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Behind the scenes of a Green Hill Commission

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There are few places that I paint that have had such an impact on my life as Green Hill, a little town just outside Monticello, AR. My mom’s love of the community where she grew up rubbed off on me and I’ve painted a whole lot of it over the years. Frequently, Mom, Leslie, and I would spending hours driving the backroads, taking a LOT of photos of Green Hill spots. And on one of these trips we drove by an old home place, taking several shots, even though by then it was run down. Well, you never know and years later those photos led to a commission when Mary Lasiter contacted me about painting that very house. The house where she and her husband lived, back in the day you understand. I was very happy to oblige!

If you are still reading this story (thank you!), I have a confession for you. I started working on the commission using a photo that showed part of the front and part of the side of the house instead of a front-on view. From a design standpoint, that didn’t work out at all, so I had to start over from the beginning – it happens sometimes!

A few days ago I met Mary in Russellville to hand deliver the painting and a whole bunch of prints. The prints are for members of her family who want a memory of the old home place. I’m so pleased with the quality of the prints, the Art Emporium here in Fayetteville does excellent work.  

In the old days, before I had a good place to get prints made, I once did 10 paintings of an old photo for a family.  Not prints…mind you…but ten paintings of the same photo!  This was back in the mid 80’s and printing businesses for art were rare. Thankfully that has changed in these modern times.

Mary reminded me that I once did a painting for her when there was no photo. She had seen a painting of mine that reminded her of the house in question. So I would draw according to her description and after a few redraws we had a passable version of that old place.  I’ve done that a couple of times in my career.

Coming some time in the future will be a “downtown” Green Hill painting featuring the Green Hill store, with its gas pumps and my Uncle standing in the road. The cemetery will be in the back ground and I look forward to painting a Green Hill scene once again.

Do you have memories of a place like “Green Hill”? Someplace that you revisit frequently, in person or through photographs? Contact me and tell me all about your “Green Hill.” And if you’d like more stories like this, sign up for my newsletter. I periodically send out behind the scenes, updates, and freebies to followers!

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