Lisa's Musings

there's little i control


in asakusa we went on the roof of a less glamorous department store. this one had a playland for the kids. all the coin operated slightly used but still colorful robots, cars, ships were such a find.


it's too bad i don't have the sound that this one made for you....

where robots go to retire

there also was a section of broken toys. so sad, but also so lovely

fushini inari [polaroid version]

this was from the 1000 tori shrine outside of kyoto.

and now i'm off. mylissa from little bird is up here for the weekend and she's coming by the studio to preview the show. and if you are in the LA area.... mark you calendar... October 13th - that's the date of the opening. i hope to see people there [or i will be sad and silly looking standing lonely in front of my art]

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tokugawa wheelbarrow

why do things just look cuter with japanese characters?

a yellow boat

i think it's so funny that the reflection is clearer than "real life"


i wish our streets looked like a party was going to happen

tokyo teleport

should have gone for a ride [over an hour to get around!]

happy thursday!

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nijo roof

nijo castle in kyoto [it's funny how the skies all come out gray in my japan polaroids. the humidity rules the air]

all that glitters

it's so fun to see all the perfectly manicured trees. they really do that. all the time

big bell


couldn't help but think of lisa

black and white

this was just on the side of the road. i'm trying to think if we have anything comparable....

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There is something about this time of year…. The dates all seem to mean or commemorate something. A day in the woods where I exchanged vows with the one I love [in my 1950’s cocktail dress], the loss of beloved companions [I still miss you]… the date of my birth … and in the flurry of new classes beginning, classes seeming to gel and come into their own [oh I had forgotten how nice it is to teach a non-required course with seniors. The level of engagement and interest is just so much stronger]… my show approaches quickly. Too quickly. Will I ever learn to just be OK with what is made? To not need 10 things to edit down to 5 – to trust that it will come out in some small way like I had dreamed? [afraid the answer is no, but forward progress continues]

What is it in my nature that forces me into movement? Why do I loathe entropy? When will exhausted be exhausted enough? What exactly am I trying to prove? And who am I trying to prove it to?

With fall in the air, with the change of leaves and the pulling out of coats and tights and blankets I want a little comfort [of the macaroni and cheese variety]. What is this notion of time?

// time [noun]
1. a dimension that enables two identical events occurring at the same point in space to be distinguished, measured by the interval between the events. Symbol t
2. a limited period during which an action, process, or condition exists or takes place
3. a system for measuring intervals of time
4. the minute or hour as indicated by a clock
5. time conceived as a force capable of acting on people and objects
6. a moment or period at which something takes place
7. a moment or period chosen as appropriate for something to be done or to take place


How can you both be such a good friend and such a foe? There is never enough time. There is no way to bargain with you. You are generous to the good memories and forgiving of the bad. I can feel your nudge, your pull, your relentlessness. You don’t like entropy either.

This is when I thank leonard cohen, jimmy scott, nick cave, billie holiday for in those moments when you can belt it out with them at the top of your lungs you are free…. [and more importantly not alone]

I think for the rest of this week I will offer up the rest of my japan polaroids and let images speak more than my typing can [they are better at it than me anyway]


that's what my grandma says when i'm busy.
so true. i feel like i can barely peek out over what's due. SO MUCH due on monday. so on that note i'll get to work and just leave you with more polaroids from japan..... happy weekend!

and oh! karen should be up on ship later today :)

woodenwishes-polaroid version

daisy boats
another one of my favorites


oh how the gold sparkles

the neighborhood we stayed in.....

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hi there. that weekend flew by. this month is flying by. it's already more than 1/2 way over? how did that happen?? i had to wear a sweater in the house yesterday morning so i know fall is approaching. the light is shifting, the weather is shifting....

since shari is on vacation there is no documentary project today.... so instead i thought i'd talk about my friend and fellow artist aida gamez whose website i just finished....

aida gamez

aida's work hits home with me. it's obsessive and delicate simultaneously. she uses found objects and alters them [be sure and check out her stuffed animal pieces]. at one point we wanted to do a show together called road kill and target practice :) too bad that never happened.

and some more japan polaroids... they keep coming!

swan B1

yellow school umbrellas
this is one of my favs from the entire trip. this was in one of the elementary schools.... gotta love the lone pink dissenter umbrella.

hello pagoda
you never know what you might spot when looking up....

have a great day!

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green and grey chairs

these chairs will be in richard levy gallery's room at the jupiter hotel art fair in portland this weekend. i wish i could visit them in person, but alas.... if someone makes it to the fair i'd love to know what it was like. there's a great list of participating galleries.

more polaroids from japan for you::

a shrine's collection

i saw this a lot. for some reason people seem to pile rock on rock sculptures and around shrines.

tanaka roof

by foot

a collection of shoes hanging from a shrine gate

give em enough rope

and.... ash posted on our new book over on ship . have a great weekend.

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koumi train station

wishing :: i was in japan again :: walking along a lake :: meandering through the birch trees :: eating sushi :: i had more time overall :: i had more studio time :: i could ease burdens :: i could garden :: i could do more ::

grass birch

hoping :: my show will go off without a hitch :: that certain someones really are interested in my work :: that really someone is going to install an entire tank installation FOR me :: that i'm informing my students and pushing them to grow and think :: that the work for the countess and my show at sq. ft gallery in january will be what we dream it will :: that i can keep all the balls in the air a little longer :: that i keep saying no, or later, or i can't ::

cigarette machine

thinking :: about family :: connections :: distance :: desire :: bargaining :: breathing :: cloning :: value [in terms of monetary worth, in terms of personal worth] :: about how vacations are better than real life ::

iris swing

wanting :: for one minute to be responsible for no one but myself :: to simply sit in the sun with my dogs :: this bag in charcoal :: to spend some time with those i love :: a ride in a hot air balloon :: a long swim in a warm warm pool ::

thought it was time to show some japan polaroids. have a good day!

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hello all! time for shari and my documentary project.

this weeks work was chosen by shari . UNDONE.

SHARI'S response

things left undone become the stars of our to do list. often i leave things undone until the very last minute. how about you?

undone 1

our neighbor's house is being painted. the ladder left behind signals that things are still undone.

undone 2

this photo reminds me that there will always be more thing to do. one thing that is out of place, calling out "what about me?" life has become a neverending list of things left undone.

undone 3

incomplete, undone, and seeking my true self, my true purpose. can we, as humans, ever be complete? finished? done?

thank you so much for visiting our project.

MY response

undone :: 002

[my thread balls always come undone]

when shari told me this word i shuttered a little. i think this is the first word where i could only see a sort of negative side to things. i also associate the word with a more mental state of mind. feeling undone or in a state of things undone does not feel "good" to me.

so i spent the week trying to think about why that is. and how do i feel when i am "undone". lost, confused, wrapped up in something that will later seem unnecessary... what does is mean to be done? finished? and is that really a better state? isn't it sometimes the process of "finishing" that is better than the finished product itself?

things left to do on a list, dishes in piles, weeds to be pulled... all these need to be done and leave me wishing for more time. just more time [or that clone]. i try not to procrastinate as it usually makes me more anxious than if i just tackle one [or two or three] tasks at a time. done done done - that always feels good.

but.... in the studio i often leave a piece slightly undone - something to come back to the next visit. i know where i left off and what needs to happen next - this way i can return and just get to work. it's much harder to enter into an "empty" space with no task at hand. ah - i finally found the positive state of undone.

undone :: 001

the very first thing that popped into my mind when i thought of undone was my shoelace being untied. so i drew it.

have a great monday! [by the way - shari - the images you are taking with your new camera are just stunning. i'm so happy for you!!]


blue polka dots and red bricks

shash suggested a week of feet photos. i found this in my pile of polaroids to scan.

one of my all time fav feet photos [of mine] here.

feeling kind of quiet. this is like a camilla post.

in which case i should give you a good link :: go play with color

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button book

happy labor [less] day..... if you are stateside, of course. we are having really nice weather here. it's a treat.

today shari is hosting the documentary project. the word this week was interior....

i have been drooling over my button book [above] from modern-craft . buttons - love. jewelry - love. button jewelry? what's not to love? so i made my own little button concoction.

button ring

i've actually got a pretty good stash of vintage and cool buttons [some from the lovely paula , who recently updated her shop ... i think there might be a few things left ??] i wish i had more time to play with all my buttons.... hopefully soon.....

aranzi machine gun

this cuteness also came in the mail recently. aranzi is just irresistible i think. i love how these little "zines" blend funny pics and projects.... more info on the machine gun series here [they are a CHEAP guilty pleasure].

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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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