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Posts Tagged ‘Big Quiet’

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“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.”

― Elbert Hubbard

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The painting above is called Endless Time, from back in 2008. It’s what I might call one of my Big Quiet paintings. Just color and forms. No central objects to garner the focus. No Red Trees or Red Roofs or Red Chairs. Not even a far point that seems like a destination.

I am not passing through, not heading anywhere past this point nor concerned with paths to follow.

In this piece, I’m just there. Now.

It’s a place without words. Pure silence.

The Big Quiet.

I would try to describe it further but unless you know or seek the Big Quiet yourself, as Elbert Hubbard points out above, you probably won’t understand.

Silence and quiet is a subjective thing as our recent isolation has proven. For some, it is a glorious thing without the sounds of traffic and crowds. For others, it is horrifying, maybe a reminder of the stillness of the grave.

We all experience the silence differently.

I think you know where I stand on the Big Quiet.

Enough said.

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Jean Arp- Torso of a Giant 1964

Jean Arp- Torso of a Giant 1964

 

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Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation… tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.

–Jean Arp

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GC Myers- Quiescence

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I had a quote on the last post with a quote from artist Jean Arp about man turning his back on silence. Rather than savoring the quiet, he runs from it, instead distracting himself with all manner of noise. Anything to keep him from facing the fears that the quiet represents to him.

It’s a theme that has been large in the background of my work. Early on, when I felt that I wanted to be a writer, I would find myself writing about large open spaces and the caverns of silence that rested in these places. I called it the Big Quiet. Of course, it’s a pretty limited subject and there is a certain redundancy in writing about silence and stillness. I mean, how can you use the noise of words to aptly describe the absence of noise?

So I gave up writing about it and went on with my life, always with an eye out for this Big Quiet. I don’t know that I was craving it or fearing it at most points. My life was pretty much filled with the noise of the world, all the snaps and pops of sound and distraction that creep into every living space. I was like so many others who needed the security blanket of sound to protect them from what they might discover if they were forced to face the silence.

But the sounds that I hoped would lessen my anxiety only seemed to feed it.

However, painting gave me a path to finding this Big Quiet. It was wordless and calm, creating an inner space absent of the sounds of the world that I was and am still occupying. It became a destination, an oasis to turn to when the din of world became too loud, too overbearing. It eased my fears of looking inward and allowed me to savor the quiescence of the brief moments I actually myself there in those scenes of stillness and calm. It became real and necessary to me.

I don’t know where this going, this wordy noise I’m creating about the stillness I find now. I just felt that I should add a bit of context to my work, to give a an understanding of what I hope to take from it for myself. This moment came about from running across the image above, a piece from several years ago that is called, fittingly, Quiescence. It’s a piece that brings me quiet immediately and seeing it at any time makes me again think of the main reason that I paint.

So, I am going to be quiet now…

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The post above is comprised of two posts that ran here on consecutive days back in 2013. They served a great purpose for me this morning when I read them again for the first time in many years which made me think they were worth sharing.

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GC Myers-  QuiescenceI had a quote on the last post with a quote from artist Jean Arp about man turning his back on silence.  Instead of savoring the quiet, he runs from it, instead distracting himself with all manner of noise.  Anything to keep him from facing the fears that the quiet represents to him.

It’s a theme that has been large in the background of my work.  Early on, when I felt that I wanted to be a writer, I would find myself writing about large open spaces and the caverns of silence that rested in these places.  I called it the Big Quiet.  Of course, it’s a pretty limited subject and there is a certain redundancy in writing about silence and stillness.  I mean, how can you use the noise of words to aptly describe the absence of noise?

So I gave up writing about it and went on with my life, always with an eye out for this Big Quiet.  I don’t know that I was craving it or fearing it at most points.  My life was pretty much filled with the noise of the world, all the snaps and pops of sound and distraction that creep into every living space.  The sounds that I hoped would lessen my anxiety but instead fed it.  I was like so many others who needed the security blanket of sound to protect them from what they might discover if they were forced to face the silence.

But painting gave me a path to finding this Big Quiet.  It was wordless and calm, creating an inner space absent of the sounds of the world  that I was and am still occupying.  It became a destination, an oasis to turn to when the din of world became too loud, too overbearing.  It eased my fears of looking inward and allowed me to savor the quiescence of the brief moments I actually myself there in those scenes of stillness and calm.  It became real and necessary to me.

I don’t know where this going, this wordy noise I’m creating about the stillness I find now.  I just felt that I should add a bit of context to my work, to give a an understanding of what I hope to take from it for myself.  This moment came about from running across the image above, a piece from several years ago that is called, fittingly, Quiescence.  It’s a piece that brings me quiet immediately and seeing it again made me again think of why I paint.

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