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Posts Tagged ‘Alexandria VA’

I ran this blog entry back in early March but wanted to run it again as we got closer to the opening of Truth and Belief, my solo show opening tomorrow at the Principle Gallery. I wanted to show this painting in its final form with the band of Indian yellow that now surrounds the central image. It was shown without this but I thought that this really added a bold kick to the piece that needed to be shown.

We have to balance the lineality of the known universe with the nonlineality of the unknown universe.

Carlos Castaneda
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I am calling this new painting Balance (Known/Unknown).  It is a 14″ by 32″ canvas and will have a slightly different edge detail that I will show at a later date. [It is shown with it here.]

The Carlos Castaneda quote above just reached out to me when I was looking at this piece. The Red Tree here seems to be standing at the edge of the known, the terrestrial world that is defined here with earthy color, solid forms, and dark lines– the lineal universe.  Beyond it the non-lineal universe beckons, represented by a nebulous sky and a sun that acts as an unblinking eye.

It all is very much a metaphor for the purpose of art and that is to act as an intermediary between the known and the unknown, the go-between for that which is of our five senses and those things that go  far beyond those senses.

Things that we feel in an emotional sense.

And that is what art often does, putting the deep feeling of that which we cannot see onto those things that we do see.  It makes the intangible tangible.

That said, I like this new piece and have been enjoying my time with it. Every day I find a new angle within it that gives me pause, that excites me, and sets me thinking. And that is all I hope for in my work.

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There is also a nice article on this week’s edition of Technique Tuesday on the blog of the Principle Gallery, Principlearttalk. This article has to do with the history and use of stylization in art using my work as a contemporary example. It’s a good read.  You can go to this article by clicking on the Technique Tuesday image above or by clicking here.

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“As I Wander”- 12″ x 6″ on canvas

Getting ready for Friday’s opening of “Truth and Belief,” my solo show at the Principle Gallery. As I wrote the other day, I was a little anxious in the first day or so after delivering the show. My confidence lagged a bit.

Thankfully, that has passed and I am actually feeling very good about this show.  From a superstitious standpoint, I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing but I am truly convinced that this is a good and strong body of work. And from a few images the gallery shared with me yesterday as they were hanging the show that feeling is reinforced.

It has that feeling of rightness that I try to describe so often. And that’s a good thing.

Truth and Belief opens Friday, June 2, at the Principle Gallery in Old Town Alexandria, VA. The opening reception begins at 6:30 and runs until 9 PM. I hope you can make it. If you do, please feel free to introduce yourself or ask questions. It’s my pleasure to be there at your service.

I put together a short video/slideshow of the paintings in the show. It’s a simple and short glimpse of each piece that I hope gives an idea of how the show fits together. Take a look…

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The last few details are getting done and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am talking about the final preparations for my show that opens next Friday, June 2, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria. These last days before I deliver the show are always hectic but also exciting in that the whole of the show becomes apparent in its finished state. Seeing how the different pieces play off each other, enhancing and reinforcing their individual strengths, is invigorating for me especially when the show reaches that level of satisfaction I am seeking.

And I feel this show reaches that level easily.

The name selected for this show is Truth and Belief.  It is also the title of the painting at the top of the page, which is 16″ by 20″ on panel. I have written a number of times here about how the chasm that has been widened in recent times between what is true and what is believed by so many people has preyed on my mind. It seems that while the truth may set you free, unfounded belief is a bear trap that holds you in place, unable to move or see anything beyond your current viewpoint. Even though you’re told information that would free you from that trap, you refuse to place any belief in it because those who set your current trap have instilled a sense of fear in you that there is a bigger trap waiting just beyond what you can see.

So you stay in your bear trap and, despite the pain, you continue to hold onto what you believe. And hope that it is true so that one day you might be free.

I don’t know if this analogy works. It’s early.

But I do think this painting works. I see the Red Tree on the hill in the distance as being Truth and the nearer one being Belief. Truth stands on higher ground overlooking everything, including Belief. It can see all. Belief has a more limited point of view but it feels like it can see everything it needs. It feels like Truth, in its own way.

But there is distance between Truth and Belief. You have a ways to go from Belief until you reach Truth.

But it’s a journey that must be made.

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I came across this post from about 4 years ago and it made me take pause to think.  Sometimes in the course of living day to day, we often lose sight of the bigger picture that is our own life. We often focus on small things, little tasks and minor grievances, causing us to take for granted whatever good fortune that we may have experienced. I find that this is true in the weeks before a show when I am buried in my work. And I think that it  must seems especially true for most of us in these crazy days that we are going through as a nation.

So, today, instead of worrying and burying myself in angst, I am going to focus on the ways in which I have been so fortunate and allow myself to enjoy it, to be happy. Here’s what I wrote four years back:

There is but one success– to be able to spend your life in your own way.

— Christopher Morley, 1922

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I was contacted a week or two back by a man who had given me a great opportunity as an artist in my early years, a large commission that gave me the confidence to make the leap to painting on a full-time basis.  We had not seen one another in many years but he had seen some of the recent publicity about my work and he reached out to me, wanting to congratulate me and see how things were going in general.

For me, it was an opportunity to offer him the gratitude I felt he deserved even though it had been fifteen years since he had worked with me.  The years had clarified how large his decision to use my work meant to my career. So we talked for a bit, me thanking him and him telling me how proud he was of my work and of his ability to have seen something in it in those early days.  It was a nice talk and, after agreeing to get together soon, he put a  final question before me that gave me pause.

Are you successful, Gary?”  he asked.

I wasn’t sure what he meant by successful and the possibilities ran through my mind.  Was he talking about being a financial success?  A critical success, one based on notoriety?  Or was he asking if I was simply happy, satisfied by my life?  It suddenly seemed that success was such a relative term, that one person’s definition of success might not even begin to satisfy the next person’s requirements for it.

But my own?  What was success for me? In the flash of that moment, I tried to put this all together  and determine what the word meant to me.  I thought for a split-second of success being determined by money and fame but settled quickly on my own self-satisfaction as being the determinant of what I might define as success.  I knew in that moment that there would always be those who will make more money, gain more fame and influence than me.  But I also knew that even with more of these things I would be no more  satisfied with the life I was leading–  I do what I want  and I am able to do it on my own terms.  The image came to me then of those times when I am walking through the woods between my house and my studio and I stop and look around, thinking that I am more fortunate in this way than I ever dreamed of in my early years.

I knew in that flash that this  feeling of that satisfied moment in the woods was success for me.  I told him that yes, I was successful, more than I had hoped for.

I have thought about this conversation a number of times.  I still have fears and anxieties, still aspire for more in my career.  But it’s those moments of feeling truly fortunate to do what I do, feeling that warm glow of satisfaction in my life if only for a few seconds here and there each day, that define success for me.

I think back to a few weeks ago when I spoke with a group of high school students and I hope that I gave them  some idea that this is what success is– that if they can set their own  expectations and find satisfaction in these, they will be successful.

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The new painting shown here is a 9″ x 12″ canvas and is titled The Question. It is included in my solo show, Truth and Belief, which opens June 2 at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria. 

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gc-myers-defiant-heart-smThis coming Saturday, September 17, is my annual Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  This is my 14th Gallery Talk at the Principle and it’s been a lot of fun through the years.  There’s generally a lot of give and take between the audience and myself in the form of questions and comments and something new and unexpected often comes to light.  I almost always find myself saying something I didn’t expect to say or learning something new about my own work from the comments from someone at the talk.

It’s a surprising dynamic and I am always grateful for the folks who turn out at these talks.

But deep down I know they come for what has become a tradition– the giving away of one of my paintings at the end of the talk.  We have a lot of fun with this and I really do struggle in trying  to choose a painting that holds meaning for me,  one that  that I think deserves attention in someone’s home.

And the painting shown here at the top fits that bill nicely.  It is titled Defiant Heart and is about 14″ by 14″ on paper.  It’s one of those paintings that I felt strongly about but seemed to have bad timing in those times in which they hit the galleries, never coming before the eyes of that person to which it would speak some sort of truth.  There is much that I like about this painting and think it has much to say to the person who connects with it.

It will be my pleasure to have it find a home this coming Saturday.  Maybe it will be you.

So this Saturday, September 17, please come on in to the Principle Gallery in beautiful Alexandria.  The talk runs starts at 1 PM and generally runs about an hour. We’ll have a conversation, I’ll tell some of my secrets and maybe a lie or two and at the end of it, someone will take home their own Defiant Heart.  Oh, as always, there will be a few surprises along the way. Hope to see you there.

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GC Myers- Doubt the DarknessIf you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

Rene Descartes

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As it neared completion, this new painting felt like it was about a questioning of some sort.  The Red Tree here seems to be casting doubt over the reality that is before it and even its own reality.  The question might be: Shall I hide in the darkness or stand in the light?

I call this 12″ by 12″ canvas Doubt the Darkness and I think it speaks to this question.  Darkness often obscures our perception of things and raises doubts in us as to what is and is not real.  Darkness is an agent of doubt and fear.  But by casting our own doubt and light upon that darkness we come to understand that it only hides that which was already there and does not bring anything more with it.

Its only power over us is our own doubting of what we know is there.

Okay, maybe that’s too much for me to try to make sense of so early in the morning.  But even if it seems like gibberish when you read this, I hope you’ll at least take a look at the painting and try to to find something for yourself in it that makes sense.  Maybe you’ll even see what I was babbling about.

This is a new painting that will be accompanying me to next Saturday’s Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  It runs on September 17th from one until about 2 PM.  There will be some new work along with a select group of older pieces from the studio at this talk and, as has been tradition over the past several years, there will be a drawing at the end of the talk where one of the folks in attendance will win an original painting.  I will be sharing more details in the next few days.

It’s usually a lot of fun and I hope you’ll try to make it to this year’s talk.

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GC Myers- Winds of Hope smA great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia

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This is another painting from my show at the Principle Gallery, Part of the Pattern, which opens this Friday, June 3, at their Old Town Alexandria location on historic King Street.  This piece is a 20″ by 24″ canvas that I call Winds of Hope.

The words above from Catherine the Great jibe well with the meaning that I take from this painting.  For me, the patterned winds symbolize the constantly changing nature of the world.  The world is never static and change is inevitable and beyond our ability to control it.  How we see this change and react to it is the only thing that we control.

For some, any change is scary and filled with imagined terrors.  They try to hold tight to a past that has long since spun away and can never return in the same form.  Their world is filled with their own fears and each new gust takes them further from that idealized past.

I guess that the winds of change would give these people a headache.

Others just ride the currents without any thought, barely if at all noticing that change is all around them.  Maybe they are the fortunate ones, these people who live with their eyes only on that which is directly in front of them, never seeing the pattern of change in the sky above them.  They only notice it when it hinders them.

Then there are those who realize that the winds cannot be controlled, that they will blow where they please.  The change they bring comes without a thought as to how is affects us.  These are the ones who try to find the positive aspect of this change, who attempt to spark their imagination to see hope in this new future.

They see hope in the winds of change.

Is that a naive way of seeing things?

Maybe.  Probably.

But I prefer the naivete of hope over the cynicism, fear and careless ignorance of the other views.

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Only 6 Days Left!

Speaking of hope, PLEASE help the Soarway Foundation in their efforts in Nepal

and possibly WIN the painting of mine shown below.

Your help is truly needed…

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