The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.
This new painting is a 10″ by 30″ canvas that I call Cool Fire. It is included in my show, Part of the Plan, which opens this Saturday at the Kada Gallery in Erie. I came across the words above from artist Joan Miro, whose work I admire very much, after I had finished this piece.
I was struck by how his words lined up with how I see this painting, especially in its juxtaposition of warmth and coolness. It creates a tension that is similar to the actual creation of many works of art, one where the artist walks a fine line between passion and control.
I think this balance is critical in creating work that reaches out to the viewer. Too much control and the work, while it might have great beauty, is cold and passionless. Too much passion without little control may appear erratic and off message.
But to make these two opposing forces work together is what brings life to the work and allows it to reach out. And I think this painting, with its equal parts of fire and self control, is a pretty good example of walking this fine line.
Posted in Painting, Quote, Recent Paintings | Tagged GC Myers, Joan Miro, KADA Gallery, Red Tree | Leave a Comment »
There are two ways of looking at my paintings for me. During the process, I view it as an assemblage of parts, a series of decisions to be made and obstacles to overcome. It feels very much like it is part of me at that point, like I hold all the cards and determine where it will go and what it will inevitably be. I feel a bit like a mechanic or a surgeon in that time.
But there is a point just after it reaches completion where the piece stumbles to its feet and moves away from on its own volition. It has its own power, its own forward moving force and I am left powerless to influence it at that point. I no longer see it as parts or pieces to be adjusted. It is whole and seems to only be mine in only a familiar way, like a father looking at his child and seeing the resemblance but not understanding how and why the child does what it does as it grows away from him.
I don’t mean that in a negative way though I have to admit it could be taken that way. I was thinking of a sort of gratification in seeing their child do things they never imagined for themselves. In a moment that is both prideful and sad when he realizes that he has created something that he will never be himself, something that exceeds his whole.
I thought of this the other morning while working out with a number of newly framed paintings within my sight. Only days before some of them had still been just parts and pieces,still problematic and with little life. Yet now I was looking at them and they felt whole and away from me. I recognized them as mine in that moment but I could see that they had their own things to say, their own feelings to express.
It was a moment that caught me off guard. I have spoken of the work taking on its own life many times before but in that instant it seemed so much more palpable and concrete.
It created a sense of wonder in me.
This new piece, a 10″ by 20″ canvas, carries that phrase, Sense of Wonder, as its title. I think the Red Tree conveys that feeling of gratification and wonder that I felt in that moment. Looking at it now, I see that it is mine but it expresses feelings I have yet to feel and truths that I have yet to realize. And that sense of wonder is created again.
I guess it’s only fitting that this Sunday morning music be a song from Van Morrison called A Sense of Wonder. Give listen and have a great Sunday. Hope you find your own sense of wonder…
FYI: This painting, Sense of Wonder, is included in my show at the Kada Gallery which opens next Saturday, October 29.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged GC Myers, Music, New Painting, Red Tree, Van Morrison | 1 Comment »
Never doubt that a small number of dedicated people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
I love the words above from anthropologist Margaret Mead. I think they are empowering and a reminder of our innate ability to shape the world.
Too often we fail to exercise our own power to change the world because we think that we have little power to do so. We all too often see ourselves as unseen players on a huge stage, that our existence is noticed by no one.
But what we fail to understand is that we change the world by our very existence. It comes through the way we carry and express ourselves, in the manner in which our actions and words affect those close to us.
We create the patterns for our young, molding the way in which they view and act within the world. Our actions and words set the tone for their future, building a sense of openness and possibility or one of angry pessimism in them. Calm words, thoughtful reactions and a strong resolve to do what is right can change the world in a small way. It can only make it better.
And this attitude will attract others and together their power to affect changes increases dramatically. That is how changes comes to this world. It starts with one person who creates an atmosphere where anything seems possible, especially those things that stem from positive attributes.
I see this new piece, The Figurehead, a 5″ by 27″ painting on paper which is part of my upcoming Kada Gallery show, as an embodiment of this sentiment. The Red Tree here displays a graceful quality that holds sway over all those who are within in its sight, serving as a symbol of inspiration and strength.
I think we are all figureheads of a sort. We all hope to represent certain ideals and qualities and ideally they are apparent in how we present ourselves to the outside world. So it is vital to remember that we all in some way stand alone on a rise where we are visible to those around us. Our words and actions matter in a large way.
They can change the world…
Posted in Motivation, Painting, Quote, Recent Paintings | Tagged KADA Gallery, Margaret Mead, Quote, Recent Painting, Red Tree | Leave a Comment »
Thank god that we are finally past the three presidential debates. I thought I’d have a little musical break to cleanse the taste of last night’s debate out of my mouth. Oops, I guess I can’t get away from it– I think we all know who the puppet was last night.
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »
I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
I am putting the finishing touches on my new show, Part of the Plan, that opens next Saturday, October 29, at the Kada Gallery, in Erie, PA. I have been showing my work at the Kada Gallery for over twenty years now and this will be, I believe, my eighth solo show there. Owners Kathy and Joe DeAngelo, along with their staff, do an absolutely wonderful job in representing my work and this is always an enjoyable show for me.
One of the new paintings for this show is the piece above, a 12″ by 16″ canvas titled The Lesson Learned. The title is taken from the words of Lao Tzu, the Chinese philosopher and father of Taoism, that are at the top of this page. I believe that those three things– simplicity, patience and compassion— are the basis for a satisfying and peaceful life. All three are critical in interacting with the outer world and with our understanding of that outer world and our place in it.
I see all three of those attributes in the Red Tree in this painting. It stands placidly, taking in the simple pleasure of the scene before it. It patiently waits for the light of the new day that approaches. And it perches protectively and compassionately above the homes below it.
When I look at this painting I am instantly reminded of those three things simply by the feeling it instantly evokes in me. This meshing of feeling and meaning is something I look for in my work because that takes the work to a level that is beyond my own limitations. It gives it its own life that will move beyond me. And that is all I can hope for my work…
Posted in Painting, Quote, Recent Paintings | Tagged Erie PA, GC Myers, KADA Gallery, Lao Tzu, New Painting, Quote, Red Tree, Taosim | Leave a Comment »
Introspection, or ‘sitting in the silence,’ is an unscientific way of trying to force apart the mind and senses, tied together by the life force. The contemplative mind, attempting its return to divinity, is constantly dragged back toward the senses by the life currents.
I often consider my landscapes as being deeply introspective even though by their very nature they are outward looking. They are most often scenes where the central figure– the Red Tree in most cases– finds itself in a moment and place where the inner and outer, the mind and the senses, converge.
It is a moment of calmness, one that allows the mind to expand and soar outside itself, to see the world and itself from new perspectives. It allows it to see all that it is and is not. To see all possibility, paths that are open but not yet visible. Perhaps even a return to divinity as the words of the great Hindi yogi Paramahansa Yogananda states in the quote above.
I like the idea of this juxtaposition of contrasts, the inner and the outer set side by side, each strengthening the other so long as they stay in balance. I can’t say that I go into a painting with that as a goal in the front of my mind. I think it’s just one of those things that when you recognize it in the final product realize that it was what you were looking for even though you didn’t know it at the outset.
And perhaps letting it slip from your consciousness was the key all along. Trying too hard to find something so elusive usually ends in failure. But just letting things go without placing too much emphasis on any aspect sometimes brings what is important to the forefront.
I know that in this new painting, a 15″ by 30″ canvas titled Introspection, that how I see it now had little to do with where I initially thought it would go or say. At its start I never gave a single thought as to leading it to the message that it now holds for me. I just let the paint work, let my mind move freely in the forms and color to release what it ultimately held.
So maybe that is the key– to free the mind from the senses as Yogananda says. Easier said than done…
The painting above, Introspection, is included in Part of the Plan, my solo show opening October 29 at the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA.
Posted in Influences, Painting, Quote | Tagged GC Myers, KADA Gallery, Paramahansa Yogananda, Quote, Recent Paintings, Red Tree | 2 Comments »
In these current strange days, I am not quite sure how I feel about Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. I think I’m okay with it. After all, I’ve always though of him as much a writer/poet as a musician. His lyrics have been winding around the world for fifty some years and it’s hard to find any musician just about anywhere who hasn’t been influenced by his words, his music and his social consciousness.
I was trying to pick a song from Dylan for this Sunday’s musical selection and realized what an impossible task it is. There is just such a vast and varied body of work, spanning so much time and covering so many phases in his career. You could just play his old folk stuff from before 1965 and you might think that was a whole career.
So today I thought I would play two of my favorites from two distinct periods of Dylan’s career. One is the early and fun Subterranean Homesick Blues with its well known video while the other is a mid-1990’s Love Sick. Just plain good stuff from the now Nobel Prize winning artist and writer.
Enjoy and have a good Sunday…
Posted in Favorite Things, Music, Video | Tagged Archaeology, Bob Dylan, Music, Nobel Prize | 4 Comments »