Unleash Your Crayon [on Chicken Marsala Monday]

unleashthepower WITH EYES jpeg copy“…art is a staple of humankind – never a by product of leisure or elitism – and so urgent, so utterly linked with the pulse of feeling that it becomes the singular sign of life when every other aspect of civilization fails.” ~ Jamake Highwater, The Language of Vision

Many years ago I was excited to move into a new studio. Many people in my circle responded to my news in the same way: “Oh God! That’s too much pressure! Now you’ll have to use it!”

I wish I could say that I was dumbfounded by the common response but I wasn’t. As a coach, I wish I could count the number of clients I had who spent many hours and huge dedication of resources to fulfill their dream of having a studio – only to fear walking into it. They thought the lack of a studio was the obstacle and discovered that the real challenge was the banishment of their imagination, the leash they’d placed on their full expression.

Taking off the leash is a daunting affair. It means facing the reasons the leash seemed necessary in the first place. An imagination placed on a leash does not go away, it turns to dark imaginings. It eats itself. It separates. It isolates.

Art is not something that can be approached through reason. It is much more essential, much more primal than intellect alone can reach.  It is accessed through the heart door. The intuitive knowing. Yoda would call it the force.

So, thankfully, the leash cannot be taken off by thinking about it. Experience. Express. Follow. Listen. Feel. Breathe. Reach. Do. And, feel some more. In feeling, in an unbridled imagination, there is connection. There is possibility. There is expansion of spirit and capacity. There is – and this is the power of art – the force that creates community.

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read Kerri’s blog post about UNLEASHING THE POWER OF YOUR CRAYON

 

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

unleash the poser of your crayon ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

 

 

 

Read The Back [on Two Artists Tuesday]

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Nothing I paint on the front side of this canvas will be as interesting, as vital, as curious, as the note that Duke scrawled on the back. It’s a mystery story. Duke has been gone for a few years now and his son, our dear 20, brought Duke’s canvases to me. Treasure upon treasure. For some reason, one day, Duke dipped a brush into black paint, flipped his canvas around and left us a note. An impulsive celebratory act on New Years Eve? Or, perhaps, in a moment of disbelief of world events, he scribbled his note in sarcasm?

Of course, there’s another possibility- and this is my bet – ‘Welcome to the 21st Century’ was the name he gave to his painting, the image that he created on the front side. He didn’t like it so he painted over it. He returned the canvas to white space, opened it to new possibilities.

That leads to an even greater mystery. After scrubbing the image, he flipped the canvas around, dipped his brush one last time into the white paint, scrubbed the date (3/93) but left the title. And in quick broad strokes for emphasis, framed his title, transforming it into a note. The back of the canvas becomes the front. A title transformed into a message.

I feel as if I’m having a conversation with Duke. The painting I created on the front side, on the white-space-possibility that he reopened, is one of my Earth Interrupted series, number 7. It is ironic or, perhaps, poignant? Put his title and my title together: Welcome to the 21st Century: Earth Interrupted. Apt, yes?

 

read Kerri’s blog post about WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY

 

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

welcome to the 21st century/earth interrupted ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Ponder [on Chicken Marsala Monday]

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Socrates famously said (according to Plato), “The un-examined life is not worth living.” Too true.

All of my great teachers and  mentors where ponderers of life. They were artists. Pondering life is essentially what an artist does whether their pondering shows up as a painting, play, dance, or musical composition.

For me, the best time and place to ponder is while looking into a starry sky. There is no greater perspective-giver than infinity. Once, while sitting on the porch at the ranch with Tom, watching the stars emerge, sipping wine, he said, “You could never paint that.”

I said, “I wouldn’t even try!”

“He smiled, “Sure you would. What else is there?”

 

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read Kerri’s blog post about PONDERING LIFE

 

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

pondering life is a very useful thing to do ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Be In Serenity [on DR Thursday]

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I flipped a page and came across the notes I jotted during my last call with Horatio. I can’t recount the entirety of the conversation – it was vast. But the few notes I captured seem to say it all: Art is about the unity place; it is meant to pop open that place in people, or remind them…. Artistry is the realization of one-ness. It is a walk to the center of compassion. And, it is dangerous. It challenges boundaries. Danger and compassion are linked.

in serenity product BOX copyArt is necessarily dangerous. It absolutely challenges boundaries. It asks hard questions. It won’t cotton a lie (propaganda is not art). It points to common ground, shared experience and universal understanding – all things that require border crossing. It brings audiences to shared breath, relationship, the place of compassion. It requires the artist to show up unprotected and the audience to reciprocate in kind. In that space serenity is possible.

read kerri’s blog post about In Serenity

www.kerrianddavid.com

www.davidrobinsoncreative.com

in serenity designs/products ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

in serenity ©️ 2018 david robinson

Prayer [on DR Thursday]

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Naming paintings is problematic for me. I’ve never been good at it. Sometimes I bristle at it. People project their own meanings into the images I paint (as it should be) and sometimes the name I’ve given the piece gets in their way.  A favorite quote from a Joseph Campbell lecture: “If the artist doesn’t like you he will tell you what the painting means.” At openings, when people ask me what the painting means, my standard response is, “What does it mean to you?” I like most people though most people dislike my standard response.

Nowadays Kerri helps me find names. I ask her what she sees. We talk about the paintings and usually a phrase or name that I like floats to the top.

This one is simple and obvious. Prayer.  One who looks inward and entreats.

PRAYER gifts and cool stuff like wall murals

prayer FRAMED PRINT copy

buy the original painting

read Kerri’s blog post about PRAYER

www.kerrianddavid.com

prayer ©️ 2017 david robinson & kerri sherwood

prayer – designs & products ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

In Beauty I Walk [it’s Two Artists Tuesday]

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“I am only so beautiful as the character of my relationships, only so rich as I enrich those around me, only so alive as I enliven those I greet.” ~ Derrick Jensen

I know many many artists who do what they do for love; their motivation is intrinsic. Their work is beautiful. I don’t mean their finished pieces (although they, too, are beautiful). I’m referencing their relationship to their work. It is lively, mysterious, expansive and generous. And, in order to stay healthy, they’ve long ago abandoned the notion that they might make a living through their artwork. Some do. Most do not.

I know many many artists who no longer do what they used to love to do. In the absence of an extrinsic reward (money), they began to see their love-work as worthless. They reduced themselves to a monetary equation and found themselves lacking. Considering their love without value, their well went dry. Their muse withered.

In our confused times it is the fortunate person who understands value as something greater than dollars and cents. Love, beauty, joy, family, generosity, learning, community, surprise, mystery…all words of relationship, all valuable beyond measure. All defy easy quantification.

From studio melange on Two Artists Tuesday, a gentle reminder to look to the space between, to value the process of living, the right-now-relationships where beauty is always to be found. Walk there.

IN BEAUTY I WALK gifts and cool stuff

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read Kerri’s blog post about IN BEAUTY I WALK

www.kerrianddavid.com

‘in beauty i walk’ image & products ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

Roots & Wings [It’s KS Friday]

A composition of elements from studio melange on KS Friday

jacketrfthjpeg copy 2Kerri and I share this in common: behind each composition there is a story. My favorite moment each week as we prepare our melange blog posts is to ask Kerri about the story behind her ks friday music pick. There is always a top-layer story and then a deeper-layer story. And then a deeper story-layer still.

The best art is like that. It opens stories. It reaches deep down to the roots of being and then, through story, propels the human spirit to soar. Art is communal connective tissue.

This week in her blog Kerri shares the story behind Give Me Roots, Give Them Wings.  My story, as I listen and give over to the music is this: the first time I stepped into this house I was overwhelmed with the feeling of “home.” It was something I’d never in my life experienced. It was a warm rush of surprise and I laughed. Give Me Roots, Give Them Wings reminds me of that moment, of stepping through a door for the first time and knowing that I was finally home.

 

GIVE ME ROOTS, GIVE THEM WINGS on the album RELEASED FROM THE HEART available on iTunes and CDBaby

ROOTS & WINGS gifts and products

ROOTS WINGS product box BAR JPEG copy

read Kerri’s blog post on GIVE ME ROOTS, GIVE THEM WINGS

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

give me roots, give them wings – album released from the heart ©️ 1995 kerri sherwood

roots & wings designs and products ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood