Archive for April 11th, 2022

Hard Running

GC Myers Hard Running sm

Hard Running– Part of the June Principle Gallery Show

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off–then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.

― Herman Melville, Moby Dick

I am not a sailor but I do understand the allure. The idea of the freedom of movement, the feeling of being engaged with the forces of nature, the absolute solitude and independence, the escape from the worries ashore, and the accompanying peril that requires knowledge and skill in order to survive are powerful lures.

There may be little to compare for us landlubbers. Perhaps those rock climbers who attempt free climbs  El Capitan and other great rock faced mountains without ropes. That might be close. But I don’t know if there’s a moment when they can relax and just ride for a moment with the wind in their hair as they glide over the surface.

For a free climber, if you’re gliding over the surface with the wind in your hair, you’re most likely plummeting to the bottom of the cliff.

And I’ve been told that is not a good thing.

So, not being a sailor, I am forced to be content with imagining the feel of it. Maybe this imagined feel is why I enjoy painting my boat pieces so much.

A vicarious thrill.

The piece at the top, a 16″ by 20″ painting on aluminum panel, is titled Hard Running and is slated to be part of my annual June show at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. This painting certainly felt like a vicarious thrill for me while I was at work on it.

I tried to imagine the feeling of riding over those choppy seas, tried to imagine the sheer thrill and the sense of accomplishment as it felt as though the boat’s sails were locked tight to the winds.

Like I said, little to compare here it to here in my studio in the woods. Perhaps the closest thing I have is my imagining and the thrill that comes when it appears on a surface.

And that is often enough for me.

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