Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Autumnal Recompense - © Christopher Greco

"Autumn Recompense"
11x14" oil on canvas panel.
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.


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