Friday, August 31, 2012


It seems to me...

The scope of love is broad and deep, encompassing a wide range of emotions and behavior.  At each end of this broad spectrum are two opposing descriptions of this phenomenon we call love – Soft love, and Hard love.

Soft love is gentle, caring and compassionate, non-judgmental, inclusive, nurturing, generous (sometimes to a fault), and forgiving.  It has no boundaries or requirements

Hard love is rigid, harsh, restrictive, judgmental, unforgiving, exclusive, demanding, and limited.  

I suspect few people fall exclusively into one or the other of these extremes, but would fall somewhere between the two, closer to one than the other, but capable of experiencing the full spectrum in a lifetime of living.

In spite of these differences, The depth and commitment of the love is, or can be, the same in both extremes.  While I believe there are circumstances that require a bit of both, I think we have an innate tendency toward one or the other, kind of like are basic handwriting.

  Quarter Moon...oil pastel...12x9 (sold)

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Thanks to the folks at Midtown Market broccoli rabe is now a regular staple in our kitchen.  This means more opportunities to explore new ways of putting this unique green to use.

Last night, acting on Patience's suggestion, I combined the BR with mushrooms and onions and served it over a spinach Pappardelle.


Pappardelle - At Dented brand, available at Midtown Market
Broccoli Rabe - thick stems discarded and coarsely chopped
Olive oi
Mushrooms - combination of shitake and baby portobella
Red pepper flakes


Cook onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, then add the mushrooms.  Blanch the BR in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, drain, and add to the mushrooms.  (I drizzled a bit more olive oil at this stage but that is a judgement call.)  Cook over low heat.

In the meantime, bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta.  Place in serving bowl and mix in the greens and mushrooms.  Serve with grated cheese of you choice.

Broccoli Rabe served with white beans

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


My goal was to create a companion piece to a previous painting (Reflections II - 36x48") on this 36x36" canvas.  As usual, trying to create a second painting in the same mode as the first is difficult for me, and there were more than a few "do overs" in this piece.

Snow Field...acrylic...36x36

Reflections II...acrylic....36x48

I anticipate taking a break from the acrylics and the studio while I think about my next project.  Unfortunately I haven't the slightest idea what that will be.  I'll have to think about it over a glass of wine and a dish of pasta.  Oh how we suffer for our art!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Broccoli rabe pesto

Although I have not been posting our pasta dinners as regularly as I once was since the Pasta Quest officially ended a few months ago, I have continued cooking and eating my favorite food.  When I come up with something that is unique - at least to me - I will share it with my readers.

I have made a lot of noise about broccoli rabe since it began appearing in Paducah's new Midtown Market last month.  Typically it is sauteed in olive oil with garlic and served with Penne pasta or with Cannellini beans.   Last night I tried something a little different...making a pesto with the broccoli rabe.

There was a bunch of the BR in the fridge that I was not able to use immediately, and it began to lose its color and firmness.  Patience cut it up and cooked it in the microwave for the dogs, but before serving it she tasted it and could not bring herself to give it the canine members of our family.  She offered me a taste and I agreed.

I placed it in the food processor, along with some garlic, pine nuts, parmigiano cheese, and olive oil, and created a creamy textured pesto.  Spooned over the cheese and mushroom ravioli, along with a bit of the pasta water, it provided a delicious, easy to make dinner.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


1.    A faith that adheres blindly, without doubt or question, to a strict and rigid theological doctrine.
2.    A faith that takes as absolute truth the written words in a sacred document.
3.    A faith that produces a rigid and narrow worldview, which discounts the validity of anything that contradicts it.
4.    A faith that requires an answer to all of the eternal human questions about life, thus aborting the need for reflective, critical thinking.
5.    A faith that leaves no room for honest doubts and insecurities.
6.    A faith that discriminates, judges, and restricts,

I see this as a faith that hides behind God, and religion, a God that has been narrowly defined by their inability to look beyond the confines of their doctrine.  This kind of faith limits the human spirit, casting a large dark shadow over the incredible expanse of human nature.

Sadly, it takes the core of wonderful and timeless truths and reduces them to the lowest denominations.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

McKinney TX

This fall I will be having a solo show of works on canvas at the Laura Moore Fine Art Studio in McKinney TX. The opening reception is October 13.  So you can imagine my delight when I saw that CNN listed McKinney Texas as the 2nd most livable place in the country (Carmel Indiana was number one.).

I've been working on the show for the past 8 months and will be taking about 20 paintings with me when I drive to McKinney in Patience's 15 passenger Whippet wagon.  Most of them have been posted on this blog as they were completed.  Not surprisingly, the Texas gallery wanted large canvases including 3 of my larger works on 48x60" canvases:

Somewhere Else...acrylic...48x60

Beyond the Hills...acrylic...60x48


Friday, August 17, 2012


It is not without a little sadness that I inform you of the removal of my gallbladder.  This small, inconspicuous organ that has served me so well for 73 years has literally been pulled out of my abdomen, where it has been quietly tucked away beneath my liver.  Some gallbladders can become cantankerous, getting inflamed or infected, or accumulating stones that interfere with the proper functioning of other organs, in which case it is imperative that they be removed.

In my case, there were stones, but they were not causing any discernable symptoms   The GB was removed more as a precautionary measure, a small source of guilt on my part.  But the major source of my guilt comes from the fact that Billy’s GB has served him so well for all these years.  Let me explain.

The GB serves as a reservoir for the bile salts produced by the liver.  These salts are critical for the digestion of the fats that we eat, This unheralded organ recognizes the fats that reach the stomach and small intestine and releases some of its contents to do the job they are intended to do.  Because of the tireless performance of my GB I have been able to enjoy two of my favorite foodstuffs…Olive Oil and Sausage.  So you can understand some of sadness at the turn of these events, losing an organ that has served me so well for so long.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

An Artist's Statement

Today's post is taken from my studio newsletter that I sent out this week. 
THINKING ABOUT MY WORK - one more attempt at writing an artist's statement.

Why do I create art?  What does it mean?  How do I describe my art?  Writing about my work has always been difficult for me, in part because of the wide range of my subjects and media.  I've written several "Artist's Statements" over the years and have never been completely satisfied with them.  It is time to try again.

Why do I create art?  The best answer I can offer is that I paint and draw because I have to. It is in my DNA; it is who I am, and I have no reason to seek any other answers.

What does it mean?  How would I describe my art?  The one consistent theme in all of my work is to create beauty, both elegant and mundane.  My goal is to present a work that is visually pleasing, inviting the viewer to participate.

On the way to Nashville...Pastel...framed...15x40...$800

 Telling a story…when I am drawing and painting the local landscapes - barns, farms, storefronts, and street scenes - I feel I’m providing a visual story of places, inspiring memories and feelings and evoking imagination in the viewer.


Red Balloons...mixed media drawing on clay mono type...14x14...$300

Reflecting the world around us, as it is…I try to show the beauty and elegance in the familiar environment.  When I paint a small corner store, an elegant fa├žade on Main St., or peek into a back street alley, I want people to see and appreciate all of the visual delights that I see in both the built and the natural environment.  I try to show the beauty in the world we see every day.

grey smokestacks...pastel...20x30 plus frame...$900

Imagining my own manipulating color, values, and composition I set out to create moods and drama in many of my landscapes.  Whether it is something I’ve seen or imagined, I feel free to create my own colors and forms, while maintaining a strong sense of reality.

Autumn Trees...acrylic...12x48...$1200

The pleasure of the work…finally, it is simply fun to paint and draw.  I love the ergonomics of the work; there is an almost sensual pleasure of laying down a watercolor wash, an immense degree of satisfaction seeing an image evolve from a previously blank space, and pure delight in the markings of a sketch or line drawing, regardless of the subject.

Union Square...watercolor...22x43 framed...$1800

That's my statement and I'm sticking to least for now.

Best wishes to everyone, and here's hoping the cooler weather prevails for a little longer.


William Renzulli

Friday, August 10, 2012


I decided to stay "on the edge" for two more paintings, working vertically on 24x12" canvases.  The darkness of both of the paintings created some difficulty in photographing them.

The first piece, titled At the Edge II, for a lack of a better name, is rather dark, and consists of a mixture of blacks and reds.

At the Edge III is a little lighter and warmer, and was done with Burnt Umber, Red, and Raw Sienna.

There will probably be as least one more in this series.  Right now I am looking at a 36x36" canvas that is beckoning me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I thought I would stay with the cold palette for another painting, this time using a square (24x24) format.

I wasn't completely happy with the foreground, and decided to eliminate the reflection and pond.

Switching to a darker palette, inspired by a painting I did six years ago called Broken, I returned to the edge.

I wanted to keep the horizon clean, but felt it needed something simple to give an idea of scale, so I tried several utility poles.   I wasn't pleased so I turned to trees.  (Sorry, couldn't resist the silly rhyme.)

At the Edgy...acrylic...12x24

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Four years ago, on our first trip to Italy, we spent a week in Tuscany.  My daughter arranged an apartment rental in a winery/small village on the Chianti highway.  Located between Sienna and Florence, the winery has been in the same family for over four centuries.  In addition to the winery and the family's estate, their is one street with several private homes giving Fonterutoli a village status.  Like so many other wineries in Italy, older buildings...and I mean OLDER...have been converted into apartments for tourists.

Returning home, I set out to this beautiful place using photos from our visit.

I made a good start with the sky and the background trees and mountains, but when it was time to render the architecture, which I consider my strong point, I hit the proverbial brick wall.  I don't know how many times I worked and re-worked the buildings, never getting them "right".  I moved on to the rest of the painting, convincing myself it was OK, not great, but OK.  I was not surprised when it evoked only polite, luke warm reactions from viewers.  I eventually place the painting in some hidden corner in the studio where it languished for several years...until last week.

I don't know why, but I woke up one morning with the very clear idea that I could salvage that painting.  The first step involved re-painting the village and re-working the middle ground trees and foliage. This time, for reasons I don't understand, the task was easy and I was pleased with the results

.The second step was to improve on the immediate foreground, breaking up the rather boring horizontal strip that it was.

I think it is a much better painting.  Could it be better? Certainly.  But that will have to wait for another painting.