Posts Tagged ‘Internal Landscapes’

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


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- Unpuzzled Hesse QuoteThis quote came from Hermann Hesse‘s most famous book, Steppenwolf. A great book but my favorite Hesse book is Demian, which I have referenced here a couple of times in the past.  It was a book that I read at a time when I was at a crossroads in my life and it was very influential in my heading in the direction which led to this point.  I think this quote very much jibes with my perception of the world portrayed in my work, that being that it is a real entity, a real place.

It has as much substance as the outer world to me.   It has depth and layers.  It has breath and light.  It has emotion and its truth comes the fact that it is a precise portrayal of itself– not a replication of the outer world.

It just is.

That may sound nutty or perhaps egotistical to some.  I get that.  But without this belief in the reality of this inner world, the validity of the work to myself comes undone.  It fades to nothingness and certainly doesn’t move across to others.  It loses all meaning for everyone, myself included, without this certainty in its being real.

I’m going to stop at this point.  I may have said too much already.  That is, too much for the outer world.  In here, in my world, it sounds right…

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The object of painting a picture is not to make a picture– however unreasonable this may sound.  The picture, if a picture results, is a byproduct and may be useful, valuable, interesting as a sign of what has past.  The object, which is in back of every true work of art, is the attainment of a state of being, a more than ordinary moment of existence.

— Robert Henri

I love this passage that  Robert Henri wrote in his classic  book The Art Spirit, so much that I’ve taken the key phrase from it as the title for this new painting,  A More Than Ordinary Moment.  It is a tryptych on mounted paper  with the outside panel images measuring 10″ wide by 14″ high and the center 16″ by 14″.   It is set in a large frame with three separate windows that is about 24″ by 58″ in size, giving this piece a real sense of it  being, as its titles implies, more than ordinary.

This piece very much reflects the essence of what Henri was conveying in the passage, that art is not about capturing scenes or mere subjects but was instead about capturing a state of being, the  existential feeling behind the moment.  As I  have maintained for some time, my paintings are not about depicting the reality of the outer world.  They are more about capturing and mapping the emotions and sensations of our inner selves,  those rare things found all of us if we are willing to take the time to look.  They are internal landscapes.

I get a great sense of tranquility from this piece, a feeling that comes from the colors that somehow remind me of  the warmth of the crocheted afghans I knew as a kid with those sometime garish color combinations from the late 60’s and  early 70’s with olive greens, browns and  oranges.  When I think of those afghans, I don’t remember them for what they were as objects but for what they represented with those moments beneath them when I was warm and secure.  I didn’t see this in this painting until just now as I wrote this and now, looking at the painting, it is all I see.  I am instantly transported by it to those moments of supreme security as a kid, huddled under my mother’s afghan in my father’s house, carefree and safe from the world outside our doors.

It’s a feeling that I get less  as an adult and one that I need more often. 

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