Interpret The Impression [on DR Thursday]

“Art, to me, is the interpretation of the impression which nature makes upon the eye and brain.” ~ Childe Hassam

The eye of the mind. Interpretation of the impression. Imagination. Nature.

This morning Kerri told me that she’s having a stand-off with her piano.

This morning I picked up a box to clear my studio space. I asked myself, “What are you doing?” I set down the box where I found it.

Lately, I’ve been working with an overabundance of business models. Not surprisingly, each addresses the same contemporary challenge: people are having trouble discerning between what is actionable and what is not, what has relevance and what does not. A variation on the theme: focus is hard to come by. Models, I remind myself, are interpretations.

I’ve read that the first evidence of humans making art is found in the funeral rites of our distant ancestors. Decoration? Talisman? Fuel for the trip? An interpretation of life, making peace with the unknowable. Nature makes an impression. Humans respond.

The interpretation-of-the-impression-that-nature-makes points to something essential about art and life: it needs to be shared. It is nothing if not witnessed. We stand in the art gallery and drink it in. We stand at the graveside supplying our fellow traveler for the long journey ahead. We place the crayon drawing on the refrigerator.

Nature makes an impression.We are nature’s impression. Interpreting what that means.

read Kerri’s blog post about IMPRESSIONS

motherdaughter © 2019 david robinson

Expect The Magic [on Two Artists Tuesday]

pando copyIt reads like a quirky children’s book. One day the frog appeared in our little pond. It was fully grown. This was no pollywog-becoming-a-frog, it did not originate in our pond. It sprang forth fully frogged.

Kerri named it Pando for the year of the pandemic. I thought it sounded like a Commedia character but it seemed to like its name so it stuck. Pando feasted on the local cuisine. It sat still and let Kerri pet it on the head. It had a deep basso voice.

Truth be told, Pando was not our first frog visitation. Most years since we dug our little pond, fully mature frogs one day appear. Once we had twins. Where do they come from? We speculate endlessly, making up stories of adventure or wrong frog turns that somehow lead to our backyard. Apparently, Mr Toad’s wild ride passes through our pond. Mostly, they’ve become for us a sign of hope, of good things coming or an affirmation of good things already here.

Most of our frog visitors check in for a season. Pando was different. A few days after he appeared, Kerri went out to check on him and he was gone. Vanished. But, on the stone path that leads to the pond, she found a copper Jefferson nickel.

“Look what Pando left us,” she said, showing me the nickel, “He isn’t there anymore.”

Clearly it must be a talisman. It must have magic powers. What else could it be? A frog with a deep bass voice mysteriously appears. The frog just as mysteriously disappears but leaves behind a strange coin that betrays its inner alloy. It must be magic! Or, I suppose it could just be the story we want to tell.

It is, after all, what I love about us: we like to tell stories that include surprises, the impossible, and magical happenings. Life is better like that, when we allow ourselves to entertain the full spectrum of vibrant color. In any case, we can’t wait to discover what the frog magic brings.


read Kerri’s blog post about PANDO


sunsetonisland website box copy