26 September 2011

more on making it lovely


door sign

it's funny how once an idea gets planted in your mind you start to see it everywhere. been noticing how indeed i sometimes try to make things lovely.

we don't have a doorbell. the house didn't come with one. for awhile we had a wireless one, but that broke too and honestly i kind of like NOT having one. i made a sign which asked people to knock and leave packages when they could if we didn't answer. but it was paper and starting to fade. and i wanted to make something nicer for a long time. finally it hit me - why not put my vinyl plotter to good use and  i made the above sign.

ahhh. much better.

my haul

when i think about where i learned to make things lovely i have to think about my grandma shirley [pic of her here posts with her here]. she always joked that she had expensive taste. i think for me it was just important to see someone who really saw the value in aesthetics. who asked questions about why things looked they way they did - and who could simply discuss what she liked about something and it's form, color, etc. she would always ask me about what i was making and was fascinated by the "why" behind the work. i remember we lunched once with richard serra drawings and she asked me why the circle was so important - and why people were interested in his interpretation of it versus others. and she told me vividly about her experience with jackson pollock and how she didn't like them at first, but a friend insisted she sit with them and they grew on her...

anyway - she was also instrumental in placing value on my own personal aesthetics. while she never really liked all the crazy things i did with my hair [the streaks, the various dye jobs] she always always told me i should do what i wanted and more importantly what made me feel good. she would encourage splurging on haircuts [she went to the beauty salon to get perfectly coiffed], and anything else that made me feel good.

starting in the 6th grade she took me shopping for clothes. it started as a once a year tradition and grew into an almost every time i visited her routine. the last i don't know how many umpteen years we decided anthropologie was always the way to go - one stop ease [with a great place for lunch across the street]. i adored going through their sale racks, but she would always insist on full price for an item or two. insisting that i looked smashing in it and i should get it - practicality be damned. if it looked good AND it was practical there was no question.

i think almost every day i wear "real clothes" [when i'm not in the studio or on mom duty] i can attribute something on me to one of our excursions. the last time we went she could barely walk. i told her we didn't need to go, but she insisted. we found her a comfy chair in the fitting rooms and i ran around the store and then tried things on and modeled for her. she told me that she didn't think that i would do this for myself once she was gone, but that she hoped i would. and she told me she was leaving me an envelope of cash that i was to take and get new clothes with once the little was born.

when i got the envelope i couldn't do it. spend all the money at once. so i've doled it out to myself little by little. when i got my 15% off birthday card from anthropologie i decided to take an hour and go and find something. without my grandma i never buy things full price. just can't bring myself to do it. except for this time. i spied a dress [top of the picture - creme with green and brown birds] and tried it on and i heard her in my head. you should get it. me: but i don't need it. her: but it really suits you. me: really i don't need it. her: but it's practical. it's not too fancy - it's comfortable - it LOOKS LIKE YOU. it's so cute. we are getting it.

so grandma. i listened. i did something lovely.

i have no idea what i'll do when i spend the last dollar of my stash. maybe i won't ever do it.


archtecture topiary drawing

finally i played in the studio. i needed to. i need to develop a body of work for a show next year, but first i need to get warmed up. out of practice. time to just make a bit. without a structure - or theme - or whatever. free fall and form where mistakes are ok. where i can slop some materials around and try to make things lovely.

i have a bunch of architectural templates for drafting. so nice to repeat these slightly familiar shapes in the wrong context.

this one is for kearny street workshop's one size fits all fund raiser. i started a few more....
they are lovely objects in and of themselves. i love repeating the shapes and forms.

long post. longer than intended. till next time
[and i was so happy that so many of you enjoyed sydney's work too]

7 comments:

Tracy said...

the dress sounds perfect. as is this post. xo

Eireann said...

it is so nice to read your long thoughts, lisa. and i LOVE your door thing. and the clothes and their story.

Jenna c. said...

your grandma sounds so awesome. what a great voice to have in your head - just do it, it's great, it's perfect for you. oh, i am crying now.

Katrina said...

love the story about your grandma. and happy belated birthday to you!?!

julie said...

Another wonderful post. Your grandma was a pretty special lady! I would LOVE to sit with you for hours talking about artists and life.
Happy new year Lisa (I thought you would like 'that' post).
big hugs xxx

patricia said...

What a lovely story. I'm glad that you bought the dress—she probably smiled when you did. :)

Cally said...

This made me cry. How wonderful to have had that relationship. I've always yearned for a nice granny - mine were both mean (one still living and my stomach is in turmoil as I put a visit date on my calender - what new abuse will I get this time?). I love that despite her discomfort about thing like hair colour, she loved and appreciated your individuality and thoughts and cared about your interests. Perhaps, as children have make believe friends, I should have a make believe Granny and use yours as the template. I think that could work quite well, and everyone in my family is a bit dotty anyway so it probably wouldn't even be noticed. My mum would likely want to have her as her make believe mother too, and then she'd acknowledge my Dad so we could have make believe meals together where everyone spoke to each other. Oh Dear Lisa, I seem to have gone quite loopy!