Posts Tagged ‘Alexandria VA’


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


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.


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


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


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.


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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GC Myers- Highest GroundI’m so glad that he let me try it again
‘Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
Till I reach my highest ground

Stevie Wonder, Higher Ground


Another new painting headed for my show, Part of the Pattern, which opens June 3 at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  This piece is 8″ by 14″ on paper and is titled Highest Ground, borrowed from the chorus of the great Stevie Wonder song.

This is an easy piece to absorb at first take with its mix of deep warm and cool colors and simplified composition.  But despite that, there’s a lot of going on in this piece. It both feels soothing as though it represents a sort of safe haven but it raises questions.  If this is a safe haven, what is it safe from? Is this an end of the world scenario?  There’s a boat but nobody seems to be present– where are they?

And the ladder is a new element here.  I see it as a symbol of a continual upward climb toward some sort of final personal fulfillment.  A spiritual endpoint.  As the song says– gonna keep on tryin’/ Till I reach my highest ground.

 Here’s Stevie Wonder’s song to help me along as I continue to look at this piece for a while.

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GC Myers- SunbeamThe aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance, and this, and not the external manner and detail, is true reality.

This new painting, a small 6″ by 12″ canvas that will going with me to Alexandria this coming Sunday for my Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery,  intrigues me on many levels but mainly in the way in which it challenges my own perception of reality.

I wondered how light would appear in a world that gave it different properties.  For instance, what if instead of a sun, that ever-burning orb in the sky, our light was provided by a ring of light that cut across the sky?  And what if the source of light was darker than the light it provided?  How would it affect how we looked at our world?

The odd thing is that my mind accepts the reality that was created.  And that speaks to the words of Aristotle at the top of the page.  The significance of a piece of art is in how our mind interprets the reality of it, in how it connects  with our inner needs and perceptions.

For me, this small painting works on those terms.  It is warm and inviting and familiar even though the reality of the setting is alien to me.  I feel as comfortable–  perhaps even more– in this environment as I would in a perfectly represented image of the real world in which we live.

And that is all I ask of it…

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2015 Principle Gallery June GC Myers3The work has been hung and all that remains is to head down to the DC area a little later for tomorrow’s opening for my show Native Voice at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  My friends at the gallery sent me a few shots of the show in the minutes after they finished the hanging yesterday and I am pleased at the way the work presents itself.

With the salon-style hanging, with the paintings presented densely packed and filling the wall , there is a real concentration of color and the work comes off the wall in a manner that might befit stained glass windows.  And that is a comparison that I don’t mind at all.  You can see it well in the photo above with Jessica hard at work at her desk in front of the paintings.

Native Voice is my 16th show  at the Principle Gallery‘s Alexandria location and it opens tomorrow, Friday. June 5.  The reception runs from 6:30  until 9 PM and is open to the public.  It’s a casual affair so please stop in and say hello.  I look forward to seeing you there.

2015 Principle Gallery June GC Myers

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