Archive for March 30th, 2023

Beyond the Trees

GC Myers- Passages: Beyond the Trees, 2023

Passages: Beyond the Trees– Coming to Principle Gallery, June 2023

Curiosity is natural to the soul of man and interesting objects have a powerful influence on our affections. Let these influencing powers actuate, by the permission or disposal of Providence, from selfish or social views, yet in time the mysterious will of Heaven is unfolded, and we behold our conduct, from whatever motives excited, operating to answer the important designs of heaven.

–Daniel Boone

Never imagined I’d be using a Daniel Boone quote to open one of these morning essays. But while looking for something that would pair up with the new painting above, I came across a quote from the mythic frontiersman that was used to open the chapter titled “The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon; containing a Narrative of the Wars of Kentucke” in a 1784 book by John Filson on the discovery and settelment of Kentucky.

Can’t say that the Daniel Boone that lives in my mind, the one portrayed by Fess Parker on the old TV show, would utter such words. Fess’ Boone was a bit woodsier and more plainspoken. But the sentiment behind me was in line with the search that this piece and much of my work portrays.

Boone states that we are, by nature, curious creatures and that we are often driven by selfish greed or a genuine need to expand ever outward. But in the process of satisfying those external desires, we often find answers and designs whose scope is far beyond those things we originally were seeking. Answers having to do with the purpose and meaning of our lives.

That is pretty much what I have written innumerable times here about what I see beneath that which is represented on the surface of most of my paintings, though I don’t attribute it to any deity as does Boone. While often simple landscapes, for me they often represent the search for answers to existential questions that goes well beyond what is seen on the surface.

The painting serves as a passage, a portal, to those questions and answers.

That’s very much what I feel about this new painting. Titled Passages: Beyond the Trees, it is a 12″ by 24″ canvas that will be part of this year’s edition, Passages, of my annual solo show at the Principle Gallery,¬†which opens June 9, 2023. It is very much about seeking something beyond what we know and what we can see.

About leaving our comfort zone of thought and belief to venture a bit further.

Are there answers out there beyond the trees?

I can’t say for you, and I don’t know that we can ever fully know the answers to the questions we ask. The answers we find might be to questions we never thought to ask. Or were afraid to ask because we didn’t want to accept the answers.

You might not see this in this painting. It might simply be a colorful landscape that you like. Or don’t like. Either way, that’s fine.

As a note, there’s another Boone quote from the Filson book that also rings true with something I often note here and often see in my work. maybe even this painting as well. He states:

Situated, many hundred miles from our families in the howling wilderness, I believe few would have equally enjoyed the happiness we experienced. I often observed to my brother, You see now how little nature requires to be satisfied. Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; And I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatsoever state he is. This consists in a full resignation to the will of Providence; and a resigned soul finds pleasure in a path strewed with briars and thorns.

There are some eternal truths in this short paragraph: Happiness and contentment are to be found within ourselves and not in material possessions; Anyone anywhere with the ability to think can discover their own sense of contentment and happiness; There is pleasure to be found in life’s journey, even in the inevitable hardship it offers.

It seems Old Dan’l was more of a philosopher than he is given credit for.

Let’s wrap this up for the day with a nice acoustic version of I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For from U2.

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