Posts Tagged ‘Claude Monet’


It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So, we must dig and delve unceasingly.

-Claude Monet


Busy this morning so I thought several haystack paintings from Claude Monet might fill the bill. Those and the quote above which immediately spoke to me when I first came across it.

Art has served as a way forward for me and part of that is allowing myself the time to observe and reflect. I have found that once that becomes ingrained as habit, the digging that comes with this observation and reflection becomes, as Monet points out, unceasing. Actually, more like obsession, occupying nearly every waking moment of each day, along with more than a few others in dreams.

Writing it out, this compulsion sounds awful. But it’s not something I even notice. It just becomes part of one’s natural state of being. And I greatly prefer this state of being over those that existed for me before I began this life in art.

Enjoy the Monets. I have work to do.



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Art on Tap Class at Claremont Craft Ales

Art on Tap Class at Claremont Craft Ales

Sometimes your work physically goes to far distant places, such as those paintings that have went to embassies in Nepal, Uganda and Kuwait that  I wrote about yesterday.  But sometimes your work travels in ways that you can’t predict.

An online acquaintance forwarded the above image to me yesterday.  It was a strange sensation, seeing this mass of what looked to be 25 of my paintings looking out at me.  It took me a few seconds to figure out that I was looking at an art class that had reproduced one of my paintings.

Doing a little research, I discovered that this was an event called Art on Tap that is operated by Otterspace Arts in Claremont, California, east of Los Angeles.  Every several weeks, they hold this event at a local microbrewery, Claremont Craft Ales, where all attendees are instructed in how to paint works that have been selected by online voting.  They have recently chosen to make copies of paintings from Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe, Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.  And me.

Even though I am pretty sure most of those in attendance had never heard of me or my work  before, I was still really flattered by this.  I know that this has taken place on a more local level, at kids classes in my area and one for adults at an Arts Council in the Finger Lakes, but it was gratifying to see my work’s imagery moving outward in this way.  I recognized at an early stage in this journey that creating images that are instantly recognizable as yours is one of the most important , and most difficult, steps in establishing yourself as an artist.  And seeing this photo made me think I was almost there.

I also liked their Facebook ads for the event.  I would like to think that there is a Sasquatch somewhere enjoying my work.  At the bottom is the original image.  I hope they enjoyed painting this painting and hope that it hangs with pride in their homes.

Claremont CA Art on Tap Otterspace adClaremont Original GC Myers Image

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GC Myers-  Inner Perception smallThis is a painting from a few years back that has toured around a bit and found its way back to me. Called Inner Perception, it has been one of my favorites right from the moment it came off my painting table.  Maybe the inclusion of the the paint brush (even though it is a house painter’s brush) with red paint in the bristles makes it feel more biographical, more directly connected to my own self.   Or maybe it was the self-referential Red Tree painting on the wall behind the Red Chair.

I don’t know for sure.  But whatever the case, it is a piece that immediately makes me reflective, as though it is a shortcut to some sort of inner thought.  Looking at it this morning, the question I was asked at the Principle Gallery talk a week or so ago re-emerged, the one that asked what advice I might give my fifth-grade self if I had the opportunity.  I had answered that I would tell myself to believe in my own unique voice, to believe in the validity of what I had to say to the world.

I do believe that but I think I might add a bit to that answer, saying that I would tell my younger self to be patient and not worry about how the world perceives you.  That if you believed that your work was reflecting something genuine from within, others would come to see it eventually.

I would also add to never put your work above the work of anyone else and, conversely, never put your work beneath that of anyone else.  I would tell myself to always ask , “Why not me?”

This realization came to me a couple of years ago at my exhibit at the Fenimore Art Museum.  When it first went up it was in a gallery next to one that held the work of the great American Impressionists along with a Monet.  I was initially intimidated, worrying that my work would not stand the muster of being in such close proximity to those painters who I had so revered over the years.

But over the course of the exhibit, I began to ask myself that question: Why not me?

If my work was genuine, if it was true expression of my inner self and inner perceptions, was it any less valid than the work of these other painters?  Did they have some greater insight of which I was not aware, something that made their work deeper and more connected to some common human theme?  If, as I believe, everyone has something unique to share with the world, why would my expression of self not be able to stand along their own?

The answer to my question was in my own belief in the work and by the exhibit’s end I was no longer doubting my right to be there.  So to my fifth-grade self and to anyone who faces self-doubt about the path they have chosen, I say that if you know you have given it your all, shown your own unique self,  then you must ask that question: Why not me?


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No Rules

I do what I can to convey what I experience before nature and most often, in order to succeed in conveying what I feel, I totally forget the most elementary rules of painting, if they exist that is.  In short, I allow faults to appear, the better to fix my sensations.

–Claude Monet, 1912


I have had this little sign hanging in my studio for the last 16 years or so, a rough reminder to myself when I begin to feel like my work is bending to the rules and judgments of others.  It reminds me that I am working in my own realm, my world.  I control the parameters of what is possible, of what defines reality in my work.  The rules of others mean nothing in my little painted world.

Over the years  I have glimpsed this small sign at times when I have been feeling that my work is stagnating or beginning to adhere to  accepted conventions  and have been spurred to push my work in some  new direction.  Heightening the intensity of color or introducing new hues that seems incompatible with nature, for example.  It’s as though these two words are prods that constantly  tell me that nobody can control me when I am here in my created world.  There’s a great liberation in this realization and I find myself trusting my own judgment of my work more and more.  Because I have created  my own criteria for its reality, criticism from others means little now.

I think that’s what I am trying to get at here, that an artist must fully believe that they are the sole voice of authority in their work, that they, not others, determine its validity. Maybe that’s why I am so drawn to  Outsider artists, those untrained artists who maintain this firm belief in their personal vision and create a personal inner world of art  in which it can live and prosper.  Rules mean nothing to them- only the expression of their inner self matters .

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My exhibition, Internal Landscapes: The Paintings of GC Myers, has officially opened at the Fenimore Art Museum in lovely Cooperstown, NY.  The exhibit hangs until the end of the year, December 31.  It’s a select group of mostly larger paintings from the last few years along with a few very early small pieces that show the beginning stages of the evolution of my work.

One of the highlights for me is the first public showing of the piece shown above, The Internal Landscape, a painting familiar to regular readers of this blog.  It is a very large painting, measuring 54″ high by 84″ wide.  This large scale gives it  a real presence in any space.

If you can make it to the Fenimore in the next month, the exhibit hanging in the adjacent gallery is American Impressionism: Paintings of Light and Life, which is a grand collection of paintings from the likes of Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam and William Merritt Chase.  And if you’re looking for real star power, there’s even a piece from one of the most influential Impressionists, Claude Monet.  Plus there are several other great exhibits not to mention the incredible Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, which is worth the trip on its own.  I’m pretty excited to be in such grand company.

On November 7, I will be giving a talk on show after a luncheon, from 12:30 until 2:30,  as part of the museum’s Food For Thought lecture series.

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