Archive for September 3rd, 2013

GC Myers-Ode to Whitman Orphans is the word I use to describe the paintings that don’t find a home.  I’ve been fortunate in my career that there haven’t really been that many so that the ones that do keep coming back to me take on a special significance, especially the ones that I felt were somehow special beforehand.  It may be the extra time I get to spend with them, examining them again and again to see if there is some inherent flaw or lack of fire that keeps someone from making it their own, that gives it this significance.  I spend much more time with these orphans than those paintings that quickly find a home.

Ode to Whitman is such an orphan, it being a piece has toured the country and has yet to find a home.  It saddens me a bit when I look at this painting because I do see the spirit of Walt Whitman in this piece, at least as he translates into my own psyche.  Though quiet in nature, the Red Tree here is celebrating its very being and could be embodying Whitman’s verse:

I too am not a bit tamed,

I too am untranslatable,

I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

These were words that were very influential in the formation of my artistic voice.  They dared me to stand apart.  They challenged me to reveal my inner self to the world, to let my light shine.  To let my yawp go free.

And that is what I see in this  piece.  It as though once the yawp has been released, even as the surrounding trees seem to be recoiling from its sound and fury, a placid pall has come into the center of its being.  It is calm now that it knows who it is, what it is.

As you can tell, I see and feel a lot in this simple painting.  I guess that is why it pulls at me to think of it as orphan.  That’s why I am going to give this piece a home and this is going to be the painting that will be given away at the Gallery Talk this coming Saturday at the Principle Gallery, which starts at 1 PM.  I know that it will find a good home in this way because someone who didn’t like my work would not spend an hour of their time listening to me talk about it.

So I hope you can make it  to the talk and that, if you’re the one who takes Ode to Whitman home , you realize the feeling that it carries with it.

Here’s another bit of Whitman that like, from the preface to his landmark Leaves of Grass:

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”




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