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Posts Tagged ‘Buddha’

I have finally chose the painting that will be given away at this coming Saturday’s Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery. It is called Deep Focus and is 18″ by 18″ on canvas. It has been around for several years now and each time it returns from a gallery I am surprised because it is a real favorite of mine, hitting the mark for me on so many points. I think you can see my feelings for this painting in the post below that I wrote when it was first painted.

So, if you would like to have a chance ( decent odds, too!) at taking this favorite of mine home with you, come on out to the Principle Gallery  in historic and beautiful Alexandria, VA this coming Saturday, September 15, for my annual Gallery Talk that begins at 1 PM. There will be some other surprises as well.

Hope to see you there!

Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.

–Buddha

***********

This new piece, 18″ by 18″ on canvas, is titled Deep Focus. This was one of those pieces that just seemed to fall out with very little inner wrangling or consternation. Once I started, it was off and running with what seemed very little assistance from me.

It was immediately clear that this painting was going to be about focus, about looking deeper and deeper into the canvas. Built from the bottom, each layer pushed the eye further inward. About halfway into this I began to think of the title for this as being AutoFocus, just for the ease with which it was emerging. But I finally opted for Deep Focus because of the depth I was seeing in the picture and the way everything seemed to gravitate toward the central point of the sun that is peeking over the distant hill.

This piece seems to have a very meditative quality, a placid feeling that goes well with the ease of the piece. Or at least, the ease that I felt in its creation. Sitting here now, taking it in, its construction seems simple, almost naive. Yet there is a feeling of opulence that I think comes from the colors and curves of the landscape that sheds this naivete and gives it a feeling of deeper knowledge. Or a way to deeper knowledge. Far from naive.

Years ago, I had a hard time trusting the validity of pieces that fell so easily from my hand, believing that  struggle must be part of making a painting come alive. I was almost embarrassed by the ease with which some pieces came. But over time, I have come to believe that it is this effortless work that is the goal, the work that is true and has the authenticity that I seek. This piece is a testament to the trust in my intuition that has come with time.

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The thought manifests as the word;

The word manifests as the deed;

The deed develops into habit;

And habit hardens into character;

So watch the thought and its ways with care,

And let it spring from love

Born out of concern for all beings…

 

As the shadow follows the body,

As we think, so we become.

 

 —From the DhammapadaSayings of the Buddha

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

I’ve been writing this blog for over five years [actually, it’s nine years now] which I find hard to believe. Some days I have nothing to say but still feel the need to keep this habit alive. Sometimes I read through older blog posts to gather inspiration and in doing so, I came across this bit of wisdom from the Buddha that I featured in a 2009 post.

When I used it at that time, I was referring to people’s words and deeds of incivility eventually hardening into character. For example, if you speak with anger and hatred constantly, it eventually becomes a permanent part of who you are. This was of course inspired by extremist nature of the political climate. But today when I read it, these words didn’t strike me in that cautionary way.

Instead, it was more inspirational, seeming like good advice for the young artist or anyone aspiring to something more. For me it was: Think as an artist, act as an artist. Eventually, the thoughts, words and actions become part of who you are– an artist. It took many years before this habit hardened into character. I often questioned the validity of the claim over the years but slowly these doubts faded, replaced by a belief in those words and deeds. I had practiced the habit of being an artist for so long that I could no longer  feel that doubt.

As I said, this applies to so many things, even simply being happy. If you think of joy, speak of joy and act with joy and eventually happiness becomes part of who you truly are– a part of your hardened character.

It’s a simple precept, almost too simple to be taken seriously especially on those days when it is challenging to remain joyful. But it holds true, as the Buddha instructed, for those who can maintain the way.

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

The painting at the top is “The Kinship” which is included in the Kada Gallery show.

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Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.

Gautama Buddha, The Dhammapada

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Looking at this new painting, a 12″ by 12″ canvas, I didn’t have to spend a lot of time trying to interpret it as its message comes through clearly for me.

The title, The Radiant Heart, had come pretty quickly from the radiating fields and the sunlight along with the deep red of the heart-like mound on which the house is located. In my mind, these things symbolized a generosity of spirit and a willingness to reach out to others with honesty and goodwill. Much like the qualities in the words of the Buddha shown above.

They are seemingly simple qualities that most people would no doubt assume apply to themselves.

But in the bright light of reality how many of us can say we truly live up to those qualities– goodness, generosity, truthfulness, and placidity?

I can say that I aspire to them and  hope to arrive at a time when I can claim all four as being truly part of who I am.  But I have often come up well short on all four accounts.  I have been less than good with my behavior and my intentions. I have been stingy and greedy.  I have lied and deceived. I have been angry and vengeful.

And that was just yesterday. God only knows what today will bring.

But, seriously, the only transcendent moments in my life have come when  I have been freed from those negatives, cut loose from greed, anger, and dishonesty. So, I must try to keep reaching that point where those better aspects are normal and always at hand.  It’s hard, especially in these times when we witness so much anger, so much avarice, so much outright dishonesty and lying, and so little compassion or empathy. It’s hardest to maintain composure and not explode in anger in reaction to these horrible, shameful actions you see taking place on a daily basis.

But perhaps the sheer difficulty of maintaining high aspirations in these days make it even more important that it be done. Because if we don’t get closer to a point where those better qualities guide us, then we will be living in a world unfit for and hostile to most of us.

And that’s not a world I can tolerate.

A lot of words for a small painting, huh?

***********

This painting is part of my upcoming solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery, “Truth and Belief,” which opens June 2 at the Alexandria gallery.

 

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Buddha Candle

GC Myers Pure Joy smI used the term joyous melancholy in yesterday’s blog to describe the feeling of a painting and a moment, the paradox of finding some sort of small pleasure in a gloomy moment.  It’s a delicate but satisfying feeling, one that solemnly affirms one’s humanity.  The new painting above, an 8″ by 24″ canvas,  is the opposite of that.  It is not paradoxical in any way nor is its message delicately or solemnly expressed.  It is pure color and joy that proudly displays what it is with gusto.

It’s a very strong, almost muscular piece in its expression.  Bold and unapologetic.  Willing to share its glee with anyone who is drawn to look at it.  It brings to mind a quote from Buddha: Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. 

A reminder that our joy is not a finite product, that it should be a shared experience.  I think I will call this painting  Buddha Candle.

On yet another below zero morning, I am enjoying the warmth and joy in this piece.

 

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Becoming

GC Myers- Regal One The thought manifests as the word;

The word manifests as the deed;

The deed develops into habit;

And habit hardens into character;

So watch the thought and its ways with care,

And let it spring from love

Born out of concern for all beings…

 

As the shadow follows the body,

As we think, so we become.

 —From the Dhammapada,

Sayings of the Buddha

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

I’vebeen writing this blog for over five years now which I find hard to believe.  Some days I have nothing to say but still feel the need to keep this habit alive.  Sometimes I read through older blog posts to gather inspiration and in doing so, I came across this bit of wisdom from the Buddha that I featured in a 2009 post.  When I used it at that time, I was referring to people’s words and deeds of  incivility eventually hardening into character.  This was of course inspired by extremist nature of the political climate.  But today when I read it, these words didn’t strike me in a cautionary way.

Instead, it seemed like good advice for the young artist or anyone aspiring to something more.  For me it was: Think as an artist.  Act as an artist.  Eventually, the thoughts, words and actions become part of who you are– an artist.  It took many years before this habit hardened into character.  I often questioned the validity of the claim over the years but slowly these doubts faded , replaced by a belief in those words and deeds.  I had practiced the habit of being an artist for so long that I could no longer  feel that doubt.

As I said, this applies to so many things, even simply being happy.  If you think of joy, speak of joy and act with joy, eventually happiness becomes part of who you truly are– your hardened character.  It’s a simple precept, almost too simple to be taken seriously especially on those days when it is challenging to remain joyful.  But it holds true, as the Buddha instructed, for those who can maintain the way.

Have a great Sunday and be happy…

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GC Myers- Deep Focus sm

Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.

–Buddha

***********

This is another new painting that is headed to the Kada Gallery for  Alchemy, my solo show that opens there on November 16.   This piece, 18″ by 18″ on canvas, is titled Deep Focus.  This was one of those pieces that just seemed to fall out with very little inner wrangling or consternation.  Once I started, it was off and running with what seemed very little assistance from me.

It was immediately clear that this painting was going to be about focus, about looking deeper and deeper into the canvas. Built from the bottom, each layer pushed the eye further inward.  About halfway into this I began to think of the title for this as being AutoFocus, just for the ease with which it was emerging.  But I finally opted for Deep Focus because of the depth I was seeing in  the picture and the way everything seemed to gravitate toward the central point of the sun that is peeking over the distant hill.

This piece seems to have a very meditative quality, a placid feeling that goes well with the ease of the piece.  Or at least,  the ease that I felt in its creation.  Sitting here now, taking it in, its construction seems simple, almost naive. Yet there is a feeling of opulence that I think comes from the colors and curves of the landscape that sheds this naivete and gives it a feeling of deeper knowledge.  or a way to deeper knowledge.  Far from naive.

Years ago, I had a  hard time trusting the validity of pieces that fell so easily from my hand, believing that  struggle must be part of making a painting come alive.  I was almost embarrassed by the ease with which some pieces came.  But over time, I have come to believe that it is this effortless work that is the goal, the work that is true and has the authenticity that I seek.  This piece is a testament to the trust in my intuition that has come with time.

Read Full Post »

genghis khan Chinggis Khaan statue horse equestrian mongolia 6I came across this photo of the Genghis Khan memorial in Mongolia, about 30 miles outside the capital city of  Ulan Bator.  I’ve always been a sucker for statues of epic proportion and I had never heard of this particular one.  It’s a pretty amazing  image, with Genghis astride his sturdy horse atop a museum,  and one can only wonder how it must appear in person in the vast open air of that Mongolian space.

I always am inspired when I see memorials such as this Genghis Khan statue.  It makes me want to work on something epic in size or at least push the spirit of my  work even harder forward, to think in a bigger way.  Grander in thought.  Perhaps that is the purpose of such memorials, to expand our horizons and broaden our vision.  I know that when I think of some of the other monuments of this proportion, such as the  World War II war memorial featuring a sword-wielding Mother Russia near Stalingrad or the Spring Temple Buddha in China (both shown  below),   that is the feeling that comes to mind.  They push me beyond the smallness of  my inner self where  I often allow myself to retreat in my work.  And that is exciting.

So, thanks for the inspiration, Genghis Khan.  And you too, Mother Russia and Buddha.  I’ll try to be a bigger person.

Stalingrad War Memorial Spring Temple Buddha

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