GC Myers-  Soloist  2023

Soloist– Coming to the Principle Gallery Tomorrow

The riders in a race do not stop short when they reach the goal. There is a little finishing canter before coming to a standstill. There is time to hear the kind voice of friends and to say to one’s self, The work is done.

–Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., on his 90th birthday, 1931

I understand what the late jurist Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr. was saying. The painting process is done for my show at the Principle Gallery. You would think that would be the end of it and there would be a period of relaxation, a time when I can leisurely look at the work for the show as a whole and say, “Well done.”


This morning I still have some preparation to complete. One large piece to be framed.  Then go over each painting making sure the paintings’ backs are all sealed, the final hanging wires are put on, that they are signed, that there are nothing that needs a touch up, and that they are ready to go. 

Then just get them ready for packing for tomorrow’s delivery to the gallery. Then perhaps, after the great group at the gallery has arranged and hung the show and I return later in the week for the opening, I can take it all in and say, “Well done.”

Getting a show ready and in place at the gallery is a lot more work than you might think. But I have done a lot of work in other fields that was far worse and less satisfying. Now, this is just what I do, not even really thinking that it is work as work is normally defined. 

Anyway, I have to get to the finish line this morning before I get to canter before coming to a standstill.

The painting at the top is Soloist, a small 6″ by 12″ piece on panel from the show. It is one of a small group from the show that have smooth untextured surfaces, giving it the appearance of glass or an enameled piece. I don’t do a lot of these pieces for a number of reasons. They can be difficult and there is practically no room for error in them. Combined with my reductive process, the surface is absolutely unforgiving. If I lose my concentration and make even a small mistake, the piece is pretty much ruined and irreparable. So, when I do paint them, they tend to be smaller paintings. That might be why I look at these pieces with such fondness.

Here’s a short song from a true soloist and one of my favorites, Martin Simpson. This is Shallow Brown. from the aptly titled 1991 album, When I Was on Horseback.

A nice tune for when one finally comes to a standstill after crossing the finish line…

Passages is my 24th annual exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. The opening reception is next Friday, June 9, beginning at 6 PM and going to 8:30. I am looking forward to being in attendance at this year’s show for the first time since 2019. 

High Point

GC Myers- High Point sm

High Point – Coming to Principle Gallery

Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.

Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.

Here is realization,
Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him,
The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.

–Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road, v. 6

Last two days of preparation before delivery of the work for this year’s show at the Principle Gallery. Quite a bit to get done today so let’s not waste too much time here. Let’s just share a triad; a new painting from the show, a bit of verse from Cousin Walt and a song that I believe is dedicated to Cousin Walt.

The painting is High Point, at the top, a smaller piece at 10″ by 10″ on canvas. The passage above from Walt Whitman is from the sixth verse of his Song of the Open Road.  which is part of his Leaves of Grass. And the song is Waltz Whitman from the wonderful grouping of Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile and their 2020 album Not Our First Goat Rodeo. It was their follow-up to their wonderful 2011 album The Goat Rodeo Sessions.

So, take a look, absorb the verse — I love those those last three lines, especially: The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them — and give a listen.

Worse things to do on a Friday morning. Let yourself out when you’re done– I have much to do. 

GC Myers- Playing to the Moon

Playing to the Moon– Coming to Principle Gallery

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.

–William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

In the final days of prep and I am at the point where I get a little frazzled, trying to wrap up things and deal with little complications and adjustments that come up unexpectedly while dealing with the delivery deadline. As a result, I don’t feel like I have a lot of time to write this morning.

But I could use the soothing of a sweet song to go along with the new small painting above, Playing to the Moon. Here’s The Moon Song performed by The Hound+ The Fox. The song, as originally performed by Karen O, was from the film Her and was nominated for an Oscar.

Give a listen if you need a bit of soothing. It sure helped me this morning. Now get out. I got a lot of stuff to do.

Passages, my 24th annual solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA opens next Friday, June 9. There is an opening reception on that day beginning at 6:30 PM. Hope to see you there.

In the Glow

GC Myers-- Passages: In the Glow  2023

Passages: In the Glow— Coming to Principle Gallery

I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. My soul knows that I am part of the human race, my soul is an organic part of the great human soul, as my spirit is part of my nation. In my own very self, I am part of my family. There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the water.

– D.H. Lawrence, Apocalypse, 1930

I am in the final busy days of preparing the works for my upcoming solo exhibition at the Principle Gallery. This year’s show is titled Passages and contains a same-named series of work where each piece leads the viewer into the landscape. Moving through the multiple layers of the picture plane is a symbolic journey that represent our own journey through life, one where we hopefully continually make progress in our quest to find peace, wisdom and love. 

A journey to find understanding.

The understanding that, though we celebrate ourselves as the wonderful and unique individuals we are, we are ultimately only a tiny part of a greater whole.  We are contained in it, and it is contained in us.

The glow of the sun is our own glow. 

And as Lawrence writes above, perhaps we are but its glitter and glow.

The new painting shown above is from the show, measuring 18″ by 36″ on canvas, and is titled Passages: In the Glow.  

The exhibit opens next Friday, June 9. I will be there for the opening reception that begins at 6:30 PM. This will be my first appearance at an opening there since the pre-pandemic show of 2019. I am looking forward to it though I fear I will be a bit rusty with my conversational skills.

But you do what you can do.

Here’s a lovely song from a few years back from Mark Knopfler featuring Ruth Moody on vocals. This is Wherever I Go.

GC Myers-  In Stillness and Rhythm 2023

In Stillness and Rhythm– In the Upcoming Principle Gallery Show

There is a point where in the mystery of existence contradictions meet; where movement is not all movement and stillness is not all stillness; where the idea and the form, the within and the without, are united; where infinite becomes finite, yet not losing its infinity. If this meeting is dissolved, then things become unreal.

–Rabindranath Tagore, Personality: Lectures Delivered in America, 1918

 In Stillness and Rhythm, shown above, is a new 24″ by 24″ painting on canvas that will be headed to the Principle Gallery this coming weekend. It is part of my annual solo show there which this year opens on Friday, June 9th.

I see this piece as being about the coming together of contradictory elements, much those described in the passage above from Rabindranath Tagore. Within it there is, to my eye, stillness and motion, light and dark, coolness and warmth, and the earthly and the infinite. 

Like many things that come to rest at this this juncture between such opposing elements, there is a contemplative feel to it, along with a sense of calmness and rightness. 

It’s one of those pieces that has its own presence and fullness yet still has space for the viewer to enter and become part of it. That’s hard to explain but that’s the feeling I get from this painting and one that I aspire to in my work, as a rule.

Here’s a musical selection that seems to work well with this painting. It’s a choral composition, Music of Stillness, from Elaine Hagenberg based the poem, below There Will Be Rest, from the late poet Sara Teasdale.

There will be rest, and sure stars shining
Over the roof-tops crowned with snow,
A reign of rest, serene forgetting,
The music of stillness holy and low.

I will make this world of my devising
Out of a dream in my lonely mind.
I shall find the crystal of peace, – above me
Stars I shall find.

— Sara Teasdale, There Will Be Rest

My solo exhibit, Passages, opens Friday, June 9 at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. I will be attending the opening reception that evening that runs from 6:30 – 9 PM. Hope to see you there!

For Souls Past

World War I Casualty

Like a great many of you out there, I have not had to experience the hardships of war firsthand. It remains something to see from a distance, on the television or in movies. Terrifying and deadly but always from afar. With this comfortably safe and remote view, it becomes an easy thing to simply shrug it off after a while and turn back to our own personal endeavors, thinking that the specter of war won’t affect us and can remain a distant afterthought.

But it doesn’t take much to realize how close war has been to each of us and our families for generations. While working on my family’s genealogy, I found war after war through the ages where relatives served, some dying and some being wounded. Young and sometimes not so young men who rallied to the call and paid some sort of price for their efforts. My genealogy is unremarkable in that aspect as the same can be said for most families.

There is a lot to hate about war. The horror of it, the death, devastation and destruction of war should be enough. But when you consider the potential and futures of those lost in wars, not to mention the financial costs that sap the economies of the world depriving the people of resources better spent on making their lives better, it becomes a despicable thing.

But while war is, and should remain, a thing to be despised, we owe a huge sense of gratitude for those who have served and paid the ultimate price to preserve the things and ideals we take for granted nearly every day, all the time thinking that these things will remain in place without any need for protection.

So today, remember the price paid, the lives cut short. Hate war, yes. But give these soldiers who have shed their blood our gratitude and respect, as well as our empathy for the other lives and futures they were never able to realize.

This post ran here for Memorial Day back in 2011. Fr this year’s remembrance, here’s a song from Richard Boulger called For Souls Past. Seems to fit.


Some folks inherit star-spangled eyes
Hoo, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
Hoo, they only answer, “More, more, more, more”

-Fortunate Son, John Fogerty

Another Memorial Day weekend has come. I am in the final days of prepping work for my Principle Gallery show that opens in less than two week so I am too busy to ramble on much this morning about the meaning of the holiday. I am just going to basically redo a post from several years back that shows a photo and play a song, Fortunate Son, which is about the injustice of wars where the young and the poor pay the price by fighting and dying in wars waged by rich old men who shelter their own children from having to pay that same price.

The photo above, from the National Library of Medicine, feature five Civil War veterans who lost limbs in combat. I guess, in their own way, they were fortunate in the fact they were able to come out only missing limbs from a war where so many others lost their lives.

That was probably small comfort to them.

It’s a great and moving photo. I spent a few moments this morning looking closely at each of their faces. Hope you’ll do the same.

Here’s the classic Fortunate Son released by Creedence Clearwater Revival back in 1969. It’s message still resonates after 50+ years and most likely applies to most every war ever waged.

Peak Solitude

GC Myers- Peak Solitude  2023

Peak Solitude— At Principle Gallery Show, June 2023

Solitude, though it may be silent as light, is like light, the mightiest of agencies; for solitude is essential to man. All men come into this world alone and leave it alone.

–Thomas De Quincey, Selected Writings of Thomas De Quincey, 1853

The painting at the top is titled Peak Solitude. This new 30″ by 24″ work on canvas is included in this year’s edition, Passages, of my annual solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. The show opens two weeks from today with an opening reception on Friday, June 9th. I will attending the opening this year for the first time since 2019.

Solitude, or the pursuit of it, plays a big role in much of my work and this piece fits in well. It’s one of those paintings that has consistently held my eye since it was completed a few weeks back. I find that I am easily pulled into this one with its pacifying rhythms and deep rich tones.

It definitely possesses a sense of quietude for me. I sort of think of it as a reverse Tower of Babel, where in order to escape the din and confusion of the masses gathered below, one has to climb higher and higher. At the peak, there is stillness and clarity, both of vision and thought.


All that solitude has to offer. And all I ask of my work.

The song below is Corcovado, also known as Quiet Night of Quiet Stars, a bossa nova piece written by Antonio Carlos Jobim in 1960. The original version was from Stan Getz along with bossa nova legends Jobim and Joao and Astrud Gilberto. I don’t know if that anything can come close to that original version with Astrud Gilberto’s vocals but I do enjoy this contemporary performance from the Stringspace Jazz Band.

tina-turner--eiffel-tower-peter lindbergh

Tina Turner on the Eiffel Tower/ Photo by Peter Lindbergh, 1989

And you know what I say to people who ask, “What do you do when all the odds are against you?” I say, “You keep going. You just don’t stop. No matter, if there’s one slap to the face, turn the other cheek. And the hurt you’re feeling? You can’t think about what’s being done to you now, or what has been done to you in the past. You just have to keep going.

― Tina Turner, My Love Story

Saddened to hear of the passing of Tina Turner yesterday. She lived quite a life, one that had more than its share of highs and lows and touched many worlds. She was a one-of-a-kind performer, a generational talent. She was the prototype for dynamic rock and roll singers, a commanding presence onstage. But she was more than that. Among the many labels she wore, she was a survivor, a worldwide symbol of personal and spiritual growth as well as an inspiration and muse to many.

I am not going to say much more today on her death. I will leave that to others. It is a great loss but she left us plenty to carry forward in the form of her music and performances.

That is immortal.

I have literally hundreds, maybe thousands of favorite songs. It would be hard to choose any single one as my favorite but if forced, her River Deep, Mountain High might be that pick. I think it might be Phil Spector‘s masterpiece and it marked Tina’s first time recording as solo artist, without Ike. It is a tour-de-force that goes full bore quickly and somehow keeps building. It was song, with its huge sound and power, that was perfectly designed for the big stadium shows that marked Tina’s resurgent career in the 80’s and 90’s. A perfect bond of song and singer.

This performance of that song is from a television program in the 90’s from France, a country that which she had great affection, spending much of her later life at her home in the south of France and in Switzerland. I don’t now that I ever saw her give less than total effort and this is no different. As I wrote about this song a few years back when I shared it here, in the words of the great John Lee Hooker: If you can’t dig this, you got a hole in your soul– and that ain’t good.

There also a short video– only a minute long– below it about her work with the late fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh. He is the man whose work began the era of the supermodel and who took the iconic phot at the top of the page of Tina climbing the Eiffel Tower in her heels. 

Thanks for everything, Tina. Peace be with you.

Time Passages

GC Myers-Time Passage

Time Passage— Coming to Principle Gallery, June 2023

A healthy human environment is one in which we try to make sense of our limits, of the accidents that can always befall us and the passage of time which inexorably changes us.

-Rowan Williams, Choose Life: Christmas and Easter Sermons in Canterbury Cathedral

…the passage of time which inexorably changes us…

Yes, it does.

I was going to write a whole thing on time passing and aging. About how it took a while to get used to seeing and experiencing the changes that aging affected on my behaviors and appearance. The new wrinkles that came one day and decided to take up permanent residence on my face. The beard that was suddenly just white, no longer salt and pepper. Or the fact that now, like the line from the Leonard Cohen song, I ache in the places where I used to play. 

But I’m not going to write that particular post.

We can bitch and moan about it, but it happens. That’s the message today. That’s it.

And I’m okay with it. In fact, I feel kind of lucky to be able to continue aging in a world that often seems determined on seeing us not living. I have finally began to enjoy my age and appreciate what little wisdom that experience and time have gifted me. I better accept my limitations now as well as better celebrate my abilities.

In fact, this time passage feels like a gift.

Take that’s for what it is right now. Tomorrow might find me singing a completely different tune.

Here’s an old song that lines up with the painting at the top, Time Passage, which is headed to the  Principle Gallery for my June show, and the lines from Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. The song is Time Passages from Al Stewart. Released in 1978, it was one of those ubiquitous songs that seemed to always be on whenever you flipped on the radio back then. It wasn’t a favorite of mine but listening to it today for the first time in quite a few years, I found it pretty pleasing.

Kind of soothing.

Maybe that’s a product of time passing…

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