Ask, “Why?” [on Merely A Thought Monday]

guidance framed copy

I’m told that every evening of her life, Margaret would stop what she was doing, and go outside to watch the sun set. If she was on the phone she would hang up. If she was doing dishes she’d turn off the water. She’d step into her back yard and attend the setting of the sun. It was her ritual.

Last year, Kerri, my mom, and I took my dad back to visit the small town where he grew up. He wanted to live his life there but that was not to be. Now, he is sliding into dementia. Before his sun set he wanted to make at least one last pilgrimage to the place he’s always considered home.

I draw and paint. Not because I want to but because I have to. As far back as I can remember that has been true. The rest of this world seems like Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole. Mad. Illusory. Missing the point. I know what is solid and true when I step in front of a canvas. It’s a paradox, yes?

Why do people make paintings? Why do they compose music? Why are we tellers of story? Inventors of story? Poets? Budget makers and parents alike caution that there is no real value in the arts. They rarely make money. Money making as the ultimate arbiter of value makes for an empty world, indeed.

Why do people climb mountains, jump out of airplanes, or kayak over waterfalls?

“Why does she say, ‘guidance is eternal?'” Kerri asked. We were streaming an episode of Life Below Zero on the National Geographic site and the Boeing commercial came up for the umpteenth time. Amid images of advanced technology and machines that fly, the narrator begins a countdown, 10, 9, 8, guidance is internal, 6, 5,… “I think she’s saying that guidance is internal, not eternal.” We looked at each other. Either way, what a great phrase! Guidance is internal. Guidance is eternal.

Why do people step outside each evening of their lives to watch the setting sun? Return like salmon to their birthplace? Listen to the wind and run to their piano?

 

read Kerri’s blog post about GUIDANCE

 

slow dance party cropped website box copy

 

Make Them Visible [on DR Thursday]

AndThenTheyDanced copy

rough sketch (detail): and then they danced

When I first met Kerri she had two Adirondack chairs in the front yard. We spent many summer evenings in those chairs, sipping wine, talking through the sunset. One evening, she brought out her ipod and speaker. We listened to music while we chatted and then a song came up that inspired us to dance. We danced that song and then the next and the next. Soon, she was playing DJ. We wiggled and roared through her rowdy picks and lightly stepped through the slow songs. The first painting I did for her is about that evening. It’s called Dancing In The Front Yard.

This summer I have been empty. I left the studio in early June knowing there was nothing left. It was time to let the cup refill. Over the summer I’ve often visited the studio. I sat in my chair in the dark and felt the place. I’ve shuffled paintings around, reviewed my life’s work and wondered, as I always do in the empty times, if I’ve painted my last painting, if the deep well will ever replenish.

The other day, as always happens, I was passing through my studio en route to the tool room and something stopped me. The empty canvas propped against the easel shouted, “Look at me!” And I did. Turning on the lights I saw them, the dancers, the dancers in the front yard, and I laughed. Dancers. Of course. What a great welcome back; a celebration. A dance. Our dance. Like a thirsty man crawling to an oasis,  I slowly entered the space, picked up the charcoal, and made my dancers visible.”Welcome back,” they whispered, as I dusted off my hands and reached for my brushes.

 

Danced phase 2

a process shot for Skip, step 2: underpainting

 

read Kerri’s blog post about AND THEN THEY DANCED

(Lydia! I remembered two days in a row! Progress?)

Stop At The Beginning [on DR Thursday]

Aqua Agua Mit Rouge. Kerri laughed and clapped her hands when she named this morsel. It is a process snapshot of the early under-painting, the base layer of what would become Earth Interrupted VII. It is loose, fluid and free. It is a special layer – a visual marker of what happens before my thinking mind kicks in. Free. Fluid. Loose. Flow. For me, the first moments of painting are all intuition.

More and more I am learning from these morsels. I’ve spent countless hours gazing at finished paintings asking myself how I might grow, become a better painter. Reach into deeper pools of experience. It is only recently – because of the morsels – that I am spending time gazing at my process, the previously unconscious parts, and asking the same questions. How do I grow? Become better? Become more Fluid? Loose? Free?

The answer of the moment is as funny as it is clear: stop at the beginning. See through the eyes of intuition, feel your way forward. Stop before that talky brain weighs in with all manner of blah blah blah.

 

earth interrupted VII copy 2

earth interrupted VII,    mixed media, 48 x 36IN

 

if you'd like to see david robinson.. copy

STAY TUNED! The FALL VIRTUAL GALLERY SALE starts this weekend. An announcement is coming!

read Kerri’s blog post about AQUA AGUA MIT ROUGE

 

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

facebook logo copy 2

aqua agua mit rouge/earth interuppted vii ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Move Me [on KS Friday]

thewayyoumoveme Primary IMage BOX copy

thewayyoumoveme product BAR copy

Kerri composes on scraps of paper. Her notes are unintelligible to those of us outside of her mind. Lyrics peppered with mysterious hieroglyphic symbols and magical music notation that skips across multiple napkins and old homework assignments. What’s more amazing to me: she can play perfectly beautiful pieces of music as she deciphers her random-note-trail.I’ve accused her of being like John Nash, the character that Russell Crowe plays in A Beautiful Mind. “You’re not a paranoid schizophrenic are you?” I ask, scrutinizing her for clues.

“I don’t know, I’ll ask myself,” she replies. I am out-gunned at every turn.

Recently she pulled out a plastic sleeve stuffed with wrinkled paper, post-it notes, and random scraps of scribbles and jots. “This is the song They Way You Move Me,” she said.

Amazed. On this KS Friday, take a moment, put down your scraps of paper, and follow Kerri through hers. Give over and let her beautiful song, The Way You Move Me, move you.

 

THE WAY YOU MOVE ME on the album AS SURE  AS THE SUN is available on iTunes & CDBaby

THE WAY YOU MOVE ME gifts and products

read Kerri’s blog post about THE WAY YOU MOVE ME

www.kerrianddavid.com

the way you move me/as sure as the sun ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood

the way you move me/raw lyrics designs ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

DR Thursday

cropped II earth interrupted with frame metal square WALL ART jpeg copy 3There is a lesson for me in this week’s morsel. It is a lesson I’ve learned over and over again. It is a basic, a fundamental and perhaps that is why I am once again revisiting this lesson: Focus (perception) is like a narrow flashlight in the night. Where you point it will determine what you see. And, most important, you choose where you point it. And, even more important, what you see is narrow, what you don’t see is vast.

Kerri chose this morsel. I marvel at what she sees and what she chooses for our melange and how it blows back and impacts what I see. This morsel, she calls it, “held in process,’ is a snippet of a painting-in-process. At Skip’s prompting a few years ago I started taking process shots and nowadays Kerri regularly dashes into the studio to make sure I’m taking my shots (“What do you have for me?” she asks, striding down the stairs). I delight in this particular morsel because, when seen in the greater context of the finished piece, it captures perfectly the lesson. It is like a popcorn trail of perception, an exercise in focus-choosing. Enjoy this morsel from the melange.  Follow the trail to the final piece. Have fun shining your light on the morsel, Held in Process and on Earth Interrupted II.

 

real1

the beginning layer, the under painting.

real2

the second layer

pix#1   pix#2

#3

this one

next layers – my favorite: paper sack!

#4

EarthInterrupted2 copy

the finished painting: Earth Interrupted II, mixed media 48×34.5 in

 

HELD IN PROCESS merchandise

society 6 info jpeg copy

II earth interrupted FRAMED ART PRINT copy

wall art

II earth interrupted LEGGINGS copy

kerri designs all of our leggings and apparel

II earth interrupted IPHONE CASE copy

okay, so, kerri designs ALL of our products. Cool iphone cases…

II earth interrupted RECT PILLOW copy

…and throw pillows! and more….

 

read Kerri’s thoughts on Held In Process

melange button jpeg copy

kerrianddavid.com

held in process/earth interrupted II ©️ 2018 david robinson, kerri sherwood

DR Thursday

thoughts from the melange to give lift to your thursday

THISquarterearth interrupted I sharpened copy

this is a morsel of the painting Earth Interrupted I. Kerri calls this morsel Quarter Earth

I’d completely forgotten about this painting. It is so utterly different from everything else I’ve ever done that after I painted it I rolled it and never showed it. In truth, it was an experiment, something I didn’t at all take seriously. At the time, I was discontent with my paintings. I was bored and uninspired. I’ve worked long enough to recognize that my discontent signals an empty tank, a need to rejuvenate. Rest and refill the creative tank.

Earlier in my artistic life, these periods of emptiness caused me to panic. What if that’s it? What if I’ve lost my muse? What if my creative well is permanently run dry?  In my panic I’d try and force things to happen, which you can imagine, served only to magnify my empty-discontents. There’s nothing like a good panic, a deep investment in creative-lack-theory, to generate a serious case of artist block. It took me a while to learn that I run in cycles, just like the seasons, that my creative spring ebbs and flows. Blocks are not necessary.

Now, when I hit one of ‘winter’ phases, in addition to taking it easy, I’ve learned the best thing to do is play. Experiment. Loosen the grip, spin the dials, re-open the eyes. Leave the studio and pretend I’m Andy Goldsworthy, stack rocks, arrange leaves, take walks and photograph random textures. Make snowmen. Scribble with crayons.

The morsel for today’s melange is an ancient map of my long-ago play. Paper sacks and paint and palette knife scribbles. I usually throw these things away or paint over them. But, this painting, so utterly different, created so many years ago, must have whispered, “Wait. Just put me aside and wait. I have something for a future you.” I’m so glad I listened. At this very moment, drying in the studio, is Earth Interrupted II. Earth Interrupted III is on the easel and already Earth Interrupted IV is calling me.

earthInterruptedI copy

Earth Interrupted I, mixed media 48″x 53″

society 6 info jpeg copy

QUARTER EARTH MERCHANDISE

quarter earth FRAMED ART PRINT copy

quarter earth LEGGINGS copy

quarter earth TRAVEL MUG copy

quarter earth TOTE BAG copy

read Kerri’s DR Thursday thoughts

purchase the original painting, Earth Interrupted I

melange button jpeg copy

kerrianddavid.com

earth interrupted I & quarter earth ©️ 2012, 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood