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Posts Tagged ‘Lewis Carroll’

GC Myers Breakthrough smWho in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.

-Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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I think the lines above spoken by Lewis Carroll’s Alice fit this new painting very well.  In the book, she has has just grown to a very great size and frightened away the White Rabbit which has her suddenly realizing that Wonderland is a very puzzling place.  But even more puzzling is how the changing perspectives of herself she encounters in Wonderland have left her questioning her own identity, her own sense of self.  The solution to navigating her way through Wonderland is in finding out her own identity.

And that is a truth for almost anybody, anywhere.

And that’s what I see is this painting, a 30″ by 30″ canvas that I call Breakthrough.

The foreground with the cryptic forms of its fields sets the tone for piece with darker tones and tempting colors.  The path runs through these labyrinth-like segments toward a sky that has a burst of light from the sun pushing forward, symbolizing the breakthrough alluded to in the title.  And at the furthest inward point is the Red Tree.  Like Alice, it is attempting to shed the many differing perspectives of itself it has run across to get to this moment, a moment in which it feels it has reached a solution to the puzzle of who or what in the world it truly is.

The path forward is much easier to travel once you have solved that great puzzle, as Alice called it.

This painting is part of my annual solo show, this year titled Native Voice, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria VA which opens on June 5, 2015.

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One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don’t know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn’t matter.

–Lewis Carroll

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GC Myers- The Moment of Decision smMaybe I should call this new painting The Cheshire Cat Tree instead of The Moment of Decision, which is the title I  gave to it.  There is a sort of  built-in grin in the curve of the lower path, as though it is all that remains after the Cheshire Cat has disappeared and the advice he offered Alice in the quote at the top seems to fit so well with anyone coming to any fork in the road.  And the Red Tree offers only, like the Cheshire  Cat, enigmatic advice and guidance at best for it knows that we alone are responsible for our decisions and the path that we will ultimately follow.

For me, this painting also has an interesting interplay between the direction of the two paths,  the lower one being more earthly and the other heading upward  toward a light filled horizon and the heavens above.  It seems to break the painting in two parts, opposing forces that co-exist in harmony.  Yin and yang.

Just a thought.

The Moment of Decision is 24″ by 36″ on canvas and will be part of my show at the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA opening December 5.

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I was having a discussion with a friend several weeks back about graphic novels and the use of illustration in storytelling.  As a result of our conversation, he loaned me this book, Alice in Sunderland by acclaimed British illustrator Bryan Talbot, which I have been poring over for the last few weeks.  It’s a massive enterprise, from a graphic standpoint, containing over 300 densely packed pages of intricate illustration. 

While mainly concerned with Lewis Carroll and his Alice in Wonderland story and the relationship of Carroll to the area of northeast England containing the city of Sunderland, the story goes into great detail about Carroll’s life and the lives of those who inspired the book.  It also tells much of the history, both real and mythical, of the Sunderland area, doing so in the fashion of a writer who loves his home area.

It is a treasure trove of information and story about many subjects, all told in surprisingly coherent manner.  When I first opened the book I was overwhelmed by the amount of graphic information my brain took in.  It seemed scattershot and all over the place at first glimpse but once I entered the mass of color, shape and word I found its composition sensible and functional.   Not to mention very informative.  It made me appreciate the amount of labor and research Talbot put into this work.

I didn’t think I would find the subject matter interesting at first.  I mean, what do I know of northeast England?  And while I admire Alice in Wonderland it is not my favorite childhood tale.  But Talbot’s ability to tell a tale with a mix of word and image and the interesting tangents he pursues make this a great read.  I find myself continually picking it up and rereading sections of it, taking in new details and sometimes simply enjoying the illustration.

So, if you’re looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, soemthing that will send you in all different directions as you’re reading, check out Alice in Sunderland from Bryan Talbot.  Good stuff…

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