Archive for November 11th, 2022

Early in the Morning

GC Myers- A Matter of Perspective sm

A Matter of Perspective— At Kada Gallery, Erie

Arguably, no artist grows up: If he sheds the perceptions of childhood, he ceases being an artist.

–Ned Rorem, Lies: A Diary, 1986-1999

Ned Rorem is an esteemed American composer who has won the Pulitzer Prize in music. Born in 1923, he’s still around at age 99. That probably says a lot about the importance for an artist of holding on to the perceptions of childhood. I believe that longevity and continued creativity depend on one maintaining a sense of the child within themselves.

This retention of the childlike is something that many artists have referenced, most notably Picasso who put it this way:

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

I think a lot of this comes from the wonder we often felt as children at the newness that was in everything for us. We weren’t jaded or world-weary and cynical. The mind was fresh and constantly searching for new fascinations that could often be found in the most ordinary of places.

And that’s very much what art is– finding fascination in the ordinary.

I know it concerns me when I find myself overlooking those things that surround me. For example, as I sit here, I look up and see an older experimental piece I did a number of years ago that is mounted above a window in my studio. It’s a thin horizontal piece that is very much abstract forms in a landscape seen from a bird’s eye view. It has been in place there for a number of years and I realized just now that I no longer notice it, that I seldom if ever stop to take it in.

And doing so and realizing what is and that it is there now gives me a great sense of satisfaction, of fullness. I can’t fully explain it and maybe I shouldn’t have to. Because if you have long lost that sense of the childlike in yourself, you probably won’t understand that feeling.

Of course, it could be that I don’t know what the hell I am talking about here and am just rambling on. Maybe that’s part of the deal of holding on to the childish.

I don’t know. Maybe when I grow up, I will know such things.

Maybe– but I kind of doubt it.

Here’s a little taste of Ned Rorem’s music, a song called Early in the Morning which has lyrics by the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Robert Hillyer. This is a lovely performance from American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: