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Posts Tagged ‘In the Window’

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In my picture of the world there is a vast outer realm and an equally vast inner realm; between these two stands man, facing now one and now the other, and, according to temperament and disposition, taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other.

–Carl Jung

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My annual show at the Principle Gallery each June is normally made up of solely new work. But I think we can all agree that this year is anything but normal. There’s been a little bit of everything thrown at us. I think that if a swarm of Bigfoots — or is it Bigfeet?— suddenly descended upon us from every mountaintop, we would just shrug it off as being just the next shoe to drop.

So, this being such an unusual year, I chose to change things up a bit and include a group of vintage pieces of my work in this year’s show. My only criteria was that they had some sort of link to the theme of the show which is, as the title states, Social Distancing.

Many of us are new to the concept of social distancing but for me it’s something I’ve been practicing for much of my life, even if I didn’t use that particular phrase. I have, especially for the last twenty five years, kept to myself, more or less. I have tried to simultaneously live in two worlds, the outer and the inner. Much like the view Jung takes in the words above, I have tried to straddle both of these worlds and have found that Jung’s observation is pretty close to the bone. The more and more time I spend in that inner world, the more real and expansive it becomes. I then find myself willing to sacrifice more and more of my connections to the outer world.

Reading that last paragraph just now, I realize that it doesn’t sound exactly healthy.  But even so, it seems to suit my temperament and disposition, to use Jung’s words again. Plus, in my inner world, it’s not considered unhealthy.

Two of the vintage paintings from this show that I think relate directly to this straddling of worlds are shown here today. The one at the top is a piece called Flower Shadow, that was painted back in June of 1995, twenty five years ago. It was never shown publicly but was always a favorite when I went through my older work, a piece that always made me stop for a few extra moments to consider it.

While part of me is attracted to it because of how it connects me to that early work, there’s something in it that speaks directly to me. Maybe it’s the idea of this rough flower, inside looking wistfully out a window. Living in two worlds, the inner and the outer, with an air of lightly wistful melancholy around it. It still speaks clearly to me, twenty five years later.

The other vintage piece is from ten years later, in 2005, and is from a limited series from that time that I called In the Window, which featured interior spaces with a window looking out on a landscape, which was the focal point of these pieces. This particular painting, In the Window: Dream Away, shown here on the right, was one of the first from that series.

Initially, this series was intended as a means to present my landscapes in a different way, like placing a gem in a different setting in order to highlight that gem. But as time passed, this concept of two worlds became more apparent to me in this work. I believe this particular piece, with its clarity and clean expression, exemplifies both of those concepts, the gem in a new setting and the being existing in two worlds.

I am really pleased to show these pieces now, though I do not being able to get some in person reactions like those normally received at a reception. But, as noted, these are not normal times so I will just put them out there and hope they speak clearly for themselves.

Hope you can make it to the Principle Gallery in Alexandria for Social Distancing, my annual solo show that opens there this Friday, June 5.

 

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Buried in my work right now and there doesn’t seem to be enough time for much of anything beyond it for the next few weeks. So I miss some things here and there. But I did remember, a couple of days ago, to think about my mom on the date that marked the 22nd year of her death. I’m not going to get sentimental here. It’s an unfortunate fact that most of us experience our parents’ passing at some point so my bit of sadness is no greater or different than that of most other folks.

But I do miss her. She was a mass of paradox, battle-hardened tough but also fragile and generous to a fault. Uneducated but hardly unintelligent. Stubborn but always changing. Deeply private and funny. I wish I could have seen her live into old age–it would be wonderful to sit with her once more and have a cup of her coffee. Ask her all the questions that went unasked, tell her all the things that went unsaid.

But life is like that, leaving us a handful of memories to recall when we need them. It’s been good doing just that this morning.

Here’s a song form her favorite singer, Eddy Arnold. I remember the album cover this song comes from like it is burnt into my memory. The song, fittingly, is You Still Got a Hold on Me. The painting at the top is named after my mom-it’s called In the Window: Flower of Doreen.

Have a great day…

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GC Myers- In the Window- Dream Away smIn my picture of the world there is a vast outer realm and an equally vast inner realm; between these two stands man, facing now one and now the other, and, according to temperament and disposition, taking the one for the absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other.

~Carl Jung

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I came across this passage from the writings of ground-breaking psychoanalyst Carl Jung recently and it very much summed up what I have been saying for several years about the manner in which I view my work.  I often call  them internal landscapes, which I see as my inner response or alternative to the outer world.  Perhaps, as Jung says, I am accepting my internal view for absolute truth–as I see it–  by sacrificing the reality of the outer realm.

I don’t know.  To me, both worlds exist fully and have equal validity and I split my existence moving between the two.  Actually, my time spent in that internal land make my time in the outer realm more tolerable.  It’s when I struggle to find my way into that inner world that the outer world becomes more difficult to bear

GC Myers-  Inthe Window- The Searcher smThis idea of inward and outward perspective made me think of a series called In the Window that I had painted a decade ago of views of my landscapes as seen through windows.  The piece at the top, In the Window: Dream Away,  was the first from this series.  It’s an inversion of Jung’s analogy with my internal Red Tree landscape existing here in the outer realm and the external reality occupying the inner space, the window serving as a real and symbolic portal  between the two worlds, one through which I can move back and forth easily.

I had never really thought of this series in those terms.  Initially, this series was meant as a way to present my landscapes in a different manner.  Like a fine piece of jewelry, the landscapes would act as a precious stone and the window and internal space would act as a setting for that stone.  But it really comes down to a perspective on reality and I think at that point I was just beginning to see that these landscape were as much internal as they seemed external while looking out that window.

Hmm, something to think about on a thankfully rainy day…

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GC Myers-In the Window- Flower of DoreenI wasn’t going to do a re-post on the blog today but when I was going through some images I came across an image from a series that I did in 2005 called In the Window which had my typical landscapes with the Red Tree as seen through a window in various interiors.  This series was pretty well received but never found its way into my regular rotation of work.  It remains an isolated series from that time but is one that is very close to me personally.  I guess an example of this fondness might be that there is one piece in the series, the one above bears my late mother’s name.  Its title is In the Window: Flower of Doreen.

Seeing that her birthday is next week I felt like I should pay her a little tribute here.  She never witnessed my work in a gallery, never knew that I would find a career doing this.  But I think she would be pleased  by the fact that her name lives on in a painting and that the flowers she planted many years ago are doing well.

Here’s what I wrote several years back along with a few more examples from this series at the bottom:

GC Myers-  In the Window- EverpresentA question asked of me this weekend inspired me to go back into my archives and pull out the images of a few pieces done several years back.  I was asked if I used this time of the year as a starting point for new work and I said that I often did,  using it as a time to begin new ideas that I want to try.  I explained that it was important for me to continue trying new things as it excited me in the studio and that this excitement was important to all of my work.  This new work provides a vibrancy that permeates all my work and helps me find the new in compositions that I have painted in the past.

I explained that I liked to try new concepts in series in most years and that some are more embraced than others and become part of my regular painting vocabulary for years.  The Red Roof series is such a series.  I have painted examples in this series for several years and it has become ingrained.  The Archaeology series is another. 

Other series last but a season.  While they may be popular from a sales standpoint,  they soon exit my routine.  The In the Window series is an example of such a series.  Done in 2005, they were a series of paintings that featured simple interior scenes with large windows that were highlighted by examples of my typical landscapes.  The idea was that the interior scene acted as a setting to show the landscapes in a different manner, much like the setting for a piece of  jewelry dictates how a gem is seen.  The gem here was  my landscape.

GC Myers- In the Window: Dream AwayThis painting shown on the left, In the Window: Dream Away, was the first piece.  It seemed to jump off the paper on which it was painted.  Very vibrant.  The setting of the window pushed the scene of the tree atop the mound overlooking the water out of the frame and seemed to intensify it.  I was immediately taken with the concept and a number of others soon followed, including the one at the top.  These pieces sold pretty well but they eventually lost steam for me from a creative standpoint.  While I still felt that they were vibrant , I sensed that I had done as much as I could with the concept and didn’t want it to become labored and tired.  My excitement was passing and I wanted to stop near a peak rather than at a low when the work was completely played out when I was viewing it as a toil rather than a joyous activity.

I still feel excitement personally when I see these pieces from this time and I know they are of a certain time for me.  I want them to stand as they are in my body of work.   As I described this this past weekend, I explained that the interesting thing about stopping a series is that it creates a finite number of pieces within it.  They become more distinctive over time, more representative of a certain time in my own artistic continuum.  So while these series, such as the In the Window series, are short-lived they have a longer viewpoint.

GC Myers-  In the Window- Full PotentialGC Myers- In The Window: Worlds Beckon GC Myers-  Inthe Window: The Searcher GC Myers-  In the Window:The Vigil GC Myers-  In the Window:Home Land

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A question asked of me this weekend inspired me to go back into my archives and pull out the images of a few pieces done several years back.  I was asked if I used this time of the year as a starting point for new work and I said that I often did,  using it as a time to begin new ideas that I want to try.  I explained that it was important for me to continue trying new things as it excited me in the studio and that this excitement was important to all of my work.  This new work provides a vibrancy that permeates all my work and helps me find the new in compositions that I have painted in the past.

I explained that I liked to try new concepts in series in most years and that some are more embraced than others and become part of my regular painting vocabulary for years.  The Red Roof series is such a series.  I have painted examples in this series for several years and it has become engrained.  The Archaeology series is another. 

Other series last but a season.  While they may be popular from a sales standpoint,  they soon exit my routine.  The In the Window series is an example of such a series.  Done in 2005, they were a series of paintings that featured simple interior scenes with large windows that were highlighted by examples of my typical landscapes.  The idea was that the interior scene acted as a setting to show the landscapes in a different manner, much like the setting for a piece of  jewelry dictates how a gem is seen.  The gem here was  my landscape.

This painting shown on the left, In the Window: Dream Away, was the first piece.  It seemed to jump off the paper on which it was painted.  Very vibrant.  The setting of the window pushed the scene of the tree atop the mound overlooking the water out of the frame and seemed to intensify it.  I was immediately taken with the concept and a number of others soon followed, including the one at the top.  These pieces sold pretty well but they eventually lost steam for me from a creative standpoint.  While I still felt that they were vibrant , I sensed that I had done as much as I could with the concept and didn’t want it to become labored and tired.  My excitement was passing and I wanted to stop near a peak rather than at a low when the work was completely played out when I was viewing it as a toil rather than a joyous activity.

I still feel excitement personally when I see these pieces from this time and I know they are of a certain time for me.  I want them to stand as they are in my body of work.   As I described this this past weekend, I explained that the interesting thing about stopping a series is that it creates a finite number of pieces within it.  They become more distinctive over time, more representative of a certain time in my own artistic continuum.  So while these series, such as the In the Window series, are short-lived they have a longer viewpoint.

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