OK, so I have to accept it. It does not mean I want to. I have done a bunch of portraits of Greg. He was fun to draw and paint and he just had the most interesting face. He just had so much spirit and there are some people who when you see them you immediately think….” I want to draw them or that would make a good drawing.” Greg was that for me. In this last piece (I forgot I had these pictures of him) I loved that his hands were in the picture. Those hands created so many works of art. There were several times over the last few years when Greg said he was done, washed up, finished, done creating. I always told him he wasn’t. There was more to do. He had more to offer. He always rallied. To me this picture is the quintessential Greg, white pants, old Carhartt jacket, red t-shirt, and that thoughtful smile. He had just been carving a piece of wood. He was an artist until the day he died. It was just part of who he was.
This is Greg. A smile with the relaxed shoulder. At home in the Frank with multiple projects underway, more being planned, his companion cup of coffee, and a twinkle in his eye. A man of wisdom, copious generosity, truth and love. A storyteller at heart and a forever treasured friend. We love you.
Back Porch Sage
When I read in Greg’s obit that folks referred to him as a “back porch sage” I realized that’s what he was to me. Old cabins, barns, houses make me feel comfortable, sort of giving me permission to grow old. While my belief in the after life is weak at best, I’m hopeful if Greg and I meet again some day it will be on a back porch.
Wood was one of Greg’s mediums for his wonderful art. Sculptures, woodcut prints, and engravings emerged from his connection to this natural material. Trees gave Greg their heartwood and he in turn gave us his heart and love when bringing them back to us in his work.
I, in turn, celebrate Greg and his work with my tree prints. Though I worked with Greg only a short time, his spirit and generosity touched me deeply, and I am so grateful for having known him.
Claudia Loomis Chandler
Greg may have departed physically, and to be sure I feel his loss. But I also know that he remains, in his family that he so dearly loved and every person that he met. Greg touched us all. Everything that Greg created lives on as a testament to his generous and questing spirit. I see him everywhere in nature, and in the birds as they nest and fly. As they sing, I can hear him smile.
Greg’s pastor shared that after there was a fellowship time and Greg sought to give her a little encouragement. He told her that he knew things were heading in the right direction there. When she inquired further he said because there’s pickles. I’m sure this came with his token spark and a laugh. This painting makes me laugh. I too love a good pickle, but the combination of the fluorescent pink background to the painterly jar of various greens has a lot of visual energy. I think this would have made Greg laugh too.
Four Birds on a Wire
The “Four Birds on a Wire” to me represents whomever you wish to be those left behind. This is my way of paying homage to Greg’s amazing show that he had in Clayton. Personally, I think of the birds as Sharon, Kathleen, Kate and I and Greg flying off in the distance. But, you can certainly look at it any way you wish to. Maybe Greg would look at it as Ulea, Ruth, Karen and James. One of the birds is looking out for the others, two are looking like they are leaning on each other. The birds have distinct personalities.
This painting lived so many lives before it was done. There are a number of layers of try and fail. There are five concept layers in this piece, each one feeling worse than the last. Greg would say if you don’t know what to do with a space in your paining – add a dog. So in an attempt to not throw the whole thing away I added a dog catching another dog’s tail. Originally I was going to just include a dog catching his own tail. That was what the process felt like. Maybe that’s another one to come. I chose to let the failed layers show through the “Glass Dogs.” It’s always a process and that’s important to remember.
Pastures of Color
Greg encouraged me to work in color. I always listened to Greg. His words sounded like the truth. Truth is personal and Greg’s words certainly cut to the heart of the matter. Thanks, Greg, I miss you.