Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Beatles’

There are sensory perceptions that we carry throughout our lives.  It might be a sound, a smell, an image that once brought to mind brings forth the atmosphere and feeling of the time in which they first entered our consciousness.

The smell of a cooking turkey instantly returns me to my childhood and the farmhouse where we lived. It would be Thanksgiving and  I can see Mom’s old formal dining table with the heavy chairs that surrounded it. It’s a long table with all the extending leafs in place and it’s surface is covered with the bounty of Thanksgiving, the mashed potatoes, canned cranberry sauce, stuffing and so on. Just the tiniest whiff of a roasting turkey always — and I mean always–sends me hurtling through time back to that table.

The same is true with certain songs. Take for instance, the song In My Life from the Beatles. Hearing those opening chords always sends me back to same big old farmhouse that played such a big part in my formative years. I can see the old floral wallpaper in the living room and there’s a big console record player with cloth covered speakers on its front and two sliding panels on top that uncover a turntable on one side and the controls for a radio on the other. Those opening chords have me immediately standing in front of that record player with the light from the large windows in that room filtering through Mom’s frilled white cotton curtains. On the wall there was a reproduction of a schlocky painting — I think it was a red covered bridge–printed on thick cardboard that was bought at the Loblaws grocery store.

It’s a good memory. I felt safe in that place, free to imagine places and adventures I hoped for in the future. It was a good place to foster some of the thoughts and observations that direct my paintings to this very day.

That’s my intro for this week’s Sunday morning music. I thought instead of playing the original Beatles version of In My Life which is understandably a favorite of mine, I would opt instead for one from Bette Midler with a beautiful accompaniment on ukelele from uke wizard Jake Shimabukuro. The feeling of his playing on this song works for me as much as the original in bringing back that earlier time and place.

Give a listen, think about some of those sensations that trigger your own memories and have a good Sunday.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I am in a real hurry this morning but wanted to at least share my Sunday morning song and I thought that my choice this week fit this particular painting very well. This painting, The Way of the Master, has spent a couple of years in Kuwait being displayed at the American Embassy there. When Ambassador Silliman’s appointment changed to being Ambassador to Iraq, the painting returned to me. It was a favorite of mine from the time I painted it and I was thrilled to have it back. It’s showing at the West End Gallery as part of my Self Determination show.

I am sharing what I wrote about this painting a few years back. The accompanying song is Tomorrow Never Knows from the Beatles, off their classic 1966 Revolver album. Give a listen and have a great Sunday.

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

GC Myers- The Way of the Master

“There is one single thread binding my way together…the way of the Master consists in doing one’s best…that is all.”

– Confucius 

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

I originally had a different title in mind for this new painting,which is 24″ by 36″ on canvas. I saw it as being about the end of a journey, about coming to a point that marked the highest level of emotional  and spiritual development. But then I remembered this quote from Confucius and it had immediate resonance.

It all comes down to effort in the end. Everything that comes to us, everything we desire and value,  ultimately depends on the amount of effort we choose to put forth.  Things done half-heartedly and with little attention never prosper or develop. Those things you take for granted never grow into something more.  They only diminish with less attention. You can witness  this in every aspect of your life. I know I can see it in my own. Everything I value– my marriage, my work and my peace of mind– requires hard work and maintenance, my very best effort.

This full effort ultimately leads to a deeper sense of connection with those things we value, emotionally and spiritually, and I suppose that’s what this piece signifies for me. I believe that any thinking person wants to reach their highest point of development, wants mastery over their own physical and spiritual life. This painting reminds me that it is obtainable if I am willing to give my very best.

As Confucius says: and that is all.

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

Read Full Post »

change_-masp-fotolia-com_-640x229I hear all the time that this election is about bringing change to our country. While that sounds pretty good for some folks, especially those who feel like they’ve somehow ended up with the short end of the stick, I want to speak a word of caution:

Be careful what you wish for.

You may get something in the bargain that you could never foresee and find yourself looking back at these past few years with fond recollections and a bit of nostalgia.

First of all, what is so absolutely awful that we need to change everything? Where is this hellscape that America has become? You know, the one Donald Trump so often points to in his rants on the campaign trail, the one where you get shot the moment you set foot out in the street?  I live in an area that is not booming economically and has one of the higher crime rates in NY state but it certainly doesn’t feel  much different than it did in decades past.

Despite the claims and misrepresentations of Donald Trump, violent crime and murder are at the lowest rates since the early 1960’s.

The stock market in the month or so after Barack Obama came into office was down to around 6500.  It now stands at over 18000.  If you have a 401k for your retirement, your investments have no doubt grown appreciably.

Unemployment was around 10%.  It is now under 5% and real wages are actually rising.  The demand for labor is now exceeding supply.  Plain and simple: We don’t have the people needed to fill the good jobs that are open now.  Even in my area with an economy that often underperforms on a state and national level, a large CVS warehouse/distribution center has turned to running television ads looking for 60 new employees with starting wages from $12-15/hour.  You would think there would be lines of people waiting to fill these jobs.

Interest rates are still near historic lows and the housing market is strengthening as we move away from the horror story of the Great Recession.

Gas prices have remained relatively low and we are closer to energy independence than ever before.  The USA is the largest producer of oil in the world and we are adding huge chunks of solar and wind capacity every year.

More people have health insurance than ever before with fewer people with chronic conditions being denied coverage or being forced into medical bankruptcies.  You’re probably thinking about the reported rate increases at this point.  Let me tell you, being self-employed, I have been buying my own health insurance for many years now and long before the ACA, rate increases such as these were the norm.  Obamacare or not, you are going to pay a steep price for health insurance until there is some sort of comprehensive reform that encompasses the whole of the medical, health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

There are many other ways in which we are not doing so badly after all despite what Fox News tells us.  Perhaps we don’t need to burn the whole thing down after all.  Maybe we need to affect change in our own perceptions of the world and our reactions to it.  Say , for instance, that we looked at the positive job growth that has been taking place for the past 80 months or so as a good thing, something to build on, instead of perceiving it through partisan goggles as just not being good enough.

Maybe if we stop giving in to fears and those who try to play on them, those who try to push wedges between us.  Maybe if we pay a little more attention to the world outside our little spheres of self, we would see beyond partisan opinion and see truth wherever it might be in whatever form it might come.

The general situation of this country has been much, much worse in my lifetime. Okay, there are problems in this country that have to be addressed.  There always have been and there always will be problems.  To think otherwise is foolish.  But there is nothing so terrible that we can’t figure it out if we work together.

That has always been our answer as a nation when faced with adversity in the past– we work past the obstacle before us and on to the next.

And that is why, despite what conservatives might claim, we are a progressive nation.  We have never settled for what might be good enough in the present.  We always strive for better.  We only look back in time for guidance in moving forward– not as a place to which we can return.

So, don’t let me down– get out there and vote.  Vote for a future that takes what we have built as a nation and moves forward. Please don’t vote for stagnancy and obstruction. Vote for people that want to help us all move ahead, that don’t want to return to a past that is long gone because of a fear of the future.

The future is what we make it.

Okay, for this Sunday’s musical selection I have a Beatles double-header.  First, there is Don’t Let Me Down followed by Revolution.  Have a great Sunday and when you’re listening to Revolution, remember: Be careful what you wish for.


 

 

Read Full Post »

Beatles Magical Mystery Tour GIFI have been busy with some personal matters but definitely wanted to get in my Sunday morning music.  Whatever else is going on, it seems there is always room for a little music.

For this week’s selection I went deep in the archives, almost 50 years back to 1967.  In the aftermath of their classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles released this song, Hello, Goodbye,  as a single.  It was also included in their film, Magical Mystery Tour.

It was penned completely by Paul McCartney and plays on the duality of the universe– hello/goodbye, yes/no, black/white, man woman and on and on.  To me it’s just another good song that I hope will start your Sunday off on a good note.  So give a listen and have a great Sunday.

 

Read Full Post »

In My Life

I thought I would show a little piece I recently finished.  It’s 5″ by 6″ and is on paper.  I finished the blocks that make up the background almost a year ago and it has sat on a cabinet behind my painting table ever since.  I would periodically pick it up and study it, trying to decipher what it was and where it was going but always put it back in place without doing any more to it.  There was a moodiness in its tone that made me wary of how I completed it.

But the other day I finally began to see where it was headed.  Simple. let the piece be about the texture and light.  let the figure be mere counterpoints to the drama of the environment.

I always like these pieces but am sometimes surprised when others do as well.  I consider my little figure paintings to be for my own viewing pleasure so I never have high expectations that others will find anything in them.

Still don’t have a title for this one.  I’m considering calling it In My Life, after the great  Beatles’ song.  In case you’ve forgotten, here’s how it goes:

happy birthday, linda



Read Full Post »

bass1It’s yet another Sunday morning.  Time to stop and look back at what has transpired over the past week.  Have a cup of tea.  Read the paper.  Watch the deer walking through my yard.

Just time to stop and release some of the anxiety that builds up in a chaotic world.  A time to breathe.

Something we all need, probably more often than the occasional Sunday morning.

I’ve decided to share a little music from the Beatles.  This is And I Love Her from their first movie A Hard Day’s Night.  I chose it because it always brings back pleasant memories and there’s something calming in those opening notes played on the acoustic guitar.  Something very protective and very soothing.

And we could all use a little soothing…

Read Full Post »

harlequin3Saturday morning and I’m in the studio early, anxious to get to work.  There are things I’d like to post on my blog but I feel like there’s a painting waiting to be released.

I think that for this Saturday morning I’ll instead show a little early Rolling Stones.  At Christmas, I was talking with my nephew, who is around 30 years old, who commented on how many people he knew who were totally ignorant of the music of the Beatles and the Stones, particularly before the mid-70’s,  and the great influence that both had on current pop music and culture.

For anyone from that time that is a remarkable thought because of the incredible changes that were taking place at the time and, for many,  how their music was very much the soundtrack for the era.  Perhaps this is hyperbole and the world would pretty much be the same without either band and their songs but I doubt it.  Great change is only affected by great influence.  The greater the influence, the more we are inspired to go beyond, to take what they have shown us and to synthesize and integrate it with our own voices and visions.  

Growing up, listening to this song, Get Off My Cloud, was empowering.  There was a sense of defiance and a sense of standing up for yourself that pulsed out of the grooves.  I don’t know if it completely comes through but at the time, it played loud and strong.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: