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GC Myers- Hiding in Plain Sight

“Hiding in Plain Sight”- Bid for it on the SPCA Fundraiser



What makes a hero? Courage, strength, morality, withstanding adversity? Are these the traits that truly show and create a hero? Is the light truly the source of darkness or vice versa? Is the soul a source of hope or despair? Who are these so called heroes and where do they come from? Are their origins in obscurity or in plain sight?

– Fyodor Dostoevsky



I want to let everyone out there know that the painting above, Hiding in Plain Sight, is currently part of the online auction to benefit our local Chemung County SPCA. This painting is 10″ by 14″ on paper which is matted in a 16″ by 20″ frame. It is valued at $1500 and the current high bid is $1050. It is Auction Item #14.

This virtual fundraising event which takes place tomorrow, Saturday, May 1, runs from 4-7 PM on Facebook Live with the auction for all items ending at 7 PM. It also has a variety of entertaining musical performances though out the event. You can check out or bid on this painting or any of the many donated items by  clicking on this link for its Facebook page, SPCA Virtual Facebook Fundraiser and scrolling down through the items. As I said, this painting is Auction Item #14.

I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to help out a worthy organization, our SPCA, and perhaps take home an original painting.

For me, this painting has message that aligns well with what Dostoevsky questions above. What makes a hero? What is beauty? What are we seeking? Is it beyond us or is it in plain sight?

My guess is that all that we seek and all that we are or need is always right before us, in plain sight.

So, come out of the shadows and stake your claim to heroism by helping the SPCA continue to help out the animals here in Chemung County. Like so many other things, those in need are often in plain sight, waiting for a helping hand.

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This is Possessed in the Light, one of my Red Tree paintings which is up for auction today as part of a fundraiser to benefit The Kramer Foundation and Abby’s Paws For a Cause, two local organizations that that do great work and have my support. The fundraiser/auction is being conducted at this link on Facebook Live today from 4-7 PM EST. Bids are accepted at any time today and the bidding ends promptly at 7 PM.

To make your way to this and other auction items, go to the link then click on Discussion which lists the auction items as individual entries. For this painting scroll down to Auction #2. You simply leave your bid in a comment for this entry.

This painting, Possessed in the Light, which is 10″ by 20″on canvas and valued at $1500 has a current high bid of $1200

I am happy that it will bring at least that $1200 amount for these two great organizations but I would be much happier if it gets much closer to its true value. Hope you can help us get there today. 

One of those benefitting from today’s fundraiser is the Kramer Foundation which is dedicated to fostering, rehabilitating and rehoming dogs that would historically be euthanized in shelters for behavior and/or health issues. They basically take dogs labeled as being troubled and transforms them into service, therapy, and search dogs for the lost and missing, as well as corpse-sniffing dogs. They also foster dogs for troops deployed overseas.

Abby’s Paws for a Cause advocates and operates programs in and out of local schools designed to encourage and expand local childhood literacy and discourage and reduce bullying. They employ dogs in their programs, using them as models for kindness and acceptance.

Both are local and are privately funded which means that this fundraiser is important for their continued effective operation. So if you can, please support them in some way.

For my part, it’s this painting. But there are plenty of other items and ways to help. 

Try to do something good today for two organizations that are doing good every day. It will be appreciated more than you will ever know.

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“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

― Maya Angelou

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I am back to being angry this morning and badly want to vent.

But I won’t.

Instead, I am going to follow my own request from yesterday’s blogpost that we look past our own instincts for self preservation and try to do something good for others now.

I have to confess that the current crisis has me in my survival mode. As an artist, my business and livelihood is effectively in shutdown as many folks are also in survival mode which means that very few are buying paintings. I expect the income from my work to be cut by anywhere from 50 to 75% for the year unless something dramatic and unforeseen occurs. So, as a result, austerity has become the watchword around here.

I am not whining or complaining. It’s simply a fact that has to be handled. And we will deal with it. In fact, I am exceedingly grateful to be fortunate enough to have a small cushion to protect us, for the most part, for a reasonable period of time into the near future.

It’s those people who were less fortunate before this all started that make me worry most. They were already living on the fringes of survival. They were already experiencing food anxiety, not knowing where their next day or week’s meals were coming from. They were already struggling to meet rising rents and the many costs associated with raising a child. These were the folks who didn’t have $400 in savings to spare should an emergency arise. These were also, most likely, the folks working jobs that paid near the minimum wage and may have very well been laid off during this shutdown. And also most likely had little healthcare.

In normal times, with a smaller percentage of the population experiencing these problems, charitable organizations could pick up a lot of the slack that government assistance misses. But we are talking about a pretty thick slice of the pie now which makes it a problem that affects us all. Food banks around the country are being crushed by the huge demand from people in need.

I know that’s the case in my home area, which is an area that was never on very sturdy economic footing even in the best times over the past 30 or 40 years. In fact, just before the virus hit, this area was determined to be one of only two metropolitan areas in the entire nation to still be in recession.

Our local food bank, Food Bank of the Southern Tier, has been a mainstay for many years now, doing yeoman’s work on the behalf of those in need. They are heroes all the time and in normal times, I try to donate cash to them on a regular basis. However, my own self survival mode has me cutting back on that a bit, unfortunately.

But I still want to help them and about the only way I can right now is by putting a piece of work up for auction to benefit them.

Here’s what I propose:

The painting shown at the top is an 18″ wide by 24″ high painting on canvas from a couple of years ago. It’s not a painting that has been shown much at all. It began it’s life as as a demonstration piece for the annual workshop I lead in Penn Yan. The class that year did a remarkable job with their own pieces while working from this painting. After the workshop, I brought this piece back to the studio and earnestly went to work on it. There was something in it that really spoke to me. It just felt like a prototypical piece for me and when it was done, it meant enough to me that I gave it the title Hero’s Call.

So, I am putting this painting, Hero’s Call, up for auction with all funds going completely to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. I will pay all shipping costs.

A painting of this size of mine normally is valued at between $2400-2600. My goal for this auction would normally be to get as close to that amount as possible but I know that given the circumstances of these time, that would be a reach. So, I am shooting for getting about half of its value, $1250. That would do a lot of good for my local Food Bank.

The opening bid is set at $200.

The auction ends when a bid of $1250 is received.

You can bid by emailing me at info@gcmyers.com with Hero’s Call on the subject line.

If a bid of  $1250 is not received, the auction will end on Saturday at 12 noon EST. The high bid at that time will receive the painting.

This is your call, your chance to be a hero in a way.  Your winning bid will help a lot of people, perhaps taking away a bit of that anxiety about where their next meal comes from. Plus, you also receive what is, for me, a meaningful piece of art.

I know it’s a lot to ask in these times, but I do ask that you help if possible. If you can’t help me and my local Food Bank, help someone in your own area, even if can only spare a few dollars to your own food bank or similar charity that is being stressed by this moment.

Answer the call. Please.

UPDATE 8:15 AM: The call has been answered. I have received a bid of $1250. I am stunned at how quickly this came to be but am grateful beyond words. This will help a lot of folks in this area.

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When the idea first came to mind of doing an auction to raise funds to help out the wildlife organizations in Australia that are faced with the Herculean task before them, I thought it would be ending at noon today. But due to the generosity and good spirit displayed those folks who participated, the auction terminated early with all three paintings reaching the goals set for them.

So early, in fact, that all were paid for and the funds forwarded to Wildlife Rescue Australia (WIRES) by last evening.

The final tally?

The three pieces raised a total of $3750 which I bumped up to an even $4000 for the donation.

The donation was made to the Australian charity in Australian dollars, which after conversion, came out to 5815 AUD$. Sounds more impressive, right?

Hopefully, those funds will help the healing there in some small way.

The three bidders who put in the winning bids are spread around and all are folks who I have come to know through my work.

For the first painting, A Clearing Comes, I want to thank Denny S. of Springfield, Ohio for stepping up to the plate with his generous bid. I use the baseball term because Denny has the first baseball painting (and one that I periodically run out here) I did a number of years back. More than that, Denny is just an all around good guy with a generous heart. Thank you, Denny.

The Hideaway

The next painting that went was The Hideaway, won by Jennifer M. and Stevan K. of nearby Trumansburg, NY. I’ve met this lovely couple a few times over the past few years and am always pleased to spend some time talking with them. They attended this past year’s Gallery Talk at the West End Gallery with their children, who impressed me greatly with their questions and observations. Jennifer and Stevan, you are warm and caring people and I thank you so much.

Part of the Pattern

And the final painting, A Part of the Pattern, went to John M. and Ron S. from Moline, Illinois. They first saw my work at my 2012 exhibit at the Fenimore Museum in Cooperstown while on a road trip. I met them face to face a year or two later as they were visiting the West End Gallery while on another road trip. They are both good and gracious guys and I thank you both, John and Ron– or Hank as he is sometimes known.

To these winning bidders and everyone else who took part, I extend my everlasting gratitude. There are so many dire problems in this world right now, so many places with people and creatures that need our help, that it seems almost ridiculous to think that any one of us can make a difference in any meaningful way.

It’s a big world with big challenges.

But thanks to people like these folks, small steps can be made. And more than that, hope is maintained and carried forward, as is the belief that can still affect the world around us.

That we can make a difference.

And so long as we have that belief, hope and possibility remain.

So, make a difference. I am not asking you to shift the world from its axis. Help someone out. A hand up to someone who is down. Give some time. A dollar, or five or ten, here and there.

Do what you can and be generous in your spirit.

It will do the world some good.

A Clearing Comes- Auction for Australian Wildlife

 

 

 

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7:55 AM UPDATE: The third and final painting for this auction reached its set goal of $1000! Thanks to everyone for making this a great fundraiser.

Many, many thanks to everyone for making a success of the auction to benefit the rescue and rehabilitation of Australian wildlife affected by the recent wildfires there. On each of the last two days, paintings put up for auction reached their set goals, moving the amount raised closer to the $4000 mark I arbitrarily set as a goal.

Now if we can have the third and final piece sell, we’re there.

That final painting is Part of the Pattern. I have set a Buy Now price of $1000 on it, with an opening bid of $400. I knew when I chose this piece for this auction that it would be the last to go. It is a bit more personal in its view, a bit more narrow in its appeal and attuned to my own beliefs. That it speaks loudly and clearly to me doesn’t mean that it will have the same effect across the board.

While I keep telling myself that my feeling are strong enough that I should just keep it, it remains a painting that I am willing to part with, not for money for myself, but in order to do something good. I want that for this painting– that it does something good now and perhaps again later, at some future point in the life of whoever obtains it.

To that end, I am promising that if someone bids the Buy Now price of $1000, there will be a special added gift with it. I am not disclosing what this is but if you know my past, you will recognize that this is not an empty promise. My credo has always been to give a bit more than people expect. It’s a lousy way to do business but it helps me sleep at night.

So, take a look at yesterday’s post for the rules of the auction and bid. You’ll be getting a painting that I think is special along with an added gift but more than that, your bid will provide a lot of help for creatures that are trapped in the midst of a true environmental tragedy.

Thanks for helping out.

Here’s a post I wrote about Part of the Pattern several years back that better explains how I see it:

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GC Myers- Part of the Pattern

There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns.  Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns.  If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher.  What we can’t understand we call nonsense. What we can’t read we call gibberish.

–Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

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I tend to agree with the snippet above from Chuck Palahniuk’s book.

Everything is built upon pattern. Who we are and how we behave. History. Science. Music and art. It is all dictated by patterns.

Most of us don’t dwell too long on identifying patterns in the world around us and some of us will even refuse to acknowledge the predominance of pattern in the world, believing everything is random and chaotic. I suppose that in itself is part of a pattern, a larger one that is so encompassing that we can’t see it from our vantage point within it.

 Just speculating there, of course.

I know that I am always looking for pattern, even when I’m not really looking. I call it pattern, rhythm, flow, sense of rightness and other terms, without knowing why I am drawn to this concept. It just attracts me in that it is so much part of everything that there must surely be significance.

All of this flowed forward with this new painting, a 4″ by 17″ piece on paper that I’m calling Part of the Pattern. It’s based on a theme I’ve used several times recently of pools rising through a tall vertical picture plane like ladder rungs. This particular piece was so much more stylized in its forms that it really became more about pattern than subject. I see it both as a landscape and as some sort of underlying pattern that makes up the landscape. A sort of DNA-like structure on which the world is built. Whatever it is, it holds my eye and makes me keep searching for something in it.

“Part of the Pattern” in the Studio

 

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9:15 PM AUCTION UPDATE: We have a winning bid of $1000 for “The Hideaway”. “Part of the Pattern” is still available.

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Okay, here’s the deal: The initial auction to raise funds to aid in the relief of Australian wildlife from the fires was a success. $1750 was the winning bid for the painting offered and that amount (plus a bit more) will be donated to Wildlife Rescue Australia (WIRES), which is the largest wildlife rescue and rehab organization in Australia.

My initial goal was to donate $2000 to this organization. We’re there and that’s a pretty good sum to send them. It will really help in a big way and I can feel pretty good about doing that much.

But I have a real nagging feeling that we can do a little more. That we should do more.

So, I’ve moved the goal to $4000.

That would be twice as much help, right?

To get there I have pulled two more paintings to auction. Both are particular favorites of mine and one has been living with me in the studio for a few years. It was one of those personal pieces that I thought was going to be a permanent fixture here. But doing this seems more important than holding onto a piece of art for myself. Better it is out in the world because it helped a worthy cause.

That piece is Part of the Pattern, which is on paper, matted and framed at 22″ high by 9″ wide. When it was last in a gallery it’s price was $1000. It would be valued at about $1250 now but we will go with its last gallery price for valuation. The bidding on this painting starts at $400 and there is BUY NOW price of $1000.

The second painting I am offering is The Hideaway, below, a painting that always jumps out at me. It is also on paper, matted and framed at 12″ by 12″. It’s value is $1000. The bidding on this painting starts at $400 and there is BUY NOW price of $1000.

So, same rules apply. Auctions both end Saturday, January 18, at 12 noon EST, unless the Buy Now prices is reached.

You can either bid in the comment section or email your bid to me at info@gcmyers.com with the word AUCTION on the Subject line. PLEASE SPECIFY WHICH PAINTING YOU ARE BIDDING ON.
I will pay for shipping and will include a few extra surprises with each. I will also provide proof of the donation being made.

Hope you will take part. Like the saying goes, every little bit helps. Thanks!

Part of the Pattern- Up For Auction

The Hideaway- Auction to Benefit Australian Wildlife

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I wanted to include some photos of the devastation taking place in Australia to go along with an update on the current auction of a painting to benefit one of the wildlife rescue organizations there that are doing some truly mighty work. I was heartbroken by the stark horror of so many of the photos and just couldn’t include them. One, that I don’t want to even describe here let alone show, keeps flashing in my mind like a recurring nightmare.

Apocalyptic. That’s the only word that comes to mind.

But even the ones I am displaying, much less graphic than the others, are heartbreaking. The photo of the kookaburra at the top, as it surveys the charred homeland in which it had once thrived, is a powerful and complete statement, one that speaks volumes, not only of the destruction but of the dilemma facing the existing wildlife for their survival in this wasteland for the near future.

A Clearing Comes- Auction for Australian Wildlife

The painting, A Clearing Comes, here on the right, is up for auction with all proceeds going to Wildlife Rescue Australia (WIRES), an organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of Australian wildlife. They are facing a Herculean task and need as much assistance as they can get.

My goal for this painting was to get  $1750 for this painting which I would supplement so that this organization would get at least $2000. It’s a tiny drop in the bucket but it is what I have to offer.

But we must remember, many little drops soon fill a bucket.

I want to extend a true Thank You to every one who has participated so far.  You have already made this a successful effort, one that may, in some small way, bring a degree of healing to the affected creatures of that hurting land.

The current high bid is now $1650.

It will be shipped at my expense (along with some other little extras!) to the high bidder. I have set a figure of $1750 as a Buy Now price, at which point that bidder is awarded the painting.

So, there is still a little room to get in on this painting before the auction ends on Saturday, January 18, at 12 noon EST.

I might be tempted, if this auction ends today with a bid of $1750, to find another painting to put up  for auction. It would be great to send even a bit more to our friends in Australia, wouldn’t it?

Thanks for helping out!

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I have written a little in the last week or so about the wildfires that are devastating the landscape, people and wildlife of Australia. It’s on a scale that I don’t think we can really envision. I saw the diagram above that allowed you to move a circle the approximate size of the acreage  that has burned in Australia over a map so that you can see how it would affect an area that you might recognize.

The image above is from an area that encompasses my home, extending all the way to NYC, covering all of the Pocono Mountains along with most of the Endless Mountains and the Catskills, most of central and eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey, down to Philadelphia and into Delaware. If you’re familiar with this area, you know that it’s a substantial area.

Imagine, one day as you drive to NYC, that everything is suddenly gone. Every tree burned and every inch of ground scorched. The once verdant valleys that extend off of the highways for miles and miles in all directions stripped of all life. And not for just a short stretch of highway but for the entire drive.

Hour after hour of a suddenly empty, barren landscape extending as far as you can see.

There are no animals. There is nothing– no food nor shelter–there for those that may have somehow survived. And nowhere to go.

That’s pretty much the scenario that is taking place in Australia.

They are saying that perhaps a billion and a half creatures have perished in the fire. That is an incomprehensible figure, one that makes any effort to help seem so small, so insignificant.

But that is what it takes to recover from such a great blow– one small step to begin. Instead of wringing our hands and saying that there’s nothing we can do, we can do one small thing. A lot of people doing seemingly small things suddenly becomes a large and effective thing.

I don’t have many resources but what I can do, my small step, is to auction off a painting and direct the funds to a wildlife charity in Australia that is deeply involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of the affected wildlife in Australia. My research has led me to the organization, Wildlife Rescue Australia or WIRES as they are known. They are largest wildlife rescue organization in Australia. Though they are especially suited to this mission, they are in need of all the assistance they can get. This will require years and much effort to restore the environment and animals to this land.

The painting I am auctioning is below. It is titled A Clearing Comes and is a piece that is a favorite of mine, one that I had to convince myself to part with. I also think it’s one whose message and feel is relevant to this circumstance. I see the crow in the dead tree as being symbolic of the wildlife enduring the devastation. The sky, while dark and portentous, is clearing and the Red Tree and the richly colored fields in the distance represent a better, more hopeful future.

The painting is on paper and is matted under glass in my standard hand stained 16″ by 20″ frame. It has a value of $1600. The bidding starts at $500, please. I will end the auction at once if there is a bid reaching a maximum $1750. You can bid in the comments section or, if you desire privacy, you can email your bid ( please put AUCTION in the subject line) to info@gcmyers.com. I will ship the painting at my expense and will include a few additional doodads and geegaws to the winning bidder. Unless someone bids the maximum $1750, the bidding ends Saturday, January 18, at 12 noon EST. I will provide proof of all funds being donated to the winning bidder, as well.

I will post updates throughout the next few days.

So, if you can, take a step and help in some small way.

9:45 AM Update: There is a bid for $500.

10:15 AM Update: Current bid is now $1000.

A Clearing Comes- Auction for Australian Wildlife

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