Posts Tagged ‘Neko Case’

GC Myers- To the Calling Moon  2021

Her antiquity in preceding and surviving succeeding tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to mortify, to invest with beauty, to render insane, to incite to and aid delinquency: the tranquil inscrutability of her visage: the terribility of her isolated dominant resplendent propinquity: her omens of tempest and of calm: the stimulation of her light, her motion and her presence: the admonition of her craters, her arid seas, her silence: her splendour, when visible: her attraction, when invisible.

― James Joyce, Ulysses

Well, the opening for my annual solo show at the Principle Gallery is tonight. And I am here in the studio, absent again this year.

Last year, though it felt strange in not being there, it felt necessary. Had to be done but it didn’t feel good to not be able to meet with people to talk and get some feedback about my work. But with another year of distant isolation under my belt, this year’s absence doesn’t feel any better.

In fact, it feels worse.

There’s a feeling of disconnectedness, as though I am way out of whatever loop there is surrounding my work.  Like I am some sort satellite like the moon in the new painting above from this show, To the Calling Moon. I am periodically visible but distant and not there most of the time. There’s more to be said about this analogy but I really don’t feel like going into right now.

This sense of isolation is accompanied by a sharp anxiety from the thought that what little control I had over how my work is perceived is even more diminished. I can’t be there as an advocate and explainer for my work, don’t get a chance to personally see and feel people’s reaction to it. To read faces and body language. It’s never quite the same getting second-hand feedback in that it’s impossible for others to fill in the nuances that I sometimes notice.

But the show must go on, even if without me again this year. I am very pleased on an emotional level with this show and hope that those who make their way to the gallery for this show tonight or later feel that way as well. It’s a show of ponderance as To the Calling Moon can attest.

I think this painting is a good choice for today. Like me, it’s a bit blue. Normally, I put myself in the role of the Red Tree in my work but in this case, I may be that moon– distant and silent.

The title of this year’s solo exhibit, my 22nd at the Principle Gallery, is Between Here and There. It opens tonight, June 4, 2021 at their King Street gallery in Alexandria, VA. You can view the show catalog by clicking here

Below is a favorite song of mine from Neko Case that seems perfect for this morning, both in subject and tone. Thanks so much.


GC Myers- To the Calling Moon Principle Gallery 2021 Catalog page

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I was looking at this painting above this morning, one that resides with me now here in the studio. It’s from back in 2011 and is called Dissolve. It really spoke to me from the moment I realized it was finished and laid down the brush.

It still does.

It’s a simple piece with complex feelings, one that makes me immensely happy and slightly sad at the same time. It’s contented yet wistful and yearning, something mirrored in the beauty and solidity of the fields in the foreground set against the dissolving colors of the sky.

With it’s duality of feelings, it’s a very human piece, I guess. And that bit of humanness is what struck me this morning. While I have alternated between high and low emotions lately, looking at this painting for a bit seemed to modulate all of these feelings.  The lower ebbs are still there but there is a visible counterweight that takes away some of their depth, makes them more tolerable.

This modulating effect might be the most valuable aspect of my work, at least for myself. Without it, everything else that the work provides for me is worthless.

So, this morning I sit with this image in mind and feel… like a human. And, for the most part, that’s a good thing.

Hope you’re feelng human this morning and can find your way, perhaps with a little modulation of your own, to a good day. Here’s a song from one of my favorites, Neko Case, from a 2006 appearance on Conan. Here’s Hold On, Hold On.

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GC Myers-Guided By BeautyOne of those days that start out on the wrong foot, sleeping late on what promises to be a hectic, busy day when I want to get up early. Maybe I needed the extra hour or so of sleep. I don’t know except that it didn’t refresh me in any way and I find myself instantly filled with the anxiety that has been plaguing me in recent days. It’s that teeth grinding, headache inducing kind of tension that ends up in a knotty sharp edged ball in the gut.

It brings me quicker to frustration and anger at the slightest perceived provocation. I know it’s this way and I fight it but it’s a powerful beast, this ugly anxiousness. Please excuse me if you see me on the road today and for some unknown reason I appear to be swearing loudly and making obscene gestures.

This sounds more like a diary entry than a blog post. Sorry. I don’t want to bore you with my own particular brand of craziness. I have mine and many of you, no doubt, have your own. And these are certainly times that test our ability to remain on an even keel, even for the most sturdy willed of us.

My work helps me. It draws me into it and stills my mind. Or maybe it activates parts of it that have been bitch-slapped into submission by my anxiety? I don’t know for sure. I find that the times when I am most anxious occur when I have a  inner desperate need to express myself and too many things pulling at me, keeping me from doing so.

That sure is how it feels in this instance.

But time has taught me this will pass if I hold on, if I visualize a calmer time ahead that I can set as a point on my horizon to navigate towards.

Maybe that’s the purpose of this new painting, Guided By Beauty. Maybe it’s that point, that destination on the horizon.

It does calm me greatly.

And I needed that now.

This piece is heading to the Principle Gallery for my annual Gallery Talk this coming Saturday, September 21, beginning at 1 PM. I will be announcing the painting that will be given away at the Talk tomorrow so come back please. It’s gonna be a peach! Plus, as always, there will be plenty of other surprises. So, if you are so inclined, make a point of getting to the Principle Gallery next Saturday.

My choice for this Sunday morning music is a song from one of my favorites, Neko Case. It’s Deep Red Bells.

Have a good Sunday and if you see me on the highway, please forgive me.


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Runnin’ Out of Fools

Lot to do this morning, mainly trying to start a tractor that balked at waking up in the -10 degree temps. Not something I want to do but at least it’s beautiful out there. Deadly cold but gorgeous.

Before I bundle up and head out I thought I’d share this week’s Sunday morning music. It’s one that I’ve been waiting to play for some time and today seems like the perfect day for a variety of reasons. It’s an old Aretha Franklin song, Runnin’ Out of Fools, that is covered here by Neko Case. The original Aretha version is great but I also love this performance.

Give a listen, stay warm and have a good Sunday.


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It’s an incredibly gray morning here, mist hanging over the snow.  Not much color anywhere.  Even the needles of the pines and spruces out the window seem more gray than green.  It’s downright somber and while I sometimes enjoy the bleak feel of these sort of days, today it does nothing for me.  It’s just feels like a slog and I find myself just wanting to sit here and lose myself in looking out the window as the sleety snow mix falls.

I was going to play some holiday music for this Sunday’s musical selection but I thought that the song I chose goes better with the feeling of this morning here. It also matches up pretty well with the painting above from quite a few years back.  I think I used this as Christmas card back in 2007. The song is a favorite of mine from Neko Case,  I Wish I Was the Moon.

So, if you’re so inclined, give a listen and look out your own window.  Hopefully, the sun will be shining for you and that here, this will be no more than a gray start to a great day. But for now, I’m going to sip my tea and look out the window.

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the-who-wont-get-fooled-againI started off this morning at a very different place than where I finished when I began looking for this Sunday morning’s musical selection.  I started watching videos from Long John Baldry which somehow led to Neko Case which even more oddly led me to Oscar Peterson and Count Basie.

It was all good and fine but it just wasn’t right yet and I found myself watching a video of The Who‘s Love Reign O’er Me from Pete Townsend‘s reworking of their classic rock opera Quadrophenia in 2015 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall.  It featured British tenor Alfie Boe singing Roger Daltrey‘s part.  It still didn’t quite come up to the original as far as the intangibles– raw emotion and Daltrey’s vocal authenticity– are concerned but it is still very good and musically powerful.  I mean, it’s the Royal Philharmonic– how can you go wrong with that?

But this just made me want more of that fire that The Who just seemed to ooze when they were at their apex.  And one song seemed to fit these times so well and fell perfectly into my own feelings at the moment– Won’t Get Fooled Again.  I don’t think I need to say anymore.  I also threw in the newer version of Love Reign O’er Me below.  Give a listen and have a good day…

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GC Myers- Wayfaring StrangerOne of the results of doing this blog for so long– over eight years now– is that when real life takes precedence and there’s not enough time or energy to write anything, I feel a real sense of guilt.  This has become an entrenched part of my day and to be too busy or distracted with something else leaves me with a bit of an empty feeling, like I’m shirking my duty, even if it is only to myself.

And that’s how I am feeling this morning.  Way behind on so many things, some way due in part to forces beyond my control and partly due to my own faults, I still find myself needing to get something down this morning if only to start to get my normal, productive routine back on track. So, I went through some older images and the painting above from back in 2004 immediately jumped out at me.

It’s a favorite of mine called Wayfaring Stranger.  based on the old 19th century folk song concerning a pilgrim’s journey to a better place in this world.  I’ve always liked the clarity and feel of this painting.  The houses have an anonymous coolness, the kind a stranger might feel as they pass by while on their journey and the distant sky with its dark warmth and the golden fields beneath it  reminds me of the song’s second verse:

I know dark clouds will gather o’er me
I know my pathway is rough and steep
But golden fields lie out before me
Where weary eyes no more shall weep
I’m going home to see my mother
She said she’d meet me when I come
I’m only going over Jordan
I’m only going over home

It’s a very simple painting but I think that simplicity is it’s strength, much like the song.  The song has been sung by scads of performers over the years but I really like this version from Neko Case.  Give a listen.  Time for me to get back on my own path…

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GC Myers- Blue Flame smFirst, too many thanks to send out to everyone who made yesterday’s talk at the West End Gallery such a fun event.  That may well be one of the most enjoyable talks I’ve participated out of the many that I’ve done.  What a wonderful and engaged group of folks!  They were so welcoming and warm that it made me feel very comfortable and free to tell my little stories.  I had a good time and I hope they did as well.

Thank you a hundred times over to those of you who took time on a warm August day to come sit for a bit with me.  I was so honored by your presence and will feed off the memory of yesterday for a long time to come.

I have to add that after the talk ended I found myself completely exhausted–wiped out completely.  More so than I remember from the aftermath of past talks.  I think it’s a combination the built-up anxiety of having to talk in front of a group of people, the actual mental effort expended and the release from having it all go off in a very good way that left me sapped.  But it was a satisfied exhaustion.

For today’s Sunday Morning music I thought I’d couple one of the paintings from the West End Gallery show with a song.  My painting shown here is titled Blue Flame, a thin 2″ by 14″ on paper.  The song I’ve chosen is titled Blue Fires from case/lang/veirs which is a one time grouping for this year of singers Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs.  I’ve been a fan of k.d.lang for over 30 years now and am a huge fan of Neko Case so this was no-brainer for me.  Just a lovely song that I think meshes well with the image here.

So, enjoy and have yourself a pleasant Sunday.

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GC Myers- Center Stage smI think I’ve written here in the past about how the aftermath of  a show is for me in the studio.  In the week or so after a show opens there is generally a little letdown, the result of a sudden loss of the energy that accumulates from the adrenaline and anxiety in the build up to the opening.  I usually mope in a way, floundering around for several days trying to refocus and regain my bearings, to find some point in which to direct my energy.

It’s often a frustrating time even while the show still hangs and does well.  I sometimes get a little lost in those moments where the very act of painting becomes absolutely abstract and foreign in nature to me.  The purpose that just a week ago seemed so apparent now has dissolved and I find myself questioning everything– my abilities, the purpose and direction of my work and so on.  Those particular moments weigh heavily on me.

As I said, it’s a frustrating time.  Fortunately, I know from times before that this was coming and will pass.  It’s part of the process, part of who I am, If, as Shakespeare says, all the world’s a stage and we’re all merely players, then this is simply part of the makeup of the character I portray in this play.  It’s maybe the only role for which I am truly suited by nature and ability.

And maybe that’s the thing I need to remember in these frustrating days; that this is the role that I best play, that this is the role that was written specifically for me.

That kind of ties in with the painting at the top, Center Stage, which is part of the Home+Land show at the West End Gallery.  We are all the main characters in our own plays and we need to be be willing to play the part with conviction, to embrace the role that is written for us.  When you are on that stage, let your light shine.

And that brings us, in a sneaky manner, to this week’s Sunday morning music.  I’m going with one of my favorites, Neko Case, and her rousing version of the children’s gospel classic, This Little Light of Mine.  Gets the day started with a kick and blows away those frustrations.  So, enjoy, have a great day and let that light shine.

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GC Myers Memory of  Night smIt’s a Sunday morning, the first in the new year, and that means a little music to start the day.  I am still trying to figure out the feeling of this year.  I am not in any kind of rhythm yet, having taken a short hiatus, and am trying to break through to a hopefully rich vein.  Maybe today is the day.  We shall see.

But for my music I am going back to one of my favorites, Neko Case, whose music has appeared here a number of times.  This song is Soulful Shade of Blue, taken from a live set  in 2004 that became  The Tigers Have Spoken,  an album that instantly made me a fan when I was introduced to it.  This song is an old Buffy Saint-Marie tune which probably doesn’t mean much to you if you’re not of a certain age.  Click on her name for a quick education on her career.

It’s a wonderfully crafted song and Neko Case does it beautifully.  It’s a nice, easy entry into 2015.  Give a listen, take it easy and head down that road into the new year.

Have a great Sunday…

PS: The painting at the top is Memory of Night which is at the West End Gallery.

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