Artist Evolves From Horses To Landscapes

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Jack Greenshield, one of the artists whose work will be on display at the Payson Art League's Fall Show, began painting in 1970 as a way to relieve the stress of a high-powered job.

It turns out his art instructor in the Valley was Jim Strong, another local artist who will be featured in the PAL show, which takes place Nov. 4 to 6 at the Tonto Apache Activity Center.

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Local artist Jack Greenshield's oils have evolved over the years from horses to portraits to landscapes. What began as a stress reliever has become a passion.

"A gal I worked with told me about this teacher, and I thought it was a good way to battle my stress," Greenshield said. "I was one of the directors of finance at Samaritan Health Services, and I started taking Monday night lessons."

Greenshield ended up taking those Monday night lessons from Strong for -- get this -- 25 years.

"We stayed together until I retired," he said. "My wife and I had built a weekend house in Pine, and when I retired we moved up there, but I'm a golfer so we figured we might as well move here (across the street from Payson Golf Course).

Strong already owned property in Lower Round Valley, where he now lives, and student and teacher have become good friends who compete against one another in PAL shows.

Greenshield is very proud of the fact that he has won ribbons in the last three shows.

"Last year, Ruth Overton won best of show, but Jim was second and I got third," he said.

Lately, Greenshield has been focusing on landscapes, but earlier in his career it was Native Americans, portraits and, especially, horses.

"I had an aunt who had American Saddlebred horses and I rode her horses,

I rode in some horse shows, and I worked in the stables when I was a kid," he said.

When he was in college at Michigan State University, Greenshield and his mount almost wiped out the governor of Michigan, G. Mennen Williams.

"I was riding in a college horse show and this big old gelding of my aunt's was full of the devil," he recalled. "Every time you got on him, the first thing he had to do was something dumb.

"It wasn't the same thing every time so you never knew what was coming.

"We were on a landing going up a ramp into the ring, and I threw my foot over him and he bolted. I didn't even have my other foot in the stirrup. We just missed the governor who was coming around in a four-wheel carriage."

Horses can also be difficult on the canvas.

"They say for every horse you put into a painting, it takes twice as long," he said.

But whatever the subject matter, Greenshield believes an appreciation of art adds to the richness of life.

"Some people just like to decorate with art, but others like what the art does for them," he said. "It appeals to them, it gives them a sense of peace or whatever. What it does for you would be the reason to have it."

Greenshield no longer needs to use his art to relieve stress, but he still paints most every day.

"I don't see myself as being creative," he said. "I just enjoy it."

Art league show has holiday theme

It's a time to see and be seen. The Payson Art League's Fall Fine Art and Fine Craft Show & Sale is the Rim Country's version of the Easter Parade, except maybe without the fancy hats. But with any luck, you'll even see a fancy hat or two.

For sure, you'll see plenty of fancy art, because the Rim Country is home to a stable of artists as good or better than most any art community you can name, including Sedona.

The PAL show unfolds Nov. 4, 5 and 6 at the Tonto Apache Activity Center on Highway 87, across from Mazatzal Casino. Besides artists like Donn Morris, Conrad Okerwall, Brenda Baker, Rock Newcomb and many more, the mixed media, juried show sports a holiday theme with great ideas for gift giving and even offers a free gift-wrapping service.

The show will open with wine and refreshments Friday, Nov. 4, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a $5 donation. This preview reception is the social event referred to earlier, where Payson's great, near-great and not-so-great promenade around the hall, stopping to greet old friends, meet their favorite artists, and discuss the nuances of their work.

On Saturday and Sunday, show hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A raffle of participants' artworks will be held Sunday afternoon with proceeds going to benefit Rim Country schools.

Judges for the show will be Jay and Kasandra LeBow of Integrity Arts International. This year's sponsors are APS and Chapman Auto Center.

For more information, call Sally Myers at (928) 472-8651, and be sure to visit PAL online at www.paysonartleague.com.

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