Archive for June, 2016

GC Myers- Listener (The True Music)Mr. Twigley’s eyes glowed behind his spectacles as he thought of all the lovely things he would put in the musical box.

“But you can’t hear trees growing,” protested Michael. “There’s no music for that!”

“Tut!” said Mr. Twigley impatiently. “Of course there is! There’s a music for everything. Didn’t you ever hear the earth spinning? It makes a sound like a humming-top. Buckingham Palace plays ‘Rule Britannia’; the River Thames is a drowsy flute. Dear me, yes! Everything in the world — trees, rocks and stars and human beings — they all have their own true music.”

P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins Opens the Door


Think what you will but I love the Mary Poppins stories.  It seems like every chapter has a philosophical lesson or message, an urging to see the world in a different way.  There is usually a reminder that things are not always what they seem, that what we see and know is only a small part of the whole, that there are worlds and worlds around and beyond us.

Fittingly, it’s very much the theme of my recent work and upcoming show at the West End Gallery.  The painting, a 24″ by 12″ canvas, shown at the top is part of that show and is titled Listener (The True Music).  I  had Mr. Twigley‘s workshop, and that particular snippet from the book above, in mind when I was working on this piece.  The idea that everything has its own true music, its own truth, resonates with me.

I don’t exactly know what my own true music might be.  There have been songs and sounds that often bring me to tears so my guess is that my true music might reside in the chanter of a bagpipe, in the low vibrations of a cello or in the twang of a guitar string.

Or maybe it’s in the sounds of a lone voice singing Amazing Grace.

Or the voices of a large chorus united in Ode to Joy.

Or maybe it is simply in the sound of the wind as it moves the top of the grasses of the fields and in the leaves of trees.

Sometimes, as I walk through the woods to my studio, the trees moving in the wind rub and seem to make loud squawks and voice-like sounds that make me stop and try to hear what they might be saying.

Maybe that’s my true music.

I am not sure but I will continue listening.

What is your true music?

Read Full Post »

Alfredo Ramos Martinez- Mexican Landscape 1935We here in the States are often woefully ignorant of many of the artists from our neighbors in the other Americas, such as those in Canada and Mexico.  Maybe I shouldn’t say “we” because I really can only speak for myself.  My knowledge of Mexican artists was pretty much restricted to what I knew of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, both of  which I admire very much.

Alfredo Ramos Martinez-El Mil de CumpresThis point was driven home recently by stumbling across the work of Alfredo Ramos Martinez, who lived from 1877 until 1946.  He was a painter/muralist who lived and worked in his native Mexico, Paris and California at different points in his life.  He is considered to be the Father of Mexican Modernism and much of his work focuses on the portrayal of traditional Mexican people and scenes.   He has been described as a painter who was able to capture the melancholy and sorrow of the people and places he painted.

I am not going to go into great detail about his work or life today.  I am just throwing out some of his work so that if it interests you, you might look deeper into his life and work.  One thing I will mention is that at the time of his death Martinez was in the midst of a large mural, The Flower Vendors, shown directly below, at Scripps College in Claremont, California.  It remains unfinished but is still a striking and powerful piece of art even without its final details.

Alfredo Ramos Martinez-Unfinsihed Mural The Flower Vendors Scripps College 1946 Alfredo Ramos Martinez- The Chapel Alfredo Ramos Martinez- Head of a Nun

Read Full Post »

GC Myers- smThe world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Bertrand Russell


These handful of words from the great British thinker Bertrand Russell succinctly sums up the idea behind my current show at the Principle Gallery as well as that of my next West End Gallery show, Contact, which opens July 22.  And that is that there is a world of wonder within our grasp if only we make the effort to recognize the patterns and forces of which they are comprised.

I have said before that we are part of a greater pattern.  I believe that it can be found in two simple ways– either looking inward or looking outward.  Since we are are formed from this pattern we can find parts of by examining our own inner world, our thoughts and dreams.  Or we can examine the world immediately around us for the hints of the pattern that are everywhere if only we can identify them.

Unfortunately, in this busy modern world we too often  find ourselves doing neither.  We live in a sort of limbo where we are mesmerized by the glossy lure of technologies that occupy our every moment.  It’s hard to look inward or outward when our eyes and thoughts are fixed on the screen in our hands.

Don’t get me wrong– I’m no technology-resisting Luddite.  I embrace the wonders of this technology when it serves a real purpose, when it expands our knowledge and sends it to the far corners of the world.  The possibilities for good things are seemingly endless.

But none of it matters if we lose contact with the greater powers and wonders that surround us every day, forces and patterns that patiently wait for us to unravel the magic that makes them invisible to us.

I know to some, this sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo.  Maybe the idea of great forces and patterns surrounding us seems a bit loony to some.  I get that.  But set that aside, if you must, and  simply consider the benefits of looking away from your smartphone or laptop for a short time each day to examine the inner and outer world outside of that screen.  Maybe if we do this on a regular basis our wits will sharpen to the point that we will better see that world of magical things as Bertrand Russell pointed out.

The painting above is 11″ by 16″ on paper and is called Point of Contact.  Part of the upcoming July show at the West End Gallery, I believe this piece very much mirrors the thoughts above.

Read Full Post »

GC Myers- Endless Time-webI was looking at some older paintings in the studios, my orphans as I call them.  But some are not orphans, not without a home.  Some are just here because they are my own and have some sort of special meaning for me.  Such is the case with the piece above, Endless Time.  It’s a piece that I consider a link to my earliest works, a reminder of the inner forces that drove me into the work I now do.

Back in 2009, I wrote in a blogpost here about this painting:

This is really a direct descendent from my earliest work that focused on open spaces and blocks of color, work that was meant to be spare and quiet.  The weight of the piece is carried by the abstract qualities of the landscape and the intensity of the colors.  

With this piece, I have chosen to forego the  kinship that the red tree often fosters with the viewer, acting as a greeter inviting them to enter and feel comfortable within the picture plane.   In Endless Time the viewer is left to their own devices when they enter the picture.  There is no place to hide, no cover.  They are exposed to the weight of the sky and the roll of the landscape.  They are alone with not a sound nor distraction.

It becomes, at this point, a meditation.  One is not merely looking at a landscape.  To go into this painting one must be willing to look inside themselves as well.

This painting, like much of my early work, was in large part influenced by a piece of music, Tabula Rasa,  from the great contemporary composer Arvo Pärt.  It’s a piece that speaks of empty spaces and the meditative quality of silences.  The purpose of my work as I saw it at that time was to find silence, to find a sanctuary from  the cacophony and discord of civilization.  That is still very much the case although the work has evolved in other ways.

I thought for this Sunday morning music I would share another composition from Arvo Pärt which I think also very much fits this piece.  It is titled Spiegel im Spiegel which translates from the German as Mirror in the Mirror.  Think of an Infinity Mirror where two mirrors facing one another produce an image that is endlessly reflected back upon itself in ever smaller variations until it finally disappears.  In some ways, some art serves as an infinity mirror of sorts,  I know that this piece does so for me.

So give a listen but be warned that this is a quiet and meditative piece performed with only a piano and cello.  If you’re looking for a toe-tapper or a sing-along, you might be disappointed.  But like sometimes looking at art, one’s openness and patience is rewarded.

Read Full Post »

GC myers- Joyous One smThis is the true joy in life: the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

-George Bernard Shaw


Joy was the word that first came to mind when I finished this new piece, a 16″ by 20″ canvas that is part of my show that opens next month at the West End Gallery.  There was just a feeling of realized joy and happiness throughout it, the kind that Shaw described above in his play Man and Superman.

I think the feeling he describes must be one of the greatest joy in this world: to find a purpose into which you can fully throw your whole being for all of your time on this planet.

 A purpose that gives you a place to stand and rise above the selfishness and pettiness of those, including yourself, who would drag you down.

A purpose that allows you to tap into some greater force in order to gain energy for your toils.

A purpose that lets you deny the cynicism that sometimes shows up in abundance in this world.

A purpose that serves you endless joy in what seem to be empty moments.

A purpose that even finds the joy in tears.

I think there is a purpose for each of us.  Finding it is not always a simple matter and some of us will never find the one purpose that is truly our own.  We may not be willing to give enough of ourselves to something that is beyond our own needs and desires.  We might still find some joy in our life but it will no doubt be short lived.

For me, it has been painting.  At first, I found this surprising because I often viewed it as being selfish in nature.  My perspectives.  My emotions.  It was even called self-expression.  But the purpose came from having others find comfort and happiness in their reactions to my expression.  Their joy fed my joy.

But there are days when I still find myself losing sight of this purpose, when it is a struggle both in the studio and in the outer world and I feel drawn back down to less positive feelings.  But I will be somehow reminded of that purpose and that joyful feeling returns.

That happened the other day.  A gallery owner called and told me of a person who had bought a painting of mine that they had desired for quite a long time.  In fact, this person had come into the gallery for this painting and it was gone, having been returned to me.  I sent the piece back to the gallery and when the person returned to get it, they started crying in joy.  I can’t even express how this makes me feel outside of saying again that their joy fed my joy, their tears became my tears.

Those moments make my time alone in the studio seem more special and filled with purpose.  They make me that joyous one, if only for a while.

And that is good enough for me…

Read Full Post »

Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks (Later known as The Band)I spent ninety percent of my money on wine, women and song and just wasted the other ten percent.

–Ronnie Hawkins


I wasn’t going to post anything today but while I was doing a few morning exercises a song came on that really sparked me.  I realized soon after that I had never played it on the blog which I found kind of remarkable since I consider it one of my favorites.  It’s a song called Come Love from the great Canadian  rocker Ronnie Hawkins.  I say Canadian because though he hails from Arkansas  he gained his greatest fame and settled down in Canada.

He played his music and lived his life on his own terms– that being hard and furious– from the 1950’s onward.  A lot of great musicians played behind him over the years as part of his band, The Hawks, most notably the entire group that later formed The Band.  You can see them in the photo above as they learned the chops that carried to their own greatness.  A renowned showman, Ronnie also was famed for his own version of the Moonwalk many years pre-Michael Jackson.

This song is not one of his hard chargers although its guitar lines do have a bite in them.  It has a really cool flow to it.  When  I hear it I think that it sounds how I would like to go through life, like a cool trickle of water in an easy flowing stream.

Just saying…

Give a listen and have a great day.


Read Full Post »

GC Myers-Challenger 2001This is an early Red Tree painting from back in 2001 that is titled Challenger that lives with me now here in the studio.  It’s one of a small group of pieces that made the rounds through the galleries over the years yet never found a home.  I call them orphans.  This particular orphan spent a much longer time in the galleries than most, only coming back to me a couple of years ago.  It drew interest a number of times yet never made that final connection.

These pieces always intrigue me.  There must be something that can be learned from them or at least that is what my mind tells me.  So I find myself going back again and again to look at these pieces, trying to determine what might be lacking in them.  Or at least pinpointing a reason why they never fully connected.

With some it’s an easy task.  The flaws or weaknesses are obvious and far overshadow the strengths.  In fact, I am pleased that they are with me and not hanging on a wall somewhere.  Thankfully, there aren’t a huge number of those, which I won’t be showing here anytime soon. and will no doubt ever see a gallery wall again.

Some are with me for external reasons like poor presentation– the frame being too wide, too small or an ugly color that fights against the work.  Some are just too big which limited their time on the walls of most galleries which meant they had fewer opportunities to be seen than other smaller paintings.  Some are the last pieces of a series that I no longer work in and don’t really fit in with the pieces of current shows.  Many of these pieces will emerge at some time in the future when the time is right.

But there are a couple, like the painting above, that fall in the middle.  I see strengths in them but I see weaknesses as well.  This particular painting is a little big 18″ by 42″ which made it a bit more expensive and harder to place.  It is oil on a wood panel with a slightly textured gessoed surface which was not unusual for me at the time it was painted but gives it a slightly different look than my typical work which consists of acrylic paints and inks.  This dates it a bit.  Plus the effects of my handling of oils are quite different than my handling of acrylics, as is the the overall color to a degree.

Looking at it, there are things in it that I would do differently now.  Colors that would be changes just a bit, perhaps made a bit more complex with the addition of another tint.  But at the time it was created it represented who I was and what I was doing as an artist so I can’t question it.  Nor do I want to change it now.

It is what it is.  It feels complete and of a time.

So I now look at it in that way and accept it as it is.  I find myself overlooking the small downside and appreciating the essence of the painting without my own bias.  And I like it.  It’s like looking at an old picture of yourself and accepting that it is a past you, a version that you have long transcended. Despite that, it is still you at its core and that is the part that try to see.

So, this orphan may live with me for a long time but that’s okay by me.  It reminds me who I once was.


Read Full Post »

Lebron Nike Witness Poster

Sometimes a sporting event transcends the game itself.  Ask the people of Cleveland.  BelieveLand

I know quite a few people from Cleveland and northeast Ohio, mainly through my longtime affiliation with the Kada Gallery in nearby Erie, PA.  Being a native of the area hasn’t always been an easy thing to own.  It has been the butt of jokes for years and years.  My own earliest memories of Cleveland were in driving through the area in the late 60’s and being overwhelmed by the incredible pollution spewing from the factories that once lined the shores of Lake Erie there that gave the sky this awful apocalyptic, yellow-brown color.  It looked nightmarish to me as a kid.  Thankfully, Cleveland now is nothing like that.

And for the sports fans of the region, it has been even worse for the last 52 years.  Their sports teams have went year after years mired in mediocrity, every so often getting close to winning it all only to be denied in heartbreaking fashion.  They even had their greatest hope, the native Lebron James, up and leave at one point, leaving them angry and betrayed.  It looked as though it might be another 50 years before they might see a sports championship return to northeast Ohio.

Today, I am really, really pleased for them because last night the Cleveland Cavaliers defied all odds in defeating the Golden State Warriors for the NBA Championship.

The cloud has been lifted.

I have followed Lebron James since first reading about him as a seventh grader with great promise.  The Next Big Thing.  They come along every year or two and seldom do they ever come close to the potential that has been granted them.  It turns out that it takes more than just great physical gifts to move into the rarefied air of  legends.  It takes maturity, intelligence, determination and oh so much more.  And these were evident in seeing Lebron in interviews even when he was 17 or 18.  He had the physique and face of a grown man and spoke in thoughtful, mature terms.  What was not to like about this guy?

But people find a way.  Lebron sometimes seems like a character out of a Shakespearean tragedy.  He is the king whose legitimacy and ambitions are always questioned. Things that start with good intentions are often turned against him.  His every word and action is parsed and dissected and the weight of history is always on his shoulders.  It’s more than a mere athlete is normally asked to bear and he bears it with steadfast determination.

When he returned home from his controversial, self-imposed exile in Miami, he put the region on his shoulders, a heavy responsibility that goes beyond the basketball court.  His foundation is mentoring hundreds and hundreds of at-risk each year and putting them through college through a partnership with the University of Akron.  He is acting as a sort of surrogate father to legions of kids who are not that unlike himself  when he was a kid.  He truly cares for his home and wears it proudly.

But the court is where his power arises.  I still don’t understand the hatred towards Lebron.  He is a physical marvel, a brilliant playmaker with court vision that is second to none and a determined competitor.  He has done things on a regular basis that seem inconceivable to most high level NBA players yet he is still denigrated and sniped at.

Well, the performance he treated us to in this last series was a thing out of legend. He did everything — and I mean everything– in taking down the reigning champs.  If someone can’t see the beauty of his game and the display of it he put on in this series, even if  they somehow find a reason to dislike him personally, there is something missing in that person.

Count me in as a witness to his greatness.

My friends in Cleveland, I am so, so happy for you.  It’s been a long time coming and your loyalty and belief has been rewarded by your native son and the great group of players– Kyrie Irving was magnificent!–around him.  I hope you’ll bask in it for some time to come.  Be proud, Cleveland.  Or is it really BelieveLand now?

Read Full Post »

Temptations Papa Was a Rolling StoneJust a short entry today for Father’s Day.  It probably seems like a questionable choice to select Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone from the mighty Temptations as the song for this Sunday.  It’s a song about an absent father and his son who is trying to discover who and what his father truly was.  Not deeply sentimental and definitely not warm and fuzzy.

But it’s a great, great song.  Plus, even when you know your parents intimately well there is always a question about their reality before you came along or when they are apart from you, in different contexts.  You think you know their whole story but you are often not quite sure that it is truly the whole story.

So, have a great Sunday.  If you can, celebrate the day with your father in some way.  And enjoy the soulful sounds of the Temptations.  This is the full version with the classic instrumental intro that you will no doubt recognize.

Read Full Post »

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is one of my favorite books, one that has helped me through the tough times in my life.  I’ve mentioned it here several times including the post below.  I thought I’d rerun this post from several years ago as it fits very well with the theme from my current show at the Principle Gallery, Part of the Pattern, which is that we live in a universe that is vast and chaotic, often making our existence seem small and meaningless.  Yet, if we can see how we fit into the underlying pattern that lays within the chaos, can find our purpose, our why, we can live a life of meaning.

I urge you to read the book.  You can even listen to it freely on YouTube.  One of the first installments is at the bottom to give you a taste.


GC Myers- The Moment's Mission 2011Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity.

——Viktor Frankl


The words of Viktor Frankl, the WW II concentration camp survivor who went on to greater fame as a psychotherapist and author, seemed to ring true for this square painting after I finished it.  I saw the Red Tree here as one that finally saw its uniqueness in the world, sensing in the moment that with this individuality there came a mission that must be carried out.

A reason for being.

I think that’s something we have all desired in our lives.  I know it was something I have longed for throughout my life and often found lacking at earlier stages.  I remember reading Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning, at a point when I felt adrift in the world.  I read how the inmates of the concentration camp who survived often had  a reason that they consciously grasped in order to continue their struggle to live.  It could be something as simple as seeing the ones they loved again or finishing a task they had set for themself. Anything to give them a sense of future.  Those who lost their faith in a future lost their will to live and usually perished.

At the time when I read this, I understood the words but didn’t fully comprehend the concept.  I felt little meaning in my life and didn’t see one near at hand.  It wasn’t until years later when I finally found what I do now that I began to understand Frankl’s words and saw that I had purpose in this world as a husband, an artist and a person of feeling.

We are all unique beings.  We all have unique missions.  The trick is in recognizing our individuality and trusting that it will carry us forward into a future


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: