Archive for January 18th, 2023

GC Myers- Bruised Orange  2022

Bruised Orange-At the Principle Gallery

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.

-John Quincy Adams

I don’t what made this pop into my head but I was thinking about a conversation from a few years back that I had with a friend who is also a painter. He has been a working artist for almost his entire adult life, fairly successful for much of that time. We both agree that we are extremely fortunate to have found the careers that we have, one that feels like a destination rather than a passageway to some other calling.

For me, I knew this was the career for me when I realized I no longer looked at the job listings in the classified section of the paper. For most of my life, I felt there was something else out there that would satisfy me but I didn’t know what it was or how to find it. Maybe it was as simple as finding the right job. Or so I thought.

When you don’t know where you’re going, any direction feels like it might be the right direction.

But during this particular conversation this friend asked, “What would you do if you suddenly couldn’t paint? What if you were suddenly blind?

For him, it was unthinkable. His life of creation was totally visual, based on expressing every emotion in paint.

I thought about it for a second and said simply, “I’d do something else. I’d find a way.

In that split-second I realized that while I loved painting and relished the idea that I could communicate completely in paint, painting was a mere device for self-expression. But it was not the only way to go. I knew then as I know now that the deprivation of something that has come to mean so much to me would, in itself, create a new need for expression that would somehow be satisfied. I have always marveled at the people who, when paralyzed or have lost use of their arms, paint with their toes or their mouth. Their drive to communicate overcame their obstacles. Mine would as well.

If blinded, I could or do something with words or sounds, using them to create color and texture. Perhaps not at the same level as my painting but it might grow into something different given the circumstance. The need to communicate whatever I needed to communicate would create a pathway.

It was an epiphany in that moment. Just knowing that I had found painting gave me the belief that I could and would find a new form of expression if needed.

I did it once and I could do it again. And I found that greatly comforting.

Yes, I’d find a way…

This is one of my more popular posts, originally running here back in 2009.I rerun it every few years, mainly as a reminder to myself to appreciate those things that sometimes become taken for granted in our lives– our health, our senses, our abilities, and so on. Losing any of these things requires a change of course on our journey and few of us enjoy the idea of change.

But it is the only path we have and the only thing I know is to then keep pushing on. Whatever is lost, the power to change and adapt remains.

I looked for a song to add to this post and came across one from Beck. I had been a fan of his work in the 90’s but he fell off my radar over the years. I discovered that he had suffered a serious spinal injury while filming a music video in 2005. It caused him great pain to move or sing and, after a while, he stopped touring and performing live. He was forced to change his output, moving more to the production side of the business, producing records for other artists.

I came across an article that described the new path he faced:

Beck admits that he wondered if he’d ever return to the form which catapulted him into the spotlight as one of the fresh, new, postmodern artists of the 90s. “An executive said he thought I was better as a producer than as an artist… I kind of took that to heart. I considered doing other things, like putting out books, or I don’t know, making T-shirts?

In other words, he would find a way. After a period of musical inactivity, Beck released Morning Phase in 2014. It won the 2015 Grammy for Best Album. Beck did find a way. This is Waking Light from that album.

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