GC Myers- Passages: Between Then and Now, 2023

Passages: Between Then and Now— At Principle Gallery

I wanted to make it as anonymous as a photo. But it was perhaps also the wish for perfection, the unapproachable, which then means loss of immediacy. Something is missing then, though; that is why I gave that up.

–Gerhard Richter, Gerhard Richter: text : writings, interviews and letters, 1961-2007

I came across the passage above from artist Gerhard Richter and it really stuck with me since i have been recently thinking about a form of immediacy, both in art and in life.

In life, we often live in the thens rather in the now. We did that back then. I will do that then.

In pasts and futures. Often more present in either, rather than in the now.

That’s what I see in the new painting at the top, Passages: Between Then and Now. It’s a 24″ by 24″ canvas that is part of my Principle Gallery show, which is now hanging in the gallery. We spend so much time looking forward and backward that we fail to notice the colors and forms of now. We fail to fully live in the present.

I know it sounds cliche, this idea of living in the present. But sometimes cliches come about because of our constant need to be reminded of self-evident truths. I certainly need to be reminded of such things.

As for art, I have been thinking about how a piece of art always speaks in the voice of now. Always in the present and with open arms. Timeless and warm. I think that’s why Richter’s thought struck me so. He gave up seeking perfection and embraced the immediacy and imperfections of the now.

If I had to describe my work, that might be how I would describe it: immediate and imperfect.


And that gives me great satisfaction. I see this in the group of work from this show at the Principle Gallery: human– imperfect and hopefully living in the here and now.

Below is a slideshow of work from the exhibit. The soundtrack is Jitterbug Waltz from the wonderful piano of the late Vince Guaraldi.

Passages is my 24th solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. The opening reception is tomorrow, 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. Hope you can make it!


GC Myers- Zenith 2023

Zenith— 48″ by 30″ on canvas- At Principle Gallery

The moving toward one’s inner self is a long pilgrimage for a painter. It offers many temporary successes and high points, but there is always the residuum of incomplete realization which impels him on toward the more adequate image.

–Ben Shahn, The Shape of Content, 1957

Does anyone ever know when they have reached their peak? Does anyone ever recognize that period of time when all they are as close to self-realization– mentally, spiritually, and creatively–as they will ever be?

Does it even matter? Maybe it shouldn’t. Perhaps if we don’t concern ourselves with trying to identify our peaks and focusing on signs of our inevitable decline from this peak, we can somehow extend our upward ascent and continue our growth.

Move the peak, if you will.

I think that’s what late artist Ben Shahn was referring to in the passage above. It certainly rings true for me, as an artist. There have been many times where I felt that I had finally done my best work, that I could not do any better nor have anything more to express. I felt at those times as though I was at my creative peak. But, as Shahn wrote, there has always been that feeling of being incomplete to spur me on on the next work.

To move the peak.

I see this new painting from my show, Zenith, a 48″ by 30″ canvas, as representing one of those moments when one feels the elation of being at their ultimate peak of being.

Let’s hope they can move that peak and keep climbing.

Here’s Willie’s version of the classic Hoagy Carmichael song, Stardust. I don’t know how well it fits this post and don’t want to perform any mental gymnastics trying to justify it. I just wanted to hear it.

And that’s good enough for me. Now, either give a listen or get off my hill.

Passages is my 24th solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. The opening reception is this 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. Hope you can make it.

Hometown Hero

GC Myers- Hometown Hero  2023

Hometown Hero— Now at Principle Gallery, Alexandria

Times of heroism are generally times of terror, but the day never shines in which this element may not work.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson, Heroism, 1841

I wanted to write a bit about the new painting at the top, Hometown Hero, which is an 18″ by 36″ canvas that is part of my exhibit of new work that opens this coming Friday at the Principle Gallery. There was something about this piece that spoke of the kind of everyday heroism that takes place in many different locations throughout the world.

As Emerson points out, we think of heroism in times of terror or war but does not have to be confined to those times. Heroism is just as effective and important anywhere, anytime.

There is always the need for a hometown hero.

I’m not talking about running into burning buildings or pulling babies off the tracks before a speeding train, though those are certainly worthy heroic efforts. I’m talking about the simple heroism that comes from acts of kindness and compassion to those people we encounter on an everyday basis.

We all rightfully admire the hero on the big stage– in wars and disasters– but the hometown hero often has much greater impact. A generosity of spirit, an attitude of tolerance and a willingness to understand the circumstances of others go a long way in making the lives of those in our communities better.

A helping hand and a caring heart can elevate an entire community.

And that’s what I see in this piece, the Red Tree here serving as an aspirational symbol attempting to elevate the village around it.

You may something completely different and, as always, that’s okay.

I am playing one of my favorite songs again today. The song is Heroes from the late great David Bowie. This is a version from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain that I last shared her about 5 or 6 years ago. It’s a wonderful performance, respectful and true to the song.

I have had solo exhibits at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA every year of the 21st century, beginning in 2000. Passages, my 24th such show, opens this Friday, June 9, with an opening reception that goes from 6 until 8:30 PM. I will be in attendance this year and hope you can stop in to see the show, say hello and maybe chat for a few minutes.

Let Loose

GC Myers-- Let Loose  2023

Let Loose— Now at the Principle Gallery, Alexandria

It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self.

–George Eliot, Middlemarch

The title for this new large painting (24″ by 60″ on canvas) is Let Loose. It could be both a description of liberation and a command for the individual to do so.

It’s works for me in this painting that sets the flailing crown of the Red Tree and the writhing trunks of the surrounding trees against the angular containment of the colors of the fields, the Red Roofs, and the marks that make up the sky. I see the surrounding trees in a choreography that is a signal for the Red Tree to break free and dance with them.

To let loose and express its wildness. Its uninhibited beauty. Its true self.

I delivered this new painting to the Principle Gallery yesterday along with the other works that comprise this year’s show, Passages. The exhibit opens Friday, June 9, and will be on the walls of the gallery and available for previews after tomorrow.

I will be at the exhibit’s opening reception (6-8:30 PM) this year for the first time in four years and am looking forward to talking a bit about the work as well as seeing it in the gallery space, particularly this piece. Though I have ample space in the studio, seeing it in the setting of the gallery is always a different thing.

It’s like the painting is finally freed from my control.

Let loose.

On that same theme, this is a longtime fave of mine, I’m Free, from the Rolling Stones. It’s off their 1965 album, December’s Children (And Everybody’s) here in the US, Out of Our Heads in the UK.

I’m free to do what I want any old time
So love me, hold me
Love me, hold me

GC Myers- Passages: Moving Through, 2023

Passages: Moving Through— Now at the Principle Gallery

Deep down within the heart there is a stillness which is healing, a trust in the universal laws which is unwavering, and a strength which is rock-like. But because it is so deep we need both patience and perseverance when digging for it.

–Paul Brunton, Notebooks

On the road this morning, headed to Alexandria for delivery of my new solo show, Passages, which opens at the Principle Gallery this coming Friday, June 9.

This year’s show, my 24th consecutive there since my Redtree exhibit in 2000, marks my return to being in attendance at the opening since 2019. I have to admit to being both a little excited and nervous about it, fearing I am a little rusty with my people skills. But it’s what I do and I am confident things will work out.

Like riding a bicycle, I am told. That’s somewhat reassuring though I am also reminded of the scars that I still have on knees and elbows from childhood bike incidents. We’ll see.

It also helps that I like this show very much. It just feels right for the moment. It plays well to the themes in the work that resonate with me personally– stillness, the contemplation of our place in the universe, and how we adapt and change during our time here.

I hope that comes through. I believe it does.

For this Sunday Morning Music, let’s give a listen to Through the Morning, Through the Night written by Gene Clark, one of the founding members of the Byrds and a giant in folk-rock and country-rock. This version is from Allison Krauss and Robert Plant. I just love the pairing of these two seemingly disparate entities. It just works.

And that’s good enough for me.

Have a good Sunday and if you’re in the Alexandria/ DC area this coming Friday, stop in at the Principle Gallery. I will be there from 6 until 8:30 and will be glad to chat with you.

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!

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