stairs to take pictures of them all.
  There is a perfect window with a deep ledge to set the paintings flat on.. for photos in natural light.

We are ready for our close up, Miss Janelle.....

  With a couple of weeks left at the end of the long trip, the paintings are set aside to dry, and Johnny is done working. He's ready to get down to 'being on vacation'...

It's officially Vacation Time, Baby!

Morning walks!

Can't resist posting this one again-
Noooooo comment!

  By the time he's done working, the weather has gotten just warm enough to take nice walks here and there...

  We can go enjoy favorite pizza places....

  Lounge lakeside playing dominoes and sipping wine.....

 Take drives into the nearby countryside and get stuck in mud....

Oh, yes..we did.
But not on this day.

  Yep. It's a lot of work to get everything done before we go, keep the gallery running while we are gone(thanks Gerrica & Mary Liz), button down the house and get the sitters settled in(thanks, James & Anna)...and then it's Showtime!
  Which is happening in a week or so, so we are crazy getting it together......all this next week. Long days ahead....
  Then we work and work and work some more, so we can do it all over again.
  Sweet life, I must say. Love the work, love the downtime.

  Here's to an already successful show, and my hats off to the dude I'm hitched to...
  Ti amo, bambino....Ti amo.

A very Happy Artist, indeed.

  And you better believe the next trip is booked....

Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Blog Post For Scott & Natalie (w/love, J&J)

  Friends came by the gallery recently to check out the new crop of paintings that Johnny did in Umbria this past spring. (We are getting ready to show them here in the gallery soon, and it's been nice to see some selling in advance of the show)
  We had a great visit with our pals, and after they left the gallery, I remembered that there were some photos and videos from the day Johnny painted the one our friends chose, below....

"Isola Polvese"
by Johnny Apodaca, 2016

  It was fairly early in the trip when Johnny painted this one, and the day was sunny and almost warm. We had driven around the lake, stopping a couple of times to paint, and ending up at a favorite spot in San Feliciano, a lovely fishing village on the shores of Lago Trasimeno.
  Johnny pulled in near the small fishing boats to set up and do two small paintings, one which became Scott and Natalie's, and one which now lives in San Feliciano at a favorite watering hole.
  Johnny loves painting near the water, especially when it's so beautiful out.....

Hanging out lakeside, doing his job.

  I took a few shots of Johnny painting, made a quick video, and headed down the way for a little walk.

Little did he know who would end up with
this never do...It's part of the magic.

  We love this little area. There are always beautiful old boats in the water, and very often we'll watch the local fisherman as they tend the nets.

  On this particular day, we were under surveillance! There was a drone cruising all around for about an hour. Trippy, because we've never seen one here, and it was a very slow , quiet day on the lake. Maybe they were getting some nice video of the lake themselves? 
  No, I didn't take any pictures of the drone...sorry.

  Back to the beauty of this life by the lake....

We can tell it's early in the trip..
hardly any leaves on the trees.

A local 'Man Cave'.
'Fisherman Cave', that is.

  Johnny has always loved the colors and sounds around the lakeside. We often take long walks in this area, followed by a glass of wine at a nearby spot.

Johnny paints away in the background....

Fishing nets make for nice texture.

  Anyway, after a stroll, I head back to finish my job, and see what has happened with the work:

 Hope you like this post, you guys! Thanks again for being fans-
 Baci, Baci, Baci e Abbracci!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Goodbye To A Good Year's Work

  It began with a first night's meal at Simone and Lorena's Il Gallo nel Pozzo…..One very happy artist ready for a good bite to eat, followed by several weeks of painting in the Umbrian country side.

  Driving around the area had it's moments…of beauty.

  Working at first on drawings on paper…sometimes in nearby Tuscany...

  Always with an eye out for the next spot to inspire.

  With the cold days of March, sometimes staying inside...

  The fireplace is always a favorite spot to consider.

  Too cold to even get out of the car on some days….

  The classic 'puffy coat', always a very good friend to have.

  Why not draw and enjoy a glass of wine?

  Fortunately, the warm days did arrive….

  Hard to stop working when the weather is this nice.

  The final painting of this trip finished.

  Time to relax and enjoy the feeling of a job very well done.

  Now we head back home…where the next phase begins…getting the show together!
  Stay tuned-We will be posting the finished paintings soon!

  Thanks, Umbria…for all the inspiration.
  And wine and pasta, of course.