reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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187. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

187 box framed copy

i had no idea how much i would love designing.  through the first ten years or so of album covers, i watched.  i sat with my dear friend 20 as he designed so many of my CD jackets and tray cards.  i learned a lot.  not about how to use photoshop or illustrator or quark but i learned about balance and clean design and how to “see”.  so when we started designing for THE MELANGE, that part came more easily.  the photoshop part?  well, that had a bigger learning curve (as does website designing.)  manipulating images and navigating programs without real directions can be a challenge, but i was up for it.  lots of learning.

the thing that really surprised us was when we looked at each of our society6.com stores this week and literally counted our product lines.   there are 187!  187 lines created across the five stores.

187 product lines later, i look back in wonder.

mugs and laptop covers, tote bags, prints and cellphone cases, beach towels, shower curtains…not to mention leggings.  in the course of the last year, i have designed between 50 and 60 pairs of leggings.  leggings with morsels of david’s paintings, leggings with graphics we have designed or photographs we have taken, leggings with words of wisdom, leggings with punchlines, leggings with lyrics.  i was a leggings-designing-maniac.  i think about even just these leggings designed, available on an on-demand site, and think – we could have all those made and just sell them ourselves.  we could sell those designs elsewhere – to a company that already produces leggings.  we could open a shop with all these products – interesting, different, artistic, not mass-produced or mass-purchased.  we could…  there’s no telling what we could do.

i asked david if he knew how many blogposts there had been in this MELANGE year.  he had already done the math.  we each posted 260 posts, totalling 520.  that’s more than a few words, more than a few thoughts, more than a little heart.

immeasurable energy has been devoted to these designs, these blogs, to this MELANGE.  here – at the one-year-old mark – we are astounded by the amount of time and effort this has all taken.  and we look back in wonder.

what has been the reward?

there is no way to underestimate the power of i/we-can-do-this.  the sisu of sticking it out, meeting the challenge, staying in the game, learning.

THE MELANGE is celebrating one year.  but we are celebrating so much more than that.  we look forward in wonder.

if you'd like to see kerri sherwood.. copy 3

if you'd like to see david robinson.. copy 2

if you'd like to see TWO ARTISTS copy 2

if you'd like to see more CHICKEN... copy 2

if you'd like to see FLAWED CARTOON copy 2

read DAVID’S thoughts on this ANNIVERSARY MELANGE NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

anniversary haiku copy

laughing website box

THE MELANGE ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

images in THE MELANGE ©️ 2016-2019 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

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ks friday

jacketasitisjpeg copy 2i could hear the saxophonist on the corner out the window; it’s not uncommon in nyc.  at yamaha artist services to record the two solo piano hymn albums, i was caught up in the christmas carol he was playing, only a little concerned that it would bleed onto the recording.  the amazing “it’s fine!” ken can handle anything.

my task was to get onto tape (so to speak) the material for both of the hymn albums:  ALWAYS WITH US Volume 1 and ALWAYS WITH US Volume 2AWU v1 jacket copyit was easy for me to compile a list of the hymns to play; so many years of church music gives me an advantage that way.   but on every album, even if it is music i haven’t written but am giving my own voice to (like the hymn albums or christmas albums or lullaby album) i always include one or two pieces that i have composed – a signature of sorts.  for always with us volume one it was the title track.  ALWAYS WITH US is a statement of my belief that we are never alone, we are always AWU v2 jacket copysurrounded by infinite grace and love – God is always with us.  like all the tracks on the hymn albums, this piece is solo piano.

part of that time in the city, i also recorded the album AS IT IS.  i had a list of titles and in-between recording hymns, i would take out the list and simply play the word.  but i’ve talked about that before.  this album was a personal creative challenge and took on a life of its own.

back in chicago, in post-production work, ken wrote orchestration arrangements (he is brilliant) and brought in musicians to record on tracks for the AS IT IS album, starting with the solo piano recordings. these new tracks went beyond the solo piano versions – in texture, in diversity, ultimately, in emotion.

yesterday i wrote about process in david’s painting.  the same -yet different- process exists in recording music.  the coming-together of layers, with what is in a layer below sometimes hidden, a breath you can’t hear, but can feel.  i am awed by what the whole becomes from the whole.

always with us exists in two forms.  both are relevant to the album they are within.  both speak a language.  but both tell the same story – for those who listen – that we are never alone.  God – or whatever you call this presence- is always with us.  and if you listen, maybe with your mind’s eye, you might even hear the strains of a saxophonist on the corner in the city at night.

ALWAYS WITH US – on the album AS IT IS

ALWAYS WITH US – on the album ALWAYS WITH US VOLUME 1

to DOWNLOAD ALWAYS WITH US from AS IT IS track 14 from iTUNES

to DOWNLOAD ALWAYS WITH US from ALWAYS WITH US Vol. 1 track 2 from iTUNES

to purchase the physical CD ALWAYS WITH US VOLUME 1 (AS IT IS is out of stock)

KS FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) – ON OUR SITE

to see some fun PRODUCTS that go along with this piece ALWAYS WITH US:

leggings, wall art, mugs, beach towels, cellphone covers, cards

always with us SQ PILLOW copy

throw pillows, blankets

 

always with us RECT PILLOW copy

throw pillows, rugs

 

always with us LEGGINGS copy

leggings

 

always with us TOTE BAG copy

tote bags

 

always with us iPHONE CASE copy

cellphone cases, laptop sleeves

 

always with us FRAMED ART copy

wall art – in some of these pieces i could not resist using david’s art

 

always with us COFFEE MUG copy

mugs, travel mugs

 

ALWAYS WITH US from ALWAYS WITH US Volume 1 and AS IT IS ©️ 2004 kerri sherwood


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dr thursday

cropped II earth interrupted with frame metal square WALL ART jpeg copy 3

“held in process”

my husband is a painter.  of course, you know that.  his studio is steps away from mine, steps away from our office, steps away from the coffee pot.  what that means is that i can just pop in at any time to see what he’s painting, to chat, to have a cuppa or bring down a couple glasses of wine, to throw myself in front of paintings he is about to cover over with a swath of new paint.

what’s really fascinating is the process of his painting.  i will walk down and find pieces on the wall or the easel that speak to me and he will tell me that he is “no where neeeeear done.”  he takes pictures along the way and i scam them onto my camera roll for future use, not willing to let go of the resonance of one of the along-the-way iterations of a painting.

this week is a perfect example of that.  he was in the middle of a painting – a follow-up to earth interrupted I – when i went downstairs to chat (read:  procrastinate doing whatever it was i was supposed to be doing at the time.)  the image and color screamed out at me.  i couldn’t beLIEVE he was going to cover it all up with more paint.  the process was so striking.  take a moment to just really look at these process shots and the morsel i chose and breathe them in:

earth interrupted II morsel 1

process morsel

earth interrupted II morsel 2

process morsel

MASTERearth interrupted II copy 2

morsel of a process morsel – held in process

and yet, the finished painting earth interrupted II is a stunning, stunning, stunning canvas.  it belongs somewhere to get its due. it makes me feel like the universe is weeping for the earth.  it makes you pay attention to it.  i am humbled by how truly magnificent this painting is.

EarthInterrupted2 copy

earth interrupted II, mixed media 48″ x 34.5″

each week i design products from each of the days in our melange.  some of these are cartoons, some just words, some lyrics or song titles and some are david’s paintings.  i have the creative latitude to choose morsels of his paintings and design from there…a enviable starting point for someone who loves flexibility.  this week is a sort of brain stretch.  with the exception of designing leggings, where i used both of the morsels on this page, the morsel i have used in design is a morsel of a morsel process shot of earth interrupted II (i said it was a brain stretch.)  it is called held in process and is a beautiful (and absolutely timely) image on its own.  how odd that it is not actually the painting, but is underneath the painting, a layer of earth interrupted II.

it makes me wonder if we ever think about how layered everything is, everyone is.  what is beneath the surface…a richness we may never know, a history we can’t necessarily comprehend.  where we have all come from is woven color and texture and light and darkness, swaths of paint and attempted erasures that would cause other people to stand in front and call out to us, “no!  don’t erase that!  it’s beautiful!  it’s important!  it speaks to me.”  we are all held in process.

HELD IN PROCESS – PRODUCTS like wall art, cards, throw pillows, mugs, phone cases, laptop sleeves, tote bags beach towels and leggings

II earth interrupted FRAMED ART PRINT copy

WALL ART, CANVAS, METAL ART, CARDS

 

II earth interrupted SQ PILLOW copy

THROW PILLOWS, BLANKETS, RUGS

 

II earth interrupted LEGGINGS copy

LEGGINGS

 

II earth interrupted BEACH TOWEL copy

BEACH & BATH TOWELS

 

 

travel mug copy

mugs, travel mugs

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 11.01.36 AM

all-over-print t-shirts

society 6 info jpeg copy

DR THURSDAY (DAVID ROBINSON THURSDAY) – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S THOUGHTS ON HELD IN PROCESS – THIS DR THURSDAY

a link to the painting EARTH INTERRUPTED II

HELD IN PROCESS & EARTH INTERRUPTED II  ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 


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flawed cartoon wednesday

49Steps BIGcopy copy 2interrupting is an art form on long island.  i know this. i grew up there.  and, apparently, i carried this forward.  it took d a while (read:  a few years and meeting crunch)  to realize i was paying attention, that i wasn’t ignoring what he was saying when i interrupted…i just knew where he was going with it and jumped ahead.  now, i do realize that sounds pretty rude.  it’s not my intention to ever be rude, so i have tried, in recent times, to w.a.i.t. before i speak…at least a little bit longer.  if you are nearby when jen and i talk, you will think we are interrupting each other, talking in a circular path and arriving back at the point; carol and i have, for decades, conversed in short snippets of interrupted tangents.  regardless of our intent, no one wants to be asked to “pay attention!”

yet, we have all these ways, nowadays (using this word makes me sound old), to not pay attention.   how many videos have you seen where people are walking in a mall (or somewhere) texting or reading on their cellphone and fall into a fountain (or some other obstacle.)  we sit with others and try to hold a conversation, but they are busy on their phone or some device checking facebook or texts or twitter or the news…so many ways to not pay attention, so many distractions.   we see the tragic effects of split focus while people are driving cars.

we are no longer just giving our attention to the moment.  we are interrupting conversation, our work, the activity we are involved in, each other’s safety.  we would be well-served to pay just-a-little-more attention.

for PAY ATTENTION! products – cellphone covers, prints, leggings, mugs

society 6 info jpeg copy

 

pay attention FRAMED ART PRINT copy

prints, wall art, cards, t-shirts

 

pay attention IPHONE CASE copy

phone cases, laptop sleeves

 

i AM paying attention LEGGINGS copy

i AM paying attention!  LEGGINGS

 

pay attention TOTE BAG copy

tote bags

 

paying attention BEACH TOWEL copy

beach towels, pillows

 

pay attention FLAWED mug copy

mugs, travel mugs

 

FLAWED WEDNESDAY – ON OUR SITE

read DAVID’S thoughts on PAY ATTENTION!

 

PAY ATTENTION! ©️ 1999/2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

 


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two artists tuesday

typewriter copy 2anyone walking in our home knows this is true:  i’m a vintage type.  our home is not populated with new things fresh from the pottery barn catalog.  instead, it is filled with things that are re-purposed, things that are old, things that have some history, things we haven’t replaced with new things.  even our manner of work is kinda vintage, although this blog and our online product lines aren’t evidence of that.  but as an acoustic-analog-type musician and a brush-to-the-canvas painter, we pretty much scream
“vintage”.

one of my most treasured physical memories of my poppo are a few old small wooden boxes we found next to his workbench.   they would likely have been thrown away, but i knew he had “saved them” for some future purpose – perhaps holding random fasteners or nuts and bolts.  we carefully wrapped them and brought them home and they now sit in our sunroom (next to our not-so-vintage-and-really-awesome nespresso machine) and they hold nespresso capsules (which are recycled) and a collection of old clothespins my sweet momma used to use on the old clothesline in our backyard growing up.  it’s not the fancy stuff.  it’s the vintage stuff.

i lusted over this typewriter in the antique store.  i’m still thinking about it.  if it’s still there one day when we are visiting that shop and i have a little bit of extra spending money, i will buy it.  i’m not sure what i will do with it, but it speeeeeaks to me.  my sweet momma loved typewriters too.  what is it about those??  i think correctotype and purple carbon paper, the workout your fingers got, how it feels when you take the return handle to move to the next line down of type, and that really great sound -think of it…hear it- when you pull the paper out of the roll.  it’s visceral.

the stove/oven in our kitchen is, ummm, old, and, although i prefer to think of it as ‘vintage’, it doesn’t necessarily count as  romantic ‘vintage’.  it was here when we bought the house in 1989 and had likely been here at least ten years at that point; the people who owned the house before us were not the buy-new or even fix-it-up type.  matter of fact, they took it to a new level, putting contact paper on the countertops and backsplash and offering to teach us how to replace it.  (eww.  the sheer bacteria-breeding-ground-ness of that makes me shiver.  one of the first things i did was remove that stuff.)  but, back to the stove/oven.  it continues to work and i can’t tell you how many meals i have cooked on it and how many people have eaten those meals.  (if you merely consider almost 29 years and maybe just one meal a day, that is 10,585 times that this appliance has served me and my family and it is likely about 40 years old.)  my sister has had multiple stoves/ovens in the time i have had this one.  granted, she has enjoyed lots of updated features i haven’t had, but i haven’t (knock wood) spent anything to date on a stove/oven since 1989.  amazing.  it’s a testament to kenmore’s older appliances.  someday i know we will have a new one, but in the meanwhile this workhorse is not taking up room in a dump somewhere, with a half-life of a billion years (ok, slight exaggeration) and i feel good about that.  it’s not pretty, it’s not high-tech; i feel it has earned the label ‘vintage’ and no one seems to run – aghast- out of our kitchen because it graces the spot for ‘stove/oven’.  there is something to be said for that.

we just had breakfast; d made it as he does each morning these days.  he cooked it on that stove and it was deeeeelicous.  and me?  i’m going to get out our coin jar and count what’s in there.  maybe there will be enough to go back to that antique shop so i can bring home this typewriter.

I’M A VINTAGE TYPE – this link will take you to wall art, cards, leggings, throw pillows, bags, fun stuff

 

society 6 info jpeg copy

 

vintage type FRAMED ART PRINT copy

framed art prints, metal wall art, cards

 

vintage type SQUARE PILLOW copy

throw pillows all shapes & sizes, floor pillows, clocks, rugs

 

Vintage tyoe LEGGINGS copy

leggings/yoga pants

 

vintage type COFFEE MUG copy          Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 10.49.14 AM

 

vintage type TOTE BAG copy

tote bags, phone cases, laptop sleeves

 

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

 

 

read DAVID’S thoughts on A VINTAGE TYPE

i’m a vintage type ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 

 

 

 


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dr thursday

 

i love design.  and i love finding the small morsels of design hidden in each of david’s really exquisite paintings and, with my mind’s-eye-magnifying-glass creating products with them…my favorite new design challenges are – amazingly – leggings! but, regardless of the product i am designing, it makes me crazy how many stunning individual images are within the whole…i’m bowled over with my camera roll after i shoot a painting.

earthInterruptedI copy 2

earth interrupted I, mixed media 48″x53″

it occurs to me that this is not far from something i should notice in all of life.  quarter earth – a part of earth interrupted I – is no less a beautiful image because it is a smaller piece of a whole painting.  ahhh. it’s not a stretch to see – that the individual daisy is no less a beautiful image because it is a small part of a field of daisies…this moment is no less a beautiful image because it is a small part of a life of moments…we are no less a beautiful image because we are are a small part of a whole world of people. 

QUARTER EARTH MERCHANDISE

    society 6 info jpeg copy

 

quarter earth FRAMED ART PRINT copy

 

quarter earth LEGGINGS copy

 

quarter earth square pillow copy

 

quarter earth TOTE BAG copy

 

quarter earth CLOCK copy

 

DR THURSDAY (DAVID ROBINSON THURSDAY)

 

read DAVID’S thoughts about DR THURSDAY

earth interrupted I & quarter earth ©️ 2012 david robinson

 

 

 


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chicken marsala monday

MASTER assumeawe WITH EYES jpeg copy 2so i’ve decided that there is a difference between us and our pets.  you roll your eyes and think, “she is clearly a little slow on this…”  but i’m not just stating the obvious.  i watch dogdog and babycat through their days and find wonder in their absolutely joy-filled acceptance of the moment.  for dogdog and babycat, there is no continuum of how-am-i-going-to-feel-right-now; it is simply always at the apex of ‘happy’.

dogdog runs around the backyard gleeful.  our neighbor and friend john says he can practically hear him thinking, “oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!”  he meets us at the back door when we arrive back home or when we ask him if he wants to “go on errands”, vertical-jumping to challenge the best of basketball players.  at the end of the evening, when he is sure it is time for “sleepynightnight”, he rolls over for a treasured ‘belly-belly’; nothing else matters to him at that moment.  all of his actions are based in the moment.  all of them assume the best.

if babycat can’t be laying curled up next to you, he seeks the sun and follows it around the house.  he sits on the chest in front of the window (just as in this drawing of chicken marsala and babycat) and gazes outside, clearly enchanted by everything ‘out there’.  he gets most excited by mealtime and a ‘treat’ will literally make him come running and put him over the top.  all of his actions are based in the moment.  all of them assume the best.

why is it that we function so differently?  why is it that we cannot assume the best?  we tend to pre-form our view about our day, our challenges, our life, our conversations, our relationships, our, well, most everything.  we drag all the old baggage along with us, all of which contributes to heavy-hearted-difficult-to-circumvent-or-navigate negative assumptions of what is to come.  what would it be like for us – as individuals, as couples, as families, as a community, as a country, as a world – to assume the best?  to assume awe?

ASSUME AWE MERCHANDISE

 

assume awe rect. pillow copy

pillows and fun rugs

 

assume awe mug copy

ceramic mugs and travel mugs

 

assume awe LEGGINGS copy

leggings

 

assume awe framed print copy

framed wall art

 

assume awe METAL WALL ART copy

metal wall art

 

assume awe iPHONE case copy

cellphone cases

 

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY

 

read DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY

assume awe ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood