Posts Tagged ‘Red Roof Series’


“Nirvana is right here, in the midst of the turmoil of life. It is the state you find when you are no longer driven to live by compelling desires, fears, and social commitments, when you have found your center of freedom and can act by choice out of that. Voluntary action out of this center is the action of the bodhisattvas — joyful participation in the sorrows of the world. You are not grabbed, because you have released yourself from the grabbers of fear, lust, and duties.” 

 Joseph CampbellThe Power of Myth


I think about these words from the late mythologist Joseph Campbell quite a lot. It’s one of those bits that I keep close at hand, ready to pull out whenever I find myself feeling the onset of fears or anxieties about things that  I cannot control. Or when I begin to desire things that I don’t need at all. Or whenever I feel pressured to do things purely out of some social obligation.

His words remind me that true freedom lies in finding your own path. Fear, desire and obligation are their own paths and once you begin down those paths, you are further away from your own path of freedom, further from being, as Campbell put it, a joyful participant in the sorrows of the world.

Campbell’s words make it seem so simple yet, as we all know, those other paths are difficult to avoid. We are reactive creatures and often move to follow our first impulse in most situations. Learning to calm our impulses, to still our fears and desires, is the first step down a path of own making.

The painting above, Night Nirvana, a 30″ by 40″ canvas, is from my upcoming West End Gallery show and I attached these words to this piece immediately after it was finished. There’s a great stillness in it and a quiet reassuring voice in it, one that tells me that I control my reactions, that I should follow the path I make for myself. It is a path built on voluntary action, not reaction or fear. A path made with conscious choices, not obligations nor the decisions of others.

The message I take from this painting is simple: Your path is your path alone and there is great peace in knowing that. It is enough for each of us.

I am going to think on that for a while…

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GC Myers- Peaceful Abode

-Isaiah 32:18


This new painting, a 24″ by 18″ canvas, is titled Peaceful Abode.  and is part of my upcoming June show, Part of the Pattern, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.

This piece has a bit of a different look even though it falls easily into my body of work. Maybe it’s the slight change in coloration or the slightly altered perspective from the rise of the hillside behind the lakefront buildings.

I don’t really know and, to tell the truth, I don’t want to think too much about it for fear of over-analyzing it.  I’ve enjoyed looking at this piece for the last week or so and find that it has a peaceful quality in it that is very soothing.

It takes me to a place far away from the rancor of politics, the horrors of violence we inflict on one another and the general chaos of our time.  It is the antithesis of nearly everything I see on the cable news networks.

The whole perspective of this piece seems to be inward looking, seeking that quiet and placid spot.  And looking at this piece, I believe for a brief moment that I have found it.

And that’s a good thing…

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GC Myers- Contact smThe morning wind forever blows, the poem of creation is uninterrupted; but few are the ears to hear it.

Henry David Thoreau


This new painting is 24″ by 30″ on canvas and is titled Contact.  The words from Thoreau above speak pretty clearly to what I see in this piece,  that we often ignore the beauty and wonder of the natural world that exists all around us.  How many of us take the time to actually look at the sway of the trees in the breeze or the pattern of the stars in the night sky?  Sadly, we’re more likely now to see these things on our phones or laptops.

We’re too  busy, too distracted to have much interaction or contact with the wonder of the world that is often within our reach.

The buildings here seem closed in and eyeless, almost as though they are turned away from and oblivious to the world beyond their narrow line of sight.  They are symbolically in the shadow of the hillside, rising in a pyramid-ish form toward the open fields and woods that open to the radiating sky.  The sun has a warm and eye-like presence and the Red Tree seems to have reached a sort of tranquil communion with it.


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GC Myers The Anticipation  2003Sunday morning quiet…

It’s always one of my favorite times, bringing back memories as a kid when I would get up before everybody else and have the house basically to myself.  Nothing expected and nothing to be said.  Go out to the road to get the paper and read the comics.  Maybe have some hot chocolate to dunk my toast in. Safe in my home with my parents sleeping nearby…

A child’s tranquility, seemingly so easy and natural.  We add and absorb so many things that change us from that easy and natural state.  You can spend your whole life trying to recapture that feeling, that momentary bliss, but unfortunately it is as elusive as the fog.  But every so often we experience a flash of moments that seem reminiscent of those times before everything didn’t seem like old news, before everything had been seen or heard–that feeling of newness and wonder that only a kid can truly feel.

Man, is that a good feeling.  It can sustain you for days and days until the memory of it dissolves and is forever lost.

Hope to find it again soon.

This Sunday I thought I’d share a performance from one of my favorites, Richard Thompson.  This is him performing his Sunset Song at the Goldmark Gallery, an art gallery in Uppingham, England, that often hosts musical performances for small groups. It’s a great version of a lovely song.  I chose the painting at the top, a piece called The Anticipation from back in 2003, to go with this song.  It’s a painting that always catches my eye.

Enjoy and have a great Sunday…

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GC Myers- Larger Than LifeI am currently working on a new body of work for my annual June show at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.   I am calling this year’s exhibit,  my fourteenth solo show there,  Observers, and the piece shown here is one of the pieces that will make up the show.

This painting, a 16″ by 26″ piece on paper, is called Larger Than Life.  It’s a continuation of the Red Roof landscapes that I have been showing on this blog lately.  This piece was another that came from my early morning session in the studio when I had several images come to mind during a sleepless night.  It evolved into something other than what I originally saw but I am actually more pleased with the final result than with the mental image that inspired it.  In my mind I didn’t foresee the little peninsula  that is home to the larger than life Red Tree but, as I worked along, it  just grew out of the mainland on its own.  It seemed a natural fit and I never questioned it and liked the way the causeway broke up the two blocks of color that make up the body of water depicted here.

The Red Tree is, as I pointed out, is larger the life which is obviously the basis of its title.  I really wanted to make it unnaturally large and expressive, its trunk and branches more shrub-like than one might expect from such a large tree.  I had toyed with the idea of a simpler, straighter and more sturdy tree but felt it would alter the entire feel of the piece and wouldn’t provide enough of a counterpoint to the uniformity and order of the houses that were on the opposite shore.  I see the Red Tree here a connector, the thing that binds the everyday, represented by the houses, to the ethereal that the horizon and sun represent here.  It needed to be bigger and more expressive and so it came to be.

I’ve been enjoying  taking in this piece over the last day or so.  The diagonals of color, the running ribbon of the path and the curves of the shoreline keep my eye moving through the piece.  As I said, it is more than I originally saw.

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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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New Look

Now that it’s officially November, it’s that time of the year that time of the year when I reevaluate what I’m doing with my work, both from a creative aspect as well as from as the promotional end of things.  Part of that is how I represent my work here and in my website.  Even though I understand the importance of having an up to date and informative website,  I have to admit that I have not always been completely on top of mine. 

I’ve decided that I must get on the stick with my website.  To that end, I’ve started changing it.  I’ve changed the way it functions, added an acoustic guitar backing loop and am adding portfolios that present a fuller retrospective of my work.  For instance, I’ve added portfolios (with slideshows) that show fuller my Red Roof and Archaeology series.  Before, you could only see current works and shows.  I plan on adding more portfolios in the future to make this a much more informative and complete site.  There are still other tweaks such as reformatting the resume and statements as the new site reads them differently but bear with me as I slowly make these changes.

This promotional end of this business is never a lot of fun and I think a lot of artists let it slide in favor of  doing anything else.  I know I have many times before.  But artists are ultimately small business owners and have to take every aspect of their business seriously.  I know that I am probably as cognizant of this as any artist but sometimes I lose sight of my personal responsibility for my own career.  It takes these built in stops in the year to let me step back and measure  and critique my performance from this end of the business.  From there I can take steps to make necessary changes, such as the  new look on the website.  It probably won’t be the last change.

Time to get to it.  Have a great day.

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Hierarchy ---GC Myers

The name I’ve chosen for my exhibition that opens June 11 at the Principle Gallery is Facets.  When looking at this year’s show, I realized that there was a very wide variety of my work in this group.  Not focusing on one specific aspect as in previous years.  There are  a few Red Roof paintings, a few fragmented sky paintings , a few with converging field rows, a few with Red Chairs and a couple of  my small, lone figures.  It’s overall a pretty interesting group that I think shows a fuller spectrum from the prism of my work.  Thus, the name, Facets.

There are also a handful of my Archaeology pieces in this show.  I only do a handful of these per year now.  The piece above, Hierarchy,  is derived from that series although it focuses more on the layers below the surface rather than artifacts, although there is one yellow shoe there.  This painting is a  30″ by 40″ canvas so it has some size which gives it some visual wallop. 

I’ve been working on this piece for about six months, doing a bit then setting  it aside.  I would keep glimpsing at it when I wasn’t working on it, trying to figure where I would go with it.  But I never wanted to rush it, never wanted to push it too hard.  Wanted it to grow naturally, organically.  It wasn’t until yesterday, when I dragged the last few strokes on the canvas, that I felt I finally saw where the painting had settled and it felt whole.

That’s always an interesting feeling, this sense of the work being suddenly complete.  Full.  Alive.  As though the last few embellishments stir something that make it more than mere paint smeared on canvas, make it an entity with a history and a future all its own.   It’s exhilarating  but sad at the same time, as though the life it’s taken on will soon be gone from my life.  I can’t fully explain it but that’s the feeling I felt yesterday with Hierarchy

So, I share my studio for the next few weeks with this breathing, living creature as it impatiently waits to shows its true self to the outside world…

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The Arrival

Maybe it’s the coming of spring and the later daybreaks caused by our recent shift in the clocks that remind me of how the first light of each day holds so much promise and potential.  Maybe that’s why I’m calling this smaller new painting  The Arrival.  It’s a 9″ by 12″ canvas and is a continuation of my Red Roof series.

I’ve always been enticed about the promise of potential in many things and often find myself wondering why we so often fail to take full advantage of the opportunities that sometimes rise before us.  How many of us have failed to follow their desires, choosing security first?  This always comes to mind when I spend some time doing the genealogy of my family.

So often these people, unheard names from distant times and places who become my family with the turn of a page, packed up and headed for a new horizon, leaving behind the security of  home and family.  Some sought freedoms.  Some sought wealth.  Some, just an opportunity. 

I’m not sure how many of them felt they ever captured the potential of their new land’s potential but that may not be the point.  Perhaps it is in just seeing the potential and following it that matters.

And that’s kind of what I see in this small piece.  While others sleep in their secure homes, the seeker is awake and awaiting the potential of the new day.  The new opportunity’s arrival.

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This is my first complete piece of 2010,  a 30″ wide by 40″ high painting that is tentatively titled Raise Your Eyes.  It’s a continuation, of sorts, of my Red Roof series.  Instead of focusing on doorless and windowless structures, like many of the other pieces in this series, this painting is actually centered around the multitude of windows and doors present.

It creates very much the same feeling, for me, as the earlier doorless pieces, of solitude and maybe even a bit of alienation within an inhabited space.  However, there’s more of a busy feeling as though the windows were actually eyes.  It’s that feeling of being on a busy street yet feeling completely anonymous.  That’s what I wanted to make the lone tree stand out a bit more as the central voice in this painting, as it stands in relation to the sun.

I painted this with  larger brushes than I normally use for this type of painting.  It gives the structures and their doors and windows a little rougher, less precise and fussy appearance.  It creates a rhythm and motion of its own within the picture.

The central tree is also a bit against type for my work.  It’s not the red tree you might normally see.  I chose to go with a green leafed tree for this piece, to counter the reds of the roofs.  Again, it makes it stand out a bit more

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at this and there are a lot of things that I like about this piece.  The size and the warmth of the colors makes it  a pretty dynamic piece to view.  Hopefully, this is a good start to a good year of painting…

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