Posts Tagged ‘Cooperstown NY’


In my picture of the world there is a vast outer realm and an equally vast inner realm; between these two stands man, facing now one and now the other, and, according to temperament and disposition, taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other.

Carl Jung


Time flies.

We’re looking at another decade slipping away. I originally didn’t give much thought to any way of marking this but in recent days began looking back at work from the past ten years, trying to to see if there was a single piece that summed it up for me.

That is really difficult. Even trying to choose a single painting that sums up a single show or year is often near impossible. There are favorites, pieces that speak to me more personally than others, but they often don’t reflect the body of work as a whole. But choosing one that stands as a symbol for ten years of hard work seems out of the question.

But I tried and came up with a few that stood out as possibilities. The painting at the top, for example. It’s The Internal Landscape from 2012. It’s a large piece, 4 1/2′ by 7′, and was the titular centerpiece of my show that year at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY.

It’s a painting that has meant a lot to me, as far as building a confidence in myself that my work had lasting value that might carry it into the future somehow. I had been a full-time artist for about 14 years at the point that this was painted yet I still wasn’t confident my own evaluation of my work. I felt that it was a real expression, not mere decoration. It was my inner reality and like, Jung’s words above, I often found myself torn between this inner realm and the outer realm of the world. I knew this as a real world but I didn’t feel that I was qualified to say if this reality was enough, that it transcended what it meant for myself.

But this painting and its acceptance by the viewers of that show made me realize that my work’s effect could move beyond me.

And that was vastly important to me in doing this thing that occupies my days and nights.

Now, I can’t say this painting fully sums up the decade for me but it may come as close any other piece I might choose. It occupies a wall in my studio now and I take moments now and then to take it in. Its size makes it an embracing piece, one that makes me feel as though I am stepping into it with the warmth of the colors and shapes wrapping around me. It’s easy to spend time in front of it and let my mind wander among the fields and hills.

I don’t know that it will ever find a home outside the studio and that is fine with me. It feels like family, like a part of me now.


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Maxfield Parrish- Daybreak

Maxfield Parrish- Daybreak

I saw this year’s schedule for the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown and was excited to see that on it there was  an exhibit of work from the great Maxfield Parrish. Titled Maxfield Parrish: The Art of Light and Illusion, this show opens May 23 and features 45 pieces– paintings, prints and sketches– as well as some of the props for which he was well known for using.  Here is how the Fenimore describes Parrish’s career on their site:

As one of the most popular American artists of the twentieth century, Maxfield Parrish created fantastic images of fairy-tale figures and idyllic landscapes in a style that was all his own. Through a prolific career that spanned from the 1890s through the 1960s, Parrish became one of America’s first truly “public” artists. The mass reproduction of his paintings—originally intended as book and magazine illustrations, advertisements, calendars, and murals—ensured his reputation as one of the most widely-known figures in the history of art. It has been said that in 1925 a lithograph of his most well-known painting Daybreak [seen at the top of this page] could be found in one out of every four American homes.  Parrish’s magical artwork continues to capture the imagination and inspire today’s artists, musicians, and filmmakers.

Maxfield ParrishI have written here before that he was an influence on my work, especially in the luscious quality of color that he used in almost all of his work.  I liked his better known works, such as Daybreak, here at the top, but it was his lesser known work, quiet landscapes with compositions that intensified the quietness of the solitude they portrayed, that were my favorites.  But I have never seen many of his pieces in person and am really looking forward to being able to closely examine them in the intimate space of the Fenimore.  There is something about seeing the hand of the artist on the surface of a painting that makes me feel somehow connected to the artist, that allows me to imagine them at work at that particular moment when they made that mark.

If you have seen much of my work you will probably recognize Parrish’s influence that I took from the painting below, Aquamarine.  The shape of the tree and the promontory on which it stands, the proportions  of sky and sea, and the way the land sits on the horizon all found their way into my own vocabulary.  More than those obvious elements was the emotional tone that I saw in it and wanted for my own work.

Just great work and a show to which I am really looking forward to seeing up close.




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Dorothea Lange - Migrant Mother

Dorothea Lange – Migrant Mother

In a couple of days, on September 18th, there is a new exhibit of the photos of Dorothea Lange opening at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown.  If you don’t know the name, you still probably are familiar with her images which include the iconic photo shown here on the right, taken in 1936 while she was working for the Farm Security Administration.  Migrant Mother is one of those images that seem to capture with a glimpse all of the sorrow and hardship of those affected in the Depression-era Dust Bowl,  in this case a mother forced to leave her home and wander in search of work that will provide for her children.

Her worry is etched on her face.  While John Steinbeck‘s book The Grapes of Wrath brought the plight of these displaced farmers of that time to the light, it was  Lange’s imagery that  gave them  a sense of humanity  and dignity that reached out and created an empathy with the viewer.  It was powerful, plain and simple.

Dorothea Lange- Grandfather with grandson  at Manzanar CA Camp

Dorothea Lange- Grandfather with grandson at Manzanar CA Camp

Some of her most powerful work came from an assignment she took with the War Relocation Authority during  WW II, when she was hired to document the interment of Japanese-American citizens.  Lange captured the humanity of these prisoners of race at a time when even the liberal and progressive elements in this country maintained silence over the shameful treatment of these citizens.  The photos were censored by the army during the war and were never seen until they were quietly moved to the National Archives, almost 50 years later.

Lange lived from 1895 until 1965, surviving the polio as a child which left her with a distinct limp for the rest of her life.  But neither the limp nor the chronic ulcers that plagued her for the last decades of her life could slow her down.   She sought to affect social change with her images, to give voice to the disenfranchised and down-trodden.

So, if you’re in the Cooperstown area, I highly recommend stopping in at the Fenimore Art Museum to see this work by this giant of American photography.  I know that I am looking forward to seeing it.

Dorothea Lange-  Flag  at Interment Camp at Manzanar CA

Dorothea Lange- Flag at Interment Camp at Manzanar CA

Dorothea Lange Dust Bowl Farm Dalhart Texas

Dorothea Lange- Dust Bowl Farm, Dalhart, Texas


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Winslow Homer- Watching the Breakers

Winslow Homer- Watching the Breakers

When you say homer in Cooperstown, you would normally think of the Baseball Hall of Fame located there.  But until August 24th, the Fenimore Art Museum has an exhibit of paintings from American master Winslow Homer from the Arkell Museum collection.

We took a quick jaunt out to Cooperstown yesterday to see this exhibit and were pleased with the scope of the show which showed fine examples from all the phases of his career.  It had some of his illustration paintings from the Civil War, seascapes in oil and watercolor and his  light filled tropical watercolors.  It really gave you an idea of how talented he was across mediums and how well he controlled the  light in his work.

My personal favorite was  On the Beach, featured below.  It was panned critically in its time, generally for all the things that make it feel vibrant in a contemporary sense– primarily its almost abstract composition of bands of color.

Japanese Prints at the Fenimore

Japanese Prints at the Fenimore

However, for as much as we liked the Homer show, it was group of Japanese woodblock prints that really caught our eyes.  It hung in the same space that held my 2012 show and it transformed the space completely.  Inspired by the local but widely renowned Glimmerglass Opera‘s production of Madame Butterfly, this group of prints,  some from Hiroshige and Hokusai, shows Japan as it made the transition into modernity at in the latter half of the 19th century.   It’s enlightening and elegant at once.

There is also a fine group of historically based paintings of New York state from painter L.F, Tantillo.  They are extraordinarily detailed and luminous in the way they are painted.  A really unexpected delight as you head down to see the Thaw Collection, the museum’s famous collection of American Indian art masterpieces.

So, if you are in central NY any time soon, I really urge you to take a side trip to Cooperstown.  There’s baseball and great art in one lovely lakeside village.  What more could you ask?

Winslow Homer- On the bEach

Winslow Homer- On the bEach

L.F. Tantillo- Manhattan Sunset

L.F. Tantillo- Manhattan Sunset

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Andrew Wyeth -Mother Archie's Church 1945

Andrew Wyeth -Mother Archie’s Church 1945

We went to Cooperstown this past Monday to catch the last day of the Wyeth Family exhibit at the Fenimore Art Museum.  It was a great show featuring work from patriarch NC Wyeth,   son Andrew, grandson Jamie, daughter Henriette and daughter Carolyn as well as Henriette’s husband, Peter Hurd and NC’s primary influence Howard Pyle.  That’s a lot of talent to jam into a relatively intimate space.  You might think that it would be less than satisfying but the curating of this show was masterful, showing each artist in a truly representative manner that gave a real taste of their body of work.   Just a wonderful show.  I am glad I got to see it  if only to see a few of NC Wyeth’s gorgeous works and to discover more about his son-in-law, Peter Hurd, whose work is wonderful, bringing to mind the regionalist painters such as Grant Wood.

Thomas Cole- The Course of Empire- Destruction

Thomas Cole- The Course of Empire- Destruction

Of course, there was also the spectacular Thaw Collection of American Indian Art to see.  As always, it was a thrill to see the beautiful aesthetic of the native culture.  And as good as both the Wyeth show and the Thaw Collection were, I was truly bowled over by the current show, The Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision, featuring works from the Hudson River painters of the 19th century,  Just beautiful and strong examples from the genre, highlighted for me by the works of Asher Durand and the spectacular Thomas Cole series of five paintings, The Course of Empire , which features the rise and fall of an empire in the landscape, a rocky peak with a precariously perched boulder standing as a constant witness.  You have probably seen some of the paintings from this series but to see them together  in their full scale is to really get a great appreciation for their power.  It hangs at the Fenimore until September 29, so if you can, take a trip and see some incredible work.


Cole, Course of Empire - Savage State 1834 Cole, Course of Empire - Arcadia, Pastoral State 1834 Cole, Course of Empire - Consummation of Empire 1835 Cole, Course of Empire - Desolation 1836


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GC Myers- The Internal Landscape 2012I’ve been hobbled a bit over the last couple of weeks by a pinched nerve in my neck that has made any work (or sleep) almost impossible to accomplish. Hopefully, it will soon fade and I will be working feverishly again.  But while it has kept me from work, it has not prevented me from thinking back on 2012 and what it meant for my work.  It was truly a great year for it, one that will be hard to replicate.

Four solo shows in galleries.

In June, there was A Place to Stand at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia.  It was my  thirteenth solo show at a gallery that has meant very much to my career.

July found my show, In Rhythm, opening at the West End Gallery in Corning, New York.   I started my career at the West End and this show, my eleventh there, may have been the best of the lot.

Inward Bound opened in October at the Kada Gallery in Erie Pennsylvania.  I have  been  showing with the Kada for what will be seventeen years  in early 2013 and had a show there every two years since 2004.  This was one of my favorites there or anywhere.  There was a wonderful review in the Erie paper that I featured here.

December found me on the west coast with an opening of my show, The Waking Moment, at the Just Looking Gallery in lovely San Luis Obispo.  It was my first show with this long established California gallery with whom I began a relationship earlier in the year.  They have done an absolutely terrific job in exposing my work to folks from LA to San Francisco.  It was a pleasure meeting the collectors and staff out there I look forward to a long term partnership with them.

Of course, the biggest event this year was my first ever museum exhibit, Internal Landscapes: The Paintings of GC Myers, at the prestigious Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. It opened in August and just closed this past Sunday,  A fitting end to a great year.  The show featured a group of my work from the past several years including the new The Internal Landscape , shown above, which is the largest piece I have painted and one that I featured on this blog early in the year as it was being completed.  The response exceeded my expectations in all regards and remains the high water mark  in my career to date.  It has given me a new perspective on what my work is and what it might be.  A great experience, all in all.

In between shows, there were gallery talks as well as my work being featured on the cover of a new CD, Lowe Country.  Plus, several of my paintings found their way to Uganda to hang in the US Embassy there, accompanying the new ambassador.

Along the way, I met scores of great folks who shared their stories with me.  Many thanks to everyone I encountered as well as more thanks than I can ever fully express to all of the  staff at the galleries and at the Fenimore who gave me the gift of this year.

As I said, it was year that will be hard to match.  But as soon as I am able, I will be trying to do just that. Or more.



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William Miller's 1843 ChartWell, I got  up this morning and, outside of a light layer of snow on the ground, it looked pretty much the same as yesterday.  The world is still here and the Mayans have got some explaining to do for getting us all worked up.  Or were the Mayans just pulling our leg the whole time?

I’m not sure about that but I am pretty sure that this won’t be the last time someone predicts that the end of the world is upon us.  It’s happened on a regular basis throughout the history of civilization.  We seem to have some sort of predisposition for doomed thought that pops up in a big way every generation or so,  a doomsayer getting everybody’s panties in a knot with their what-seems-rational-at-the-moment reasoning  for the coming apocalypse.

One of my favorite apocalypses (how often do you get to say that?) was the End of the World of 1843 and 1844 as predicted by William Miller right here in the state of  New York, which was fertile ground at that time for new religion movements. Mormonism and Seventh-Day-Adventism, which sprang from Miller’s preaching, are the two best examples.

Miller was a preacher who came to the conclusion that the end was near through a complex system of mathematical calculations  based on his readings of the Old Testament.  He traveled throughout the northeast through the 1830’s and 40’s, preaching his prophecy of the coming end of the world.  It’s said that he spoke to over a million people during his promotion of the event and that over a hundred thousand actually chose to follow his instructions to sell their worldly possessions and gather on the hilltops with him, all dressed in white robes,  in March of 1843 to await the coming of the the lord and their rapture from this doomed place.   A great testament to the persuasive power of Miller’s preaching of his rationale for the prophecy.

It was a big deal at the time, with headlines carrying news of the prophecy and the hordes gathering for the end. But the day came with  a fizzle, not a boom.   When nothing happened at this event, an embarrassed Miller ran the numbers again.  I think he forgot to carry the seven as he added one column.  Whatever the case, he revised the date to a day in October of 1844.

I’m told that the world didn’t end on that particular day.  It was called The Great Disappointment and many of Miller’s followers abandoned him.  Some went on to form the Seventh Day Adventists.  Miller never gave up his belief in the ultimate truth of his prophecy, dying a few years later in 1849.

The chart at the top is one that Miller published to illustrate how he came to his conclusion.  Much of  the design and artwork was done by one of Miller’s followers,  William Matthew Prior, the famed American folk portrait painter who I featured in a post on his work recently.  You can see this amazing sheet at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown along with two portraits of Miller done by prior.  One is a spirit portrait, done afterMiller’s death.  It is Prior’s interpretation of Miller’s essential spirit, not the physical entity he inhabited while alive.

The Prior show, along with my own exhibit there, closes at the end of next  Sunday, December 30.  So time is short– for these shows, not this world.

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I had a good time  yesterday at a Food For Thought lecture at the Fenimore Art Museum where I was the speaker.   We first had a lovely luncheon in the museum’s Study Center, surrounded by cabinets full of artifacts from the fabulous Thaw Collection of American Indian Art, one of the prized collections of the museum and arguably the finest collection of  Native American art in the world.  I spoke briefly after the luncheon in the Study Center, filling in some biographical details, before we moved the talk up to the gallery  containing the show, where I continued the talk and fielded questions.

All in all, it went pretty well.  The attendees were wonderful and attentive, making me feel very welcome, and their questions and comments were insightful.  As always in the aftermath, I felt that I had omitted  crucial details. But I have come to the understanding that if I were to try to tell all the anecdotes and pass on all of the information about my work that  I’ve amassed over the years that these talks would never end.  I know that I wouldn’t like that and I can’t imagine anyone else who would.  That being said, I thought that yesterday’s talk went just about right  and I left feeling that most everyone found something enjoyable or informative in some part of the talk.  I sure hope so.

I have to extend some huge thanks here to a group of folks who made extraordinary efforts to come to the talk and to who I don’t think I can ever fully express my gratitude.  They all were owners of my paintings who had one ( or two, in one case) that were part of the show and had accepted my invitation to attend the event so that they might see their paintings in the lovely setting that the Fenimore affords.  All came from considerable distances and took valuable time from their lives to make the journey.   I would like to deeply thank Gary Tanigawa who traveled up from the Alexandria, VA area,  Dominique and Vince Haibach from Erie, PA and Loni Kula and her friend Mary Helen Olmstead  from the Corning area.  I am humbled and moved by your willingness to participate yesterday and can’t say “Thank You” enough.  I can only hope that you  found it worth the effort.

I must also thank  photographer Moira Law and friend ( whose name evades me this morning– I am so sorry!) who traveled down from Ottawa for the talk.  We have corresponded briefly over the last few years and it was wonderful to finally meet her and to talk for a bit.  Thank you so much for taking the time, Moira, and thanks to everyone who made time to attend  yesterday.  It was most appreciated.

And finally, thank you to Paul D’Ambrosio and the great staff  at the Fenimore Art Museum– Michelle Murdock, Maria Vann, Sue deBruijn and Kajsa Sabatke, among others–  for the wonderful experience.  They are true pros and have made  this whole thing feel very special for me, something I will always remember with great warmth.  Thank you so much allowing me the chance to experience this.

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This is the grand staircase that joins the newer addition that houses the spectacular Thaw Collection of American Indian Art to the original building of the Fenimore Art Museum in lovely Cooperstown .   I am honored to have an exhibit of my work, Internal Landscape: The Paintings of GC Myers,  hanging in this wonderful facility. It has went better than I had hoped thus far.  The response has been extremely positive  according to  the museum staff and  I have been contacted by many people who had not known of my work.  The show continues to hang there until the end of the year, December 31.

A reminder here that next month I will be giving a talk at the museum as part of their Food For Thought lecture series.  The event consists of a luncheon followed by the talk.  There is a fee for this event.  My talk there is on Wednesday, November 7, beginning at 12:30 PM and running until around 2:30.   If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about how the work came about and evolved over the years, this is a good opportunity to do so in a beautiful and comfortable setting.  Hope to see you there!

You can get more info by clicking here or by calling  the museum  at (607) 547-1461.

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I wrote last week about a   painting, Babette’s Feast,  that was part of a small group of my early formative work on display at the Fenimore Art Museum.  Each of these pieces marked a new step forward in the development of my work that became more and more obvious as the years went by.  The painting shown here, Redstar, is another of this group.

It’s a tiny little piece, only around 2″ tall by 3″ wide but it spoke loudly to me.  It was painted in the format that characterized my early pre-Red Tree work, a larger block of color over a contrasting smaller block of color separated by a white line.  This line was actually just the paper showing through, not a painted line at all.  The distinction of this painting is in the larger block of color that made up the sky.

It was a random pattern of smaller blocks of color that gave the piece a different rhythm and feel that my earlier pieces in this format.  These curved lines that crisscrossed the sky gave it a  texture  that was distinctly different from the smooth, textureless  work I had been producing until this point.  This sparked something in my mind and set me on a path where I sought more and more ways to create texture within the picture.  I saw this texture as an enhancement to the colors of the work, something that gave the color the  added dimensions of depth and complexity-  perhaps the most important elements to the color in my work.

So, while it may be an easy piece to overlook due to it’s diminutive size , it appears  very large  for me.

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