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Archive for May, 2016

GC Myers- Winds of Hope smA great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia

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This is another painting from my show at the Principle Gallery, Part of the Pattern, which opens this Friday, June 3, at their Old Town Alexandria location on historic King Street.  This piece is a 20″ by 24″ canvas that I call Winds of Hope.

The words above from Catherine the Great jibe well with the meaning that I take from this painting.  For me, the patterned winds symbolize the constantly changing nature of the world.  The world is never static and change is inevitable and beyond our ability to control it.  How we see this change and react to it is the only thing that we control.

For some, any change is scary and filled with imagined terrors.  They try to hold tight to a past that has long since spun away and can never return in the same form.  Their world is filled with their own fears and each new gust takes them further from that idealized past.

I guess that the winds of change would give these people a headache.

Others just ride the currents without any thought, barely if at all noticing that change is all around them.  Maybe they are the fortunate ones, these people who live with their eyes only on that which is directly in front of them, never seeing the pattern of change in the sky above them.  They only notice it when it hinders them.

Then there are those who realize that the winds cannot be controlled, that they will blow where they please.  The change they bring comes without a thought as to how is affects us.  These are the ones who try to find the positive aspect of this change, who attempt to spark their imagination to see hope in this new future.

They see hope in the winds of change.

Is that a naive way of seeing things?

Maybe.  Probably.

But I prefer the naivete of hope over the cynicism, fear and careless ignorance of the other views.

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Only 6 Days Left!

Speaking of hope, PLEASE help the Soarway Foundation in their efforts in Nepal

and possibly WIN the painting of mine shown below.

Your help is truly needed…

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Soarway Poster -Engage NepalI don’t want to take much of your time on this holiday but I do want to remind you that there is one week left  to donate (and, yes, possibly win!) to the Soarway Foundation and their efforts to assist Nepal in recovering from last year’s big earthquake.

Part of this also aids in helping Nepal  build up its preparedness for future earthquakes, which was the Soarway Foundation’s original mission.  You see, this organization was founded by Michael Kobold  ( watchmaker, filmmaker, author and explorer -check out his extraordinary life here) only weeks before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit last April.  Nepal sits on two shifting tectonic plates and has been in the cross-hairs for a huge earthquake for many years.  And undoubtedly many more.

Scott DeLisi, from his years as the US Ambassador to Nepal, knew that the country was in extreme danger from such an event and did not have the resources to react  in time of need.  He signed on as the head of Soarway with the hope of reinforcing its weak disaster response infrastructure.  This is a country that only had 24 firetrucks to cover a huge area of extremely rugged land.

The Kathmandu Valley only had one firetruck serving it.  One of the first projects of the Soarway Foundation was an expedition delivering several firetrucks to Nepal.

That isn’t as easy as it sounds.  The trucks must be driven through high and rough Himalayan roads in order to find their home in Nepal.  It’s this same remote ruggedness that make any rescue and recovery there such a hard business.

But the mission for preparedness became one of recovery as the earthquake hit in late April of 2015.  The Soarway Foundation realized there was so much devastation that no one group could rebuild the hundreds of thousands of homes or the thousands of schools destroyed.  They understood that the most effective manner of bringing aid was in partnering with local groups who knew the terrain and the immediate needs of the local people.  This has led them to their partnerships with groups that battle human trafficking, that try to find family homes for the huge number of orphans and that try to rebuild permanent housing for the tens of thousands still living in tents.

You could win this painting valued at $5000!

You could win this painting valued at $5000!

There’s a huge need in Nepal and this is but a small step in helping that country.  I don’t have the resources to help in a very large way but I thought that maybe we could raise some much needed money through an event where many small donations could grow into something more.  So, using the only asset at my disposal, my work, I put up a larger painting so that those donating could possibly win by donating.  Plus, they get a signed poster and their donation is tax deductible.

Have a good Memorial Day and please consider reaching out and giving a hand to those who really need it.

 

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Peace on Earth

GC Myers-  In the Time of Memory smMemorial Day weekend.  It’s become the symbolic starting point for summer, a time of barbecues and partying.  In those rare instances when  we do take the time to consider the day, many of us tend to think of it in terms of patriotism and nationalism.

But it was created from the loss and sorrow of a civil war that ripped this country and many families apart.  It was meant to alleviate the grief of the many families who suffered the ultimate loss, to let them know that the nation shared their sorrow in the memory of fallen family members.

In the nearby Woodlawn National Cemetery, where my mother is buried, there is a section that contains the nearly 3000 graves of Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War in the Elmira, NY prison camp.  Whenever I look at those stones and think of those men of the south, I always think about their families who may not have even known that their sons were suffering in a cold Northern prison.  They were mothers, wives or children who would never see or hug their sons and husbands and fathers again.

And this sacrifice was for what?  An idea, the preservation of an ideology that probably didn’t affect their day to day lives in the first place?

Why are we so easily stirred to war, so willing to sacrifice our own kin and their futures?

There are no easy answers.  Maybe that’s why the holiday has transformed into what it is today– it’s too terrible an image to bear when we look in that mirror and ask those questions.

So for this Sunday’s music on a Memorial Day weekend, I thought I’d play a song that asks for peace on earth with the hope that fewer families in the future will have to see the earth absorb the blood of their sons and daughters.  I know that sounds like a pipedream, a world without war.  But I have to ask  myself: Why not peace?

Here’s U2 and Peace on Earth.  Have a great Sunday and a great holiday.

NOTE: The image here on the left is a new painting, In the Time of Memory, that is part of my show that opens this coming Friday, June 3, at the Principle Gallery.  I think this piece deals with some of the same issues raised above.

 

 

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GC MYers- The Untold Want smThis is another new painting headed to the Principle Gallery this weekend for my show there, Part of the Pattern, which opens next Friday, June 3.  This piece is 14″ by 34″ on paper and is titled , The Untold Want.  The title was taken from the title of a very short poem from Walt Whitman that contained the phrase that spawned and became the title of  the  Bette Davis movie,  Now, Voyager.

It’s a great film with a great cast, the kind of movie that could not be made today without becoming something other than what it was intended to be.  It’s the story of a young lady from a wealthy family who is hindered and defined by an overbearing mother.  She suffers until she meets a therapist (played by the great Claude Rains) who finds a way to let her break free and find her own definition of self.  To discover her own untold want.  He quotes the Whitman poem as she leaves his care.  He has given her the tools and she, the Voyager, must discover the world on her own.

There is a lot more to it than that, of course.  But I think that little synopsis captures what I see in this painting.  I see it as being about moving out into the wide world on one’s own terms, unafraid to show oneself as they truly are.  Visible for all to see, flaws and all, and ready to uncover all the mysteries that the world has to offer.

At least, that’s how I see this piece.  I like it, like the feel of it, like the color and tone of it.  It has a sturdiness and simplicity that I find appealing, like a piece of Craftsman furniture.

Here’s the poem:              

 The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted,  

Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.

-Walt Whitman, The Untold Want

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REMINDER: Engage Nepal

The clock is running on the event for the Soarway Foundation.  Every donation of $25 and above gets a signed poster like the one shown below as well as a chance to win a painting of mine valued at $5000.  This event ends June 6, 2016 so click on the Crowdrise link below or click here  to see how you can help and possibly win!

Soarway Poster -Engage Nepal

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GC Myers- Into the PatternThis painting, Into the Pattern, is featured prominently in my upcoming show at the Principle Gallery (opening June 3)and was featured in an earlier blog entry a few months back.  I thought I’d take a few moments this morning to revisit this painting as it is also featured on a poster for the Soarway Foundation.

As you probably know from recent posts, I am currently partnered with this organization in a fundraising effort to aid them in their mission to help the people of Nepal in the aftermath of last year’s earthquakes which devastated this peaceful and isolated nation.  The foundation was started and headed by retired US Ambassador to Nepal Scott DeLisi who saw that there was a real need for quick and specific assistance for the local organizations in Nepal who were on the front lines in battling the poverty, loss of facilities and homes and the rise of human trafficking that took place in the huge void created after the earthquake.  Feeding off the affection for the people of Nepal he gained while living there, Scott and wife, Leija, have turned what should have been a  comfortable retirement into a seemingly all consuming, full-time effort to complete their mission to bring aid to Nepal.

It’s a daunting task, especially in a world that seems to unleash a new tragedy every other day.  But I would like to think we are a people of compassion and that we see that we are connected with the struggles of people a world away in the shadow of the Himalayas. It’s this connection, this unity with all the world, that I feel is a central theme in my work, especially in this upcoming show.  We are all part of a larger pattern and when one part of the pattern is damaged, the whole of it suffers.

Prayer flags fly over the village of Khunde.

Prayer flags fly over the village of Khunde.

I see this connection to a larger pattern in this particular painting.  It was chosen for the poster for this reason and also because the pattern and colors of the spiral forms in the sky remind me of the Buddhist prayer flags that are often seen flying over Nepal.  The flags come in five colors–blue, white, red, green and yellow– symbolizing the five elements of sky, wind, water, fire and earth.  When flown they become symbolic prayers that with the help of the wind spread peace, compassion, strength and wisdom over the surrounding landscape.

I think we could all use a few more prayer flags.

So, I ask with all seriousness that you consider making a small donation to this Soarway Foundation effort-  part of the pattern is damaged and needs to be repaired.  You might think your small effort doesn’t matter but you’re wrong– it takes many to help many.

You can help and I am sincerely and outright asking for your assistance in this effort.

And who knows? You might win the painting being offered.  I’m looking at it at this very moment here in the studio– it’s a large and dramatic piece that speaks to the same themes as Into the Pattern.  Plus you get the poster below.

So, please click here to visit the event page.

Soarway Poster -Engage Nepal

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GC Myers- Cleansed smThis is another piece from my upcoming June show at the Principle Gallery.  It is titled Cleansed and is 18″ by 18″ on canvas.  The final look of this painting really pleases me with its clarity and pop.  It really makes the eye jump to it in the studio.

During the past few days as I’ve been doing final preparations for the show, I have found myself seeking this piece out just to look at it for a few stolen moments.  There’s something very soothing in a placid kind of way for me in this painting, despite the brightness of the color that seems to almost be shouting from the canvas.  Maybe it’s shouting, “Relax!

Cleansed Layout and Underpainting 2016This was an interesting piece.  I initially laid out the composition in red oxide and began to lay color into the rays in the sky.  At that point it felt like the overall color of it was going to go into the blues. A nocturnal scene perhaps.  But that didn’t quite ring true for me so I didn’t go forward with it.  So for the last couple of months this piece has been sitting in the state shown here at the left, behind me as I work at the easel.  Whenever I would turn around, it was there staring me in the face.

Finally, in the last week, I decided that it had to be done.  It still felt like a night scene but I decided to go against that intuition.  I had been working on a couple of pieces with brighter colors in the days before this and decided to continue in that vein here.  At first, I regretted it but it quickly took on the glow that I see in it.

I’m glad I went this way even though I think the other way would have brought a really strong image.  I think I needed it this way more than the other way.

And sometimes that’s what painting does for me– it gives me what I need at certain times.

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REMINDER:  ENGAGE NEPAL AND WIN!

Just a reminder that you can help the Soarway Foundation in its efforts to help the people of Nepal in their struggle to recover form last year’s earthquakes.  Your donation of $25 and above gives you an entry into a drawing for  my painting, Enraptured, a 30″ by 40″ canvas valued at $5000, as well as a signed commemorative poster from the Soarway Foundation.

In relative terms, your odds are pretty good so reach out  and give a helping hand and maybe you can win this painting.

This event ends in less than two weeks, on June 6, 2016.  So please act now.  If you can’t, please share this or tell a friend or two–every little bit helps.

You can go to the contest site by clicking here or clicking on the painting or poster below:

Soarway Poster -Engage Nepal GC Myers- Enraptured sm a

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GC Myers- Enraptured sm a

Help Nepal and Win This Painting!

This time it’s for real!  All the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted and the site is ready to go after a premature launch this past weekend.

I’m talking about the Soarway Foundation and the initial event in their Artists Engaging Nepal  campaign to raise funds that will provide vital assistance to the people of Nepal who are still struggling in the aftermath of last year’s devastating earthquakes.  There will be a number of events to follow involving online auctions, raffles and gallery galas that will feature artwork from artists in Nepal, Uganda and North America but  this is the first one out of the gate.

And I think it’s a pretty darn good way to kick things off.

We are giving away the piece of mine shown above, Enraptured, a 30″ by 40″ painting on canvas valued at $5000, to a donor who will be selected at the conclusion of this promotion, which ends June 6 at 11:59:59 AM EST.

A donation of $25 earns one (1) entry into the drawing for this painting, $50 earns two (2) entries and $100 earns five (5) chances to win.  And to give you a little more incentive to reach out, each donor of $25 or more will receive a signed commemorative poster like the one shown at the bottom.  To donate and enter, click here.

Please take a moment to consider helping the Soarway Foundation help the people of Nepal.  I outlined many of vital things they are doing in my earlier post and I can vouch that their mission, spearheaded by former US Ambassador to Nepal Scott DeLisi and his wife, Leija,  is one that is based on true compassion and love for the people of Nepal.  Anything you can spare will be of great help in this effort.

So, you have less than two weeks to act on this.  And you will most likely have a pretty good chance  of winning as the odds are based on the number of entries we receive.  And even if you can’t donate, please pass this on to your friends and family.  We want as much as exposure and awareness for this mission as we can muster.

You can get more info, donate and enter by clicking here.

 

Soarway Poster -Engage Nepal

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