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Posts Tagged ‘Homer’

Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
of that man skilled in all ways of contending,
the wanderer, harried for years on end

Homer, The Odyssey

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Last week I showed a painting in an early stage.  It’s composition was all blocked in with red oxide and the sky was partially laid in. I wrote about the decisions that were in front of me and how I was seeing how it might go from that point on.

Well, at the top of this page is the nearly finished painting, one that I am calling Dawn Invocation. At that earlier point I thought that this painting might go in a much different direction, one slightly darker in tone.

It turns out that my vision for it and the final product differed a bit. That’s not a judgment on how I am feeling about this piece because I find myself very pleased with this painting in its present state. It was just a matter of the process leading me to add a bit more light and color, even though the colors are a bit more muted and tonal than my typical choices.

The resulting piece is more open and inviting than the one I originally saw in the underpainting. Calmer. More resolved.

There are still a few touches that need to be placed, some that I see just now as I write this. They are small adjustments but sometimes these little strokes here and there add much more to the overall feel of the painting than you might think.

So, it goes back on the easel for a short time. This is one of those pieces that carry a lot of small lessons as I move forward which makes it memorable for me, well beyond my own affinity for the painting itself.

And that’s a good thing on any day.

 

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GC Myers- Odysssey smI am in the last stages of preparation for my solo show at the Principle Gallery that I will be delivering at the end of next week.  As I’ve documented here many times in the past, it’s a very hectic time as I put the finishing touches on the last few paintings as I simultaneously begin the process of making the work show-ready.  That entails photographing and varnishing paintings, staining frames, cutting mats and glass then putting it all together so that each piece shows itself at its best.

It is a sometimes daunting task, one that has a much different tempo and thought process than the actual act of painting.  With painting there is an almost meandering journey taking place as the mind drifts during the act, sometimes sharply focusing and sometimes going blank as intuition takes over.  There are pauses and rests along the way as the painting takes shape.

But preparing the work to leave the studio is straightforward and far less cerebral.  Just put your head down and power through the task in front of you then on to the next and the next.  Drone work.

But one of the gifts in doing this is being able to handle and spend time with each painting once more, to stop for a few moments and really look deeply at each for what might be a last time.  There’s something very fulfilling in this part of process as each piece takes on a sense of completeness and acquires its own voice, becomes an entity beyond me.

That’s definitely the sense I got when I was photographing the painting above yesterday.  It’s a 16″ by 40″ canvas that didn’t have a name but looking at it closely yesterday it reminded me of a long and arduous journey, one that winds through mountains and across seas in search of home.  And there on a prominent peak was the Red Tree, looking patiently out to sea like Penelope scanning the horizon for the return of Odysseus. In an instant that was the voice of that painting for me.

I call this piece Odyssey.

And now, like Homer’s travelers, I must return to my own odyssey.  There is must to do before I rest…

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