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Posts Tagged ‘Paintings’

GC Myers 992-141-small1It’s another cold day here in the northeast,  -5° this morning when I walked out the door.  By the time I got over here to the studio after my short commute ( a stroll through the woods) I was ready for a little heat.  Turned on the computer to look up an old piece and immediately came across this small triptych from 2002 which was always a favorite of mine. It’s a little anomaly comprised of three small squares, each about 4″ by 4″.  I always liked the surface of these pieces — they had a smooth, almost burnished look that I haven’t used in many years.

Seeing this piece made me want to revisit that surface treatment once more, thirteen years later.  It also made me want to feel that heat in the form of a very distinct song.  Fire from Jimi Hendrix.  Talk about going back in time.  Are You Experienced? in 1967.  This song will be fifty years old in a couple more years which seems crazy– it’s timeless heat.

So, Jimi, on this frigid morning, let me stand next to your fire.

 

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GC Myers- Wish I Was a River smThere are some pieces in  my studio that will always be with me , some because they are very personal pieces, virtual parts of my memory.  Others because they are somewhat lacking and I wouldn’t want them out in the world.  Then there are some that stay simply because I want them here.  This piece is one of those.

It is painted on a piece of our old upright piano , the lid that opened on its top.  It’s about 8″ tall by 62″ long.  You might think that this painting is about the  heavy clusters of Red Roofs but for me this is a piece of escape.  That cool blue ribbon of water that cuts through this painting, shown only in snips, is freedom to me, a rushing current to carry me away from the noise and chaos of the gathered village.  Or better yet, I could become the river and move easily and forever– hopefully– through the land, joined with the other waters of the world.

I find myself thinking a lot when I look at this piece, which I do most everyday as it is mounted above the large window in my studio.  It gives me pause and makes me think about being quiet internally, stilling the spinning wheels.  But most of all, it makes me wish I was that river.

I call this piece Wish I Was a River, sort of after the Joni Mitchell song, River.  However, her chorus goes “ I wish I had a river…”  Maybe I’m being greedy here but I want to be the river.  Maybe I’d let her skate away on me.  I don’t know.

Here’s the song from Joni Mitchell.

 

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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.

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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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In the Shadow

GC Myers  In the ShadowAs I wrote a few weeks back, I’m in the middle of my process where I spend some time both looking backward and forward through my work, looking at pieces from the past for bits of inspiration that might lead to some new synthesis of  the original creative driver.  In doing so I sometime come across paintings that are unlike anything that was done in the time period around them, paintings that stand out in sharp contrast.  This is one such piece, called In the Shadow. a 9″ by 12″ sepia painting from six or seven years back.

As I scanned through my files, mostly quiet and placid pieces with warm colors and calming compositions, I came across this dark piece that seemed so out of place.  Nothing before it in that year showed any evidence of this piece’s coming.  And nothing after it showed any signs of its influence.  It was a complete anomaly for its time.

I showed it a few times but it never sold which did not surprise me at all.  It wasn’t that I didn’t think it was a good piece  because I did think it had a unique quality that made it good. I often use good to describe my work, meaning that it has a complete feel, a life all its own, and this painting had it.   But I wasn’t surprised at the lack of interest because of the quality but because it was too personal, too reflective of my own angst.  I knew at the time that it was only meant for me because of this.

Most of my work deals with alleviating the angst that is often consuming for me.  It is all about escaping that shadow and bringing light.  I have often said that my work is not a reflection of who I really am but is instead a goal of who I want to be.  It is aspirational work.  This, on the other hand, was not filled with hope but was instead a snapshot of  the reality of the moment for me.

It was personal and too narrow in its meaning to easily connect with those who see the better parts of themselves in my work.  I understood that from the moment I created this piece.  But I felt that I had to show it just to be honest about my own reality, my own journey.  We are all prismatic figures  that only show certain facets to the outside world at any given  time and I wanted to let people see this often hidden facet just to let them know that  it is there.  Perhaps one day, it will fade from the light of the other, more hopeful facets.

But it is there and every now and then it shows itself just to remind me from where I came.  But not where I am going.

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GC Myers- Pride and Joy 2003At this time of the year I normally take a little time and revisit some of my work from the past.  I am typically beginning to look ahead to the coming year and am looking for inspiration, hoping to find a new path to follow and examine.  By starting with my own work first,  I look for pieces from the past that have a singular look for the time in which they were created.  Perhaps I was doing something at that time, experimenting with color or the manner in which I apply the paint for example, something that was set aside and never revisited.  Perhaps, now would be a good time to revisit this path.

If I can find it.

The painting above is one example of what I’m talking about.  Called Pride and Joy and painted in the first month or so of 2003, it is a 15.5″ by 16″ image on a wood panel.  While it has the elements of the Red Roof series that was emerging at that time, it has a sky that is different from others of that time and not one that I have painted since.  It has a golden glow in it that gives the whole piece a great warmth and shimmer.

I find it really appealing yet am somewhat baffled by how it was achieved.  That’s one of the drawbacks in the way I paint.  Being self-taught, my technique is always shifting, nudging in small degrees one way or the other by new discoveries or ingrained habits.  I don’t have an anchor of taught technique that I work from.  This was especially evident in my early work  where you could see how the technique would sometimes have wide swings throughout a year.

In this case, could I recapture the look, the golden quality of that sky?  I don’t know.  But it does open up a path for me that I may want to follow for a while, hoping that it leads somewhere new and exciting.  Maybe that path that I double back to will be one that I am now more ready to follow than I was a decade ago.

And that’s the purpose of looking back at this time of the year for me.  I have a couple of more examples to show in the next few weeks that illustrate how there are paintings that were the start of paths that I have yet to fully follow. Stay tuned.

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This is another painting, measuring 12″ by 18″ on paper,  that has made its way to San Luis Obispo for my upcoming show, The Waking Moment.  The show is at the Just Looking Gallery and opens on Saturday, December 1.  The title of this piece is The Mellowing Way.  There’s a subtlety in the color of the sky and a suppleness in the rolls of the fields here that gives the piece a sense of softness that I find intriguing.  Maybe it’s more a softening of attitude than mere softness, an acceptance of one’s place in this world that allows one to simply just be and let the rest of the world wash over them as it rushes by.

I’ve said before that I wish I were a smooth stone on the bottom of a stream, cool and sleek as the water rushes by.  No resistance.  Maybe that’s what I see here.  We start our existence as a rough-edged piece of this earth, a jagged stone,  and in our life, or lives depending on your views on incarnations, we tumble along, our hard edges slowly eroding as we come to realize how futile is our resistance to the tides of time and change.  Eventually, the water can no longer find an edge to push us along and we settle, finding a place where we are comfortable to watch the world pass by.

I don’t know.  There’s a sense of tranquility and acceptance here that speaks to me personally.  And that’s enough, I suppose.  All I could ask.

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Sometimes you paint something that you really like, something that very much hits every potential goal you set for your work, yet you find yourself at a loss for words to describe it.  That’s very much how I feel about this newer painting, Moment Divine,  a 10″ by 16″ piece on paper.

Perhaps this lack of words is a good thing, a sign that the work needs no more said about it.  It is expression enough in itself and to talk too much would only take away from the atmosphere it creates.

I don’t really know.  Sometimes there are pieces like this that seem to have a quiet completeness to them.  They are usually simply designed with a harmony of color and form  that makes them feel effortless and without pretense.  They have a simple and natural beauty that doesn’t need embellishment. 

That’s kind of how I see this painting.  Simple and easy.  Naturally effortless. 

Maybe I’ve said too much already.  Maybe I should just let the image speak for itself now…

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