Posts Tagged ‘W.B. Yeats’

GC MyersFaeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame. 
W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire


I was going to write more about this new 18″ by 18″ canvas but after coming across the verse above from the first performed play from the great Irish poet/playwright William Butler Yeats, I thought I’d let those words speak for it alone.  I see these four lines in this painting and that’s good enough for me at the moment…

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“As I thought of these things, I drew aside the curtains and looked out into the darkness, and it seemed to my troubled fancy that all those little points of light filling the sky were the furnaces of innumerable divine alchemists, who labour continually, turning lead into gold, weariness into ecstasy, bodies into souls, the darkness into God; and at their perfect labour my mortality grew heavy, and I cried out, as so many dreamers and men of letters in our age have cried, for the birth of that elaborate spiritual beauty which could alone uplift souls weighted with so many dreams.”

—W.B. Yeats, Rosa Alchemica


GC Myers--Alchemy My show, Alchemy, opens tomorrow night at the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA.  I wrote last month about how the title, Alchemy, came about from my own  wonder at the mystery of the whole idea of how the simple act of smearing some paint on a surface could transform that bit of pigment and paper into something that is filled with emotion and meaning.  And not just for me.  It crossed the boundary of the self and reached out, sometimes communicating in a way that seemed totally beyond me.  The whole thing seemed like alchemy to me, as though there was some mysterious force transmuting these base materials– the paint and paper– into something pure and precious.

This thought has stuck with me for many years.  I often find myself stepping back from my easel or painting table, suddenly confused by the abstract nature of this whole process.  At these moments, the rational part of my mind takes hold for a moment and  questions the very validity of  the world I have created over the past two decades.  My rational self tells me that I am not  educated nor wise,  not brave or special in any way.  How can I, a base material myself, create anything that is more than myself?

But this moment of doubt always passes, pushed aside by my belief in the reality of the world I am seeing before me.  It may only be slashes of paint on a bit of paper or canvas from a simple and ordinary man but it represents something more.  It represents a faith in the human spirit, a belief in the uniqueness of each individual and the belief that we all essentially maintain many of the same  hopes and dreams for our lives– peace and calmness, for example.  It’s a belief that if I am pure and earnest in my attempts to create this world, it makes this work  valid and real, as filled with feeling  and meaning as any work from anyone.

There must be alchemy at play, somewhere in here…

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