Archive for May 11th, 2023

GC Myers- Force Natural 2022

Force Natural— Coming to the Principle Gallery, June 2023

My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him all good things — trout as well as eternal salvation — come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.

–Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories (1976)

“grace comes by art and art does not come easy”

I think about this line from Norman MacLean’s A River Run Through It quite often, especially in the weeks before a show. It’s a period of time filled with the elation and excitement of new work brimming with new life. But with that there are also intense feelings of doubt and smallness.

I look around and see the familiar singular Red Trees and Red Roofs and round balls of suns and moons and wonder if I have reached my limit. It’s not unusual to find myself asking if I have wrung out the dishrag of whatever little talent or potential I possess.

It’s a maddening time that has me questioning why I continue doing it. Starting work on the next piece becomes harder and harder but I force myself to it. Maybe it’s from force of habit or maybe I see it as my one last attempt.

And I wonder to myself what exactly I am attempting.

It’s at this point that I think of the words above from MacLean.

Maybe it is that grace of which he writes. An action repeated again and again in an attempt to reach a degree of the ultimate rightness. Not perfection because we are, as humans, imperfect and each attempt begins already carrying a measure of our imperfection.

Perfection, no. But perfecting, yes. Perhaps an ultimate rightness, something refined from repetition and persistence, might be attainable. What that ultimate rightness might be varies for each of us. It takes into consideration our inherent and unique imperfections and flaws– those things that differentiate works of art.

Thinking of things in this manner makes this period of time before a show more tolerable. I begin to see each piece as a distinct attempt to reach my ultimate sense of rightness and starting a new piece no longer feels like a great chore but more like the beginning of a journey that might take to me a that hard-fought form of grace I seek.

Maybe this time…

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