Lisa's Musings

there's little i control



Robot Mugs! Originally uploaded by dressform.

the above are available for sale via Cafe Press.... i have had a few requests for these mugs (i have a set i made for myself) but i don't have easy access to a kiln.... sigh.... so cafe press comes to the rescue - upload art and they can be made to order! since i have 2 mugs there are 2 stores, one for atomic man (on right) and one for the planet robot (on left) they are a bit expensive, so i apologize in advance for that. if it makes you feel any better i'm not making a mint on them - not even close!

school started this week in a flurry! i had to get last minute access codes and borrow things for a still life and meet all my new students. on the first night i stood up and said, OK i guess we should start and one of the students blurted out "yo, you're the teacher?! i thought you were a student!". part of me is flattered by this and part of me just sighs.... thankfully i have inherited the strict don't mess with me tone in my voice from my mother (she is the pro) and so once i start speaking i think they see that i really am the teach. this is the first time i've had to really deal with so many hardcore wait list people.... appeals to my heart strings and hopes of getting in.... i told them they all have to show up again and we'll sort it out and there are no guarantees.... how do you really explain to those who want to check a class off of their to do list that if the class is too full it will not serve their purposes really since i won't have any time to spend with any of them. i think it's like a parenting thing - you'll know when you have to do it someday - that it's not so easy!

my head, though, has been spinning, what did i forget to tell them? what do i need to make sure and tell them next time? i hope they can find the paper i told them to get (if not what's the alternative? i'm bringing in some paper - see i've thought it through). what are their personalities going to need? what is their art/design really like? get the slides together - get your lectures together.... i wake up to dreams of standing in front of classes pointing things out. it's pretty funny.

i went to SF today to drop off some work for 2 worthy causes - an auction to benefit Tibet at juice design in sf and an auction to benefit southern exposure which had an interesting show up. i really liked the work of adriane colburn. cut paper turned into an installation of naturalistic imagery (bears, trees, etc.) and some framed work (also cut out paper) that had to do with waterways. quite lovely.... sorry no picture... maybe next time.....


pinkthread Originally uploaded by dressform.

I'm pooped. finished framing yesterday.... and I made the above as a final little thing for the stuff n' things show.... work drop off is tomorrow! there is another set of bottles, but the gist of it is this: all of us in the show working with the theme "pink" were supposed to make "stuff" that is going to sit on shelves. I've had these tiny bottles for eons and thought well, darn it, I sure have a lot of pink thread.... what if I collected and displayed it all? then of course I had to try making little wound up balls of it.... I think they are funny.

I stopped at Utrecht yesterday on the way into the studio to get some paper to use as backing for framing and stopped cold when I came upon the gouache. I guess my dabbling into watercolors made me long to do a bit more painting.... and gouache is a bit more opaque. Um, I guess I haven't shopped for paint in a while - man has it gotten expensive... I was drooling over this set but it's like over $500. HA HA!! (yes they have smaller sets and yes you can buy them individually, but look how lovely the ENTIRE set looks!) this story gets better because as I ate lunch I did a bit of blog reading and susie had the same wish on the same day! I have liked her work for awhile and thought well if there was ever an opportunity now's the time to contact her and say hello! so I did... and she was very kind... and we both share a plane fascination. the power of the internet once again! (it's getting harder to imagine what life was like before you could google the littlest thing and find it.... way way back in the dark ages)

speaking of the internet... with baited breath I sent photos of all the targets to the desert clan... and the response was better than I had hoped (no wonder I love them so)! In the midst of it all I mentioned how it might be nice to have more (mostly b/c I feel like I was just hitting a stride and could easily try variations of some of the things I made) and I awoke this morning to a flurry of emails with pictures of targets from all over the internet (and the continent!) as potential substitutes.... (again, feel the love here).

and again with the internet. hillary mentioned me the other day in her blog. Her kind words made me blush. (so did a few of the comments that people made).... all these people... like little specs of light.... connected by threads of wires (or lack of them) all across the planet sharing thoughts, likes, creations.... how lovely!

p/s. my classes start on monday. I'm a bit nervous and excited. It's the big unknown.... who are my students going to be? what am I going to learn from them? what's going to happen in the next 10 weeks?!?


rifle_coag_dogwood Originally uploaded by dressform.

psst.... finally: i spy a target! the above is one of the pieces for my upcoming show at the San Pablo Arts Gallery.... for this series i researched plants that have been traditionally used in wound care - more specifically to stop bleeding. seemed like the right thing to put on a rifle target. what do you think?

i'm starting to get those pre-show jitters - the ones where your head asks - will anyone else respond to this stuff? will they get it? does that matter? tick tock tick tock the next week is a doozey! school starts... work goes to the gallery....

ducks! get lined up in your rows - there's no turning back now (no quacking either!) - getting geared up for the mini-pilgrimage to the desert.... car: rented... house-sitter: found (and so trusted! my former TA - YAY!!!).... music: working on it ipod getting more full (hard to get all the goods though since D is such a record fanatic - it takes 2 steps to get vinyl computerized - sigh) but little, but promised potent traveling speakers on their way....

what else? where's my gianticus list? websites to finish, websites to start, lectures to make and learn, keys to get, passwords to learn, finish the framing, grant to apply for (i'll accept crossed fingers on this behalf now). and the trades! i owe 3 people things for sure! the moon for ms. m, the red baron for the countess and tanks for reluctant man... and perhaps some for new found internet pals! the mantra: one thing at a time... it will all fall into place. rinse and repeat!


Re: Flickr magic email Originally uploaded by dressform.

This is our new laundry room.... I feel like a 1950's housewife all content with her high class appliances.... except for that we did all the painting and re-plumbing, etc. etc. for our "new" room. Mudding and taping drywall is like riding a bike - once you know how.... but painting ceilings - there is no good or happy way to do that (my assigned task! nothing like a big blob of painting drippin right onto your nose... really there is nothing like it). But after all the groaning and griping (and a husband who did most of the work) it's so nice to have this clean room that functions well... a dryer with a drying rack (oohhh ahhh)....and notice - I color coded the dog towels (meaning they are stacked by color - yes I am nuts. I know - but they look prettier this way!)

I am a very tired workhorse today - I spent all day framing up most of the target pieces for the upcoming SP show (more on this soon). It is kind of magical how "finished" things look once you stick them behind glass.... purty purty targets.... but I am quite tired of cutting paper, using acid free linen tape, replacing backings, bending and re-bending pins (are you bored yet? I was) thank you very much. I need to get a few more frames - some how I miss calculated... and I need to finish one more piece - JUST ONE!!!!!! and then I'll post a hint.... promise

I have been thinking a lot about another way to do the felt tank project - besides just other colors and plaid patterns. I had tossed the idea of birds and trees out there - and I still like that - but I'm not sure what shape they should be in - I feel like if I'm going to pull in some naturalistic imagery like trees they have to be in a pattern that talks about something un-natural or detrimental/harmful to nature but I don't want to do something obvious like a bulldozer.... I want to stay in the realm of making a pattern out of something.... wonder what the molecular structure of mercury looks like... or nuclear fission/energy or the like... hmmm this may be something.... I'm trying to make this all gel in my head because I am seriously going to propose this project. somewhere - somehow.... (do not sing Barbara Streisand because of that last phrase - only reluctant man can get away with that!)

and speaking of birds... for you visual movie buff's.... I am late to this, but last night I watched Winged Migration onDemand (best thing that ever happened to cable). Actually to be completely factual Moe (the fat cat) and I watched it. It's stunningly beautiful. Who knew there were so many types of geese? Who knew that so many birds travel to the Artic every year? Who knew that some even fly 12,500 miles.... I am tired just thinking about it. No wonder we are all so enamored with birds though - they are amazing... the different ways they fly.... some glide, some consistenly and determindly flap, the swarms of them moving in unison like some dark living cloud.... my favorite part was the red breasted goose that was traveling through Eastern Europe in an industrial neighborhood. The color pattern on the geese was just so striking and with that backdrop is was like Contructivism come alive.... sigh... see it... with your cat!

that is the question of my hour - perhaps my year..... I feel as though I am buried under to-do lists - my little paws pushing outward and shuffling papers aside only to have more obligations appear before getting ahead.... I am trying not to loose site of the prize - because there is a golden ring or some other trinket of beauty up there (oh where?). but part of me just wants to hole away and work on the things that are fluttering around my brain. the art things that is.... I have a new pile of gifted paperies to find new compositions for - but first I must frame all the targets - they are oh so close to being done now. almost ready for their unveiling.... and I have the red barroness trade and the moon, the moon as the penniless patron trade.... these seem like much better ways to spend my time. (sigh) if only I didn't have to go to HR and sign papers and if only I didn't injure my ankle in the most unglamorous of ways (no sports injury just bad stepping down dark stairs w/ objects in hand to keep from hands jutting out for balance)and that list can go on forever... no one likes a complainer!

next post will have a photo - promise - and some news - I just needed to vent for a minute.... back to typing.....

I keep wondering how the countess is finding the desert.... I'm sure there will be stories....


V.InstallingLisaTanks Originally uploaded by dressform.

The lovely queen of the desert installing my work at the Richard Levy Gallery . there are install shots of the show posted on my site. I'm so thrilled - most exciting because I will actually get to see the show too! and because it is w/ the amazingly talented countess! lucky lucky girl am I!

short post as I am overdue at the studio ~ a few target pieces to finish, but I have high hopes for them....


IMG_2084 Originally uploaded by dressform.

above is a VERY cute luggage tag that came prancing in the mail from miss pink . being so new to this whole online blog community thing i am pleasantly suprised at how lovely and generous people are. read blog, blog says email us for a treat, email, said goodie arrives in mail all adorable and with such a sweet note! i found miss pink's blog because she so generously linked to my site.... ah the intricacies of the web... it weaves a tangled - oh you know!

other surprise... those desert folk! they are sneaky like a fox they are. i sit minding my own p's and q's (all 500 of them - anyone have any extra u's?). postcard for the lovely countess' show arrives... and who is in the project room? MOI ! i had absolutely no idea.... the countess and i will be showing simultaneously - how divine (and intervented!). i so wish i could get to the desert sooner to wine and dine and laugh and giggle and bask with all of them for the opening.... sigh.... but i will get to see the show at least! our caravan to the desert departs in t-minus a few weeks (note to self: AAA maps, rent a car!). the countess has also finally blessed me w/ some photographs of her and her little doglet (her term). the trade begins in earnest now... hmmm... lovely fairy with furry friend in a wright approved transportation device.... goggles? scarves? red barron? the options seem endless, perfectly silly and exactly as they should be!

i quickly spied a couple former students at Mills today. i got all warm and fuzzy and got hugs and proclimations of being missed. always a nice thing. for a second i was overwhelmed with the thought of how teaching extends your being - your family in a sense - because now there is a set of "students" (in quotes because they are not forever students - and hopefully some will move into the friend category as i have been lucky enough to do w/ some dear professors) to whom i will always feel connected - and today it really hit home that they will feel the same of me. i think this is also because i am in serious anticipation of this new crop - new school, new faces, new ideas, new possibilites.... what to do with all this newness and potential??

enough! i should be in bed, or returning emails to VIP's or coming up w/ those damn syllabi!


emberley Originally uploaded by dressform.

i had the above book when i was a kid. i LOVED drawing the stuff from it (mom-dad is that book still around? i don't remember seeing it the last time i was home when i went through all my books). regardless - it is re-printed in all it's fabulous glory. there are just so many good things in them - i want to put all the images on t-shirts!!!

speaking of shirts - abby-normal shirts (the t-shirt gig Theresa, my studio mate, and i have been workin' on) are available for sale at Dish in Berkeley and Egg & the Urban Mercantile in San Francisco. We are working on getting them in a few more local stores and also online (cough cough - this is my department - i'm thinking really hard about it.... thinking leads to doing - i swear)....

there is a great new blog out there the angry chicken i just love amy's sensibility. we like the same things - cute things that are weirdly off and strange and not so cute but still adorable in a non-stickey sweet way

finally - big news - i return to teaching! i interviewed at Cal State East Bay this week and i have been asked to teach a drawing lab and a class called designing digitally. i am excited. only problem is that classes start March 28 - uh yeah - that's soon.... very soon.... too bad syllabi don't fall out of thin air


james1-027 Originally uploaded by dressform.

the title of this post has nothing to do with the above photo ~ which arrived tonight from my shortly lost (not long lost) friend mr. p in the desert. i LOVE this new series of work - it's based on photographs that he has found while at home. the top is houses 1977-2005 and the bottom is couches 1977-2005. brilliant ! - re-organizing memories by category and then re-interpreting by drawing them - moving away from the photographic somehow brings them more into memory... this is what i was hoping to do with my own mapping pieces (which have fallen by the wayside of the targets, but are patiently standing by!) i was all set to be dreary in the rain this evening and then this little gem pops up in my inbox.....

i was planning on posting earlier this week, but then realized it might have been an all dreary affair and so i restrained. today i am not so much under the weather but participating in it. for a moment i thought that things had spun out of control and out of my hands but luckily there was a little bow around my pinky finger and now i can reel it all back in. (or at least i can try!). with all the rain we've been having my front lawn is more like front mud (hence part one of the title) - i'm trying to see the beauty of mud and it's potential. emphasize trying - nothing actualized yet.

this week is little time for art week - which i am unhappy about, but couldn't avoid. but on the plus side we have a new "laundry center" - who knew that appliances could bring such joy. prepping walls and gas lines for the arrival is a whole nother story - suffice it to say thank goodness i have some experience with sheet rock and mudding and taping (white mud, not the front mud). i have thus gone thru my practically head high pile of laundry and things are clean, fresh, dry and pet hair free - yee haw!

no, i have not yet attended to my taxes. i regret this immensely. now they have become this supremely icky task (in jan. they were just an annoying task). but they have to be addressed. SOON. which again brings up the minion thing. i got no repsonse to the yogurt raisens/access to computer offer - how bout home baked cookies?? or cranberry upside down cake?

finally - i was just speaking to miss m - i think we are ready to begin our penniless patron piece.... i'm rather excited. but we also discussed a group of folks we are hereby deaming: The Totally Cocky for Unknown Reasons people. you know who they are. they always speak to you as if there is no one in the world smarter than them, they expect you to live to be their personal secretaries/assistants, their time is always more important than yours.... yet... somehow i (i should say we) never seem to really grasp their genius.... their thought patterns and work never leave the stratosphere (but obviously they see their work way way way up in those cumulous clouds).... it's a funny thing. funny as long as you don't have to interact with them for too too long.....


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Name: lisa s
Location: oakland, CA, United States

hello and welcome to my blog. i'm a mixed media artist living in oakland, CA with my husband, 2 dogs, 1 cat and my baby daughter. i try to post once a week about things that inspire me, what's going on in my studio, and little tidbits of my life. thanks for visiting, reading and commenting!



please please please :: i am happy to have you use an image of mine on your blog or somewhere else, but PLEASE just ask permission before you do. and please don't hot link. it really is important that we respect one another and the work we do. and if you are too shy or busy to ask, could you at least link back to me? thank you in advance!



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