Posts Tagged ‘Emotion’

GC Myers- SatisfiedIt was twenty years ago this month that I had the accident that started my painting career.  When I began painting at that time, it was not with some long-range goal of becoming a professional artist or even with the thought that anything would come from it.  I was simply looking for a creative  outlet for emotion that was roiling within.  I never had real expectations and didn’t even begin to form any until a year or so after I started.  I had no idea where this would take me nor did I have a notion that my work would take any sort of form that might reach out to people.  It was simply an urge that begged to be fulfilled at the time.

As the years went by, expectations and hopes did begin to take form.  I began to expect to sell my work and to have people take somewhat of an interest in it. I hoped that people would take my work as seriously as I did and that people would look deeper into it.

But the thing that has surprised me over the years is something  that I never expected or had even thought of beforehand.  That is the trust that many people place in me when they confide to me their feelings about the work, often sharing deeply personal stories about their lives.  I have heard many personal stories, some sad and some triumphant,  in the past two decades and seen many teary eyes as they relate their stories.  Each time I am surprised and touched at how open and honest these folks are in sharing the details of their lives with me.  Surprised may not be the right word here.  It was surprising at first  but then  turned to humbling in that I often didn’t feel worthy to be so privileged.  Now, it is still a bit surprising, a lot humbling and totally an honor to be let in on such private emotions.  It is the most gratifying and satisfying aspect of my experience as an artist over the past two decades, far exceeding financial rewards and public acclaim.  It is perhaps the most inspirational element that I carry with me into the studio each morning.

I had no idea that such a thing might happen when I started and still struggle to figure out how it has happened within the framework of my paintings.  It remains a mystery but a most satisfying one.  Thanks for such an unexpected gift.


The painting shown here is fittingly titled Satisfied and is a 24″ by 14″ piece on paper and is currently at the Principle Gallery.

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I wrote the other day about the rhythm I’m looking for when I’m in the studio, that groove where the painting is more instinctual than intellectual.  Everything flowing fast and easy with little thought, each brushload of paint inspiring the next and on and on.  All intuition and reaction with hardly a thought given to subject or meaning.   It’s a great feeling, one that makes me feel as thought I am somehow connected to some sort of better self within, one that can only be reached by letting go of conscious thought.

A rare and delicate thing.

Delicate in the sense that I find myself at points coming out of this groove to examine what I’ve done and I lapse into conventional thought.  At these times I look at the work spread around the studio, in various stages of their journey to completion.  I forget for the moment how the work came about , about  the fact that the work is not about subject or the scene but about capturing emotion and feeling.  All I see is repetition of form, red trees and red roofs set on mounds and plains.

And for that moment, I panic just a bit.  The delicate thing seems almost crushed in that instant.

But then I focus on a painting and the fragility of  how it came about and what it really is doesn’t seem all that delicate after all.  Though there is often repetition of forms, I can see by looking at this individual painting that these elements are only part of the whole, that, while  they often serve as the central focus of the piece, their importance comes from how they play off the other less obvious elements of the painting to create the real feel of it.  People are not moved by the tree but by the sense of feeling that the tree evokes within the painting. 

It’s not subject but the emotion captured that makes each piece unique. 

And with that realization in hand, I feel free once again to go back into the rhythm, that rare and delicate thing.

The painting above is a new one that fits perfectly with this post.  It is a 10″ by 16″ painting on paper that I call Beeswing,  after a line from a Richard Thompson song of the same name that has as its chorus the line, ” she was a rare thing, fine as a bee’s wing…”  There  is a delicacy in this piece, a fineness of form that makes the moment of it seem forever fragile.  When I look at it all I can think of are those incredibly rare moments of absolute happiness, when the outer world is completely forgotten and there is a clarity of joy in myself.  A fleeting feeling, rare and delicate, fine as a bee’s wing.

Here’s the song from Richard Thompson—-


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