Posts Tagged ‘Out Of Bounds’

Out of Bounds with Tish PearlmanJust a quick reminder that the public  radio interview that I did back in February is now available  and permanently archived online at the Out of Bounds website.  It’s a  conversation with the host of the show, Tish Pearlman, who expertly and gently guides me through a half-hour concerning the beginnings of my career and the evolution of my work.   It’s a good introduction to those who are interested and have never been able to make it to one of my gallery talks.  If you have been to a gallery talk, you may recognize some of the  stories and anecdotes from this interview.

Either way, it’s there for you to access.  Hopefully, there’s something in there for you to enjoy.

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GC Myers-  ExplorerAnother thing from the Out of Bounds interview that I wanted to expand on was my answer to Tish Pearlman‘s question as to what advice I  might give to aspiring artists.  I said that I thought that they should paint the paintings that they wanted to see.  I think there needs to be a little more depth to that answer.

Earlier in the interview I had said that I was influenced by a wide variety of imagery from other great painters and illustrators to advertising and film and television.  Any visual input had some influence.  I spoke of   deeply saturated colors that I had seen maybe 25 years ago in a Coke ad on TV, colors that still dwell in my mind.  There are hundreds of little nudges that push at the buttons for the perfect, idealized  image that you maintain in your mind but is never quite fully captured.  I know that’s how it was for me.

I would go into museums and look at great works of art and absolutely love so many of them yet still felt that none was exactly an expression of what I was feeling or who I was.  There was always a lingering feeling that there was work that was closer to the hazy criteria my mind presented, work that I still wasn’t seeing.  It was this feeling that led me to the conclusion that I would never find what I was looking for by trying to paint in the style of other painters.  If their work was what I was looking for to begin with, why even paint?  It seemed to me that too many artists are satisfied by simply doing work that resembles other work, safe in the accepted pack, rather that taking the gamble on stepping away from it.

But I wanted to step away and to do so I would have to assess what I was as well as what I wasn’t.  By that, I mean I would play to what I felt were my strengths and not waste too much energy on my weaknesses.  I knew that anything that would be close to what I wanted to see had to come from a total belief from within and that trying to do things that were not who I was, which would be a weak area in my abilities, would diminish the whole thing.  No, it needed a total commitment from myself.

I guess what I am saying it that aspiring artists need to focus on what they believe they want to see and use their strengths to try to achieve that end.  By concentrating their efforts on their strengths, a natural  style or voice will evolve.  If they accept this voice with a real belief in its validity, it will soon be as natural as signing their name.  They will soon be able to celebrate the things that make them different  than others, rather than striving to be like them.

I don’t know if any of this is making sense this morning.  I’m sure some of the above will ring true to some and ruffle the feathers of others.  That’s art  for you.  It’s more mystery than science.  I might, be right, wrong or both.  Depends on who’s looking…

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I listened to the Out of Bounds interview yesterday with a squirming knot in my stomach.  Fortunately, it seemed to go okay and  most of the knot subsided immediately.  Not all of it, however, as I had a lingering, nagging feeling about  an omission on my part that I need to correct .  When Tish Pearlman, the host of the show, asked about the time when I first showed my work to  the gallery owner at the West End Gallery she didn’t use his name.  As I listened yesterday, I kept saying to myself as the interview went on, ” Say his name, for chrissake!“, hoping that I was about to utter the name.  I was positive I had used his name during the interview.

But it turns out that I had not.


Tom Gardner's Artemus  the  Buffalo Bursting from Rockwell Musuem

Tom Gardner’s Artemus the Buffalo Bursting from Rockwell Musuem

The name was Tom Gardner, who owned the West End Gallery at that time with his then wife Linda Gardner, the current owner who I did mention during the interview.  Besides owning the gallery, Tom has  been a mainstay  and engine of the art scene in the Finger Lakes  region for decades.  He is well known for his oil paintings with collectors all over the country, his teaching of aspiring painters and his public sculpture.  Visitors to downtown Corning are well familiar with his sculpture of the buffalo, Artemus,  that bursts  through an upper exterior wall of the Rockwell Museum of Western Art there.  Or the Dali-esque melting clock that adorns the front of the West End Gallery.

Tom Gardner-  Amish Drive-By

Tom Gardner- Amish Drive-By

He is a non-stop ball of creation and a great and amiable character, to boot.  You can’t walk twenty feet down the street with him  in Corning without someone stopping him to talk or someone yelling at him from across the street.  It was this amiability that made me comfortable enough back in January of 1995 to bring in my milk crate filled with scraps of paper and board for him to critique.

As I said during the interview as well as many times during  gallery talks through the years, my life would have been vastly different if not for Tom’s willingness to look at my work with an open mind.  I really don’t know where I would be right now if Tom had not seen something that day and had not encouraged me.    I don’t even know if I would have continued painting for long if he had told me there was nothing there.  I doubt very much that I would be in my own studio, writing this blog.   I’m sure I would not be as contented in my life as I now am and,  for that alone, I am forever indebted to Tom Gardner.  Even if I do absentmindedly overlook mentioning his name on a radio interview.

Thank you, Tom, for opening a door of opportunity for me when I wasn’t even aware that there was one in front of me.

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GC Myers- Eternally FreeJust a reminder that you can hear a radio interview I did with Tish Pearlman for her program Out of Bounds this morning on WSKG-FM in New York and Northern Pennsylvania.   It  can also be heard on a live stream online at wskg.org.  The show airs at 11:30 AM,  just before Ira Glass and This American Life comes on at noon.

One of the questions asked was about what sort of music I listen to in the studio and the one specific piece I mentioned was Tabula Rasa from composer Arvo Pärt, one that I’ve mentioned here in the past.  It always inspires me and reminds me of the drive to find the big silence of the open landscape in my work.  The piece above, Eternally Free, is a favorite of mine that hangs in my studio and is one that I am always reminded of by this music.

I hope you can tune in this morning but for now, here’s the second movement from this wonderful piece of music which is title Silentium: Senza Moto which translates as Silence: Motionless.   The big quiet.

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Out of Bounds with Tish PearlmanLast week I went to REP Studio in Ithaca to record a radio interview with Tish Pearlman for her Out of Bounds show.  It’s a show that airs on several public radio stations around the country and features the affable and inquisitive Pearlman sitting down with people from a wide range of backgrounds with a purpose “to forge understanding among people of diverse backgrounds through thoughtful, in-depth conversations that educate and enlighten.”    Pearlman has been doing this show since 2005 and has featured interviews with many national and regional  figures, all of which can be found archived on the show’s website.  It’s a pretty impressive list that has many names that will be familiar to many of you.  So I was surprised, and honored, when she invited me to sit in for an interview.

Our half hour passed in the blink of an eye with Tish asking questions about my work and technique, as well as inquiring as to how I came to painting which is a story familiar to those of you who read this blog regularly or have came to one of my gallery talks.  Beyond that, my memory of what I said is a blur.  I can only hope that I was somewhat coherent and didn’t make a fool of myself.

When the session ended,  Tish clapped her hands and said that it had went really well and asked how I felt about it.  I said I was pleased but knew that, based on past experiences, that I would be beating myself up in the car on the way home, second-guessing what I had said and what I hadn’t said.  Every time I do an opening or a talk, I inevitably go through this process of regretful recollection , wishing I had made a point or agonizing over something that just didn’t come out right or over not being able to speak with someone who was in attendance.  Or that I just came off as some sort of jerk or pompous twit.

She said that I surely wouldn’t do that over this interview and I laughed and said that I knew that I would.  And, of course,  I did.

But my recollection of the interview is a very pleasant one.  Tish has an easy, friendly manner that puts you at ease and you begin to forget that you are in a small room with a microphone in front of you instead of a comfortable  living room having a pleasant conversation.  Of course, it’s a one-sided conversation.  I actually wish I had been able to ask her about some of her interviews and some of the people behind them.  I bet she has some great insights.

The show will air on the following channels:

Thursdays at 7pm WEOS-FM (NY)
Sundays at 11:30am WSKG-FM (NY)
Fridays at 3:30pm on WRNC-FM (WI)
Wednesdays at 11am on KKRN-FM (CA)
I believe that all of the channels have a live online stream for the show.  I know that WEOS-FM  and WSKG-FM do stream  the show.  I am not positive about the channels in Wisconsin or California.  And if you miss it, the interview will be on the Out of Bounds site within a month or two.
Thanks, Tish, for the opportunity to speak with you.  It was a pleasure and an honor.

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