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Archive for March, 2017

Scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man’s struggle for good and evil seems inadequate.

Richard P. Feynman
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We live always on the edge of certainty and uncertainty.

We know what we know and that sometimes seems like an unending body of knowledge. But we also know that there is much that we don’t know and perhaps will never know. And that seems even more vast and overwhelming.

There is so much we wish to know so that we can put our uncertainty to rest. So we strive, we seek, we explore, and we observe, always searching for the next answer, the one that will bring it all together.

But the next answer poses new questions and opens new frontiers of discovery. We gain knowledge but our certainty is shaken.

But the only thing we know to do is to continue onward, forever seeking certainty.

That’s what I see in this new painting, a 20″ by 44″ canvas that I am calling The Restless Edge.  For me, the thought behind this piece is about living in a world that straddles that line between certainty and uncertainty.  Between truth and untruth. Between belief and non-belief. Between wisdom and ignorance.

About living in and coming to terms that allow you to find moments of peace on that restless edge.

And that’s what I see here.  You may not see it and that is as it should be.

One man’s uncertainty is another’s belief. Or something like that…

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I wrote the post below back in 2009.  I’ve revisited the use of multiple images a few times since but only on a limited basis.  Maybe once or twice a year. But it’s a concept that appeals to me and just seeing these images again always sparks something.

I was looking through some older images on my computer, searching for a painting that I had completed several years back.  As I scanned through the paintings, I noticed several pieces through the years that were different from most of the work I’ve been doing recently.  They were multiples, such as Peers, shown here.  They were  paintings with several windows with a new scene in each, although most of the scene were very similar to the others.

It was a format in which I really enjoyed working and one that I have not revisited in a couple of years.  I really don’t know why. They have a very graphic appearance and really stand out on a wall, making them pretty well received as a rule.  I guess in the past few years I’ve been focusing more on working on texture and heightening the color, as well as working in the Archaeology series, so that I haven’t even thought of revisiting this format.

I remember some  of the early ones very well.  One had 48 cells and had a great look, the result of overlaying the paint with layers of chalk and pastel.  Another was the same number of cells with 48 individual small paintings,  each window having a separate opening in the mat.  It was a pretty difficult piece to mat and frame but it also popped off the wall.   I will have to go through my slides from that time (pre-digital) and see if I can wrangle up a few shots.  I would like to see them again to see how they really hold up against my memory.

Maybe I will revisit the multiples sometime soon.  I often run across things that have slipped from the front of my painting mind when I go back looking for something else.  It may be a format such as these multiples or may be a small compositional element.  It’s always interesting for me to try to re-insert this older element into the new work, to see how the inevitable evolution of the work will change this older concept.  We’ll have to see what this brings…

Fourfront  - GC Myers 2003

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I think I have seen this before but it caught my eye this morning.  It’s a video of Turkish artist Garip Ay who works in the art of ebru, known to us as paper marbling.  In this video he takes on Van Gogh’s Starry Night but that is only the start. What turns out in the end is a bit of a surprise although you may see it coming in the process.  Just a neat video and a wonderful display of total craftmanship.

I’ve also included another video of Garip Ay at work.  Just seeing the process and the manipulation of the colors and the way they move on the dark water is fascinating. Mesmerizing.


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Bye Bye Johnny

For this Sunday morning music, it’s got to be Chuck.

The great Chuck Berry died yesterday at the age of 90. In the Pantheon of the gods of rock and roll, Chuck is without a doubt the true father of the genre, the wellspring that fed all others. His music is practically written in our DNA and permeates our culture. It is part and parcel of who we are.

You might think you can’t name a Chuck Berry song but I will bet that you know at least a dozen. In fact, one of his greatest hit albums is called The Great Twenty-Eight and almost every song on it is a rock and roll classic. When that sound comes out of the speaker it is instantly familiar and distinct. You may not have heard the song for forty years but you know the words and melody instinctively.

Oh, you know it.

Like many people, I have probably taken Chuck Berry for granted for many years now. But now that he’s gone I feel a definite sense of loss.  Maybe it’s that we are in a period of time where we are struggling for a definition of who we really are as a people, where we seem poised at a juncture that will take us in two very different directions. He was that part of America that drew people here with his Everyman point of view and a sound that was forever young and vigorous.

So, like I said, this morning it’s got to be Chuck. I’ve been listening for about an hour and a half to Chuck and can’t even come close to choosing. I listen to one and go, “Oh, Yeah!” then I hear the next song and do it again. So I’m playing two that just feel good to me. One is Back in the USA and the second is Havana Moon, a quieter, moody song from Chuck that just clicks for me.

Have a good day and if the spirit hits you, as Chuck might say, let it rock.

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O’Sullivan’s March

I’m out the door this morning but wanted to at least acknowledge St. Patrick’s Day with a little traditional Celtic music from the Chieftains.

This video features O’Sullivan’s March and has some stunning shots of the Irish scenery, especially that rugged coast.

Enjoy and if you’re of the mind, raise a Guinness in honor of St. Pat today.

I might do just that.

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Klimt Music

Lately, when I have been very busy, I’ve been sharing some videos of artists’ work set to music.  For example, I’ve shared videos of the works of Edward Hopper and Thomas Hart Benton in recent weeks.  It’s always interesting to see artists work set to music, especially when they seem to complement one another.

Well, I am busy again today but want to share a nice video featuring the work of Gustav Klimt put together by a Brazilian musician, Juliano Cesar Lopes, who creates musical scores for films under the name JCSL Studio Recording. He has produced a number of short films like this one as a showcase for his skills. I like his work on this short film and hope you will as well.

Enjoy…

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“Enlightenment is man’s release from his self-incurred tutelage. Tutelage is man’s inability to make use of his understanding without direction from another. Self-incurred is this tutelage when its cause lies not in lack of reason but in lack of resolution and courage to use it without direction from another. Sapere aude!- ‘Have courage to use your own reason!’- that is the motto of enlightenment.”

― Immanuel Kant,  What Is Enlightenment?

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Sapere Aude!  From the Latin for Dare to know.

I came across the passage above from the 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant and felt immediately that it was a great match for this new painting.  In fact I am calling this piece, 11′ by 15″ on paper,  Dare to Know (Sapere Aude!)

The Red Tree here is removed away from the influence and shading of the other trees and houses in the foreground, out of darkness and into the light.  There is a light about the Red Tree and a sense of freedom in the openness of the space around it. It is free to examine the world, free to seek the knowledge it craves, and free to simply think for itself.

It’s a great idea, this concept of enlightenment and one that we definitely could use today.  Too many of us form our own base of knowledge by relying on the thoughts and opinions of others, often without giving much consideration as to their truthfulness, motives, or origins.  Or we shade our base of knowledge with our own desires for  how reality should appear, holding onto false beliefs that suit us even when they obviously contradict reality.

In short, there is no enlightenment based on falsehoods, no way to spin darkness into light.  Enlightenment comes in stepping away from the darkness of lies and deceptions to see the world as it is, with clarity.  It means stripping away our own self defenses and admitting our own shortcomings, prejudices, and predispositions.

It may not always be what one hoped for but it is an honest reality. And maybe that is enlightenment, the willingness to face all truths with honesty.

To dare to know.

Sapere Aude!

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