Art: Great Blue Heron – Acrylic on Canvas

We have been covered in snow for quite a while now, and I’m missing the summer fishing trips. Here is one of my favourite paintings from the pond of a Great Blue Heron reposted.

Great Blue Heron – Acrylic on canvas
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My Ex-Voto and How I Came to Write: THE CROSS WE BEAR

I never heard of an ex-voto before until a trip we took to Lago Maggiore, Italy back in 2011. Our guide pointed out a wall mural depicting an artist painting, while standing on scaffolding, a portrait of the Madonna. Apparently, at an earlier time, the artist, while painting the portrait, stumbled, and was about to fall from the scaffolding to his death, when suddenly the painting of the Madonna came to life and stretching out her hand caught him before falling. He later produced the mural of this miraculous event, as a sign of his devotion and gratitude for the Grace received – the ex-voto. I thought it was a lovely story and the beautiful mural art stayed in my memory.

Then at the end of 2013, I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. After a year of treatments, I got enough strength back to begin writing and painting again. I wrote the novel The Cross We Bear (finally published on Amazon this year where proceeds will go to cancer research); and I decided to paint my own ex-voto for the Grace I received (through the Grace of Heaven, the cancer never returned and the doctors declared I beat the odds).

My portrait of the Madonna was a vision in my mind’s eye, and those who have seen it ask why She appears so sad. I believe while on earth She was sad. My own feelings at that time were hyper sensitive to the sufferings of others around me. On one occasion I had to go to the hospital emergency department, and while waiting in my wheelchair, a woman with two police officers came in. She was yelling and swearing at everyone around her. I noticed some people making fun of her in low voices and even one of the officers had a smirk on his face. I felt really bad for her and began to quietly cry. The officer who had the smirk noticed my concern, and came over to tell me she was really alright. I responded by saying how could she be alright if she was here, in a hospital emergency department with police escort, and how could other people laugh at this sad situation? Anyway, sadness was my mood at the time and it transferred on to my ex-voto. Caring sometimes causes sadness.

Ex-voto

Colours in Full Glory – Poem

Winter Cardinal – Acrylic on canvas By: I. V. Greco

Colours in Full Glory

The temperature falls as do the autumn leaves in all their colourful glory

Another summer has come to an end and I feel so melancholy

Summer is the best part of the year, at least it is for me

But seasons change, the world keeps turning, turning, as time marches on relentlessly

What if I could have frozen time when I was most vital and young,

And had before me the best years still yet to come?

–But then I would have frozen time too soon–

One day, I awoke, and I realized it had passed, gone by

In the present, now I live, because on the future, I cannot rely

It is as they say, the autumn of my life, so like the season, I’ll embrace the colours in their full glory

Savour what I can before the cold, the bitter cold, takes a strangle hold on me.

By: I. V. Greco

Art – Cover art of The Cross We Bear

Some readers have asked me about the cover art of my novel The Cross We Bear. So I decided to post a brief explanation of what I had in mind when I designed the cover:

The novel is about the heavy burden – a life changing secret – carried by the main character, Katelyn, and also, the personal burdens of some of those around her. She carries this burden – her cross – which weighs relentlessly on her life as she looks for someone to help her with her struggles. On the book cover, standing precariously in the darkness, the cross is slightly leaning and appears as if it is about to fall. This is an analogy of Katelyn’s situation – alone in her darkness, she is barely keeping it together as her conscience and fears gnaw at her sanity. But there is a faint illumination in the background. This represents the hope and the faith she must allow into her life before her burden can be lifted. Will the weight of her cross cause her to stumble into ruin? Or will she find the courage to carry it high and face the fallout of her past transgressions?

The Cross We Bear by I. V. Greco is available on Amazon in e-book, paperback and hardcover formats.