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Posts Tagged ‘Arts Center of Yates County’

I am prepping for my annual two day workshop next week in Penn Yan at the Arts Center of Yates County. Below is a post I wrote just before the first workshop. I have to say, after the first four years, they have been both a lot of fun and pretty stressful for me. Every year, I am not sure I can do another one. But I keep coming back, mainly because of the kindness of the folks that come, the many laughs we share, the fact that I think they are taking away some small bits of knowledge, and the hope that they getting more than they expected when they signed up for the workshop. So far, I think that has been the case.

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Why does one not hold on to what one has, like the doctors or engineers; once a thing is discovered or invented they retain the knowledge; in these wretched fine arts all is forgotten, and nothing is kept.

Vincent Van Gogh, Letter to his brother Theo 1888

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When I read this quote from Van Gogh, I flashed back to a conversation I had several years back with an artist friend who was urging me to begin filming my painting process. He said that a deer could jump in front of my car going home from the gallery that night and nobody would ever know how my  paintings came about. He thought would be a loss.

That made me think but I still didn’t follow his advice and protected my process, except for small glimpses here and there, for years like an alchemist greedily withholding their found knowledge. It was one of several reasons for my lack of enthusiasm for teaching.

But time normally changes all things. I began to realize that it was a fool’s mission in keeping my process to myself. The  process was simply a tool for expression– it was not the expression.

An artist often has individual expression that transcends subject, material and technique. For example, an artist painting exactly like me– same trees and process– would produce work that would be different than my own. It would have a different soul, if it had one at all. If this artist’s purpose was mere copying, it would not. I can say this because I’ve seen this before.

So, after a bit, I came to understand that showing or teaching my process would not diminish my work in any way. In fact, I began painting the way that I do because I initially wanted to see paintings that I wasn’t seeing anywhere else. Wouldn’t it be great to spur that same thing in others?

To that end, as I announced earlier, I am teaching my first two day workshop,  September 17 & 18 [2015],  at the Arts Center of Yates County in Penn Yan, NY.  It’s a lovely town sitting at the end of scenic Keuka Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, famed for their beautiful vistas and multitude of wineries.

I am pretty excited about this and am starting to put together just how I want to teach this. I don’t want to spend any more energy hiding my process and I plan to fill each of the two days with as much info as I can get across while still making it entertaining and educational. So if you want to spend a couple of late summer days in a beautiful setting learning a form of expression that might spur other good things for you, contact the Arts Center of Yates County.

Hope to see you there.

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Sunny Point on Keuka Lake, Location of this year's Workshop

Sunny Point on Keuka Lake, Location of this year’s Workshop

As it was last year, I am leading a two-day workshop this month for the Arts Center of Yates County.  This year’s edition is going to be held at their Sunny Point facility (shown above) on the shores of beautiful Keuka Lake on Thursday and Friday, September 22-23.  I plan on having the attendees experimenting in my reductive technique as well as composing their work in different shapes and sizes than they might otherwise be accustomed.

One of the  purposes of this workshop is to see their materials in a different light and to knock down the limitations and rules that we often set on ourselves.  Basically, the idea is to get them realize that there are no rules when it comes to expressing yourself.

Last year was my first attempt at teaching and if you were reading here at that time you may recall that I had a lot of anxiety and reservations about the whole thing.  But I found it to be a very fulfilling experience and the feedback from the attendees was strong enough to convince me that there was indeed something of value here, that I was getting across something of use to these folks.

Frank B. at last year's workshop

Frank B. at last year’s workshop

Plus, it was just fun spending some time with some really nice people.  We had a lot of laughs, told some stories, learned some new things and made some really interesting work in those two days.  If you recall, I was blown away at how quickly that group absorbed the lessons.  At the end of the workshop they were working at a point that took me a year or more to reach on my own.

I was informed yesterday that there was still one and possibly two spots available for this workshop.  So, if you are interested in attending, you can get more info and register by clicking here or phone the Arts Center of Yates County at 315-536-8226.

Keuka Lake in the fall is always beautiful and I know we’ll have a pretty good time along with a few pleasant surprises.  Hope you can make it!

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GC Myers- Past Present FutureI start my first experience as a teacher today with the  two day workshop being held at the Yates County Arts Center in Penn Yan.  I have to admit to being a bit nervous even though I will simply be doing what I have done nearly every day for the past two decades.  It’s just that I normally do it in the privacy of my studio– silently and without a group watching every move.  I hope all the spitting and swearing doesn’t turn the students off too much.

Of course, that’s a joke– I don’t swear that much in the studio.  But in the weeks leading up to this workshop, I have become very self conscious of my actions as I paint, trying to minimize any goofy traits that might come across when I am standing in front of the group.  I think I have the spitting under control.

During this time, as I was prepping for the workshop and finishing a group of new work to take with me for Sunday’s Gallery talk at the Principle Gallery, I noticed that so many of the techniques that I will be showing in the next couple of days still make up the basis for my new work.

Take for example the painting shown at the top, a 12″ by 12″ canvas called Past Present Future.  Outside of several layers of glazing,  it is very much painted in the same manner as much of my work from 17 or 18 years back.  The shapes evolve and layers are added, but the basic technique is very much the same.

I am excited to see how the students at this workshop adapt this technique to their own sensibilities and their own expression.  I will let you know how it goes.

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GC Myers- Lake Tranquil

GC Myers- Lake Tranquil

This Friday, September 4,  is the final day for my Home+Land show that is hanging at the West End Gallery.  If you’ve been waiting to see it, I hope you get a chance to check it out. Many Thank You’s to everyone who made this a successful show!

Also, I have mentioned that I will be leading a two day workshop where I will be revealing many of the techniques I use in my work.  It takes place at the YCAC in Penn Yan, NY on Thursday and Friday, September 17 & 18, which is just over two weeks away.

Speaking with director Kris Pearson, I discovered that while the workshop was initially filled there have been two cancellations so there are still two openings left.  So if you are interested, please contact Kris by email at info@artscenteryatescounty.org or by phone at 315-536-8226.  It should be a fun couple of days, so if you’re up for it, please come along for the ride!

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Vincent Van GoghWhy does one not hold on to what one has, like the doctors or engineers; once a thing is discovered or invented they retain the knowledge; in these wretched fine arts all is forgotten, and nothing is kept.

Vincent Van Gogh

Letter to his brother Theo 1888

*****************************

When I read this quote from Van Gogh, I flashed back to a conversation I had several years back with an artist friend who was urging me to begin filming my painting process.  He said that a deer could jump in front of my car going home from the gallery that night and nobody would ever know how my  paintings came about.  He  thought would be a loss.

That made me think but I still didn’t follow his advice and protected my process, except for small glimpses here and there, for years like an alchemist greedily withholding their found knowledge.  It was one of several reasons for my lack of enthusiasm for teaching.

But time normally changes all things.  I began to realize that it was a fool’s mission in keeping my process to myself.  The  process was tool for expression– it was not the expression.

An artist often has individual expression that transcends subject, material and technique.  For example, an artist painting exactly like me– same trees and process– would produce work that would be different than my own.  It would have a different soul, if it had one at all.  If this artist’s purpose was mere copying, it would not.  I can say this because I’ve seen this before.

So, after a bit, I came to understand that showing or teaching my process would not diminish my work in any way.  In fact, I began painting the way that I do because I initially wanted to see paintings that I wasn’t seeing anywhere else.  Wouldn’t it be great to spur that same thing in others?

To that end, as I announced earlier, I am teaching my first two day workshop,  September 17 & 18,  at the Arts Center of Yates County in Penn Yan, NY.  It’s a lovely town sitting at the end of scenic Keuka Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, famed for their beautiful vistas and multitude of wineries.

I am pretty excited about this and am starting to put together just how I want to teach this.  I don’t want to spend any more energy  hiding my process and I plan to fill each of the  two days with as much info as I can get across while still making it entertaining and educational.  So if you want to spend a couple of late summer days in a beautiful setting learning a form of expression that might spur other good things for you, contact the Arts Center of Yates County.

Hope to see you there.

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GC Myers YCAC ClassOver the years I have been asked many, many times whether I offered classes or would be willing to teach and each time I have  answered with a hearty no.  There were several reasons for the answer.

First, not having taken any classes myself, I felt uninformed as to how to instruct a group.  It was out of my comfort zone and I just didn’t feel as though I had the qualifications or anything to offer.  Plus, I wasn’t sure if I could paint and talk at the same time.  I am not the most coordinated person in the world.

Second, it took time away from my own painting.  I am the artistic equivalent of a gym rat, always in place in my studio nearly everyday for about twelve or more hours.  It is who I am and what I do.  Time away from it is sometimes painful to endure.

The third, and definitely the most important, reason was that I was just hesitant in sharing any of the process behind much of my work that had taken thousands of hours alone in the studio to develop.  Trade secrets, if you will, that needed to be protected.

But over the last few years, I have come to understand that it is not purely process but the person behind it that makes the work come alive and that by hiding the process I was being small and petty.  There was nothing to fear from someone learning from my experience.  In fact, there might be insights to be gained from seeing how others react to working with my process.

So, this year I finally relented, after much urging from the director of the Arts Center of Yates County,  and will be giving a two day workshop featuring my process at  their wonderful facility in Penn Yan , NY, in the heart of the beautiful Finger Lakes.  It will take place beginning on either September 16 or 17— we are still working out final details.  The workshop will be from about 9:30 AM until 4:30 each day with a lunch break and  will be limited to 15 students.  If there is enough demand, there is always the possibility of adding a second session.

My feeling is that this is for all levels of ability, from non-painters up to those with much  more experience.  My goal is to pass on what I have gleaned from my journey over the past two decades so that it might send someone down their own personal path.  I want everyone in attendance to take away something new and of value for themselves.  And I guarantee that there will be no shortage of stories.

If you’re from out of the area and don’t know the Finger Lakes region of New York, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise– it is an area filled with extreme natural beauty, many wonderful wineries, great watersports and a calming atmosphere.  A perfect place to getaway to.  So, if you’d like to spend a couple of late summer days painting with me in the Finger Lakes,  I urge you to contact the Arts Center of Yates County at this link and get on the list.

 

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GC Myers- Early LandscapeThis is a painting from about 17 or 18 years back.  I chose it for today’s post because last night I was the guest speaker at the Annual Dinner for the Arts Center of Yates County and  used the transformational power of art as as a theme for my remarks.  I look at this painting and I can see how my work has changed over the years.  But more importantly, the transformation I see in this painting reminds me of the changes that have taken place in my life as a result of my involvement with the arts.

In addition to sharing the story of how I came  to painting, I spoke of  being empowered by discovering a voice in the images that speak for me of my deepest emotions where words fail me.  About how the purpose and responsibility that art has provided for me has enriched my life and connected me with the outer world.  About how art has allowed me to clearly see what I am and am not.

Art has provided so much for me and I urged those in attendance, all involved locally in some way with the arts, to take note of the gifts that art has given them and to encourage others to become involved in the arts so that they, too, might experience similar gifts.

I want to thank the members of Arts Center of Yates County for inviting me to speak and for being such a warm and receptive audience.  Your interest and friendly attitude made me made me feel very welcome and for that I am truly grateful.  All the best to you in the coming year.

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