Contrast [on Two Artists Tuesday]

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It is the ultimate cliche’: we only know light because of dark. 20 calls this the contrast principle. Images juxtaposed illuminate. It’s how stories are told in film. Once. Upon. A. Time. It is how images pop off the canvas, blue next to orange, green meets purple. Contrast makes the eye move. Contrast makes shapes emerge. Movement has no meaning without stillness.

It’s relative. Related. Relationship. Without relativity, without contrast, nothing makes sense. Or, more to the point, nothing is sensed. Difference, in fact, is the secret sauce necessary for knowing anything. Category. Class. Classification. Group. What is like what? What is related? What is unrelated? Cubicle. Caste. Lines on a map.

Contrast can be wielded like a sword. They are not us. Division.

Or, contrast can be used to unify. A crossroads of diverse perspectives, innovation.

Nature is dynamic at its edges. Water meets beach. Earth meets water. Air breathes fire. Hot meets cold. Convection current. Contrast. Changing energies. Creative movement.

Kerri stopped during our walk. “Look!” she exclaimed. Her eye was drawn to the lone daisy in the midst of the sea of black-eyed susans. “Beautiful,” she whispered as she approached with her camera. “Look at the contrast.”

So similar. So different. Yellow meets white. Black meets yellow.


read Kerri’s blog post about CONTRAST


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daisy in the black-eyed susans ©️ 2019 kerri sherwood

DR Thursday

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Kerri calls them “morsels”: snapshots of a portion of one of my paintings. May You Be Peace is a morsel. I love watching her take the shots. I delight in how she helps me see my work anew. I appreciate how each morsel is a complete work of art in itself.

Shift the focus. Pull in the frame of reference. We live in a world of cameras and microscopes and telescopes and compartments; what we see and believe is very much determined by where we place our focus. Georgia O’Keeffe knew it; she was a master of the close-up.

A few years ago I began taking photographs of my paintings-in-process. The camera helps me sees aspects of the painting that would otherwise remain invisible. It’s odd. I stand before a canvas stapled to the wall and see one thing. I aim a camera at the canvas stapled to the wall and see a wholly different painting. Just imagine the infinite perceptions and perspectives at play in our world!

My photo-painting-practice is a constant reminder that my perspective, my perception is mine alone. You are most certainly looking through a different set of lenses.

Peace, I think, has nothing to do with sameness and everything to do with the celebration of  difference, the capacity to help each other see our lives anew.

MAY YOU BE PEACE merchandise

iphone  framed print  greeting card  MayYouBeToteBag

read Kerri’s thoughts on MAY YOU BE PEACE


May You, 55″ x 36″

may you be peace and may you ©️ 2016, 2015 david robinson & kerri sherwood




Truly Powerful People (461)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

In a recent post I used the phrase, “embracing your inner odd” and it filled the mailbag with letters of recognition. Apparently, my odd-tribe is much larger than I realized!

Secretly, I’ve believed for years that despite all appearances to the contrary, we really desire to be on the island of misfit toys. Despite all the suits and ties, all the career-track choices and ubiquitous McThought thoughts and pressuring peers, it is our square wheels that make us special. It is our missing buttons that make us unique. Too much similarity and we start to disappear. Therein lives the dragon. To appear, to be in view, we must show our oddity.

We want to fit in. It is among the strongest impulses in the human canon of desires. E.O. Wilson suggests that belonging sits atop the list. Banishment makes us food for lions; it is our pack-ness that makes us safe. Fit in or perish. Odd wrinkles brows and makes bystanders avert their eyes to prevent any embarrassing association. Therein lives the opportunity. To show the odd is to upset the norm.

Throughout history the centers of great innovation have been cultural crossroads. Where differences cross paths innovation thrives. Difference knocks us out of our comfortable assumptions. It’s the oddity that joggles new perspectives and opens the door to “what if?” Suppressing difference pours water on the fires of invention. Eliminate the odd and uniformity, stasis, and stagnation are your reward.

The inner odd provides the same service to your personal crossroads. Muting yourself, gagging your inner odd, stifles your possibilities. It limits your view. The comic, the eccentric, the alarming trickster within is meant to keep you from taking yourself too seriously so you can open. As someone once told me, “Humor is the path to confidence.” Your inner odd is a jester whose gift is to question your attachments and harass your assumptions so that you might put down your rulebook and see the possibilities.