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“At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door and say,—’Come out unto us.’ But keep thy state; come not into their confusion. The power men possess to annoy me I give them by a weak curiosity. No man can come near me but through my act.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson


In my Gallery Talk I spoke about the struggle to go inside myself to create in these crazy days. The outer world and its many problems seems to be keeping me from the inner. It’s a frustration that more or less paralyzes me, requiring me to go put in a lot of extra effort just to get down to work.

I am trying to reconcile this, to somehow get past this feeling.

I came across this snippet above from Emerson and it reminded me that I am the one letting the outer world in. Oh, I know you can’t keep it completely out but I was the one opening the door and inviting it in. I was the one who listened to it as it went on about its problems and thought I could somehow help it out, foolish as that idea seems when I write it out. I went, as Emerson writes, into their confusion.

It also reminds me that I get to choose how I respond to the outer world. And being paralyzed is not a choice. It’s a refusal to choose.

So, I choose to shed the paralysis, to get back to work, to explore those inner paths once more. It’s my choice and what I do.

We all have that power to choose how we react to our own forms of paralysis, fear, anger, frustration and so many other negative aspects of our world. Most likely you don’t need to hear this. You probably know this as well as I. But I know I sometimes fall out of rhythm and have to be reminded once in a while.

The painting at the top is from a few years back and lives now with me in the studio. It’s one of those pieces that really hit high notes personally for me right from the moment it took form on the easel. It’s one of those pieces that surprises me in that it hasn’t yet found a home but also please me because I get to live with it for a bit longer. I thought it echoed with the words of Emerson today. It originally echoed with the words from the Rudyard Kipling poem after which it is named, If.

I was going to include the poem here in print but here’s a fine reading of it by actor John Hurt complete with the words shown. And some powerful black and white images.

Have a good day and choose well.


 

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I don’t believe that there’s anything I’d like to do less than watch myself talk. And the last couple of days have sure reinforced that belief.

But that’s what I’ve done for the last couple of days as I have edited the video from Saturday’s Virtual Gallery Talk from the West End Gallery. I am cutting out some rough spots between the segments, such as where I swing my camera around to tour the gallery a bit or the transition from the prize drawing (which has also been cut) to the Q&A segment. Outside of the prize drawing, which we decided to cut because of privacy concerns, no real content has been cut.

There are going to be two videos. This first one presents just my prepared presentation. The second, which will be out  tomorrow or Friday, will have all the segments.

I’ve learned a lot from this experience and expect that these lessons will show up in future videos of even higher quality. Thanks to Jesse, Linda and John at the West End Gallery for all the extra work (and anxiety) that went into making this happen. It was a lot more work than any of us anticipated. And many thanks to everyone who took an hour or two out of a busy summer Saturday to tune and make it all happen. And congratulations to the winners of the paintings. Hope they live up to your expectations!

Hopefully, as it’s being presented, it will give you a fairly representative gallery talk experience. So, for those of you out there who wanted to take part but weren’t able, here’s the first part of my Virtual Gallery Talk from the West End Gallery.

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“A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”

Winston S. Churchill

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Still busy getting ready for  tomorrow’s Virtual Gallery Talk from the West End Gallery. Still a lot of work to do, especially on my acrobatic entrance where I do a series of backward handsprings into the gallery culminating in two twists and a stuck landing.

I have so far broken three windows, four coffee cups, stepped on Hobie (my mighty studio cat) and put my foot through a painting while practicing.

I might have to cut that part of the presentation.

Oh, well. I guess that help in adhering to the words above from Winston Churchill. I do try to follow this bit of advice and keep my  speech short even though there is always that temptation to keep blabbing.

Win This Painting!

Hope you can tune in tomorrow. I am a little nervous, doing this in this online format that is new for both myself and the West End. But I think it’s going to go off pretty well and will be, hopefully, interesting for you.

Plus, we’ll be giving away TWO paintings of mine at the end of the hour and maybe there will be anther surprise or two. So, there’s that.

And I heard there will be pie. But I guess that won’t help you since it’s a virtual talk. When they can teleport pie via the interweb, that will be a great thing.

But I doubt it’s going to happen by tomorrow.

Well, that won’t stop us.

Hope to see you tomorrow.

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See yesterday’s blog for more details and register below:

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE GALLERY TALK

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“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

― Beverly Sills

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I guess Beverly Sills is right but this is a lot more work than I thought it would be.

I am talking about getting ready for the Virtual Gallery Talk I am giving on Saturday from the West End Gallery. There is, of course, always a certain amount of preparation for any talk. But this year’s talk without an audience has me scrambling. There’s a whole new layer of technology to adopt in a short time while trying to make it look cohesive and somewhat smooth.

I don’t want to look like a complete idiot, after all.

But beyond the technological hurdles, my presentation as to be changed to account for not being able to interact with a live audience. Normally, I try to have a few things ready to discuss and begin with a pretty short intro before moving quickly to questions from the audience. I try to get into questions and answers as soon as possible because I think that my reactions to questions are one of my strengths.

I could be wrong there. I am hesitant to say any quality of mine is a strength for fear of being that guy who over esteems his prowess at far too many things.

You know the type.

But if I had to say I had a strength it would be in my willingness to react to and honestly answer questions in these situations. At least, I am better at it than I am as delivering prepared remarks. But because of the remoteness of the talk, I really have to prepare to deliver a short address, of sorts, fully worded and thought out beforehand. Without the benefit of being able to react.

For a lazy slob like me, that is a tough task. Makes me truly admire those folks I know who deliver speeches and prepared remarks.

But I am working at it and hopefully you won’t even see the rivers of flop sweat running down my face during the talk. I am thinking of doing the old  trick of smearing vaseline on camera my lens so that it gives me a soft gauzy look. I think they used to do that for Doris Day at some point. If it works for Doris, then dammit, I am willing to give it a shot.

All kidding aside, it is hard work and we are really trying to send out a Gallery Talk that is rewarding for everyone who takes the time out of their busy lives to spend a little time with us on Saturday.

I am giving away two original paintings so I hope you can be there!

Here are the details:

  • Virtual Gallery Talk with GC Myers
  • Streaming from West End Gallery via Zoom
  • Saturday, August 22 Beginning at 1 PM EST
  • You do not need a Zoom account but you do need to register to participate
  • There will be a drawing at the end of the Talk (approx 2 PM EST) to award two GC Myers paintings
  • Participation n the Talk is limited to 500 viewers but the prize drawing is limited to the first 100 registrants for the Gallery Talk
  • Eligible registrants must be present online in order to claim their prize and the Gallery Talk will be locked to new participants at 1:30 PM
  • The winning paintings will be shipped free within the US and Canada to winners residing out of the area. However, if an international entry wins, the winner would be responsible for shipping costs.
  • The regular Gallery Talk ends after the drawing for the two paintings which will be approximately 2 PM EST
  • At that point, about 2 PM, the meeting will be unlocked and there will be a Gallery After Talk, an  additional period of Q & A after the regular Gallery Talk for anyone who cares to talk a but longer. This period can run to 3 PM, if need be.
  • There will be a Waiting Room on Zoom 10-20 minutes prior to the beginning of the Talk. You can check in and chat with other participants at that time. While muted, you can still submit questions or comments via the Chat.

 

REGISTER FOR TALK BY CLICKING HERE!

 

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“Magistrum”- You Could Win This Painting at Saturday’s Virtual Gallery Talk!

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“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

T.H. White, The Once and Future King

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At a size of about 11″ by 15″ on paper and under glass, this painting is the second of the paintings that will be awarded as part of a free drawing at the end of my Virtual Gallery Talk this Saturday, August 22. It is titled Magistrum which is the Latin word for teacher or master.

It’s fitting that the snip I am using to start this post is from The Once and Future King from T.H. White. Reading was a big part of my childhood, a connection to the wider world and the key to unlocking the secrets of it. Books were the teacher, the master, I never had in any one person and I remember it well when I first came across this book. The story of the education of the young King Arthur by Merlin, it was delightful tale that really excited my imagination and, with its emphasis on learning and observing, reinforced my own quest to learn.

Merlin is correct, learning is the best thing for being sad. It changes the mind, building new structures upon it that make the whole thing so much stronger. In these days where, as Merlin points out, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, it is indeed a good thing to not wallow in sadness. Best to learn something new, expand that mind and see the world with wiser eyes.

That’s kind of what I see in this painting. The Red Tree here is the teacher urging its students to come out into the light, emerge from their state of blueness.

So, if you feel blue these days, open your mind and try to learn something unknown to you. Read something new. Look at things closer. Imagine the world through the eyes of others.

It’ll do you a world of good. That I can say with certainty.

Now the Virtual Gallery Talk from the West End Gallery takes place this Saturday, August 22, from 1-2 PM EST. Tomorrow, we will be posting the information on how to preregister for the Talk with Zoom. You do not have to have a Zoom account but you will need to register to participate and view. Though the Talk will be open to all, the drawing for the two paintings will be limited to the first 100 registrants. The chosen winners will have to be present (online!) at the Gallery Talk to claim their prize.

So make sure you get your name in when we roll out the info tomorrow. Good luck!

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“Heart of Light”- To Be Awarded At This Saturday’s Virtual Gallery Talk

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“A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his son. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The same fight is going on inside you.”

The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wolf will win?”

The old man replied simply, “The one you feed.”

Wendy Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

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This is a battle that I know well. I don’t know about you but I suspect many of you have witnessed this same conflict within yourselves.

Experience has taught me that, indeed, feeding and nurturing one wolf makes it stronger so that the other one that is not fed slinks into the background. That other evil wolf remains always just far enough away in the shadows, however, waiting for a sliver to fall its way that will strengthen it, allowing it to once more fight for dominance.

Which wolf are you feeding today?

This is a roundabout way of getting to the painting shown at the top, It’s a 12″ by 12″ piece on canvas called Heart of Light. and is one of the 2 paintings to be given away at the end of my Virtual Gallery Talk that will be streaming online from the West End Gallery this coming Saturday. The Talk begins at 1 PM EST and runs until 2 PM. Details on registering for the drawing will be forthcoming tomorrow or Wednesday.

I would like to think I am feeding my good wolf with this but it seems pretty arrogant to call this annual giving away of a painting an act of generosity.

And that is feeding that evil wolf.

Maybe I believe I am feeding my good wolf because it brings me joy to express in this small way the gratitude I feel for those folks out there that have allowed me to have this life an artist, one that allows for my many shortcomings.

Who knows?

Good wolf or bad, I know that this painting will be given away on Saturday. Hope you will be there.

In the meantime, feed your good wolf well. I will try to do the same.

 

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Well, we are this much closer to having a Gallery Talk this year at the West End Gallery.

Here’s what we have so far:

  • The Talk will be streamed live online via Zoom
  • It will be streamed from the West End Gallery
  • The Gallery Talk will take place next Saturday, August 22, beginning at 1 PM EST
  • The traditional Free Drawing for an original painting of mine will take place at approximately 2 PM EST
  • The Talk will end at 2 PM but there will be a short Gallery AfterTalk for any additional Q&A for those who wish to stick around
  • There will be a pre-registration for the drawing 
  • The Drawing will be limited to the first 100 registrants

We decided on streaming from the West End Gallery simply because it would be easier to handle the technical aspects of the streaming, especially since this is a new experience for both the gallery and myself. Plus, just having a few folks on hand will take away that feeling of talking to myself that I sometimes get when talking to a camera.

I had mentioned doing a Studio Tour and if this works out satisfactorily that is definitely something I will consider for the future. It opens up lots of avenues to explore going forward.

Full details will be coming in the next couple of days so keep yours eye open.

 

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All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.

–Sally Ride

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This year’s Gallery Talk at the West End Gallery was originally scheduled for this coming Saturday. It is obvious now that this year’s talk just can’t happen in the same way as in the past. As much as I enjoyed the one from last year, one where we jammed as many people as was possible into the gallery, the idea of replicating it seems downright crazy in the time of the virus.

I am not willing to risk my own health to do such a thing and am even less willing to put anyone else in harm’s way.

To be clear, this year’s Gallery Talk ain’t happening, folks.

At least, it can’t take place in the way we know it.

I am working with Jesse and Linda at the West End Gallery on a way of doing some type of online Gallery Talk, something through Zoom or other web meeting service. It would actually be more of a Studio Talk, a visit to my space and maybe a little tour. It would still have some of the same elements as the normal Talk–the annual giving away of a painting, to be exact– and would be missing others. That would be a live crowd.

There are plenty of pros and cons on doing this.

The pros for doing it are:

  • It would be safe and convenient–No crowds and no having to find parking
  • Everybody gets a seat! Unless, of course, you feel like standing in front of your computer
  • Because there are no space limitations, more people could participate  and it would allow people who are not able to normally get to the Talk, people from out of the area, to participate. We might be able to go international?
  • It would be a different experience, a changeup from the norm and that’s a good thing once in a while
  • No Masks needed, though I might wear one just to cover my face
  • I could show some stuff from my studio that I can’t easily do at a regular Gallery Talk
  • It would shame me into straightening up my studio
  • If someone doesn’t like it and wants to leave, they can just turn it off. That sure as hell beats having to worry about how they could creep out of the gallery during the talk.

The cons are:

  • No living, breathing people. Well, they will be out there, living and breathing. Just not in front of me. I don’t get to see immediate reactions and react to those. It makes any attempts at humor a bit harder for me.
  • No oohs and aahs. I can’t overstate the impact of the oohs and aahs.
  • My own ineptitude with technology and inexperience with online broadcasting. I would have to bone up on doing this in the right way so that the experience is not painful– for you and for me.
  • I lose the ability to interact one-on-one with folks before and after the talk, which I very much enjoy. I get to just talk with folks I might not have seen in some time plus it loosens me up beforehand and eases me down afterwards.

There are most likely many more pros and cons that will come to mind. If you think of any not on this list, please let me know. Any additional info or opinion I can get will be helpful.

I have to admit, I am more than a little nervous about doing this. Worried about technical glitches. Plus, I’m not used to talking in this manner and am afraid I am going to be left hanging in the breeze at some point. You know, where your mind goes absolutely blank. During a normal talk, I can turn to someone in the audience and make a comment and that sets off a whole new line of reaction and discussion. Alone in my studio in front of a camera, I won’t have that luxury.

The whole thing scares me a bit.

But it’s like late astronaut Sally Ride said: All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary.

Of course, she was talking about being strapped inside a damn rocket to the stars. I am just talking about sitting in my studio and talking into a camera. I guess I better just quit whining, put on my big boy pants, and just do it.

So, keep an eye out for details. We are going to work on this in the next few days and will hopefully have something to announce next week. If you have suggestions, hints, ideas, questions or even just crackpot comments on this, please let me know. I can use all the feedback I can get on how to do this right.

Have a good day!

 

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I breathe a deep sigh of relief this morning.

Another Gallery Talk in the rearview mirror, this one at the Principle Gallery. Many, many thanks to the many folks who came out yesterday to spend an hour with me on perfect end of summer day in the Capital District. It was wonderful to see new faces along with the more familiar faces of the many older friends there who I was able to spend a few minutes catching up with.

This was my 17th Gallery talk there and while it is somewhat easier after all those times, it still is a daunting thing to stand in front of a crowd and talk off the cuff. I wasn’t as smooth yesterday as I had wished and didn’t hit all my intended points. I always fret a bit in the aftermath of these talks about things I have said, worrying that I wasn’t clear or spoke with the wrong attitude for what I was trying to get across.

Or just said something plain dopey.

But I also worry about those things left unsaid. Sometimes there are little anecdotes I mean to tell that get lost in the the brain while I am standing there in front of the group.You would think that in 17 hours of yammering on in these talks over the years, everything would have been said, that everything would have found it way out by now. But I know that’s not the case, that there are still a lot of stories yet to be told and potential secrets to be revealed. I guess I’ll have to start now on getting these things into next year’s Talk which I am aiming to make the best yet.

But this year’s talk ended up as a pretty good talk, even with my own critical take on it. It certainly ended on a high note.

Again, my eternal gratitude to those who came out and especially to the whole staff at the Principle Gallery– my good friends Michele, Clint, Owen, Leigh, Pierre and Josh— for the very hard work done in making it possible. They had a large opening the night before, hosting the 14th annual exhibit of the International Guild of Realism with artists coming from around the country to attend. To turn around in a little over 12 hours and host this event is quite remarkable. I am filled with appreciation and affection for these folks.

So, like I said, mark it down now. Next September– best Gallery Talk ever. Promise.

Here’s this Sunday’s music. I thought I’d show one more piece that went down to the talk yesterday, Eyes of Night, shown above. This song lines up nicely with this piece for me. It’s Field of Diamonds, one of Johnny Cash‘s works from his final years. It was period of great expression and artfulness at the end of his time here on earth. It’s an interesting chapter for an artist with a very long and memorable career.

He saw his career in the future rather than in the past. Wished I had said that yesterday.

Have a good Sunday.

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Okay, last notice:

WHO: Me ( GC Myers) and hopefully you.

WHAT: GALLERY TALK

WHERE:  Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA

WHEN: Today, Saturday, September 21, beginning at 1 PM

WHY: The real question is why not?

That Why answer doesn’t work for you? Well, how about for one thing, you could win the painting, Light Emanation, shown shown here?

Does that work?

Or that you could take home something else, perhaps another painting(!!?) or a small token of my gratitude or even something of great value. Like the classic 1969 Chevy Impala shown at the bottom. It needs a little TLC, a little touch up paint and a bit of elbow grease but it’s a peach. I swear.

Seriously, I promise you a fairly good time that goes along with my ironclad claim that it will not be the worst hour of your life. If I am wrong about this, then my life is just sad.

And if that’s the case, you’ll no doubt feel good simply by comparison.

See? Win-win.

Hope to see you at the Principle Gallery today!

 

You Could Win This Classic 1969 Impala ?

PS: I am legally bound to tell you that you can’t win this car. It is simply an example, admittedly a small one, of humor.

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