Archive for October 17th, 2014

Earlier in the week at the dinner at which I was speaking  I was asked why there were no windows or doors in my houses.  I answered that I wanted them to be somewhat anonymous and that leaving the windows and doors out allowed the eye to glide easily over them to the focal point of the painting.  I didn’t mention that I have painted houses and building with windows and doors, usually when the structure is a central figure in the composition.  I wrote a blog entry several years ago about one such painting.  In this essay I also mention how I came to paint clouds in the manner that I do, answering another question that I was recently asked.  Even though the painting shown is long in the hands of that collector, here’s what I had to say:

GC Myers- As Clouds Roll By 2010This  is a new painting that I’ve just finished, tentatively called As Clouds Roll By.  It’s a 14″ by 18″ image painted on ragboard.  It’s a composition that I have visited on a number of occasions, this time at the request of a collector in Pennsylvania, and one that I always get great pleasure from painting, savoring the subtle variations that make each piece unique .

Even though this is a very simple composition with few elements, the great satisfaction I feel after finishing a piece such as this is something I can’t fully explain.  Perhaps it’s the recognition of the things in this piece that fully jibe with what I hope to achieve in my paintings.  The simplicity of design. The quietude of vast open space.  The depth into the picture, even though it is a very simple composition.  The inviting warmth of the house and tree.  The languorous fashion in which the clouds roll by, in a way representing the slow and inevitable march of time.

It clicks a lot of my own buttons.

The clouds in this piece always take me back to the first time I painted clouds in that looked like these.  I was not yet a full-time painter and had obtained a large commisiion that would prove to be very important to me.  I was on a short deadline and was still painting in the dining area of our home at the time with large sheets of paper spread over folding tables.  I was working on a large triptych and was nearly finished when our late cat, Tinker, decided to explore the tables.  Bounding up, she stepped first in a damp part of my palette and ran across the three sheets, leaving perfect little paw prints in a watery blue tint in her wake.  As the echoes of my bellow faded, my mind raced as I looked at my now very unfinished work.

Start over?  No time.  Try to blend them in to the background?  Not with this particular style of painting.  I sat and looked, concentrating.  Wait a minute.  The prints only ran across the sky portion of all the sheets.  And they ran in lovely diagonal manner.

Quickly, I was at it with paint and within several minutes I had blocked in clouds where once there were paw prints.  It worked.  Tinker’s run across the sky fit the rhythm of the piece and the clouds actually gave a fullness to the composition that it had lacked.  It was actually quite an improvement.

So when I see clouds such as these, I always flash back to my initial panic and the subsequent discovery of good fortune in this happy accident.  Since that day, when what seems to be a disastrous event happens with one of my paintings I step back with a much calmer mind and eye with the knowledge that perhaps this is just a new opportunity to see things a new way.

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