Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Little Gems’

“If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.” 

~ Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

*********************

The new painting shown here on the right is titled Memory of the Crow and is included in the Little Gems show at the West End Gallery which has its opening this evening.

I’ve always felt there was something special about crows, especially in regard to their intelligence. I couldn’t agree any more than I do with the words above from Henry Ward Beecher.  Especially about the cleverness of men.

But the intelligence of crows is obvious to anyone who watches them for any amount of time. This was evident to the Native Americans who held these birds and their wisdom in high esteem as part of their belief system and their mythology.

Maybe because they are always near, always in close proximity to man as they live off the refuse he creates, the crops he plants and the vermin he attracts. This omnipresence gives the crow a sense of being a constant, unblinking witness to all that happens. And maybe this constant watching breeds that sense of wisdom that some of us see in them.

It makes me wonder what the crow sometimes thinks or remembers.  How do they perceive us and what is their awareness of us? Are our good and bad times their good and bad times as well? When we  abandon a place do they feel sense of loss? Do they attach themselves in any way to us?

Or do they see it as a passing of time with us as ephemeral visitors passing through their eternal world?

Those are the kind of  questions that rise for me in this piece. Makes me wish I could talk with the crow…

********

Here’s a link to a post and update from a number of years back about a crow that lived around my studio.  It also includes a version of Joni Mitchell’s Black Crow from Diana Krall– good listening on a Friday morning.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.

Meister Eckhart (1260-1328)

********************

In the last few days I finished a small group of paintings to add to the several I had already submitted for the West End Gallery‘s annual Little Gems show that opens on Friday. I hadn’t been planning on doing these additional pieces as I have other work that needs to be started. But there was something in the original pieces that I took out last week that lit that spark that I had been futilely searching for in the first month of the year. So, I thought I had been stick with it for a bit to see where it goes.

This piece, which I call Sorrow’s Companion, is one of the new paintings to emerge. Since it’s been done, I keep coming back to this one to just peer at it, all the while trying to discern what I am seeing and feeling in it.

There’s something very sorrowful in it’s imagery. The dark clouds in the sky. The empty chair. The dead tree with the lone crow on a branch. The empty horizon. It all point to the sorrow of loss of someone or something.

Yet, despite the sense of sorrow there is dull sunlight peeking through the gray in the sky. As the 14th century German theologian Meister Eckhart pointed out in his words at the top of the page, light is found in the darkness and is always nearest in our sorrow.

The light is sorrow’s companion.

So, I see this piece as having an air of melancholy but it is an optimistic melancholy, if there can be such a thing. Maybe this comes from understanding that true sorrow comes from knowing the feeling of true love. And there is a certain joy in just having experienced that feeling that lingers through the sorrow.

Sorrow doesn’t come without joy…

Read Full Post »

Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.

 Marcel Proust

*********************

A few days back I featured a new small painting that is headed to the West End Gallery for next week’s opening of their annual Little Gems show. That piece, and never looked back…, was a stark image in tones of black and gray that was about the idea of being forced from your home, never to return. It’s a depiction of that moment of leaving and the sense of loss and abandonment that remains.

The new painting above, also headed to the Little Gems show, is another take on the idea of abandoning one’s home. This piece, One Last Look, speaks to the nostalgia that appears after time, as memories of bad times and the accompanying anxieties have faded and singular moments of happiness have grown to fill all the moments of that time.  Time has smoothed away the rough edges and we begin to think that that time, that place, was much more idyllic than it ever was in actuality.

To me, this painting speaks to that nostalgia and its idealized sense of home and youth. With nostalgia, the past seems more vivid and vibrant.

The grass was greener then, I guess.

I am reminded of a post I wrote back in 2009 where a large poll taken at that time throughout Russia named Joseph Stalin as the third greatest Russian of all time. I wrote: Despite the many millions, yes, millions of Russian citizens who were put to death by Stalin, despite the political purges and gulags and Soviet policies that caused a type of artificial famine that killed far more citizens than any natural famine more than once, the current populace said that this Man of Steel was their guy.

Some of those polled had lived through the Stalin era but time, and a little more food and comfort now, had eroded the memory of the hardship, the famines and the purges. In fact, Putin had began extolling the virtues of Stalin about that time and many of these people felt the country needed that type of autocratic leader again. In Putin, they– and, unfortunately, we as well– may have found him.

We all often fall prey to this sort of nostalgia, our memories holding onto a few events of happy triumph here and there through time and discarding the much more numerous days and weeks and months of chaos or drudgery that many of us live through.

Nostalgia is like a beautiful double-edged sword– both wonderful and terrible. Such things should be handled with care.

 

Read Full Post »

This new small painting is titled and never looked back… and is headed to the annual Little Gems show at the West End Gallery. It’s a piece that reminds me of the Depression era and the Dust Bowl refugees who forced from their homes by a hostile environment and a pitiless economy, leaving all they ever knew behind. I can only imagine the feelings of loss, the anxiety, the confusion and the anger that must have been constantly running through these people’s minds.

To have to leave one’s home– and never look back.

I know this is hardly a happy subject to face on a Sunday morning but I worry that we will someday soon face the same sort of situation. It has happened in one instance recently, if you consider the many people of Puerto Rico who have lost everything in the past year and how they have been forced to leave their island home. They are the current modern day Okies.

You may say this an unfounded worry, given the strength of our economy. And you’re probably right, at least for the short term.  But with the deregulation taking place in the financial sector, the shredding of the social safety net and unparalleled wealth inequality– a mere 6 people have more wealth than the bottom 50% of the global population, 3.7 billion people– we are setting the stage for a huge economic crash when the economy eventually sputters, as it will given its cyclical nature.

I know that I sound like a bummer filled with gloom and doom. I don’t mean it that way. I am just sending out a cautionary note that if we continue to ignore the lessons of the past, we will relive them. Not necessarily in the same way. We may not be Okies jammed into old trucks, heading out west to pick fruit. I don’t have the imagination to think what our lives might be in the next critical situation that comes our way. But I do know that it won’t be good unless we begin working now to avert the worst of it.

Okay, enough. Today’s Sunday morning music is a classic Dust Bowl era song from Woody Guthrie that was in my mind when I was finishing up this painting. It’s title is I Ain’t Got No Home in This World Anymore.

In the 1950’s, Guthrie lived in public housing in Brooklyn that was built with public funds by a NY developer by the name of Fred Trump – yeah, that guy’s father. Guthrie noticed the fact that people of color were not allowed in that development and later wrote new verses for this song that called out the racism of Old Man Trump, as he called him. This discrimination throughout Trump’s network of developments persisted for nearly 25 years until a Civil Rights lawsuit was brought by the Federal authorities and was settled in the late 70’s. Here’s a link to an article outlining more of the details.

Like I said, we relive the past.

Give a listen and have a good Sunday.

Read Full Post »

9917104-blue-etude-smThis is a new painting, a 4″ by 4″ piece on paper, called Blue Etude.  It’s part of a small group of new work that is included in the Little Gems show that opens this Friday at the West End Gallery.  Twenty two years ago, I showed my work in public for the first time at the Little Gems show. Since that time it has come to be the kick off point for my work year, as it is this year.  It is always one of my favorite shows.

After the Little Gems my next show is my annual solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria.  This year’s show open on Friday, June 2.  This exhibit will be my 18th consecutive show at the Principle, going back to my 2000 show, Redtree, one that marked the real beginning of my now signature Red Tree.  My life would be much different without that show.

This is also an important show for me because it requires so much effort and focus, it sets the tone and determines the course for  my entire year.  It is also the show that normally unveils any new directions for my work.

This year’s show is titled Truth & Belief.  These two concepts have been in my thoughts for some time now and I find myself trying to find bits of each in my paintings as I work on them.  While I hope truth and belief are forever intertwined as one, it is now painfully evident that this is not always the case.

It’s that difference between the two concepts that hopefully will create the tension, the darkness beneath the light in my work.

My annual show at the West End Gallery opens Friday, July 14.  I have to double-check, but I believe this will be my 50th solo show— obviously not all at the West End! But there have been very many there and, as my de facto home gallery, it is always a very important exhibit for me.  You always want to do well in front of your hometown crowd.

This year’s show at the West End is titled Self Preservation.  More on that in the future!

I currently have two Gallery Talks scheduled. I have come to look upon them as some of the highlights of my year.  I like the challenge of them and the fact that they often are just a lot of fun.

This year’s Gallery Talks are:

*West End Gallery on Saturday, August 5.

 *Principle Gallery on Saturday, September 16.

There are some other things coming.  For example, my work is featured in an article in the Summer edition of Acrylic Artist Magazine. Plus, there are a few other things in the works.

And, as is normal, my work will be regularly on display at the galleries that represent me during those times when I don’t have a show hanging.

I guess I better get to work.

Read Full Post »

GC Myers- Small Remembrance Group 2016 smWithout memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.these

Elie Wiesel

*************

I recently finished this group of small pieces for the upcoming Little Gems show at the West End Gallery in Corning.  Called Small Remembrances, they are all tiny paintings, coming in at only 1 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ in size.  Like many of the tiny pieces I have done over the years tend to remind me of small snippets of memory.  I tend to think of memory as tiny bits and pieces, individual images and bits of film that tell small stories of themselves before fitting into any sort of larger continuum.

When I assembled these Small Remembrance pieces together as a group I was struck by their cohesion and relationship to one another.  The quote above from Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winning authorcame to mind.  This past Wednesday had been International Holocaust Remembrance Day and his always eloquent words were already on my mind.

There’s a darkness, a somberness, in these small pieces that fits here.  While we might prefer that it be so, memory is not confined to the bright and happy nor should it be.  Each memory, regardless of its size, by its very nature has an importance, an effect.  Memory of our past shapes our future.

So while these may be tiny and may be insignificant in many ways, they have a purpose and a meaning that goes beyond size.

Read Full Post »

GC Myers-Unpuzzled 2015January is always a month of feeling out in the studio, trying to find a rhythm, a strand that I can grab onto and follow into the rest of the year.   Getting  a group of small pieces ready for the Little Gems show at the West End Gallery (which opened last night) is part of this feeling out process, sometimes acting as a preview as to where the work may ultimately lead me.

This year found that group with clear and glowing transparent color that was very gem-like.  The pieces felt like pieces of jewelry as much as paintings to me which is something I might be able to carry forward.

But now it is February and I am beginning to just let things flow as they come out, emotionally based and free of too much forethought.  Just let it happen and not try to direct it too much.  The first piece after the Little Gems  and in this February frame of mind was the piece shown here at the top, an 18″ by 18″ canvas that is called  Unpuzzled.  This is as much a piece for myself  alone as anything I might do, meant to only satisfy my own need to see it.

I wanted to see a harmony of patterns, rhythms and color that was as much non-objective as objective, which is how I could describe just about any of those pieces which most deeply satisfy me personally.  As this piece does.  It’s one of those pieces about which I don’t care what others might think– it works for me.  And maybe just for me but it doesn’t matter.  It just clicks an internal switch for me.

Sitting here at the moment, looking at this painting, makes me want to translate something like it to a much larger format, maybe 4′ by 4′, where the impact of the forms and colors would resonate with the grander scale.

Maybe…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: