Sunday, September 30, 2012

MOM (Excerpt from a work in progress)

My mother was born to Amalia (Emma) Vassalotti and Ansalmo Rondinelli in Philadelphia on the twenty-first of December 1915.  For my entire life, we celebrated her birthdays on Christmas Eve, only to learn after her death in 1991 that she was actually born on December 21.  That discrepancy has never been explained.  Another surprise was learning her name was Mary Josephine, and not Josephine Mary. She was the youngest of five children – 3 boys and 2 girls, and her father, of who very little is known, died shortly after her birth.   Her mother re-married to Gaetano Madorna, a widower with 6 children. (They had two more, Tommy and Eleanor.)   Their small row home in south Philadelphia had only 3 bedrooms, and at age 11 my mother and her 3 older brothers, Carmen, Alfred, and Sammy, moved into a nearby apartment; she left school after the 6th grade to run their small household.  Her older sister, Grace, had married and was starting her own family.  For the remainder of her life, Grace was the real mother figure for my mom.

Jo Rondinelli - living with 3 older brothers and being an 11 year old adult.  Fortunately she was with 3 brothers who adored her and cared for her.  But still.......    

I love this photo.  It shows determination and a will, far beyond her 11 years, completely in keeping with the amazing person she was to become.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


My cultural ties to pasta, olive oil, sausage, and all things Italian have been well documented in this blog.   The time I spend in our kitchen, cooking and eating, is a weakly veiled effort on my part to stay “in touch” with my parents and our common history.  I have been blessed with an understanding wife who has been gracious enough to allow me to cook pasta almost every single night for a year without a single complaint.  It was fun.  I enjoyed exploring new ways to serve pasta, learning that whatever I might come up with, someone else has done before.  And I especially enjoyed sharing my experience in this blog and on facebook.  But nothing lasts forever, and circumstances are directing a change in our eating habits.

Although we are both in reasonably good health, our cholesterol numbers are not good and our preference is to manage the problem with diet and not drugs.   (We have each tried statin drugs before and quit because of side effects.)  To accomplish this, I will attempt to begin the transition from the Mediterranean diet to a whole plant food diet.  I see this as a gradual process, and I hope to incorporate some of foods and flavors from our year of pasta into the new fare.  Undoubtedly there will be the need to reset my taste buds.

First night’s effort…Caramelized onions, carrots, and sweet potatoes on a bed of Broccoli rabe and white beans.

Friday, September 28, 2012


My self published book, HAVE I TOLD YOU TODAY THAT I LOVE YOU, is currently being test marketed by Blue Mountain Press.  Working with their editor, minor revisions in the text were made, and new material added.  An abbreviated edition, without the art work, will be placed in selected outlets, and if it does well in the next 6-9 months a final and more complete version will be published.

Here is the new cover with the new title.   Everyone...cross your fingers.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nature Imagined

What follows is the press release by Laura Moore Fine Art Studio for my show at her gallery in McKinney Texas, opening October 13.

Drawing upon places both real and imagined, William Renzulli sets a mood and strikes a feeling with each of his bold canvases. In Renzulli’s most recent series “Nature Imagined”, he often summons internal landscapes from the memory of experienced places. Alternating between a moody, monochromatic palette and an electric vibrant one, each painting evokes a different response, but each consistently tugs at the edges of memory and recognition. The medium to large-scaled paintings in the exhibition are more about the feelings derived from a place than the place itself. Renzulli feels drawn to “create beauty, both elegant and mundane” with his thought provoking works.

A slide show of the exhibit, Nature Imagined, can be seen on You Tube.

 Teh Third Time...acrylic...24x24

Three Trees...acrylic...24x24

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The past four weeks have been rather harrowing ones for Patience and me.  During a routine abdominal surgical procedure an abnormality was uncovered that could not be definitively defined, and further testing was needed.  The diagnostic possibilities ranged from the most benign to the most deadly, and we lived with that question until the testing, completed 3 weeks later, proved the abnormality to be completely benign...a little weird perhaps, but benign.

There has been a lot to think about over the past several weeks, and although I am nowwhere near understanding the impact this may or may not have on my life, it has driven my to act on something I've been considering for several months...reducing my gallery hours.  For almost ten years I have opened the gallery 5 days a week, Wednesdays through Sunday, despite a severe reduction in visitors over the past two years.  It is time to make adjustments.


Friday and Saturday – 11 to 5
Monday through Thursday by chance

Appointments any day or evening by calling 270-366-2837 – Browsers welcomed

I anticipate spending the same amount of time in my studio, and when I'm there the open sign will be posted. 


Saturday, September 8, 2012


One hundred and eighty degrees is what separates two of my favorite approaches to creating art.

The tightly controlled – ok…anal – architectural watercolors:

and the loosey goosey free-wheeling landscapes.

 They feed off one another.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Occasionally I will post one of my studio newsletters on the blog, so if you are on the newsletter mailing list this will be very familiar.

WARNING – this newsletter is devoted entirely to marketing and self-promotion, with no effort to entertain or inform.  My goal is to sell  art so I can afford to put food on our table and keep a roof over our heads…well…that may be a little over the top.  How about this: I need new tires for the car and the van is….nope…still a bit of a stretch.  OK, I want to sell my art so I can afford a new fountain pen for my pen collection.  Yeah, that works.

The plan?  I am trolling for commissions, both private and corporate – your home, your store, your office, your boat, places you’ve visited, and more.  No subject is too big or too small.   (no pets or portraits).  I can provide a wide selection of media and sizes, and prices starting as low as $125,00 to fit your budget.

The following photos are representative of past commission.

Tudor house...watercolor...12x20

Christ Our King Church...watercolor...20x20

 Tower Hill School...watercolor...20x30

 Washington St. Barbers...watercolor...12x18

Herccules Tower...watercolor...30x30


Wilmington Library...watercolor...16x32

Looking for that very special gift?  Here it is, just an email or phone call away.

Happy September everyone.


William Renzulli

Monday, September 3, 2012

WHITE OUT...a do over

last week I posted my latest painting, a 36x36 canvas that I struggled with for several weeks until I finally came to a satisfactory ending...or so I thought.

Snow field...acrylic...36x36"

It remained on the easel where I could look at every day and admire my work.  Until a few days ago when I no longer admired it.  I finally admitted it wasn't what I wanted, and set out to change that.

White Out...acrylic...36x36"

Once again it is sitting on the easel, undergoing the test of time.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

9-1…Linguine with eggplant, mushrooms, & sundried tomatoes

With 3 eggplants in the fridge (don’t ask me how that happened.) it was time to act.  I wanted to balance the sweetness of the eggplant with something tart and chose sundried tomatoes in oil plus Kalamata olives.


Al Dente brand spicy sesame linguine
Eggplant, peeled, cut crosswise and diced
Baby portabella mushrooms
Sundried tomatoes in oil…about ¼ to 1/3 cup, coarsely chopped
Kalamata olives…chopped…I used 1 tablespoon cooking for 2
Olive oil
Garlic and onion
Red pepper flakes


Cook the garlic and onion in the olive oil until soft.  Add red pepper flakes, mushrooms and eggplant and cook uncovered over medium low heat.  About 5 minutes later add the tomatoes and olives.  I chose to add a splash of red wine during the cooking.

When the pasta is ready, toss it in with the vegetables, mix well, drizzle with olive oil and serve with grated Parmigiano reggiano cheese.


This is a great way to use eggplants.  P and I easily give this a 9 or 10.  Almost any pasta will work; I like the Al Dente brand because it not only tastes good, but it cooks in 3-5 minutes.