Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

sweet dreams moe

hello all.... i didn't want to just disappear.... we said good-bye to moe today... so i am sure i am going to spend the next few days peering in the spots she used to sit and remembering what it felt like to sit with her and have her hold my hand and purr.... see you all soon....

end of summer

i love this time of year in the bay area. we always have an indian summer right about now... so it's warm and lovely and sunny... the tomatoes finish ripening and the anenomies go insane.... you can tell that fall is right around the corner [leaves are tinging orange and nights get a bit more nippy] but you get to put it off by wearing flip flops and throwing all the windows open for some last bits of fresh air!

i'm quite excited because my favorite entomologist is coming out this way.... and will even come to see the show "embroidered stories and knitted tales" at the bedford gallery . the opening is tomorrow from 3-5pm. i'm a bit less stressed about this opening because there are so so many artists in the show. and i know a few of them so i can hopefully just blend into the background.... although i still don't know what to wear... again... yes... sigh....

so on thursday when i went to meet and talk to all the docents i got to preview the show and golly gee is it really cool. there are a few artists that i've really loved for a long time [ stephen sollins , megan whitmarsh , mark newport ] and then a whole host of others that make simply amazing work. i'll go into more detail about some of them later, but.... it made me feel super honored to be a part of this continuum. listening to what insprired the other artists i really got to thinking about this whole ART and CRAFT thing. again. this is a constant for me - it is sort of always bubbling beneath the surface.... and it's risen to the top once again.

partially because i think i'm going to be writing a little article for kitchen sink on this topic [although after thursday i may change this into a conversation on the topic between myself and lacey jane roberts who is writing her thesis on this subject {gulp!}]. but mostly because i think this is an interesting time in which needle arts are "cool" and "fashionable". i know there are some of us who are doing it for reasons that hit close to home and our hearts, but it seems like every single gallery now has at least one artist on their roster that uses thread, yarn, or some kind of crafty material in their work. which ones of us are going to be using these materials 10 years from now when they aren't hip? and how do you decifer the good usage from the frivolous usage?

my friend sydney made an excellent point of well - there are millions of painters - do they all get upset when they see another painting? in the moment i said no... but now that i've thought about it - they sometimes DO when they see paint being used in the same manner that they are using it... of course no one owns the right to a style, or a material, or a color... but i find it fascinating that as artists and makers we tend to want to claim something as ours...

and as fate would have it... the american masters show on andy warhol aired this week. there were so many good tidbits in there. i especially liked how they talked about him disengaging - or splitting into 2 people. the public andy who seemed to not care and the private andy that was anxious . and i loved the idea of being a conduit -- a filter for ideas -- and an editor [he was a master at removing, selecting, and detailing - things that are so close to my own practice].... finally i really really loved the idea of making marks and that every mark can be infused with double or triple meanings. like language and emotions....

i think that's enough art babble for a saturday afternoon, no? have a pleasant weekend everyone!

tonka meets blue

tonka likes blue!

from a green girl

i came home to a package from the lovely wendy . i'm so lucky that she sent me BOTH a penguin and a small bird to hang out w/ livia .


don't they look cute in a basket??

i also made my own softie recently. i sent it off, but i've heard that it's arrived safe, so i feel like i can post about it now. i was really nervous about making it... alison makes such beautiful and detailed things.... to attempt to make a gift for such a talented maker is a bit daunting.... and i tend to be a lazy sewer. i don't like to pin, or press seams, or do any of the things you need to do to make something perfect. maybe if i had a room set up w/ the machine and the ironing board all set and right there... but i digress. for this project i really wanted to be careful. to attempt to channel my softie heros rosa , stephanie , and hilary .

i used the pattern from the cover of the book on the left [i did it a 80% instead of full size]:
new japanese craft books


so here she is.... i have several of YOU out there to thank for the fabric that i used in the patchwork... love that....

i had to go to the bedford gallery this morning to talk about my work to the docents there [since it's a city run gallery they have volunteers come in and work and give tours of the exhibitions]... i hate doing such things - but i loved hearing the other artists talk... [funny how that works, huh?] so much so that my mind is now spinning with thoughts and ideas. i hope to process them and share them shortly....

my name is lisa :: and i'm a coat addict

did you SEE alicia's ? wow. the polka dot one..... the red plaid?? i know i'm an addict because i'd get those in a heart-beat. no questions asked. when she claimed she had a problem she had no idea about me and my sorrid little secret. i rarely get rid of clothing. of anykind. i have to not wear something for years... and not have any sentimental ties to it for me to part with it. i am recovering from this... in fact i cleaned out the closet to get to all these coats [i'm taking a stack to the goodwill and giving a few things away! i swear!]. but i do really wear all of these [and the 2 i already revealed]. fondly. consistantly [ok - the capelet is something just to behold in wonder - but i'd wear it if i had the occasion! someone give me a reason!]. i really do find something so nice about having the perfect coat for an occasion. the coat to match my outfit... or just the perfect utilitarian coat....

so there... i have aired my dirty laundry [sorry can't help the pun]. and truth be told there are even a few more.... but goodness if i showed you ALL of them you'd REALLY think i was crazy, right? click on the image to go to flickr for a bit more of the inside scoop on the coats.... and don't get me started on shoes.... or sunglasses....

in other news.... shari pointed out that the book club has been on hiatus. she suggested the history of love by nicole krauss. mine is ordered and on the way. wanna join us? [please do!]

on that note i think i'll call it a day.... catch you on the other side of wednesday!

drawing a day ~ week 49

hello hot pink... or fuschia to you! next week's color is just one tiny shade darker than this weeks.... i love the subtle shifts of color - tinged a little more gray or red or blue... color is so amazingly powerful. which makes me think of this :: i went to watch matthew barney's drawing restraint 9 - the movie with him and his honey bjork - last week [thank goodness i got out of jury duty, huh?]. after taking my beginning painting students to the physical part of the show i felt compelled to see the movie. it was actually much more linear than i expected [one thread of dare i say a traditional love story?]. i could even predict what was going to happen [not possible in the other barney flicks i've seen]. one thing mr. barney does is make me think. and think on a grand scale. [you could get a headache thinking this hard!] and he does have a lush visual vocabulary. i loved the shots of the japanese dancers... and the pearl diver women.... but my favorite? there was one scene where bjork is cleansing herself in a bath w/ bright yellow lemons in the water... and later men workers in blue [like water] on a ship [more water] with bright yellow hats [like lemons]. that sunk into my psyche like nothing else.... i think, though, i was the only one in the oh so serious museum theatre giggling at parts.... i couldn't help it. i find many a thing absurd. i wonder if mr. barney would approve?

so.... as promised... pics of the show at after modern - you can see more of the other artist's work in the show here

meded targets x 4
4 mended targets [i'll post details on flickr later this week if you are interested]. targets courtesy of the fabulous wenders !

after modern ~ bed wall
the bed drawing wall

after modern ~ brown and blue beds
detail of the beds painted on the wall

chair drawing ~ chariot wheel
chair drawing in the show

bed drawing ~ chevy chase
bed drawing [chevy chase doily]

bed drawing ~ pinwheel
bed drawing #2 [pinwheel doily]

bed drawing ~ pinwheel detail [so you can see the thread]
a detail of the bed b/c you can't see the thread in any photo [sigh here]

so.... the flag has been thrown... challenge accepted.... i will reveal the deep dark secrets of my coat addition.... and alicia has promised to show hers as well. i realized i have a problem. and there is no re-hab that is going to fix me.... stay tuned....

i know you know, but maria is the guest design sponge blogger this week.... i'm already drooling!

happy monday!

limn gallery - "bedtime stories" - install view Originally uploaded by dressform.

song time again ::

do you know what would be right here? some yellow. touch of humility... original sin... or two - from you.....

guesses? if gwen gets it again she'll be 3 for 3... i'm not sure if i can dig up any more prizes for her if she keeps winning *wink wink*. is there a prize if you get this right? i dunno... i love this song because i love the idea of a color being placed.... being in the right spot.... i've been thinking about this for days and days...

OK - so above.... install shot from the bedtime stories show at limn gallery. they put together a fancy pancy slide show so you can see all the other artist's work [which i really really like] here .

wallet size me - at limn gallery

here's a detail. this piece is actually a couple years old - so if you were reading the blog circa 2004 you know i made if for the gen art "emerge" show - and you'll know what i'm about to say - so skip ahead! they are all me [and mom and dad in the one].... the piece is named "wallet size me" because they are all wallet size photos... and they are actual size in terms of the embroidery to photo size. the other thing to know is that this is the back side that i'm showing as the front. i really like the idea of the "wrong" side being "right" - i think the back is actually as beautiful as the carefully stitched front [i try not to peek as i make these]. i also tend to like the slightly macabre relationship of red to blood - and of course it's coming out my own eyes here.... i think creepy and beautiful can ride a smiliar line and i like skating along edges like that.

i think i'm also going to show this piece in the show coming up at mira costa college.... i'm trying to think about what work to put in that show. it's the first time i getting to blend old and new work - a mini survey - so i'm trying to think about how things will relate to one another and what moments of my artmaking to include. this is turning out to be harder than i thought it would be....

black and white coat

green coat

i was really really happy yesterday when alicia posted about her coat addiction . it's not JUST ME! there is something exciting about fall and pulling out jackets and coats.... and no matter how many coat fineries i have in my too full closet i seem to be unable to turn one away if it presents itself to me at the right time and the right price. she showed 2 of hers so i'm showing 2 of mine, but really this is the tip of the iceburg of my coatland. you remember the pink coat right? so - i'll show more if you [alicia and anyone else] will show more of their favorite coats.... it is getting to be fall after all

you can click on my photos to go to flickr and read the details on my coats... and what i paid for them !

ok folks... have a great weekend! drawings and photos of the after modern install on monday!


can you stand it??? it's dot ! my friend rori's new little frenchie pup. she is VERY funny. likes to hop around and kiss and burry under her blankie.... my friend rori, by the way, runs paper monkey press a very cool letterpress shoppe in berkeley.

i am so so so procrastinating. i should be working on my syllabi for next quarter. but since they might be screwing around with my schedule i don't want to put in all the work until i know what classes i'm teaching for sure. sigh. i think i have post show syndrome too. i pretty much just want to curl up with a book and do nothing. not very practical i'm afraid.

until i have install shots i'll tease you with all the good mail i've received of late:

from abee

anytime anything comes with annie's return address i know i'm in for a treat. polaroid from cony island [she and wendy are doing a photo crawl there. you can join them if you are so lucky. where is my teleporter??] ... polaroid of her nifty dollies.... amazing vintage buttons [i want to frame that as a piece of art]... a great catalogue of a new to me artist Fanny Brennaman . they are miniature [love #1] paintings of slightly surreal images often containing something of the domestic [love #2].

from operation paper-cut

erin posted about her digital camera breaking a few weeks ago. i've admired her stuff for sometime and so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to help a gal out! you can get your own stuff from her shop .

from the small object

i have loved sarah's stuff for so so long and never took the plunge to get anything. i couldn't resist the stamp and the iron-on patches.... someday maybe i'll get lucky enough to spot and buy a clothespin peep [they sell out in like seconds - at least the ones i want always do]

from nichola

such an amazingly made bag and cute tape measure from nichola . oh how i love it! i think it may become my new camera bag... it's padded... the perfect size.... woo hoo! i think i got the better end of this deal... see what i sent her here

a good day thrifting

in my effort to procrastinate today i went thrifting. it was quite a good day. all the above for $8. notes on the above here

fern green

also procrastinated by finally wrapping and sending these little gifts. contents to be revealed here after their arrival down under

and since i couldn't possibly not show you one of my own pets... tonka would like to say hello!

what are you looking at?

see you all soon [phew - did you make it through all that??]

drawing a day ~ week 48

holy moly 4 weeks to go. i can definitely see the light at the end of this tunnel. i have already been scheming what to do instead of these... i have a couple of plans with a fellow blogger or two . i've got to stay busy after all !! this week is pretty sparse and monochromatic again. it's funny how i waiver from things being matchy matchy to colorful. i'm staring to liken it to breathing - both feel natural - one is inhale one is exhale.

one opening down! woo. it's funny because i always feel out of sorts at my own openings. it's so nice that people come - look at the work - say nice things.... but i'm always just kind of waiting for them to end. i was super duper happy that lisa came by... and she wore her green shoes [i was wearing mine! actually i was all in green]. i'm pretty honored to be in this show... the 3 other artists lisa kokin , lauren gibbes , and andrew phares are artists whose work i really admire.

my favorite conversation of the night was with this one curator. he's doing a show on the influence of japanese art and asked if i might be interested. he wondered if i felt like there were similarities between my work and japanese art. i told him that often i look at my compositions and then look at traditional screens/scrolls/ink drawings and notice that my sense of space and placement matches up. and not purposefully [meaning i'm not looking at something and trying to mimic it]. obviously cultures have aesthetics but i wonder what the root of that is. where do your thoughts on space, color, style come from - is there some "gene" that draws you to a certain aesthetic? do you get pulled in one direction or another from an internal sense? i started thinking about what if i actually did try to re-make traditional japanese prints or art with my vocabulary. can i tell the tales of genji with doilies????

also... look :: a wee bit of press ::

a bit of press

this is in 7x7 magazine . the mentioning of the polaroids really tickles me...

i am going to take install shots of the limn and after modern shows this week so i'll post those soon!

hope you all are having a good start to your week


matidi posted a beautiful rose polaroid today.... so this is my response to that ! it was taken a while back when i met mati in san fran... you can see a few others here

edit :: i forgot to mention ky is hosting a music swap if anyone is interested !!

i just mopped my kitchen floor. ugh. i wish there was a way to snap your fingers and have that done. our whole house could use a cleaning and re-organizing. it's on my wish list... as is a new kitchen with a dishwasher.... a new bathroom [this is actually becoming a necessity as things continue to break in ours].... the outside of the house painted [brown and red.... mmmm].... but i digress.... these are not inspiring things. these are everyday realities....

hoping for happy accidents [a fav] posted about this store in london which i would love to shop at.... labour and wait . i think i love almost everything they have.

and now i'm off to the studio... i have a bit of gocco printing to do... i owe a shower gift to a bloggy friend . 1/2 is done.... 1/2 to be printed. speaking of printing.... 2 new shirt designs are on the way too.... as well as a re-stock on the pink on brown springbird.... and who knows what else i'll throw up there.... and / or take down

and a small moe update :: she has been eating pretty regularly [i think fancy feast tuna is her favorite. this is funny because she NEVER would touch canned food before. only kibble]. she is still hanging out and purring with us and for that i am grateful. each extra day seems like a blessing.

oh! tomorrow is the opening of NOSTALGIA at after modern from 5-8pm. if you come - please say hello if i don't already know you.... i have to figure out what to wear. oy! what do i wear??

path to where?

my oh my it's not a great week for the pets in the blogworld, huh? mav , shari , and kelly i'm sending well wishes for you and your loved furry ones!!

i was completely inspired the other day by this amazing post by gwen . her photos and description of how she found the abandoned house inspiring really hit a nerve with me.

in the way that only the internet can do... i then stumbled upon a few more moments of abandoned beauty. first this abandoned city in russia

and then... this photo by noah! . the beauty in the decay.... i then oohed and ahhed through his photos of the san francisco dump - check out both of the sets .... as well as the photos he's drawn on . i can't really pick a favorite they are all so incredibly dreamy.

so today i started the next installtion at after modern . i painted two 4 post beds on the corner of a wall. thankfully i like it and that part is done. frankly it's all the wall painting i can muster for a spell. i realize that i am reaching my limit... thank goodness i have a couple more weeks before i have to teach. if i started next week i think i'd literally be a zombie at the head of the class - mumbling some incoherent nonsense about hoping for happy accidents and finding motivation with-in and from-out....

one more thought.... bara has started to post some of her thoughts on poetry. i'm moved by how her response to "good" poetry is similar to mine with the visual.... also i'm excited to be schooled in poetry by someone so passionate about the subject. it's always something i've admired from afar and never dared to delve into. she is giving me courage.

ok friends... i will start to share some of this new art soon... promise.... and i've responded to comments again [sorry i slacked on that for the last couple of posts]

drawing a day ~ week 47

other than monday and friday this week is all about moe. check them out on flickr if you want the description. i couldn't help but think this week about how art can function on this deeply personal level that may or may not translate to an audience. i mean anyone just looking at the middle 3 would have no idea that in essence i'm attempting to perform some little feat of magic with my drawings. they are cat drawings... or one of a little pillow. sometimes i have a problem with art when the vocabulary gets too personal - too esoteric. but it's a fine line because art that *seems* devoid of the personal [i think that essentially that's impossible - but things can look like they have no intimate meaning] can be completely uninteresting and uninspiring. in literature i can only think of this as a comparison :: i'm interested in anne frank's diary because the story is so compelling... i'm not sure i want to read jane doe's diary where she talks about her crush on her PE teacher - but i MIGHT.... that MIGHT is where the conjuring beings. i think that MIGHT is what compells us to talk about movies, images, words and what we like or dislike about them.

i'm really trying to get back to a place of routine. i no longer look for "normal" because i decided a long time ago that "normal" is actually some weird planet that no human comes from. and routine involves posting here. and looking for inspiration. and being inspired by all of you out there. i've been thinking a lot about how i've been running into people and they have no idea about moe - because they don't know about this space.... while literally all you "strangers" [in big quotes because many of you are most definitely NOT strangers] have been here and sending such lovely wishes.... and then i think about how this community has grown and changed - people drop out, or visit less frequently, or never comment, or start commenting, or make a new connection.... i am struck by how ALIVE and intimate this world is... people typing silently in their own worlds, but in actuallity interacting across time and space and distance. hmmm....

so the rest of this week will be about inspiration to me. things that i have found and want to share. and i'll start with the cakes of the wedding i went to recently ::

luscious cakes

the wedding took place in bodega bay. which made me re-watch the birds . bodega looks remarkably the same [almost]. the school house in the movie is right next door to the church where the wedding took place... the sounds in that movie are incredible and still quite scary. i love the scene with all the crows on the kid's playground equipment. stunning.

see a few more wedding shots here

happy tuesday!

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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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