Archive for April 24th, 2009

The Challenge Ahead


      From the very beginning almost I was deeply aware that there is no goal.  I never hope to embrace the whole, but merely to give in each separate fragment, each work, the feeling of the whole as I go on, because  I am digging deeper  and deeper into life, digging deeper and deeper into past and future.  With the endless burrowing a certitude develops which is greater than faith or belief.  I become more and more indifferent to my fate, as a writer, and more and more certain of my destiny as man.

      – Henry Miller, Reflections on Writing


This is a fragment from a book of essays, The Wisdom of the Heart, by Henry Miller, the great and controversial author.  When I was young his books such as Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn were still being characterized as “smut” and many libraries didn’t have them on their shelves for fear the moral police would swoop in and raise a fuss.  Probably many only know the existence and influence of his books from their use in a memorable Seinfeld episode, the one with Bookman the library cop whose hard-boiled dialogue still makes me hoot.  

For me, I wasn’t so much attracted to his books by the raciness of the stories but rather by his way of speaking through his words and expressing views that I found at once to be compatible with my own.  He observed and said the things that I  wished I could say with a voice and power I wished I possessed.  I can pick up one of his books and open to a page anywhere in the book and read and be fascinated without knowing the context of what I’m reading, just from the sheer strength of his writing’s voice.

I see a lot of things in this particular essay that translate as well for painting or any other form of creation.  It opens:

Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. The adventure is a metaphysical one: it is a way of approaching life indirectly, of acquiring a total rather than a partial view of the universe. The writer lives between the upper and lower worlds: he takes the path in order to eventually become that path himself.

Substituting artist for writer, I was immediately pulled in.  The path he refers to is the path I often refer to in my paintings, the path we all walk and struggle along on, trying to find the middle way between these upper and lower worlds.  

It’s a good essay and one I recommend for anyone who creates in any form and struggles with the meaning of their work beyond its surface.  For anyone seeking that path…



Name This Painting!Contest Reminder!

I’m asking for your help in naming this painting and am offering a prize (it’s better than you think though it doesn’t involve air travel or posh resorts) for the title that I deem fitting for the piece.

So put on your thinking caps and let me know your title for this painting.  Even if it’s not chosen as the final name, your title will be included on the painting’s reverse side for all of eternity.  Well, for an extended period of time.  I’m just not so sure about eternity.

So, submit your title by simply commenting or email me at  info@gcmyers.com

I look forward to your titles.

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