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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Lowe’

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“I’m not sure this will make sense to you but I felt as though I’d turned around to look in a different direction so that I no longer faced backward toward the past but forward toward the future. And now the question confronting me was this: What would the future be”

― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

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This small painting that is hanging as part of the Little Gems exhibit at the West End Gallery (opening Friday, February 7) is titled Memoir.

The thought behind that title was that that while the future seems uncertain as we look forward, our pasts as we recall them are often just as uncertain.

Our personal histories are a patchwork, like the sky in this painting, of half memories and dimly lit stories. Faces and names fade. Words once spoken are lost in the void. We have grainy snips and snaps of what we recall as significant moments and some surprisingly sharp images of insignificant moments that puzzle us, leaving us to wonder why they remain so clear.

Do they mean something more and we just don’t see their true meaning?

I looked at this small piece and wondered what I would include in my memoir. What would I pull from that haphazard patchwork that I would want to share now and into the future?

After sifting through the shards of broken memories, I come to the conclusion that I don’t want to write a memoir. Let my memoir show itself in my work, let my story be told in paint and line and shapes, a crude group of hieroglyphs that will no doubt go untranslated in generations to come.

Let the future, if it is so inclined, write my past. That shall be memoir enough for me.

For this Sunday morning music, here’s a song to go along with this painting. It’s the Nick Lowe pop classic, When I Write the Book.

Have a good Sunday.

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I recently saw an article about classic album covers and it made me think of some of my favorites. Albums like Quadrophenia from The Who, the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Led Zeppelin’s first album with the burning Hindenburg all jump immediately to mind. While I was thinking about this my eyes settled on another album resting on a table in the studio, my own small contribution to album cover art.

It’s from a 2012 album, Lowe Country. It was a tribute album by various artists, mainly alt-country and Americana, covering the songs of Nick Lowe. It features a piece of mine from about 1998. As you can see, it is before the Red Tree emerged.

At the time, I didn’t realize my artwork was being used on the album and was alerted to it by the son of a gallery owner friend who lives on the west coast. He had seen it in a record store and immediately identified the album cover as my work. Turns out the painting used on the cover was purchased years ago by the owner of the record company, Fiesta Red. He properly credited me on the cover and sent me a few CDs and a vinyl version with what I believe to be a pretty nice cover.

Looking at it pleases me. I am also pleased in knowing that it is, more that likely, in Nick Lowe’s record collection as well. Big fan here.

Here’s a track from the album from Lori McKenna who is a singer/songwriter and a two time Grammy winner, most notably for her song Girl Crush. I don’t know much about contemporary country but even I have heard of that song. This is Nick Lowe’s What’s Shakin’ on the Hill.

Have a great day!

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GC Myers- The Internal Landscape 2012I’ve been hobbled a bit over the last couple of weeks by a pinched nerve in my neck that has made any work (or sleep) almost impossible to accomplish. Hopefully, it will soon fade and I will be working feverishly again.  But while it has kept me from work, it has not prevented me from thinking back on 2012 and what it meant for my work.  It was truly a great year for it, one that will be hard to replicate.

Four solo shows in galleries.

In June, there was A Place to Stand at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia.  It was my  thirteenth solo show at a gallery that has meant very much to my career.

July found my show, In Rhythm, opening at the West End Gallery in Corning, New York.   I started my career at the West End and this show, my eleventh there, may have been the best of the lot.

Inward Bound opened in October at the Kada Gallery in Erie Pennsylvania.  I have  been  showing with the Kada for what will be seventeen years  in early 2013 and had a show there every two years since 2004.  This was one of my favorites there or anywhere.  There was a wonderful review in the Erie paper that I featured here.

December found me on the west coast with an opening of my show, The Waking Moment, at the Just Looking Gallery in lovely San Luis Obispo.  It was my first show with this long established California gallery with whom I began a relationship earlier in the year.  They have done an absolutely terrific job in exposing my work to folks from LA to San Francisco.  It was a pleasure meeting the collectors and staff out there I look forward to a long term partnership with them.

Of course, the biggest event this year was my first ever museum exhibit, Internal Landscapes: The Paintings of GC Myers, at the prestigious Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. It opened in August and just closed this past Sunday,  A fitting end to a great year.  The show featured a group of my work from the past several years including the new The Internal Landscape , shown above, which is the largest piece I have painted and one that I featured on this blog early in the year as it was being completed.  The response exceeded my expectations in all regards and remains the high water mark  in my career to date.  It has given me a new perspective on what my work is and what it might be.  A great experience, all in all.

In between shows, there were gallery talks as well as my work being featured on the cover of a new CD, Lowe Country.  Plus, several of my paintings found their way to Uganda to hang in the US Embassy there, accompanying the new ambassador.

Along the way, I met scores of great folks who shared their stories with me.  Many thanks to everyone I encountered as well as more thanks than I can ever fully express to all of the  staff at the galleries and at the Fenimore who gave me the gift of this year.

As I said, it was year that will be hard to match.  But as soon as I am able, I will be trying to do just that. Or more.

 

 

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I’ve been listening to and enjoying the music from the CD, Lowe Country, that I mentioned here a week or so back when I discovered that one of my paintings was featured on its cover.  The album features performers from the genres of Country and Americana music doing their interpretations of songs written by the great Nick Lowe.  I’ve been a big fan of Nick Lowe’s since the late 70’s since he was writing songs like Cruel To  Be Kind and (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding, the latter  famously covered by Elvis Costello.  Lowe’s work with Rockpile also made a deep impression with me with  their album, Seconds of Pleasure, being one of my all-time favorites.   When I Write the Book from that album is a song that many people will recall.

For me, one of the standouts, among many,  from the Lowe Country album is a version of Lowe’s I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass  performed by Amanda Shires.  Her version pares down the original’s late 70’s arrangement and highlights the simple flow and beauty of the lyrics and is softened by the addition of her violin.  Just lovely stuff.  Give a listen and have a great weekend.

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A lot of things happened this weekend that I could comment on here.   There was Felix Baumgartner  flying a balloon up tot he very edge of space then jumping out to plummet at over 600 MPH back to earth.  Then there was the world of baseball where Derek Jeter fractured his ankle, bringing a state of depression to Yankee fans everywhere. And yesterday I delivered the work yesterday for my show, Inward Bound, which opens this coming Saturday at the Kada Gallery in Erie.

An interesting thing came up while talking with owner Kathy DeAngelo at the Kada.   Her son, David, who lives on the West Coast, had called her and had told her that he thought someone was using one of my images on an album cover, something called Lowe Country.  He was positive that it was my imagery.  At first, I thought it might be coincidental, that it was an image from someone that  had a style that resembled my work.  But i thought I would look it up just to be sure.

So this morning I googled Lowe Country and, clicking on a link, was shocked to see one of my paintings staring out at me.  It was an older piece, one from around 1997 and I couldn’t quite place  the exact piece or where it might have been sold.  But I was sure it was mine.  It had to be or there was someone out there who was my artistic doppelganger.

The album was a tribute album featuring musicians, primarily from the  country and Americana fields,  doing covers of songs by  Nick Lowe, which I thought was good because I have always been a fan of his work since the 70’s, especially when he was with Dave Edmunds in the band Rockpile .  That didn’t help much.  I still couldn’t figure out how my work had ended up there on the cover.  I clicked on a few more links trying to find something that would give me some sort of an an idea.  Nothing.  Then I clicked on an interview with the producer of the project and the founder of  Fiesta Red Records.  His name was Robert Seidenberg.

In a flash it all made sense.  It was his painting, or at least a portion of it.  He had bought this painting  from the West End Gallery when he was with Hollywood Records   many years ago.  My mind eased a bit at this revelation and I became pleased that the image was being used, even though I was not getting even a nod of recognition from it.  I was just thrilled to see that image , especially when I saw that the whole painting  wrapped around the entire jacket.  Looks good.

I am not sure if I will get in touch with Mr. Seidenberg.  I probably will if only to let him know I approve of its use and to let him know that he should be more thorough in using imagery in the future because of the ownership rights to images that artist maintain even after the original painting is sold.  But at least I am aware that it’s out there.  Thanks, David, for bring it to my attention.

[ PS : Found the Liner Notes and indeed I am credited.  The painting was Lakelover  from 1998.]

Here’s one of the tracks from the album, Heart of the City, from Chatham County Line.

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