Archive for May 15th, 2022

Bruised Orange

GC Myers- Bruised Orange  2022

Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)– Part of the June Principle Gallery show,

You can gaze out the window, get mad and get madder
Throw your hands in the air, say “What does it matter?”
But it don’t do no good to get angry
So help me, I know

For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter
You’ll become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
Wrapped up in a trap of your very own
Chain of sorrow

–John Prine, Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)

Coming into the last week of preparations for my annual solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria. Lot to do still. There’s varnishing, framing, staining, matting and a bunch of other small things I can’t even think f at the moment. And I am still working on a last painting or two, like the one at the top.

I finished this yesterday and the tone of it very much fit the day as I began to hear details from the Tops Supermarket shooting in Buffalo that left 10 dead. This was after a shooting the evening before in Milwaukee. 

But the Buffalo shooting hit a nerve. I have known folks who have worked at Tops stores in this area, know people in Buffalo, know the shooter’s hometown. The fact that it felt local made it sting even a bit more. It drove the point home that there are people living nearby who despite a normal appearance are hate-filled, racist sociopaths. The murderer here was 18 years old and left a manifesto that spouted right-wing, white supremacist talking points– the same sort of messages that fill the airwaves every day and night on Fox News, Newsmax, OAN and other networks. The same messages spouted by mainstream politicos from the right now.

There is definitely some correlation there between the messaging and the act of violence. Or at least some connection between the messaging and its appeal to the mind of those who seek only others to blame for their own shortcomings, failures and disappointments.

He’s not the first to be prompted to deadly violence and he certainly won’t be the last. After all, this is America and we’re number one in this category by a long stretch. This doesn’t happen anywhere else but here, especially with the shocking regularity that we display with our mass shootings and murders. 

I work hard to find positives in my work to counter the feelings that days like yesterday bring up, to give me some sort of guard, a wall that keeps out the darker aspects of our world, if only for a fleeting moment.

But sometimes the images are more of a mirror than a wall. That’s the case with the new painting at the top. It’s 12″ by 24″ on panel that was finished yesterday as the news was coming in. Some pieces come easy, almost falling on to the surface. But nothing came easy in this painting. It was one of those pieces that fought me most of the way. Or maybe I should say my mind fought with itself, not wanting to show my reaction in the moment. Whichever it was, it was a struggle. Pieces like this have a different form of satisfaction attached to them for me.

This piece is titled Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow) which I outright stole from a favorite John Prine song. The song will, of course, be this week’s selection for some Sunday Morning music. It seems a good match for the painting with its rising mound and color that has the appearance of the roundness of an orange and a bruised, foreboding sky.

Like many John Prine songs, his lyrics stick with me and often speak to the moment at hand. These lines sure do. We’re carrying a lot of bruises these days. 

It ain’t such a long drop, don’t stammer, don’t stutter
From the diamonds in the sidewalk to the dirt in the gutter

And you carry those bruises
To remind you wherever you go

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: