This spot is directly across the street from my house. The temperature was hovering around 12°...I only lasted about 30 minutes, including the run back inside. It is strange to see this much snow while there are still leaves on so many trees. The rest of the painting was done in my studio, after I thawed out.
When I am painting, I must have a very lost or forlorn expression on my face because someone always stops and wants to tell me about Jesus.
I started this painting by blocking everything in using Yellow Ochre and Ultramarine Blue. My plan was to have some of it show through the additional layers of paint and some of it would mix into the added paint...it didn't really work out that way as I kept repainting over the top and the applications of paint became more and more opaque with a heavy impasto in some areas.
A lesson learned ...don't set up near a church, along side a thrift store on a Sunday.
Last week my dog Maddie suffered an attack, possibly a stroke. There was little the vet could do and basically offered up two options, one we wouldn't/couldn't do, so we took the other option and brought her back home. For two days she was completely paralyzed on the left side. I carried her around the yard and my wife stayed with her all night and continued to research her condition and care. On the third day Maddie wagged her tail, only a little but that was enough to lift our spirits and encourage us. On the fourth day she moved her back leg a tiny bit. Previously both legs on her left side had been as rigid as stone. Her next breakthrough was that somehow she was able to stand and lean against something. We would walk into a room and she would be standing! The other night she took a step! She is now able to walk. She is wobbly and stumbles and her left side doesn't work properly but she has figured out how to compensate as she recovers. Tonight she was able to hop up two steps on three legs and she has figured out how to get up on the couch.
This painting was from Saturday, (when Maddie first stood up). I brought an extra dog bed outside and she laid next to me as I painted. At one point I ran inside to get paper towels and when I came back out she was standing next to her bed. It's been an eventful Autumn so far!
My approach on the last couple of paintings has been a bit different than usual. First, I roughly drew out the composition (I rarely ever do that). I did the drawing with a Sharpie marker (never did that before). Next, I painted/toned the canvas using 2 colors. Everything in light was painted Orange and everything in shadow was painted Ultramarine Blue. The Sharpie drawing was still visible which helped and then I began blocking everything in and went on to paint in my usual way. I think this approach was useful and I will experiment with it on more paintings.
All of the advantages and reasons I paint in the woods seemed to occur on this afternoon, and some of the disadvantages too. As I started setting up my easel a flock of wild turkeys came through (advantage). I got out my cell phone and started to follow through the woods and the brush, crouching and taking pictures (advantage). Eventually they went into an area too dense for me to follow so I returned to my spot and set myself to work. Clearing away some branches and twigs at my feet left me with a palm full of thorns (disadvantage). Once that was dealt with I began to draw out my composition (advantage)...something wasn't right. On further inspection I found that my sweater was covered with thousands of burrs and was sticking to itself making it awkward to move or draw (disadvantage). While attempting to pull them off one at a time I started to wonder, how do the animals get the burrs off of them?...rub against tree bark! I tried it and it worked like a charm (advantage). All of this activity took time and the light changed drastically from what I had intended to paint (disadvantage). I turned and was presented with this view...huge Advantage!!!
These are paintings I am thinking about entering in a gallery competition/show. The paintings have to be six inch squares. I chose this subject because I liked the idea of painting the huge tower on a tiny canvas. Ten years ago we were searching for a home here, this tower became the landmark we used to find our way around. For the last couple of weeks I have been exploring the various views and times of day.
I will post individual images of the paintings when I finish the series...soon, I hope.
October in Connecticut is my favorite time and place. I drove 11 hours from Ohio to Connecticut, pulled into Sleeping Giant State Park and painted this. I rarely paint on gray days but this was a very quick trip and I wanted to absorb as much autumn in Connecticut as I could.
This is a spot that I visit whenever I feel the need for a peaceful and quiet afternoon of painting and my dog needs an afternoon of running the woods and river. Rarely does anyone hike down the hill and through the woods to invade our sanctuary...other than the deer.
The setting sun was spectacular and I was thrilled to find myself at the river and ready to paint. This painting went through a few changes along the way. At one point my dog was in the foreground, standing on the large flat rocks, then a Blue Heron made an appearance in the middle ground and for awhile there was a fisherman way off to the left and his wife and child up on the river bank. The large mass of trees on the left was mostly in sunlight for quite awhile too. In the end, I like what I ended up with.
As I was painting two park rangers stopped by to chat. I usually don't like to stop painting to talk but they were very friendly and gave my some great suggestions of other places in the Metroparks to paint that I was unaware of. I also met another painter on my way out of the park, all in all it was a pretty sociable morning for me.
Shortly after I chose this beautiful peaceful location...75-100 middle school runners came racing back and forth through the distant field. I didn't know this spot was on the cross country running circuit.
I have a large backlog of recent paintings to post but this one from the other day makes me chuckle so it jumped to the top of my list.
The weather was great and I knew I should get out and paint but I was running late and decided to paint something in the back yard. I chose to paint a still life. With very little thought or plan, I grabbed a few items and a small table and cloth from the garage. I set everything down and began painting. As I got everything blocked in, I saw that this was a terrifically uninspired picture. I should have scrapped it down but I continued thinking this will just be a quick painting exercise and nothing more. About an hour into the painting and thinking that I should call it a day, my dog came over and sat next to the table. It was as if she wanted to be a part of the still life...so I painted her too and now, I like the painting.
This is from last week, before all of the excitement in the Greco family. I had an unexpected stay at the hospital for a small surgery. While visiting me, my daughter Caroline went into labor. Her mother walked her down to the second floor maternity ward. She then spent the evening traveling between my room on the third floor and our daughter on the second floor. Mom/Grandma was there to witness the birth of our grand daughter Grace Kathleen and then "wheeled" me down to meet her!
About this painting;
The bank couldn't hold up the tree any longer so, the tree adjusted.