Pace And Shed [on DR Thursday]

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underpainting

Like all artists I pass through periods of discontent with my paintings. They become like ill-fitting clothes. I want to shed them. I’m embarrassed to claim them. I start poking around for something new. Something that fits.

It took me more than a few cycles of discomfort to realize that discontent was actually a gift. It is the leading edge of curiosity, the fire storm that makes way for rejuvenation. Artists are not immune to holding on tightly to the safety and comfort of what they know and need a good dose of discontent to loosen their grip. At least I do.

Discontent makes me range around. Try stuff. Tear things up. Scribble furiously. Wonder if my muse has abandoned me (feel sorry for myself). Make really bad art (not on purpose). Make really bad art (on purpose). Take walks.

Discontent allows my empty well to refill. It pops any illusion I might carry of perfection. It turns my ship and hoists full-sail toward the edge of the world. And, it is always when I sail into uncharted waters that I find my muse waiting. She drums her fingers and says, “I thought you’d never get here.”

Ten years ago, when becalmed in the middle of my artistic ocean, I saw a pile of tissue paper in the corner of my studio. In a fit of why-not-nothing-else-is-working, I tore pieces of tissue and slapped them onto the painting-of-my-discontent. There sat my long missing muse, fingers drumming. “Texture,” she yawned. “You might want to see where this takes you.”

It’s taken me a long way. And, to my surprise, just a few weeks ago, I woke up and my paintings, like ill-fitting clothes, no longer fit me. I look at them as if someone else painted them. “Yikes,” I thought, “I hope no one saw these…” My muse packed her bags. She is nowhere in sight. I paced a little. Discontent like fog descended.

 

read Kerri’s blog post about UNDERPAINTING

 

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sometimes the underpainting becomes the painting…this is a slice of Newborn

 

newborn ©️ 2019 david robinson

 

 

Make Space [A SALE on DR Thursday]

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What art offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit. ~John Updike

I feel most alive when I am painting. If I’m out of my center, upset, in despair, feeling blue, or swimming in a pool of self-pity, the quickest cure, the best medicine, is a trip to the studio. Life makes sense there. The conversations I have with canvas are not always easy but they are always generative. Love is like that.

And, like most artists, I love to paint but feel utterly inept when it comes to selling what I paint. Introverts are notoriously lousy salespeople. Inevitably, things stack up.

Give me a museum and I’ll fill it. ~Pablo Picasso

I am at least one museum short and need to clear some space. In the old days I would burn paintings, paint over them or give them away but nowadays Kerri would kill me if I tried any of those space-making strategies. Dying at my wife’s hands to create space seems counter-productive. She suggested A Sale.

The days you work are the best days. ~Georgia O’Keeffe

My best days are yet to come. A new wave of inspiration is rolling in.

One’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes. ~Andrew Wyeth

When you visit my site, you’ll see that I’ve listed some minimum prices. If you see a painting you love, reach for it. Make an offer.

The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense. ~Pablo Picasso

And so. Love runs deep. It makes no sense. The best things in life never do.

The No Sense No Space Sale.

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read Kerri’s blog post about THE SALE

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Make Them Visible [on DR Thursday]

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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?)

Art. Love It. Own It. Fall 50% Off Sale.

FALL50%OFFSALE copy

 

September 1 – 16

It’s easy. Peruse the collections. Pick your piece. Love the sales price. Contact us.

 

www.davidrobinsoncreative.com

 

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

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Design A Single Week

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This image took my breath away when Kerri showed me. And so, we decided to share it.

A brief explanation: many weeks ago, standing amidst the stacks of music, paintings, cartoons, and designs that we’d created, work that populated proposals & submission after submission after submission but had yet to find an audience, we decided to create our own channel to share it. We called the channel “the melange,” a medley, a daily offer of a design, cartoon, painting or piece of music and the thoughts they inspired in us. We launched it 14 weeks ago.

And, because we are artists trying to make a living, we established a product line through society6.com for each day of the melange [if a painting is out of reach perhaps a cool tote bag or fine art print is more accessible]. This morning, as we prepared the multiple sites and completed our writing for the upcoming week’s melange, Kerri showed me a compilation image of all the products she’d designed just THIS WEEK!

Look at this image and multiply what you see by 14 weeks. Breathless. And so much fun.

ROOT IN LOVE product line [chicken marsala monday]

SHINE product line [two artists tuesday]

SO MUCH POSSIBILITY product line [flawed cartoon wednesday]

CLOSELY I WILL HOLD YOU product line [dr thursday]

FISTFUL OF DANDELIONS product line [ks friday]

 

 

www.kerrianddavid.com

Hold Them Close [it’s DR Thursday]

a painting morsel for your DR Thursday from studio melange.

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For the entire span of my artistic life I have painted mother’s holding their children. I don’t know why . Once, years ago, I set up the many mothers-and-children paintings that lived in my studio and sat for a long time pondering them. I liked them all. As Horatio has said about my work, they were/are motion in stillness.  Beyond that, I have no words. Most of the important stuff, I’ve learned, lives beyond language.

Kerri chose this morsel in honor of the coming of Mother’s Day and calls this morsel, “Closely I Will Hold You.” From studio melange, a quiet nod of gratitude to moms everywhere.

CLOSELY I WILL HOLD YOU gifts & products

CLOSELY I WILL HOLD YOU product box BAR copy 2

read kerri’s blog post about I WILL HOLD YOU CLOSE

www.kerrianddavid.com

Closely I Will Hold You – designs & products ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

I Will Hold You In The Storm ©️ 2017 david robinson

 

Look For The Mountain [On DR Thursday]

A mountain morsel for this DR Thursday from studio melange.

Kerri laughed her most devious laugh when I asked, “Where does this morsel come from?” I didn’t recognize it as a slice from any of my  paintings. I usually know immediately where the morsel comes from. This one baffled me.

“Guess,” she said, laughing that laugh again. I knew I was in trouble.

Usually, when I hear this particular devious laugh, I look behind me. Or, I check to see if she is clutching cleverly concealed water balloons. DogDog knows this laugh, too. It means he will have to work very hard, go through all of his tricks, probably twice, before getting the cookie that she holds just above his reach.  He always looks to me for support and I tell him, “You are on your own, Dogga.”  I know better than to redirect her brat impulses on to me.

And so, like DogDog, I guessed. And guessed again. And again. I did tricks. I searched my folio site. With each wrong guess, her pleasure at my bewilderment increased, her laughter goading me on. I looked to DogDog for help. He dropped to the floor and pretended to be sleeping. I was on my own.

Finally, exhausted, beyond begging, she dropped a tiny hint. The painting no longer exists.

Thanks to Skip I’ve made it a practice of taking process shots which means Kerri has made it a practice of mining my process shots. Many of my paintings don’t make it to the finish line. They are either not composed well, are ill conceived from the start, or I overwork them and have to scrub them and start over. Sometimes they serve as rough drafts and i abandon them when I see the better path. This morsel comes from one of those – a painting that did not make it. It was poorly laid out. It broke the rule of thirds (and I didn’t want to cut the canvas to correct the problem).

Kerri jumped up and down with joy when I put it together. She knew that she was going to re-introduce a painting to me. She knew, given the right framing, I’d see the beauty of the unfinished piece. So, the morsel: Mountain in Yellow Sky. And, for my purposes, the beauty in the loose painting that no longer exists: Together On The Beach.

 

It is potent blow-back to help me see the old anew. When I said, “I think I need to learn to stop painting sooner, to redefine for myself what is a rough draft and what is not.” she laughed that laugh again. The trouble I am in is so much bigger than I understand.

 

 

 

 

 

MOUNTAIN IN YELLOW SKY products we’ve designed are sold at society6.com

mountain in yellow sky product box BAR jpeg copy

 

read Kerri’s blog post about MOUNTAIN IN YELLOW SKY

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

mountain in yellow sky/on the beach ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood