Posts Tagged ‘Islander’

GC Myers- Islander SheetFriday, August 30,  marks the last day that my current show, Islander,  at the West End Gallery will be hanging.  Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to the gallery during the run of the show, who made it yet another successful show for the West End.  It has been both an honor and a pleasure for me to have an annual show at the gallery and it is always satisfying when a show does well, especially in your home area.  It provides great inspiration in moving forward and serves as a validation for the decisions made concerning the work over the years.

Though many of the pieces from the original group of work for this show are gone, there is still a good show hanging on the gallery walls.  I hope you will make it in this week for one last viewing.

Have a great week!

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GC Myers- Dawn Serenade smIn the aftermath of this latest show at the West End Gallery, I have been taking a small break from painting, instead trying to get some things done around my home and studio that have been put off while I was working.  I have a real knack for putting off things that need to be done and there is a real backlog now of small projects waiting to be faced.  Nothing big and nothing too testing, just normal maintenance things like cleaning up fallen trees around the property and the such.

I thought, while I was finishing up the show work, that puttering around with this maintenance work would be a relaxing break but I forget how ingrained my painting routine has become in me.  Instead of relaxing, I find myself gathering anxiety about not having a brush in my hand, not working towards something.   I don’t know how to feel about this and find myself conflicted.

In one moment, I view this inability to find relaxation beyond my work as a flaw, a symptom of a shallow or hollow nature.  But in the next moment I am thankful for having found the ultimate soother in my work, to spend the greater part of my time doing that thing that gives me peace and brings me a sense of deep relaxation.  Not to mention the meaning and joy  it brings.  I guess it comes down to me working to relax where most folks must leave work behind to feel at ease.  This inversion of the norm is obviously the conflict, one that I am still struggling to reconcile even after fifteen years of doing this on a full-time basis.  Maybe I will have it straightened out in my head in fifteen more.

Okay, enough of that.  Here’s a little music, from around 1990, by one of my favorites, John Prine, singing his Speed of the Sound of Loneliness with Nanci Griffith.

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GC Myers- The Stand

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

— Marianne Williamson


The quote above is an interesting example of how the internet sometimes creates its own mythology.   When I first came across this quote it was attributed in many places to Nelson Mandela, taken from his inaugural address in 1994.  That sounded right.  But I also saw that it was attributed to Marianne Williamson, the bestselling New Age guru.  And indeed, with just a short investigation, it was confirmed that Williamson was the author of this quote and Nelson Mandela had never uttered those words despite all those web followers who believed it so.

But regardless of authorship, it remains a good and inspirational quote.  I think it serves the painting at the top, The Stand, well as a description for what I see in it.  It is about letting your light shine and moving forward into a world of new possibilities.  Too often we are content to exist as less than we can be, to settle for a known mediocrity because we believe that the safety of this choice outweighs our desire for fulfillment.  Plus, it’s easier to stay put– no risk of stumbling in the spotlight and our friends are still there to commiserate.  Stepping up requires the risk of failure and the possibility of moving beyond those around you.

But, as the quote rightfully points out, we are doing no one a favor by denying our full potential.  Each of us serves as an example for those around us and to wallow in an unfulfilled life sets a bad example, denying inspiration to others.  No, we should dare to shine and let those around us look for their own potential in the light it provides.

There is a lot more that could be said here but I think brevity rules this day.  You can see this painting, The Stand, a 24″ by 48″ canvas, at the West End Gallery where my annual solo show, Islander,  opens tonight with a reception from 5- 7:30 PM.  I will be at the gallery so if you would like to stop out and talk for a bit, that would be great.  If not, come out anyway  to have a glass of wine and hear my friend Bill Groome play some wonderful parlor guitar music.  We’d love to see you there!

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GC Myers-The Understanding Silence sm

The Understanding Silence– GC Myers

Well, just another few days until another show at the West End Gallery in nearby Corning.  I feel that this show,  which is called Islander and hangs at the gallery from this Friday, July 26, until August 30, is a very strong group of work and represents my work at its best.  I just think that this is a very good show.  Maybe that is not for me to say but I am proud to deliver a show that lives up to my own expectations, especially to a gallery that I consider my home gallery, one that has been responsible for me even considering painting as a career path.  Without their unexpected invitation to show my work there eighteen years ago who knows where I would be right now or what I would be doing.  I very much doubt that I would be writing this at this moment.  I even have a doubt that I would even be painting.

As much as I want to deliver a good show because of this gratitude  there is also  the desire  to simply do well in your home area, to show the home crowd, especially those folks who first supported the work,  that their support was well-founded.  I feel a tremendous sense of debt to those people for giving me the incentive and inspiration to keep pushing ahead, to keep creating solid work  that continues to expand.

There is also the desire to show young artists from the area that in doing consistently good work there is the possibility to  make their living as an artist.  Our area is not the most affluent and there are not a lot of examples of successful working artists for them to follow but I hope that they get some inspiration from a home grown artist who, while basically uneducated and without many advantages, makes a decent living.  A matter of  if he can do it,so can I.

I suppose there is also the desire to show those people who may have doubted the validity of my work from the beginning that it does have worth, does have meaning.  That has become less and less of a motivator as I have grown into my work.  I find now that  I would rather focus on those people who see something in my work rather than trying to sway people who are naturally averse to my work.  You can never satisfy everyone and wasting time trying to do so takes away from your core work.

So, as you can see, I put a lot of pressure on myself with these shows, probably more than I should.  Probably more than is healthy for myself.  I have written here before about the anxiety I feel before a show and it’s always even more intense before these home shows, especially a summer show such as this.  You hope for a great turnout but being the summer many people are away on vacation or at the nearby lakes so attendance naturally suffers a bit.  You want to put out a great group so that people don’t regret making the choice to come to the show and will tell their friends who couldn’t make it so that they will eventually stop in to see it.

But, in the end, I reconcile it all with the knowledge that I have given a total effort and produced a show of which I can be proud.  Hope you can come see it.


The painting at the top is from the show and is titled The Understanding Silence.  It is a 16″ by 20″ canvas.



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GC Myers-Icon on Copper

GC Myers-Icon on Copper

I haven’t done it in quite some time, but I have used metal leaf, usually gold or copper, several times in my work over the years.  There is something about using the leaf in a work that transforms a simple composition into one that has greater depth and weight.  This is always surprising to me because the leaf itself flattens the picture plane.  Maybe we have some innate elemental response to the qualities of the metal leaf, its richness and sheen, that goes back through the ages to a time when the use of luxurious metals was the province of sacred art and artifacts.  I know that always comes to my mind when I see metal leaf used in artwork.  I find myself considering the work in a different , more reverential, manner, as though I were considering a religious icon.  I suppose that is why I always describe this work with that term, icon.

GC Myers- Under a Copper Sky

GC Myers- Under a Copper Sky

While I try not to use leaf too often in my work, there are two such pieces in this years show at the West End Gallery, which opens this coming Friday, July 26.  Both are small pieces on paper, both with copper leaf.  I find the warmth of copper leaf appealing and more in line with this work.  The compositions are quiet and very simple , allowing the central figure of the Red Tree to stand starkly against the elegant weight of the copper.  This juxtaposition without a lot of additional elements and detail allows the tree and the copper leaf to shine in harmony.

The piece shown above, an 8″ by 8″ image,  is simply titled Icon on Copper .  The painting here on the left is a bit smaller at 4′ by 6.5″ and is also simply titled Under a Copper Sky.  They are both at the gallery now for the show, Islander, which runs until August 30.


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GC Myers 2013- Moment Sublime smI delivered my work yesterday to the West End Gallery for this year’s solo exhibit, Islander.  The show, which hangs in the Corning gallery from July 26th until August 30, is something like my 37th or 38th solo show at different galleries around the country so there are common experiences with each that you begin to notice.  One is definitely the sense of relief that comes with delivering the show.

The work is done, everything framed and photographed, and in the gallery.  Seemingly , my job is done.  That’s not exactly true as there is always an aspect of the job that lingers after the work leaves the studio such as writing this and doing other promotional things that are required in order to spread the word about my work.  But for the most part, my work is done and I can step back to take a deep breath.

I generally notice a sense of exhaustion that sets in immediately after delivery, as though the tension of meeting a deadline has been a distraction from the tiredness that has been creeping in.  It’s a good exhaustion though, one that comes with knowing that I am totally satisfied with the work that I have done and have put in it as much as I could.

It’s a feeling much like the one I see in the painting featured above, Moment Sublime, a 9″ by 14″ painting on paper that is part of the show.  I suppose that is why I chose it for today’s post.  There is that same real sense of satisfaction in this image, a peaceful feeling of being only in the moment.  For me, after delivering the show, this means having no regrets about the work I have done and not concerning myself in that moment about the future results of the show or what comes next.

The task is done.  I am very happy with what I have done, feeling that it truthfully represents who I am at this moment.  All that I could ask.  In that instant, I am that Red Tree and the moment is indeed sublime…

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GC Myers-Mirrors and Windows

Maturity is that time when the mirrors in our mind turn to windows and instead of seeing the reflection of ourselves we see others.



This is a new piece for my West End Gallery show, Islander, that opens on July 26th.  I am calling this  painting, a 12″ by 36″ canvas, Mirrors and Windows.

It didn’t start with this title or the quote cited above in mind but as it progressed the lakes and sun/moon (your choice, although I am personally seeing a sun here) began to remind me of mirrors and the blocks of the  field reminded me of windows.  The terrain took on a pop or cartoon-like quality as though I were looking at a wavy  building  with curving windows and mirrors attached to its side.  The vibrant colors really accentuated this feeling.

I found myself looking at this piece quite often in the studio, trying to ascertain what it was that was pulling me in.  As I looked, I began to be more aware of the road running through which signified to me our life’s journey.  We spend our lives looking in mirrors and out windows, living in reflections of ourselves and the outer world.

There must be some perfect balance in this.  Somewhere.  Somehow.  And maybe that is what the quote at the top here infers, that we reach a point where we know who and what we are and turn away from mirrors and begin to look for windows in which we can expand our vision of the outer world and gain greater wisdom.

Perhaps this message is too much to ask from a painting that at first speaks with the look of a comic book.  I guess you should judge a book by the cover…


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GC Myers- Endymion  This is a new painting that is part of my upcoming exhibit, Islander,  at the West End Gallery which opens on July 26th. It is a 20″ by 24″ canvas titled Endymion,  somewhat based on the mythic character of that name.  There are many conflicting myths as far as Endymion is concerned but the basic myth is that he was a mortal, some having either a king or a shepherd,   who was in  love with the Moon, who because of his beauty returned his love.  Some myths have Endymion in an endless state of sleep as either punishment or reward from Zeus, some with his eyes wide open as he slept but all maintain the love between him and the Moon.

The Romantic poet  John Keats wrote a poem titled Endymion that tells his version of the myth.  It begins with the well known line: A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.  My favorite line, and one that I think speaks to this painting, comes later in that first stanza: Some shape of beauty moves away the pall  from our dark spirits.

Whatever the myth behind the poem or the title of this painting, there is a sleepy hypnotic quality to this piece and there is a real sense of attraction and longing between the Red Tree and the Moon here.  I see the Moon as the unattainable ethereal and the Red Roofed houses and farms as being the temporal reality with the Red Tree hovering somewhere in between, part of the Earth yet longing for the sky.

Well, at least that’s how I see it…

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GC Myers Post Card 350 small

My annual show at the West End Gallery opens in three weeks, on July 26th.  This year’s show is titled Islander.  Below is a short statement that I wrote for this show:


I am an islander. 

But I don’t live on an island. Never have and probably never will. 

No, my island is a metaphorical place, one that exists in the creative ether of my mind. An island that is completely apart from and immune to the outer world that exists across the deep surrounding waters. Self-sustaining and self-ruled, a blank slate on which I can create my own reality. 

It’s a place free from the ire and pettiness of others. Free of strife and injustice. and filled with the quiet of solitude. Filled with color, warmth and emotion. 

An island of creation and peace. 

But there is a paradox in being an islander. While trying to remain separate, it becomes abundantly clear that we can never really exist as totally independent from the outer world. Actually, to the islander those bonds to the outside world become even more apparent and important. The isolation only serves to heighten our recognition of our inclusion and connection to the world. You begin to recognize them as lifelines, bringing those things to the island that you cannot create in yourself. 

Try as one might, one can never live in isolation from their own humanity. I think the best you can do is to create an island that you can visit periodically to revitalize yourself. And that’s what I believe I see in the work for this show– paintings that take me away for a short while from the outer world and place me on that peaceful island. 

For that short time, I am truly an islander.


No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne

Meditation XVII, 1624


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