Posts Tagged ‘Observers’

GC Myers- Observers (with frame)Sunday morning and I think I’m much more decompressed than yesterday morning after the show.  All back to normal, whatever that is.  This show has made me think on a wide variety of subjects, about purpose and meaning beyond what I see in the work as well the potential for legacy in these paintings– would they endure into the future?

A good friend stopped in the studio yesterday and we talked for a moment about the subject of legacy.  I pointed out that legacy is a big if for any artist and that I can only do what I do — where it ends up in the future is something that is far beyond my own control.  It could be in enduring collections or it could be in garage sales and dumpsters– you never know what the vagaries and tastes of the future hold.  I witness this all of the time when I go through the  records from the auction houses and see painters who were celebrated in their time who are now basically unknown.  Their work sells for a pittance, far below what one might expect from reading about their fame when alive.

As an artist, you can only hope that your work has a transcendent quality that allows it to live out of the time of its creator and be of the time in which it is viewed.  I don’t know how you do that outside of maintaining consistency in your own vision and hoping that it is one that somehow speaks to those in the future.  But there is always the question  that if your work does move ahead, does maintain life and attracts future collectors, what would your legacy work be?

I know that this a fool’s game– no one has the ability to predict that future for their own work.  You can’t be objective when you are so close to it, can’t discern your own personal feelings for it from how it reads to the outer world.  But there are pieces that I see that nag at me, that have a weight that tells me that they may be vital pieces in a potential legacy.  Pieces that I could see easily living in the future.  There are a number in the current show, including the piece above, Observers.

These pieces have an intangible quality that I wish I could more fully understand so that I could better describe it.  Or capture in a way  so that it would be in all of my work.  There is just something that seems beyond me, something that is beyond this time.

Could I be wrong?  Of course.  I have been wrong many times in the past and will no doubt be wrong in the future.  But for my work I can hope that in this instance I am correct and that they hold on.

Actually, this was all just an elaborate lead in for a little Sunday  morning music , some soul stirring from the Alabama Shakes and lead singer Brittany Howard.  It is a song titled, of course, Hold On.

Have a great Sunday!

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GC Myers- In Clarity While I am busy at work in the studio preparing for my show which opens in a month at the West End Gallery in Corning, I wanted to remind everyone that my show, Observers, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria will still be hanging there for the a little more than another week, until July 7.  If you haven’t had a chance and would like to see this show, I suggest you make your way to beautiful Old Town Alexandria and take a peek before it comes down.

The painting shown above, In Clarity, a 10″ by 20″ canvas, is part of the Observers show along with the title piece, shown below.GC Myers- Observers frm sm

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Principle Gallery 2013  pre-showMy annual show, this year titled Observers,  opened Friday evening at the Principle Gallery in lovely and historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.  For those of you who don’t know much about Alexandria, it’s just a few miles from DC, resting along the opposite bank of the Potomac River.  From our hotel room we could look up the river and see the dome of the Capitol Building, always an inspiring sight.

Well, I should say, we could see it when it wasn’t raining.

The tropical storm that swept up the east coast brought a couple of days of solid rain to the area, slicking the roads and causing a few accidents which had traffic snarled on the always crowded beltways around the Capitol.  When I went out from my hotel on Friday morning to take a long stroll and was greeted with a steady downpour, I knew immediately from experience that this could  cut down on the show’s attendance.  My experience has been recent as  my prior two shows had terrific rains on the days of the show which had, in each case, kept the attendance down a bit.

But despite the rain of the day, people did turn out Friday evening.  It was busy and I spoke with numbers of folks and missed speaking with others who made it there but didn’t get a chance to talk with me for a bit.  I always feel bad about not getting to speak with everyone who wants to comment or ask a question, especially when they come out on a wet night.  Hopefully,  just seeing the work together in the gallery is enough.

Kai and the "Mechanical Soil"

Kai and the “Mechanical Soil”

It was great catching up with some old friends that I have met through my time there at the gallery.  Some of my favorite moments are seeing kids who I have had the pleasure of seeing grow up in these yearly glimpses, some from their earliest childhood.  Here on the right is one of these young ones, Kai, who I have known since he was a wee one. Kai coined the phrase Mechanical Soil when he told me that his favorite piece was this Archaeology painting.

Another was Mikey Mattice who I wrote about here a few years ago.  Mikey is certainly not a kid anymore –the Mikey has fallen away to Michael and he is out in the world now, displaying  his immense musical talents.  It was great getting to see him again and see how he has evolved from a gangly kid into a confident man with much to give.  From the first meeting, I have always sensed big things in  his future and it’s such a pleasure to see that feeling come to fruition.  Can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.

So, all in all and weather aside, it was a great night.  My appreciation and thanks go out to Michele, Clint , Jessica and everyone at the Principle Gallery for doing, as always, a bang up job and for making us feel so welcome and at home.  And many, many thanks for all of you who could make it and apologies to those who didn’t get a chance to talk with me for a while or who had our conversations cut off too quickly.  For those who couldn’t make it, hopefully I will see you soon, either at my Gallery Talk in September or at next year’s show.

At least, I think there will be one next year…

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GC Myers- Boundless  smWell, tomorrow’s the day of another show at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, this one called Observers.  Opening tomorrow evening ( the opening reception begins at 6:30 PM ) and running through the first week of July, it is, as I’ve noted here a number of times, my fourteenth consecutive annual show at the gallery, dating back to 2000.  My first show was called, fittingly, Redtree  and featured the premiere of that tree that has long since populated my work.  At that point I couldn’t imagine that I’d be fortunate enough to still be having solo shows there all these years later.

But even though this show has become a part of my life and it seems as natural as breathing to be preparing for this show in the first half of every year, I still feel the same nerves as I did with that first show, a distinct mix of anxiety and fear that somehow never fails to show up in the days and hours before a show.  But it’s a fear that I expect and even relish at times, knowing that it is this fear that often spurs me on in trying to push the work in new directions.  Maybe it’s superstition but if I think that if I were too confident and without this fear the show might be a total disaster.

I can’t tell you how appreciative I am as an artist to have the inspiration that galleries like the Principle and the wonderful people  who come to these shows there provide.  Michele and her staff have always encouraged me in letting the work expand and grow through the years and the many people I have met over the years have provided me with a reassuring presence in the studio on those days when I am struggling and less than confident.  It is often like they are looking over my shoulder, wanting to see what is brewing.  I’ve said this before but I feel an obligation to really extend myself for these shows for these people.

I think  that this show meets that obligation and is a really strong group of work, one that I am proud of.  But I can’t judge it objectively.  Hopefully, others will let me know.  Hope you can make it to the show and  have a few minutes to talk.


The painting at the top is part of this show and is titled Boundless.  It is a 20″ by 60″ canvas.


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GC Myers- Link to the Past smThere is but one success– to be able to spend your life in your own way.

— Christopher Morley, 1922


I was contacted a week or two back by a man who had early on given me a great opportunity as an artist, a large commission that gave me the confidence to make the leap to painting on a full-time basis.  We had not seen one another in many years but  he had seen some of the recent publicity about my work and he reached out to me, wanting to congratulate me and see how things were going in general.  For me, it was an opportunity to offer him the gratitude I felt he deserved even though it had been fifteen years since he had worked with me.  The years had clarified how large his decision to use my work meant to my career.

So we talked for a bit, me thanking him and him telling me how proud he was of my work and of his ability to have seen something in it in those early days.  It was a nice talk and , after agreeing to get together soon, he put a  final question before me that gave me pause.

Are you successful, Gary?”  he asked.

I wasn’t sure what he meant by successful and the possibilities ran through my mind.  Was he talking about being a financial success?  A critical success, one based on notoriety?  Or was he asking if I was simply happy, satisfied by my life?  It suddenly seemed that success was such a relative term, that one person’s definition of success might not even begin to satisfy the next person’s requirements for it.

But my own?  In the flash of that moment, I tried to put this all together  and determine what success was for myself.  I thought for a split-second of success being determined by money and fame but settled quickly on my own self-satisfaction as being the determinant of what I might define as success.  I knew in that moment that there would always be those who will make more money, gain more fame and influence than me.  But I also knew that even with more of these things I would be no more  satisfied with the life I was leading–  I do what I want  and I am able to do it on my own terms.  The image came to me then of those times when I am walking through the woods between my house and my studio and I stop and look around, thinking that I am more fortunate in this way than I ever dreamed of in my early years.

I knew in that flash that this  feeling of that satisfied moment in the woods was success for me.  I told him that yes, I was successful, more than I had hoped for.

I have thought about this conversation a number of times.  I still have fears and anxieties, still aspire for more in my career.  But it’s those moments of feeling truly fortunate to do what I do, feeling that warm glow of satisfaction in my life if only for a few seconds here and there each day, that define success for me.

 I think back to a few weeks ago when I spoke with a group of high school students and I hope that I gave them  some idea that this is what success is– that if they can set their own  expectations and find satisfaction in these, they will be successful.


The painting at the top of this page is titled Link to the Past  and is 5″ by 21″ on paper.  It is part of Observers, my annual solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery that opens Friday.

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We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. 

-Joseph Campbell


GC Myers- Destiny AwaitsImagine us all as being boats on the oceans of the world.

 Some of us drift aimlessly, of course.  That was how I first set out.  No idea where I was going or even in which direction to navigate.  At any given moment, what might be my destination could have been  right in front of me or in a totally different hemisphere thousands of miles away and I would not know.  I had no idea what to even look for as I drifted.

But  some of us set out for a known destination and fully expect to arrive at that point.  We have studied the maps and charts and set a course, making all the needed preparations and taking every precaution.  We have sought out the advice of those who have made that voyage before and have formed an image in our mind of how the whole journey will go.

 But sometimes things don’t go as we plan.  Sometimes we get blown off course by storms and lose our way.  Or we were not as prepared as we thought for the hardship of the voyage.  Or the advice we received was mistaken.  Or sometimes we arrive and find that there is no room for us to dock or that our destination just wasn’t as we had imagined before we set sail.

 Perhaps ultimately that destination was not our destiny after all and we must set off once more in search of it.  It must be out there, that place, that one spot that we feel is totally our own.

I suppose this is how I see this new painting, an 8″ by 20″ on paper that I simply call Destiny.  It’s a composition that I have visited several times in the past and one that always attracts me for the simple elegance and balance of it.  There’s a confidence and clean sharpness in the way the image comes across that makes it very palatable– it immediately announces itself to the viewer, regardless of how they personally interpret it.

This piece’s destiny is my June show, Observers, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.



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