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Posts Tagged ‘Norah Jones’

I am just about done with painting for my solo show, Haven, that opens June 1 at the Principle Gallery. There are always mixed emotions at this point.

There’s a sense of relief at finishing a group of work if only for completing a large task. There’s also a little sadness that I have to put my brushes aside for a couple of weeks as I move into the part of the process where I physically get the paintings ready for showing. It is a time, sometimes tedious, spent photographing, varnishing, matting, staining and framing.

There’s also a air of excitement at both seeing the work come together as a group and in seeing each individual painting in its finished state, ready to present to the world. They have their own aura at that point, with their own sense of being and voice. It’s very gratifying in that moment.

One of the new paintings that gratifies in this way and has its own voice that speaks directly to me is shown above. It’s a 16″ by 40″ canvas piece that I call My Blue Heaven. The colors and the created depth that the eye follows into the picture really strikes a chord, giving it a sense of quiet awe for myself. Oh, to be deeply within that scene, blanketed in blues and greens with watchful stars and the warm nightlight of the moon to guide and comfort me.

Personally, I am going to miss this painting. But I do get to enjoy its company for the next week or so and that is a pleasure in itself.

I am sure may of you recognize the title of this painting as being the title of an old song. It was first recorded in the 1920’s and has been a standard ever since, recorded by hundreds of artists. The most notable was the version that was a hit for Fats Domino in the 1950’s. Today, I thought I’d play a nice version from Norah Jones.
Have a great day.

 

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Some days reveal their moods pretty quickly. Today is one of those days– bone cold with a slate gray sky, the first dusting of this winter’s snow on the ground. Feels somber and a little sad, even mournful, just to look out the studio window. There is a group of deer milling around out there, moving with a slowness that makes me think they feel that same somberness, sensing that the good times of summer and fall are past and that ice and snow will soon be a constant for them.

One of the first songs I clicked on this morning fell right into this mode of feeling. It’s Down By the River from Neil Young. Released in 1969, it’s a song that has been covered by a lot of people and I was close to using a live performance of it by Norah Jones and Young but the original just has the right amount of anguished beauty for this morning.

The paintings I am including here are from back in 2009 and doesn’t really adhere exactly to the mode of this post or the song but something about it seems to fit. It’s   a small group of work that dealt with tightly clusters of red roofed structures hugging a a river or canal, often with no sky visible, just a jumble of roofs and buildings. It was work that I really liked and looking at it this morning while listening to this song brought forward a whole slew of concepts that I would like to soon pursue in this same vein, perhaps on a larger scale.

Anyway, give a listen and have a good day…

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GC Myers- An Inner Warmth smIt’s been a warm summer.  I guess for some of us that’s an understatement.  The mowed lawns are burned to the color of Shredded Wheat and ponds show more and more of their banks as the water levels slowly descend.  There’s a dustiness in the air from the driveway that coats everything and the thickness of the heat has me dreaming of hopefully cooler days ahead in the fall and winter.

In that vein, I thought I’d show another piece from my show that opens this coming Friday, July 22, at the West End Gallery in Corning.  Titled An Inner Warmth, it’s 10″ by 16″ on paper and feature cooler color tones yet has a warmth to it that is pleasant to me.  It’s a painting that points very much back to my earlier work in the way it is composed of distinct upper and lower blocks of color divided by an unpainted line.

The interplay of those blocks of colors is what carries the weight of the painting for me, carrying its message and meaning.  The details of the trees and the path in the foreground add a narrative element but the colors tell the story here.  The red of the tree seems even warmer here set against the cooler tones.

For this Sunday Morning Music, I thought I’d play a version of one of the songs from the great American songbook, Summertime from George and Ira Gershwin, taken from their opera Porgy and Bess.  It has been covered by so many people and there are so many wonderful versions out there from which to choose.  You’ve got the operatic versions from the likes of Kathleen Battle and Renee Fleming,  jazzier versions from Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn,  rockier versions from Janis Joplin and Sting and countrified ones from Doc Watson and Willie Nelson.  And that is only a tiny sampling.  And almost all of them are absolutely outstanding which I thinks speaks to the strength of the composition.

I chose this version from Norah Jones just because I like it’s coolness.  This is a duet between her and the late jazz piano legend Marian McPartland.  It’s a lovely version and gives a cooler feel to these hot days.

Have a great day…

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Colors

I’ve been back in the studio for several days now after a period where I was engaged in doing some maintenance projects around here.  I have been progressively worse at compartmentalizing the tasks in my life so that when I work on something outside the studio I find it difficult to work for short periods in the studio on those days.  As a result, once I am back in the studio I sometimes fall out of rhythm and have to find ways to regain it.  For the first day or so, I seem to flounder around and everything seems just out of sync and flat.  Throw in a material failure like I mentioned in yesterday’s post and it gets to be frustrating.

Yesterday, I finally turned back to my old ally, color.  It seems that whenever I feel this creative frustration color is inevitably the answer for me.  I don’t worry about what I am creating, simply start creating blocks of colors.  Colors that are familiar to me and combinations that I haven’t used for a while.  I aim for bold and dark-edged color then begin manipulating the gradation of the block to create a contrast within it, flushing out the flatness of the last few days.

 It has to be intuitive for me, just grabbing colors and throwing them in.  I’ve never used a colorwheel , never really tried to understand them.  Whenever I have looked at them, the colors never made me want to see or use any of them.  To me, they seemed to take out all of the emotion of the colors and make it dry and tasteless.  I found that by using my own colors and taking the time I could find the emotion in the colors through this exercise.

It’s amazing how this simple exercise in color cleanses away the stifling feeling that had been there before and prods some hidden creative impulse.  Suddenly, momentum is born and begins to move forward.  Rhythm is nearly regained and I look forward to jumping back in today.

Here’s a little Sunday music with a title that fits this post.  It’s Colors from Amos Lee with an assist from Norah Jones.

 

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The time has moved ahead this morning and I awaken later than normal to a dark and gloomy morning.  My world is layered in mud and  I don’t feel like sharing this morning , wanting to keep my thoughts to myself and to take the time to think things out.  There are a lot of problems in the world that I find distracting today including the crisis in Japan.  My sense of empathy keeps bringing my thoughts back to what they must be enduring right now and the idea of talking about my work seems ridiculous this morning.   And the problems that others, such as the Japanese, are experiencing make my little quibbles seems tiny and trite.

So, today I will stop right here and just let the day form on its own accord.  That’s the way the world is  and that’s the way the world goes ’round, which brings me to a nice version of John Prine’s song, That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round,  by Norah Jones.  Hope your day is peaceful.

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