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Far, Far Away

Jupiter From Below-  NASA-JPL-Space Science InstituteThe week after a show’s opening is an odd time for me.  Even though you might think it would be a time to relax and savor the success of the show, it seldom is.  Yes, I do get to let out a deep sigh of relief just to have the task done and to have not fallen on my face. But I am often fatigued from writing and speaking so much about myself and my work.

It’s a fatigue that makes me feel a bit grimy and  greasy.  I feel like I’m covered with an unpleasant layer of ego sweat that can’t be washed away.  It has to fade away slowly.

I’ve always viewed the work of self-promotion as simply being a necessary aspect of the job of being an independent artist.  In simplest terms, I am basically a small business that produces a product and every small business must promote their product or they will not stay in business for very long.  So I do what I can to promote the work, writing about and pushing the paintings out into the world of social media to raise the profile of my product.

But when the product is  the art which is at its core you and your internal self, there is a sense that you are selling your very being.  That ups the stakes a bit because to not succeed feels like a diminishing of yourself.  It feels as though it is not just the art that is or is not being embraced, it is you.

You try to keep that view at bay, to keep the self and the art separate, but when you are putting so much of yourself into the work it is a hard thing to do.

So you either embrace the task as a necessary evil and forge ahead, risking the rejection of work and yourself by the public or you avoid it altogether.  But avoiding it is like avoiding exercise– you know it’s good for you but it is so much easier to skip it and make excuses for why your time is better spent doing just about anything else.  No sweating and no effort required.

I choose to do this work and part of that is accepting that grimy ego sweat and the fatigue from always pushing my product and myself.  But like anything that you do over and over again, you come to know that feeling and realize that eventually the effort yields positive results.

That’s where I am today– sweaty and tired.  But the feeling will fade and I will soon be ready to go at it again with all the effort I can muster.

But until then I am letting my mind wander and I find myself far away.  In this case, I find myself completely intrigued by this image from NASA that captures Jupiter in a stereographic image taken from below its South Pole.  I’ve looked at this image about a dozen times over the past couple of days and I find myself mesmerized by it.  It is just about as far away as I can get and it cools the ego sweat in a most wonderful way.

La Vie en Rose

west-end-gallery-160First thing this morning, many thanks to everyone who came out to the West End Gallery on Friday night for the opening of my show there.  I am most appreciative for anyone who takes the time on a hot Friday summer evening to come into the gallery.  It was great seeing old and new friends as well as seeing how they reacted to the work, which was hung beautifully by Lin and Jesse.  They did a great job pairing the paintings with original glass work —  each seemed to reflect and enhance the other.

Again, many thanks for making this a great show.  If you haven’t had a chance to get into the West End Gallery, please do try soon.  The show hangs until September 2.  I will also be giving a Gallery Talk on Saturday, August 6 from 1-2 PM at the gallery.  As is now tradition, there will be some sharing so mark the date and try to come on in.

This morning is the end of the Tour de France, the incredible bike race that is one of my favorite events of every summer.  This last day is generally a ceremonial stage, with the riders coming into Paris en masse for a final end of race for one final sprint to the finish line.

Tour de France Froome and Team SkyThe race leader this year is past two-time Tour winner Chris Froome, a Kenyan-born Brit whose skinny frame hides a huge diesel motor within that seems to just chug and chug without end.  Froome’s dominance is quite remarkable but just enduring such a race is incredible in itself.  Three weeks with only two days of rest that covers about 2100 miles that wind around France and neighboring countries, up and over the highest peaks and mountain passes in the Alps and Pyrenees.  

It is speed, strength and sheer endurance mixed in with the toughness to scramble up after hitting the road at 45 MPH and continue riding a tough course for another 50 miles.   Imagine running half and full marathons nearly every day for three weeks over rugged terrain in all sorts of weather.  That’s the Tour.

I always hate to see it end.

So for this Sunday morning music here’s a French classic, La Vie en Rose, sung by the wondrous Rhiannon Giddens.  It is a gorgeous version that she mad in response to the terror attacks in France last year.  Unfortunately, it applies this year as well.

But be optimistic and have a great Sunday!

GC Myers- Contact sm

“Contact”- GC Myers

GC Myers- The Empowering sm

“The Empowering”- GC Myers

Well, Friday’s finally here which means that my show, Contact, opens this evening at the West End Gallery in Corning.  I think it’s a very strong group of work with an emphasis on color, texture, rhythm and pattern.

Definitely color.

If you know my work in any way you know that color is vital to my work.   Like words to a writer, it is the real conveyor for everything I am trying to express.  It can carry emotion, thought and a sense of time and space.  Color unconsciously speaks to us and puts us in contact with those unseen forces I so often speak of here.  I think you’ll see that in this show at the West End.

So, if you’re in the area this evening, please stop in at the West End Gallery.  The reception today, Friday, July 22,  runs from 5-7:30 PM and is free and open to everyone.  I will be there for the duration and would be happy to spend some time with you there, answering any questions you might have or discussing your feelings on the work.

I hope to see you on Market Street tonight!

"Unrestrained" -GC Myers

“Unrestrained” -GC Myers

Linked

GC Myers- Linked smThis new painting, titled Linked, is a 12″ by 36″ canvas.  It is one of the works from my new show, Contact, that is now hanging at the West End Gallery.  The show officially opens tomorrow, Friday, July 22, with an opening reception at the gallery that runs from 5-7:30 PM.  As always, the opening is free and everyone is welcome.

Even though the narrative of this painting is about the rope bridge that connects these two islands and their resident Red Trees, the weight of it is carried by its vivid colors that seem to pop off the canvas.  The mixture of blues in the sky above and the water below  contrast and appear to intensify the redness of the trees, giving them a true sense of being alive.

The strength of the colors really draws in my eyes and makes the narrative of the linking of these two islands seem even more compelling.  The term linked is often used in the cyberworld when sites are digitally connected but here it relates to our own bonds that we build in life between friends and family.  Even though some of us would like to say that we can thrive as solitary islands, we are strengthened and nurtured by these bonds, these connections.  We as humans are creatures of community.  We need those links.

Well, that’s what I see here.  Maybe it’s just a bright and colorful picture.  It’s all in how you choose to see it isn’t it?

Day of Hope

GC Myers- Day of Hope smWe have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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We’ve had our share of fear and anger in recent days.  Time to begin looking forward towards the light of the horizon.

Time to look for hope.

I think that pretty much sums up my feelings about this new painting, a 10″ by 30″ canvas called Day of Hope.  It’s about calmness and a real considered contemplation of the future set in optimistic terms, far removed from reactionary destructiveness and irrationality of fear and anger.

Nothing good or lasting has ever been built with fear and anger.  Sure, we have moved ahead in the past when fear and anger have been present but it was in spite of those things, not because of them.  Most of the great strides forward from the past were built on a vision of hope, with a rational belief that the world could somehow be a better place.

That is what I see in this painting– a patient hopeful look to the future.

Call it naivete, call it what you will– I don’t care.  I will choose a hopeful naivete any day over fear or angry cynicism.

This is another painting from my show, Contact, which opens this Friday, July 22, at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY.

Energizing Light

GC Myers- Energizing Light smThere are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

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As a rule I don’t have favorites when it comes to my work.  I have always felt that I can see something in each completed painting that somehow resonates within me, something that calls out and connects to me.

In some pieces I see traces of myself as I am and as I have been in the past, reflecting moments of emotion that I have experienced at some point in the distant or recent past.  In other pieces I see them as aspiring to a form of consciousness that seems in the future, at a point well beyond me in the present.

It is one that appears to be rooted in a placid state of mind, one that is connected to a greater source of light and becomes, as Edith Wharton so aptly put it, the mirror that reflects it.

That is how I saw this painting, a 36″ by 24″ canvas titled Energizing Light, from the minute it took form on the easel.  It has a harmony and depth that gives it that aspirational aspect that so appeals to me.  It makes me hopeful in my possibilities as a human as well as an artist.  And that hopefulness makes pieces such as Energizing Light feel special for me.

This painting is part of my show, Contact, which opens Friday, July 22, at the West End Gallery.  There is an opening reception from 5-7:30 PM which is open to all.  Stop on in, have a glass of wine and take a look around.  I’ll be glad to see you there.

An Inner Warmth

GC Myers- An Inner Warmth smIt’s been a warm summer.  I guess for some of us that’s an understatement.  The mowed lawns are burned to the color of Shredded Wheat and ponds show more and more of their banks as the water levels slowly descend.  There’s a dustiness in the air from the driveway that coats everything and the thickness of the heat has me dreaming of hopefully cooler days ahead in the fall and winter.

In that vein, I thought I’d show another piece from my show that opens this coming Friday, July 22, at the West End Gallery in Corning.  Titled An Inner Warmth, it’s 10″ by 16″ on paper and feature cooler color tones yet has a warmth to it that is pleasant to me.  It’s a painting that points very much back to my earlier work in the way it is composed of distinct upper and lower blocks of color divided by an unpainted line.

The interplay of those blocks of colors is what carries the weight of the painting for me, carrying its message and meaning.  The details of the trees and the path in the foreground add a narrative element but the colors tell the story here.  The red of the tree seems even warmer here set against the cooler tones.

For this Sunday Morning Music, I thought I’d play a version of one of the songs from the great American songbook, Summertime from George and Ira Gershwin, taken from their opera Porgy and Bess.  It has been covered by so many people and there are so many wonderful versions out there from which to choose.  You’ve got the operatic versions from the likes of Kathleen Battle and Renee Fleming,  jazzier versions from Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn,  rockier versions from Janis Joplin and Sting and countrified ones from Doc Watson and Willie Nelson.  And that is only a tiny sampling.  And almost all of them are absolutely outstanding which I thinks speaks to the strength of the composition.

I chose this version from Norah Jones just because I like it’s coolness.  This is a duet between her and the late jazz piano legend Marian McPartland.  It’s a lovely version and gives a cooler feel to these hot days.

Have a great day…

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