Posts Tagged ‘Odyssey’

GC Myers- Odysssey smI am in the last stages of preparation for my solo show at the Principle Gallery that I will be delivering at the end of next week.  As I’ve documented here many times in the past, it’s a very hectic time as I put the finishing touches on the last few paintings as I simultaneously begin the process of making the work show-ready.  That entails photographing and varnishing paintings, staining frames, cutting mats and glass then putting it all together so that each piece shows itself at its best.

It is a sometimes daunting task, one that has a much different tempo and thought process than the actual act of painting.  With painting there is an almost meandering journey taking place as the mind drifts during the act, sometimes sharply focusing and sometimes going blank as intuition takes over.  There are pauses and rests along the way as the painting takes shape.

But preparing the work to leave the studio is straightforward and far less cerebral.  Just put your head down and power through the task in front of you then on to the next and the next.  Drone work.

But one of the gifts in doing this is being able to handle and spend time with each painting once more, to stop for a few moments and really look deeply at each for what might be a last time.  There’s something very fulfilling in this part of process as each piece takes on a sense of completeness and acquires its own voice, becomes an entity beyond me.

That’s definitely the sense I got when I was photographing the painting above yesterday.  It’s a 16″ by 40″ canvas that didn’t have a name but looking at it closely yesterday it reminded me of a long and arduous journey, one that winds through mountains and across seas in search of home.  And there on a prominent peak was the Red Tree, looking patiently out to sea like Penelope scanning the horizon for the return of Odysseus. In an instant that was the voice of that painting for me.

I call this piece Odyssey.

And now, like Homer’s travelers, I must return to my own odyssey.  There is must to do before I rest…

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PenelopeThis painting is titled Penelope after the wife of Ulysses who waited in Ithaca for his return, putting off suitors, in Homer’s The Odyssey.  Where I live in the Finger Lakes region of New York state, many of the small towns and villages are named from the classics.  There is Hector, Homer, Ovid, Ithaca, Sparta, Carthage, Romulus and so on.

When I was younger and became aware of the original places from which the names of these local towns were adopted, I always wondered about the people who settled these towns and decided what their new towns should be called.  What was the person like who decided that their new town would be Sparta and they would be the new Spartans?  In what trait in themselves did these people see a connection with the original Spartans?  Maybe it was a matter of dissuading other settlers from pushing into their newly claimed home.  You know- don’t screw with us, we’re Spartans.  It’s hard to see now, Sparta being a sleepy rural township above Cayuga Lake with hardly a sign of any carnage existing.

This painting is another going to my show at the Principle Gallery in June.  As I’ve written before, I am in the midst of preparations for this show , keeping me very busy.  I’ve got to run now but I wanted to leave a song from one of my favorites, Neko Case.  Her live CD, The Tiger’s Have Spoken, is a dynamic set that really showcases her powerful voice.  There’s a certain wistful quality there that I can’t put my finger on.  It’s definitely here in Maybe Sparrow

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