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Archive for February 5th, 2015

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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GC Myers- Trailblazer  I chose this little gem of advice from Emerson as the Quote of the Week because I thought it fit so well with the small painting above, a Little Gem itself.  It’s a small 4″ by 6″ painting that is called Trailblazer and is part of the Little Gems exhibit that opens tomorrow night at the West End Gallery in Corning.  I also chose it because those words fits so well for my own experience at the time I began showing my work for the first time, at this very same exhibit twenty years.

I was thrilled to have an outlet in which to show it publicly but was still in the process of finding a singular voice of my own–how my work would be styled.  Part of that process of finding this  was in determining what path I would follow with the work, whether I try to emulate the work of other painters I knew and admired.  That seemed like a natural path to follow, wide and well defined.

 But the path was also crowded.  Sometimes it was hard to distinguish yourself  and find a foothold among so many companions.  But if I set out on my own  that would not be the case.  On the the well-trodden path,  I would always be subject to comparison  and immediate critique.  Blazing my own trail would allow me to set my own pace and destination, define my own objectives.

Plus it would be my path alone.  And that was no small thing. In fact, it was a primary goal of  mine.   I had determined from my visits to museums that the work that stood out most for me was the work of artists who you could identify immediately from across the gallery space.  Looking at the shelves in front of me, most of the books are of the works of such artists, all who eventually set out on their own trails and created work from a world that was their’s alone.

I’m still on my path.  I’d like to think it departed from that wider, more traveled path sometime ago.  I can’t be the judge of that.  So I plug ahead with words of Emerson ringing in my ears and hope for the best.

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