KS Friday

a musical t.g.i.f. lift from studio melange!

jacketrightnowjpeg copyI’m beginning to believe that high atop the list of human fears-that-lead-to-foibles is the fear of ambiguity (I seem to be writing a lot lately about ambiguity). We want our world to be clear cut, black and white. We want the line between right and wrong to be definitive across all circumstances. We want a ‘normal’ that is one-size-fits-all. We want our word and our book and our laws and our rules and our values and our virtues and our morals to be simple and straightforward and, most important, to be defined by how I define them, not how YOU define them. We want to know what to do. We want to know where we are going. We want to know why we are here. What. Where. Why. Quinn used to call these the BIG three.

We hardly ever know what to do. We choose a path based on what we know at the moment. Choices that are based on ideals, imaginings and sometimes a gut feeling. And, where are we going? Where are you going? Do you know with certainty where this day will take you? Can you possibly know why you are here? What if there is not merely one purpose or one reason? What if that “knowledge” is something you can only see clearly when looking back on your life?

Ambiguity makes space for grace to enter. ‘Not knowing’ is the path that leads to all growth and discovery. Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people because no one is all good or all bad. Isn’t it often true that the things that seemed like obstacles in our lives one day down the road began to appear as great blessings?

It’s probably comfortable to think that this messy life is only black and white. But a comfortable thought is all it is. On this melange KS Friday, take a moment and step into the ambiguity known as music. Let Kerri’s gorgeous piece, It’s Not Black & White, buoy you on a river of grace to the space between rules and lists, the subtle-spirited place where life is lived & experienced and quite simply refuses to be boxed in the fear of artificial certainty.

IT’S NOT BLACK & WHITE from the album RIGHT NOW (track 11) itunes

IT’S NOT BLACK & WHITE from RIGHT NOW (track 4) on CDBaby


read Kerri’s thoughts about IT’S NOT BLACK & WHITE



life: it’s not black and white [merchandise]

it's not black and white LEGGINGS copy 2

it's not b:w framed art copy

it's not b:w metal travel mug copy

melange button jpeg copy


IT’S NOT BLACK & WHITE from RIGHT NOW ©️ 2010 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 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


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



Flawed Cartoon Wednesday

Your daily dose of chuckles from the melange on this hump day.

MASTER we never see eye to eye jpegBIG copy 2

I have a symbolic suggestion or perhaps a suggestion on symbols. I think we ought to drop the donkey of the Democrats and the elephant of the Republicans and replace both with a single, more hopeful and less arbitrary symbol: the pushmi-pullyu. One animal, two opposing points of view.

More and more I feel as Doctor Dolittle must have felt. I understand less and less of the contentious conversation playing over the human airwaves. It seems like so much bad theatre. Antagonism for the sake of antagonism. It makes for good ratings, I suppose. It is so much noise!

A good talk with the animals is certain to be more fulfilling. A turn toward nature is always good for clearing the head of made-up-thought-clutter and punching through the madness. Maybe a better symbol, the pushmi-pullyu, would remind the makers-of-law (and the rest of us) that they/we share a single heart, that sometimes it is necessary to be the side to walk backwards if progress is going to be made – and that requires some serious collaboration. I push, you pull. I pull, you push. In either case, collaboration or contention, the reality, regardless of symbol, is that we end up together in the same place.


EYE TO EYE merchandise///I TO I merchandise

society 6 info jpeg copy

[don’t be confused! we had so much fun with this one that Kerri created two different product lines. poke around on society6 and you will find both]

NeverSeeEyeToEye Rect pillow copy

check one i to i RECT PILLOW copy

NeverSeeEyeToEye square pillow copy

NeverSeeEyeToEye FRAMED PRINT copy

i to i FRAMED PRINT copy

NeverSeeEyeToEye mug copy

read Kerri’s thought’s on this Flawed Cartoon Wednesday

melange button jpeg copy



why is it that we never see eye to eye on anything ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

Two Artists Tuesday

Your daily blend of good brew from the melange on this Two Artists Tuesday

MASTER be relentless big copy

I love watching Kerri when she goes into design mode. My normally ADD wife enters a super-hyper-focus. The entire universe collapses into a single action. She creates. Time disappears.

I watched the quick birth of this design. She moved on to the next but I lingered with it for a while. I liked it immediately because, to my eye, it can be read in two ways: Be Relentless or Relentless Be. The first is an ambition. It is to pursue your dreams without end. To honor your yearnings as an imperative.  The second is a beautiful yet simple understanding of existence. Your heart beats relentlessly. Your relentless inhale and exhale of breath is the movement of life. It is like the tides. You are like the tides, not “a thing” but a continuous movement, an ongoing expression of life.

Either way, a thought to ponder from studio melange on this Tuesday: be relentless be.

BE RELENTLESS merchandise

society 6 info jpeg copy

BeRelentless square pillow copy

BeRelentless iPhone CASE copy

BeRelentless coffee mug copy

BeRelentless clock copy

this one cracks me up!

BeRelentless LEGGINGS copy

Be Relentless leggings

read Kerri’s thoughts about Be Relentless

melange button jpeg copy



be relentless ©️ 2016 kerri sherwood & david robinson

Chicken Marsala Monday

Chicken Marsala thoughts from the melange to help you start your week:

MASTER assumeawe WITH EYES jpeg copy 2.jpg Almost every spiritual tradition offers a form of this thought: make no assumptions. Sometimes it is called ‘detachment.’ Sometimes it is called ‘the middle way.’ Often, it is referred to as ‘presence.’

It sounds so simple. Be where you are. Be here now. Aspirations always sound easy but are never easy to realize.

In my past life as a consultant/facilitator I regularly issued two “caveats” prior to beginning the work of the day. The first was, “Have the experience first, make meaning of the experience second.” The idea of opening to an experience, that they might actually be capable of stepping out of their roiling story of assumptions, was a revelation to my clients.

And, that’s the point. The revelation, the insight, the heaven-that-you-seek is just on the other side of the story-fog that obscures your experience of life. That is why it shows up so often in all-practices-spiritual. Quiet your mind. Make no assumptions. Open to what is there beyond what you think is there.

However, we are human. That fast running inner monologue, that incessant storying of experiences, pre-and-post occurrence, is what we do. So, a good first step toward the quiet mind, toward the suspension of assumptions, is to make life-giving assumptions. Our runaway minds chug down a track so why not put that train on a generative track: assume awe.

ASSUME AWE merchandise

assume awe rect. pillow copy

assume awe TOTE BAG copy

assume awe framed print copy

assume awe METAL WALL ART copy

metal wall art


assume awe leggings copy

read Kerri’s thoughts about Assuming Awe on Chicken Marsala Monday


melange button jpeg copy


assume awe ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood




KS Friday

jacketasitisjpeg copyMeander. A gentle word, that brings to mind a slow stroll through a sunny day with no place in particular to be. It is a word without to-do lists and achievements.

Kerri’s composition and performance of Meander invariably opens my heart/mind to a slow stroll through memory, a warm gallery of small hopeful moments. A barefoot walk in a mountain stream. A sunrise, that moment that the warmth hit my face. A meteor shower and the scent of sage at midnight. The puppy smell of Tripper Dogdog when he first came home.

On this KS Friday, from studio melange, give over to Meander. Let this amazing piece of music inspire you – as it does me – to step out of the race and take a stroll, real or through memory, to those rich and sunny fields beyond hurry-up and go-go-go.


MEANDER from the album AS IT IS (track 3) iTunes

MEANDER from AS IT IS (track 3) on CDBaby

read Kerri’s thoughts about Meander

melange button jpeg copy


MEANDER from AS IT IS ©️ 2002 kerri sherwood


DR Thursday

editedcityscape morsel jpeg copy

This is a confession: for these blog posts, for these DR Thursdays, I’m finding the morsels of my paintings – a slice, a small detail – infinitely more interesting than the full painting. It’s not that I don’t love the whole painting, I do. But the morsels are helping me to see the original painting anew. The detail is illuminating the whole. Also, the morsel is spinning my artistic dials. I suspect my visual exploration is about to jump the fence into new pastures.

Kerri calls this morsel Cityscape. It comes from The Bass Player, a painting pulled from the deep recesses of my archive. It comes from a time when I was in love with vibrant color and the work of David Hockney. The Bass Player has lived in galleries, and coffee shops. It hung for many years in a now defunct bar in downtown Seattle.  More people have inquired about this painting than any other horse in my stable but it’s never found a forever home. I’m delighted that through this morsel, Cityscape, my colorful Bass Player has found another moment to step into the light. Who doesn’t need some color-pow! on a Thursday in March?

bassplayer sharpenedhighercontrast copy

The Bass Player, 24″ x 48″

CITYSCAPE merchanise

THIScityscape LEGGINGS copy

cityscape FLOOR PILLOW copy

cityscape FRAMED ART PRINT copy

THE BASS PLAYER reproductions

Purchase the original painting

read Kerri’s thoughts on Cityscape

melange button jpeg copy


cityscape ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

The Bass Player ©️ 2002 david robinson