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Posts Tagged ‘Recent Painting’

GC Myers- That Rare Moment smPictures must be miraculous: the instant one is completed, the intimacy between the creation and the creator is ended.

Mark Rothko

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I came across the words above from the late painter Mark Rothko and found myself relating very much to their meaning.  The process of creating a picture is ideally a period of intimacy, one where the maker  ideally opens their self and exposes their totality to the surface.  There is a transference of energy and knowledge in that moment that forms the new life taking place on that surface.

Each move, each change to the surface pulls bits from the inner stores of the creator and alters the new reality being formed.  For a rare moment, the two entities– the maker and the surface–are are locked together.  They are one.

But as the picture takes shape and form, beginning to express its own life force, it moves away from the maker.  It is its own being at that point, beyond the reach and influence of the maker.

As a maker of pictures, I can say that this moment is both wistfully sad and exhilarating.  When that moment of completion is at hand I immediately miss that time of transference, so full of possibility.  But seeing the new picture, self-contained and speaking for itself, brings a kind of parental pride.  I know that I will never be as close to that picture as I was in that moment.  But that moment binds us forever, even if it will be always as a faint memory when I glimpse its image in the future.

I chose the piece at the top for this post- fittingly titled That Rare Moment– because what I could have been writing solely about this piece.  This painting, an 8″ by 24″ canvas, was very much created with in the process that I described.

There was a definite moment of transference when this painting made the leap from being me to being it.  In the days after it was complete, I would look at it and sigh with that mix of sadness and pride.  It is beyond me now and speaks with its own voice, its own meaning that will no doubt soon express itself to someone other than me.

And they will hopefully experience their own rare moment….

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This painting is part of my solo show, Contact, at the West End Gallery in Corning, NY.  The show opens FridayJuly 22, 2016 with an opening reception that runs from 5-7:30 PM.  There is also an accompanying Gallery Talk that takes place on August 6.  More details on that later.

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GC Myers-- On the Dock smWhat a time, what a time…

Watching the news it seems like we live in a time of chaos, in days and nights of division and anger.  To a certain extent I believe that’s true.  But for the majority of us– and I believe this includes people of every color, ethnicity and religion– we simply want to live a hassle-free life, one without rancor and hatred.  One where we can be ourselves as we wish ourselves to be and move through our days without fear.

One where chaos is a distant thing that doesn’t find its way to our guts.

Can we get to that point?  I believe we can.

How? That I don’t know.  Perhaps it to be found at first in small ways, in acts of kindness and tolerance towards others.  In not rushing to judgments and showing empathy.

It can’t hurt.

The painting at the top is in my upcoming show, Contact,  at the West End Gallery, opening July 22.  It’s an 8″ by 24″ canvas that is titled On the Dock.  There’s something very pacifying in this piece, something that definitely reminds me of the great Otis Redding classic, (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.  I have heard this song literally thousands of time and it never gets old for me.  It’s always calming and that is something I need these days.

It’s hard to believe that Otis Redding was only 26 when he cut this track not long before his death.  His life may have been short but he gave us so much to enjoy.  So, give a listen and have a peaceful Sunday.

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GC Myers- Listener (The True Music)Mr. Twigley’s eyes glowed behind his spectacles as he thought of all the lovely things he would put in the musical box.

“But you can’t hear trees growing,” protested Michael. “There’s no music for that!”

“Tut!” said Mr. Twigley impatiently. “Of course there is! There’s a music for everything. Didn’t you ever hear the earth spinning? It makes a sound like a humming-top. Buckingham Palace plays ‘Rule Britannia’; the River Thames is a drowsy flute. Dear me, yes! Everything in the world — trees, rocks and stars and human beings — they all have their own true music.”

P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins Opens the Door

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Think what you will but I love the Mary Poppins stories.  It seems like every chapter has a philosophical lesson or message, an urging to see the world in a different way.  There is usually a reminder that things are not always what they seem, that what we see and know is only a small part of the whole, that there are worlds and worlds around and beyond us.

Fittingly, it’s very much the theme of my recent work and upcoming show at the West End Gallery.  The painting, a 24″ by 12″ canvas, shown at the top is part of that show and is titled Listener (The True Music).  I  had Mr. Twigley‘s workshop, and that particular snippet from the book above, in mind when I was working on this piece.  The idea that everything has its own true music, its own truth, resonates with me.

I don’t exactly know what my own true music might be.  There have been songs and sounds that often bring me to tears so my guess is that my true music might reside in the chanter of a bagpipe, in the low vibrations of a cello or in the twang of a guitar string.

Or maybe it’s in the sounds of a lone voice singing Amazing Grace.

Or the voices of a large chorus united in Ode to Joy.

Or maybe it is simply in the sound of the wind as it moves the top of the grasses of the fields and in the leaves of trees.

Sometimes, as I walk through the woods to my studio, the trees moving in the wind rub and seem to make loud squawks and voice-like sounds that make me stop and try to hear what they might be saying.

Maybe that’s my true music.

I am not sure but I will continue listening.

What is your true music?

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GC Myers- Plates 2015I had a dream a month or so ago that has had me working on fields of painted shapes, trying to recapture the forms that captivated me in that dream.  It’s an elusive thing and I am still trying to figure out where this fits in my work.

GC Myers- Time Frames  smI have used many of these attempts as the background texture under a few pieces featuring some of my normal imagery– the Red Tree in a landscape for example, like the painting shown here on the right.  I like the added depth that this background gives the work and could easily see it becoming a regular part of my process.

But part of me sees the painted group of shapes as an entity in and of itself, something that could and should stand alone.  Even though I feel my normal work is built primarily on abstract forms, showing a piece like the one shown here at the top of the page feels different in many ways, some of which raise fears in me.

First of all, it is based less on emotion than most of my work.  I think my work comes often across because it speaks of and to emotions common to us all.  This work feels more purely meditative, like I am looking at the building blocks of thought and matter.  They simply exist.  No emotion, no judgments, no narrative to fulfill.

And that scares me a bit.  Takes me out of my comfort zone and leaves me feeling more exposed even though I might actually be showing fewer aspects of myself in the work.  Maybe it’s a case of standing naked without the protection of any sort of cover, asking viewers to accept me as I am without trying to influence them with my choice of what I wear over my true being.

That’s a hard thing to do when you’ve been standing in front of people in one guise for so long.  So I struggle tying to determine if this new work can stand naked and alone.  There is much more to explore in it and over the next few months I hope to find the answers I am seeking.

As with all things, we shall see…

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GC Myers-FourShadowing ing Grouping

I recently painted the four  12″ by 12″ paintings, shown above, which is grouped as a set titled FourShadowing.  I wanted to have only the most subtle of differences between the pieces as far as subject and form so that there was a repetitive quality as your took them in, almost like the recurring chorus of a song.  The variations of colors acts as a sort of verse.

I try to not think to0 much about this, not wanting to contrive the outcome in a way that saps all of the energy from the work.  Just let the elements do their thing, let their voices be heard over the repeating imagery of the four pieces.

I saw the video below, a simple explanation of how we are affected by musical repetition based on the work and book, On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind , of cognitive scientist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, and it instantly made me wonder if repetition played the same part in visual art.  I believe that the  personal style of an artist is a form of repetition, that the more familiar a viewer is with the work of an artist, the easier they find themselves able to engage with it.  The repeating nature of their style and the body of work reinforces and reassures.

Of course, I am talking off the top of my head right now and I might read this later and ask myself what the hell I was talking about.  It’s a grain of a thought at the moment.

Anyway, take a few minutes to watch the video and think about it on your own:

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The task is…not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.

― Erwin Schrödinger

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GC Myers-  New Dimension smI was looking for something to say about this new painting, New Dimension,  when I came across this quote from  physicist Erwin Schrodinger that deals with dimensional perception.

I have to admit to not knowing much about the  quantum physics to which he refers with these words but the sentiment behind it could be describing the driving force behind this painting and much of what I attempt to do as an artist.  I have maintained for some time that art is not about clever ideas or extraordinary subjects but in changing our perceptions of the ordinary, in trying to illuminate those dimensions of the world that remain unseen to us.

The example I often cite is of Van Gogh‘s painting of a vase of irises.  It is an painting of an extremely ordinary subject, a vase filled with flowers,  A common floral painting that has been the subject of perhaps a million or two painters over the ages.  Yet seeing it, one feels that unseen animating energy of nature and the force of Van Gogh’s perceptions of it.  It vibrates with energy.  It is no longer a simple vase of irises but has become a conduit to a new and deeper dimension, one that delivers us closer to the essence our being.  It is now the sacred ordinary.

This piece attempts to go there and does so for me.  But I am too close to it to  judge whether it hits it mark for others.  It is as ordinary as it gets- a horizon, a sky, a sun, a field and a tree.  Yet I am hoping that there is something in it that takes you beyond the mundane, something that sparks and allows your inner self to detect the essential forces at work in this simple scene.  To find the extraordinary in the ordinary, to feel more connected to our essence.  To find a new dimension in our selves.

This painting, New Dimension, is a 12″ by 36″ canvas and will be going with me to the Principle Gallery for my Gallery Talk there on Saturday, September 13th.

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GC Myers-Into the Valley of Color smThe summer shows are past now as I turn to the autumn months where there are a couple of things on my calendar.  First, on September 13th, I will be giving a Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria.  It begins at 1 PM and runs for an hour or so.  There will be a drawing for an original  painting of mine to be given to someone in attendance plus there will be some other surprises.  I am going through my painting here in the studio trying to decide which piece will be the prize this year.  There are some strong contenders, all having some personal meaning for me.

I will also be bringing a small group of new work for the gallery.  Included is the piece shown above, Into the Valley of Color.  It’s a larger painting, measuring 36″ by 36″ on canvas, that I have been enjoying for the last few days here in the studio.  It has a real presence that draws me in when my eyes turn its way.

Next on the calendar is a new solo show, The Common Ground, which opens December 5th at the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA.  I have been showing at the Kada Gallery for going on 19 years and always enjoy my visits there.  I am pretty excited by the direction in which the work is headed as I prepare for this show.  I think it will be a very strong group.  I will be posting updates through the next couple of months.

So, if you’re in the DC area on September 13th, please stop into the Principle Gallery.  For my friend in Western Pennsylvania and NE Ohio, I will see you in December.  I had better get to work!

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GC Myers- Moonlight RevelationThe revelation of thought takes men out of servitude into freedom.
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-Ralph Waldo Emerson
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When I look at this  new painting, a 24″ by 24″ canvas, it gives me a sense of conscious dreaming, of  taking those deepest  and largest internal wishes and making them known to the world, bringing them into the realm of possibility.  I think there’s something potent in the idea of this sort of imagining, of seeing oneself in different circumstances, in different lights.  It sets courses and opens windows of possibility.  It unsettles us and stirs change.
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It also makes me wonder how this sort of dreaming changes over the course of our lives,  I know as a child I was always immersed in daydreams that took me to far-reaching places under the wildest of circumstances.  Yet while I still daydream, as an adult my dreams have changed and become far more limited and smaller in scope, much less expansive than they were in my youth.  Perhaps it is a product of pure practicality, of having realized my own limitations and what is possible for the person I believe myself to be.  Or maybe my desires have have lessened by virtue of  simple acceptance and comfort in the present.
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When do we lose the capacity for the large dreams of childhood?  Is it when the world loses some of that sense of wonder that came with the fresh eyes of youth?  Is it possible to imagine unlimited possibilities when the sight of a bright and full moon rising fails to inspire you?
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Maybe that’s what I see here, a recapturing of that wonder in seeing the moon and all that is possible under its gaze.
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This painting, Moonlight Revelation, will be at the West End Gallery as part of my solo show there, Layers, which opens July 25.

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GC Myers- Homeward BoundI finished this smaller painting yesterday, a 4″ by 7″ image on paper that is going to the Principle Gallery in a week or so for my upcoming show, Traveler, which opens on June 6.  I  have a  group of  paintings with small figures– guitarists and boatmen– in them where the relationship of the figure to the space in the picture is the most important element for me.  I think that is evident in this piece, called Homeward Bound, where the sense of space in the sky gives this piece a sense of distance and remoteness while at the same time having a warmth that indicates an imminent return or at least the memory of home for the figure.

Home is a powerful concept and word, that thing that we all seek on some level.  It may be found in the terrain or in the people or simply in a state of mind, a sense of comfort and belonging.  I think its this sense of belonging that most drives us in our quest for home, that place or state of  mind where we dwell naturally as we really are at our core.   Some people seem to carry a sense of home with them, always feeling naturally in place wherever they might be.  Others, like myself, more often feel out of place wherever they are and this idea of home as a haven becomes more important.  And that’s kind of the idea of this simple piece, that place where our song is most true and pure, a song of our heart.

The title is, of course, derived from the great Simon and Garfunkel song.  Those opening chords best sum up the feel of this piece.

 

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GC Myers-  The EmpowermentThis is the week in which I put the finishing touches on the group of work for my show, Traveler, that opens in a little more than two weeks, on June 6th,  at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  This is my fifteenth solo  show there so there I have a sense of routine and rhythm in how these shows come together which takes away some of the anxiety although there is always something out there to add a bit of it back into the mix.  This year had a few glitches along the way, including the cold that has hung on for the last couple of weeks.  But the cold has receded enough to let me work and in the past few days the work has really come together well.  So now I am at the point where is simply a matter of completing a few pieces then moving into the final phase of framing for presentation.

One of the pieces that I will be framing is this new one, an 18″ by 18″ canvas that I am calling The Empowerment.  I get the title from the sun and its relationship with the Red Tree, which draws strength from the rhythmic swirl of the sunlight showering down on it.  We all draw strength from something, be it light of the sun or warmth of our loved ones, that allows us to walk our own paths.  For me, that’s the basic theme of this painting which is strengthened itself by what I perceive as an interesting mix of warmth and coolness, feeling both warmly embracing and airily cool in its openness.

It just feels good to me…

Well, no time to dally.  I have things to get done today.  Have a great day.

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