Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

desert sketch Originally uploaded by dressform.

today i was re-visiting my life as a gallery worker. it is strangely kind of fun to work in a gallery just once in a blue moon - mostly it reminds me why i don't want to be in that aspect of the art world any longer.... but it's like i'm playing a character. get up - pick out some nice clothes (i NEVER dress up anymore!), comb my hair, get on BART and look at all the sad folks that drudge to work on the train that screams (in the tunnel - it's so loud - even with ipod on).... thank goodness i didn't have to put on a suit ;)

i was surrounded by nice paintings, watched as a young couple decided what painting to purchase (yay!) and worked on getting my images together for upcoming proposals. (i had told myself it was OK to do this gig because i could spend the time getting this stuff together. it's so hard to keep up on the "business" side of things. go to the studio or write a proposal - which do you think is going to win out?). i am THAT much closer to getting some stuff out in the world (i'm sure only to be rejected, but if you don't try, what's the point?) and i prepped some images to update the portfolio on the website (about time!)

the end of the day was really pleasant. ray beldner came in to "kill time" before his opening at catherine clark and we had a lovely chat. the woes of staying ontop of paperwork, the joys of teaching (reaching that ONE student), balance of life: art & family (he thinks dogs are needier than kids... i beg to differ). i really admire him because he is dedicated to his kids, his students, his practice (and has consitently streched his work. from amazingly delicate and quite pretty objects to highly conceptual photographs i love the fact that his work ebbs and flows from one medium to the next.) there are never enough hours in the day, but he keeps doing what he can, and he does it well and it's working for him! (there is hope! if not sleep!)

the above is a sketch that i did while we drove thru the desert. funny funny cacti.... i wish i could have drawn the snow, but couldn't fathom how to do that. hey! i'm showing an illustration on a friday (not quite iillustration friday but still.... i get some pointage for closesness, yes?)

and oh! new blogs on the left... little by little...

Viva poncho!! Originally uploaded by dressform.

um, so other than the fact that i am TOTALLY embarassed that it's me on the cover ot this book - if you are a knitter and you like ponchos - VIVA PONCHO is shipping out this week! (i was supposed to be a model for the book proposal... then the publisher wanted to use this shot for the cover. good thing they kept it a secret from me until it was too late!)

it's my friend, Christina, who owns the fabulous yarn store article pract and her friend Leslie that put this whole book together. there are some REALLY cute ponchos and caplets. i guess i really should learn how to read a darn pattern now.....

min_moon Originally uploaded by dressform.

so, now that i have completed project 1 (hopefully 1 of a few or many) i can explain a bit (i don't think i've explained the project yet, just mentioned it). the penniless patron project was inspired by the peter scheldahl lecture. at one point he mentioned that it might serve art and artists if we returned to a patronage mode of creating. he thought that if artists didn't have to expound as much energy conceptually thinking and worrying about the content of their art they might have more opportunity to simply be creative. i'm not sure if i wholeheartedly agree with this notion, but it's interesting - and it inspired miss m and me. we decided to send each other postcards - acting as each other's patrons (penniless because we don't actually have the $$ to pay one another) with instructions and a request for an art object. the postcard sent to me asked for a moon - any media, 12" x 12" in size.... i wish i was the moon..... above it sits... gouache on linen w/ some silver thread stitching....

i am in that odd state of being after class where i am physically and mentally really really tired but can't go to bed b/c of the stimulation of the evening's events. i have tried to go to sleep in this state and i lie there, brain ticking.... and if i am fortunate enough to fall asleep i dream vividly (often of classroom situations) and wake myself up. someone should coin a phrase for this mental state.... and thus i blog tying to wear my brain out....

on the way home i was noticing how oddly empty the sky was tonight. the cities of hayward and oakland emitting their own odd glow ~ not all naturalistic, but wholly familiar to us city dwellers. after the completely black and star filled skies of new mexico, it is a contrast to say the least. an odd deep eggplantly purple black... far far away but seemingly thick enough to reach out and touch.... no moon to see tonight.... but one to be delivered to miss m soon....

sleep tight!

grams_embroidery Originally uploaded by dressform.

my grandmother has been working on this table cloth for us for awhile now... i was lucky enough to see it in progress, but look at it all finished! it's so lovely to behold!! (and if you had all doubted where the embroidery gene/bug came from.... doubt no longer!)the napkins are just beautiful too - i'm almost too scared to use them, but i know she wants it to be used and loved and so it shall be.... who am i going to invite to the first dinner party???

before i forget - one of the BEST parts of my trip to NM was going to the Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe. they have the most amazing collection of everything you can possibly imagine from every country you could possibly list. i swear. i could have spent 2 days in there just looking and looking - dolls from china, japan, mexico, all kinds of embroidery and these really amazing cut paper doiley like things, santos, african barbershop signs (something i've always loved!, etc. etc. - the website doesn't really do the place justice (and neither did the books of their collection in the bookstore) but if you ever go to santa fe it is a MUST stop!!

getting back on the horse in the studio is not so easy.... the whole day on Wed. i just felt this sense of unease. i think part of it was that having 2 crits 2 nights in a row in 2 classes (2 the magic number today) made me a bit weary and so i was having trouble focusing - but also i think it was just absence. absence made my heart grow fonder but it made my hand and head go a bit fumbly. luckily i had some "tasks" i really wanted to accomplish and so i got down to those.... i started working on the lovely scraps.... a few robots and a rocket and something inspired completely by the paper itself... and i finished the first installment of the penniless patron - the moon! (at least i think it's finished - i need to take one more good hard look at it). quite exciting. i want to pick up momentum again, though.... more targets to work on - 3 different kinds! yippee!!

i will post pics of the lovely scraps and stuff soon... promise - i just want to do another series... and pics of stuff n' things and an updated portfolio are on the way at the website i swear! i just have to get through some grading first! (can i just say that grading things on a computer screen is entirely different than on paper? it's such a new experience for me!)


this seems like fun... like a giant chain of crafty goodness spreading around the globe. if i wasn't feeling so darn ovewhelmed as it is i would sign up.... but i have my lovely scrap paper project which - ahem - i haven't even started - but i HAVE been away - that counts right? and proposals i want to get out.... and website to update... i took photos in NM of my show and of the Stuff n' Things show... so time to put those up as well.... trades to finish (countess you and pooch and plane have been drawn! i'm mulling over colors.... and stylistic elements - the drawing cracks me up though! and the moon for miss m.... it just needs a bit more) and websites to finish..... and drawings to grade. ahhh!

first crit was tonight. it went pretty well. a few REALLY great drawings and a few not so great. but hopefully we (the class and i) were able to point out some problems and possible solutions. i feel like this class has some talent but they haven't quite figured out how to reign it all in.... there are moments where they really draw, but then other times where things are stiff and tortured and not working.... it's just practice.... drawing until it comes more freely.... making the form and the content marry.... learning the skills to make what you want happen. and then of course there is the fact that most of them are really into the digital realm and are probably looking at this class like it's their stupid requirement.... sandee, my TA from Mills, would say i'm about to crack the whip - i think she's right. OK, cracking whip w/ hopefully a dose of inspiration! what's the point of taking a class if you aren't going to try - to stretch and learn?? i get to do it all again tomorrow night. different class another crit! yikes! 2 classes is definitely not 1 (reminds me of GG Willie's saying ____ aint' ____ ~ insert ages in the blanks - 45 ain't 25. 80 ain't 60.... you get the picture)

BTW it's kind of fun to not read everyone's blog daily - more posts more goodness! there are a lot of busy hands out there - i need to update the blog read sidebar!! soon.....

garb_snowprints Originally uploaded by dressform.

sorry for the lack of posting - believe it or not i'm on vacation! the reason for our adventure - we are in Santa Fe, New Mexico - is 2 fold: to return the big space ghost dog Ben to his papa and to see/document my show at the Richard Levy Gallery .

the weather has been phenominal. a smorgesboard.... the drive is long but beautiful - thru the lush green of california to the hot sparce mojave desert (where i think we saw some of those 100 year since they've bloomed wild flowers) thru bizzare snow and hail in flagstaff. if you don't have to really deal with it snow sure is pretty. especially when you aren't cold! we had a morning of snow our first day in Santa Fe.... it's lovely! i love how it collects in the shade of the trees....garbo has never really been in snow so it was funny to see her prancing around (and quickly shivering and returning to the comfort of indoors). but her prints in the snow (above) are purty darn cute! you completely forget how vast the "countryside" is until you drive thru it. there is so much wide open nothingness.... marked by slight shifts in the vegitative landscape.... a type of cacti, the color of rock.....

i am also in love with the vintage roadway signage... big yellow arrows.... circles w/ fabulous typefaces.... medallions of bright white....

it is official: the desert clan are like family. dinner w/ them is a complete treat - no lack of conversation - love of the same flavors in food..... love of the same art..... i only wish i had more time to spend with them..... and the countess! it was my turn to weep in front of her lovely wares.... especially the one right at the entrance - a luscious perfect desert blue w/ white little ghosts and ghoolies swarming around..... she even called while we were dining! it was like fate me thinks! i think we need to schedule a meet in the desert at the end of a long summer - for some spa-ing and girl time!!! miss v agrees and if anyone can make magic happen it is her!

the other good thing of traveling - you miss home. you have mental space. you get inspired. i am all set to come home to our comfy bed! our mr. tonka! my studio! which BTW is filled w/ an array of targets! king L surprised me 3 different kinds to play with! the target series has not met its demise yet! yippee!! OK, i'm not really happy about piles of work or deadlines, but we're still far away so i'm ignoring those things!. i'm excited to see what happened while i was gone w/ my students (uh yeah, a little guilty about abandoning them in week 3 - but it was unavoidable and pre-planned - i did leave them in completely capable and fabulous hands! thanks sandee and cathy!!!!!) we have a crit in the drawing class on monday - first crits are always a bit jittery.....

and i have so many other things to catch up on.... with extremely limited internet access i don't know what anyone in blog-land has been up to! or just in general.... what's going on out there?? all in good time!

i got my packet of scraps from lovelydesign .... i got #97/100.... i have been a big admirer of sharilyn's aesthetic and supremely crafted goods for quite some time and am now fortunate enough to participate in her scrap paper project! i'm thinking little robots should live on these scraps... maybe some silhouettes are in order!

last night it rained here like there was no tomorrow - it was really really pouring - it looked and felt like the middle of winter - and then this morning it was all sunny and bright (and it's finally day light savings time - i always feel so much better with that extra bit of sunshine.) our poor garden is SCREAMING for a big overhaul clean up/weeding and replanting! that is moving up toward the top of the todo list. for sure.

the april showers sure made grace's garden grow... she brought a lovely bouquet to me for my opening on Sat. there is the delightful smell of fresia in my living room thanks to her.... the opening was nice. the San Pablo Arts gallery is a sweet little space with a lovely garden and great natural light. I will go back soon and take and post installation shots so that folks can see all the target work as well as the work of John Rodgers, Lexa Walsh and Shalene Valenzuela

Ok, i have to get ready for class.....

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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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