Posts Tagged ‘Landscape’


“I’ve spent a good part of my life painting trees. Naturally I’ve gotten pretty well acquainted with them. Excellent friends they are and, for me, the most fascinating ‘sitters’. Trees are a lot like human beings; rooted men, possessing character, ambitions and idiosyncrasies. Those who know trees see all their whims; see their struggles too; struggles with wind and weather; struggles to adjust themselves to their society. For nature will not allow them to run amuck, heedless of their neighbors; their individual propensities must conform to the cosmic laws within their own democracy. Thus there is a certain rhythm in a wood; a flow between parts, a give and take that is rigidly observed.”

–John F. Carlson, American Artist interview, 1942



To the artist, the forest is an asylum of peace and dancing shadows.

-John F. Carlson (1875-1947)


You may not know his name, but the Swedish born American painter John F. Carlson had a big influence on generations of modern realist painters. He wrote a book on landscape painting in 1928 that is still well regarded today and his work is included in the collections of most major museums. You probably see echoes of his work in painters you see working today.

Beyond that, I like, and agree with, his thoughts on trees and forests, those places where I spend much of my days.


“No one, it seems to me, can really paint trees without being extremely sensitive to their rhythm and all that is going on in the woods, without indeed having considerably more than a casual acquaintance with sylvan society.”– John F. Carlson


Take a look for yourself.

Read Full Post »

GC Myers- Where the Circle MeetsI am calling this new painting, an 18″ by 24″ canvas, Where the Circle Meets.  I am thinking of that part of a circle where the beginning starts and the end terminates, doing so constantly and endlessly through cycle after cycle until one is almost indistinguishable from the other.  The beginning contains the end and the  end contains a beginning.

I tend to think of us going through our lives in this sort of karmic cycle, one where we endlessly loop round and round through days and experiences as we go along.  Hopefully, as each cycle comes around we take something from that last turn to make the next one easier and more fulfilling.  Perhaps we shed bad intentions and selfishness.  Or look away from the dark and toward the light.

And I do see this in this painting.  There is a movement from darker to lighter tones as you move into this piece.  Around the bend  in the stream, the sun hovers above the horizon, bringing light which is shown in the form of pulsing beams of energy.

We live our lives in cycles and with that comes the opportunity to know that each cycle’s ending holds the promise of a new beginning.  The trick is in recognizing this and using learned knowledge to make the next one better from the beginning.

I may not be putting this very eloquently this morning.  Perhaps I am too tired or my mind is a bit fuzzy this morning. But regardless of that, I hope you’ll take a look and try to see what I am saying with this piece.

This painting is included in my show, Part of the Plan, which opens at the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA on October 29th.



Read Full Post »

There’s a wonderful site to which I  subscribe , PhotoBotos.com, which blogs a remarkable photo each day.  From all parts of the world, most are spectacular shots and I always look forward to seeing what each new day’s offering will be.  Today’s was not a disappointment.  Called Soulside Journey, it is a shot of epic feel taken in the Cerce Valley of the French Alps by photographer Alexandre Deschaumes.  Just an amazing sight.

It made me want to see more of Deschaumes’ work and to learn a bit more about him.  Doing just a bit of research, I discover that he is a self-taught photographer who has been gaining acclaim in recent years for his stunning and emotionally charged shots of natural landscapes.  There is a nice online interview on the site Photography Office  that has Mr. Deschaumes stating: I find my inspiration in my hope and fears, through a simple mix of elegant curves , line and color harmony

I could very much sum up my own artistic philosophy in this simple sentence.  It makes me empathize very much with Mr. Deschaumes artistic vision and journey.  Going to his own site , which is filled with a vast number of his imagery, it’s easy to find many that speak to some of those same deep inner emotions that I seek in my own work.  Just plain good stuff.

I also found the lovely high-def film shown below from filmmaker Mathieu Le Lay that shows Deschaumes at work in the wild, trotting among some beautifully shot settings.  Gorgeous color.  Worth a look on a Sunday morning…

Alexandre Deschaumes – The Quest for Inspiration | Demo 2011 from Mathieu Le Lay on Vimeo.

Read Full Post »

Well, I am finished with the large canvas I started over three weeks ago.  It is the largest piece in size I’ve ever attempted by quite a bit at 54″ by 84″ which I often found intimidating at times, as I freely admitted here.  But that intimidation and fear faded over the weeks as the painting evolved, moving from the darkness in which it began to the vibrant brightness of the finished product.  This shift in tone mirrored my own shift in my feelings for the painting.  I began with a fearful anxiety that began to ease with each new layer of color added.  I began to feel a lightness in myself as the piece began to find its unity and rhythm and a sense of confidence when it began to start taking on a life of its own as it neared completion.

It was interesting  to see how its domination of the studio space changed.  At first, its size and darkness made it seem at times like a big canvas eclipse blocking out and absorbing all incoming light.  But near the end it bagan to have its own glow, seeming to give off more light than it absorbed.  Even after the large floodlight under which I work was turned off, its glow cut through the hazy darkness.  Those moments of seeing that really struck me and gave me a real sense that it was becoming what I hoped for it. 

 As the final strokes went on to the Red Tree that stands above the lake, bringing the piece into a state of completion, it began to move completely into its own realm, its own life.   I felt like a parent watching their child move out of their home and into their own life.  The  influence of the parent is evident but there is a point where the child moves on, no longer dependent on the parent.  It is a moment filled with both the joy of  pride and the sadness of loss. 

 Like this parent, I feel both of these emotions.  I am proud of how this painting has come around and grown into something strong and viable but sad that my time with it has come to an end.   Well, close to an end.  I will spend the next few months with it, making little tweaks here and there.  Nothing large.  Just a tiny  rounding of the edges here and a smoothing of the line there. 

I’m calling this painting The Internal Landscape.  I will discuss this at a later date along with some other observations about it.  But for now, I’m going to simply stand back and take it all in again.

Read Full Post »

Not too long ago, I displayed a Chuck Close quote where he said that work is inspiration in itself, that by simply steadfastly doing  what you do will open up creative avenues to follow.  I frimly believe that and have experienced it on many occasions including just this past week. 

 As I have been documenting, I am working on a large canvas, which is nearing completion, by the way.  I showed, in a post last week, how I would cut the image into sections to weigh the strength of each area of the canvas to make sure that it had its own visual power to contribute to the painting as a whole.  I showed the two section from each edge of the canvas and concluded that both pieces stood up well as strong parts of the overall painting as well as compositions in their own rights. 

 In fact, the section from the far right kept me coming back to it.  I really liked the way it flowed upward with each piece interacting with those around it, creating a lovely harmony that really worked well, for my personal taste, at least.  It gave me a great sense of peace looking at it and I soon began exploring ways to make it work in a separate piece.

I felt a real sense of immediacy in creating something based on this and, searching the studio, realized I didn’t have any prepared surfaces ready in any dimension close to what I was seeing in my head.  There was a painting that was in a later state of completion, one that I had mentioned here recently.  It never really sang for me and had sat in a corner of the studio for quite  a long time, just waiting for me to give it the needed attention.  But every time I looked at it, I was less than inspired.  It just wasn’t working. 

 So, looking at it as a possible new surface to paint, it wasn’t a difficult decision to paint over  the image that had never really taken off for me.  It wasn’t a perfect choice, a bit smaller and narrower than the inspiring image, shown here to the left.  The original is somewhere in the 24″ wide by 54″ range whereas this piece is only 10″ wide by 30″ high, making it a much more condensed space in which to work.

  The resulting image is therefore different, which is as it should be.  It is inspired by, not a copy of, the original image.  For me, it flows in much the same manner and has the same sort of feel and harmony.  It works for me and having said that creates its own new sense of inspiration for other work to come.  Just like Chuck Close said– one thing leads to another.



Read Full Post »

I’ve been documenting the progress  that has been made over the past two weeks on a large canvas on which I’ve been been working.  It’s been a roller coaster of emotion for me as I’ve been working on the 54″ high by 84″ wide painting.  Sometimes I am completely satisfied, thrilled with what is unfurling before me, and at other times I am worried that it may not pop in the way I envisioned in earlier stages.  At the moment, I am closer to happy as the piece has started to come into full sight.

After beginning to bring more light to the sky, I have started adding color to the lake that dominates the center of this piece.  As I do so, I can better see tweaks that need to be made in some of the colors of the landscape around it.  Nothing big but small adjustments that bring it closer to completion. 

After coming to the still dark blue color as shown above, I decided that I wanted the color to be more dominant and added a light teal that really emboldened the whole composition.  I have to better photograph this so there is a bit of glare on the image below.  I also noticed that the sun is showing a bit harsher here, less warm than it actually is.  But this gives you an idea of what is there at the moment.

This painting pretty much dominates everything in the studio at the moment.  It’s big in size and visual impact and my eyes immediately fix on it.  There is still a ways to go but it’s coming closer to being the internal landscape that I envision.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: