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Archive for January, 2017

9917104-blue-etude-smThis is a new painting, a 4″ by 4″ piece on paper, called Blue Etude.  It’s part of a small group of new work that is included in the Little Gems show that opens this Friday at the West End Gallery.  Twenty two years ago, I showed my work in public for the first time at the Little Gems show. Since that time it has come to be the kick off point for my work year, as it is this year.  It is always one of my favorite shows.

After the Little Gems my next show is my annual solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria.  This year’s show open on Friday, June 2.  This exhibit will be my 18th consecutive show at the Principle, going back to my 2000 show, Redtree, one that marked the real beginning of my now signature Red Tree.  My life would be much different without that show.

This is also an important show for me because it requires so much effort and focus, it sets the tone and determines the course for  my entire year.  It is also the show that normally unveils any new directions for my work.

This year’s show is titled Truth & Belief.  These two concepts have been in my thoughts for some time now and I find myself trying to find bits of each in my paintings as I work on them.  While I hope truth and belief are forever intertwined as one, it is now painfully evident that this is not always the case.

It’s that difference between the two concepts that hopefully will create the tension, the darkness beneath the light in my work.

My annual show at the West End Gallery opens Friday, July 14.  I have to double-check, but I believe this will be my 50th solo show— obviously not all at the West End! But there have been very many there and, as my de facto home gallery, it is always a very important exhibit for me.  You always want to do well in front of your hometown crowd.

This year’s show at the West End is titled Self Preservation.  More on that in the future!

I currently have two Gallery Talks scheduled. I have come to look upon them as some of the highlights of my year.  I like the challenge of them and the fact that they often are just a lot of fun.

This year’s Gallery Talks are:

*West End Gallery on Saturday, August 5.

 *Principle Gallery on Saturday, September 16.

There are some other things coming.  For example, my work is featured in an article in the Summer edition of Acrylic Artist Magazine. Plus, there are a few other things in the works.

And, as is normal, my work will be regularly on display at the galleries that represent me during those times when I don’t have a show hanging.

I guess I better get to work.

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Dr. Seuss Slaying "America First" 1941

Dr. Seuss Slaying “America First” 1941

I don’t fear the dark.

I don’t fear the forest or the city.

I don’t fear being alone.

I don’t fear losing everything or being without.

I do not fear the rain or snow or wind.

I do not fear god.

And I don’t fear terrorists.

And I don’t fear criminals.

And I don’t fear missiles raining down from the sky.

And I don’t fear foreign nations invading this country.

And I sure as hell don’t fear any child or mother or father who flees to this nation to escape war and death.

But what I do fear is your fear.

I fear your cowardice and indifference.

I fear your apathy and distraction.

I fear your tiny attention span and your short-sightedness.

I fear your willingness to accept an evil done in your name.

I fear your preference for dividing people into us and them.

I fear your lack of empathy and compassion.

I fear how you mask your prejudices.

I fear the cruelty of your greed.

I fear your ignorance of your civic responsibilities.

I fear your sense of entitlement.

I fear your indifference to education, history or knowledge.

I fear the blatant stupidity and gullibility you proudly display like a new tattoo.

Don’t mistake this as attack on others– I am as much the you in this as anyone else.

And that is to my great shame.

Our great shame.

Enough is Enough.

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No more to say.  For this Sunday morning music I am carrying the tone of the above right into the song.  It’s some late Johnny Cash, from his American Recordings period when his scarred voice carried his age and emotion so eloquently.  It’s his cover of I See a Darkness from Bonnie “Prince” Billy  aka Will Oldham with the following as part of its chorus:

Oh, no, I see a darkness.
Did you know how much I love you?
Is a hope that somehow you,
Can save me from this darkness.

Have a day.

 

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Pattern/A Replay

The painting below, from a few years back, came back to me a while ago and has been living with me in the studio. In the time it has been here it has become one of my favorites.  I find myself scouring it with my eyes on a regular basis, going up and down, letting my eyes follow the path and the lines of the landscape.  Trying to look into the mirror-like pools or the moon, half expecting to see myself looking back from the surface.  I have really fixated on this piece and thought I would put it back into a gallery again, to see if it had anything on someone else that it had on me. So it is at the West End Gallery for a bit. Here’s what I wrote about it a few years back:

GC Myers- Part of the Pattern

There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns.  Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns.  If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher.  What we can’t understand we call nonsense. What we can’t read we call gibberish.

–Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

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I tend to agree with the snippet above from the Chuck Palahniuk book, Survivor.

Everything is built upon pattern. Who we are and how we behave.  History.  Science.  Music and art.  It is all dictated by patterns.

Most of us don’t dwell too long on identifying patterns in the world around us and some of us will even refuse to acknowledge the predominance of pattern in the world, believing everything is random and chaotic.  I suppose that in itself is part of a pattern, a larger one that is so encompassing that we can’t see it from our vantage point within it.

Just speculating there, of course.

Maybe even trying to break away from the pattern is actually part of the pattern.

All I know is that I am always looking for pattern, even when I’m not really looking.  I call it pattern, rhythm, flow, sense of rightness and other terms,  without knowing why I am drawn to this concept.  It just attracts me in that it is so much part of everything that there must surely be significance.

All of this flowed forward with this new painting, a 4″ by 17″ piece on paper that I’m calling Part of the Pattern.  It’s based on a theme I’ve used several times recently of pools rising through a tall vertical picture plane like ladder rungs. This particular piece was so much more stylized in its forms that it really became more about pattern than subject. I see it both as a landscape and as some sort of underlying pattern that makes up the landscape.  A sort of DNA-like structure on which the world is built. Whatever it is, it holds my eye and makes me keep searching for something in it.

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alternative-facts-maine-coon-cat-and-grizzly-bearI am now a truly free man.

When Kellyanne Conway spoke those two words last week it was as though she were old Abe Lincoln speaking the words from the Emancipation Proclamation.

The shackles that bound me have been shattered by my newfound belief in Alternative Facts.

No longer must I be held prisoner to the confines of truth or reality. Facts are now what I want them to be. The world now looks like I feel it should despite any and all evidence to the contrary you might try to put before me.

Gone is the boring concept of a fact only existing in one dimension.  Now we have choices– good , better, and best facts. These facts are mine which means they are the best facts.

Believe me. It’s true.

So, I have therefore decided that I must enlighten the public as to what is really what.  Today begins what will be a series of Alternative Facts. If you’re anything like Sean Spicer, you most likely believe that you know these already.

Today’s Alternative Fact:

The Maine Coon Cat is the Largest Animal in North America.

You probably thought it was some loser bison, moose or bear.  Duh…

I mean, come on, just look at the picture! I normally don’t trust photos ( look at how all of those news and governmental agencies cropped out the many, many millions of the best Americans who packed the Mall on Inauguration Day!)  but in my judgment– and it is factually the best judgment– anyone can see that this is a real photo.

See, the sky is blue.  It’s got to be real.

I have had people tell me– I know for a fact that Bernhard Langer saw it firsthand–that there are gangs of these nasty cats roaming the streets in and around Bangor, Maine. It’s a hellscape up there. They tell me there is a million, maybe a million and a half of these monsters terrorizing the good people, batting cars off the roads like throw toys and devouring school children at bus stops.

Maine Coon Carnage!  It’s true. I have been told by people who would know that they may send in the feds.

This is a fact.  You might try to call me a liar but that just shows how ignorant you are– Liar is not even a real word! That’s another fact! So this has been a two-fer.

You’re welcome.

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GC Myers- Keeping HopeTo be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

——Howard Zinn

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It’s easy in these times to let ourselves fall prey to our darker emotions.  From both sides of the political spectrum, we revert to anger and hatred, letting those emotions color our view of our every day lives.  These dark emotions begin to crowd in on our lives, preventing us from witnessing the good that exists even during troubled times.

Our better qualities should not be swayed by external forces.  True compassion and empathy is not subject to politics or prejudices.

But, as I said, it’s easy to fall prey to the darkness, to simmer in a stew of anger and fear.  God knows, I have.

But I can’t live that way. I won’t live that way.

I need the joy.  I need to smile and laugh. I need to feel quiet in my inner world. I need to feel the beauty of our humanity.

Anger takes those things from me and I will not have that.

Don’t get me wrong.  This is not a submission to the events currently taking place.  No, my anger remains.  My will to resist and fight against those things that I see as simply wrong remains as strong as ever.

I just refuse to let darkness take over my life, to change who I am– or who I aspire to be– as a person.

And that, in its own way, is a small  victory.

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The piece at the top is a new piece, a small 2″ by 6″ painting on paper called “Maintaining Hope.” It is part of the upcoming Little Gems show,  opening February 3 at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY.

 

 

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Stand Up

gc-myers-fausts-guitar-smI was thinking this would be a good morning to share some music. A bit of a getaway. While bouncing around randomly on YouTube, I stumbled across an artist and song I had not heard before even though it is obviously a well known song, given its 27 million views on YouTube. I liked it and thought it might be a nice pick for this morning as I look out at the wet and heavy snow that’s falling outside my studio window.

The song is Stand Up and it is from Hindi Zahra, a French-Moroccan singer.  It has a lovely simplicity and a sound that I very much like. Plus the message in it to stand up is always good advice.

Enjoy and have a good day…

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GC Myers- Hope and CertaintyHope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
Vaclav Havel
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Above is a new painting, a 9″ by 12″ canvas, that I am calling Hope and Certainty.  From the moment it was complete I thought of the meaning of this piece in terms of a hopeful look forward.  It was not necessarily optimistic but was simply looking ahead to see a future, even one that was darker and more ominous than the desire contained in the hope.

And this hope was in the certainty that time would heal the open wounds that were with us in the present time.

And that made sense but still didn’t comfort me in the way such a piece or thought might have in the past.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on why this was, why I was still feeling unease and uncertain.

Then I came across the words above from Vaclav Havel, the late Czech president/writer/philosopher/dissident.  It explained this piece and it explained so well the anger of the people in this country and around the world who stand in opposition to [he-who-will-not-be-named-here].  His ascent and the way he has shown how he plans to rule thus far do not make sense, it challenges all that we know to be right and real.

His is a world of alternative facts.

And that takes away all possibility of sense. And with it goes certainty.

We live by rhythms and patterns that have been written into our DNA.  We know that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. That the dark of night will be replaced by the light of day. That the cold of winter will soon give way to the warmth of spring.  That fire is hot and ice is cold. And for the most part, we know that right is good and wrong is bad.

But in a world that challenges the reality of every word in every moment, where falsehoods and lies are expected and accepted, is there is no certainty and thus no sense.

Hope flounders without sense and certainty.  It becomes anger.

So what I am seeing in this painting is the Red Tree trying to find sense, trying to see a pattern or rhythm in the future that lays before it that has hope and certainty.

Now it makes makes sense and I can move into it more easily.

And that is a small victory.

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