The painting Perfect Harmony expresses the beauty that comes through music realized in the mastery of musicians; a beauty that is further enhanced when the music is shared with others. The Painting hints at a feeling that goes beyond the music. It is expressed in the complement of Harmony that blends the two into one. The Master Musicians are the brothers Porfirio and Lile Martínez of the mountain town of Orocovis, Puerto Rico. The painting on the wall shows their father working the land on the Family farm. The song they sing completes the painting in “Perfect Harmony”.
La pintura Perfecta Armonía expresa la belleza que viene a través de la música realizada en el dominio de los músicos; una belleza que se mejora aún más cuando la música se comparte con otros. La pintura insinúa un sentimiento que va más allá de la música. Se expresa en el complemento de armonía que combina los dos en uno. Los maestros músicos son los hermanos Porfirio y Lile Martínez del pueblo montañoso de Orocovis, Puerto Rico. La pintura en la pared muestra a su padre trabajando la tierra en la granja familiar. La canción que cantan completa el cuadro en perfecta armonía.
This Saturday April 29th we celebrate the 16th anniversary of “Blessed Charlie’s” Beatification by His Holiness St. John Paul II.
One more miracle will qualify him for Sainthood.
In 2001 I was deeply honored and humbled to be commissioned by the archbishop of San Juan, Monsignor Roberto González Nieves, to paint the official portrait of Blessed Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, to be given as a gift from Puerto Rico to the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City where it is exhibited in the Hall of Saints.
I was subsequently interviewed by EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network)
At the core of Blessed Carlos’ spirituality (Pope John Paul II said) was his faith in the Resurrection. He promoted the Easter Vigil as the defining moment of Christian spiritual life, repeating often, “We live for that Night.” (Vivimos para esa Noche)
Next to Sacred Art, portrait painting is for me a deep spiritual experience, a prayerful endeavor.
In and through the physical characteristics of the person being painted is a map guiding me through and beyond emotions to near where the soul of the person lives. Here I coax the soul out, so-to-speak, with whispers and fleeting glimpses through compassion, intuition and something mystical. This hopefully endows the finished image with a FEELING of who the person being painted IS.
I always speak in the present tense of portraits because they have a soul and the soul always lives and is present. AVH
“Manuel Diaz and Family” pastel portrait by A.Vonn Hartung 2014
Today is Earth Day. What better moment to pay homage to the noble “El Jíbaro Puertorriqueño”, the Puerto Rican cultural icon! “El Jíbaro” symbolizes to me the “salt of the Earth”
“El Jibaro Puertorriqueño” is a painting inspired by my neighbors who have cultivated the land of their ancestors from the beginning.
Don Pepe represents for me all those who still cultivate the land; living links to our past, sustenance today and hope for abundance and sustainability in the future.
He represents, on the one hand, the constant battle between the so-called permanence of concrete and asphalt which is quickly engulfing our fertile land and drying up our lakes and rivers due to urban sprawl and the overwhelming dominance of the automobile as symbol of impoverished planning.
And on the other hand, the stability and sustainability through cosmic spirituality which, along with intact families, are our guarantee of a healthy, harmonious continuity which must offset the suicidal (or more aptly expressed, planeticidal*) race to deplete our natural resources.
*the killing of our own planet
This painting was inspired by my neighbor Don Pepe “el Múcaro” (the Owl) O’Neill, who I am proud to call my friend. May he rest in peace!