Posts Tagged ‘Video’

I’ve been very busy recently and haven’t had chance to write as fully as I would like.  I’ve been doing this long enough that writing the blog has become habit and I feel a little guilty when I think I’m not attentive enough.  But I have tried to alleviate some of my guilt by sharing some things that I do like. Like the video below of the work of Marc Chagall set to the music of Mozart’s Piano Concerto #23 Adagio.

I’ve always been a fan of Chagall’s work. It’s hard to not let myself get caught up in the world of Chagall’s paintings. It’s easy to happily absorb yet you’re never quite sure what it is that you’re taking in. Something magical and mystical there.


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Klimt Music

Lately, when I have been very busy, I’ve been sharing some videos of artists’ work set to music.  For example, I’ve shared videos of the works of Edward Hopper and Thomas Hart Benton in recent weeks.  It’s always interesting to see artists work set to music, especially when they seem to complement one another.

Well, I am busy again today but want to share a nice video featuring the work of Gustav Klimt put together by a Brazilian musician, Juliano Cesar Lopes, who creates musical scores for films under the name JCSL Studio Recording. He has produced a number of short films like this one as a showcase for his skills. I like his work on this short film and hope you will as well.


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I am really busy today. I am working on a bigger piece that I started late yesterday. There are just a lot of things percolating and I really want to get at it this morning.  I’ve been at this long enough that I know this is a time of which I need to take advantage.

The Muses come in fleeting moments and rarely, if ever, stick around for you if you don’t give them the attention and the time that they demand.

So while I go back to work I thought I would share a nice video of  Edward Hopper landscapes and cityscapes set to music. The maker of the video didn’t credit the music but I was able to discover that it is a solo piano cover of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here from musician Steven Garreda.  It’s a really nice fit for the contemplative quiet of the Hoppers.

I’m back to work but please enjoy.

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GC Myers- The Singular HeartYou do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver


A while back, a person interested in my work sent me the poem above, Wild Geese.  It was written by the esteemed Pulitzer Prize winning poet Mary Oliver. This person wanted to know if I would be interested in translating this poem into into one of my paintings for them. I replied that when I had some time I would gladly do that as I think the poem strikes a chord that very much resonates in my work.

After a short while, this person contacted me again and said they had been looking at my work and had found a painting that they felt captured the spirit of the poem. The painting is the one shown at the top, The Singular Heart.

I was thrilled by the choice. It had the feeling and message of the poem without being absolutely literal.  It’s exactly how I wanted to portray it. And the message and title of the painting fell perfectly in line with Oliver’s poem.  The Red Tree stands, singular and alone, with the realization that it has a unique place, as does every being, in the family of things.

I told this person a bit about this painting and an experience I had with it that stuck with me.  Once it hung in my home area gallery, the West End Gallery, and I met with a local college art class there. One of the questions was which of the pieces there was my favorite. I normally don’t answer that question because I have always felt that any painting that I decide to show has something unique to it, some quality that makes it special to me. Kind of like a parent with their kids.

But on this occasion I didn’t hesitate and pointed at this painting.  I told them if I were to try to describe in one painting what I wanted to say with the body of my work and what I hoped for myself as a person, that this piece would summarize it perfectly.

I told this person that I felt it was perfect choice and was pleased when they chose this painting to represent the poem in their home. It means a lot when any painting finds a home but is even more special when I know that it resonates on many levels with its owner, that it goes deeper than the surface.

Here’s a clip of Mary Oliver reading her poem, Wild Geese:

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leningrad-gas-mask-drill-1937This old photo I recently came across fascinates me.  From 1937, it depicts a gas mask drill and the participants are the Pioneers of Leningrad.  The Pioneers were a Soviet youth organization similar to the Boy Scout movement of the west.  They learned skills related to civic and social cooperation with social gatherings and summer camps in order to create good, loyal Soviet citizens.

Beyond the obvious weirdness of the image, the photo carries the haunting thought that just four short years later many of these young people would most likely perish in the Siege of Leningrad.

For 900 days, the Nazis held Leningrad, which it had been unable to take by force, in siege attempting to starve the city into submission. Over a third of the city’s population- over 800,00 people– died during the Siege.  Most died from the depths of starvation that found the citizens eating anything at their disposal– sawdust, wallpaper, and any and all pets.

It’s a horror that is hard for us, so far removed from that place and that war, to fathom yet it happened just a little over 70 years back.  Some of those children in the photo, if they were fortunate to survive the war and the siege, could easily be alive today. I am sure when the photo was taken they felt strong and prepared to face whatever adversity lay ahead. They had no idea what the future truly held.

For today’s Sunday morning music I am using a song that relates in a way to the photo. It’s Red Army Blues from the Irish band The Waterboys‘ 1985 album, A Pagan Place.

The song tells the story of a Soviet soldier in WWII who somehow survives the war and comes in contact with American troops.  Joseph Stalin felt that troops who were taken prisoner were weak and traitors to the Soviet state and that troops who came in contact with Allied troops were in danger of being Westernized. So after the war, many Red Army troops who had been held as POWs or had much contact with western troops were considered a threat to the state and were sent directly to the gulags where many would die while working and starving in forced labor camps. We’re talking in the millions here.

I bring up this dark page in history because of our current head of state’s recent warming up to Russia where Vladimir Putin has began reintroducing Stalin era thinking to that country. Time and fading memories have made the horrors that Stalin inflicted on his people somehow palatable. The gulags, the purges, and the artificial famines that killed millions of Soviets seem to be a distant memory now and there is actually a bit of nostalgia for Stalin. Hence, Putin’s rise.

But the memory of these things, these atrocities against his own people and humanity, should never be relinquished.  If forgotten they are only a moment from becoming the present.

This is a pretty interesting video of Red Army Blues with a lot of great Soviet footage of that time which means that some of it is grisly and disturbing. Unfortunately, that is what much of our  history entails. It’s worth a listen and a view.

Have a great day


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kandinskyLend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and… stop thinking! Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to ‘walk about’ into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?

Wassily Kandinsky


Just wanted to share a great little film from Alfred Imageworks that features an animation of the elements from some of Kandinsky’s great paintings. Below that is a film from 1926 of Kandinsky creating a drawing with these same elements.

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fred-lyon-san-francisco-1953Sunday morning. Time for a little music.

I saw this photo online earlier.  It’s from the great San Francisco based photographer Fred Lyon who is still active at age 91.  His photos of San Francisco from the 40’s and 50’s are wonderful.  This image, called Foggy night, Land’s End, San Francisco, 1953, really captured my imagination. It just seems filled with all sorts of stories that are begging to be told. Magnificent shot.  See more of Fred Lyon’s work at his website by clicking here.

I wanted to come up with a song that might come out of this photo and I settled on Because the Night. It was written by Bruce Springsteen for Patti Smith in 1977 and she had her biggest success with that song.  Great version.  But I personally prefer the Springsteen version.  This particular performance is from Largo, MD in 1978. Hard to believe it’s been that many years.

I also just wanted to take a moment to talk about the refugee controversy in this country.  I know you’re probably sick to death dealing with everything that is going on but I just wanted to remind ourselves that the thing that have long separated us from other countries around the world is not based on power,  It was never about military strength. It wasn’t about our wealth and the privileged few that control it.

It was about us.  It was about our music, our films, our literature which reflected our entrepreneurial spirit– that every person had a value and a purpose and was free to make the most of it.  The freedom with with we expressed these things was the rare thing that made us the desired landing place for the disenfranchised people around the world.

You see it in our films.  Think about just about any Frank Capra movie– who was an Italian immigrant, by the way. Those values he so lovingly extolled in his films are the very things that have defined America around the world. The people who rail against refugees and immigrants out of fear, ignorance, selfishness or hatred go against these values, the very things that have made us special.

It’s the freedom to define yourself, to mold yourself into what you think you should be.

It’s still there and it is still the beacon, the light in the darkness, that draws people to our shores. Fear and ignorance can end that freedom, extinguish that light. And when we no longer attract the world, we have lost our real power, our real strength.

Sorry.  You most likely don’t need to hear any more diatribes but sometimes they need to be said if only for the speaker’s sake.  And I needed to say that.

Give a listen and have a good day. And keep your eyes open!


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