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Tomorrow Is My Turn

Sunny Point from the shore of Keuka LakeThe last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic as you might guess from the lack of posts here.  There was the Gallery Talk last weekend at the Principle Gallery down in Virginia then a few days spent setting up and leading the painting workshop at Sunny Point on Keuka Lake with a bunch of personal things jammed in between.  I was plain pooped out yesterday and just couldn’t get myself to write anything for the blog.

Inside at Sunny Point. Keuka LakeBut the workshop at Sunny Point this week went really well and was, I think, fun for the folks there. Me, too.

But I do know that they made incredible strides in a very short period of time and had created several pieces that were pretty advanced in my opinion.  I think I made some strides, as well, as far as my teaching method goes which made everything goes a little faster. This, along with the beautiful setting on the shore of Keuka Lake, with the lap of the waves keeping rhythm just outside the workspace, made this year a bit  more enjoyable than last year’s affair which was very satisfying in itself.

I was very unsure going in if I would be willing to do this again but this experience with this setting and the warmth of the folks there makes me think I might want to try once more.  We’ll see.

For this Sunday’s musical selection I thought I’d go with something slightly weighty and cerebral.  I think this version of Tomorrow is My Turn  fills the bill.  It’s from the super talented Rhiannon Giddens and is a remake of Nina Simone‘s English language version of a Charles Aznavour  song, written originally, of course, in French.  None of that really matters when you’re listening.  So set everything aside and give a listen.  Then have a good Sunday…

In Heaven Now…/ Redux

Even though this post only ran last August, I thought it was worth replaying, if only to remind us to maintain some semblance of civility and sanity in this bitter election season.  I was reminded of this post because the painting featured in it, Raised Up, went with me to the Principle Gallery for my talk there this past Saturday.  It’s a piece that I like very much as is the song at the end from John Prine.  Hope you’ll enjoy them as well…

GC Myers- Raised Up

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.

Jack Kerouac

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I am not sure what to do with these words from Jack Kerouac but I do like them and think they deserve to be passed along.  I am a firm believer of kindness in all forms and believe that it is a pathway to a better life here in this world.

When I was waiting tables I found that my own attitude and demeanor often dictated how others responded to me.  If I smiled and acted congenially, more often than not the person I was dealing with responded in the same manner.  We are reactionary creatures and we instinctively respond according to the tone we encounter– rudeness with rudeness and anger with anger.

And kindness with kindness.

It’s our choice.  If we can fight against our reactionary nature and choose to act and react with kindness, we can shape our world and then perhaps realize that a form of heaven might be within our grasp.

I have never had the faith or certainty of those who believe that there is an actual heaven waiting beyond this world.  I would like to but I just don’t have it within me.  So, for me, if there is to be a heaven it is something to be sought in the here and now.  By that, I mean creating an environment that is honest, kind and gentle.  A life that is peaceful and quiet–that would be heaven to me.

So, when you’re out there today and face rudeness and anger, make the choice to react in a gentler manner and be kind.  Your world might be one small step closer to heaven.

This quote reminded me of a song from one of my favorites, John Prine.  The title pretty much sums it up: He Was In Heaven Before He Died.

Thanks…

gc-myers-gallery-talk-2016-smMany, many thanks to everyone who came out to the Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery on Saturday.  While I wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked, everything (including the giveaways at the talk’s end!) went off really well and it was great to speak with so many folks that I only get to see once in a great while.

I don’t know if I can really ever fully explain how important these talks have been for me.  It’s not only for the wonderful feedback I receive about the work which helps me see the paintings in the way others do but in the way it allows me to express my gratitude for the life that their appreciation of my work has given me.  These talks allow me to see how fortunate I was to have fallen into this life.

So,  a deep thank you to everyone there, including my good friends at the Principle Gallery– Michele, Clint, Pam, Haley and Pierre— who allow me to feel at home in their space with their warm friendship.  You have all given me more than you will ever know, more than I can ever repay in gifts or words.

Since I was out of the studio yesterday and missed my Sunday morning music, I thought I’d fill that void today with a selection that gallery director Clint reminded me of this past week in a posting on Facebook where he played this song and invited his friend to identify it.  It’s a song from guitarist Bill Frisell , called Ghost Town/ Poem For Eva. I couldn’t identify the song at first without a clue from Clint even though I knew that I knew the song.  I have used music from this particular Bill Frisell album in an earlier video of my Outlaw series.

So, give a listen and have a good week…

Defiant Heart! Win this Painting!

Defiant Heart! Win this Painting!

Just a last reminder:

I will be giving a Gallery Talk today, Saturday, September 17, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  The event starts at 1 PM and is about an hour long with plenty of conversation and a lot of Q & A so if there is something about my work you want to know, today is your best chance to ask about it.  I promise to be completely honest and transparent– or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.  It is an election year, after all.

Plus, the highlight is the free drawing at the end of the talk for the painting shown here, Defiant Heart.

And, as usual, a little more.

Hope you can make it!

Studio Favorites

GC Myers- Geometry 1999

GC Myers- Geometry, 1999

I have mentioned that I will be bringing a group of older paintings from my studio with me when I head to the Principle Gallery for my Gallery Talk there tomorrow, Saturday.  These pieces will be there for only a short time and most have become favorites of mine as they have spent more time with me here in the studio.

One is a 1999 painting, shown here on the right, called Geometry.  This vintage piece that is very typical of my pre-2000 work: the Red Tree had yet to make an appearance and the composition is basically comprised of two blocks of color separated by a thin line of white.  There’s a lot that I like about this simple painting.  It has a mature quality, one of completeness, that was coming into my work at that time.  It reinforces my confidence to see that it holds up well after seventeen years.

GC Myers- In the Window: The Searcher

GC Myers- In the Window: The Searcher

Another included painting is called In the Window: The Searcher from 2005.  It is one of my favorites from the Window series which was a fairly short lived series.  The concept of my landscapes being placed in windows in the way a jewel is placed in a setting was a fun concept and exciting to work in.  It got a lot of interest from collectors at the time but it felt limited to me as a long term series, one that I would work in throughout the years.  But it remains a series that still captures my fancy and I think that this piece really exemplifies what I was trying for in it.

There are several other paintings from different years in this group, many shown below, that all have similar backgrounds.  These are all pieces that have somehow found their way back to me without finding a true home.  It’s interesting to see them in the context of the current work, to see both the consistency in the work as well as where they diverge.

 

Defiant Heart! Win this Painting!

Defiant Heart! Win this Painting!

You’ll be able to see the whole group  together tomorrow on the gallery walls along with a selection of new works.  So, I hope you’ll stop in this Saturday at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria.  My Gallery Talk there will be starting at 1 PM and will feature a free drawing for the painting shown here, Defiant Heart, along with a few other goodies.  These talks are generally a lively conversation with a lot of Q & A.  It has usually been a good time in the past and I see no reason this shouldn’t be a lot of fun as well.  Hope you can make it!

GC Myers- Room to Breathe

GC Myers- Room to Breathe

GC Myers- Through Time

GC Myers- Through Time

GC Myers-  Call to Waking

GC Myers- Call to Waking

GC Myers- In the Clearing

 

 

 

 

 

A Time to Rest

GC Myers- A Time to Rest smThere is a group of new work along with a select group of older pieces heading to the Principle Gallery with me on Saturday when I head there for my annual Gallery Talk.  The piece shown here is a new painting, an 8″ by 16″ canvas that I call A Time to Rest.

The rows of the fields have represented the idea of work to me for some time in my paintings.  I have always considered myself more of a worker than an artist, feeling that my work ethic kind of defines me in my painting.  I like being in the studio, like the work that I do and would rather be alone in my studio than almost anywhere else most of the time.

In fact, I find the work itself restful.  Sometimes for me, it is the time away from the work that seems labored and difficult.

And maybe that’s the point of this painting: the Red Tree finds itself resting in the midst of the worked fields, looking at the work that has been done thus far.  It reminds me of being in the studio and seeing work in varying stages — some newly started with the beginnings of what they will one day be fresh on their surfaces, some prepared canvasses waiting for that first dash of paint and finished work hanging on the walls around me.

This piece surprised me.  It seemed to be blah through the initial stages.  I wasn’t sure if I would even finish it but then it suddenly popped near the end of the process and I find myself now really drawn to it.  Maybe that’s why I see myself and my own world in it so clearly.

Again, the Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria is this Saturday, September 17, beginning at 1 PM.  The highlight is the drawing for my original painting , Defiant Heart, that will be held at the end of the talk.  That and a little more… 

Come Together

GC Myers- Come TogetherThe reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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This new painting, a 12″ by 36″ canvas, that is headed to the Principle Gallery with me this weekend is called Come Together.  It’s a continuation of the island theme that has been running through my work as of late.

I think the words of Emerson above fit very much with what I see in this painting.  Though it appears to be two separate islands with trees linked by a bridge, I see them as having been once united and have somehow been separated.  In this case, it may have been the tumult of time where the seabeds rise and the mountaintops fall– many of the high peaks that we know are sedimentary rock, after all, raised from the bottoms of the oceans.

The disunity Emerson was writing about was man separating himself from nature instead of realizing that he is part of nature and operates best when he is united with it through order and reason in a sort of partnership.  It makes sense especially when you consider the way that nature reacts when we try to exercise our belief that we have dominion over it.

In the same essay, Emerson also wrote the following  that I think better puts this into context:

Nature is not fixed but fluid. Spirit alters, moulds, makes it. The immobility or bruteness of nature, is the absence of spirit; to pure spirit, it is fluid, it is volatile, it is obedient. Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only can we see. All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do. Adam called his house, heaven and earth; Caesar called his house, Rome; you perhaps call yours, a cobbler’s trade; a hundred acres of ploughed land; or a scholar’s garret. Yet line for line and point for point, your dominion is as great as theirs, though without fine names. Build, therefore, your own world.

We all have the ability to live within nature and to build our own world that reflects our spirit.  If only we can find unity with the nature that desires to be our partner.

Just remember, your world is what you make it.

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This painting will be with me at the Gallery Talk this Saturday, September 17, at the Principle Gallery.  It starts at 1 PM and  should be a good time.  There will be a drawing for the painting, Defiant Heart, which has been shown in the past couple of  posts. Plus there will be a few other surprises as well.  Hope to see you there!

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