Lisa's Musings

there's little i control



zaka Originally uploaded by dressform.


i'm not sure if it was because i was surrounded by lovely crafty goodness the last two days... or because i really really wanted to get myself a little bit of a treat - not something to use for lesson plans or other "necessary" reasons.... but i read and re-read wee wonderful's post about japanese craft books and decided it was do or die time (2 disclaimers: i think that i was a bit loopey from all the talking at the craft sale - and it was late at night - or was it early morning? Secretly, shhh, i'm glad i splurged). the above is one of the 4 - yes FOUR (but shipping was FREE FREE FREE) books i got via yesasia.com hee hee. now do i really think i have the time to be making any of this crafty goodness?? no. but a girl can dream.... besides, i'll know they'll be inspiring for the whole art thing (this is true, not just a justification!) plus it's never to early to plan ahead for holiday hand made treats! purlgurl go look and see.... ;) for those who want to follow suit - be sure and follow all the suggestions/ISBNS from all the comments in the weewonderful's post. if you go to yes asia on your own and just look for craft things you won't find too many good books (at least I didn't). FYI a search for "zakaa" did turn up a family of books that are similar to the above....

so the crafty fair was overall just a good ole time! saw some long lost friends that came out - always a treat.... and sold more stuff than i thought we would. yay! and i got two pairs of earrings and two necklaces in my continuing swap w/ jodi (she wanted a painting) YAY for me! (i will try and photograph them in their lovelyness) - so now it's back to work on the whole grading thing - oh and those websites.... yes.... i haven't forgotten about you dear clients.... i'm on it! which means i gotta go - or motor if you are in a "heathers" kind of mood....


springboard sale Originally uploaded by dressform.

day one...done.... day two....??? still to come!

yesterday was great! mostly b/c all of us in the sale are pals and this was such an excuse to hang out - and buy each other's stuff.... ;) you knew that was going to happen didn't you? it's also just so cool to have people repeatedly tell you how cute your stuff is.... if that's not an ego boost i don't know what is.... nother update soon!




oh and here's another photo from the lovely scrap project.....

lovely_mojave Originally uploaded by dressform.


pink poppies Originally uploaded by dressform.

these are from mine - volunteers too! love that. i had some last year and when they perished i scattered some of the seeds from the beautiful pods (one of my favorite things about poppies)and this plant just sprung up this year! we are having the kind of weather where you just want to sit outside under an umbrella and drink iced tea.... it is so lovely i can hardly stand it (yes exaggerating). after all the rain it is such a treat!

my first internet trade is on it's way! super exciting! i'm so excited about what's coming my way.... want to peek? my studio mate said "it's a robot, it's green, it has felt. of course you love it!" i can only hope Hillary likes her little painting just as much!

whoo wee.... classes are almost over (damn quarters are fast) and the insane summer is soon upon me.... i have to get through the mountain of grading that is approaching fast! i have a new idea for a point system for grading next quarter (or fall quarter - did i tell you i'm going back to hayward? yes even after the "incident" - i figure since they were kind enough to ask me back i should see what happens w/ another go around - maybe i'll have a "reputation" HA HA. mostly it's because i realize that even with the frankly bad and not so motivated students, the good ones make it worth it.) i'm so looking forward to my berkeley painting students though.... all new and sparkly and in love with the simple texture of paint.... non-slacker summer schoolers.... dreamy!

i also picked up my stuff from the "stuff and things" show.... it's nice to have some things back! i missed them. i wanted them around too before i started the next set of targets.... the next generation (ha ha). me thinks miss rory has it right on the what to do after a show saga. it's not like you should need a show to make art, but the fire under the butt sure can help. or it can burn and sting an cause blisters. which is worse? inactivity or overactivity? the jury is out for me. if anyone has the magic pill answer for that one i would like a prescription. with refils. it's such a quandry - stop to smell the roses and miss out on some opportunity. run run run and finish finish finish and miss out on live, love, friends, art by incredibly talented folk and inspiration in general.

i should stop whining... i have a crafty sale to get ready for! info here. if you are in the vicinity of the bay area please come and say hello - all the ladies are quite lovely and their wares are quite adorable. they send out that "oohh i want to have it!" vibe big time! (too bad we aren't having the sale under a big tent. like the circus.... with elephants. always liked the elephants. do you think i've had a bit too much sugar? i think so! reign it in!)

accept that there are no answers. at least my life is not the exact same from day to day to day... sometimes things look beautiful when they are blurry, and tiredness can lead to a smidgen of good....in fact perhaps i can contemplate how to re-vamp a good tradition....paint by numbers.... anyone??


lovely_fly Originally uploaded by dressform.

more scraps for the lovely scrap project. she's looking for a few more participants - i highly recommend it!! it's been such a treat collaborating with these small pieces of paper....

there's a mouse in our studio. i'm convinced it's a daschund mouse because it's really long and svelte. he's also supremely not afraid. ran not 2 feet in front of me - i almost did the old trick of jumping on the nearest chair it startled me so! he's also smart - we have these humane traps (so that we can catch and release him in a lot a few blocks away) but he won't go near them w/ a 10 foot pole - even with cheese! this reminds me of when we lived in an apartment that was infested - i would come home and flick on lights and see mice running - hugging the walls and scurrying fast and furious. so what is the lesson in all this? do i need to do a nauman-esque piece that incorporates mr. mouse in my art? i moved everything around - it's a disaster zone - in the hopes of preventing him from nesting in my old old paintings.... perhaps all the activity will act as a no trespassing sign.

i was replacing the pink in parts of my hair this evening while i relaxed in the tub.... when i was done i washed the raspberry out and watched the water turn rosey. what is it about the rose hue? rose colored glasses - where are my pair - i could use them.... grading would be easier, proposals would seem like fun.... ah the search for magic - is it hidden in truth as the countess suggests? i want a wand.... i would settle for a bit more time, or the ache in my left shoulder to go away (and i'm not even really working on art so much! ick! me thinks it's the typing and computer.... no relief - oh! except i think some electrical stimulus device is headed my way from some caring parents.... it's supposed to help aches and pains - yee haw)

my curiosity is peaked, though.... the queen V left a message about a possible project involving her and the countess - imagine! a princess, a queen and a countess - a royal lot indeed! what could it be?????

stuff and things is almost over! only one more weekend to go... i'm actually looking forward to having some targets (finished ones) back in my studio... inspiration for the next round! the studio has seemed so empty of late.... it's about time to re-group and get going again (yes, after the paperwork is done - just a little bit more!!)


Shapero_Orb-detail Originally uploaded by dressform.

it's still your birthday Gram! make sure Papa takes you out to another nice dinner sometime soon - not CHANGS - because you should have an extended birthday!

so, yes.... i was in LA for 2 short days. quick down and dirty, but jam packed w/ good times, shopping (i think i basically only shop with my grandma or in LA at this point), and a small but super potent dose of art. there's nothing like being around folks who treat you like royalty and are convinced that you are a smart and interesting person.... i highly recommend it! ;)

the show i got to see was "thing" at the UCLA hammer museum . the image above is from one of my favorite artists in the show: mindy shapero. i have the catalogue, and if my brain wasn't soo foggy (too many mornings of getting up at 6am. my brain has rebelled) i would wax poetic about almost all the artists in the show! it was the first time in a really really long while where an entire show hit me like a ton of bricks (even my least favorite works were above par). lovely and amazing and potent.... lots of 21st century trompe l'oeil and fabulous use of materials.... insert happy sigh here (and thanks to mr. pitt for recommending it!! yipee!!)there was also a REALLY good video (and i am so so picky about liking video) by Hiraki Sawa - planes flying superimposed on indoor landscapes (think plain living room with one single light bulb). the planes look miniturized and almost fake as they drone on their paths.... must look up more work by sawa. for sure!

the other night while perusing from blog to blog i realized that the wonderful and enchanting poet eileen who's art blog is always a joy to read has started a new project - an autobiographical shopping project to be more exact - but you should read it for yourself. it's like a modern day diary where you have to fill in the blanks and come to your own conclusions.... (and ok and i got to relay my favorite welch's juice story in the process!!)

all for now - it was all i could muster to open the computer.... tomorrow is a grading marathon!

i got a nice little ego boost in the mail today! the desert folk sent a review of the my show in their project room. i read it and re-read it and am supremely honored to be lumped into the company of the likes of Paul Klee (something i never really thought of before, but now can). It is so lovely when someone "gets" the work... sigh! you can read the review for yourself if you'd like!


hsu Originally uploaded by dressform.

above from a joyce hsu installation at the bedford gallery cute, girly art - but good. weird mechanical things that don't really work lots of color - bordering on too cute, but it's pushing that envelope on purpose and so i like it.

this sunday in the new york times kimmelman did a piece on chris ofili's work (think of the "sensations" show in brooklyn a few years back - he did the piece with elephant dung that caused oh so much controversy - sigh). although he was kind about the art the article really was about routine - how ofili did this series of african women on a day to day basis. got me to thinking.... how important is the routine in studio practice? i mean we all have it in some way shape or form. do we make little sacrifices? promises (i will do the dishes when i get home)? click our heels 3 times or pray to the art gods that things will go well (light incense, drink tea, check the mail and then GO!). are we like sports guys who if our luck turns sour we change the routine in hopes of recapturing the magic? i think particularly since i am attempting to deny myself the studio until i can get the proposals/paperwork thing together (closer closer! tonight i researched molecular structures of pollutants..... yes, this is how i spend my "leisure" time) i am really thinking about how i will RETURN to my lovely studio.... things waiting, eagerly to be changed and altered. what was my routine? will i change it? does the routine free you because it warms you up, gets you started (not fun to walk into a perfectly clean space w/ no ideas)..... the routine as muse, collaborator and friend.... hmmmm (see my brain goes into overdrive when i'm not making)

i went to visit my MFA pal james at djerassi today. it was so beautiful there... rolling hills, one lane highway, ocean meets the sky. he was doing really really great things in his studio. it was fun to talk art surrounded by his work (more on the series he sent images of before ) plus some really goofy (in a great way) sculptures.... skateboard wheels out of wax stacked on top of one another.... in luscious green.... and we decided we are going to trade! hoorah! love trades (don't worry countess, yours will come first - and it is getting somewhere! i have snuck some work in on your piece since it's at home)

few updates: my students have recovered from my "bad cop" routine. nicely. not a single F on the quiz this time PHEW! i am continuing to be brutally honest and will hope that they hold up their end of the bargain. tonka has been doing OK. a big round of steroids and he's practically good as new. i am holding my breath to see what transpires but am refusing to treat him w/ kid gloves. he is a dog. if he ends up needing surgery that's how it shall be.... at least he is not in agony at the moment and is happily beggin for any morsel of human food like normal....

i will end on that note.....


robots_for lovely design Originally uploaded by dressform.

robots above - for the lovely scrap project if you've gone to my flickr photo stream it's not new to you....

a few shows to report: the countess is having a show at the Jennifer Kostuik Gallery and my MFA pal Mark Soderstrom is showing some work at my old haunt graystone unfortunately with all the teaching i can no longer make it to openings... well one was in canada, but.... where's my teleport machine? plink plink wasn't a gnome supposed to be bringing me one? i believe so but so far he's a no show.....

i crashed yesterday. almost fully (which for me is a treat) i DID make it to costco for some needed supplies and i did clean the living room.... but that was really and truly about it. my brain fizzled and my body just screeched to a halt and so it was... i broke down and watched some TV... didn't even open the computer... what proposals? what studio? what? i'm an artist??

for those who have been wondering.... i had to gear up to literally yell at my design students on thurs.... almost all of them failed the quiz i had given on tues. and their projects were horrid. i was depressed and shocked and mortified. it consumed me all day wed and thurs and then i did it! i told them what i thought and how lame they had been...and it went well i think - at least i felt much better. some of the students actually seemed grateful - like here was someone who was finally going to take them seriously. it was sad in a way.... i had individual meetings w/ those that came to class and we talked about how to improve their last project and many of them apologized and said that they would no longer be flaky and that they were grateful for a chance to take the test again (i told them that was a possibility if they SWORE to study). after class one student (and a good one) asked to talk to me.... all these questions about how i've managed to get graphic design work, and what really matters etc. etc... it made me smile. AH! real students! i hope it sticks!!!!!

oh! mark your calendars.... Abby-Normal (my t-shirt biz) is participating in a sample sale at Article Pract on Fri and Sat May 27th and 28th from 2-6. i'll post the flier and stuff closer to the date, but.... FYI.... AND.... if you haven't checked.... install shots from stuff n' things are on view on my site. (check the news box on the front page or the show on my bio page - both link)


Tonka Originally uploaded by dressform.

what to do when that wave of sadness hits? do you stand feet planted as they sink and the sand swirls?

i'm not sure what i'm about to do.... but it will have to be something because it's not in my nature to stand still, stagnate and perpetuate a bad spell....what brings this on, you ask? well... tonka the beloved (pictured above for those of you who don't know my pets)is having some back trouble. he woke up screaming - and let me tell you his scream is quite similar to a child's - in pain. he's on steroids now, and they've really helped. but he'll need a whole x-ray work up and potentially surgery. ugh. meanwhile, thank goodness he's mellow - we have to pick him up to carry him up and down stairs and he's not supposed to get too excited. i just look at him and feel bad - the biscuit doesn't deserve this!

i'm also going thru some serious studio withdrawal. i'm trying to stay optimistic - big picture are you out there? i'm really trying to get these proposals out... out out into the world! before i start working again.... but of course all i want to do is make (although frankly at this point i'm not sure if much would work) - ah yes the grass IS always greener....

i'm also a little sad for a few of my students. let's just say that they don't see the ramifications of continually missing classes, or coming unprepared. they really really want the easy way out - the path to the "good grade" (and it glows oh so bright for them). when i ask them what they want to do they simply turn and ask what i want to see.... when i counter it's not what i want to see - it's what you want to make and learn they reply but you are grading me. i would rather see you fail miserably but learn trying than succeed in an empty and hollow and non-meaningful way.... statement to be said next crit - for sure!

i also went to the Mills MFA show and just got a case of the heebies - not for any real specific reasons - but i did... a little bit of memory lane (the bad parts) crossed with a bunch of hyper anxious neurotic artists (i can say this because i'm one) and i felt like i was in one of those bad art dreams where everyone is just looking to see who walks in the room next and it's not about the stuff on the walls, but about ego and fear and yikcy yuck. there are some bright art moments in the show though! so don't let my emotional train wreck keep you from going....

so all the above mixed with some good old fashioned pms... and ta da. i'd like to just get off the train for a minute.... is that allowed?


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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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