making it ______ [fill in the blank]

sydney cohen - massive brush collection

sydney cohen and i met years ago - taught together one summer at CCA in their youth studio program. she is one of those special people that is super generous - and dedicated to her practice - and FUNNY. i value this to no end. as what happens in life we sort of drifted apart and i hadn't spoken to her in eons. since she and i are teaching the same course at this fall - just different sections - we've been chatting a bit about how to develop the course - and she's been helping me make sure i don't make a complete ass out of myself - showing me the ropes [being my buddy at meetings, making sure i have combos for locks and know where stuff is].

sydney cohen

we had breakfast a couple of weeks ago to compare notes -- oohing and ahhing over one another's book choices.... and she said something that really struck me. i was saying that i didn't think there was an over-arcing theme to my syllabus... but she disagreed. she said that she thought i was making them look for color and lovliness in their everyday. and then she said - you know - you are just one of those make it lovely people. you make everything lovely - your house, your clothes, your food, your art.... i don't know if i completely agree since i don't always feel like i have the time to make everything as lovely as i would want to - but i was flattered.

sydney cohen

[caption: don't you looooovvvveee the sides of her work?] and so i asked - well what "club" are you in? she immediately responded - make it messy. i started thinking - what about this art "club" idea. what club would you fit in? [more than one is OK]. and of course we need T-shirts.

sydney cohen - in progress

last week we had a breakfast

15 september

where she made some LOVELY food. and we chatted a bit about how our classes were going. and then she let me up into her studio. oh how i miss painting the way that she paints. layered. messy [but ultimately also controlled]. that whole build up of a surface with paint where sometimes you don't know where you are going and then you end up there. my work doesn't cater to that really. i'm much more planned and methodical. but i love PROCESS. i really do and sydney's studio/work screams that.

sydney cohen

rooted in ideas of architecture [building your own world], and patterning, and colors and how they work with one another. and making space. of course, though, i have to throw in that there is a completely feminine [in the best way] aspect to these. it's like they are pieced together like a quilt. aside : we also chatted about embracing or rejecting the feminine aspects of our work and how there is still this strange stigma with the idea.

sydney cohen - biggest brush ever

it's so exciting to see SO MUCH in progress. haphazard. strewn about. in the MIDST of being made.

sydney cohen

if i could have i would have slipped the above blue smile painting under my shirt. so good. of course i'm a the hugest fan of negative space - and that color turquoise is pretty perfect. one of the BEST things, though, about our visit [besides leaving totally inspired] was at some point we were joking about the make it _____ clubs - and somehow we were joking that i also like to f*#k sh^t up. so now my t-shirt will say - making it lovely on the front and f*#king sh^t up on the back. HA ! and that in essence is what i adore about her. too funny.

ok sydney. you just need a real website so that everyone can check out your work....


wendy said…
you are totally a making it lovely. And I love the idea of the lovely front & f*#king sh^t up on the back all kinds of brilliant.
and yes sydney you totally do need a website. messy but so lovely - that first shot of all the brushes made me swoon.
Vanessa R said…
I WANT one of those tshirts.. can i join the club? :)

My work is also very methodical and controlled. i think it's because i take so much time in the process because i have the clear idea in my head of what i want it to look finished buuuut also, in the same process, i end up making more than one version because i mess shit up and test every color every line which also ends up being great mistakes that i like as finished work. I think in that sense, i relate to your work, because of the process and all of that involves.

this whole 'clubs' idea opens up a lot of interesting points of view.
Andrea Dixon said…
Thanks so much for sharing work from such a great artist. I wish there was a website so I could see more... Intense work and I love it.
i want a t-shirt too! so awesome. thanks for sharing this. it inspires me. xo.
Unknown said…
People come in and out of lives for a reason and it's so lovely you were able to cross paths again with someone like Sydney - what a lovely observation by her, sometimes we just don't see ourselves as others do, so it's nice when they can share positive things about us, definitely flattering and lifts the spirits too :)
julie said…
fantastic post! making me smile, lovely you! i want in on your club too ;) xx
patricia zapata said…
what a great post! i totally think you make lovely—all the time. now trying to figure out what my t-shirt would say...
Anonymous said…
rediscovering and deepening a connection with someone after not having seen him/her for a few years is a wonderful opportunity in life. here's hoping that you and Sydney continue to inspire each other in the months and years ahead!

loveliness is an apt description of much that you do.....
Unknown said…
I think I'd be in the make it detailed or make it colorful camps. I don't really know if I like those camps though. I like make it lovely and make it messy much better. Perhaps a make it lovely-messy club? I wouldn't fit in their either. he he he.

I love Sydney's paintings. I'm so interested in patches and blocks of color right now.... hmmmm. ::lightbulb::
shari said…
what a brilliant post, lisa. love love the t-shirt idea. sydney's work is beautiful. hope she gets that website soon! thanks for sharing the inspiration xox
Kathryn said…
Isn't it great making reconnections with artist friends? I hope you stay connected and inspiring to each other. A little bit of opposite inspiration goes a long way. I have one of those relationships .. we just started a little collaboration too. Love the blue smile piece too, (im)perfection. I completely admire people who eat, sleep, breathe aesthetics. I aspire to be that ... one day!
Louise said…
Great work and very funny about the club t-shirt ideas. I think on the front of mine would have to be "love making work" and on the back "should spend more time making work and less time stressing". xolj
pet chimpanzee said…
Sydney does have a website now. It can be found here ==>

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