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Posts Tagged ‘West End Gallery’

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“it was the kind of moon
that I would want to
send back to my ancestors
and gift to my descendants

so they know that I too,
have been bruised…by beauty.” 

Sanober Khan, Turquoise Silence

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I call this new painting, a 16″ by 8″ canvas, The Bruise of the Moon. I take the title from  the snippet above was taken from a poem, Tonight’s Moon, from the book Turquoise Silence from contemporary Indian poet, Sanober Khan.

I like this idea that beauty makes a deep impression, bruises us in a way. And that effect by the moon seems the perfect example as its beauty has been our companion since we first came to be here, however that may be.

Very often we pay little attention to the moon as it rises and falls through all our nights. We fail to notice its light and the path it traces across the sky as we focus on our earthly matters.

Yet, every so often, it refuses to be taken for granted and demands that we stop and take it in, to admire its cool and distant majesty. To make us consider that it has looked down on all that man has done in our relatively short time here, at least when compared the time that the Moon has looked down on our planet. To think that it has witnessed the conquests of Alexander the Great, the birth of Jesus, the explorations and sailors that circled the globe and so much more, including welcoming us as we came to visit it in the distant space it occupies.

It has watched us at our best and at our worst, forever a true companion to the most and least among us, almost leaving a mark, a bruise behind. It makes me wonder if that person who does not see the beauty in the moon even has the ability to see beauty in anything. It’s a thought that makes me sad because I can’t imagine what kind of person I would have to be to not feel the emotion that comes with witnessing the eternal and ageless beauty that the Moon brings us without fail.

This painting will be be included in my coming solo show, Self Preservation, at the West End Gallery which opens July 14.

 

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If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.

Henry Miller
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We often search and search, moving from place to place, trying to find that certain something that we can’t quite name. We have it in our minds that it is a physical place, a tangible object, that will satisfy our need to wander.

New people to meet.

New streets to explore.

New landscapes to surround us. New hills to climb.

But maybe what we seek is just a new way of seeing ourselves, of a new opportunity to unleash the person we desire ourselves to be. Or, more likely, a chance to see ourselves as we really are, something that becomes obscured in the familiar. Being anchored, as Miller infers above, in the repetition of  day to day life has us showing ourselves always in the same light. We lose touch with aspects of who we are that are never allowed to come to light.

The search allows us that new perspective. While we remain the same we see ourselves from new angles, new vantage points, allowing us to feel new. Different.

Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not, exposing perspectives on ourselves we would rather not see and may have hidden for a long time. But hopefully unveiling the truth of all that we are will somehow  make us feel comfortable in our wholeness.  Knowing our shortcomings as well as our strengths make us more real, more human.

What we seek is always with us.

You might not view it the same way but that’s what I am seeing in this new painting, an 8″ by 16″ canvas, that I call Destination Seen. It is headed to the West End Gallery for my upcoming show, Self Determination, which opens July 14.

 

 

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Tonight, the West End Gallery celebrates its 40th anniversary of selling art on Corning’s lovely Market Street. There is a coinciding opening for a retrospective show of the paintings of the gallery’s co-founder, Tom Gardner. The festivities begin at 4:30 this afternoon with a ribbon cutting and following that there will be music from guitarist Bill Groome, plenty to eat and drink and a few surprises.

I’ve said and written this many times before, but without the West End Gallery I have no idea what or where I would be. The chance to show my work given to me by then gallery owners Lin and Tom Gardner forever changed the direction of my life, opening new doors of opportunity that I couldn’t even imagine in my former life. Ultimately, it changed how I viewed the world and myself.

It’s rare that you can pinpoint a moment in time that alters your life in such a drastic manner that you can see the results that extend from that moment a la It’s a Wonderful Life. But I have such a moment from a day in early 1995 when Tom critiqued my work and Lin asked me to show a few pieces in their next show. Without that moment with them, every good thing that has come to me via my work most likely would have never happened. The numerous paintings that have found their way around the world, the 50 or so solo shows and the many, many wonderful people I have been fortunate to encounter through my work– all of it would probably have never occurred.

I don’t want to even consider what would be without that moment.

In my own way, I say “Thank You” to them every day I enter my studio and take part in the life and work that I so enjoy now. It is all due to that moment and I will never forget that.  Nor will I ever be able to thank them enough.

For forty years, the West End Gallery has given me and so many other artists an opportunity to take a chance on a different life.  It has persisted through the ups and downs of the economy, through booms and busts.  Now under the capable hands of Tom and Lin’s daughter Jesse and her husband, John, it is looking forward even as it celebrates its past tonight. They are working hard every day to make the gallery better in every way.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another 40 years in the cards for the West End Gallery.

So, if you’re in the area tonight, make your way to the West End Gallery for a celebratory drink, a little bite, some great conversation and some wonderful art and music. If you’ve never been, they’ll make you feel right at home.

I can tell you that from first-hand experience.

Thank you for everything, Lin and Tom and Jesse and John.

I mean that literally.

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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

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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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9917104-blue-etude-smThis is a new painting, a 4″ by 4″ piece on paper, called Blue Etude.  It’s part of a small group of new work that is included in the Little Gems show that opens this Friday at the West End Gallery.  Twenty two years ago, I showed my work in public for the first time at the Little Gems show. Since that time it has come to be the kick off point for my work year, as it is this year.  It is always one of my favorite shows.

After the Little Gems my next show is my annual solo exhibit at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria.  This year’s show open on Friday, June 2.  This exhibit will be my 18th consecutive show at the Principle, going back to my 2000 show, Redtree, one that marked the real beginning of my now signature Red Tree.  My life would be much different without that show.

This is also an important show for me because it requires so much effort and focus, it sets the tone and determines the course for  my entire year.  It is also the show that normally unveils any new directions for my work.

This year’s show is titled Truth & Belief.  These two concepts have been in my thoughts for some time now and I find myself trying to find bits of each in my paintings as I work on them.  While I hope truth and belief are forever intertwined as one, it is now painfully evident that this is not always the case.

It’s that difference between the two concepts that hopefully will create the tension, the darkness beneath the light in my work.

My annual show at the West End Gallery opens Friday, July 14.  I have to double-check, but I believe this will be my 50th solo show— obviously not all at the West End! But there have been very many there and, as my de facto home gallery, it is always a very important exhibit for me.  You always want to do well in front of your hometown crowd.

This year’s show at the West End is titled Self Preservation.  More on that in the future!

I currently have two Gallery Talks scheduled. I have come to look upon them as some of the highlights of my year.  I like the challenge of them and the fact that they often are just a lot of fun.

This year’s Gallery Talks are:

*West End Gallery on Saturday, August 5.

 *Principle Gallery on Saturday, September 16.

There are some other things coming.  For example, my work is featured in an article in the Summer edition of Acrylic Artist Magazine. Plus, there are a few other things in the works.

And, as is normal, my work will be regularly on display at the galleries that represent me during those times when I don’t have a show hanging.

I guess I better get to work.

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GC Myers- At the End of the Day smI have written here several times about my dislike for the month of August, most recently in a post from last year called Cruel August.  This year’s events have not changed my mind one bit.  But today mercifully ends August and there is the somewhat more soothing feel of September and October on the way.

Here’s what is on my calendar for the next month or so:

There are only a couple of days left before my show, Contact, comes off the walls at the West End Gallery in Corning.  The show ends this Friday, September 2, so if you want to take a look at this year’s show, please get into the West End in the next day or so.

On September 17, I will be giving my annual Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  This is my 14th talk at the Principle and it is always a pretty good time.   It’s a simple matter of combining some good folks, good conversation, a few confessions and the chance to win one of my paintings at the end of it all.  And a little more.  There are more details that will be revealed in the next week or so.  As I said, it’s Saturday, September 17, beginning at 1 PM.

Then then following week, I head up to beautiful Keuka Lake where I will again lead a two-day workshop for the Arts Center of Yates County.  Last year’s workshop was my first foray into teaching and, despite the initial apprehension that I wrote about here on the blog, was a wonderful and fulfilling experience.  I was amazed at the amount of info the attendees absorbed and the great progress they made in two days.  It was very satisfying and I am excited to be at it again this year.  The workshop runs on Thursday and Friday, September 22 and 23 from 9-4 each day.  For more info click here.  You can also call them at  315-536-8226.

After that, it’s on to this year’s last solo show, Part of the Plan, which opens October 29th at the Kada Gallery in Erie, PA.  It’s been two years since my last show at the Kada, which has represented my work for over 20 years now, and I am eager to show some new work in this show.  There will be more details upcoming on this show but mark your calendar.

 

 

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GC Myers- Into New Territory smIf your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.

Shunryu Suzuki

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I was looking for some words to go with this new painting, Into New Territory, that is part of my show now hanging at the West End Gallery.  I came across this quote from the late Zen monk and teacher Shunryu Suzuki that expressed very much what I was seeing in this painting.

I see this painting as being about moving out from that which you know, examining the possibilities that open up to you when you dare to move beyond your comfort zone.

When I read Suzuki’s words, I began thinking about my own experience as a painter.  In the beginning when everything was new and my knowledge consisted of much less than it does today, every day was filled with new discoveries that opened up wider and wider vistas of possibility.  There seemed to be no boundary, no limit to where it might take me.

But as one gains more knowledge and becomes more “expert,” one begins to set limits on their possibility.  They learn hard lessons from failures and often even stop looking in that direction as a future avenue of creativity.  Their focus becomes narrower and narrower.  The possibilities that seemed endless as a beginner seem much more limited and defined.  The “what is” is greater but the “what might be” seems to be fading into the mist.

The trick is in retaining some of that  beginner’s exuberance and its naive openness to all possibility, and to find a way to incorporate the gained knowledge that came to you along the way.  In the context of this painting, it means straying out into the open and daring to look in all directions.  It means setting aside all fear of failure and the encumbrances of the “what is” to move toward an endless horizon.

It’s so simple a thought and so difficult to realize.  But one must try and try and try.

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