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Dark Crossing Replay

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GC Myers 2013“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”   

-Leonardo Da Vinci

 

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I’ve been working on a number of pieces lately that start on a black base of paint, rising from the darkness as each subsequent layer adds more and more light.  I still think of this additive  process as being a form of sculpture, one that starts with a flat surface and builds out in contours that give it definition and texture.  Each layer of paint is like adding clay to the supporting armature of the sculpture.  It’s a process that is hard to pull away from when I immerse myself in it. There’s something about seeing the colors grow more and more vibrant on the surface that becomes mesmerizing.  I guess that’s why I often refer to this work as obsessionism.

This small experiment, a 10″ by 12″ piece on paper,  is in this vein.   It’s one of those pieces that I’m just not sure about because I like it but I’m not sure if I like it for what it is or for the experience, the obsession of the moment in painting it.  Like a parent looking at something their child has done and wondering if they like it because it is truly good or simply because it was done by their child, their flesh and blood.

Sometimes I can finish a piece and it instantly stands apart and on its own, complete and independent.  Ready to move on like a young person proclaiming their emancipation from their parents.   Other times, there are pieces that cling closer to me, perhaps too attached to yet  stand on their own, at least in my eyes.  Because I am unsure, I become more protective of these pieces because they do feel more personal, more of me.

It’s a hard thing to describe, this uncertainty in a piece, especially when it feels objectively right.  Can a parent ever fully take out their own subjective view of their offspring and see them objectively as they really are?

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Trust/ A Replay

I am out of the studio today, leading the workshop I’ve mentioned in recent posts. I wanted to replay a post from several years back that carries thoughts that I want to bear in mind today, as advice to both myself and those in the workshop. As an artist, it’s about listening to advice and learning to trust your own instincts. As a teacher, it’s about giving guidance in a way that allows the student to apply it in a way that still allows them to recognize their own individual voice. 

I am going to try to keep this in mind…

GC Myers Early Work ca1994I came across this little piece recently.  It’s a small watercolor on paper that was done in 1994, while I was still developing my own voice and before I began showing my work publicly.  It’s not a great piece of work and will always just live its life in my little treasure chest, a box of early work, experiments and other pieces, many of which just aren’t up to snuff.  But this little painting always has meaning for me, providing a lesson in trusting your own instincts as well as weighing the words of guidance given to you.

You see, I had another artist around this time critique my work.  He was a professional artist with years of experience and I trusted his judgement, wanting any feedback that would help me narrow my quest for an individual voice.  On this particular piece he told me that it was sorely lacking, that the figure needed to be more accurate in its depiction, that people would not respond to this kind of rendering.  I  wasn’t positive in his advice but I hesitatingly took it to heart and avoided figures for many years and even to this day hear his words when I consider a figure in my work.

I consider it a huge mistake on my part and wonder what my path might have been had I discounted his advice at that time.  I mistook him for a guide on the creative path to my own voice but what he offered was a route that took me to where he himself was headed.  His guidance was purely subjective, linked to his own vision of how the world looked and should be depicted.

His road was not mine.

Over the years, I have become resistant to listening to others when they begin to tell me what my work should be or where it should be headed.   I also am hesitant in giving advice for the same reason– our destinations may not be the same.

It may not be much but this little piece is a symbol of the trust I now have in my voice and intuition.  It is a constant reminder that it is up to me as to how I use the advice given by those posing as guides on the path.  In this way, this painting is priceless to me.

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This Painting Could Be Yours Today!

Okay, this is the last time I will mention this, I promise.

As I have mentioned just a couple of times before, I am giving a Gallery Talk today at the Principle Gallery in lovely Old Town Alexandria starting at 1 PM.  There will be a group of new paintings with me as well as a handful of my Orphans (see yesterday’s blog post, Selling Orphans, for info) at very special prices. I will hold a conversation with everyone for a short bit, answering any and all questions there might be.

Then I do some birdcalls.

Then after the talk and the birdcalls, there will be a drawing for the painting of mine above, The Warmth of Breath, a 16″ by 20″ canvas.

Everyone in attendance has a chance to win.

Plus, there may be a few other surprises, the first being that I don’t really do birdcalls though I had a friend in high school who did a hell of a warbler. But there will be some other things, I promise.

Plus, I can guarantee a relatively good time. I was going to say a great time but I’m trying to cut down on hyperbole.

Ah, what the heck–it will definitely be a good time.

I am hoping you can make it into the Principle Gallery today.

 

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Just a reminder that Self Determination, my solo show at the West End Gallery, comes down after this coming Thursday, August 31.

It’s been a great show thus far and I send out appreciative Thank You’s to all of you who have taken time to see the show. So, there still a few days yet to get into the gallery if you want to see the show and haven’t been able to find the time.

Hope you can make it!

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No Idiots Today

I couldn’t write a post yesterday and to be quite honest, I don’t want to write one today.

I am tired. Tired of so many things but mainly of one thing in particular.

Idiocy.

The sheer unabashed idiocy of those who cling to the idea of some fantasy land of racial and ethnic purity, who wave the flag of a failed and misguided revolt as a symbol of their stupidity. Idiots who have enjoyed a life of relative entitlement and opportunity simply due to the color of their skin then whine and cry and lash out when others seek a level playing field.

And even more than that, I am tired of the idiocy of those who seek to rationalize and sanction their words and actions, who seek to find some sort of equivalency in the actions of those who stand against these purveyors of hatred. It’s an idiocy that blinds them to their own lack of moral and ethical decency, leading them to believe that this pouting weakness is somehow a strength or is right in some way.

It’s the same idiocy that failed to see the events of this past weekend ( and most likely many more similar events to come) was an inevitability when they voted for a man lacking any moral or ethical compass, a creature who would exploit anything in order to achieve his desired selfish ends, to act as the de facto leader of this nation. The same idiocy that sees his fake tough guy act as strength when it has been glaringly apparent for decades that he is an absolute weakling in so many ways, someone who constantly portrays himself as a victim, who whines incessantly and can’t tolerate criticism of any kind.

I am sick and tired to death of the idiocy of those fools that thought a man-baby who refuses to accept any responsibility for any action could somehow bring this country together or solve anyone’s problems. He will discard people and step over any number of bodies to keep his head above water.

Unfortunately, he is the perfect leader for the white supremacists– spoiled, intellectually weak cry babies who shun responsibility for anything they do or say and whine that are entitled to any and all built in advantages.

I am tired of dealing with the idiocy of young white men who somehow feel they are victims, that they are being shortchanged in some way, that others are responsible for their shortcomings, that others have in some way taken away a birthright to which they alone are entitled.

I am tired. Jesus, I am exhausted from witnessing these idiots. But even so, I know that can’t keep me from maintaining a vigilance and standing actively opposed to these hate-filled idiots.

That is a responsibility we all must take upon ourselves.

After the election, I saw several people, including some I know personally, write that they supported the person who won the election but was appalled that anyone would think that their endorsement in any way meant that they endorsed racism, homophobia or xenophobia in any way. They claimed that they would stand opposed to any of these things if they arose during his presidency.

It is time for these people to step up the plate. This is not a time to remain quiet, to shrug it off and pretend it isn’t part of your world. Silence sanctions more of the same and soon, whether they like it or not, it will soon be at their door. And then it will be much too late.

I know this doesn’t mean anything, doesn’t change a thing with so many words being written, spoken and screamed. No, this was just written for me. So if you’re one of those idiots and you think I am not being fair to you, keep it to yourself.  If you can’t see the lack of morality, decency and humanity in the actions of the white supremacist morons or this so-called president who readily endorses them with his actions and words — or lack of words– then it’s not my responsibility to convince you.

You are responsible for who you are.

 

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Loving Vincent

There is a film coming out in September that deals with the death of Vincent van Gogh. Called Loving Vincent, the film has been in the works for several years and features several high profile actors–Chris O’Dowd, Saoirse Ronan and Aidan Turner  as van Gogh.  It tells the story of the artist’s sudden death as a sort of mystery/detective tale with one of van Gogh’s portrait subjects as the narrator. The characters move through scenes and locales easily recognizable to fans of van Gogh.

But what makes this project truly interesting is the manner in which the story is told on film. It is supposedly the first completely hand-painted feature film. I guess they somehow distinguish between this and the drawing/painting of features such as Disney’s Snow White.

Maybe it’s in the manner of painting. They used a team of 125 artists specifically trained to emulate the thick, vibrant strokes of van Gogh, which seem well suited to film with their rhythmic, vibratory qualities. Even as paintings there is a sense of movement.

I thought I would share the trailer to give you an idea of how this looks.


 

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Gallery Talk Today…

Just a reminder. 

Hope you can make it to the West End Gallery today —  and maybe win a painting.

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