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Posts Tagged ‘Quotes’

Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

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This new painting has been capturing my eye in the studio every time I mindlessly glimpse in its direction.  It instantly wakens my mind and sets it into a deeper focus, making me look deeper into the painting as I try to ascertain what is there that has convinced me that there is something more beyond the deepest point in the painting, something that triggers thought and emotion.

It pulls me in and swallows me up.

I don’t know why that is, exactly.  It could be the deep colors or the contrast of the light around the sun/moon/whatever. The simple forms and the depth into the picture plane?

I just don’t know.

But as the quote above from the elder Oliver Wendell Holmes ( the father of the famous jurist who was great man of letters in the 19th century) claims, it creates a sensation in me that stretches me, makes me want to experience it again, makes me want to know more. To feel more. To expand beyond the smallness of who I am now as a human, shedding the baser qualities that have marked me up to now.

And to stay in that expansive state, to not shrink back into that lesser self.

In short, I like this piece. As always, you might not see it this way or see in it anything that stirs you at all. And that is as it should be because I primarily paint for myself, paint to satisfy my own needs and desires. The fact that anyone sees something in them is a gift and a surprise to me.

A small miracle, in fact.

So, if you find something in this piece that stirs you, I thank you for creating that miracle so that I might experience it.

This painting, Looking Beyond, is 12″ by 16″ on canvas. It is included in my solo show, Truth and Belief, which opens June 2 at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.

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In the inner place where true artists create there exists a pure child.

Lawren Harris

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I was planning on throwing up a quick post with a video of some of the paintings from another favorite of mine this morning.

Quick. Easy. Done and I’m on my way to the rest of my day.

The problem is that once I start looking at the paintings of Lawren Harris time just evaporates for me. I find myself just staring at so many different pieces, taking in their colors, their harmonies, their stillnesses, and their sheer beauty, that time floats away. I find myself enthralled by his work maybe more than any artist I’ve encountered.

The video below is a group of his work set to a Barhms sonata. A few of the images are a bit fuzzy but it’s a pretty well done video and gives a good idea of the full range of Harris’ work. So while this post is short today be advised that it is one that might take up some of your time. It took a bunch of mine this morning!

But that’s not a complaint. It was my pleasure.


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GC Myers- Surface CalmThrough practice we can get to the point where some disturbance may occur but the negative effects on our mind remain on the surface, like the waves that may ripple on the surface of an ocean but don’t have much effect deep down. 
Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

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I’m finally getting into a bit of a better work groove here in the studio and it’s proving to be a nice distraction from the crapfest taking place here in our government. During both the actual painting process and just looking at it afterwards, pieces like this new 12″ by 12″ canvas are proving to be a great tool in making an escape from the chaotic idiocy of it all.  I think that’s why I am calling this new painting The Calm Surface.

It feels very placid and calm, as though the storms that may rage far away will not shake it’s  tranquil demeanor.

And that’s what I want for myself. I want to be, as the Dalai Lama advises above, that deep ocean water where the rough waves on the surface don’t reach down to the calm depths.

But I am not there.  I don’t have that kind of depth yet and maybe I never will attain it.

But at least in works like this I have a tangible goal, a target for which I can set my bearings.

And that’s what I need right now– something to really work for.

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GC Myers- Hope and CertaintyHope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
Vaclav Havel
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Above is a new painting, a 9″ by 12″ canvas, that I am calling Hope and Certainty.  From the moment it was complete I thought of the meaning of this piece in terms of a hopeful look forward.  It was not necessarily optimistic but was simply looking ahead to see a future, even one that was darker and more ominous than the desire contained in the hope.

And this hope was in the certainty that time would heal the open wounds that were with us in the present time.

And that made sense but still didn’t comfort me in the way such a piece or thought might have in the past.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on why this was, why I was still feeling unease and uncertain.

Then I came across the words above from Vaclav Havel, the late Czech president/writer/philosopher/dissident.  It explained this piece and it explained so well the anger of the people in this country and around the world who stand in opposition to [he-who-will-not-be-named-here].  His ascent and the way he has shown how he plans to rule thus far do not make sense, it challenges all that we know to be right and real.

His is a world of alternative facts.

And that takes away all possibility of sense. And with it goes certainty.

We live by rhythms and patterns that have been written into our DNA.  We know that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. That the dark of night will be replaced by the light of day. That the cold of winter will soon give way to the warmth of spring.  That fire is hot and ice is cold. And for the most part, we know that right is good and wrong is bad.

But in a world that challenges the reality of every word in every moment, where falsehoods and lies are expected and accepted, is there is no certainty and thus no sense.

Hope flounders without sense and certainty.  It becomes anger.

So what I am seeing in this painting is the Red Tree trying to find sense, trying to see a pattern or rhythm in the future that lays before it that has hope and certainty.

Now it makes makes sense and I can move into it more easily.

And that is a small victory.

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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- Archaeology- Rising From Blue 2008Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.

–Will Durant

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Quotes on the internet have become something like the fake news stories that have infected that same space.  Many of the quotes are completely false and have never been uttered by the people to who they are attributed.

You can sometimes easily pick out the fake ones.  The language is just wrong for the time frame in which the speaker lived, for example.  There’s a good article from The Atlantic from a few years back that examines how a fake quotes grows in stature and how people hold fast and defensively, to it even after it has been made clear that they were not the words of who they thought had spoken the quote originally.  Sounds very much like people reactions to fake news– they believe and hold on to it because they want it to be so,

Anyway, I came across this quote from historian Will Durant, the author (along with his wife Ariel) of the momentous The Story of Civilization,and I really liked it.  I thought it would pair well with an Archaeology painting of mine from several years back.  It was perfect.

Actually it sounded too perfect.

So I decided to run a check to find the source and quickly found several sites that said that it was indeed a fake quote.  I was ready to toss the whole thing aside when at the last moment I stumbled on a site that definitively did source the quote to Durant.  According to the Will Durant Foundation, these words first appeared in print in an article, What is Civilization?, Durant wrote for the Ladies Home Journal in 1946.  They also stated that it was line that he had used in lectures for many years going back to 1933.

So I am pleased to use this quote knowing that it is not part of the awful cycle of misinformation to which we are so often subjected.

Oh, and by the way, when the Earth has decided that it has had enough of our shenanigans, ain’t nothing we can do about it.

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9913217-fragments-sm“All there is, is fragments, because a man, even the loneliest of the species, is divided among several persons, animals, worlds. To know a man more than slightly it would be necessary to gather him together from all those quarters, each last scrap of him, and this done after he is safely dead.”
Coleman Dowell, Island People

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It’s been hard finding footing lately in the studio.  It’s been hard to just get started on most days.  There are plenty of factors that play in to this, some external and some internal, some that I can control and some I cannot.  But the end result is the same: I am left feeling fragmented, broken into shards that don’t want to reassemble easily in the form of my work.

I am not worried however.  This is not the first time I’ve felt so fragmented nor will it be the last.  I know that I come apart at times and have to bide my time, just continuing to try to put myself back together so that I may uncover what I know is waiting there for me.

It’s there. It may seem an awfully long way away but I can see it and I know that while it may take time and much effort, I shall be together with it again.

The painting above is a piece that has been with me for a while now.  One of the orphans that come home to reside for a bit.  I wrote about it last year when I thought I might change its name to Dimming of the Day but it still remains under its original title, Fragments, in my mind.  And I suspect it will stay that way.

This painting is based very much on this feeling that I am experiencing at this moment and when this feeling emerges, I often think of this painting.  There is darkness and distance here.  The space between the Red Chair and the house has a certain weight that makes me feel as though there is something more than physical distance at play here. The sky, a confetti-like blend of thousands of little fragments of brushstrokes that gave the painting its title originally,  represents, for me at least in this piece, the world falling out of harmony.

Dark, distant and coming apart.

Yet despite that I find this painting very comforting.  I think that goes back to what I said above, that I know this place well from past experience .  I know how to navigate it and know that the distance is not so great nor the darkness too deep.  And I know that the parts are still in place to come together again in the future if I simply exercise patience and don’t give in.

It’s funny how that works.  I walk by this painting several times a day in the studio and it’s often without a thought as my mind is preoccupied with something else.  But every so often I stop before it and suddenly all of these feelings flood back on me when I look closer.  I’m glad it works that way, actually.

Here’s a nice version of the Richard Thompson song whose title, Dimming of the Day,  I was thinking about renaming this painting.  It’s a strong yet tender version from Tom Jones.  Have a good day…

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