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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Isaak’

GC Myers- The Sky Is Always the Sky 1995 sm



There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables



Thought I’d share another older piece, one that also never found its way out of the studio. Some times the reason they stay with me is obvious and other times not so much. This small piece falls in the not so much category.

It’s from mid 1995, not long after I first started showing my work publicly. Across the bottom of the piece of watercolor paper on which it is painted is the title The Sky Is Always the Sky along with the date it was painted in 1995.

Looking at it now, I can’t figure out why I felt it wasn’t worthy to show at that time. I am actually pretty pleased to be able to show it now. It has much in it that I wish would show up in my work now, twenty five years later.

For example, its utter simplicity and the gracefulness of its linework. Well, my definition of gracefulness, anyway. There’s also the way the layers of color go together so well with the grainy pigments of the cobalt blue settling into the shallow pits of the paper above a sepia underlayer.

Looking at it, I realize that many of the changes that took place in the following years in my work were material related. A few years after this I went from employing traditional watercolors in my work to acrylic inks. The difference is that the inks have a more and finer pigments which make their colors more explosive, more impactful. There is a difference in the more subtle aspects of the watercolors that is hard to replicate with the inks. This piece is an example, at least by my analysis.

Another difference was that I also began using a gessoed surface a few years later which also brought dramatic changes to the work. The positives of using gesso outweigh not using it for me but the beauty of cotton watercolor paper and its tactile appearance is undeniable.

The other difference was that the brushes I was using at the time were  wonderful Winsor & Newton round brushes that have long since been discontinued. These round brushes had a different brush profile than almost any other round brush I have been able to find since that time. I use a round brush almost all the time in my wet work even when a flat brush might sometimes be a more obvious choice. I like the organic quality it gives the work and the linework it produces. Brush choice has a big impact on how the work appears and I am still trying to find brushes that have the same qualities as those old W&N brushes.

Anyway, looking at this old piece again so closely gives me inspiration, makes me want to revisit those elements that make it work so well for me. We’ll see

Here’s an old Chris Isaak song, a favorite that is centered around a particular blue sky. It’s the tone I would like for this piece. Here’s Blue Spanish Sky.



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“Blue Moment” – Now at the West End Gallery

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The true person is
Not anyone in particular;
But, like the deep blue color
Of the limitless sky,
It is everyone, everywhere in the world.

— Eihei Dogen, 13th Century Japanese Buddhist Priest/Poet

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Every color has its own feel, its own set of meanings that it forever carries with it. It reaches out and forms a bond with the viewer based on these sensory associations. I know, for myself, that blue carries a wide and deep set of such meanings with it, almost all positive by nature.

Soothing. Eternal. Placid.

Limitless.

I could go on with a list for quite some time. That’s probably why I usually find myself always returning to it in my work, find myself just staring not at the subject of a painting but at the color of the surface. The feel of it on my senses.

As Dogen saw in the blue of a sky, maybe there something Zen in the color, some connection to an infinite field of energy that is omnipresent, everywhere.

I don’t know for sure but I am willing to ponder the color blue a bit more this morning. Here’s a song from a while back from Chris Isaak that focuses on one facet of the blue spectrum.

Here’s Forever Blue. Have a good day.

 

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I was going to write about an essay that I read in the magazine Foreign Affairs by George Packer titled The Broken Contract.  It’s a summary of the timeline for the growth of the wealth inequality in our country that has recently started coming to a head, focusing on congressional actions that have enabled this disparity.  I had some problems with some of his views but overall found the article to be very enlightening and downright depressing in the end.  So I decided to not go any further into it this morning except to say that the country has definitely lost sight of the  contract of social responsibility implied in Packer’s article. 

 According to Packer, if the world were represented by the movie It’s a Wonderful Life ( we are quickly heading into the holiday season, after all), the most egregious actions of the greedy Mr.Potter have become the accepted norm and are no longer subject to any sort of public shaming, as they had once been.  George Bailey would be even more helpless to the economic and legal machinations of Potter. 

That’s my analogy, not Packer’s. 

Anyway, that’s as far as I want to take it this morning.  Here’s a little music to fit the tone of this subject, at least in title.  It’s Wicked Game from Chris Isaak from back in 1989.  Hard to believe this song is that old.

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Sunday Quiet

Calm SummoningSunday morning.  Quiet.  

There’s always a certain stillness on Sunday mornings.  Very little traffic as I walk down our long driveway to get the paper.  Hardly anything stirring.

I always enjoy these mornings, always feel as though I have the world to myself.   Like the quiet is all mine.

Big quiet.

Here’s an older song from Chris Isaak.  Same feel.  This is from the Tonight Show from 1992 so it looks a little dated.  Enjoy…

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