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Posts Tagged ‘Solo Show’

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I felt deep within me that the highest point a man can attain is not Knowledge or Virtue or Goodness or Victory but something even greater, more heroic and more despairing: Sacred Awe!

Nikos Kazantzakis

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I was all set to write something this morning about stupidity. I noticed that a post I wrote a year ago, On Stupidity, has been getting a large number of views lately. It is about the danger of stupidity, about how even the very highly educated can be stupid, especially in highly charged times when they can fall prey to social and political movements. This coincided with recent thoughts I have been having about how we have devalued intelligence and reason in this nation in recent times, to a point of vilifying the cerebral and elevating moronic behavior.

I was deflated by the whole thing and decided I needed to focus on something other than that, something that dealt with something far more uplifting. I came across the words above from author Nikos Kazantzakis from his book Zorba the Greek. It’s part of a scene where the narrator, a young, bookish Greek man is asked by Zorba, a raw and raucous peasant, to explain the meaning of the stars and the universe that they are sitting beneath. The narrator tries unsuccessfully to put this idea of  Sacred Awe into a form that Zorba will understand. While he doesn’t understand the given explanation, Zorba does recognize the depth of the mystery that he senses in that night sky.

That brings me to this painting, a 36″ by 36″ canvas that I am calling Sacred Awe. It is part of my solo show, Haven, at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, opening June 1.

This piece has been hanging in the studio for several months now and I have spent a fair amount of time in the space of this painting. Like Zorba, it is a painting that begs for an answer to the mystery of the stars and the constellations that swirl above. Yet all that is given in response is a sense of awe and nothing more.

And nothing more is needed.

Sacred Awe elevates the mind, stimulates the senses and is the beginning of all art and poetry. In it we connect to a mystic continuum that sees us as small as particles of dust and as large as the great waves of light that pass through the vastness of space.

It is all and it is nothing.

There’s a great meditative  and mysterious quality in this painting, at least for me. It both pleases and puzzles me.

A fitting response to sacred awe.

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This is a painting that is part of my Truth and Belief show that begins this Friday, June 2 at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria. It is 16″ by 20″ on panel and is titled Called Home.

This was one of the first paintings started for this show many months ago, actually back into 2016. It was also one of the last pieces finished in just the last couple of weeks. The two blocks of color, the graded blue-green of the sky and the dark red of the foreground, that make up the bulk of the picture were in place and in my mind the piece felt complete, already communicating emotion.

The interaction between the two large elements and their textures and colors already satisfied me. It was very much like a lot of my earlier work that solely relied on these factors.

I set it aside many months ago and would look at it day after day. I was hesitant to move beyond where it was by adding anything, fearing that it would alter the strong feeling it already emitted for me. I wanted to add elements that would complement that feeling and make it more apparent and accessible for the casual viewer.

I thought about going to my default icon, the Red Tree, that has a variety of meanings in itself.  But it just didn’t seem right for this piece. I settled on one of the Red Roof structures but a taller and more angular version, one that would seem to be trying to break the grip of gravity and reach upward toward infinity. The Red Chair and the path pulled a narrative together for me, one that very much falls in line with how I was seeing the painting in its early stages.

The new elements actually seem to fortify that feeling for me and now when I look at this painting, where I once only fixated on the sky and the foreground, I now see the unity of all the elements in pushing forward an emotional feeling that resonates for me.

It’s all I can hope for in my work…

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GC Myers-- Ahead of the Curve smThis new painting, titled Ahead of the Curve, is a 20″ by 24″ canvas headed in the next few days out to Erie for inclusion in Alchemy, my solo exhibit opening a week from today at the Kada Gallery.  This was one of those paintings that comes quickly at first then is sat aside for quite a long time before I go back at it.  In some of these pieces, it’s because I just don’t see a way forward in it and don’t want to act before I have some inner direction, some small sense  of destination to follow so that the lifeforce I see in it isn’t squandered.

On others,  I reach a point where I see all sorts of possibilities in moving forward and can’t decide which way to move.  I become paralyzed.  Such was the case with this painting.  I built this from the bottom, as I often do, and had allowed the multi-colored mound of fields to grow.  I loved the color and curve of it and the way the smaller green mound jutted upward into the blank canvas.  I thought it was beautiful at that point, with no trees or sky or sun — just a mound with a forked road against a white surface.

So it sat for a few months and I would look at it every day, one day seeing it juxtaposed against a deep and receding field.  The next time I looked I saw I saw it looking down on mountain tops.  But it was the curve of the mound that spoke to me and directed me.  I wanted to create some depth, to move the viewer past the mound and into the scene itself but not so deep that the mound and the Red Tree that would adorn it would be just looked past.

I began to see a slightly lighter curved field with a road continuing through it, creating a closer  curved horizon. The greenish trees on the curved horizon appeared like the  hands on a clock to me, somehow representing the passage of time and I saw a sun or moon on that horizon so that the tree would be above it, as though it were ahead of the sun’s advance.  The Red Tree here is not reactive, bowing to the circumstances the world puts before it.  No, it is proactive, creating its own stance and its own reaction from the world.    It is indeed ahead of the curve.

I think that’s what this is all about, the idea of being proactive in carrying out and maintaining one’s own vision of their world.  Trusting that the sometimes invisible things that they see can be made visible to others.   That might be the definition of a visionary or a fool.  That’s the thing about being ahead of the curve– you may not be around to see which is true.

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