Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let there be light...

There's an amazing invention out there. It's called the electric light. Electricity is a fabulous thing, and we are in the process of putting this modern miracle in my studio! This means a bit of a hiatus on studio time right now so bear with me and stay tuned.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Book About Death - The Video

To get a taste of the exhibit, check out the video on A Book About Death. Surf the Dirt (my piece) is at 8:06 on the video, but really, the entire thing is incredibly provocative.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Poetry Monday: The Guest House

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Book About Death

Last year, after losing my dear cousin to lung cancer, I stepped into the studio filled with very strong emotions and absolutely no artistic plan. From that experience came Surf the Dirt, a mixed media piece using dirt from my yard, acrylic gel medium, and a polymer clay surfing skeleton.

That piece has now evolved into a postcard that will be displayed at the Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery in New York City as part of the A Book About Death exhibit. The exhibit opens Thursday, September 10 and will run through Tuesday, September 22. If you are anywhere near New York City during that time I encourage you to check it out and make your own book about death. You can click here to see my postcard on the exhibit blog or here to go to my gallery.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Coyote Road - the video!

The video is here! Check out the transformation process of the hubcap for the Landfillart project. Click below to watch or you can go directly to YouTube.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Coyote Road

The hubcap is done! Click on the image below to see a larger version.
As a mixed-media artist, I found the Landfillart program exciting on many levels. I spend a great deal of my time—in both my art and my life in general—exploring how to use or reuse “everyday” objects in ways different than they were originally intended. I am fascinated with the idea of changing our perspective about “trash”. In addition, my art is all about the exploration of our internal, personal worlds and their connection to our physical surroundings. My art is often deeply personal, working a great deal with animal teachers and the natural landscape. I love the idea of using an item like a hubcap to take these concepts to another level. I wanted to explore our relationship with our cars and, as with so many other material items in our lives, how we use them to insulate ourselves from the mess, chaos, and unpredictability of life. We have turned our cars into rolling illusions of control and safety. Coyote is the teacher in this piece—pointing out that there really is no control or safety. Life is messy. The road is messy.

This is a mixed media piece, with a rusty, “gritty” finish, using original artwork and digital images, acrylic skins, and pieces of a broken vintage mirror. The hubcap is turned around with the inside acting as a frame or nicho for the elements. The photo of the empty road in the middle of the Arizona desert is actually from a snapshot I took while on a road trip in 1982. The original drawing of Coyote was scanned and then printed onto watercolor paper using digital grounds. The title: Coyote Road.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Catching up

Whew - it's been a while, I know. Lots of stuff happening, both challenging and rewarding. Sadly, we lost our dear kitty, Rocky, July 22 from kidney failure and are still reeling from that. His sister, Frida is adjusting quite nicely to being the solo cat in the house and becoming quite the diva kitteh. We lost one or our ferals as well, Cinder Kitty, also in July. And in June we honored the one year anniversary of the passing of my cousin, Laurie. Lots of souls leaving us in the last couple of years... but with each departure space has opened up for new energy to enter. I am saddened and grateful and inspired with each passing.

On the art front - the hubcap is done! Look for images and video to be posted soon. I've been in the studio creating new pieces, feeling inspired, and wish I were there right now, instead of availing myself of the free wi-fi at the San Jose Airport...

My friend Melisa and I went on a neon sign photo hunt one evening last month. Here are a couple of my top picks. To see more, click here or on the Photography link on your right.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

One year today

In memory of my dear cousin, Laurie, who passed away one year ago today, her nephew put together this video.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Rock

One of my best friends is ailing. This is Rocky - aptly named for Rocky the Flying Squirrell since his feet rarely touched the ground his first few years of life. I could write reams about how special he is, but everyone thinks their cat is special so I won't bore you. Suffice it to say he owns a good-sized chunk of real estate in my heart. Rocky is currently struggling with kidney problems and things are dicey right now. Positive energy and well wishes are welcome.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Flora Non Grata

Ice plant is not something to be mentioned in polite California company. Environmentalists and native plant advocates agree, this non-native interloper causes big problems in many natural areas. It forms nearly impenetrable mats that dominate resources; has invaded native habitats; competes directly with threatened or endangered plant species for nutrients, water, light, and space; suppresses the growth of both native seedlings and mature native shrubs; can lower soil pH in loamy sand; change the root system morphology of at least two native shrub species... in other words, does not play well with others.

And yet... kind of pretty, huh?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Greek Fishing Float

When I was very, very young some neighbors, upon returning from a trip to Greece, presented each of us neighbor kids with a glass fishing float, in it's rope netting, as a souvenir. As a small child I was underwhelmed with this gift, hung it from my bedroom curtain rod, and didn't think about it much. Oddly enough though, I have taken this item with me, through every stage of my life, and to every place I've ever lived. The string it originally hung from broke and fell apart years ago, and the rope netting has decayed to the point of being more like a loose nest for the glass float. I truly love this object now and really like watching it's evolution as it ages.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Draw a Bird Day!

It's like they created a day just for me! That's right, April 8 is Draw a Bird Day. Otherwise known as, A Good Reason for Lisa to Share her Pen and Inks with the World Day - you decide.

What's a day without crows anyway?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I am currently healing from a neck and arm condition that's not only impairing my computer time, but also my art time in general. I dug into my archives to share this photo.

Last fall, while raptor watching on Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands, I looked down and saw this guy. Butterfly is all about metamorphosis and change... after all, everything is always changing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Look closely

One part of what I love so much about the actual act of photography for me is the isolating and capturing of a small element of a larger picture and having it stand on its own merit. I frequently have to remind myself to look up and see the larger landscape as a whole because I am so captivated by the amazing things that are happening on a "small" level all around us. I think the macro lens was invented for us "God is in the details" type of people.

Sometimes it's obviously breathtaking, like looking closely at a blooming Protea or strands of pearls in a glass jar. Sometimes it's seeing how the cracks and bumps in an old chalkboard make an amazing texture. I think beauty really, truly is all around us if we just adjust our lens.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yeeeeeowch! Coyote and the blank canvas.

"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

When applying for the Landfill Art project, I had to come up with a basic idea of what I wanted do with an old hubcap. No problem, I thought. After some reflective thinking and meditation I knew what I wanted to do, and that Coyote is the animal teacher for this project (such a hog for the spotlight...). So it should come as no surprise that Coyote's energy is all over the place lately.

Here's something to think about. Overall, there were an estimated 250,851,833 registered passenger vehicles in the United States according to a 2006 study. OK - now think about how many different models and makes that must encompass, how hubcap designs differ, and how many more vehicles--and hubcaps--are in landfills throughout the U.S. from older models. You get some sort of idea of the variety of hubcaps that must be out there.

So. My hubcap was a surprise. And not really what I had in mind.

I can:

  1. Cram that square peg into the round hole and try and make my original idea work, godammit, no matter what

  2. Complain bitterly and be a whiny diva-wanna-be and ask for another hubcap to fit my detailed specifications ("I just can't work in these conditions!")

  3. Sit back, let Coyote take me where he wants me to go, and see what this particular "canvas", and the Universe, have in mind for me and this art piece
I'm voting for number 3. Good luck with that...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Simply because I think it's cool

I took this photo at Apartment 46. Check out her stuff, there's so much more where this came from. I love the composition, colors, subject matter... sharing it here just because I think it looks cool.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Bike Ride

I was having one of those days where it was just too hard to shake the vivid dreams from the night before and I needed to get out, by myself, and work off the nightmare hangover. I've been eyeing this fence for months, so grabbed my camera and hopped on the bicycle. I love the colors, textures, and faded impressions where numbers used to be. The endorphins from the bike ride didn't hurt either.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Currently speechless

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hope and silver linings

The last few weeks have been tough for most folks I know--me included. We all seem scared, sad, and tired. And, although I know we desperately need the rain, my spirit has felt grey and soggy. The incessant Spring winds are just salt in the wounds...

On the other hand, I'm frequently accused of being a Pollyana. I can't help it. My drive home today was spectacular. Yes, I'm on a four-lane highway, disgustingly increasing my carbon footprint. But I'm also driving along the San Francisco Bay, where on any day I can see several species of birds--hawks, egrets, crows, gulls to name just a few. Here I am, in a brief interlude between storms, in one of the most beautiful places in the country. The clouds are stacked miles high in a tribute to Charles Courtney Curran. The sun is shining on my left and a rainbow stretches out across the bay on my right. Oh, and the music on the radio? Perfect. It doesn't matter what it was, just fill in whatever you like for your ideal soundtrack.

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Musical interlude

Sometimes I have to remind myself that, even if I'm not in the studio with paint on my hands, I'm still creating. Whether I'm working on my pen and ink drawings, hunting through magazines for words to clip, or photographing anything I find visually compelling I am in the artistic process. (I'm also building a "library" of my own elements to use in future mixed-media pieces, so it's a win-win type of thing.) To that note, while I'm creating new mixed media pieces and waiting for paint to dry, I'm going to post some other stuff for "your listening pleasure".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crow Entendre

Here's the other piece that will be featured in the Coastside Mixed Media Artist's show in February. This piece is 9x12 and includes acrylic paint, original artwork and digital photography.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Unlocking the Heart

This new piece is 11x14 and includes original pen and ink and pencil drawings, digital photography, and acrylic paint and molding paste.

This is one of two of my pieces that will be included in the Coastside Mixed Media Artists show at M Coffee in Half Moon Bay for the month of February. To find out more about this show watch the Where to See My Stuff space in the sidebar to your right.