Lisa's Musings

there's little i control

tara donovan

my tara donovan book arrived the other day. it's my birthday present to myself. i can't gush enough about tara's work. she is so smart - her use of materials blows me away. [pencils, plastic cups]. obviously the repetition gets to me. so subtle. so daring. so raw - both formally and conceptually stunning. sigh. how jealous was i that she actually had a little email exchange with aurora ? [who by the way has an amazing show up at the the rice gallery right now]. the book itself is also just stunning. i could cry over the cover. the shade of aqua - how her name is placed and slightly a different shade. maybe if i slip the book under my pillow some of tara's mojo will seep into my brain.

opening tonight is a pretty spectacular show - off-register - at little bird gallery. a whole host of prints by a whole host of really good artists. i wish i was able to check it out in person.

those little birds are also ambitiously launching an art subscription program little bird limited for $200 measly dollars you can get 12 pieces of art. how cool is that?? go and subscribe. a little surprise will visit you every month.

i can't believe it's my birthday on monday. where has the year gone??? a friend asked if i was going to do anything and i immediately said no. i don't like planning things for my birthday. other people's birthdays - yes. mine - no. honestly my plan is to take my studio design to the city for design review and go to the studio. i have to get cracking on some stuff - and it's been awhile since i had a truly productive studio day. i'm getting cranky about it. it's funny because in some ways this is a "milestone" birthday. for several reasons. i can't help but think about how different things will be next year. there are some life altering things in the wings.

my friend says she is planning a tea for me. that will be lovely. i do want to have at least one piece of cake [if andrea was around i'd beg her to make me a red velvet cupcake !]

hope your weekend is going well!

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i know it's been a little quiet over here. quieter than usual even [or maybe that's not true or you don't notice]. i guess the correct statement is that i feel quiet.

i've been thinking a lot about luck. and what it is exactly. and how you feel when it feels like you are dealing with a streak of bad luck. luck seems like this mysterious thing - some outside force that perhaps intellectually we don't believe in. but when the deck starts to feel stacked it's almost easier to think - oh this is just a bad luck spell. i've also been wondering how it can be that both good and bad luck are running simultaneously - like partners in crime. one aspect of life is just going along swimmingly - things are falling into place - while others feel like they are falling apart. of course volumes of philosophy and literature have been devoted to this whole ying/yang idea, and i'm no scholar, but it has been on my mind.

and so i started thinking about what athletes do to change their luck. they cut their hair, they grow a mustache, the switch something up in their routine [or keep wearing the same socks if they are winning]. in my mini attempt to bargain with the universe i pulled out the above horseshoe necklace. i've been wearing it for the last 3 days. i think my luck is improving. [ha].


my husband and i celebrated our anniversary on saturday. actually we kind of avoided celebrating, but he did give me a very good present. he spent about an hour upstairs after asking me for some tissue paper, some red ribbon, an exacto knife and a glue stick. i had no idea what he was up to. then he handed me this box. covered in great labels from cooking cans [he's such a chef].


these were inside.

perfect gift? indeed. i don't talk about D very much on this blog [by his request]. but golly i love him. he sure knows me. one of the above wind up bots goes in a circle which for some reason i am totally infatuated with.

tomorrow i start teaching again.
wish me luck.

opening tomorrow : new radial tank formation

the good ::

if you are around tomorrow night in SF - i'm participating in a show

Kearny Street Workshop presents the 10th annual APAture:

A Window on the Art of Asian Pacific Americans

opening Thursday [9/18/08] 7-9:30pm {i'll be attending!}
@ Space 180
180 Capp Street at 17th Street 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA

it's up through the 27th [short and sweet]

more info here

i've never really participated in an "Asian" show.... i kind of like the idea of it - especially because when i think about it - my work is so influenced by japanese aesthetics. going to japan solidified the notion that i might have some kind of cellular memory - i can't wait to see the work of the other artists and how the show is put together. i just dropped of my work for install, so it's all a surprise.

this was his truck

the sad ::

this was our neighbor's truck. major's truck. we would see him driving the truck around the neighborhood. it's undeniably his. in his 80's he was the best neighbor we've ever had. he used to work construction. he was the mayor of the block. he would sit in this truck and just watch the street. he was happiest outside in the sun. he told you where to park and when to move your car for street sweeping. he called you baby [or me young lady]. apparently he swore - but never in front of me. he put out the trash for all the neighbors that forgot. he loved people working. was happiest being foreman - watching us work in the yard he would nod with approval. with 2 sheds full of tools when we needed a jackhammer to bust up the pond in our yard he asked us which one we wanted [he had 3]. he was best friend to our cat chini [our three legged orange tabby]. chini would go over there every day for his second or third breakfast [of bacon or popeye's chicken]. you could hear him talking to chini [who he called mini] all the time. major died last week. and already it feels too quiet. i see chini sitting in his driveway seemingly waiting for his friend. and it breaks my heart.

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zipper heaven

when i behold a rainbow of zippers [do you know the poem by wordsworth ? i think i had to memorize it when i was in the 10th grade?]

yesterday i had the pleasure of hanging out with kim of true up fame. we did a little fabric store tour of SF. it was pretty darn fun. it felt like i had known kim for eons. and of course i have online [she was one of my first blog reads], but that translated into face to face too... i have a stack of cool fabrics to show you.... [just have to photo them]. above is the zipper selection at britex . this, of course, made me drool. color coordinated zippers of all sizes? it's like art to me.... i'm serious. i started thinking about how i might make zipper art....

speaking of art you should all help karen gelardi with her new project assembly . i did.

and if you haven't already please go see shari's photos at emprise review

since it's back to school time, my pal timothy buckwalter asked me what i thought about teaching and being an artist... he actually asked me questions, but ended up posting my responses like a narrative. you can read part one and part two

and gwen made some underbug [underdog ink + bugheart] stuff that she's selling in a little shop

enough links for one day, no? i have to get back to work on my syllabus... almost there almost there almost there

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coagulant rifle target :: arnica chamissonis

so... i have two exhibitions opening today... one in chicago at the David Weinberg Gallery called Who Gets What : a political show. i wish i could pop in for the opening from 5-8 tonight, but alas my teleporter is still dysfunctional

The Franks
David Opdyke
Michael Ratulowski
Lisa Solomon
Sonja Thomsen
Krista Wortendyke

David Weinberg Gallery
300 W Superior Street
Suite 203
Chicago, IL 60654

they wanted to put coagulant rifle targets in the show - so i gathered all the ones i had left and then made 3 new ones. it was actually kind of fun to re-visit a series. when i was researching plants that would be good for wound care or to stop bleeding i had no idea there were so many. i ended up not using them all so i went back to 3. above is arnica chamissonis [or wild sunflowers]. they also put my pink plexi tank w/ green polka dots in the show - so that's kind of nice.... here's the other two coagulants:

coagulant rifle target :: pink geraniums
pink geraniums

coagulant rifle target :: wild purple geraniums
wild purple geraniums

3 generations : obasan, ocasan, grammy and me

also opening today is Tattered Cultures Mended Histories at the honolulu academy of arts .

if you want to read more about this piece [which is a portrait of me, my mom, and my grandmothers] please go here you can also see all 4 pieces individually on my website on the portfolio page click on thread drawings

September 6 - 27

This invitational contemporary fiber art exhibition includes works by twenty-two international fiber artists who are members of the Textile Society of America. The exhibition explores how dominant ideologies of a specific time and place often tatter the cultural heritage of the less dominant and culturally diverse. Artists whose works are featured in the exhibition include Emi Figi, Wendy Kawabata, Kim Jeeun, Chunghie Lee, Lisa Lee Peterson, Seiko Purdue, Denise Ava Robinson, Lisa Solomon, Gail Tremblay and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood. Tattered Cultures: Mended Histories is curated by University of Hawaii Assistant Professor and Fibers Area Chair Mary Babcock in collaboration with Academy Art Center Curator Carol Khewhok.

it's exciting that my work will be reunited with wendy kawabata's work . i wish i could go to hawaii for this!

hope you all have nice plans for the weekend!
i'm off to run some errands....

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quick fix

this photo has nothing to do with the post, but what's a post w/out a photo? i just added elastic to my green shoes that kept falling off my feet. i couldn't be happier. elastic is an underrated substance me thinks....

so i was tagged by my fellow oakland artist katrina ... and i haven't done a meme in awhile so here goes... i'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to play along, please consider this a tag

1. what were you doing 10 years ago?
wow. can i think back that far?? 10 years ago i was working for a gallery in down town san francisco. i was making some drawings that would lead to the work that i used to apply to grad school with. we were just starting to think about looking for a house for ourselves and out pets because we were going to loose the house we were renting.

2. what are five things on your list to do today?
1. catch up on emails
2. order flowers and a book for folks
3. finish mending a target for an upcoming show
4. write a blog post
5. work on my syllabi for upcoming classes

3. snacks you enjoy
lately i've been VERY into popcorn. i can't seem to get enough. also loving all the peaches, plums, apricots and berries that are in season. and yogurt. i've been on a serious yogurt kick. almost one a day. [if i'm feeling indulgent i'll allow myself a cream top yogurt. yum]

4. places you have lived
by far this is the most boring aspect of my life. i'm a california girl. i was born and thus lived in tuscon, AZ, but really i've only lived in los angeles, santa barbara and the bay area - berkeley and oakland

5. what are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire
oh this is hard.... that would open up so many things..... ok let's give it a whirl.
1. i would buy a building and set up a non-profit art space with a gallery and artists studios - all the rent would be subsidised and below market rate. i'd have facilities for the artists to use [like a wood shop, foundry, etc]. i'd also set up an outreach for youth - offering afterschool classes to supplement the non-existent art education in schools.
2. have my mom and dad totally retire [unless they wanted to do some kind of work for "fun"] and send them on a very long all expenses paid trip to where ever they wanted. AND either buy them a home [and make it really green] or update their current home anyway they desired. [i know my mom wants hard wood floors]. sort of along the same lines i'd do the same for me and my husband in terms of housing. either move or greenify our current house [and i guess it'd be easy to build a studio in my yard now with that kind of cashola]
3. buy lots and lots of art from struggling emerging artists that deserve support
4. support good causes like animal rescues, finding alternative fuel sources, organic farming, cultivate some bee hives
5. go on vacations to all the places that i've dreamed of seeing and never have [paris, morraco, berlin, vietnam, spain, portugal, sweden, etc. etc. etc.]

i think this list could get longer....


been thinking a lot lately about things UNDER the surface. things that you can't necessarily see, but are there. for all of us. and how little things - things that you can wear [like rings], or smell, or see - can remind you those you love, miss, or memories....

go read the jargon of authenticity by eireann. i love her thoughts on language and the words we choose to use....

back on friday with a show announcement!

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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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