Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

southpark play Originally uploaded by dressform.


taking a cue from ali i took my polaroid with me the other day... hence the window shot and the shot above.... while lugging my BIG bag around i was thinking about how and why i got more interested in this whole photography thing. i mean, yes... i have always been visual - but no... i would never have thought of myself as a PHOTOGRAPHER. i still don't - but the idea of me as photographer is creeping its way into my mind. {like a slow moving virus}

i think what interests me most about the photographic process is that it's an opportunity to re-FRAME something. i spent alot of time thinking and talking about framing in grad school {and not the picture frame kind of framing - heh heh}. it's like putting things into another context. highlighting something... making you notice something that you didn't. an altering of perception. along with the suspending time, capturing a moment thing [i think i need to go and re-read susan sontag's "on photography" and barthe's "camera lucida". any other suggestions??]

so i definitely want to talk about artemesia some more... i'm stuck at about 1/2 way - haven't had much time to read it since vacation... anyone else have any thoughts? where are you in the book?? {if you are reading it}

i'm sitting and waiting for a studio visitor to arrive. this always makes me antsy. i've re-hung stuff... cleaned up a bit... and now i just wait and wait and wait [can't really manage to get anything else done]

if you are bored - visit the world's smallest website

and if you are in a shopping mood:
new underdog

i've updated ye olde shoppe . i'm offering free gift wrapping for a spell... and remember all bloggy friends get 10% off... just email me [ -at-] and i'll send you a special paypal invoice....

have a good weekend!! my dream is to get some gardening done... not sure how feasible that is, but...

south park window Originally uploaded by dressform.

so first off i can not believe how kind all the comments were to the last post. wow. wow. wow. thank you. each one brightened my day and made me smile a bit wider....

i've been thinking a lot about that saying "when a door closes a window opens" {it goes something like that - at least in my mind}.... when i got back from my trip there was a nice fat rejection packet from something that i really knew i wasn't going to get, but thought wouldn't it be great if i did? {there was a really nice stipend that came w/ this particular award}. so i kept thinking.... well rejections often make way for something else... and i kept thinking about timing... and luck.... and then a few days ago i got a call from a curator asking me to be part of this show where i was one of 15 "emerging" artists chosen from 200+.... what is most exciting {and SCARY} is that they are giving us carte blanche with the space... so i'm thinking another wall work is in my near future.... something paler and quieter?? something that goes over a wall? maybe onto the floor???? so that was my window opening....

i just got back from after modern where i will be in a show in sept. I'm excited ... i really like the other artists in this show and now i have a better idea of how much space i have to fill and what i might want to do....

summer school starts on monday! eek. am i ready? syllabus - check. reader - dropped off at the copiers... keys? have them... oh! have to take the supplies there ! i think i have 10 students signed up at the moment - but there may be a few who want to add? i like smaller classes. i feel like i can tailor things to the students when there are fewer of them... plus going on field trips is easier!

mylissa over at hello charles [and who also is responsible for the amazing lucky dip art swap ] has an interview with me posted if you are interested. i'm not sure i answer questions so well - but i like the idea of answering questions... i really do!

i leave you with:
orchid detail

a drawing for a trade with a flickr friend. she wanted something blue/green and nature-esque.... i don't think she reads my blog, but in case i'm only posting a detail.... hopefully she'll like it!


i just realized that this month marks my blogging for 2 years. gulp. this blog seems to no longer just be about me and my whims or as a means to inform my family of my comings and goings. if anyone 2 years ago had told me that the internet could foster real and meaningful, true and deep relationships i would have scoffed and laughed a hardy har har in their face. but lo and behold.... whoever and wherever you are out there... for those i know really well, those who just stop by silently, and everyone in between... i thank you. from the bottom of my heart. i grew up an only child and while i never felt lonely or deprived i always wondered what it would be like to have a sibling. and now i feel like i have many of them. all over the world. like minds and like hearts. your support and encouragement has kept me going many a time when i thought i might call it quits. thank you for motivating me, for writing and making YOUR hearts out - for your inspiration, ideas, feedback.... for making me laugh, for making me think...and also for sending me things....

mail is good. mail is great... here is my mail of late!

trim swap
bara hosted a round robin trim swap.... what i received from belinda did you SEE the cute little pouch??

card society
are you a member yet?

lovely goodies from natalie :: get yours here

from craftapalooza
thank you nicole your taste in music is fantastic, and the cuff is so darn cute i can't stand it!

vegas and venice
goodies from christine {who i think is on a personal mission to give me a big head - she flatters me so}. she painted me in my pink coat {hee hee - did i tell you she has a great sense of humor?} ... get your own monster coloring book in her shop

jellyfish Originally uploaded by dressform.

so i'm kind of feeling like a jelly fish today [above is the one from the aquarium at cony island]. i actually GOT sleep last night, but am feeling a bit overwhelmed... there are things to plan for [more on this later] and next week is my last week of full studio time until class starts on july 3rd. gulp. i awoke the other night with my heart racing and my mind saying "exactly HOW did you think you'd be able to pull all of this off? shows, teaching, family, friends, clients?? you're insane". i think i just have to put my head down... and get ready to use every waking moment to my advantage. to be present - so even while i'm resting, or eating, or talking or making... BE PRESENT in the moment.

so the rest of the trip pictures are up on flickr here . we had this amazing day in cony island . i had never been and it was really fun. the 99 cent museum has some amazing artifacts. made me wish i had a time machine to go back to the 20's and 30's. there was a hotel shaped like an ELEPHANT. i kid you not. how cool is that? and the cyclone? well... it really is scary. i think the fact that it creeks and groans and may possibly break while you are on it adds to the fear factor [that and the fact that a woman behind us screamed the WHOLE time : "this is not safe!!! this is not safe!!!"] we all got off walking crooked. warning - that first drop is wicked!

we also spent some time in boston/cambridge. that's where hubby is from and part of why i really started thinking more about place. i mean i really like boston for numerous reasons - the architecture is cool - history is all around you... the seafood [side note - if you go to cambridge there's a place called alive and kicking on putnam street where you can get a lobster sandwich that is AMAZING!].... but place changes when you have memories that flood your mind... that was where we used to ride our bikes... that was where we swung from trees... i'm starting to liken it to layering. layers of meaning and intent and emotion [something i think a lot about in art].

shari brought up place and music. so true. venues make all the difference in the world when seeing something live.... so then all the senses come into play. sight, smell, sound, touch, taste... does one dominate? certain places have more of a tie to one - and certain people remember things differently, yes? i mean my mom can remember what she's eaten on practically every vacation where as my dad would be more likely to remember an event or a visual thing like a sunset or concert or museum.

i promise to catch up w/ my mail goodies in the next few days. the mail has been ultra kind to me of late... but for now it's back to work. it's take your dog to work day [tonka and garb are at my feet]- i'm listening to the multitude of CD's from the music swap and working in the studio. practically perfect!

a few more of my fav images from the trip and that will be the end of that!

motonmy rocks park
my version of camilla's photo


in the hancock

more buoys


school bus

quitely Originally uploaded by dressform.

have you ever been to a quaker wedding? i hadn't either. this is the inside of the quaker meeting house in manhattan where the countess got married to her prince. there is something really appealing about the starkness of the architecture accented by the incredible reds.

you really shouldn't encourage me... more photos from the trip here . and believe it or not there are MORE... cony island, a few straglers, and massachusetts to come. you'll be groaning by the end of this - i promise!

jessica made an incredible comment to the last post The sense of place...where does it come from?I just got back from a trip to San Francisco. I felt like I really belonged there. Loved the artsy big city thing. But why do I feel belonging there more than say, in New York? Was it a western thing, having grown up in Idaho? I don't know, but that sense of place thing has got me thinking too. People definitely play a big part-- maybe even define it because they create the place. Or does the place create them? . chicken and the egg?? i mean new yorkers are definitely new yorkers [more concerned about status... old money... better informed on culture and the arts]. bostonites? hey buddy it's wicked pissa. nature vs. nuture? how do they work hand in hand in terms of place.....

so... my big manhattan experiences? definitely a highlight was the white on white show at the the folk art museum . one of my favorite spaces of all times. this was pretty much my only art experience this trip - amazing for me but true! my only day to wander around was monday when everything art related is pretty much closed...

purl soho display
purl patchwork
. when lisel made her incredible craft store list and blogged about purl... i knew i had to go. uh... it's better than you think. and the woman working was so sweet. lisel we talked about how cool you and your scalloped skirt was... were your ears burning?? i did get out of there w/ only a scant 2 yards of fabric... will share that soon.

AND... flying A . how did i not know of this place before?? great collection of airline bags. sigh....

the amazing lisa bird in hand
lucky girl that i am - i got to see lisa c's show WITH her last night... you know... photos are great... and looking at art through photos is better than nothing but gosh seeing work in person is one MILLION times better. the scale, the textures, the nuances all shine. i think the people in the salon thought i was really funny as [being short] i gazed upward making laps around and around. i found something new to discover each time i lapped.....

and miss lisa? well.... she has such power.... she is so straightforward and honest and i love that. it is easy to sit an talk about hopes and dreams and art with her. she also completely lights up when she smiles. it's almost blinding. and yeah - she's the coolest dresser.... i can't wait to spend more time with her.

lisa c's cool green shoes


and because this must be a marathon post... a few more trip pics:
chelsea piers part deux


green girl and theboy
i got to see wenders and her boy... {but he'll come kill me if i say anymore :) } i wish i had been able to see her for longer... and stay for renegade . in fact, i wish i had enough time to see several more people, but alas, not this trip....

bye bye bouquet

swap stories

OK - enough already.... more soon! happy wednesday!


see, i told you... buildings and sky! in the hopes of not completely overwhelming you with such images, i've decided to upload my vacation pics in smaller groups.... part one now available in here

i'm still having some trouble finding words, but this trip was a bit different than my usual east coast / NY trip. for starters i spent the LEAST amount of time in manhattan proper ever... i did get to go - more on this later, but ultimately this was more of a suburban trip.... i spent time in bergenfied, NJ; long island city, williamsburg and cony island, peekskill, NY; and holden, MA [although we did spend 1.5 days in boston....] it is interesting to see how people push themselves out of populated areas and how once boondock towns now flourish as the masses leave to claim a stake of land as their own [oh and whole foods follows... yup!]

the other thing that was really strange was that we spent a lot of time in a CAR.... in NY - which just seems CRAZY to me, but it was how it all ended up happening. not only just riding in a car as a passenger, but also driving !! yes !! it was a bit nervewracking, but also exhilerating![is this why people jump out of planes?] the thing about being in a car is that the landscape looks so different - don't you think? maybe that's why i kept pointing the camera at the passing scenery. it's different than walking because it's stationary, but moving simultaneously. the trees and anything in fron of you wizzes by, but you have moments to stare at things in the distance. i think i'm like a dog when i'm in a car. if i thought it was safe i would probably hang my head way out the window, squint my eyes and take it all in - the smells, the sounds, the rush of moving [or not if you are stuck in traffic. that happened too]

so granted i am lucky to live in an area that has older architecture [they just don't build em like they used to], but there is something so amazing about how much older some things are on the east coast [esp. in boston - where you definitely feel the "founding fathers"]. the infrastructure is different, the fire hydrants are cooler....

the air, the breeze, the sky the clouds... although similar also are different. we ran into a dumping thunder storm one night. the streets looked like rivers - in the span of 1 hour it had come and gone. it sounded louder than rain near my house [and believe me we experienced rain this spring]. so all of this got me to thinking.... what is it about being out of your element that makes you look more? what determines a sense of place? is it the people? the architecture? both? if you were blindfolded and dropped somewhere, how would you know where you were? and light. how can it be that it feels so different in different places? it can get warmer in tone as well as temperature. it can illuminate or blind you. it can be flitered through clouds, it moves, it tracks time for us... none of this is new information of course, but it's definitely what i was thinking about as i walked and drove around.... any thoughts????

a few more of my favorite pics of round 1:

best corn muffins ever
best corn muffins i have EVER tasted. worth a trip back.

croquet anyone?
we played croquet!

west side highway
from the westside highway.

tomorrow i go to see lisa c's show with her... excited much? YES! so that report, plus more vacation pics [it's OK you can groan - at least i'm not forcing you to watch a slide show of my trip] and a catch up on mail goodies [i'm dreadfully behind here] hopefully all this week. [did i just type that?]

to manhattan Originally uploaded by dressform.

wow. hello. a week plus. a short and long time simultaneously. how is that possible??

and my oh my did i miss some major blog happenings... the color week brought to you by p2p and stephanie .... um do you guys know how awesome your pictures are? as i caught up with all 495 blog entries today [yup - see what happens when you miss a week] i was bombarded by all the amazing photos.

the funniest interview ever. is there any doubt why we all love hillary and amy ? smart alecs + make amazing things.... duh.

plus abigail joins whip-up and anke and poppy return. wow. i'm kind of feeling like i shouldn't leave the house.

i am on some crazy unreal time schedule. i couldn't tell you what time it was if my life depended on it. above is a shot from the taxi on the way to chelsea pier to meet up w/ host #1 of our travels. the whole trip in pictures seems to be about architecture and landscape. i can't believe how many shots i took of buildings. buildings and sky. buildings and sky. like a broken record i was.

but more on this later.... when hopefully i will have a shred of cognition. if i forget [highly likely] - remind me to try and synthesize thoughts on "place" and "light".... and artemesia... it took me a minute to get rolling, but then how can you not get involved in 17th century rome? politics, woman painter, intrigue, torture?? yeah, i'm hooked.

missed you all... only slightly less than i missed the pets.....xo

mended target 2 Originally uploaded by dressform.

almost there.... have to pack... have to sweep.... make a list for the house-sitter... water garden... do math and post grades... mail out some stuff..... nicole , nichola , alison .... your goods will go out upon my return ~ i still want to flush out your packages so.... hopefully you will all feel it's worth the wait. also some of you music swap folks... i got to about 1/2 of you.....and here's a good cryptic message for certain folks :: book people {not truth} i'm going to a bit late w/ passing it on.... sorry..... it goes to a certain pacific northwest ukelele player next.

above is my present for the countess.... going to her wedding on saturday actually.... i know she isn't checking blogs so it's safe to post. when i told her my idea about mending targets she got the whole thing immediately. sparked this whole conversation about what mending actually is....

this trip is going to be a little bit crazy. i think i might nick name it the movin' on trip b/c we don't really settle anywhere for very long.... i want to take lots of photos.... hopefully that will happen {i was even contemplating taking a polaroid camera, but i'm not sure how much room there will be in my luggage}

so ~ so long for now.... i'll miss you all in cyber space. no drawings for a few weeks.... hopefully i'll have good stories upon my return.... and i'm excited that a few of you might read artemesia with me!! i leave you with a shot of my peek a boo pink hair:

see the pink?

mom in hammock w/ garbo Originally uploaded by dressform.

i need a push that's what my mom would say {in a very cute voice} every 5-10 minutes as she sat in our hammock. hammocks are so relaxing. i think everyone should have one. it's really hard to worry about things when you are perfectly situated in a hammock. i put one in my studio when i was in grad school {the bright colored mexican kind - with out wood supports} so that i could escape from it all when i needed to. smartest thing i ever did. i had a great visit with my folks.... good food... good company.... all my dishes washed..... we actually got to meet robert lang . quite fun. his origami pieces are even more stunning in person....

drawing a day ~ week 37

this weeks drawings... oh is that orange bright, or what? i like the idea of a brightly colored background.... i'm still struggling with how and where to add color.... the first one has those e-bay stencils again. i am loving those. i'm thinking that they might have to become a t-shirt at some point.... the 3rd is my watercolor drawing of the white orchid given to us.... the doily drawing this time turned into a chair... i was looking for a bed and then this chair stopped me in my tracks. does anyone have doilies on their furniture anymore?? i wonder if i can singlehandedly bring that back into vogue... heh heh.

since i keep talking about all the grading i've been up to - i thought i'd actually show you:
this is what grading looks like

sketchbooks from my painting class. i can only hope that a few of them really get the bug and keep the skethbook going. i wish i kept mine up - but i kind of feel like the drawing a day is my substitute.... for now....

and since i can't get enough of the cute pet shots:

chini using a pot as a pillow.... [he's not as discerning as tonka]

for those of you who had some backyard/floral questions - i attempted to answer them in the comments section of the last post.... i will try to post again before the mad dash of our trip.... speaking of which... dad brought me a great book to read... artemisia a novel about one of the first recognized women painters... i'm starting on thurs when we fly out... anyone want to join me?? i really need to make a list.... do you get into a frenzy before you go on a trip? i do...

outside corner Originally uploaded by dressform.

quick quick quick... class is furiously painting... i'm taking a quick break. critique on tuesday..... oh the pressure the pressure....

above... an outside corner for amanda's corner's of my home. flickr group here . it was a perfect weekend to sit outside and BBQ.... i graded outside... woo hoo!

i leave you with things that have caught my eye... my parents are coming to town tonight.... looking forward to seeing them and spending time.... have a great weekend everyone!

peek a boo orchid

hello flowers hello feet

red spout

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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