Posts Tagged ‘Pattern’

GC MyersFaeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame. 
W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire


I was going to write more about this new 18″ by 18″ canvas but after coming across the verse above from the first performed play from the great Irish poet/playwright William Butler Yeats, I thought I’d let those words speak for it alone.  I see these four lines in this painting and that’s good enough for me at the moment…

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GC Myers- If...I wasn’t going to feature another new painting here this morning but I felt that this piece just fits perfectly into the momentary state of our politics.  At least how it appears to me.

In most of the recent paintings from this series featuring patterned skies (I don’t know what else to call them) the sky represents hidden forces and powers that are just beyond our sight and reach.  It’s pretty much the same with this piece except that there is, at least for me, a more chaotic and turbulent aspect in the sky.

The tree stands as a direct counterpoint to this chaos, straight and unwavering.  It  has strength and resolve along with a placid sense of being.  A sense of self awareness beyond the influence of the madness occurring beyond it.  While it is simple in design, it has been a painting that has given me a lot to think about while at the same time calming me.

As I was nearing the end of this 18″ by 24″ piece, I began to think of the famous poem If from Rudyard Kipling and how it related in many ways to how I was seeing this painting.  The poem is basically a father’s advice to his son, telling him all of the things he should learn to endure if he wants to become a man.  It would also be good advice for the ideal political candidate, male or female.  I think most of the people we have seen in this year’s presidential primaries fail to meet most of those requirements that Kipling has laid out.

The poem is below but if you would rather hear it read aloud, there is a recording of actor Michael Caine reading it at the bottom.

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! 
Rudyard Kipling, If

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GC Myers- Into the PatternMy latest works have been focusing on the use of pattern within my landscapes.  Well, I guess you could call it pattern.  There is often a motif of shape and sometimes a direction of movement but for the most part it is fairly chaotic and seemingly without order.  Maybe that is what art is –trying to see pattern within chaos, trying to impose some sense of order so that we might better understand what we are seeing.

And maybe it is our reaction to seeing an emerging pattern that defines what we consider as beautiful.  I am sure many of you have once seen an image that struck you immediately and remained in your mind even if it was only seen in a glimpse.  I know I have.  I am often mystified as to why this occurs.  My only explanation is that its form and pattern somehow jibe with some innate sense of form and pattern, something inborn and with us since the beginning of our time as a species.

Perhaps even the patterns of those things of which we are made.  Maybe the pattern is us.

And that could be expressed through religion.  Or spirituality.  Or physics. Or art…

That being said, this new painting is an 18″ by 36″ canvas that I am calling Into the Pattern.  For me, it represents what I have written above– that we are  part of the pattern  and the pattern is part of who we are.  The Red Tree here is understanding of this and begins to meld into the strong pattern of motion seen in the sky, as expressed by the leaves coming from its limbs.

This is a pretty simple image but it has a nice tension between chaotic motion and calm stillness of understanding.  At one point, I had painted in a figure near the tree.  For me, it absolutely destroyed the impact of the whole piece, distracting focus from what the painting was trying to send out.  The figure just plain bothered me and it didn’t take much thought for me to decide to paint it over.

It was amazing how this changed the painting and my perception of it.  Now, it is one of those pieces that I look at quite often throughout the day here in the studio, pondering what it is saying to me and trying to decide if we are part of the pattern or if it is part of us.  Or both…


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GC Myers- Part of the Pattern

There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns.  Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns.  If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself. What we call chaos is just patterns we haven’t recognized. What we call random is just patterns we can’t decipher.  What we can’t understand we call nonsense. What we can’t read we call gibberish.

–Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor


I tend to agree with the snippet above from Chuck Palahniuk’s book.

Everything is built upon pattern.  Who we are and how we behave.  History.  Science.  Music and art.  It is all dictated by patterns.

Most of us don’t dwell too long on identifying patterns in the world around us and some of us will even refuse to acknowledge the predominance of pattern in the world, believing everything is random and chaotic.  I suppose that in itself is part of a pattern, a larger one that is so encompassing that we can’t see it from our vantage point within it.

 Just speculating there, of course.

I know that I am always looking for pattern, even when I’m not really looking.  I call it pattern, rhythm, flow, sense of rightness and other terms,  without knowing why I am drawn to this concept.  It just attracts me in that it is so much part of everything that there must surely be significance.

All of this flowed forward with this new painting, a 4″ by 17″ piece on paper that I’m calling Part of the Pattern.  It’s based on a theme I’ve used several times recently of pools rising through  a tall vertical picture plane like ladder rungs.  This particular piece was so much more stylized in its forms that it really became more about pattern than subject.  I see it both as a landscape and as some sort of underlying pattern that makes up the landscape.  A sort of DNA-like structure on which the world is built.  Whatever it is, it holds my eye and makes me keep searching for something in it.

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