Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

outside looking in 2

so here it is. my show - the overview of it at least....

doily reflection

because little bird gallery has great storefront windows, i thought i should use them. i painted doilies on the windows and the walls behind the glass so that you'd really get a 2/D 3/D effect upon viewing.

somehow i never tire of the difference between what is hand done, what is replicated, what is real, what is dimensional, what is flat.... i think i am always toying with these ideas in what i make. and the longer i tinker the more i realize i don't know anything and there is always room to find out more.

over the river and through the woods

over the river :: down the right wall

so the premise for this show you ask? i actually have an answer to this.

i decided to think about the idea of the "natural world" represented by the doily. how we are constantly bringing the "outside" in and the "inside" out in our lives. how do we force these two places to intersect? and how do our instincts to nest/make the domestic come into play with these longings? the doily, while human made, beckons and calls to imagery in nature [snowflakes, floral patterns, etc] and so it seemed to me that we could indeed go over the river and through the woods.... and end up at a version of grandma's house. but i am hoping that i am updating our relationship to the tradition of craft. in someway giving tribute to the small- and decorative- and made with love items that often go unnoticed or under appreciated.

to grandmother's house we go

trying to be a bit literal i thought i'd have the doilies start brown near the floor [earth], get green in the middle [land/grass/trees], and blue near the ceiling [sky]

and thus i hope the relationship of the title [and your finishing of the nursery song] makes more sense?

here are some small moments:

one small doily

this one is about 3-4 inches - you might miss him if you didn't look down.

3 brown doilies

over the river :: down the right side

so then i made a bunch of drawings as well [also all tied to the natural world somehow]

over the river :: the drawing half

over the river :: back left corner

and then there was the "real" sculptural element. the ghost doily trees

inspired by paper architectural trees [which when flat looked like doilies to me] i loved the idea of a natural object made from domestic ones.

and of course there are the shadows. my ultimate silent partner in making. if only i could give you your proper due.....

ghost doily trees :: side view

ghost doily trees

i want to make a thousand. i want to do these again and again in different ways. i just wonder how. and if i can. and if i can enlist help. and who would? and why? and how could i repay them? [i'm not ann hamilton who can recruit a bevy of volunteers to assist in the magic making. but i can dream, yes? oh i can dream of thousands of trees]

i am so lucky to have a studio mate who made me the most perfect floating shelves. and allowed me to use his drill press to get the holes into the shelves....

and i am so lucky to have had the help and support that i did from friends and family and art lookers....

i'll show close ups of the drawings through the week.

over the river and through the woods is up at little bird gallery in los angeles through november 8th.


barely in time for a monday night posting [thank you pacific time]

today marks the return of shari and my documentary project.

shari chose the word today - cultivate or cultivation.



i chose the word this week one day as i was sitting in my study looking
out the window at our garden.

note: you may need to click out of a reader to see this video clip::

i love this word. how it rolls off the tongue. how it sounds like hard
work and it is!


walking in the rain.

am trying to cultivate a playful approach to life. sometimes, i fear i
take things far too seriously.

what are you trying to cultivate in your own life?



this word at first seemed really daunting to me. how do you represent this word in a static image?

of course i thought of planting. getting the soil ready for plants. i started to think about how you can take a garden in various directions. you can cultivate for food, you can cultivate for decoration.


how if you are serious about the idea of growing you actually pay attention to soil, to the sun, to PH, to all of these very small details that can make or break your attempt to foster plants.

or how you can also just wing it and magically things will thrive and grow.


how sometimes if you try too hard it doesn't work..... you can't cultivate.


above is my recent japanese print love. the magazine ku:nel . i think it was bluelines that sparked my interest in it.... it's really a great visual treat.... and made me

start wonder about other things we cultivate - like taste in art, or food, or poetry or??? how exactly do we plow, amend and ready our minds and hearts for cultural cultivation? in my role as an educator i'm constantly wondering how to do this - how do you cultivate a love for art? can you? or do you want/can it be something that spontaneously emerges?

and so i repeat shari's question. what are we all trying to cultivate in our lives??


rare device opens in SF!

rare device opened on thursday night with a big shabang. the store looks absolutely amazing. big congrats to lisa and rena. their store is so full of handmade and lovely goodness i can't believe i escaped empty handed. it was just too crowded for me to buy anything, but i shall return i know.

some great photos from shash are here .

also a HUGE congrats to kelly lynn jones of little paper planes for her beautiful show. i'm excited as we are going to trade work! lucky me!

on monday - a very late post here will mark the return of shari and my documentary project... and then all next week i'll show pictures from over the river and through the woods as it draws to a close at little bird gallery . time flies....

outside looking in

have a good weekend!

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workAday part1

better at the original size
from left to right:

jonn herschend
michele theberge
lauren davies
connie begg
lorene anderson who was my co-curator
robert ortball

workAday part2

yes - if you want to see anything original is better

from right to left :
tracey cockrell
sylvia min
freddy chandra
james sterling pit
cynthia innis

so lets work backwards [mostly because i was able to get through these images first! i'm still working on the over the river shots. it's hard to figure out how to represent an installation accurately].

the workAday opening was really fun. practically all of us know each other in this show - i chose people mostly i went to grad school with and lorene chose people that both of us knew [i even taught with one recently]... so it was a chance to see friends if nothing else.

both lori and i had done daily projects in our studio. we wondered what it'd be like if we proposed that parameter to artists we knew. there is something about the pressure and also complete lack of pressure of making a work in a day that is daunting and freeing. i kept hearing over and over that this project really changed an artist's approach to something else they were working on. i guess what i'm saying is that if you've thought about setting up a project like this for yourself ... DO. i don't think you'll regret it.

four weeks of drawing a day

i showed week 5, 3, 45 and 52 of the drawing a day series.

there's another opening for the show on Friday Nov. 2nd from 7-10pm - so if you feel like coming out..... the show is up at Blankspace Gallery through Nov. 19th. if you want to learn a bit more about jonn, james and tracey's pieces [and see an HORRIBLE picture of me] go here . timothy buckwalter also wrote a little something on the show....

i'd really like to thank a bunch of folks for talking about my show at little bird gallery. i was thrilled, honored, and touched by the mentions.... so in no particular order.... and if i forgot someone please forgive me [and/or let me know] my brain is still ridiculously fried from the last 2 weeks..... apartment therapy LA , daily candy LA , whip-up , diesel art which was due to poppytalk's jan! , marshall astor , design*, and hopping for happy accidents [and because of k.c. i'm thinking lindesy adelman and i should have a show together??] hmmmm

so shari i think i'm finally ready to return to the documentary project next week... game???

have a great tuesday!

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and into the fire...


i'm back from LA. more on the show as soon as i can get all the photos organized and cropped but....

HUGE thanks to everyone who came out... it's such a joy to put faces with names and to see friends old and new. also thanks again to my very special assistants... and to all the folks involved with the little bird gallery . they made me feel so welcome, and went so out of their way.... high fives all around [even if you don't high five!]. i feel so lucky.

this week i'm installing a show i co-curated with lorene anderson entitled workAday.

after creating a drawing a day with thread for a year i was really curious what other artists would do if they had to create a complete work in a day. so we asked 10 others besides ourselves to give it a try for a minimum of three weeks. the results are actually really varied and really cool.

four weeks of my drawing a day series will be shown

6608 san pablo avenue, oakland, california 94608 • 510.547.6608

there's a reception this Saturday from 6-9pm and a reception on Friday Nov. 2 from 7-10pm. if you are in the Bay Area - come on by!

more info is available on blankspace gallery's website



i am that otherworldly tired. that so tired that you can't quite sleep. that nervous, excited, anxious tired. how will it work tomorrow? after dealing with some technical difficulties today [the paint dried too quick at first... and then i pushed too hard and then at last it started to flow] and tomorrow will there be a night in shining armor who rescues me with new supplies? oh please fairy godmother. i only have 3 more days.

this morning i was pegged. nailed. the bay porter shuttle guy unloaded my box and said - oh - are you going to install an art show? and i wasn't even wearing my paint clothes. how did he know? am i that much of a walking stereotype? like the aging jazz musician in the hawaiin shirt that insists on talking to everyone and in explaining he moved to hollywood when he was 16 and now he gets to play the cool stuff? oh yeah man - that's such a good name for you kid... wow.... i named my kid odalesque... he's such a good drummer.... [this is where i turn up my ipod].

day one

wendy is a dream. i am so grateful for any and all help..... shari did an interview with her today. [which i have to read when i have more brain cells].

shari also hosted the documentary project yesterday

ok... of to sleep. my belly is blissfully full from a lovely meal [shared with my most favorite grandma].... think good thoughts, please..... i probably should not be hitting the publish post button now, but i think the blog has been a little bland of late [oh so sorry] so perhaps tis good to just throw caution into the wind and....


over the river and through the woods

almost there, almost there, almost there! been packing and wrapping and thinking

tuesday i leave for LA where i will have the amazing assistance of the lovely wenders and alyssa - who i'm so excited to meet - plus all the incredible help of the ultra fantastic staff at little bird gallery .

i'll share more about my thoughts on the show when it's actually up. [no counting chickens before they hatch]

just in case you thought i wasn't making crafty things anymore i thought i'd share my gradebook. i didn't like the plain black cover - so

i do still make stuff

i used moonstitches really great book cover tutorial as my starting point. i also used some trim and fabric i brought back from japan. what i realized while making this is that i'm no sally or martha or blair or all the hordes of amazing crafters out there. i am a lazy sewer. especially when i feel under the gun. i know how to be neat and perfect, but i just rarely do it. sigh. by the way - check out moonstitches owl tutorial too - those owls are SO CUTE.

so i'll be on ship tomorrow and shari and i resume our documentary project on monday - her blog - but i may be a little absent the rest of this week and all of next as i get my show up.... wish me luck!

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$100 on 7

on the roof

cones in  asakusa

these are actually 3 of my favorites. it's hard to believe that i took over 30 polaroids... and that my mom is in japan right now! [lucky lady!]

how is your monday? i had to get up to start class at 8am. my husband just laughed at me. do they know you aren't a morning person? tis true. but i will be there, and i will start class at 8am! [we are going to have coffee and tea in class though. it's a seminar so it's OK]. and thankfully this is only once a week. granted i will teach until 8pm tonight, but... better one long day then classes spread out over many days. my new philosophy.

amazing houses

my studio mate left me a magazine clipping the other day. with this image of work from my town my home . a project by yoshikazu yamagata and mafuyu [whose website is just so great].

have you ever had one of those damn! i wish i thought of that moments. this did it for me. i think these are so amazing, in concept, in execution.... yeah.

i actually have a former student coming to help me tomorrow. [gasp! dare i say i have an intern?] this makes me giddy. really giddy. i feel very fortunate. mantra : do not take advantage - make sure he learns something.... repeat repeat repeat....

be sure to check out ship where we are talking about a pig in provence... and go and wish karen and bara a happy b-day [eireann's is in a few days]... i think there are other b-day folks around now too, but....

and jan's new venture poppytalk handmade . SO MANY good things. just too many....

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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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