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Posts Tagged ‘Paulo Coelho’

 

 


“Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms.”

― Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra


I wasn’t planning on writing about angst this morning. I think most of us are all worn to nubs from the anxiety of this time so unless I have come up with some sort of therapy or special salve that will take it away, my words will have little effect.

Might even make it worse.

But an item popped up on my alerts that piqued my interest and it had to do with angst. Well, angst in the form of one of my paintings. I clicked on the link and there was YouTube music video with a painting that was very recognizable to me as the image illustrating it.

It was from Lithuanian-born musician/composer Žilvinas Smalys for a short composition of his called Growing Angst For 2 Bassoons. It was written and recorded on October 11, 2020 so it is most likely his take on the anxiety of this time in his part of the world.

Angst knows no boundaries.

I am not surprised that he chose this particular painting, The Angst, to accompany his composition. It is one of my personal pieces, a keeper, that has been with me for the past 25 years or so. Whenever I show it, it gets a lot of attention. It was even used in a college level textbook a few years back. It even shows up on the Google search for “angst paintings” right under Munch’s The Scream.

And it works well with this compsotion.

Žilvinas Smalys is a performer, teacher and composer who was, as I wrote, born and raised in Lithuania. His training as a classical musician throughout Europe has been extensive and he has played with orchestras around the globe. He currently resides in Santiago, Chile, serving since 2008 as the principal bassoonist at Teatro Municipal de Santiago as well as being a professor of bassoon and chamber music at Universidad Mayor de Santiago

Smalys has a nice YouTube page that features many of his compositions. I urge you to take a look. His music is lovely. Below is Growing Angst and another short piece, Lament For 2 Bassoons.

Hopefully this will help free up your own angst and you can move on to have a good day.


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“As he was about to climb yet another dune, his heart whispered, “Be aware of the place where you are brought to tears. That’s where I am, and that’s where your treasure is.” 

― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

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This is another new painting, 4″ by 18″ on paper, that is part of the new group of paintings that will be coming with me to the Principle Gallery on Saturday, where I will giving my annual Gallery Talk beginning at 1 PM.

I call this piece All the Treasure of the World. It’s a continuation of the theme that I featured here a few weeks back in an entry about Acres of Diamonds, the story of an African farmer who sold his land to seek wealth far and wide without realizing that the actual treasure was in his original land.

The difference here is that the definition of treasure is altered from wealth in the form of diamonds and gems to the real treasure that is contained in personal contentment and a deep emotional bond with one’s life and the surrounding world.

Instead of mining for diamonds and gold, one sees the wealth found in being able to watch a cloud lazily meander across the sky.

In the beauty of a field filled with flowers or the gentle curve of a path that takes you home.

In the tears that come with memories of joy or sadness. The tears that come from the recognition of one’s own humanity.

Maybe that’s a lot to ask for in a simple painting but I see these things in this piece. And I feel better for it, understanding in a way where the real treasure lies.

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GALLERY TALK

at the

PRINCIPLE GALLERY

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 AT 1 PM

GOOD TALK, PAINTINGS, PRIZES AND MORE!

WIN A PAINTING!

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GC Myers- Waiting on the Light 2006Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.

 
Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

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I was looking at this older painting from years ago this morning.  It was a late entry into my Outlaws series back in 2006 and I think I only showed it for a very short time in one gallery.  It has floated around the studio for the past decade, never really finding a place of its own in which to dwell.

I wouldn’t call it a great piece.  Maybe not even a good piece but it has a lot of meaning for me.  Every so often I pick it up and find myself captured in the moments that I see in it.

I see myself in it, those early mornings when I find myself wide awake at 4 AM with the wheels in my minds spinning furiously.  Sometimes it is a good thing with something positive and creative emerging from this pent up energy.  Other times, it is sheer angst and I find myself much like the figure in this painting, staring out the window waiting for the dark to recede and be replaced by the first dim light of dawn.

On the good days that light is full of high hopes for what is coming.  It’s exciting.  On the not so  good days it is just a painful wait for what seems to be nothing but the possibility of having enough light to wash away the darkness and maybe spark something to move ahead on.  It is a dull and drab ache, a suffering that I am reminded of in the words at the top from author Paulo Coelho.

So you can see that this painting, though it may not be among the finest of my work, has real meaning for me.  So perhaps in a small way, even in a way that only applies to me, it is somehow a good piece.

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GC Myers--Alchemy

“This is why alchemy exists,” the boy said. “So that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life. Lead will play its role until the world has no further need for lead; and then lead will have to turn itself into gold.

That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

— Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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I am currently getting ready for my final solo show of the year, this one at the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA, opening November 16th.  I am calling this show Alchemy, from the ancient and mysterious practice ( I use the word practice to describe it because I am not sure how to categorize it as it is not really a science as we know it) that is defined by its stated goals of turning base metals into gold or silver and creating an elixir that would give man’s life great longevity, possibly immortality.  Most of  us  likely think of it in terms of some wild-eyed scientist trying to find a way to transform lead into gold.

But at the heart of alchemy is the simple concept of the transformation of something ordinary into something more than it initially appears to be.  That really strikes home for me.  I have often written of  sometimes feeling surprised when I finish a piece, as though the end result, the sum of my painting, is often far more than what I have to personally offer in terms of talent or knowledge.  Like there is a force beyond me that is arranging these simple elements of this work into something that transcends the ordinariness of the subject or materials or the creator.  This feeling has remained a mystery to me for almost twenty years, driving me to write here in hopes of stumbling across words that would adequately describe this transformation of simple paint and paper into something that I sometimes barely recognize as being my own creation, so marked is the difference between the truth of the resulting work and my own truth.

Even as I write this, I can see that my words are inadequate to describe this vaporous process.  So I will stop here but will  attempt to better capture the mystery of this in the next several weeks in this blog.

The painting at the top is the title piece, Alchemy,  for the upcoming show.  It is 18″ by 48″ on canvas.  I wanted the painting that carried this title to have the things that I think make up this curious transformation– simplicity and symmetry and depth.  I think this painting captures these elements and even as I painted it, it started a transformation that continually surprised me.  I sit now  writing this and this painting sits on an easel in my studio and I am still surprised, even after all of these years, at what has emerged.

It must be alchemy…

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