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You Ain’t Alone

GC Myers- Observers (with frame)

I normally don’t replay past entries from the blog on Sundays but I thought this week I’d make an exception. I very much like this entry, written a few years back after the opening of one of my shows, and share it with a small alteration to the original post by changing the music from the original Hold On from the Alabama Shakes to their song You Ain’t Alone. Both songs are great and fit with the painting above, at least in my mind.

Sunday morning and I think I’m much more decompressed than yesterday morning after the show.  All back to normal, whatever that is.  This show has made me think on a wide variety of subjects, about purpose and meaning beyond what I see in the work as well the potential for legacy in these paintings– would they endure into the future?

A good friend stopped in the studio yesterday and we talked for a moment about the subject of legacy.  I pointed out that legacy is a big if for any artist and that I can only do what I do — where it ends up in the future is something that is far beyond my own control.  It could be in enduring collections or it could be in garage sales and dumpsters– you never know what the vagaries and tastes of the future hold.  I witness this all of the time when I go through the  records from the auction houses and see painters who were celebrated in their time who are now basically unknown.  Their work sells for a pittance, far below what one might expect from reading about their fame when alive.

As an artist, you can only hope that your work has a transcendent quality that allows it to live out of the time of its creator and be of the time in which it is viewed.  I don’t know how you do that outside of maintaining consistency in your own vision and hoping that it is one that somehow speaks to those in the future.  But there is always the question  that if your work does move ahead, does maintain life and attracts future collectors, what would your legacy work be?

I know that this a fool’s game– no one has the ability to predict that future for their own work.  You can’t be objective when you are so close to it, can’t discern your own personal feelings for it from how it reads to the outer world.  But there are pieces that I see that nag at me, that have a weight that tells me that they may be vital pieces in a potential legacy.  Pieces that I could see easily living in the future.  There are a number in the current show, including the piece above, Observers.

These pieces have an intangible quality that I wish I could more fully understand so that I could better describe it.  Or capture in a way  so that it would be in all of my work.  There is just something that seems beyond me, something that is beyond this time.

Could I be wrong?  Of course.  I have been wrong many times in the past and will no doubt be wrong in the future.  But for my work I can hope that in this instance I am correct and that they hold on.

Actually, this was all just an elaborate lead in for a little Sunday  morning music , some soul stirring from the Alabama Shakes and lead singer Brittany Howard.  It is a song titled, of course, You Ain’t Alone.

Have a great Sunday!

A Little Kandinsky

kandinskyLend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and… stop thinking! Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to ‘walk about’ into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?

Wassily Kandinsky

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Just wanted to share a great little film from Alfred Imageworks that features an animation of the elements from some of Kandinsky’s great paintings. Below that is a film from 1926 of Kandinsky creating a drawing with these same elements.

Kids Stuff!

3rd-grade-gc-myers-landscapes-1-smOne of the great benefits in my job is that I occasionally get to hear from kids who like my work.  For example, last month the Principle Gallery forwarded a lovely note from a young girl from Arlington, Virginia who declared herself a big fan of my work.  She told me about how she likes to draw the trees in her backyard and how she hoped to be able to show me some of her art at some point.

I can’t tell you how happy that little note and its simple affirmation from a little girl I have never met made me feel on the day that it arrived. Maybe it’s because I trust kids’ eyes and their instinctual reactions.  They don’t like something because someone thinks they should like it– they just like it because they like it, because there is something in it that they see as clearly speaking to them, not needing explanation or translation. It’s as though they are not aware of their lack of knowledge and, as a result, see with a pure, unadulterated vision.

And that is exciting to me.

The latest incident came earlier this week when I received an email from a local elementary school art teacher, Joanna Martinec at Big Flats Elementary.  She said she had introduced her 3rd grade class to my work as a way of teaching them different elements of composition in art.  They were especially taken with my Archaeology series with its hidden underground artifacts and created their own versions of it.

She forwarded two photos of the collected pieces that I am sharing here. I couldn’t be more happy with this work and love them all. In fact, there are a couple that have effects and feeling that I would love to capture in my own work. Just darn good stuff!

The kids were also pleased to know that I was both alive, local and self-taught.  She sent me a list of questions from the kids that I found to be very insightful and inquisitive, much more in depth than I expected. We are trying to arrange a time for me to talk to the kids and answer those questions in person.

I am looking forward to that and to seeing some of these pieces up close. Thanks, Joanna, for passing them on to me– they made my day!

3rd-grade-gc-myers-landscapes-2-sm

The Eye of Imagining

GC Myers- The Eye of ImaginingAll human accomplishment has the same origin, identically. Imagination is a force of nature. Is this not enough to make a person full of ecstasy? Imagination, imagination, imagination. It converts to actual. It sustains, it alters, it redeems!

Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King

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It converts to actual.

Those four words sum up the power and potential of the imagination.

Our dreams, our hopes, our desires– they all take place in our imaginations. There these concepts begin to take shape and create their own paths forward. It is in the imagination that those first tenuous steps take place that transform mere thought into reality.

Every worthwhile thing we have ever done and every aspiration we will ever have is a product of the imagination.

It is the seat of all humanly power. And it is ours if only we use it.

Dare to imagine.

I think that is what I am seeing in this new painting, an 18″ by 18″ canvas, that I call The Eye of Imagining. It’s about dreaming.  About transforming that which we know and see into a form that better suits our hopes and desires.

It’s about reminding ourselves that the only limits to our potential come from not dreaming, in not allowing our imaginations to run freely.

This throttling down of one’s imagination is something of which I am as guilty as anyone.  I often find myself compromising my dreams, making them smaller and less challenging because of self doubt and a lack of confidence.

And this lack of imagining makes me feel smaller as a person.

We need to dream.

We must dare to be the person we imagine ourselves to be. Dare to imagine that.

shel-silverstein-listen-to-the-mustntsBusy day. But there’s always time for a little Shel Silverstein.

Valentine’s Day

GC Myers- Baucis and Philemon 2010There’s a lot to be said about love, romance and Valentine’s Day.  But I have a busy day so it will have to wait until another day.

If that ain’t romantic, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, have a great day. evening, whatever with the one you love.  Here’s Valentine’s Day from Bruce Springsteen from all the way back in 1987. Wow, do I feel old today!

The post below, from early 2012, is a favorite of mine.  The idea that each individual has their own unique strength and quality–their own lever, if you will– is what I see as the basis for my work. This post also serves as a reminder that there is never an obstacle too large or a foe too powerful that can’t be moved with the proper lever. I think it’s something we should think about during this time.

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Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth.

Archimedes

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This is actually a condensed and long accepted version of  Archimedes‘  words.  It was really about the power of lever in physics.  He actually said: Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand  and I will move the Earth.  But the lever has been dropped over the 2200 or so  years since he lived and has come to signify something more than a statement about physical mechanics.  It is an almost existential statement about the power of the individual in changing the world.  The small somehow defeating  the overwhelming forces set against them.

David versus Goliath.

The biblical David’s lever was his intelligence and the sling and stone that he used to offset the lever of the Philistine’s size and strength in order to take down the giant.  Every underdog has somehow identified a strategic advantage that has enabled them to triumph against all odds.  Something that plays to their own strengths and magnifies their greater opponent’s weaknesses.

What is the lever you will use to move the Earth?

I call the painting above A Place to Stand after these words of Archimedes.  It is a new piece that is a 24″ by 30″ canvas that is a very simple composition that relies on the juxtaposition of the single Red Tree set against a powerfully set sky that seems ready to overwhelm the diminuative tree.  Yet, against all the elemental force  of wind and weather that  the sky can muster, the tree perseveres.  It uses the flexibility of its trunk and limbs to absorb the wind and its bark protects it against the heat and cold.

It stands alone, without protection for all the world to see. Yet it stands. Just standing where you are with resolve is sometimes a lever powerful enough to change the world.

Perseverance is often its own victory.

Persevere.

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