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Posts Tagged ‘gallery talk’

Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.

–Thomas Huxley

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This painting, Golden Beacon, was an addition to my current show at the West End Gallery that got its first showing at the Gallery Talk on Saturday. I am pleased to say that this piece found an adoring home in the aftermath of the talk.

I spoke with its new caretaker for a while after the talk, describing what I saw in this painting and how it differed in feeling from a similar painting hanging in the show that I wrote about in an earlier post. That painting, The Center Holds, was about the individual holding strong to its beliefs and core values as the chaos of the world swirled threateningly above and below.

I see this piece in a slightly different light. It is still about strength, still concerned with perseverance and staying true to inner truths. But it is also about how that type of behavior acts as an example for others to follow. Standing up to the fear, anger and hatred that is so often sowed by agents of darkness serves as beacon shedding broad beams of light that guide others past those perils.

I see a calmness in this painting that is based on a belief in logic, knowledge and truth. And in the glow of that light, the darkness separates and flees.

I think this piece is about both finding a source of light and calmness to guide you through times of darkness and, in turn, becoming a beacon to others. My hope is that the new owner of this painting sees this as such an inspiration. I know that it will always live that way in me.

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I may be an admitted liar but I swear this is the truth: I had a good time at yesterday’s Gallery Talk at the West End. Plus, I think most everybody there did as well. At least, nobody threw anything or cursed at me or stormed out of the gallery. But even beyond those low standards, most everyone seemed pleased with what I will label as an enjoyable hour or so spent talking about art and other things.

It was a great turnout and it was good to see so many old friends along with many new faces. I want to extend a very heartfelt thank you to all in attendance. I know that there are a lot of other things that you could have been doing on a nice summer weekend day and the fact that you chose to spend it listening to me blather on is something I do not take for granted.

Thank you for your great warmth,openness and acceptance. And your great questions and observations. These are things that make standing up there in front of you much easier even in those moments when I am struggling to say something.

I hope you found it worth your time and hope that you will come back again next year.

I will work on new material. A little hint: it may involve tap-dancing.

Or not.

Thank you.

Okay, let’s have this week’s Sunday Morning Music. I have chosen an old Kinks song from back in 1968 that I think fits today’s entry. It’s their classic Days.
Have a great day of your own.

 

 

 

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I am busy getting ready for this Saturday’s Gallery Talk at the West End Gallery.  You wouldn’t think it would take much preparation, would you? I show up and talk for a while. End of prep. And from a few of the many talks I’ve given over the years, that would appear to be the extent of my preparation.

But I really do try to have an idea of some ideas I want to get across in these talks. Sometimes, it focuses on an anecdote or two or a thought that has been floating around with me for some time. So, I try to collect these ideas and commit them to memory so that I can go to them when the time arises.

But the main preparation comes in continually telling myself to allow myself to be absolutely transparent and honest when I am up there in front of the group. That can mean admitting to my shortcomings and flaws to people that I’ve sometimes never seen before. I know that sounds awful when taken at face value, something no one really wants to face. Who wants to confess anything to strangers?

But, as an artist, there is great value in those moments. There is catharsis in the act of  confession, revelation in the exposing of one’s vulnerabilities. It’s like wiping off layers of dust from a mirror — what may have been obscured is now evident. And for me, that is a vital part of my creative process. Without it, I may as well be a chimp with fingerpaints.

So, my prep consists of readying my willingness to reveal vulnerability. Believe me when I say that it takes some doing.

Another part is choosing a painting to give away at the end of the talk. I spend a lot of time, going back and forth on what to give away. As I have said in the past, I want it to be a meaningful piece, something that actually hurts me a little bit to give away. I am really struggling to choose a piece for this talk. I have a couple in mind but keep changing my mind because part of me doesn’t want to give them away. And that little pang of regret makes me think I am close to choosing.

I will let you know in the next day or so.

So, to sum up: Gallery Talk this Saturday, August 5, at the West End Gallery in Corning. There will be refreshments, a drawing for one of my paintings, maybe a few other assorted giveaways and, if my preparations work out as planned, a darn good conversation.  

There is also a small group of new paintings that are coming with me including the little piece shown above. It’s petite in size only. I call it Drift Away. Here’s the song from Dobie Gray from many years back. If you are of a certain age, you have no doubt heard this song a thousand times and have the chorus permanently etched in your brain tissue. But it’s still a good listen.

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Here’s an update for upcoming events on my schedule for the next couple of months:

First, on August 5, I will be giving a Gallery Talk at the West End Gallery in conjunction with my show, Self Determination, that is currently hanging there. The talk begins at 1 PM and generally runs about an hour, give or take. As is now tradition, one of my paintings will be given away to one of those in attendance, along with several other surprises that are currently in the works. This is normally a brisk hour of questions and answers with some laughs along with some serious moments. If you have questions about the whats, whys and hows of my work, this is a great way to have them answered. Plus, you might cart off a piece for yourself!

Then the following month, on Saturday, September 16th, I take the Gallery Talk on the road down to the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. This is the 15th year for this annual talk and, like the West End talks, features a drawing for one of my paintings along with some other surprises. There is generally some fun and a few revelations. I am always surprised at how much I learn from these talks myself from the input and insight provided by the audience. This talk starts at 1 PM and goes to around to 2 with the drawing at the end of the talk.

Sunny Point on Keuka Lake

And in late September, I will again be leading a painting workshop at Red Barn at the lovely Sunny Point location on beautiful and tranquil Keuka Lake in NY’s beautiful Finger Lakes region for the Yates County Arts Council. The past two years doing this have been an unexpected pleasure for me and I think this year’s edition will be a couple of days of fun, good conversation and, hopefully, some useful instruction. The dates should be finalized this week and details will be forthcoming. Most likely, this two day workshop will take place in the last week of September. Enrollment is limited to 8 or 9 attendees so, if you are interested, don’t hesitate in getting in touch with Kris at YCAC  to get your name on the list.

Hope you make it to one of the talks or to the workshop. I think it could be a lot of fun.

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gc-myers-gallery-talk-2016-smMany, many thanks to everyone who came out to the Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery on Saturday.  While I wasn’t as sharp as I would have liked, everything (including the giveaways at the talk’s end!) went off really well and it was great to speak with so many folks that I only get to see once in a great while.

I don’t know if I can really ever fully explain how important these talks have been for me.  It’s not only for the wonderful feedback I receive about the work which helps me see the paintings in the way others do but in the way it allows me to express my gratitude for the life that their appreciation of my work has given me.  These talks allow me to see how fortunate I was to have fallen into this life.

So,  a deep thank you to everyone there, including my good friends at the Principle Gallery– Michele, Clint, Pam, Haley and Pierre— who allow me to feel at home in their space with their warm friendship.  You have all given me more than you will ever know, more than I can ever repay in gifts or words.

Since I was out of the studio yesterday and missed my Sunday morning music, I thought I’d fill that void today with a selection that gallery director Clint reminded me of this past week in a posting on Facebook where he played this song and invited his friend to identify it.  It’s a song from guitarist Bill Frisell , called Ghost Town/ Poem For Eva. I couldn’t identify the song at first without a clue from Clint even though I knew that I knew the song.  I have used music from this particular Bill Frisell album in an earlier video of my Outlaw series.

So, give a listen and have a good week…

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GC Myers- Geometry 1999

GC Myers- Geometry, 1999

I have mentioned that I will be bringing a group of older paintings from my studio with me when I head to the Principle Gallery for my Gallery Talk there tomorrow, Saturday.  These pieces will be there for only a short time and most have become favorites of mine as they have spent more time with me here in the studio.

One is a 1999 painting, shown here on the right, called Geometry.  This vintage piece that is very typical of my pre-2000 work: the Red Tree had yet to make an appearance and the composition is basically comprised of two blocks of color separated by a thin line of white.  There’s a lot that I like about this simple painting.  It has a mature quality, one of completeness, that was coming into my work at that time.  It reinforces my confidence to see that it holds up well after seventeen years.

GC Myers- In the Window: The Searcher

GC Myers- In the Window: The Searcher

Another included painting is called In the Window: The Searcher from 2005.  It is one of my favorites from the Window series which was a fairly short lived series.  The concept of my landscapes being placed in windows in the way a jewel is placed in a setting was a fun concept and exciting to work in.  It got a lot of interest from collectors at the time but it felt limited to me as a long term series, one that I would work in throughout the years.  But it remains a series that still captures my fancy and I think that this piece really exemplifies what I was trying for in it.

There are several other paintings from different years in this group, many shown below, that all have similar backgrounds.  These are all pieces that have somehow found their way back to me without finding a true home.  It’s interesting to see them in the context of the current work, to see both the consistency in the work as well as where they diverge.

 

Defiant Heart! Win this Painting!

Defiant Heart! Win this Painting!

You’ll be able to see the whole group  together tomorrow on the gallery walls along with a selection of new works.  So, I hope you’ll stop in this Saturday at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria.  My Gallery Talk there will be starting at 1 PM and will feature a free drawing for the painting shown here, Defiant Heart, along with a few other goodies.  These talks are generally a lively conversation with a lot of Q & A.  It has usually been a good time in the past and I see no reason this shouldn’t be a lot of fun as well.  Hope you can make it!

GC Myers- Room to Breathe

GC Myers- Room to Breathe

GC Myers- Through Time

GC Myers- Through Time

GC Myers-  Call to Waking

GC Myers- Call to Waking

GC Myers- In the Clearing

 

 

 

 

 

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GC Myers- WatchmanFor thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.

Isaiah 21:6

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The biblical verse above is of course the one which was the basis for the title for Harper Lee‘s sequel, to her classic To Kill A Mockingbird.  In the books, Scout regarded her father, Atticus Finch, as such a watchman, a moral and righteous sentinel looking out for injustice and evil.

And that is kind of how I see the central figure of this new painting, the lone Red Tree set high on rocky outcropping in what seems to be an endless sea.  Maybe it is the red of the sky that sets such a tone.  I don’t know.

I’ve been fascinated by small islands in my work lately.  The isolation of them gives these pieces a brooding quality and reminds me a bit of working as an artist.  I’ve often felt that the job of an artist is to act as a sort of watchman.

It is very much a job of isolation, one that is often formed in the solitariness of youth when one always felt like an outsider, observing the world quietly and mostly unseen from the edges of life.  The work itself is done and grows in isolation but is very much influenced by one’s observations of the world around them.  And much of the work, if it reaches the level of art, is based on a sensitivity to what that artist has observed and felt.

And maybe that is the real purpose of artists, to act as a watcher, looking to warn us of our own straying from reason and to keep our humanity intact.  Maybe that is what I see in this painting.

gc-myers-defiant-heart-smThis painting is 8″ by 24″ on canvas and is titled, of course, Watchman.  It is coming with me to the Principle Gallery this Saturday, September 17, when I give my Gallery Talk there beginning at 1 PM.  There will be a group of new paintings including this piece as well as a group of selected pieces from my studio that will only be available for that day.  And there is, of course, the drawing at the end of the talk for the painting, Defiant Heart.

Should be a good time and I hope you can make it to the Principle Gallery this Saturday!

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