Flawed Cartoon Wednesday

SNOWMAN BIG COPY Master

“This surprise that reality is other than expected is weirdly tenacious.” Declan Donnellan

Of all the Flawed Cartoons, and there are many of them, this just might be my personal favorite. I giggle every time I see it – and I wrote it! And drew the image! It is a layer-cake of the human condition, a loving nod to our infinite capacity to generate, invest in, and then get lost in the life-stories of our own creation. I love our surprise that life is a festival of surprises.

Just ignore my snicker the next time you tell me that you know where you’re going.

A SNOWFLAKE WITH POSSIBILITIES merchandise

Flawed Snowman MUG  Flawed Snowman FRAMED PRINT  Flawed Snowman TSHIRT

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a snowflake with possibilities ©️ 2016 david robinson and kerri sherwood

 

 

Two Artists Tuesday

CHILDRENarethebestwithframe jpegI knew from a very young age that I would never have children of my own. I knew. It was an intuitive knowing, not an intellectual resolve. My life, I knew, would be a wandering through the wasteland. I would tilt at windmills. I would seek for things that can never be found. Children, I believed (and still believe), needed the kind of stability that a restless seeker like me would never have been capable of providing.

Last night we went to the foreign film festival and saw an inspiring, funny and poignant Irish film called Sing Street. The ingenue explains to her suitor, an aspiring musician, that love is happy-sad. To love is to experience both.

I now have two amazing step-children. They were adults when I came into their lives and both live far away. I am slowly developing relationships with them, creating memories with them. I listen with fascination (and sometimes horror) as Kerri converses with her friends, mothers all, about their children.  There is so much suffering, to want to be near their children and yet want them to fulfill their dreams and fly. They want to be present and available BUT not too present or available; those wacky offspring want full support AND they want mom to stay out of their business. Motherhood, I’m learning, is a bottomless yearning, a constant ache, and there is nothing better. There is nothing more fulfilling.

Fathers, I’m observing, are mostly confounded. They shake their heads, not so much in agreement, but in concession. Their spouses are capable of reconciling and celebrating the ambiguity of parenthood. Fatherhood, it seems, is a surrender to the unsolvable. A submission to the mystery. The ache is no less profound. The joy is no less intense.

Happy – sad. A full spectrum of living. Love. From studio melange on this Two Artists Tuesday.

CHILDREN ARE THE BEST THING merchandise

TwoArtists childrenAre TOTE BAG  TwoArtists ChildrenAre FRAMED PRINT  TwoArtists ChildrenAre PILLOW

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children are the best thing ©️ 2016 kerri sherwood & david robinson

Chicken Marsala Monday

fallingdown WITH EYES jpeg THIS COPYIf blocking  your creative arteries is the goal then there is no better illusion to consume than trying to be perfect. Eating the idea that you can be free of flaws or experience mastery without mistakes is guaranteed to clog your capacity to move. Notions of perfection turn the imagination toward the fear-monsters and breeds an especially severe  inner critic. Perfection is like the Medusa, give her your gaze and she’ll turn you to stone.

Imagination, creativity, learning, growing,…are words of movement. They are experiences of free flow. If investments like perfection crimp flow, then granting simple graces like trial and error, or “seeing what happens” will inevitably open the channel. Creative flow, like profound learning or wild imagination happens when inner-judges retire; it happens when nature is allowed to take its course. Nature is movement. Falling down is a necessary form of movement. Perfection is about appearances. Learning is about process.

From studio melange on this Chicken Marsala Monday comes this simple reminder. Try. Remove failure from the gallery of options. Get on the bike and ride. Expect to fall down. It’s the only way to learn how to stand up.

FALLING DOWN IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF LEARNING merchandise

chicken falling down mug     chicken falling down pillow

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falling down is an essential part of learning ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

 

KS Friday

jackettpotjjpegIn this age of brevity, tweets, freeways, fast tracks, efficiency and ubiquitous worship at the alter of time-is-money, I find this piece of music to be heart-full and hopeful.  It reminds me of the simple truth in this life: the important stuff lives in the fields beyond the achievements and striving. It’s A Long Story is beautiful and evokes a profound paradox: each moment is a long story  – especially if I choose to live IN it rather than rush to pass THROUGH it.

I listened to this album long before I met Kerri in person. I listened over and over again to this track, It’s A Long Story, and knew we were kindred. It asks you to stop and listen. It asks you to take time, to surrender any nagging efficiency, cost cutting race through life and sit in your moment. It’s a warm bath in the simple appreciation of living. It has made me smile and sometimes served as the soundtrack to my weeping. It always serves as a siren call into the present moment. That’s the heart of the artist’s gift and Kerri, my wife is a remarkable artist. On this KS Friday, hear her call from the melange, and fall into your Long Story.

ITS A LONG STORY from the album THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY (track 1) iTunes

KS FRIDAY

www.kerrisherwood.com – buy the album

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IT’S A LONG STORY from THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY ©️ 2000 kerri sherwood

DR Thursday

NapOnTheBeach

Nap on the Beach, mixed media, 22.25″ x 55.5″

“I paint the way some people write an autobiography. The paintings, finished or not, are the pages from my diary.” Pablo Picasso

I’ve been selling my paintings from my studio, un-stretched and unframed. When potential buyers come to my studio they view the raw canvas tacked on the wall or spread on the floor. Many of my pieces are big. It’s how I like to paint: big canvas stretched and tacked to the wall. These days when I ship paintings to another state, when I ship paintings to those courageous people who take the leap of faith and buy an expensive (and very personal) painting based on an image from the internet,  I roll them. They receive the piece in a tender unembellished state.

There are practical reasons for my seeming-shoddy showmanship. It saves my customers money to stretch and frame the canvases themselves. The cost of shipping a large framed canvas is breathtaking! If I stretch or frame it myself, if I sell a painting through any gallery, online or brick-n-mortar,  the cost is easily inflated by 70%.

But, that’s not why I show the unfinished edges. Before moving from my Seattle studio I had studio open houses. People inevitably drifted to the paintings stapled to the wall. They touched the edges. They asked me about the drips and marveled over the charcoal lines. They gently brushed the bumps of paint. They entered the story and became a part of it, they took on a role greater than witness. Instead of approaching art – my art – as an untouchable abstract thing, they engaged with it, questioned it, touched it. I loved it. Art is supposed to be accessible. It is supposed to open and say, “Follow me.”

Recently a client slid this painting, Nap on the Beach, from the pile of paintings stacked on the ping pong table, touched its complex surface, and, with Kerri, he held it by the corners saying, “Oh, this canvas is heavy! This one makes me yearn for summer!” And then he asked, “Did you take a nap on the beach? Is this about something you did?”

Yes. And yes again.

On DR Thursday, on your visit to the melange, I hope this painting inspires you to embrace the raw edges, the drips and bumps, and perhaps give over to a quiet mid-winter yearning for sun and sand and a spontaneous nap.

A NAP ON THE BEACH reproductions

nap on the beach framed print

framed art prints

nap on the beach art canvas

canvas prints

 

A NAP ON THE BEACH original

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a nap on the beach ©️ 2017 david robinson

 

 

 

Flawed Cartoon Wednesday

claudine's making cow eyes THIS jpeg

The great thing about drawing cartoons is that everything becomes fodder for the next funny. You (I) essentially see the world as one big potential cartoon. It occurs to me that perhaps we should mandate that our politicians practice the high art of cartooning? I’m just sayin’….

I’m a relatively recent transplant to the midwest. The phrase “cow eyes’ was not only new to me but I fell off my stool the first time I heard it. Falling from my stool, I saw this image in my head [prior to my head hitting the floor]. It made it to the Flawed Cartoon line-up and now proudly lives and flirts in the studio melange.  I hope on this Flawed Cartoon Wednesday Claudine will dislodge you from your stool, too.

DUUUUUDE! CLAUDINE’S MAKING COW-EYES AT YOU! merchandise

claudine mug  claudine t-shirt  claudine framed print

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duuuuude! claudine’s making cow-eyes at you! ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Two Artists Tuesday

be kind

I love this image. It works as a subtle infinity mirror, two parallel mirrors that create a ripple of ever smaller reflections that seem to extend into infinite space.

Be Kind. The first and most obvious mirror is an ideal and like most ideals it is unattainable. It is unattainable because it is not a fixed state, a grasp-able thing.  It can’t be bought. Kindness is not an achievement.  Instead, it is a way of being, an aspiration, a flowing river. Like most things unattainable,  it is easily tossed into the dustbin of cliches. Why be kind in a dog-eat-dog-business-is-business-every-man/woman-for-him/her-self world?

Be Kin. The second mirror, the parallel that creates the ripple, is not an ideal, it is a simple reality. It is also not attainable because it simply is.  It cannot be attained but it can be ignored. In fact to ignore our innate kinship requires a serious dedication to denial, an elaborate fantasy of control. It  seems we humans, we makers-of-belief, have a choice to either recognize or deny our kinship.

With inclusion, with the recognition of like-ness, comes the desire to reach for the unattainable kindness. The desire to reach for a greater spirit, a better nature, our natural state.

Exclusion, on the other hand, is a sad and scary state. It is a lonely single mirror, self-directed, single-reflective, a “me” space, and, thus, it is incapable of seeing or participating in the infinite ripple.

On this Two Artists Tuesday, step into the melange and consider looking through the ripple. Be kind. Be kin.

BE KIND. BE KIN merchandise

be kind framed print    be kind mug  be kind pillow

 

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be kind. be kin ©️ 2016 kerri sherwood & david robinson