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Posts Tagged ‘Elmira Regional Art Society’

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Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.

Benjamin Disraeli

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I gave a talk last week with a local arts group, the Elmira Regional Art Society. There was also a  painting demonstration where I first laid out a composition in red oxide then laid in a few preliminary layers of color on an 18″ by 36″ canvas. The thought was just to give an idea of how the process progresses in a condensed timeframe. As a result, I painted very fast, much quicker than I normally do.

But the demo turned went well and I was fairly pleased with the end result, shown here. Quite honestly, going in I had planned on painting over the demo image and reusing the canvas. But this had good rhythm and the first layers of colors pointed me in a good direction, one that made feel I should keep working on this piece.

So, over the weekend I went at it.

I spent some time looking at the piece and didn’t feel too good about the way the central mound rose out of the field rows. It had the effect of stopping my eye so I went back in and extended it to the bottom of the canvas. This also had the effect of giving the field with the rows more dimension and depth into the picture plane, which is something I am often looking for in these pieces. There is a side by side at the bottom which shows the change in the composition as well as how the colors evolved.

Along with brightening parts of sky, finding a harmony in the colors was the biggest part of the remaining work on this painting. Some forms took on  new color and some were deepened and highlighted.

The final move came in placing the Red Tree which focused the whole piece. It has the feel of a flame for me, with the sky behind it reflecting its light. I call this painting Fire on the Mountain.

I am pleased how this piece emerged, given how it began and the fact that there were no expectations for it. Sometimes that happens.  Thanks for everybody from ERAS who attended the talk. With your questions, comments and good humor, you all had a part in making this piece work.

 

 

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GC Myers Archaeology-sketch

I did a presentation last night for a local arts group, the Elmira Regional Art Society.  I’m not sure how well I did in meeting their expectations, or my own for that matter, but I stumbled through.  Not my smoothest talk but they were a very gracious group and I thank them for having me in to speak with them.  One of the stories that I related was about how the Archaeology series evolved, one that I related here back in April of 2010.  I thought that I would revisit it today:

There’s new exhibit that opens at the West End Gallery in Corning next week [May, 2010]. It’s titled The Process- Start to Finish and features the gallery’s roster of artists showing sketches and studies for finished pieces of work. The idea is to give the viewer a better understanding of how a piece of art evolves through the process.

Now, I never really do studies and very little sketching for my paintings so this didn’t really seem like a show fitted to my process. But I remembered that a couple of years ago, at a point when I was floundering a bit and somewhat lost direction, I did a series of sketches (actually, I call them doodles) that eventually evolved into my Archaeology series.

GC Myers Archaeology-new-day

Archaeology: New Day

These were done on 12″ by 24″ sheets of watercolor paper with a finepoint Sharpie marker, which I liked to use because it forced bold lines and better simulated the way I used a brush as a drawing device when I painted. They were basically exercises where I would start at any given point on the sheet with a mark and simply fill the space with shapes and lines. Kind of a stream of consciousness thing. There was no intent . I was just trying to find something that would fire my then faltering imagination.

I did this for about a week, filling a number of these sheets until I began to realize that this sketching process could lend itself well to a different type of painting for me. One that combined my typical landscapes and iconography with areas of this intuitive doodling. Thus came the Archaeology series.

So I guess I do have a sketch of sorts for this show. The piece shown here, Archaeology: New Day, was one of the first in the series. You can see this by way the underground elements are formed in the same marker-like manner as the sketches as opposed to later pieces in the series where each element is painted as though it is almost floating in an underground basin. This piece, which remains a personal favorite, will be at the West End for the show.

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