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Posts Tagged ‘The Power of Myth’

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“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

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I was going to share another of the Multitudes pieces that will be included in this year’s June exhibit at the Principle Gallery. But I saw that I have been a little heavy on my sharing of that work as of late and was a little concerned that people might think that was the sole focus of this show.

The title of this show, Redtree 20: New Growth, refers to the fact that this is my 20th solo show at the gallery. My first exhibit in 2000, Redtree, basically marked the beginning of the Red Tree that has become the trademark element of much of my work through the years. Though many elements have entered my visual vocabulary, the Red Tree is a constant and feels new to me each time I paint it.

Now the painting I am showing today, Night Nirvana, a 30″ by 40″ canvas, is what I would call a Red Roof painting, not a Red Tree piece. But it very much reflects the evolution and change taking place in the work over the years.

The process is always changing in some way. Some colors move forward and others recede. New elements are added and some fade away. Even something as basic as the way the surfaces are prepared has gone through changes.

I think that the fact that there is this constant evolution is the reason that my friends at the Principle Gallery are still inviting me to do this show after all these years.

But one thing that hasn’t changed in those 20+ years is the underlying purpose that I hope to find in the work– a place of inner peace and freedom from a world that seems chaotic and in turmoil all too often.

A Nirvana, if you will.

I think the words of Joseph Campbell above, from The Power of Myth, sum up very well what I hope to find in my work. And that aligns very well with what I feel in this new piece which is a sense of a found tranquility that finds a peaceful order amidst the chaos.

It is the realization of self, freed from the expectations and limitations of others.

Well, it is hopeful. And that keeps me want to keep moving forward.

And that is enough.

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Redtree 20: New Growth opens June 7, 2019 at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.

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GC Myers- In the Inner PlaceShakespeare said that art is a mirror held up to nature. And that’s what it is. The nature is your nature, and all of these wonderful poetic images of mythology are referring to something in you. When your mind is simply trapped by the image out there so that you never make the reference to yourself, you have misread the image.
Joseph Campbell (with Bill Moyers), The Power of Myth

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I think that the words above that Joseph Campbell spoke during his conversation with Bill Moyers for  The Power of Myth speak beautifully for both mythology and art, at least in my view.  I believe that we truly connect with myth and art when we see it as personal to ourselves, as being somehow symbolic of our own experience and being.  Our emotions and reactions.

Of course, many myths and much in art may not speak to us on this personal level.  I certainly don’t expect my work to speak to everyone no matter how much I may wish that it could.  It simply can’t.  My work is a reflection of my journey, my limited knowledge and my flawed self.  Yours is completely different.  But occasionally, there is a moment when you will see something of yourself in my representation of my inner world and that to me is magical.

This new painting, an 8″ by 24″ canvas, is what I see as being a very personal piece that might well reflect for others.  I call it In the Inner Place and it is included in my upcoming show, Part of the Pattern, at the Principle Gallery which opens June 3.  Without being specific, I see many things in this painting that I think speak strongly to how I want to see my world and my place in it.

An inner perception.

You might simply see it as a pleasant piece.

Or not.

Or you may see it as something reflective of your own inner world, something that speaks to who you are.  I can’t say.  We can’t control what anyone sees in a mirror.

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