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When the idea first came to mind of doing an auction to raise funds to help out the wildlife organizations in Australia that are faced with the Herculean task before them, I thought it would be ending at noon today. But due to the generosity and good spirit displayed those folks who participated, the auction terminated early with all three paintings reaching the goals set for them.

So early, in fact, that all were paid for and the funds forwarded to Wildlife Rescue Australia (WIRES) by last evening.

The final tally?

The three pieces raised a total of $3750 which I bumped up to an even $4000 for the donation.

The donation was made to the Australian charity in Australian dollars, which after conversion, came out to 5815 AUD$. Sounds more impressive, right?

Hopefully, those funds will help the healing there in some small way.

The three bidders who put in the winning bids are spread around and all are folks who I have come to know through my work.

For the first painting, A Clearing Comes, I want to thank Denny S. of Springfield, Ohio for stepping up to the plate with his generous bid. I use the baseball term because Denny has the first baseball painting (and one that I periodically run out here) I did a number of years back. More than that, Denny is just an all around good guy with a generous heart. Thank you, Denny.

The Hideaway

The next painting that went was The Hideaway, won by Jennifer M. and Stevan K. of nearby Trumansburg, NY. I’ve met this lovely couple a few times over the past few years and am always pleased to spend some time talking with them. They attended this past year’s Gallery Talk at the West End Gallery with their children, who impressed me greatly with their questions and observations. Jennifer and Stevan, you are warm and caring people and I thank you so much.

Part of the Pattern

And the final painting, A Part of the Pattern, went to John M. and Ron S. from Moline, Illinois. They first saw my work at my 2012 exhibit at the Fenimore Museum in Cooperstown while on a road trip. I met them face to face a year or two later as they were visiting the West End Gallery while on another road trip. They are both good and gracious guys and I thank you both, John and Ron– or Hank as he is sometimes known.

To these winning bidders and everyone else who took part, I extend my everlasting gratitude. There are so many dire problems in this world right now, so many places with people and creatures that need our help, that it seems almost ridiculous to think that any one of us can make a difference in any meaningful way.

It’s a big world with big challenges.

But thanks to people like these folks, small steps can be made. And more than that, hope is maintained and carried forward, as is the belief that can still affect the world around us.

That we can make a difference.

And so long as we have that belief, hope and possibility remain.

So, make a difference. I am not asking you to shift the world from its axis. Help someone out. A hand up to someone who is down. Give some time. A dollar, or five or ten, here and there.

Do what you can and be generous in your spirit.

It will do the world some good.

A Clearing Comes- Auction for Australian Wildlife

 

 

 

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7:55 AM UPDATE: The third and final painting for this auction reached its set goal of $1000! Thanks to everyone for making this a great fundraiser.

Many, many thanks to everyone for making a success of the auction to benefit the rescue and rehabilitation of Australian wildlife affected by the recent wildfires there. On each of the last two days, paintings put up for auction reached their set goals, moving the amount raised closer to the $4000 mark I arbitrarily set as a goal.

Now if we can have the third and final piece sell, we’re there.

That final painting is Part of the Pattern. I have set a Buy Now price of $1000 on it, with an opening bid of $400. I knew when I chose this piece for this auction that it would be the last to go. It is a bit more personal in its view, a bit more narrow in its appeal and attuned to my own beliefs. That it speaks loudly and clearly to me doesn’t mean that it will have the same effect across the board.

While I keep telling myself that my feeling are strong enough that I should just keep it, it remains a painting that I am willing to part with, not for money for myself, but in order to do something good. I want that for this painting– that it does something good now and perhaps again later, at some future point in the life of whoever obtains it.

To that end, I am promising that if someone bids the Buy Now price of $1000, there will be a special added gift with it. I am not disclosing what this is but if you know my past, you will recognize that this is not an empty promise. My credo has always been to give a bit more than people expect. It’s a lousy way to do business but it helps me sleep at night.

So, take a look at yesterday’s post for the rules of the auction and bid. You’ll be getting a painting that I think is special along with an added gift but more than that, your bid will provide a lot of help for creatures that are trapped in the midst of a true environmental tragedy.

Thanks for helping out.

Here’s a post I wrote about Part of the Pattern several years back that better explains how I see it:

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GC Myers- Part of the Pattern

There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns.  Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns.  If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher.  What we can’t understand we call nonsense. What we can’t read we call gibberish.

–Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

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I tend to agree with the snippet above from Chuck Palahniuk’s book.

Everything is built upon pattern. Who we are and how we behave. History. Science. Music and art. It is all dictated by patterns.

Most of us don’t dwell too long on identifying patterns in the world around us and some of us will even refuse to acknowledge the predominance of pattern in the world, believing everything is random and chaotic. I suppose that in itself is part of a pattern, a larger one that is so encompassing that we can’t see it from our vantage point within it.

 Just speculating there, of course.

I know that I am always looking for pattern, even when I’m not really looking. I call it pattern, rhythm, flow, sense of rightness and other terms, without knowing why I am drawn to this concept. It just attracts me in that it is so much part of everything that there must surely be significance.

All of this flowed forward with this new painting, a 4″ by 17″ piece on paper that I’m calling Part of the Pattern. It’s based on a theme I’ve used several times recently of pools rising through a tall vertical picture plane like ladder rungs. This particular piece was so much more stylized in its forms that it really became more about pattern than subject. I see it both as a landscape and as some sort of underlying pattern that makes up the landscape. A sort of DNA-like structure on which the world is built. Whatever it is, it holds my eye and makes me keep searching for something in it.

“Part of the Pattern” in the Studio

 

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I wanted to include some photos of the devastation taking place in Australia to go along with an update on the current auction of a painting to benefit one of the wildlife rescue organizations there that are doing some truly mighty work. I was heartbroken by the stark horror of so many of the photos and just couldn’t include them. One, that I don’t want to even describe here let alone show, keeps flashing in my mind like a recurring nightmare.

Apocalyptic. That’s the only word that comes to mind.

But even the ones I am displaying, much less graphic than the others, are heartbreaking. The photo of the kookaburra at the top, as it surveys the charred homeland in which it had once thrived, is a powerful and complete statement, one that speaks volumes, not only of the destruction but of the dilemma facing the existing wildlife for their survival in this wasteland for the near future.

A Clearing Comes- Auction for Australian Wildlife

The painting, A Clearing Comes, here on the right, is up for auction with all proceeds going to Wildlife Rescue Australia (WIRES), an organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of Australian wildlife. They are facing a Herculean task and need as much assistance as they can get.

My goal for this painting was to get  $1750 for this painting which I would supplement so that this organization would get at least $2000. It’s a tiny drop in the bucket but it is what I have to offer.

But we must remember, many little drops soon fill a bucket.

I want to extend a true Thank You to every one who has participated so far.  You have already made this a successful effort, one that may, in some small way, bring a degree of healing to the affected creatures of that hurting land.

The current high bid is now $1650.

It will be shipped at my expense (along with some other little extras!) to the high bidder. I have set a figure of $1750 as a Buy Now price, at which point that bidder is awarded the painting.

So, there is still a little room to get in on this painting before the auction ends on Saturday, January 18, at 12 noon EST.

I might be tempted, if this auction ends today with a bid of $1750, to find another painting to put up  for auction. It would be great to send even a bit more to our friends in Australia, wouldn’t it?

Thanks for helping out!

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I have written a little in the last week or so about the wildfires that are devastating the landscape, people and wildlife of Australia. It’s on a scale that I don’t think we can really envision. I saw the diagram above that allowed you to move a circle the approximate size of the acreage  that has burned in Australia over a map so that you can see how it would affect an area that you might recognize.

The image above is from an area that encompasses my home, extending all the way to NYC, covering all of the Pocono Mountains along with most of the Endless Mountains and the Catskills, most of central and eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey, down to Philadelphia and into Delaware. If you’re familiar with this area, you know that it’s a substantial area.

Imagine, one day as you drive to NYC, that everything is suddenly gone. Every tree burned and every inch of ground scorched. The once verdant valleys that extend off of the highways for miles and miles in all directions stripped of all life. And not for just a short stretch of highway but for the entire drive.

Hour after hour of a suddenly empty, barren landscape extending as far as you can see.

There are no animals. There is nothing– no food nor shelter–there for those that may have somehow survived. And nowhere to go.

That’s pretty much the scenario that is taking place in Australia.

They are saying that perhaps a billion and a half creatures have perished in the fire. That is an incomprehensible figure, one that makes any effort to help seem so small, so insignificant.

But that is what it takes to recover from such a great blow– one small step to begin. Instead of wringing our hands and saying that there’s nothing we can do, we can do one small thing. A lot of people doing seemingly small things suddenly becomes a large and effective thing.

I don’t have many resources but what I can do, my small step, is to auction off a painting and direct the funds to a wildlife charity in Australia that is deeply involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of the affected wildlife in Australia. My research has led me to the organization, Wildlife Rescue Australia or WIRES as they are known. They are largest wildlife rescue organization in Australia. Though they are especially suited to this mission, they are in need of all the assistance they can get. This will require years and much effort to restore the environment and animals to this land.

The painting I am auctioning is below. It is titled A Clearing Comes and is a piece that is a favorite of mine, one that I had to convince myself to part with. I also think it’s one whose message and feel is relevant to this circumstance. I see the crow in the dead tree as being symbolic of the wildlife enduring the devastation. The sky, while dark and portentous, is clearing and the Red Tree and the richly colored fields in the distance represent a better, more hopeful future.

The painting is on paper and is matted under glass in my standard hand stained 16″ by 20″ frame. It has a value of $1600. The bidding starts at $500, please. I will end the auction at once if there is a bid reaching a maximum $1750. You can bid in the comments section or, if you desire privacy, you can email your bid ( please put AUCTION in the subject line) to info@gcmyers.com. I will ship the painting at my expense and will include a few additional doodads and geegaws to the winning bidder. Unless someone bids the maximum $1750, the bidding ends Saturday, January 18, at 12 noon EST. I will provide proof of all funds being donated to the winning bidder, as well.

I will post updates throughout the next few days.

So, if you can, take a step and help in some small way.

9:45 AM Update: There is a bid for $500.

10:15 AM Update: Current bid is now $1000.

A Clearing Comes- Auction for Australian Wildlife

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The Wombat

This recent photo of a wombat rescued in Australian fires has went viral on social media over the past few days along with a story that the creatures were seen shepherding other animals into their vast burrows to avoid the firestorm. Unfortunately, the shepherding part has been ruled out as wombats are extremely short-sighted, their vision focusing on finding available food immediately in front of them.

It was simply a baseless but hopeful rumor.

But while the shepherding behavior has not been witnessed, the sharing of the burrow has been noted in a number of cases. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s like a scene from the Fantastic Mr. Fox down there. The animals are not having dinner parties and passing around canapes while their wombat host makes toasts. Most likely, it is the sheer size of the burrows that allows a diverse group of animals to share them without infringing on each other’s space too much. They often cover areas stretching well over 300 feet in length with multiple entrances and enough depth and ventilation to shield a large number of critters.

The wombat host may not even have to see his guests. Sounds like a perfect situation.

But the thing that most people comment on is the sheer size of the wombat in the photo, some thinking it is a doctored image. I had no idea of the size of a wombat. I thought they were like the size of a Corgi, small and stout. Maybe twenty or twenty five pounds.

Nope, they are fairly big, coming in at between 45 and 77 pounds on average. That’s an armful.

Another Couple of interesting wombat facts:

While they are generally slow moving, they can scoot along at about 25 mph when threatened. That is surprisingly fast. It reminds me of the first time I saw our late and beloved Jemma, a rescued Corgi, take off running. Again, surprisingly fast.

Their poop comes out in the shape of cubes. Yes, in cubes. Think about that.

Their rear ends are very tough (probably from creating those cubes!) being comprised mainly of cartilage. They use their rumps as defensive shields against their predators, so that when retreating to a tunnel it is the only part of them that is exposed. They will sometimes allow a predator to force its head above the wombat’s back then crush it against the tunnel walls with their powerful legs. Or they use those same powerful legs to donkey kick at it.

They live until about 15 years of age in the wild and from 20-30 years in captivity.

A group of them is called a wisdom. A wisdom of wombats. What a lovely sound.

They are pretty fascinating creatures. Unfortunately, their world and, by extension, the wombat itself, is in jeopardy from the devastating fires that are ravaging Australia.

Like I wrote the other day, we can’t do much by ourselves, a half a world away. But we can try. I am going to be putting a painting up for auction within the next day with all proceeds going to WIRES, a well respected Australian wildlife rescue organization that is doing yeoman’s work during this fire. There is much to be done to rescue and rehabilitate the affected animals but even more to be done in providing them a world –food, water and shelter– in which they can thrive in the aftermath.

Keep an eye out for the auction.

 

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REcycled Runway FashionJust wanted to mention that the online portion of the auction to benefit the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes ends today at midnight [ NOON!!].   The auction finishes tomorrow with a live auction at their REcycled Runway Fashion Show, their popular annual event that features garb of all sorts made from found materials.  Shown here on the right  is a gown from last year’s show made from discarded nylon tarps that was quite a hit.  By the way, that’s my niece, Sarah, modelling the gown.  If you would like to bid on the painting of mine or any of the other items in the auction and can’t be at the event, they do have provisions for Absentee Bidding on the site where your bid will be executed by the staff.

GC Myers- Sending OutShown here on the left is the painting that I am offering for this event is titled Sending Out .  It  is 12″ by 16″ and is  painted on linen.  I consider it one of my iconic images, with the blowing Red Tree in a heroic stance.  For me, it’s message is one that is relevant for this event, one of feeling the need to connect with the outer world and having your voice heard.  For many, art is that thing that allows this connection is the primary reason for  my support of our local arts council.

As I wrote in my earlier post about the auction, I feel that our local arts council, the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, serves a vital service in our region, which is primarily a rural area with a dwindling industrial base that has not seen an economic boom in my lifetime.  There are not a lot of opportunities for aspiring artists here and it can seem like an impossible dream at times for many artists.  But the Arts Council offers them a sliver of hope in pursuing their dream.  It educates, it informs and it seeks out opportunity for the artist.  As I wrote earlier, it has served me well in my own career and for that I will be forever grateful.

So, if you would like to help out an organization that is dedicated to helping others find their voice or simply would like to  get an original piece of art at a possible bargain price , please take a look at the online auction.  Thanks!!!

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Auction Thank You

#2- Seems Like a New Sun - Winning Bid $850

 I want to extend many thanks to all of you out there who participated in the Auction to Aid Japan that ended yesterday.  There was a frantic finish and both final winning bids came in at the last minute as the clock hovered at 12:00.  One piece was sold here in my hometown, for which I’m grateful to our local newsapaper for their coverage of this auction without which this bidder may not have known about the auction.  The other is soon to be off to Slovakia, of all places.  The winning bidder is originally from Corning and has obtained several pieces of my work over the years.  Nice to know that my paintings are world travelers.

Again, every bid was greatly appreciated.  If our effort can make even a small difference somewhere in the vast effort that will be required in restoring Japan, it will have been valuable and worth doing.  Like many of you out there, I often feel very small and unable to affect change

#1 Full Silence-- Winning Bid $775

in the face of such monumental challenges such as those presented  by the disasters in Japan.  But it is heartening when I see people respond to efforts to help and I see that change is often greatly affected on this small level.  And for that, I am grateful to all of you.

Thank you.

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