Lisa's Musings

there's little i control



big thanks ohbara! Originally uploaded by dressform.

so apparently we broke some record up here - only 3 or 4 days with out rain this month. there was sun for all of about an hour this morning and so i hastily snapped a pic of me in my FABULOUS new skirt [yes you may all be jealous] made by eireann of ohbara fame! thank you! can't wait until i can wear it w/out jeans underneath.... soon soon soon [this is more like a prayer now instead of a wish]

i am pretty tired today. there is something about that first week of school. the testing of water... trying to get a feel for personalities... being "on".... blabbering... trying to be somewhat entertaining and yet serious enough at the same time.

but... i did end up in the studio this afternoon. GASP [a whole afternoon!]. it has been so long... trepidation... but then... it all came back. my old trick of leaving something for me to finish actually worked - in this case it was something to start, but i had laid the plan prior....
target

part 1 of a six panel target piece. yup. 6 panels.... it's the pekinese stitch and i don't know if you can tell but the colors are slightly varigated... light to dark... i think this actually might work. [gasp again!] photo courtesy of my phone!

tomorrow is the last day to sign up for the music swap so if you were on the fence.... come on... join us on the dark side....

and i've been thinking alot about taste - every morning in the shower. not the taste that appears in your mouth - but the kind that lives in your head.... more on this next week....

have a great weekend... oh! i almost forgot... miss hula added a submission to why we blog [link to the whole list on left there]... she's a wordsmith... you should check it out! and..... i'm excited b/c a bird is coming to my studio tomorrow!!


bad hair Originally uploaded by dressform.

found this today at the *new* paper-source store that opened in berkeley. yes, i am giddy with glee over having a paper-source on my side of the bay. i think i must have emailed them 5 times asking them to open on 4th street.... and they did! right next to anthropologie... oh so dangerous! the book is belated birthday present for a friend so i won't get to continually have a good giggle at it.... but it's good to share the laughter, right?

i finished devil in the white city!! i know abby you did and lisa you did too.... anke ? was anyone else reading along? i know several of you already read it.... but anyway. what a good read! i really loved the good ambition vs. the dark ambition.... the creation of this "white" city amidst chaos... the extreme pressure balanced by elaborate victorian manners [those menus!!]. i also liked knowing a bit more about olmstead - the guy who designed central park.... i couldn't read through the part with the detective trying to track down holmes' last moves fast enough. what a sick but completely spell-binding man [and when i finally saw that photo of him - THAT was handsome???].... i wish that erik larson wrote all my history books growing up.... maybe i'd actually remember something other than the founding fathers and the 3 branches of government....

well peeps... do we want to do this again? i have really liked the whole book club thing [and no, i didn't get around to the memebership cards... not for lack of thinking.... perhaps it will still happen?]. any thoughts on another book?? anyone? anyone??

and.... 2 more days left to sign up for the music swap... get those CD burners ready.... [gosh i wish mixed tapes were still vogue]


drawing a day ~ week 29 Originally uploaded by dressform.

i can't believe classes start tomorrow.... sigh.... time has once again eluded me and slipped away leaving me with my pumpkin and one little slipper....

i went all over the place this week in the drawings... busted out the spirograph again... [and if you want to see the coolest spirograph ever see craftlog's post....] re-visited paint chips [why are they always so darn inviting. what is it about a chip of paper with a value scale of hues???] made a stamp for the doily this week. am thinking about using the stamp for the larger versions of the doily drawings i have bubbling in my little brain....

sunshine from a gallon
the new dining room..... buttery yellow. it is so nice and warm. even when it got dark and dreary and started to rain [yes again. i think that mother nature should know it's time to quit when our front lawn has ceased to be anything but a swamp!]

since i am on the west coast i am late to participate in port to port's show us your art! but here it is:
katherine sherwood
a painting by katherine sherwood . my former teacher at uc berkeley who was my mentor. after completing my undergrad degree i worked for her for a spell [i used to print litho prints that she used in the paintings... amongst other office/studio things] and now i consider her a friend as well.... she has been an amazing influence on me as a working artist. she was one of the first to show me what dedication to art - both intellectually and spiritually - really meant. she completely and utterly validated being an artist in this society [don't get me started on art in our society!] her story is incredible. she suffered a stroke in her late 40's which ultimately changed her work immensely [she lost the use of the right side of her body and had to learn to paint lefthanded]. she started to gain notority and was written about in the wall street journal.... cbs sunday morning did a piece on her [they beat out 60 minutes]... not to mention receiving the pollock/krasner grant as well as a guggenheim award.... AND she was included in the whitney biennal [yes THE show on american art!] a few years back.... none of this changed her - as a person she is incredibly generous and thoughtful. as an artist she is completely dedicated to her research and practice. her work constantly and continually amazes me. the above painting was our wedding gift.... sigh....

it was quite hard to choose what art to show as i am so so lucky to have pieces from artists that i admire so much.... including so many of you out there.... maria , natalie , aurora , mati , and quite recently maditi - who i have wanted to thank publically for trading me some photos!! i'm looking forward to something from abigail , from ohbara , and hopefully soon from lisa , and wendy [though i haven't even mentioned my idea to her].... there is NO WAY to possibly list all the other lovely trades that have filled my mailbox and made me so happy! thank you to EVERYONE who has traded with me.... and big thanks to those who have sent random bundles of kindness! it's a lovefest over here today!!!


toycar_winter Originally uploaded by dressform.

but i'm still feeling a bit of hibernation. don't you hate that feeling at the end of your "time off" when you realize that what you have left is so finite?? i don't really want to look at my rosters for my classes - or gather the supplies to do the demos.... i AM happy to be teaching beginning painting this quarter. and my design class is beginning too. there is something about students at the start of their journey. i like the wide-eyed look. not that there isn't something to be said for the dialogue possible with more advanced students, but there's this tinge of "the new" - an excitement when a door opens that i really like watching. let's hope it happens this quarter!!

maria spent the whole week reflecting on heroines. an idea i like very very much. funny thing was the other night hubby and i watched a ken burns documentary on the suffragists . how cool is elizabeth cady stanton?? [susan b. anthony is great too - but i'm not so fond of her collaboration with the more conservative - read prohibition - faction of the women's movement.] ms. stanton, though? so ahead of her time. so brilliant. i kept wanting to yee haw at her quotes.... and then i started to think about how women today really do take the vote for granted. it seems to many that many are satiated at "our" [womens] position in the world and how it still seems to me like true equality doesn't exist. i don't want to get on a soap box, but i was happy to return to my women's studies roots.... i think i will have to seek out some more info on ms. stanton.

above is another pairing from my recent polaroid play. i'm actually wondering what i'll be looking at as the season changes.... more sun! yay!

the living room is almost put back together.... curtains hung, furniture back in place.... need to hang some more art and arrange some knick knacks....

and anke i am actually almost done w/ your potholder!! can you believe it?? having time off is GREAT! BTW - just a week left to sign up for the music swap! on a funny side note... i think it's ALL women participating :) happy weekend everyone!!


gram and lil Originally uploaded by dressform.

ok andrea . scored this [well the photo of it] in LA... this is my grandma and her best friend [who later became her sister in law too]. how grand is this?? love the hats, the smiles.... everything about this is just good. gram - i hope you don't mind my sharing.... :) someday i'd like to tell you some really great stories about my gram... in the same vein as andrea [man does she tell a mean story]... but today i am at a loss for good words... so another time!

so we've been painting the living room.
painting
a sunny yellow w/ a gold yellow in the little alcove... it looks so much cleaner and brighter than before. but ugh my neck is sore from painting the darn ceiling... i promise more pics upon completion.

go go go and check out this cool!!! photoshop brush set ... via sugar loop - thanks sugar loop!
[thought immediately of you jan ]


wee bunny Originally uploaded by dressform.

so... i could get used to this almost doing nothing bit. so far we have watched walk the line, hustle and flow and TV [sopranos, the new show big love.... it's really good. my favorite line - we polygamists are the new homosexuals.... heh heh]. i think i must be getting pickier about movies... both the above were OK but not great. walk the line made me want to drag out every last johnny cash record that hubby owns and play them... but it felt like a snippet made for TV moment of his and june's life [although i do really like her!]... and hustle and flow really reflected the MTV aesthetic that helped to produce it. if terrance whatever his last name was - wasn't such a good actor that movie would have fallen a part. [may i just ask WHY john singleton always makes the fairy tale ghetto movie??].

thanks to ms lang i constructed this bunny [you might have already gandered it on flickr]. it's the perfect gift for a new baby. now i just have to mail it. of course mine is wonky and not as perfect as hilary's - and i flipped the ears around - just because.... but what a great pattern . so simple and good. what i really want to make?? check THIS out! i can't stop thinking about that hippo... maybe i can tempt hillary with something in exchange for that pattern.... hmmm

so... i don't know how far you guys have gotten in the book... have you read about the INSANE "we have to beat the eiffle tower" ideas yet? or the one that actually got picked? [i loved the build up to that]. do we need to set a due date to finish by???

OK... i'm going back to being lazy. i am so unmotivated. it's funny. but what the heck? i go back to the grind soon enough.... i do have some new polaroids... and new japanese craft goodness... must photo..... but the couch calls.... maybe tomorrow??? zzzzzzz


drawing a day ~ week 28 Originally uploaded by dressform.

i thought i was going to announce a mini-vacation from the drawings... IF things had gone according to plan we'd be in a car driving our little hearts out to new mexico.... but hubby got the flu. bad.... and thus our vacation away is turning into vacation of movie watching at home! i'm a little sad [was looking forward to really playing with the camera], but also slightly relieved [long drive]. so instead... one week of rest and maybe some house projects. [living room still needs to be painted]

didn't go too crazy w/ pics in LA.... here are two from the freeway [so LA] the first one is my attempt to make the traffic disappear [you can see it better on flickr]

go away traffic

power lines

so.... karen crustacean was EXCELLENT! i had halibut [served w/ tomatoes, onions and mushrooms in a brown sauce that wasn't just soy/ginger] and shared garlic noodles w/ my pop. the garlic noodles are really amazing there. i'm not sure how they infuse so much garlic goodness into chow mein noodles.... and the lobster/mago salad was pretty amazing too. part of what is so nice about that place is the ambiance. the interior is unusual [lots of teak wood and asian screens] and there's the koi pond that you get to walk over [literally - it has thick plexi so you walk on top of this mini stream]....

uh... where was i?? this week's drawings... i sort of like the flow of the week... back and forth between minimal and layered. couldn't make up my mind.... wendy thanks for letting me steal your wings!!!

oh! the other reason i was in LA was to help celebrate the opening of my friend's gallery: the walter maciel gallery . this has been his dream for such a long time [we used to work together eons ago]. i am so so happy for him! [and if you care - i designed his logo :) ]

the purple people

the funniest moment was when these purple people showed up. yeah. in purple from head to toe! jan, unfortunately the alphabet show was not open for me to check out! so instead we went to mitsuwa . japanese snack heaven!!

oh! the other thing i'll do this week is read! getting into white city pretty hard. it's funny how it made me realize that i take elevators for granted! and dr.holmes.... eeeeeewwwwwww and he hasn't even done anything yet. i keep reminding myself that this is a TRUE story....


daisy dishes Originally uploaded by dressform.

hi there.... above more playing with the new camera [and pairings. i'm hooked on them... so simple, but true... two images can mean something so different than just one....]

wow - response to music swap has been great!! very excited.... i can't quite get over how far and wide you all are from... australia, canada, scotland, germany.... all parts of the U.S. [many i've never visited!].... i'm loving the idea of CD's travelling around the globe [poetic, yes?!]

i'm in LA for quick visit [i was going to say for today and tomorrow, it's already tomorrow!... gotta go to bed!!]

we had dinner at crustacean . if that isn't a treat i don't know what is... hopefully i'll have some pics to show of the trip down here [and hoping to go the the alphabet show!!]... didn't manage to really take many today.... g'night!


music swap Originally uploaded by dressform.

OK... we do love music don't we???

we're on.... here's the deal.... email me with your name... the address that you would like your CD shipped to... and your blog link [even if i already have it... and if you don't have a blog link feel free to substitute flickr link or any other link].

i'll collect your emails [and PLEASE email me again even if you commented in the last post - i'm doing a fancy filter/folder for this :)] and pull random matches out of a hat. i'll collect until April 1st... since there's no way for me to be a random participant, i'll bow out unless i'm needed to make the #'s even. that said, i will gladly accept copies of any CD's any of you make [heh heh - if you don't already have my address and want it... ask in your email. boy do i have an ulterior motive with this or what?].

i'll pick swaps by the 5th, notify you of your partners, and you'll have until the 20th to email your CD out. [this is all APRIL by the way] good??

general thoughts:

1. the content of the CD is entirely up to you.... please don't just copy a full album though... the idea is to try and make some sort of complilation. and try to make sure you list the artists/song titles somewhere so if something is new to your partner they can look for more!
2. please do not feel you must include or expect there to be any "extras" in your package. let's concentrate on the music! that said feel free to make your cover interesting [we are CREATIVE after all!]
3. please please please only sign up if you can really really send your CD out...
4. feel free to check out your partner's blog/site to get a feel for their personality
5. please post about the CD you recieved on your blog.

phew! how's that sound???

i changed my sidebar there on the left... those of you reading along - we start Devil in the White City today! please feel free to steal/use the music swap button from my flickr account and link to the post...


drawing a day ~ week 27 Originally uploaded by dressform.

so... after the dark black this week's ice blue was like a cold shock... the line was so minimal, so quiet... i almost didn't know what to do. so i stripped it down. there's almost nothing to these... quiet quiet quiet shhh... they are sleeping....

i'm in for quite a few weeks of blue. all different shades....

i am so talked out... 2 crits today. i can't even fathom looking at anything aesthetic and commenting. i think my eyes are crossed and my throat feels parched, even as i drink water.... i have to say i was really happy with my beginning design class. many of them put forth SO much effort. it was heartwarming to see. after class one of them said to me that my class was the hardest he's taken. that it had the most work, but he learned so much. i just melted...

tomorrow one more crit but then all that's left is the grading! i also found out that they have to give my 1 day a week class to a permanent faculty member [low enrollment in one of her classes]. i am SO RELIEVED! i'll have two classes - only on tues/thurs. YAY for me!!

i want to end with a quote from this article that eireann sent me.... "the work of art in the age of manual reproduction" by vik muniz [an artist i really admire]. there is so much to love about this article, but this just rang so true to me. he was talking about how we have experienced so much history through half-tone dots. and how he was using them in his work...

I had to make these dots myself so I could know what they meant. Re-creating the pattern with my hands made me think of how much information we acquire through these dots. The hands possess an intelligence of the world we no longer see; a world that was and continues to be made by the hands of industry..... One would think that an aritst with a lot of time on his hands would have twice as many good ideas as the one who is busy carving granite, but unfortunately the brain does not produce ideas from idleness

uh yeah. if only i could be so articulate!

the book! the book! we start in 2 days!!

and... i've been thinking a lot about what mav's post on music and how important it is and what our favorites might be... anyone up for a music swap?? i'd actually be willing to organize it... just throwing it out there. mixed CD's to a secret swap partner..... ????


look ma i can choose to focus Originally uploaded by dressform.

this was what was in my box.... i splurged... i went for it.... the big D50! good for my work, right?? [part of my justification] i was lucky enough to get a zoom lens... so far so good. there are so many settings i can't get over my choices. and the clarity .... mmmmm.... i had a dream that i was using photos in my art... that someone saw the polaroids and wanted to have a show of them [yes, wishful thinking but isn't that what dreaming is for??] i've been taking more polaroids too! i think it's because i'm feeling so OUT of my studio that i want to be doing something where i'm looking. something creative. something where i'm searching....

ranunculas yeah again

the ranunculas are starting to open... so wishing for spring... although i have to say this insane weather we are having is entertaining... hail, rain, sun, wind, thunder, lightening... snow in san francisco?!?! all in random order.... drawings tomorrow!


bird_ranunculus Originally uploaded by dressform.

it's not photobooth friday , but polaroid friday!

i've been playing with the polaroid land camera that we have.... i'm not even sure how it appeared in our life... for some reason i am very drawn to making pairings of polaroids. i like the idea of two images playing off of one another... to see my attempts thus far go here . i have been overwhelmed by the response of some of the photographers i really admire abee for one and maditi for another... i don't consider myself a photographer and so when real PHOTOGRAPHERS say they see something my tummy does a little spin and i start grinning from ear to ear. it's been one of those magical play moments for me... just finding small things around the house and trying to find the DETAILS in them. i keep telling my students that it's all in the details and i guess that mantra has been sinking into my own head.... [ah - this is why i love teaching!]

i am now really really sad that SX-70 film is no longer being made. DARN YOU polaroid!!

quick thing for those of you really into type [ jan you immediately come to mind!] there's a really cool show about hand drawn and experimental type called alphabet . it's in LA... maybe i'll get to see it next week when i pop down for 2 quick days??? hope so!

i'm feeling lucky today.... a box arrived and i have a new toy to play with [more on this after i get to play with it!] and i don't even seem to mind that i have to go to school today [5 days this week!] or that i have grading up to my forhead! happy friday!!!


vintage notions Originally uploaded by dressform.

first can i just say how much i love the word notion for its double entendre existence?

more of my score from the white elephant sale. may i ask why oh why did we have to switch from wooden spools to plastic for thread [i know i know... cost... but....]. i love wooden spools... they are so much nicer. weightier. lovlier to look at.

today for me is all about inspiration and trying to find it. esp. in the everyday... and so i direct you to a new blog happy mundane the title says it all....

night_hunter

thanks to my dad i discovered robert lang . yeah - you thought YOU were into origami. uh-huh. i am seriously in love with the moose .

triton cafe

you must visit this site. triton-cafe . speechless over the amounts of goodness

my dream chair

i want this chair. from anthropologie . yes. i'm addicted to them... and NO i can't afford it....

so... for those asking... garbo is doing much much better. although being on so much pred she is voraciously hungry [or as we say to her hung-a-ry]. she is licking cabinets and floors and shoes for any possible hint of flavor. but... neck seems to be much more stable. hurrah!

and.... we should all be starting devil in the white city come March 15th, K? few days away.....


drawing a day ~ week 26 Originally uploaded by dressform.

wow... the ritual is back. feels oddly familiar - like i'm having deja vu... oh yeah i used to blog about my week of drawings on mondays.... late... after class....

this set was definitely more of a struggle, but what also came back were all the thoughts about why i was doing this project in the first place. esp. this week when i don't think i'll have a spare moment to step into the studio. [other than to maybe pick something up/drop something off....] it was actually nice to have a "non" color... to really concentrate on the lines... the space. the bird one is the one that really hummed for me this week. just copying some funny etching of a bird... and then adding a crown. so silly. so simple... so my frame of mind at the moment. [what exactly does that say?]

so... i had to deal with not 1 but 2 counts of plagiarism with my students. i have NEVER had this happen before. as i was reading/grading my heart just sank. neither student is "bad" or problematic... but is there really any excuse for copying something WORD FOR WORD from a website [without siting credit]? did they think i wouldn't notice? the vocabulary and stylistic tone were completely different in the sections they actually wrote and the sections they blatently snatched. in a collegiate environment how would this ever seem appropriate. am i crazy? aaarrrrgggghhh

speaking of pirates :} did you see lisa's [bird] ship?? loved that.

and finally for your funny bone.... remember when i wore an e-collar? and then miss a did too??? well... they were on the RUNWAY. yes gaultier... just go see the boing boing reference....


office :: southwest corner Originally uploaded by dressform.

for corners of my home . i'm so happy we decided to paint the office charcoal gray. it's a tiny little space and so i like the dark color.... plus we have a lot of metal furniture in there so it's all matchy matchy :) you can click on the pic if you want to go to flickr and see all the notes i made....

trying to move onward thru the rest of this week. garbo so appreciates all the good vibes and kisses you sent.... it IS a neck thing. we're hoping that the giant doses of steriods and muscle relaxers we are now giving her will prevent the necessity of surgery. that and no more neck leashes, tug of war [sadness!] or funny fast jerky head movements of any kind.... paws crossed! and i'm trying to get thru my list.... i can't change what i can't change so instead i grade grade grade [there's still those taxes taxes taxes too]... with some drawing in between. it's been a bit rough getting back to it. i'm finding i have to chew on the pencil for a bit longer than i had to before my break.... but it's nice to be back in that routine. tomorrow... the dark doily.... heh heh

so... thoughts on talent that have resonated with me....

:: it's innate - waiting to be activated
:: it links up the heart, mind and eye
:: it's not something that can be quantified per se [it's like taste how do you define that?]
:: it's the ability to soak up different impressions and being able to convert them into some kind of art...painting, cooking, singing... maybe talent is a catalyst?
:: discipline and passion are also part of the equation... together they can become talent

hmmm. so if there's a will there's a way? one of my favorite teachers [quite well known and respected in the artworld] used to say something along the lines that he thought was a B artist, but because he had an A+ work ethic he was considered a B+/A- artist overall....

when i was at the CCA undergrad review i realized that the school was full of talent - recognizeable skill - but that all the work didn't exhibit "talent" [or longing, desire, interest, thought, passion] and i thought about how another friend likes to talk about her students that have facility [they draw or paint well - it comes easy to them]... i like that... because it doesn't discount the ones that don't have it so easy. they can still have talent, but lack facility.

can you nuture and thus further talent? can you over or under water it? can skill stand in [the idea of if you practice something hard enough??]? can you spread it too thin? or is it elastic, plyable, moveable, moldable?

got a bit inspired today... went to the hair raising show at the ICA this morning before school. whip-up just mentioned this show a few days ago too....

paula santiago
paula santiago . a lot her work uses her own hair and blood... creepy, but also captivating.

but what i really liked was this:
blanche ida hardy
a victorian hair crown.... yes... there is an eeeww factor, but it's also incredible crafted. such detail. such care.... i love when you have a simultaneous reaction like that - love/repulsion... curiosity/tinge of disgust.... that's good stuff to me!


My Photo
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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