Have Fun [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

I’ve been working on my painting, Train-Through-Trees. It’s been a while since I painted so I have one intention: have fun. I’m using big brushes and tools Master Miller sent so I don’t too soon lapse into nit-picky detail. It’s in the detail that I begin to take myself too seriously.

It’s harder than you might imagine to “play” after such a lengthy hiatus. Like all artists I puffed myself with fear-fog and wondered if the muse had left the building. This interruption was circumstantial and not a dry-spell. It’s lasted longer than any dry spell I’ve experienced and has left some doubt-residue. To play is akin to re-entering childhood. To not care about the outcome and follow the paint rather than try and control it. The tools from Master Miller mandate the equivalent of finger painting and help my “fun” intention.

Like all fog, fear-fog isolates. It’s a heavy blanket that descends and fools you into thinking that you are alone. It leads you the believe that the landscape is barren – that you are barren.

I am not alone. Master Miller is in NYC recharging his artistic batteries. He’s sent images, paintings of Lucian Freud and Nabokov’s synesthesia. Dwight sent a right-on-time-book. Rob shared his latest 10 minute play. Mark discusses with me what he’s writing and his movie ideas. Kerri wanders into her studio, sits at her piano, and plays; each time I am transported – out of the fog. Enlivened.

These people are like the sun to fear-fog. Their good hearts and dedicated artistry dissipate the wet blanket and warm me to the bone. They open the landscape and infuse me with energy. They remind me that there is really only one intention: have fun. And that is best done with others.

read Kerri’s blog about FOG

Throw A Pillow [on Two Artists Tuesday]

pillow collage - d paintings copy

The artists’ dilemma in 3 Acts (or, the story behind the pillow collage):

Act 1: Early in my life as a painter I copied master paintings for display in model homes. I’d alter the colors to match the couch. Something was dreadfully wrong with altering master work to match a couch. The world seemed upside down and I was young enough to think perhaps it was me that was upside down. I doubted what I knew. I doubted my inner compass.

Act 2: Later, when I first moved to Seattle, my gallery hunt brought little interest in my work but I was offered the same piece of advice at every stop: Tone it down. The images were “too strong” or “too colorful.”  The reasoning made my head spin: “No one wants to buy a painting that dominates a room! A painting should add to the over all impact but not be seen.”

“Kind of like a throw pillow,” I’d respond.

“Yes! Like an accent piece.”

This time, I knew that I was not upside down, just peddling my wares in the wrong market. Or the wrong century. I trusted my compass yet stood without direction in what felt like a vast wasteland.

Act 3: Waving the Design Within Reach catalogue in front of my face Kerri was on a full blown rant. The page waving before my eyes was a collage of throw pillows. “These are boring!” she  shouted, “Who designs this stuff?” I knew what was at the heart of her tirade. She’d spent the last several months designing her heart out. Her line of pillows – those based on my paintings and a fleet of others – is unique, different. “Why do people buy this stuff? It’s the same as everything else!” she fumed.

I responded with studied calm. “One. How many people see this catalogue versus how many people are seeing your designs? No one is seeing them.”  She scrunched the catalogue. “And, two, perhaps the designs are too bold and too different.”

“That’s what makes them interesting!” she protested. “Beautiful art doesn’t just have to be on the wall!”

“Ah.” I said, “That’s the problem! A flawed premise! Turning the art into a throw pillow still does not make it an accent piece. That’s a good sign!”

“I’m making my own ad! It’ll be a collage! It’ll be a piece of art!” she waved the destroyed catalogue in the air and stormed to the computer.

There is no wasteland here. Her inner compass, and mine, is just fine.

 

see all of Kerri’s designs from my paintings

 

read Kerri’s blog post about PILLOWS

 

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

pillows designs ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson