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GC Myers- The Find

GC Myers- The Find

Tomorrow is the final day for my show, Layers,  at the West End Gallery.

It’s been a great show, one that I was pleased with from the time that it came together and one that brought great reaction in the gallery.  That’s a gratifying feeling as an artist  to have those two things intersect in a show.  Anytime a show is successful it affirms that the vision you hold for the work in it is somewhat on track.  It tells me that the work is somehow hitting the mark in creating an emotional conduit which reaches off the wall and connects to any viewer open to it.

And this show has done that.  And more.

I have written before of the post-show letdown that often comes, a malaise that sets in once the show’s opening has passed.  This show has not seen anything like that. In fact, it has been the reverse.  It has been far more inspiring, creating more energy in the studio than I would normally see in the aftermath of most shows.  It is like a tide of positive energy has flowed from this show and I am eager to harness it, to see what it brings.

Many thanks to Lin and Jesse at the West End for their positive response to this show and to everyone who has seen the show or made some piece in it their own.  You have given me more than you will ever know and I hope that you have found something in the work that inspires you as well.

 

Allura

GC Myers- Allura smI am putting together a small group of work to take with me for my upcoming Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery next month, on September 13th.  Among the paintings is this 24″ by 24″ canvas that I am calling Allura.   After finishing this piece, it seemed that the moon was the central focus, the tree and landscape holding an attraction for it.   I wanted something that described that but was sort of nebulous, not really well defined.  What better way to do that than with a word that sounds descriptive and perhaps from a foreign language but has little basis in its meaning.

You see this a lot in automobiles.  The Integra.  The Elantra.  My favorite is the Cadillac SUV, the Escalade.  Oh, its a real word in French but it means the scaling of a fortification’s walls with ladders such as in a military attack.  I’m not sure how this means anything to the vehicle perceived image.

But the word Allura stuck with me.  It had its base in the word allure and that was what I was seeing in it.  It was simple and efficient and even a bit elegant.  But looking it up just to make sure it didn’t have some other meaning I found that it is an girl’s name used mainly in the 18th and 19th century in England and America.

But even more interesting was that the name’s given definition was Divine Counselor.  I liked the name even more with this little bit of info.  It seemed to fit as even better for me than the vague word implying the moon’s attraction.  I could see the Red Tree here perching itself on that rise of earth and asking for some sort of guidance from the tranquil presence in the night sky.

I feel right with the name Allura now.  It sounds like it fits and ultimately, it does…

GC Myers- Shadowsong smWell, it is Sunday morning and time for some music once again.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to show how it is not always the what but the how that is important.  Take for instance the song Oops!… I Did It Again, perhaps one of the best known pop songs of the last fifteen or twenty years, performed by Britney Spears.  Like her or not, you probably have found yourself at some point with that tune in your head.

Myself, I have tried to avoid it in any way possible.

But back in 2003, one of my favorites, Richard Thompson,  did a live album called 1000 Years of Popular Music, where he attempts to summarize the last millennium through musical selections from different eras through that time.  He begins  with Sumer Is Icumen In from the 11th century (this debatable with some saying it is later but for the sake of making the album title work let’s go along with the 11th century) and moves through all forms of traditional and popular music all arranged for his single guitar and  percussion, when needed.  It ends with 2000’s Oops!… I Did It Again.

In Thompson’s hands, the song becomes something quite different.  In painting terms, it would be like two vastly different painters doing the same scene.  Let’s say a simple country cottage painted by Thomas Kinkade and Vincent Van Gogh.  They might be the same whats but the resulting hows would be worlds apart.

Give a listen and see for yourself.  And have a great Sunday…

The Home Place

Writght Morris- Straightback Chair, The Home Place

Writght Morris- Straightback Chair, The Home Place

One of the most common questions I am asked at gallery openings or talks is about the meaning behind the Red Chair in my paintings.  I always struggle to answer.  Maybe because the answer is always changing for me.  I don’t really know.  I do know that I use it in my work because the chair is such an identifiable image that is known to anyone in nearly any culture and has an inherent meaning in its form.  A place to sit and rest. Or eat. Or converse. Or any number of things.  It is simply an icon of human existence.

But looking through some photo sites I came across the work of Nebraska-born photographer/writer Wright Morris (1910-1998).  His stark and striking images of the Plains will seem very familiar to anyone who saw last year’s Alexander Payne film, Nebraska.  I don’t know but would not be surprised if Morris’ imagery was a big influence on the visual look of the black and white film.

Wright Morris- Chair, The Home Place

Wright Morris- Chair, The Home Place

But while looking at some of these photos I came across a few images of chairs in a farmhouse.  They were from a book of his titled The Home Place, a photo-novel telling the story of a man’s one-day visit to where he had spent his childhood in Nebraska, the home place.  The images were very evocative and looking at them, it dawned on me that the meaning of the Red Chair was the same.  It was so obvious– it was the Home Place.  The place where you have a chair in which to sit, accepted as a part of that place.

It is simple yet powerful, like Wright Morris’ photos.

It’s good to have an answer to give now when someone asks…

Wright Morris Picture of Boy- The Home Place

Pulse

The final mystery is oneself.  When one has weighed the sun in the balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped out the seven heavens star by star, there still remains oneself.  Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul?

–Oscar Wilde, De Profundis

******************

GC Myers- Pulse This painting, a 10″ by 20″ canvas titled Pulse, is part of the show, Layers, that is hanging at the the West End Gallery for just over another week, until August 29th.  I was going to write more about this painting but reading the words of Oscar Wilde above make me think that I need not say more.

The mystery of the universe and that of the self are one and the same.

I recently came across the work of Japanese digital artist Nobumichi Asai, who is a master of the art of projected illusion.  Much of his work is done on a grand scale, seemingly transforming a location  through time and space such as the Yokohama Odyssey , which can be seen in the bottom video here.  In it he takes an audience seated in an the basin of an old dockyard and takes them through time to old Yokohama and much more.  Even on film it is quite stunning.  I can’t imagine what the effect must be in person.

But just as stunning is his work on  a much smaller scale.  In the top video below, he transforms a models face with a sort of digital makeup, all just a projected illusion.  The model is free to move her head as the projectors compensate seamlessly through a process called Omote Real Time Tracking.  It’s a pretty stunning transformation and I can see this expanding onto the stage to allow for incredible effects on live performers.  It’s an art that is technologically and aesthetically in polar opposition to what I do but it is remarkable and potentially beautiful nonetheless.

Take a look below or go to the site of Nobumichi Asai to see more of his work.

OMOTE / REAL-TIME FACE TRACKING & PROJECTION MAPPING. from something wonderful on Vimeo.

DOCKYARD 3D PROJECTION MAPPING / YOKOHAMA ODYSSEY from something wonderful on Vimeo.

The Elusive Path

GC Myers- The Elusive Path 2000 smWhile going through the group of older work that I have here in the studio last week I came  across this painting from back in 2000 called The Elusive Path.  It’s one of a small handful of pieces from that time that are still in my possession which means,  since my pre-2000 documentation was pretty spotty, that it is one of the few pieces from that period that I can closely examine.  Oh, there are a few others but they are pretty much misses, paintings that are lacking  in some way.  Some are just too worked over– I was trying to make something out of nothing and didn’t have the tools yet to  do so– and some  are just blah.

But then I pulled out this painting, one that I hadn’t really looked at with intent for years.  This was probably due to a bile green frame that put a taint on the whole thing, making me want to not look for too long in its direction.  I looked at it for a moment then decided I needed to unframe it before casting any judgements on it.  I just couldn’t get past that frame’s influence over the whole.   So I did and was truly pleased with what emerged.

Without the hulking presence of that green frame, this piece felt new again, as though it had a grasp of where I was wanting the work to go at that point and was moving in that direction.  Oh, there have been changes, evolutions of elements and color-handling but the forms and lines are in the continuum.  Plus it held one of the earliest incarnations of the Red Tree which had more or less premiered at my first solo show, fittingly titled RedTree, at the Principle Gallery in 2000.

I’m sitting here this morning looking at this piece now and it seems so different than the painting I had thought of  for all these years as simply being the unfortunate picture trapped in a horrible frame.  It feels alive and new now and I feel a sense of pride in it that I never expected.  I’m looking at it next to a new painting in progress and even though the new one is being painted in a different process with some elements that were not in my vocabulary back in 2000, there is no denying the line that runs from one to the other.

They are one and the same in being true expressions of what I am or desire to be.

And maybe that is the lesson here.  We might be obscured by our trappings, as this painting was by that frame, but if we remain patient and true to what we believe to be our best self we will eventually find a way forward, find our way to our desired destination.  We can find that elusive path.

 

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