Reality Of West Stranger Than Fiction


For Payson artist Jack Greenshield, a picture is worth a thousand brushstrokes.

Photographs are the main inspiration for Greenshield's oil paintings, which depict Kachinas, Western landscapes and American Indians.


Detail of painting by Jack Greenshield.

"I don't paint from my mind strictly," said Greenshield, who began painting as a hobby in the ‘70s. "If you paint from memory, the mind doesn't remember as much detail."

Although photographs guide Greenshield's paintings, his pieces are not mere replicas, as he often synthesizes disparate elements.

"You want to make it original," said Greenshield, who sometimes borrows pieces from two or three photographs.

He gestures to a nearly complete painting in his home studio.

Artists Reception: Jack Greenshield and Carolee JacksonWhen: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 9Where: Artists of the Rim Gallery, 408 W. Main St.

"The three Kachinas, the pot, the bowl and the corn all came from different places," Greenshield said. "I just put them together."

Greenshield then points to a painting of a rocky, tree-studded ledge in the Grand Canyon.

"I took that picture and then painted a mirror image of it," Greenshield said. "There's a lot of different ways to do things."

When tackling a new project, Greenshield digs into his box of slides, some snapped 30 years ago.

"A lot of times I'll take a photo, put it on the computer, change the values and hues and then print it out," Greenshield said. "It gives me ideas."

Greenshield said he often alters colors when transferring a picture onto canvas, in order to achieve a more realistic look.

"I've seen clouds such beautiful pinks and oranges but (when I paint it) people say, ‘That's not real' even though it was," Greenshield said. "Or I'll paint a rock and realize there's an Indian face on it. It's so funny the things you get yourself into without realizing it."

An incomplete scrapbook holds a small sample of the nearly 300 paintings Greenshield estimates he has sold over the past 30 years.

Among them are several American Indian portraits.

"These were taken from old black-and-white Indian photographs," Greenshield said. "I painted them in color."

Another painting shows an American Indian as seen through a cottage window. Dark, swirling colors create a surreal backdrop.

"I used a lot of turpentine, so the paint would run," Greenshield said.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.