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I breathe a deep sigh of relief this morning.

Another Gallery Talk in the rearview mirror, this one at the Principle Gallery. Many, many thanks to the many folks who came out yesterday to spend an hour with me on perfect end of summer day in the Capital District. It was wonderful to see new faces along with the more familiar faces of the many older friends there who I was able to spend a few minutes catching up with.

This was my 17th Gallery talk there and while it is somewhat easier after all those times, it still is a daunting thing to stand in front of a crowd and talk off the cuff. I wasn’t as smooth yesterday as I had wished and didn’t hit all my intended points. I always fret a bit in the aftermath of these talks about things I have said, worrying that I wasn’t clear or spoke with the wrong attitude for what I was trying to get across.

Or just said something plain dopey.

But I also worry about those things left unsaid. Sometimes there are little anecdotes I mean to tell that get lost in the the brain while I am standing there in front of the group.You would think that in 17 hours of yammering on in these talks over the years, everything would have been said, that everything would have found it way out by now. But I know that’s not the case, that there are still a lot of stories yet to be told and potential secrets to be revealed. I guess I’ll have to start now on getting these things into next year’s Talk which I am aiming to make the best yet.

But this year’s talk ended up as a pretty good talk, even with my own critical take on it. It certainly ended on a high note.

Again, my eternal gratitude to those who came out and especially to the whole staff at the Principle Gallery– my good friends Michele, Clint, Owen, Leigh, Pierre and Josh— for the very hard work done in making it possible. They had a large opening the night before, hosting the 14th annual exhibit of the International Guild of Realism with artists coming from around the country to attend. To turn around in a little over 12 hours and host this event is quite remarkable. I am filled with appreciation and affection for these folks.

So, like I said, mark it down now. Next September– best Gallery Talk ever. Promise.

Here’s this Sunday’s music. I thought I’d show one more piece that went down to the talk yesterday, Eyes of Night, shown above. This song lines up nicely with this piece for me. It’s Field of Diamonds, one of Johnny Cash‘s works from his final years. It was period of great expression and artfulness at the end of his time here on earth. It’s an interesting chapter for an artist with a very long and memorable career.

He saw his career in the future rather than in the past. Wished I had said that yesterday.

Have a good Sunday.

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Okay, last notice:

WHO: Me ( GC Myers) and hopefully you.

WHAT: GALLERY TALK

WHERE:  Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA

WHEN: Today, Saturday, September 21, beginning at 1 PM

WHY: The real question is why not?

That Why answer doesn’t work for you? Well, how about for one thing, you could win the painting, Light Emanation, shown shown here?

Does that work?

Or that you could take home something else, perhaps another painting(!!?) or a small token of my gratitude or even something of great value. Like the classic 1969 Chevy Impala shown at the bottom. It needs a little TLC, a little touch up paint and a bit of elbow grease but it’s a peach. I swear.

Seriously, I promise you a fairly good time that goes along with my ironclad claim that it will not be the worst hour of your life. If I am wrong about this, then my life is just sad.

And if that’s the case, you’ll no doubt feel good simply by comparison.

See? Win-win.

Hope to see you at the Principle Gallery today!

 

You Could Win This Classic 1969 Impala ?

PS: I am legally bound to tell you that you can’t win this car. It is simply an example, admittedly a small one, of humor.

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I am tired of tears and laughter,
And men that laugh and weep ;
Of what may come hereafter
For men that sow to reap :
I am weary of days and hours,
Blown buds of barren flowers,
Desires and dreams and powers
And everything but sleep.

Algernon Charles Swinburne, The Garden of Proserpine

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This is the last painting I finished from the group of work that is coming with me on my trip to Alexandria tomorrow, when I will be at the Principle Gallery for my annual Gallery Talk. which begins at 1 PM. I call this painting, which is an 8″ by 24″ canvas, At the End of Time.

This was a trying painting for me. It just never felt right through the whole process and at several points I was ready to trash it. But there was something in it that kept me at it, something that wouldn’t let me just black it out and build anew. It wasn’t until it was 99% complete that it suddenly transformed into a living, breathing piece with its own vitality.

I went from hating this piece to a point where I haven’t been able to look away from it for the last few days.

It seems to have a message and a sense of weary finality. The words of Swinburnes The Garden of Prosperine, an excerpt of which is shown above, mesh beautifully with this image. At least, as I see it.

I am not going to fully describe how I see this now. I don’t want to taint your own impression of this painting, if I haven’t already done so by now.

Maybe if you come to the Gallery Talk tomorrow and ask me, I will tell you the personal meaning behind some of the elements in this piece. We’ll see.

But please feel free to come to the Gallery Talk tomorrow, Saturday, September 21, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. It starts at 1 PM and after about an hour which includes some talking, assorted questions and answers, a few laughs, a couple of feats of strength, a brief operatic solo and a little soft shoe, I will be giving away some stuff, including the painting Light Emanation. Plus there are some what you might call neat parting gifts and there may or may not be an additional painting awarded.

You will have to come to find out. I am not saying for sure.

Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Seriously, hope you can make it. I advise you to get there early to beat the crowd, claim a seat and enter the drawing. We can fill the time with a little pre-Talk chat, if you like.

 

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One third, more or less, of all the sorrow that the person I think I am must endure is unavoidable. It is the sorrow inherent in the human condition, the price we must pay for being sentient and self-conscious organisms, aspirants to liberation, but subject to the laws of nature and under orders to keep on marching, through irreversible time, through a world wholly indifferent to our well-being, toward decrepitude and the certainty of death. The remaining two thirds of all sorrow is homemade and, so far as the universe is concerned, unnecessary.

Aldous Huxley

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The painting at the top is yet another new piece, a 10″ x 30″ canvas that is titled Let It Go. It is part of he group of new work that I am bringing with me on Saturday when I head to the Principle Gallery for my annual Gallery Talk there, which begins at 1 PM.  More details on that later in this post.

The words above from Aldous Huxley are from his book, fittingly titled Island. Little known, it was his final book, written in 1962, and presented a utopian alternative to his Brave New World.

I really don’t know the book myself so I can’t honestly depict what it has to say but the small bit above aligns with my own observations on our lives here. We are all subject to the sorrow of simply being alive. We experience pain and loss of abilities as we age and suffer the loss of others along the way before our own life comes to an end. That is simply part of the deal and is to be expected, unpleasant as that may seem.

But much of what makes life sometimes miserable is, for the most part, avoidable. It is our reaction to the vagaries, missteps, mistreatment and insults that life has in store for us that is the culprit here. We have a choice in how we react to these things. We can choose to hold on to these things, to allow them to make us angry or anxious or fearful, or we can see that they are, in the greater scheme of things, inconsequential.

We don’t have to hold on to these things. They can be let go.

That’s what I see in this painting. I know it sounds funny coming from a guy who regularly displays his own anger, anxiety and fears here on this page. I guess even though you sometimes know what the problem is, it takes practice to overcome it.

And I am trying to release those things that I can’t control. Or let go of those things that only do me harm in my holding on to them. Anger and hatred, regret and fear. Just let it go.

I’m trying.

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Speaking of fear and anxiety, my annual Gallery Talk is this Saturday, September 21, beginning at 1 PM at the Principle Gallery in beautiful Old Town Alexandria. This is my 17th annual Gallery Talk there and I think this could be a good one. There’s a lot to talk about and I have some interesting giveaways including at least one original painting! Plus I may even demonstrate my ability to read minds! Or maybe guess your weight. Who knows?

One thing is guaranteed, as I have pointed out in the past:  It will not be the worst hour of your life.

Good conversation, some prizes and a no pain guarantee. How can you resist an offer like that?

Get there early to grab a seat and maybe we can chat a bit beforehand.

See ya’ there Saturday!

 

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True morality consists not in following the beaten track, but in finding the true path for ourselves, and fearlessly following it.

Mahatma Gandhi

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This is another small painting on paper that will be accompanying me to the Principle Gallery in Alexandria this coming Saturday, September 21. I will be giving my annual Gallery Talk there beginning at 1 PM and I always bring a small group of new work with me– along with the painting(s?) that I will be giving away at the end of the Talk.

Some of the new pieces that will be coming feature small distant solo figures in generally large open landscapes. It’s a theme that has been a favorite of mine for some time now but one that I don’t visit all that often. Maybe I have to be in a certain mindset for them to come. Don’t really know.

I call this painting Off the Beaten Track. I like this piece for many reasons, including the obvious messaging of it. It just feels right which is something I can’t explain at all.

I can explain the message of this piece, at least as I see it and as it relates to my own experience. The Gandhi quote at the top partially explains it, that true morality can’t be dictated by the crowd that travels the beaten path. Without getting into the details, I think the current populist movements taking place around the world, including here in the US, are sufficient evidence of that.

What they claim for morality is certainly not the same as mine.

But beyond morality, life comes down to knowing when to veer from the beaten track, when to forge your own path and find your own way. That is absolutely true in making a life for yourself in the arts. There are few guides to show you the way  so many stick with the path, which is, as a result, crowded to the point that everything seems squeezed into a bland sameness. And it’s often headed in directions that don’t seem appealing or to make sense for what you’re hoping for your work.

Sometimes you have to break away from that crowded path and climb to higher ground, to look for something that draws you forward, that keeps you moving.

A muse. An inspiration. An opportunity.

To higher ground, where your voice can be heard above the drone coming from the path, where you can be clearly seen.

Fresh air and good views, both of where you’ve been and where you want to go.

This is what I am seeing in this little piece. It might be smallish in size but it speaks volumes for me.

Hope to see you at the Gallery Talk on Saturday. I have some neat things to share…

 

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To all my friends without distinction I am ready to display my opulence: come one, come all; and whosoever likes to take a share is welcome to the wealth that lies within my soul.

–Antisthenes
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This new painting is headed to the Principle Gallery in Alexandria with me this coming Saturday, September 21, for my annual Gallery Talk there, which begins at 1 PM.  This is my 17th Gallery Talk at the Principle and it has turned into a neat little event, one that has me engaging in a usually lively talk, giving away some gifts ( including at least one painting–see yesterday’s blog!) and unveiling a smaller group of new paintings.

This is one of those new paintings, a 20″ by 40″ canvas called True Opulence.

I hesitated in using the word opulence for this piece because I don’t see it as celebrating those things we most often associate with wealth and luxury. Not money or gold or diamonds or fancy car and clothes. No, it is more in the vein of the words at the top from the Greek philosopher Antisthenes.

It is a celebration of our ability to feel opulence in the world around us and within ourselves.

In the lushness of a field. In the richness in the colors of the flowers. In the clarity of a clean bright sky. In the graceful roll of a distant hill. In the beauty of a tree reaching outward. In our ability to experience these things and feel ourselves connected to the whole of it all.

That is the real opulence in this world.

True Opulence.

Funny how adding the word true changes the meaning of opulence. But it does. It makes the other opulence seem almost false, as though it is a mere replication of that which is available to all.

I hope you can come out this Saturday to the Principle Gallery to see True Opulence and the other new pieces. You might even win a painting or take home some swag. Your odds are pretty good! It starts at 1 PM so get there a bit early to grab a seat.

 

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Well, this was a tough decision.

I finally chose the painting to be given away at my Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery this coming Saturday. It’s Light Emanation, a 16″ by 20″ painting on canvas that has plenty of real meaning for me, always making me stop to consider it when I come across it. It’s a strong and distinct piece, one that is a deserving choice.

I can tell because it hurts to let it go.

Hope you’ll come out to the Principle Gallery this Saturday, September 21, for your chance to win this painting. The Talk begins at 1 PM. I suggest getting there a  little early to secure your seat and get signed in to win. I want to add that there is an additional surprise for this Talk that I will not be disclosing here on the blog. You will have to come to see it but I will say that it is well worth coming for. So, try to make it if you can!

Below is the blog entry I wrote about Light Emanation a few years back:

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We are not separated from spirit, we are in it.

Plotinus

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I call this new painting, a 20″ by 16″ canvas,  Light Emanation.   Emanation is a word that is defined in one sense as an abstract but perceptible thing that issues or originates from a source.  It’s a term that the 3rd century philosopher Plotinus used to describe the manner in which all matter is descended from the One, the transcendent and formless force that has always been and will always be.  We see its emanation– its reflection– in things we associate with terms such as Good and Beauty.

I can’t fully explain the concept of Plotinus’ philosophy here.  I honestly don’t fully understand it myself.

But  the idea that we are all somehow comprised and descended from light has long been an idea that has lived within me.  We react to light and the colors that come from it in ways that go beyond this world, in ways that somehow link us to something we feel is greater than ourselves.  Perhaps the One to which Plotinus alludes.

As it is with so many things, I don’t know for sure.  I only know that those rare moments in my life that have felt transcendent have always been associated with a mysterious quality of light, one that  satisfies and comforts me in a way in which I didn’t even realize I was in need.

I see that feeling of oneness with the light  in this painting.  It has a mysterious comfort in it that reminds me of my own moments.

And that is all I ask of it…

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