Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

daddy's girl - spt Originally uploaded by dressform.

my dad.

there is so much i could say about my father. and he deserves a tribute the size of the grand canyon! and so for once i will try to put him center stage...

my dad is often the quiet one. the unsung hero. he is incredibly sensitive and tuned in to what people are thinking and feeling. when i was a kid and had a bad dream i could go to him.... in fact often in dreams he tried to rescue or help me.

he encouraged me to love reading.... to engage in smart banter.... to try and make people feel comfortable... to follow my dreams [and i mean MINE - not his, not anyone elses]

he always helped me pursue my whims.... roller skating, skate boarding, bike riding, bowling.... even golf - to this day i still can't stand it - but he [and my mom] love it!

he is usually a ham in photos... making funny faces.... which i love. he always asks me questions about art - even the stuff that he doesn't get - he wants to... because it is important to me....

i love this photo of us b/c i am wrapped up in his arms. and this is always how he makes me feel. safe, loved and secure.... thank you dad.... you are certainly a huge part of my personal history.

more spt's here

drawing a day ~ week 23 Originally uploaded by dressform.

in the interest of full disclosure.... i actually made the doily drawing yesterday when i got home instead of on friday like i should have. i didn't take the supplies with me to LA.... i'm still thinking that i pulled the week off, though :) hee hee.

i don't really have much to say about this weeks set other than the fact that they are highly influenced! the top left one was inspired by this drawing by christine on flickr . the bottom left one was inspired by a photo that natalie took... and of course her subsequent painting .... the one on the upper right was inspired by quilts.... in particular gees bend [b/c i was sad to miss a presentation they were doing thurs night at UC Berkeley]. and there you have it.

LA?? very quick trip. the art fair was a typical art fair... although i did get introduced to two spaces that i liked. den contemporary and six space .

so l.a.
my "la moment"

it was phenomenal [as always] to spend time with the desert people. my visit with them was way too short.... the queen and former king [he refuses to accept that he is simply royal. in the best of ways he is.... and thus all of the kingdom is clamoring for a new name of affection for him....] are so subtly divine. how did i get so lucky as to meet them and be so supported by them?? we ended up dining amidst 2 phillip guston drawings [which i can not stop dreaming about] and enormous quantities of silver, brass and polished metals [i even spied a crown - although not for a head - a crown nonetheless].... good food and good company - what more could one want?

and i got to see my family. which seems to mean more each time i see them.... i won't go into detail, but to say that unconditional love is like no other and as my dad said they are 3 of my biggest fans....

and finally [for now].... IF you are in the UC Davis area... come say hi on Thurdsay night from 6-9 [although i expect i'll be there around 7-7:30].... there is an opening for Sketch - where some of my drawings a day will be amongst some art by others that i admire immensely!

oh oh! if you somehow missed stephanie's post on why we blog it's been added to the list [link there on the left] AND how excited are all of us for whip up the new blog schemed by kath but with a host of amazing contributers too long to list! yes - we are excited!

southeast :: hallway Originally uploaded by dressform.

i see this little still life everytime i exit our upstairs bathroom. it's this tiny narrow hallway that is really pretty dark and used to be dreary.... until i set this up. i think that's partially why i added the mirrors. hoping to infuse light [that and the monochromatic color scheme... which i wish i could pull off more often!] more amazing nooks here

i have started to think in increments of hours [days seem too long]. what do i need to get done between 8:30-9:30 am [shower, coffee, get dressed, quick email check].... this seems to be working. smaller elements = easier to handle. do you have a trick to break up your day??

oh - i promised inspiration. remember a spell ago i talked about ruth asawa at the de young ? well she had a show at the rena bransten gallery . god i love her stuff.... it is so etherial.... substantial and yet simultaneously delicate. practically perfectly crafted. [can you say that 10 times?] you can tell they are handmade, but they seem like only nature could make them....

ruth asawa

see more on flickr

off to LA after class tonight.... super quick visit.... looking forward to seeing my family..... i can't believe i start installing my wall piece NEXT THURS!! i also have more inspiration to show soon!!

drawing a day ~ week 22 Originally uploaded by dressform.

feeling really scattered. i think this was the first week where i had a hard time getting the drawings done. it almost felt like i was grasping at oily straws falling through my fingers.... can you tell??

i think it's partially because my brain felt a bit overloaded this week.

so... promised art news.... if you are in LA - the richard levy gallery should have some of my work in their booth at the
art la fair in santa monica this weekend [technically from thurs night through sunday]

i had a very lovely conversation with the countess earlier today. i find talking to her very grounding. like parts of what we need to say can go unsaid. does that make sense? i am happy that our work will be co-mingling in the next few days, but am more looking forward to actually gazing into her eyes..... speaking of said/unsaid - thank you all for all your support from the last post. i feel a closeness and kinship to many of you out there! your thoughts and hopes and well wishes for my grandma were so wonderful to receive. she is doing better and hopefully will be home in the next few days.... fingers crossed.

in theory i realize that this is MY BLOG and that hopefully you all are along for the ride via a hilly, bumpy, or smooth path, but it is still comforting to know that i may meander and you will stay with me!

i have decided that for the rest of this week i am going to try and post more about art that i have found inspiring of late. i have gone to a few shows and have had things spinning around in my brain.... so.... more soon!

what do you hear when it's quiet? is it empty? do you avoid it? does your heart beat calmly? do you panic slightly when everything is perfectly still? do you mask what you really feel? so you seek approval? from who? why?

how do you long to be alone yet ache when you are? what devices do you use to fill the empty? how do you stay away from irony? how do you face uncertainty? what are you searching for? what has found you? what brings you joy? do you normally feel your heart? - really know that it's there?

what do you remember? what is iconic? can one thing sum up a lifetime? a person? a personality? how do you retain an essence? how do you honor those you love? how do you not become selfish? how can this not be about you?

in a fire what would you grab? in the dark whose hand do you hold? what if physically you are incapable of what you can dream mentally? what is success? why do you care?

why are we social? why can things you love sometimes also be burdensome? can you be too truthful? can you opt out of game playing? can you say too little? can you admit your faults?

what is optimism? what is phoney? what is inspriation? where does your gut get its smarts? why not? what for? why odd numbers? why can't you ask for help? what are you scared of? is there ever enough time? can you say i love you too much?

i apologize for the lack of photos and the randomness of this.... i was flooded by these questions late in the night. i don't even think i want answers to all of them. i do know that i want my grandma to feel better [she has pneumonia] and that i am looking forward to seeing her next week.

i am searching. i hope to be back to regular programming shortly. i am sorry to have missed this weeks corners of my home!


spt 21 Originally uploaded by dressform.

my mother and i on our wedding days.

i have always LOVED the photos of my parents from their traditional japanese wedding. they are so formal - mysterious.... my parents look so young - and so wonderful in the amazing elaborate outfits!

i wasn't sure i was ever going to really get married [i say really because hubby and i have been together for eons.... i knew i would most likely grow old with him, just didn't know if it was ever going to be offical - and this was due to me - NOT him].

i love the contrasts in these two photos. how formal my mom is posed... right in the middle of the mediallion on the rug.... how i am leaning against a 1950's fridge.... this is pre-the ceremony [can you tell by all the tension in my hands!!] how my mom is in color and i'm in b/w. how she looks so serious and i'm cracking a nervous smile....

i love the fact that these types of rituals provide continuance in life.... even though the settings seem like they are on opposite spectrums of the earth i bet similar thoughts fluttered thru our heads.... i bet getting dressed was part of the aniticipation [although mom had more layers and more make up!].... in the end the day is a marker.... pre-marriage / post-marriage. in actuality the differences may be minute or gigantic - but the marker is there nonetheless....

more spt's here

drawing a day ~ week 21 Originally uploaded by dressform.

it's hard to believe i'm almost 1/2 way through this excercise... this week is so pale... it's also reserved. not sure exactly how that came about - but that's what i see....

the next couple of colors seem harder. i love brown, but i'm not really drawn to use brown in an artistic sense. after brown comes gray and black - which i'm actually curious to see - since i think they will really emphasize the line quality. a black doily.... gothic!

i got thru a stack of grading today. for my beginning design class.... dare i say i'm a bit hopeful? now if i can keep them motivated....

for a good cause
this little target is up for auction on ebay i gave it to fancy mag to help raise money for Megan Dooley's cancer treatment fund. it's a good cause. the bidding is starting at $25. you should go see what else they have if you don't have a hankering for my piece!

i'm a bit excited about the crab i am going to have for dinner.... so bye!

if i wish it hard enough will everything be OK? Originally uploaded by dressform.

it has been a rollercoaster of a last few days.... lack of sleep.... out of control client who has a penchant to use exclamation points to an extreme.... i feel like yelling that squeeky wheels do not always get the grease! battling sickness.... trying to get a feel for my classes. trying not to seem like the neurotic spaced out inept being that i feel like!

some news i'd like to pass on regarding shanna of two trees .... go read the last post - generated by joy . shanna.... we are thinking of you in this most difficult time.... we miss you and await your return when YOU are ready to make an appearance! the whole idea of this community is that we are one... and thus you will have as much support from us as we can muster.... please take care of yourself and your family!!

on the flip side i have art that is going to be in 4 different venues soon.... it's hard to believe. i feel like this is such a bang-up art start to the year is the rest of it going to fizzle?? i hope not! i'll post here right before things in case anyone is interested.... there will also be info on the home page of my website....

duality. word of the week. being a libra i prefer balance, but i guess learning how to stand on one leg or on my head isn't all that bad....

oh! a few more why we blogs! yup! please be sure and email me [lisasolomondotcom AT gmail dot com] if i've left you out.

has anyone seen nine lives?? [the movie?] it seems like it's hitting right on the ordinary.... 9 vignettes - with an emphasis on the women in them.... i wish i went to see movies....

i leave you with a glimpse of the wall work in progress [i think i have it pretty much figured out. hip hip hooray]

wall work in progress

north west :: stairwell Originally uploaded by dressform.

nook #2 for amanda's corners of our homes.... details on the photo available here .

i'm so on the run... have to head to school.... my life = sieve :: time = water

spt 20 - and he swam and he swam Originally uploaded by dressform.

this came to me this morning as i woke up.... the little yellow fishey sits on my nightstand.... personal history part II

this is my grandma... the fish is standing in for me [and in case you didn't notice i'm swimming around her heart]. she used to bathe me in the kitchen sink with the fishy. and there was a song that went with the bath and the fish. about a mamma fishy and her babies... my favorite part was where "he swam and he swam all over the dam." then there was this really fun scat part where you'd sing oopp ooop bittam battam wattam chew - at least that's how i remember it..... maybe those were supposed to be real words, maybe not.... maybe i have it all wrong.... but i love my memory true or not.

more spt's here

drawing a day ~ week 20 Originally uploaded by dressform.

i don't even know where to start... i feel like i have so much and so little to say simultaneously.... is this in the air? is this the new year squeezing in and pushing out the old?

this weeks drawings. the last green. the almost black green.... so dark that it almost seemed like a pencil line when i put it down.... but not exactly.

to answer the question about the backside of embroidery.... i "discovered" it's beauty quite by accident. i had been embriodering a figure into a painting and got sick of looking at the painting - so i turned it to the wall.... and then i saw all these threads. dangling. tangled. revealing the "other" side of the figure's nature. i held my breath and just knew that i needed to do more. it was my foyer into figurative work [had stayed away with a vengance prior]. when i started i also had some simple goals... to learn how to embroider - different stitches, patterns, tensions, threads.... so i would concentrate on making the front "right" and try not to peek at the back... i now kind of know what the back [as front] is going to look like based on what kind of stitch i use.... now i'm more interested in mixing the use of front and back... at least in the drawing.... for the me the metaphor of the backside is just so compelling. i like the idea of looking at what you don't normally. [see?? the ordinary is making another appearance]

which kind of leads me to: been thinking a lot about art vs. design. is there a vs.? are they they same? i think they are definitely intertwined. when does something cross a line though? when it's personal? are the self-portraits more "art" than these drawings? [although this may be a bad example since i see the drawings as more of an exercise] i know that nebo this has been on your mind as well. do we want an answer? is there one?? is it a "gut feeling"? i can't over the thought that there's some internal response that we feel when we "get" something - when it speaks to us... is that what makes art? does all art need to have concept? [THAT'S a can of worms!] i always try to tell students that formal issues can be your content.... i DO really believe that. but does it really hold up in the "art world"? sometimes i think yes wholeheartedly and sometimes it feels like there is a hierarchy. some work gets bonus points for conceptualism.....

so..... my list of wishes/goals/hopes for last year?
:: remember to bring your own tote bag to the grocery store. not that the free paper bags with handles aren't useful - because they ARE - but I don't need 30 of them under my sink! OK i didn't do so good on this one.... i did it sometimes, but often forgot. this one still applies for sure!
:: get over the fear of submitting your work to galleries/non-profits and start doing a little bit of self-promotion (OK, realisitically I won't get over that fear - but perhaps I can shove it into the back of the closet as I attempt to send some packets out)
i did a bit better in this department. i bookmarked a lot of sites.... goal this year it to actually mail more things off.... this wasn't a total dud, but it still applies!
:: research some galleries/non-profits/residencies/grants to help you do the above and the REALLY apply/submit to the ones that look good!! (perhaps repitition helps to conquer fear)
:: spend more time in the studio with less or NO guilt. (the last part is the crucial point) I CAN be an artist by profession (even if I'm not making a lot of $$ at it). It is what makes me feel the most complete and satisfied and the dishes can get done at the end of the day instead of at the beginning.
i actually DID get over the guilt... now i just want to spend more TIME - separate issue, but....
:: look for and apply for more teaching jobs/pools. you can't get hired if people don't know you want the job.
well.... i didn't really apply for many more, but so far what i've been doing has been pretty steady. still need to apply for things as they come up. for sure
:: make frothy milk lattes every morning for myself (I have been doing this and it is such a great way to start the day - it somehow makes that cup of coffee not just the necessary jolt to start the day but a luxurious perk)
SO did this one... and am keeping it up!
:: read more fiction
:: read more art theory
these still apply!
:: buy a new computer

so for this year?
:: take better and MORE pictures [see i get to slip in the D50 wish again]
:: learn to say NO. N.O. mean it when you say it. don't take on ANY more freelance clients. NONE. until you are completely finished with the too many that you have now.[not that i want to seem ungrateful for the ones i have - but i feel too stretched. not a good feeling]
:: make more time for family and friends
:: streamline the computer usage. it is not an appendage that you need to be connected to 24/7 like your heart or your mind or your liver.....
:: take risks. just take them.

if you are still with me... i leave you with something i've been enjoying david byrne radio . it's fun to listen to someone else's playlist... this month is a take on country..... [no garth brooks here!]

happy new year - yet again! if you haven't signed up already.... you really ought to :)

more why we blogs too!

north west :: living room Originally uploaded by dressform.

i have succumbed to the fact that once you take a break it is incredibly difficult to get back to your normal mode of working. i feel like i'm training for a marathon. the marathon of life [see my brain is so smushy it's liking corny metaphors]. how exactly did i used to get everything done??

amanda had this excellent idea to document corners of your house. [can i be dorky again and say how cool is it that we now have digital cameras and flickr and can follow thru on these whims and fancies?]. it's supposed to happen on thursdays, but heck for me it still feels like thurs.... :)

above is the north west corner of our "new" living room.... i still want to post pictures of our room switch - just haven't gotten to it yet - so this is a tease.... here is the info on what you see....

i should be working so am going to keep this short.... this is spreading like wildfire, but....

come on - we can win PRIZES!! :)

there are a few more why we blogs for me to add, i want to answer the question about why the backside of embroidery for the piece in the last post... and there's that new year's hope list to attend to... i'm hoping to catch my breath this weekend. happy friday ya'll!

spt 19 Originally uploaded by dressform.

so personal history?? i love old photos. they almost always look cooler to me than newer photos. esp. the teeny tiny ones that have those deckled edges.....

instead of showing you an old photo i'm showing an art piece based on an older photo. it's a stretch, but it's what first came into my head. i had been doing "portraits" of random little girls in embroidery - funny hats, odd clothing.... always showing the backside [there's a long explanation for this, but i'll skip it for now] and always faceless because they were meant to be more anonymous and thus "everyone". i then started thinking that i should use the approach for myself - after all in some ways those girls were stand-ins for me.

on a trip home i gathered a bunch of wallet sized photos of me. year after year. i then embroidered them "life size" and i decided i couldn't leave out the features since it was ME. this is the only one of me with my parents.

i don't remember the photo session, but what's funny is i totally remember the shirt i'm wearing in it. it was pink w/ these little pink flowers. i loved it. and i have the requisite plastic head band on [i used to wear the one that was like wonder woman's headband on my forhead and pretend that i was her.... god i loved that. spinning around - throwing some sunglasses to the side and moving the headband from my hair to the forehead. voila. wonder woman]... you can see the whole series of these portraits on my website . other spt's here

so there you have it. started school today. 1st class is the best. yadda yadda yadda - GO! shortest class ever!

drawing a day ~ week 19 Originally uploaded by dressform.

day 2 of 2006.... feel any different?

drawings from last week. seems like i was really into the edges of the paper for 4/5 of them.... not sure why that was. maybe feeling out the margins??

so of course i've been thinking some more about the ordinary. the mundane. what happens day to day. i decided to read middlesex... i had to order it - it's on the way. if anyone would like to read along w/ me we can try that online bookclub idea. if you've already read it than feel free to contribute. i guess my plan is to start reading and then i'll blog about some point in the book and we'll "discuss"??? but i digress....

in waiting for middlesex i picked up encyclopedia of an ordinary life my gift from wendy by Amy Rosenthal. WHAM - miss rosenthal would believe in the coincidence. she talks about the randomness of life, but how when you interested in or thinking about something it manages to pop up in your face - for her it was marshmellows :) [anke, this is kind of like what you were saying about how being interested in something defines that moment in time]. so here i am really thinking about the ORDINARY what moves you in small ways. how can i document it? should i stop typing so many words and start posting more images [would this justify a D50 purchase? heh heh]? why can a chipping pedicure be beautiful and sad and meaningful if placed in the right context? in EOL she talks about things just clicking. we've all felt that. when something is just right. it's inspiring... the earth shifts ever so slightly. and often it's then gone. so we hunt for it again. or we revisit that something to see if it still has that hum to it....

this is what i'm searching for right now. in the small, in the large, in the sole of my shoe, in my brain.... wherever it may be. is this why i'm facinated by lists? in a 1950's kid's diary i found? more on this to come i'm afraid....

3 little kitties

the first CRAFT of 2006 [ok finished in 2005]! from one of my many japanese craft books. from this page.

there are more why we blogs!

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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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