Shelton native celebrates holidays with art

Dave Cole’s tradition of painting the rock located outside of his Buddington road home began five years ago when he came across a can of orange paint while cleaning out his garage. Cole said thought of his grandchildren inspired him to paint the rock to look like a jack o'lantern for halloween.

“I usually paint the rock about eight times a year,” said Cole. “I’ve done Christmas, Easter, St. Patricks Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, fourth of July, sometimes Valentines Day except for last year because of all the snow.”

Cole said initially, he hadn’t planned on making the painting a tradition but he didn’t want to leave a jack o’lantern sitting in front of his home year round so he took action. He typically leaves the artwork on display for three weeks after the passing of a holiday before preparing it for the following.

The tradition has become a family affair as Cole said he has looked to his wife, Linda Cole, for inspiration as well as help from his son, Joshua Cole who is a professional artist.

“When it looks better than usual it’s probably his (Joshua Cole) work,” said Cole.

Presently, Cole has a painting of a firework on display in honor of the fourth of July, but he said he will add more to the design closer to the day of the holiday. Being that Cole is a retired engineer for SNET he said this tradition is just one of the many things is does to occupy his time.

“It could make someone smile or cheer someone up who is having a bad day,” said Cole. “It’s really easy to do and it’s fun for me. As long as I’m healthy enough to keep coming outside to paint, I will.”