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Archaeology: All We Leave Behind

Archaeology: All We Leave Behind

As the title suggests, there are a few paintings from my Strata and Archaeology series in the Layers show that opens Friday at the West End Gallery.  The piece above, Archaeology: All We Leave Behind, is a 12″ by 24″ canvas is the latest and perhaps last entry in the Archaeology series.

I am considering retiring this series that started back in 2008 although I can’t say I won’t revisit it at some distant point in the future.  It has been a series of paintings that has been among my favorites, both in painting and in delving deeper into them, as well as being important to my development as an artist.  When I first started the series, it came at point when I was in need of inspiration and was questioning my future as an artist.  These paintings gave me footing, a firm base to rest on while I gathered what I needed to move on.

Looking at these pieces, I am almost always surprised when I get to inspect the underground artifacts.  So many of the items  were painted  without any forethought or afterthought so once they were done and I had moved on to the next item in the debris field, they sometimes escaped my notice of their singularity.  They just became part of a larger pattern of forms and color.  But going back and looking at the items later gives me little surprises that sometimes make me smile and sometimes scratch my head, wondering what the hell some not quite recognizable thing is or what I might have meant by its inclusion.

But all things must come to an end, which is actually the theme of this series.  And this piece, which took over a year to complete as I worked on it a bit at a time,  seems like a fitting end.  And if it does end up being the last in its line, what better place to show it than where my little journey as a painter began back in 1995, the West End Gallery.

Here’s another Archaeology piece in the show, Archaeology: Formed in the Past,  one from a few years back that has a favorite of mine from the minute it was completed:

Archaeology: Formed in the Past

Archaeology: Formed in the Past

Energized

The human individual lives usually far within his limits; he possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use. He energizes below his maximum, and he behaves below his optimum. . . . it is only an inveterate habit — the habit of inferiority to our full self.

– William James

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GC Myers- EnergizedThis is Energized, an 18″ by 36″ canvas that is part of the show opening Friday at the West End Gallery.  It was finished in the last days of preparing for the show and immediately lit up the studio with its bold colors and bands of texture that spin across it.  Even though it seemed  calm and placid in demeanor, it seemed filled with energy to me, every aspect of it appearing vibrant.

It was a struggle coming to terms with this combination of calmness and energy when I was searching for a title.  But reading the words above from American philosopher/psychologist William James brought it all into focus for me.  The painting was about being energized in an inner sense, using that energy to reach one’s highest potential and to live in each moment with great vitality.

I think the sun plays a symbolic part here representing the circular and regenerative nature of energy.  We often think of energy being used up like fuel being burned but often energy begets energy.  Effort creates inspiration and opportunity that brings forth new energy, forces that we never realized were waiting in store because we had avoided pushing to live at our optimum level, had  not dared to be our full self.

So Energized seemed like a natural at least in my interpretation of this painting.  You may see it differently and that is as it should be.  Hope ypu can make it out to the West End Gallery to make your own decision.

Moon and Mood

Moon and Mood

Moon and Mood

There are several paintings in my upcoming Layers show at the West End Gallery that feature the moon quite prominently.  I showed one, Moonlight Revelation, earlier in the month in a blog post.  I like these pieces as there is usually  a certain moodiness, a placid and contemplative feeling that permeates the work.

I don’t know if its the moon or the bluish tones that I use to represent the night sky, but is has a very calming effect on me.  The piece shown above, Moon and Mood, is a 16″ by 20″ canvas that very much represents this feeling that I describe.  Its purplish blue sky and pale moon give the the horizon a hazy, misty feel which creates a mysterious atmosphere.  If you’ve ever looked across broad moonlit fields, you’ve probably had that feeling that there are things there that are barely visible.  The imagination sometimes creates possibilities, some far from the realm of reality,  for what these things might be.

Below, is Traveler’s Moon, an 8″ by 24″ canvas, and the aforementioned Moonlight Revelation,  24″ by 24″ on linen.  Both are also part of the show.

The show, Layers, opens Friday, July 25th, at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY.  The opening reception runs from 4:30 until 7:30 PM.  The exhibit hangs until August 29.

Traveler's Moon

Traveler’s Moon

Moonlight Revelation

Moonlight Revelation

GC Myers-  In the Pocket of Time sm This coming February marks 20 years that I will have been showing my work at the West End Gallery.  It has been my pleasure over these two decades to be able to exhibit my work in my home area, to be able to share what I do with those folks who live in close proximity to me.

You would think this would make for an easy-going time when it comes to mounting a show each year, as I have done for the last twelve years.  After all, many of these people know me, have watched the evolution and growth of the paintings through this time and have supported me in so many ways that I will never be able to fully express my gratitude.

Maybe it’s that last point that makes this such a nerve-wracking show for me.   They have done so much for me that I don’t want to disappoint.   Like any performer or athlete, you always want to do well in front of a home crowd.

I feel very good about this show, feel that it will the space with deep glow of  saturated colors., feel that it really is a full expression of  myself in my work.  Hopefully, this will prove true.

Below is a short video that gives a preview of all of the work from my upcoming show, Layers, which opens this coming Friday, July 25th, at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY.   The music is  a guitar interpretation of Gymnopedie #1 from composer  Erik Satie.  The painting at the top is from the show.  Called In the Pocket of Time, it’s a 24″ by 30″ canvas that was one of the first inspirations for the show’s title.

Have a great Sunday…

 

Stepping Up

GC Myers-Stepping Up smWell, the studio seems very cool and empty this morning.  The work for this year’s show, Layers, at the West End Gallery has been delivered and I am left to clank around in a lot more open space, which is like having an empty canvas or a blank sheet of paper before you, the moment filled with possibility.

There’s exhilaration in this instant but also a bit of sadness at not having those now gone paintings close at hand.  There was something comforting and inspiring in having them surround me in the studio.  Their presence reinforced my belief in the work and new ideas and concepts were always bouncing from them, begging to be taken up.  They were very much like friends, albeit mute ones.

But, as you would hope for any friend, they must at some point set out on their own and find their own place in the world.  Reach their own potential.  And hopefully they soon will.  That would be most gratifying for me.  After nearly two decades of showing my work now,  I am always surprised at how many people have told me about the relationships they maintain with my works, how they continue to find something personally meaningful for themselves even after years of having the painting in their homes.  It would be enough to have the work simply decorating their homes or offices but to have it fulfill any greater role is a great pleasure and thrill, giving meaning to the time I spend in this now empty studio.

So, with hopes those friends who have went out into the world find homes in which they can serve some purpose, I start anew.   Looking for a new friend to spend some time with me here.   Just part of the rhythm and cycle of what I do.

The piece shown here, Stepping Up, is part of the show at the West End Gallery.  It is 6″ by 26″ on paper.  The show was being hung yesterday evening so if you would like a preview, stop in this weekend.

 

 

Aswirl

GC Myers -AswirlI started writing a diatribe this morning about the dangerous world in which we live, given the recent events in the Ukraine and Israel.  But I realized there is more than enough talking (well, not really talking in substantive terms but mouths opening and words of some sort coming out) going on from politicos and pundits and little action actually taking place.  If you’re reading this, you’re probably fatigued by the whole thing and looking for something to calm you or at least divert your mind from the chaos of the outside world.  I know that is a great part of the motivation behind doing what I do, going inward to find a place of peace where I can take shelter.

So, today is a bit of both.  It’s a little anomaly of a piece that I am including in my upcoming West End Gallery show, Layers, which opens on July 25th.  It’s a small painting, about 5″ by 7″ on paper, that I call Aswirl.  It’s inward but it acknowledges the swirling nature of events in the outer world.  It is chaotic but finds a harmony in rhythm and color.

This is a piece that I have had in my studio for years and have wanted to show but just never got around to doing so.  But I like including at least a couple of small anomalies or oddities in my shows and as I assembled this group of work, this piece began to start popping up.  It always seemed to be in sight and though it is much different than almost anything in the show, it still feels like it fits.

Maybe that’s just me.

But I do know that it takes me away from the tensions of the events in the outer world and settles me as I find pattern and motion in the swirls of colors.  And if that is its only purpose, or my only purpose in what I do, then that is enough for the moment.

The Empowering

GC Myers- The Empowering smWhat we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

-Plutarch

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I am in the very last day of preparations before delivering my show to the West End Gallery for next Friday’s opening of my show, Layers.  It’s a day that mixes the tense anticipation of how the work will be received at the show with the relief of finishing all the tasks required to make it happen.

Fear and elation from moment to moment.

This is just an accepted part of the process by now.  But it’s all too easy to let the fear part of this little dance grow, to imagine worst-case scenarios where the show is an abysmal flop and the work fails to move a single person on any level.  I can only imagine that  anyone who creates or performs has these fears.  The trick is to not succumb to them, not let them drown out what you know to be true in your work.

That’s where the elation part of the process comes in.  When I am framing and prepping, the work is arranged in stacks so that I can’t see much of it as I go through the process.  I am engrossed in doing these tasks and put the work itself out of my mind as I proceed.  But as I go along, I get to each individual piece, turning it over to reveal an image that had escaped my mind.  It’s exciting, like seeing it for the first time, and I find myself appreciating aspects of the painting that I had overlooked or not even noticed when it was consuming me in its creation.  It’s a moment that wipes away the fears and reinforces my own belief in the work.

That’s what happened yesterday with this piece, an 18″ by 18″ canvas painting that I call The Empowering.  It had slipped from my sight and memory and upon turning it, it just seemed to glow among the other work.  It really bolstered me and had me setting up pieces in my framing space so that I could see it alongside the other paintings in the show.  The fears were washed away and I was left with a great sense of internal satisfaction that this group was already a success, regardless of my fears.

Here’s hoping that Plutarch’s words hold true and this inner belief becomes an outward reality.

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