Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

me Originally uploaded by dressform.

i have admired this amongst all the blogs out there forever. {started by red current and on flickr - started by joy } i have always been scared of my own portrait - be it in painting, photography, whatever. it's too scary - daunting - oddly permanent. but the flipside is that i am fascinated by self-portraits. my studio mate connie , as well as countless other artists, have used the self portrait in intriguing ways for eons.... so in the spirit of oh what the hell.... here's my first one....

taken this weekend at clear lake.... photos here. there i spent glorious hours floating on a noodle (long flotation device - and no! i didn't invent the name) in the lake. giant lake - 8 miles wide... endless green gray water... no computer!! (gasp). the water ran hot and cold while you were in it (from the springs that fed it?).... which oddly mirrors what i feel about my life right now. hot and cold. which leads me to the kunundrum that is blogging about your life.

i am in one of those spots that is super super personal.... this makes me want to run and stop blogging or blog even more as a way to get around and through it (if you couldn't guess already - i am a LIBRA!). i was chatting with mav of p2p about the difficulty of getting just too personal and yet how it's that amazing "real" stuff that makes reading other blogs so damn interesting. it's hard to feel vulnerable... especially when you are feeling sad and exposed in life in general as well.... in the spirit of sharing and oh what the hell again: i am trying to figure out how to say goodbye to a very important person in my life. i don't know if this means i am going to disappear from the blog for awhile - if i am going to blog about silly and meaningless things for awhile or if i will take the plunge and reveal the whole shabang... i hope you, dear blog, will be patient with me as i figure this out....

candy stripe tank Originally uploaded by dressform.

friday night we were getting ready for our mini trip to clearlake (more on this soon) and i wanted to clear my head (there's a lot swimming in there right now). i was bummed because i wasn't sure if the baby serger i bought on e-bay was going to work (waiting for new needles and knives... i have a sinking feeling something is slightly bent - but no use calling it quits until we install all the parts, right?) and i had a hankering to sew. i wanted to make something USEFUL!! something i could wear in the heat we were headed to....

japanese every day sew book

from the haul i got on yes asia isbn4-579-11043-9. i picked the easiest pattern in it (it comes w/ a pattern chart folded in the back - i made copies of the pieces i needed using vellum). warning: japanese craft book patterns don't always allow for a seam - AND things are small!! i used the largest size and it just fits me.... perfectly! so, old sheet + book + pattern + desire for something to do in an orderly fashion = new tank top for me! it was satisfying. and i totally cheated - only pinned the top and bottom together to make the ruffles - everything else - no pressing, no pins, no nothing (i am a lazy sewer)

it felt good. i want more... i want to make the two fabric style tank top (on the cover... this one needs more work since you need to make the straps too... sigh....) i want cool vintage fabric since the vintage fabric pool on flickr is getting larger and larger by the minute and i keep seeing amazing things.... i wonder if i can trade tops for fabric? you send me enough for me to keep some too and i'll make you a top.... hmmm.... art?? what art? now i just make functional clothing.... seems nice right now....

i'll write more on my one day away from any technology later - it was good... breaks are good.... i need some more sleep to type clearly!

OH! miss shanna has moved her blog to another tentacle - be sure and follow her to the new two trees! she and i are on a mission to make "tentacly" a word that everyone uses consistently. want to help? spread it around.... let us know if you do! (hee hee)

Richard Tuttle Originally uploaded by dressform.

the class and i went to sfmoma yesterday for our field trip to see the richard tuttle show. as with the bechtle show i was amazed at seeing such a breadth of work from one maker. overall i think the show was overhung - by then end of it many of us were cross-eyed and a bit tired of looking and looking and looking.... however, i (and apparently "we" from the discussion in class today) did a lot of contemplating due to the show. i did really fall in love with the unstretched canvas pieces, the wire drawings, the white on white paper to wall pieces, and several of the drawings (these seemed like a daily ritual which was nice). i liked how dumb and wacky some of the assemblage things were - how things were obviously homemade and not perfect and yet still carefully considered (i am thinking that this is of more and more importance). in the end what was really inspirational was the fact that there just WAS so much. i'm not sure if being prolific is a good trait per se - but in this case it works for me. maybe it's because even though i didn't like it all, it did all seem honest (don't ask how i come to this conclusion. i'm relying on gut). it seemed liked a consistent investigation even though the road twisted and turned from one spot to the next. he seems to be serious about what he's making and yet able to maintain and express a sense of humor (! yay).... so while i will never rank tuttle with my all time favorites and standbys - i am thankful to have looked and been provoked to think.

in fact, i have been mulling over the idea of a daily ritual. spawned by the sheer number of drawings of tuttle's that were on display. why? one * because studio time is just so limited and lacking at the moment, two * because i'm human and rituals and routines seem nice, three * because i want a way to work quickly. some of what i do seems so slow.... stitch after stitch, layer after layer of watercolor.... i want something that has some set boundaries, and can be quick. almost like an exercise - a warm up - a playtime....

my idea? a daily drawing with thread. one color for a week. on smallish sized paper (around 8.5 x 11) but not any paper in particular. so white, yellow, lined, sketch, old, new.... are all ok. they can be mixed media - or just thread.... so 52 colors of thread... (good thing i just got almost 50 on ebay, huh?).... and they should take 30 minutes or hopefully LESS! i'm not going to start this, though, until after berkeley summer school - i want to look forward to it, and i actually want to prepare! (weird, how do you prepare for a quick thing, i know, but somehow this makes sense) there are going to be bad ones, good ones, silly ones, tragic ones.... i think this will be good for moi!

bags bags bags

shameless bit of self-promotion....yay! more bags are available at abby-normal go see... or send your wealthy friends! (hee hee)

and one last thing.... thanks to all the new folks (and the regulars {wendy!}) who have been commenting here (often making my day!), inviting me to things on flickr, emailing me from my other website, etc. bits and bytes personified - the internet can and does foster a community!! i am totally sucked into reading even MORE blogs (i'm wondering if the laptop is melding into my lap - if i am slowing giving in and becoming some cyborg creature - if i was dropped in the middle of the desert with no computer would i cry or celebrate?? maybe both??). there are more links i need to add to the left - but i'll end with this.... please visit port2port if you have a chance. i am eagerly waiting to "chat" more with mav but i'll say this... she and arc are sharing snippets of life across coasts - it's a performance piece and a friendship and they've welcomed us to come along....

mermaid pushups Originally uploaded by dressform.

i wish i had their stamina. (yes i have sunk to the low of envying plastic drink accessories)

man. i am bushwhacked tired. it is just a fact. this weekend, although really fun, was not restful. sat. night i went to juice to hopefully meet kelly whose work i really am digging and who generously offered to put abby gear on her store site little paper planes ... (this is happening in the next few weeks) AND i missed her - she was running late, i couldn't stay....ahhhh why why?? i left her a dorky note... but the drawings... they really are lovely lovely - delicate and sweet, but not too (sweet that is).... hopefully i'll catch her next time (i am going to LA soon... hmmm... maybe i can rondez vous with her there??)

sun. was spent poolside at E & C's casa. caught up with some good friends, ate like a queen

laughed until my cheeks hurt.... even missed 6 feet under....(more pics? here )

it was HARD to get on that bus to go to class today, though.... i feel like i need something?? a habit... a cure... a kick in the pants... a small dream... a big scheme... a reality check... a stiff drink?? if you are offering i might be taking. try me.

from Tania Originally uploaded by dressform.

i have to get on my trade to tania ... especially because just look at the haul that i got! ;) deer tote, postcards, buttons, a plane necklace (how appropriate for me, huh??), magnets, cool paper!!! i think this mail package was the only thing that was making me smile yesterday.... well, that and the fact that i was squirreled away in the studio. but i was so so tired & borderline grouchy yesterday.

i started a pink dogwood target - FULL SIZE! a little daunting. composing is easier on a smaller scale - i think i need more flowers on it - but i couldn't figure out where - i had a brain freeze. i did also start 3 more animals - a tiger, a whale and rhino..... so it was overall a productive day... but the whole time i had this nagging feeling. i so wanted to be there and get things done but i knew that it wasn't going to be one of those stellar studio days - simply too exhausted. so i was irritated with that fact which only makes the whole studio flow go worse! catch 22 - hello rock on my left and rock on my right! i am conceptually attempting to remove myself from the hard places that you personify, but alas..... can someone push the reset button???

on the very cool that this now exists front - there is a new vintage fabric group on flickr! thanks to the amazingly wonderful and resourceful hillary and kim . and you probably already know about it, unless you were hiding under a rock yesterday or aren't tuned in to the crafty tentacly ( two trees - i'm trying!!) thing on the web... of course this made me realize that although i covet vintage fabrics it has not become one of my obsessions where i collect it with no purpose. most of my vintage fabrics are actually in the clothes that i have collected.... maybe i should start photographing those! how did i not manage to collect pile and piles of fabric you ask? perhaps because the piles and piles of dressmaking patterns, embroidery hoops and even thread (purchased on ebay the other day - my favorite guterman brand)

guterman thread 2

have gotten in the way?? oh i have fabric, oh yes i do! but it's not all vintage. fun tidbit factoid for the day!

erin's quilt Originally uploaded by dressform.

getting a box in the mail with the above contents sure makes a girl giggle with glee! i am such a fan of quilts (as is kim {who has a quilt along going} and amy {who has quilt inspiration mondays})but i can't quite get it together to make one myself. i drool over the Gee's Bend quilts..... the above amazing piece of work has come from the desert. it is in trade for a website for the maker's sister. aren't trades the best? somehow i wish we could all just return to the days of i have something you want/need - you have something i want/need - let's make a deal. it's so much more pleasant than money! the other 1/2 of the quilt is just as lovely (sorry for not showing it). i love how the little random bits of red float around in a sea of multiple greens.....

i am typing in the attempt not to hover over my students. they are diligently working on their black and white still life projects.... it is funny to think of the art studio as chem lab.... experiments abound! in this lab, though there are no real scientific formulas or methods... in a sense you are thrown in the water and you figure out if you like sinking, swimming, floating or treading water. all are acceptable means and approaches it's really up to you! (how different i suppose than a math class where there is a right answer.)

from my scheme the other day about a daily candy for artists, the countess suggests a space where many different people could post complete works. so that in essence they could become a quilt of art making. non-hierarchical - ever changing - commentable - or not! i like this idea. i wonder, though, if someone did, say - even a weekly "go look at this artist thing" (with a way snappier title, of course!) who would subscribe? would it effect purchasing? would it be wise for the artist to have t-shirt priced multiples for sale at the time of their "debut" on such a site?? art for the masses that isn't a postcard? (or maybe unique postcards?? ahhh!!) it's funny how like-minded folk gather together and then trust another entity to help them find what fits their taste. i mean, after all, the internet is so vast and wide and tentaclely. how DO we find what we like - jumping from link to link and then they start to overlap..... oh too much for my head!

must go back to see how the still lives are progressing!

Maura Bendett Originally uploaded by dressform.

the above is by Maura Bendett who is having a show w/ Roberts & Tilton in Los Angeles - somehow i am on their email list and received this in my inbox.... countess there's something that reminds me of you! i'm not sure what these are REALLY like since i haven't stood in front of them - but they are intriguing nonetheless....what i also know is that press releases pretty much suck: "There is chaos even in that which is beautiful, and the tension between such obvious beauty in form, coupled with the artist’s own obsessiveness with an exacting sort of order, gives these works their power" - um yeah - this may be true and all, but somehow that ends up sounding like pretentious art crap. what is funny is that i actually relate to those ideas - deeply - but that sentence just grates. maybe I'M the snob??

post bath sleepyness

yesterday was a relaxation day! well - post my studio visit.... which went REALLY well (thanks for asking!). the little dogwood target has found a new home (and i was not willing to give that one up to just anyone!) and i think there is potentially a future relationship with this person. i had a good feeling from her - trustworthy - and dedicated, straightforward, and interested. she asked questions that meant something and really paid attention to the answers. even as i hated having the words: i really believe that most of my work has to do with the notion of hybridization come out of my mouth i knew that she got it - that it didn't seem like complete sillyness and that it actually did help her understand some of the choices i am making in my work. so i will stop now for fear of jinxing the situation, but hopefully there will be more of my interaction with this woman to report at a later date!

so after the studio visit and some dog baths ;) we all sat around and watched some movies.... eternal sunshine was the highlight (it's really good the second time around - you see all the small hints that you missed the first time)... we were tired....

from being out late friday night - my sweetT won tickets on kalx (uc berkeley's radio - and really a great station that plays everything) to go see zolar x. they were a band in the 70's in la - predating glam rock - that swore they were from outer space and sung rockin' space songs. they were really cool! they had pointy hair wigs and still rocked - and the best part was that their entire families were there in support! at one point an elderly grandma looking woman came up to the front row to smile and dance around and the guitar player winked at her! priceless! i hope that if/when i make it to 60 i can still participate in the things that i have loved my whole life - be it live music or picking ripe tomatoes, making art, or whatever other habits i may pick up along the way!

i was in a bubble today (no radio/TV) and just found out about what happened in london today.... what an awful awful shame.... useless and senseless i will never understand such great extremes of violence perpetuated by humans on other humans.....

sunday mornin birds Originally uploaded by lumpy.

nausea (uh-huh, this came up in flickr....). why do i forget this?? part of me really likes using public transportation - better for the environment, the pocket book, etc. part of me hates it! everyone crowded - (i believe it is now mandatory to have an ipod now??) potentially sticky seats, and the motion sickness!!! i know i'll get used to it and that eventually i will be able to knit or read or something but ick.... i was so green today - leapt off and was happy to breath carbon monoxide filled air - anything was better than the bus!

i should be in bed. i have dealt all day today (in between a meeting and teaching) with the frenzy that is daily candy... if you missed abby's debut
here it is!
it's been great, amazing - who knew someone in wisconsin or maine might want to carry our T's??? paypal shopping cart = bad for limited inventory! but who am i kidding? it's such a thrill to be wanted so much!!! i am once again humbled and in awe of the power of this darn internet! there should be a daily candy for ART and ARTISTS! wouldn't that be grand?? something that causes that much commotion and generates sales of work.... hmmmmmmmm scheming scheming...

and before i sign off and attempt to shut off my brain (good questions from students today too). i just noticed this wasp hovering in my laundry room and thought.... it seems as though we like to encourage each other (and living things in general) to "go to the light".... it's supposed to be warm and comforting and may even imply heavenly bliss?? but what of bugs to our man-made lights... moth to flame.... or those horrid bug zappers.... i don't know why but the oddity of this duality struck a chord. if you think that the light is something good is there no pain as you crash into it? what if it takes more than one try to "get it right"? bliss after repeated failings? i know i know - no right answer - all the fun lives in the riddle? a tad morbid?? well riddle me this mr riddler fiddler fo fum.

nina draws carla Originally uploaded by dressform.

if there was ANY doubt that the kids at the CCA camp couldn't draw.... look at this!!! with blue shoes!!! oh my!!! (ok, i get a bit excited with student work). i put their show up on my teaching page

bright and shiny faces today at UCB... i love summer school - other than the fact that it is gruelling - all these dedicated students.... really wanting to paint - i've got a high schooler (like last summer!) and an older woman who wants to have some fun and learn to paint (can i teach that?) this summer... it's great! I'm really excited about this class... It had a good vibe!

and! i got this amazing email last week... aparently abby is going to be featured on - see me breath deeply here - daily candy !!! the san francisco one. they say tomorrow.... pitter patter pitter patter.... I'm purty darn excited!

oh the studio you ask??? i did stop there this AM - i have to re-frame all the pieces i showed for stuff n' things - they all need spacers so that the work isn't butting up against the glass - and thanks to frame tek it will be so (star trek?). hopefully in time for my studio visit on Sat.... uh yeah, a bit nervous about that. cross those fingers and toes... and countess.... i am SO close to being done on your piece.... i worked on it last night (smiling the whole time - just wait till you see the goggles). It will be nice to send it off to you!

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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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