Tuesday, May 31, 2005


First, thanks to all who participated in "Homework". The writings are really good and Bob has started posting them on his site.fagblog
As he posts them, I'll be matching them up with images I already have on hand. I'll post those over the next few days.
Bob says he's impessed by the talent in my readership. I tell him we are just getting started.

Heads up--- we will be posting another 'call for entries' in a week. It will be the same exercise set within the parameters of a particular theme. We'll extend the deadline for this one a bit and outline the project we have in mind for the writings. So, keep your brains lubed.

I realized this afternoon that the pool man has removed our floating rubber rats. Well, some of them were floating. All of them were rubber, though. I'm fairly certain. Didn't he realize they were decorations?
Oh well. We have more. We have bigger ones too....

Back to work for me.....

Monday, May 30, 2005

Another Hundred Unique Words

I decided to try some more with the MS Word tools you guys so cleverly pointed out. Here's one from those. (below)

So far I hear Bob Podrasky has received a number of stories from this site. You guys really rock. We'll get them posted on both sites tomorrow. I'll see if I can find some images to go with them.

Hope you've had a good Memorial Day.

Fresh Reign

Fresh Reign
Jack’s always known, somehow, but this reckoning moment’s wicked truth pulls these shoulders down, dulls bright eyes. Lost memories , whispered stories, muffled accusations, stolen glances have joined together to solidify what before lived as only vague, nagging suspicion.
Jester’s motley wears thin.
Bells losing luster still jingle with each nimble step. Now a fool in Majesty’s court, once an infant changed by witches’ dark purpose hovering over secret nests dug beneath cobbled streets. Growing understanding strengthens his heart.
Tonight will mark War’s beginning or Harlequin’s end. Which, depends wholly on one dreaded answer.
Was he born Prince of Rats?

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Just Keep Swimming

Aubrey: "So, how are you eating that apple so quietly?"

Me: "Because, this apple is a pear."

Aubrey: "So, why is that star so much brighter than the others?"

Me: "Because that star is Venus."

Aubrey's innocence is due to her inexperience. Time will take care of that. She has a particular wisdom however, that can be profound and inexplicable and she conveys it in the simplest of terms.
If I believed in incarnations, I'd be convinced she has spent many more lifetimes on Earth than I.

Recently she told me I'd feel much better if I spent more time in the water. I have. We have. She is right. It works like a think tank if you lie on top of it at night. It works like a shot of endorphins if you jump into it repeatedly with a toddler in the sunshine.
Note to self: Always jump in after Orion, not before, as he tends to land on or near your head...

Aubrey asked me if I ever worried that I might, in my efforts to encourage free thinking, inadvertently become just another shepherd, with a new flock of sheep blindly following me.
I explained to her that this is highly unlikely, given the tendency of my visitors to be 'members of the choir' already. It's also unlikely because I tend to tell people to think, not what to think. And, as I do my mental floundering openly, most will just watch at a safe distance, ready to run least I short something out.

Still I was amazed that she was projecting the idea this far. As I drove on in silent wonder, we passed a road sign for a crossing [XING] and she said, "Mom, what's a zing?"

On One Hundred Words:
I'm really happy to hear some of you are taking this on. It is indeed a very, very specific exercise. I wrote one fairly quickly---very likely a fluke. Possibly I started it at precisely the right moment after coffee, just after getting the email, so didn't have time to think about it. Likely I won't be able to do it again. I'm thinking of trying it again on Tuesday morning. (Orion will be back in day care---I will spend less time impersonating Aku from behind the sofa and more on art.)
This time it worked for me to expand a single moment in time, then go back and edit to get close to word count, then edit, edit, edit for repeats. If you've come up with an easy way to do that one, please share it, because that's the trick. I highlighted each line to look for each pronoun, over and over and over..... Then more careful editing for both. It was more fun than loading the dishwasher and more satisfying.
Is there some Microsoft Word trick to use for looking for specific words?
After the writings are posted I"m looking forward to hearing about your unique writing experiences.

I'm thinking that Orion might need a break from Samurai Jack, pure-hearted hero that he is. Possibly some Teletubbies are in order. (see photo)

I've made more toys. I'll put up photos shortly after I take some. I have a short list of things that MUST be done this week---sculptures to be shipped out, orders to be filled. And then because the darkness is lifting (Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming....) I'll be back there again, flying blind, in the studio. I feel it coming. I'm never wrong about this---not yet, anyway. I hope to show you some very cool stuff. Especially since you've slogged through the last couple of hellish weeks with me. Thank you, by the way, for your comments and emails. You are so very cool..

I spoke with an exhausted Ravyn from Balticon. When she gets home and the dust clears, we'll update the calendar for exhibits etc. upcoming. We'll be posting a video of Neil Gaiman's sculpture in motion.

Orion is getting very sleepy. I think to tuck the little fellow in and go do a bit of floating.

Friday, May 27, 2005

One Hundred Words----Again

Bob Podrasky is Manager of Domestic Rights at St. Martin's Press in NY. Aside from that, he's a pretty cool guy who reads a lot and thinks, and manages to get out and have some fun too. He proves it sometimes by sending me photos. We wants to squash him occasionally.

He sent me a link to his blog, which is frank and sometimes very funny. This time though, he was inviting me to write a very short story. He tells me he was inspired by my One Hundred Words on the home page of my website.

I did. I liked doing it. I felt better after writing it. More focused. So, having done that with positive results, I'm recommending the exercise to you. You'll have to go to his site for the guidelines and you only have until Tuesday, so if you're going to do this thing, do it now.Homework

Bob is going to post the best of the writings. I'm looking forward to reading them myself and hoping some will inspire illustrations. This could actually turn into a very cool group project. We'll see what happens.

Go be brilliant, in one hundred words.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

In and Out

I would like to get out of my head, please.

Pete and Orion are in the den, playing Haven. I’m too tired to do anything more so I sit on the sofa to watch. Well, I try. It’s a flying and shooting segment, nicely done. Okay so you follow the green indicator and shoot when it’s red and evade shots fired at you by other flying things. It looks cool enough, but I can’t concentrate. I can see us sitting here, from outside. I try harder to just watch the pretty flying and shooting. But my head won’t let me. It’s like a trading floor in here; mother, artist, rebel, child, lover, teacher, tasks that must be done, things that should have been done, things that shouldn’t have and conversations replaying themselves. The constant hammering on the new concept for Lost and Found, the very large unfinished sculpture in the studio and all the little ones waiting to be packed and mailed out and worse, the unmade ones each believing they are ‘the one’, all screaming for attention. There are the story lines and all the bits that start to make connections and codes with new solutions. I consider swimming but I’m too tired. I try to concentrate on the ceiling fan but I’m too far in. And no, if you’re wondering, this is how it can be when I don’t do drugs. It’s worst when I’m too tired to run away from it, to go and do something. The shouting on the floor gets louder and above all the overseer bellows that none of this matters. The spirit whispers that all of it matters and the door is broken down by a wedge of images marching in like soldiers to burn the place down and somewhere an alarm is going off. It is very dark in here. I’ll be carried away soon, howling and tearing at my hair except for that thin white thread of sanity, quiet voice of reason, that finds its way in, like smoke. It always has, so far.
I get up and go to the bathroom and wash my face and breathe, slowly, deeply, one, two three, leaning on the sink. I’m such an ass, I think.
When I get back into the den I tell Pete I want to watch the Samurai Jack episode with the black and white scene. I pick up sleepy Orion and hold him. The music starts, I’m taken in again by the aesthetics of this series we consider to be a masterpiece of animation.
Jack is lost in the light, his nemesis lost in the shadows. They are each visible only within the space of the other. Orion begins to snore softly.

I’m out of my head now. Thank you, Mother Earth, Genndy Tartakovsky and the Still, Small Voice that, when I was a little girl, I thought belonged to someone else.

Today is Thursday. I’m going back to the studio. Thanks for reading, thanks for your comments. Photos are coming.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Treason is just a typo from the truth.

There will be no pictures tonight either. Boy have I ever spoiled you guys!!!

This to say about the Congressman Bachus/Bill Maher thing: Bachus would have been able to avoid looking like an ass had he done just the slightest bit of research. Anyone who has listened to Bill Maher or bothered to read (or even skim) one of his books knows that Maher's patriotism is unflinching. His remark about the recruiting failures of the military was not a slam against the soldiers but against the recruiting process and sorry pay of these heroes who put themselves in harms way.
Bachus cries treason. Bill Maher is generally the sole voice of reason. I say this as a parent with a son who spent three years listening to the North Koreans and who is now scheduled for Kuwait. I say this as someone who isn't particularly worried about Bill Maher. Bill is a big boy and will handle this. It won't be the last time. What worries me is that a congressman, however misinformed, feels that he can comfortably yell so loudly against freedom of speech.
We had better be damned careful. We'd better stop being so complacent. And, when the hell did we stop taking responsibility for protecting all our rights?

Once again, I recommend Maher's Amazon.com: Books: When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden

I saw Revenge of the Sith today. It strikes me that a couple of things separates Star Wars fans from other people. One is the willingness (and ability) to read three paragraphs of text before each movie. The other is the ability to become twelve years old on command. As the opening battle sequence unfolded, I sure wished I could see it as a kid, so for a couple of hours, I became one. It enabled me to overlook the things in the dialog that would be uh, problematic to the grown-up Lisa. Being twelve simply let me visit that universe, once again. What an amazing place it is.

Maybe tomorrow I will brave the studio again. I seem to pull myself up to the edge of this hole, then slide right back down into it. Maybe it's just the onset of hell (summer). Or maybe it's this list of have-to's I have to finish before I can start anything inspired. Tonight I'm going work on a letter to Mr. Bachus (R) Alabama. That might prove inspirational.

watch listen think for yourself


Monday, May 23, 2005

Monday. Less Coffee, More Juice

I got up early to drive Aubrey to school. Already the temperatures outside are sliding past the ‘normal’ temp for this time of year, which is 97 degrees F. Last night she and Orion and I were in the pool at ten. (Pete has been away all week, doing all those things nobody thinks about that make TV shows look the way they do.) Orion insisted on bringing one of his plastic swords. He stood on the little peninsula over the water with it raised to the sky, his little frame stretched to its fullest height, his hair silver under the full moon. He looked like a little warrior god. It was an arresting image, making me wish I were a better painter, making me feel like an ungrateful, undeserving human being for ever feeling sad.

I got a letter from George, who is the uncle of a little boy I sponsor through Christian Children’s Fund. I don’t support Christianity. I don’t see any conflict with supporting this group. Benard is just turning seven this year and still can’t write much, but he draws pictures. I send him books and stickers . Because of customs restrictions, I’m only allowed to send flat things that will fit in a big envelope. I choose the books and gifts carefully, knowing that Benard isn’t exposed to any pop culture. This week I sent a copy of “The Snowman” , some animal and alphabet stickers and some of those tiny sponge animals you put in water that grow into slightly larger sponge animals.
Benard’s parents died of AIDS. I haven’t asked yet, but I’m thinking from the letters that his uncle is probably pretty young. It’s likely, as the mean age in Kenya is eighteen.
The letters are interesting. I’m learning things about life in Kenya that aren’t in most books. It’s interesting too, to correspond with someone who has had so little exposure to Western culture. For instance, in response to George’s heartfelt thanks at the end of each letter, I have no way of explaining to him that my sponsorship is less than what I pay for cable.
I’m ashamed to be an American.

I’m making another toy, and mailing out rats and things I owe people. Toys can be silly, but working is not. For me, working is often the answer to whatever is wrong.

I’ve added Bill Maher’s book, “If You Ride Alone, You Ride with Ben Laden” to Aubrey’s required reading list for this summer.

As always, I appreciate your comments and invite you to say what’s on your mind.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Brain, cabbage. Sometimes it's hard to tell...

I could write endless pages on my bouts with depression. I don’t. I won’t.

When I’m struggling through one I’m too far ‘in’ to write well. It’s too much mad ravings, too random and too already better done by Poe, Blake and others of raving eloquence I can’t begin to approach.
But it seems to me that writing about depression (here, in this journal) must be done while I’m in it.
Anything else seems cowardly.

So, okay. This really sucks.

Tools like therapy and logic and reason help to lessen the effect. Sometimes. Some medications have made it go away for months or even years. But they close doors in my brain I’d really prefer to leave open. Self-medication helps sometimes, but I’m told it’s dangerous. (I believe it.) Alcohol has never helped and in fact has made me feel much worse. Pot can help, sometimes, but is unpredictable and imprecise. I believe a lot of research should be done here. I realize this is not a popular opinion. After all, we can’t have people getting help from something that grows freely all over the planet…
I know, I’m a dreamer. But...

An unexpected hug from a three-year-old can work temporary wonders, or an encouraging word from the spouse or a note from a friend. Those are good.

Even still, the bad days are…bad.

I’ve learned that I can still work within limits. I can make toys. I can draw.

I feel as though I’m made of lead. My face doesn’t feel familiar.

A bird perches on the windowsill. The bird makes me want to cry.
I imagine throwing a rock at it.

Today I don’t like my studio, or my reflection and I won’t talk on the phone.
But I can answer email and make a toy here at the table in a room that smells of coffee and toast.
The studio is not a place for the faint-hearted, even on the best of days.

The temperature is 105 F outside. The sun is an evil hammer. Rain would feel better. I hate this desert today.

I can hear Orion playing in the next room. He is Samurai Jack. This helps more than coffee.

Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I might not wake up feeling like someone who is hopeless, someone who is not me. Or I might try making another toy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Vanda is Good. Vanda is Wise

Vanda is Good.
Vanda is Wise.
Vanda has Tarot cards and a crystal ball, a tye-dye dress and a knowing smile.
She is very fond of hanging out with her wizard friend, Magic.

More Vanda

I made the original Vanda for a friend (Ravyn) to give to another friend (Laura).
I liked that.
I'm going to send Vanda to a couple of goddesses I know, for being there when I needed someone to listen.
I like all my little ratty sculptures (as you know). But this one especially is meant to be given to friends who ---sometimes---work magic.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Rattus serendipitus

I’ve read Robert Sullivan’s treatise on rats, I’ve read most of The Story of Rats by S. Anthony Barnett, and select writings of David Davis. I’ve visited countless websites, some graphic enough to make me skip lunch, some saccharine enough to make me skip dinner. (I may be onto the diet of the century here.) This leaves me knowing just enough to make an utter fool of myself.
Therefore, I am not writing about rats. I will say that the two aforementioned books are well worth seeking out. It matters not (sorry, Orion is so very into Clone Wars) that you are interested in rats. What strikes me is that one absolutely cannot study rat behavior without learning about human behavior.

We are inextricably linked.

Rattus serendipitus

And this brings me to why I tend to make rats. (Why I collect rubber rats is another post entirely.)

Rattus serendipitus

Rats are like us. They are unsinkable, nearly. They are opportunistic and tough; they are survivors. I can relate. Rats are scavengers. They can live off leavings---they do. We leave them plenty, which is why they are plenty. Rats are smart. They watch and learn.

Rats live where we live. Wherever Here is, if rats are Here, it is because we brought them with us.

Rats move into an area and oust its indigenous occupants. Like us. They reproduce until they strain every available resource to breaking. Like us. When resources run low, they fight and die. Like us. They soil and sully every environment they infest. Like us. Bill Hicks called human beings "a virus with shoes."(We, and rats, could stand to change our habits.)

We have a love/hate relationship with rodents. We invite them into our literature, into our homes as pets, into our deepest nightmares. They are objects of hate and revulsion. They are so like us that they stand in for us in the scientific research that benefits us.
I was there for some of that.

And, here’s another nasty little experiment:
A nasty rat experiment
Rats, like people, can be 'trained' to feel and behave helplessly.
In one famous experiment, rats were held down in ice-cold water until they stopped struggling. This taught them, through experience, that effort was futile and that nothing they did made any difference.
Then, 2 groups of rats, the second being a group which had not undergone this experience, were left in cold water without being held.
The group which had previously been held began to drown, on average, much, much sooner than the 2nd group of rats.
Some of the 2nd group, which had not been held immobile, actually managed to escape!
Our depressive rats were behaving as if they were still helpless even when they were not.
This experiment has been repeated in many ways, some on humans. Depression and Your Sense of Control

Rats are so like us that it’s easy to anthropomorphize them. We can imbue them with personalities that don’t exist, that allow us to look at ourselves through them, as through our fingers, fuzzy and funny, the edges softened. They are stand-ins, so like us.

We treat rats horrifically. We kill them inhumanely. We hate them, and pretend that they hate us.
They don’t. They are rats.

The core of the rat matter for me, not being a New Yorker (though often I wish I were) and not being a Londoner (though I’d, er, like to visit) is that they remind me of how it is so very easy to hate rats, but so difficult to hate a rat, if I take the time to consider it.
It’s so very easy to hate people, but difficult to hate persons, if we take the time to consider them.

Yeah, yeah, I know, the Plague. But, really, fleas carried the Plague.

Rattus serendipitus

I like making rats because they make good models for humans. You have but to read the four authors I’ve made rats of so far to understand that they have taken time to consider why we hate people but not persons. Harlan Ellison is one of the few living writers I know of who has to write under the burden of his own brilliant shadow—and one of the few living human beings who could pull off showing up dressed as Zorro. I can show this, with a rat. We groundlings can handle it, without cutting our fingers.

Rattus serendipitus

I’ve been thinking about this most of the day, carrying it around with me. It’s hot as hell here, nearly. The kids wanted to swim and I wanted some shade over the pool steps for them, so went searching for the umbrella base I knew was in the storage building out back. I couldn’t find it, but spotted a Christmas tree stand and was reaching in for that, hoping not to disturb any sleeping Widows. I could feel my flip-flops starting to slide---time to put those away---they melt on pavement in summer. Just as my fingertips touched the plastic stand, I caught that unmistakable sickly-sweet smell. Dead Rat.

OK. Right. I’m not a believer in fate, or serendipity, but here she was, a dark reminder for me to be sure I ‘m sure about what I think about rats. I couldn’t tell how she died. Her eyes were gone and the heat and ants were quickly clearing the scene. But I hoped it was better than the rat in the trap. I hoped it was quick. I took a good, long look at her paws.
So like us, rats.

Here was me not writing about rats. Later, I'll try not writing about something else.


Rats and Puppets in Baltimore

Lisa will be exhibiting artwork in the Balticon Art Show, during Balticon 39, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention, May 27-30 (Memorial Day Weekend).

Eat at Joe's (top) and Sum of It (bottom) will be there, along with rats, rats and more rats :-). And two one-of-a-kind Paper Doll sculptures that i don't have very good photos of right now, but they are gorgeous. (i'll get them up as soon as i find them)

There will be a pair of resin-cast candlesticks very similar (in coloration) to these.

And the ultra-cool table entitled "Those Pesky Infinities".

And some other items that are not on the main web site. This is a great chance for those of us in the Mid Atlantic to get an up-close look at Lisa's work. Um and need i say, take it home?????

This is definitely some very cool stuff. But, it's only a small taste of what will be coming to Balticon next year **winks**.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Aubrey's move. The battle limps on..... 

Harlan Ellison joins the author rats. Left to right: Ellison, Lovecraft, Poe, Gaiman. More photos soon.
Here's one photo of Harlan in processHarlan in cheese? I took photos of the whole thing, for those interested in the nuts and bolts of the studio insanity. I really had a tough time with the Harlan Rat. I had to show Harlan's now trademark lustrous silver-white hair, but learned that you cannot really depict Zorro without his hat. It doesn't work unless it is on his head. Finally I thought about it and relaxed. I mean, who, other than Harlan Ellison, could get away with showing up dressed as Zorro? I gave him an endearing, slightly evil grin, as only Harlan would have while very subtly reminding us of just how sharp his sword can be. I haven't shown the rat to Harlan yet, though he will be receiving a number of them soon.
Harlan chose to donate the 2o% I offered to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. No surprise there. I appreciate this group , and Harlan, and "that other author" more and more.

Tonight I'm going to explain to you why I make rats. I don't know why I haven't done it before. And I'll be glad for the opportunity to write freely.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Behind the Scenes

We recycle as much as possible around here. For instance, old molds make great filler for new ones, especially cut up and given a few spins on the slice-a-whirl.

Behind the Scenes

Harlan's Rat molding in process. Messy and fun. He's done. Will post photos ---maybe tomorrow. But Lisa is in need of recess, so first, Kung-Fu Hustle.

Behind the Scenes

Pete, while doing a desert photo shoot, looking for a location and otherwise lurking.

Behind the Scenes

You can see how we built a wooden box, then carved styrofoam to follow the outline of the sculpture. The sculpture will be secured inside with even space around. The space will be filled with mold rubber. After the rubber cures, the styrofoam and wood frame will serve as the 'mother' mold.

Behind the Scenes

Speaking of lurking, this is Ben, who is also a pirate. He does molding and engineering. One of his hobbies is annoying, among others, Aubrey, who is 13, and has been annoyed by Ben since she was a wee tot. Ben is getting married in August, and I will be his 'best man'.

Behind the Scenes

tPeople tend to bring things to the studio for repairs, like Ben's grandmother's garden statue of David. Ben, ever faithful to his Annoy Aubrey hobby, has tended to position said David in whatever position in the studio from which it would best visually assault Aubrey, who, being 13, is totally grossed out. Aubrey decided to fix things up a bit, and made David fancy. (she did lots more---next photo)

Behind the Scenes

Ben retaliated today, with a bit of signage.... This is, after all, a serious art studio.

Behind the Scenes

I'm pretty sure I nearly caught Aubrey cooking up the next step. This is her convincing me of her innocence. Hmmmm.

Behind the Scenes

Meanwhile, back in the den, Orion , who wouldn't have strawberries with us because he says they're really Lady Bugs, revisits The Fellowship of the Ring...


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Grim Reading

In Dark Caravan, Grim rides in the last car of the roller coaster. He is passed out, drunk, at the base of the girlie show, bagged bottle in hand. At the swings, he waits on a bench, with a bag of chips. I like having him around the carnival, lurking in the backgrounds. After all, death is always near.

Grim Reading

In Grim Reading, Grim is leaning rather comfortably on his scythe, calmly intent on his book. I find this image intriguing. It at least poses some interesting and possibly disturbing questions. I mean, if humanity finds itself in a situation in which the Grim Reaper isn’t, well, reaping, just how screwed up must things be?

Grim Reading

Unless of course, Grim has an army of ‘helpers’ like, say Santa Claus, for instance. That's a sweet thought. By the way, Happy Mother’s Day. Right. If you’d like insight into my feelings about Mother’s Day, you’re invited to visit my Valentine’s Day entry. Same samey same.

Grim Reading

If you’ve noticed, there are usually far fewer sculptors at convention art shows than there are painters. For some reason, at nearly every convention I attend, at least one person feels the need to console me because, as a sculptor, my work can’t be used for illustration. Apparently, this is still a widely held belief, though I am chipping away at it, bit by bit. Don’t you believe it, especially if you are a sculptor. I’ve said this before, I think, that the medium is far less important than the message.

Grim Reading

I have never doubted that sculpture could be used for illustrating stories. Some of my sculptures have stories already built into them. A number of authors have been very, very good at finding them out. More books are coming. I promise.

Grim Reading

. I really do enjoy photographing sculpture. I photographed Grim Reading against a painted backdrop for this image. We used it for WindyCon's souvenir shirt design in 2002. I also used it to illustrate a short story called "Little Death" that won First Place for "Best Mystery" in the Palm Springs Writer's Guild Competition. There was no category for Horror or Fantasy, or Science Fiction either.
It is, after all, the desert.

I love my children. They love me. I'll admit, there were some flowers, some Hersheys minis and a houseplant. All were sort of spirited in without fanfare. They didn't bring a thing into my house from Hallmark or American Greetings, nor mention any particular day. They're starting to get me, I think.
I think the cold meds are starting to wear off, so...


Apology to Craig

----for making him work way too hard. What I meant to say was 'acronym'. I'm not 100% sure I can even blame the cold meds for that one. oops! sorry!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Out for the count of three...ten?

I'm still sleeping. Cold meds and steamy showers and anything else I can do to not cough. Because, ouch.... Between lying here watching SpongeBob and Firefly, I've been updating my portfolio. I'm thinking I didn't show you Toy Conflict, which is also in the collection of Roland and Robert and which has been nominated for a Chesley award. I used this image for last year's holiday cards and enclosed a copy of the "Cowboy Neil" story, entitled First Incident Concerning the Influence of Neil, the anagram of which I think most people missed. The story was in the Fiddler's Green Program Book (which is beautifully done) and if you missed it, is in the archives. cough cough.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Where are my kicks?

I wrote a sort of long, meandering post and then erased it because after yesterday's grousing, decided that you deserve better.

I am sleeping.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


......GGGGGHHHHH! I can't take anymore! I'm going to start SCREAMING. No, I'm not. YES I AM!!!!!
I'm okay.
No. I'm not.
Five days of non-creative, pre-art show tedium. Paperwork, arrangements, errands, packing, framing and not making art make Lisa a LITTLE on edge. She's muttering to herself. Outloud. In public places.

I need to work. NOW!! But, I can't. One of those weeks... We need to work. We needs it, Preciousssssss.

Yes, this is shameless whining. Somebody kick me, please.

Just got an email from little Jordan., Ahhhh. Momentary balm. Aubrey has sequestered Orion. Mom is okay.....mostly, but likely to be grumpy. On the other hand, we get Pizza in the den!

I'm doing paperwork for two art shows at once. Leprecon, which I will be attending, and Balticon, to which I will be sending work, via Ravyn and Worlds of Wonder, the moment I get back.
Okay, now kick me.

When Lois McMaster Bujold presented me with a Chesley award a few years ago, she credited me with singlehandedly moving three -dimensional art from the back of the art show to the center. Maybe I deserve that honor---I'm not sure. But it was a really cool thing for her to say. I did fight for it, hard, for a number of years, before art show directors finally realized I could outlast them every time and would be no end of trouble. Finally they just worked harder not to place all the three-dimensional displays by the exits, restrooms and trash bins. Sheesh guys. Sculptors appreciate it.

The battle continues. I'm looking at the stack of blank bid sheets I must fill out. I must choose between these classifications for my work:

Science Fiction

WHAT??? This denial of genre catagories to three-dimensional art has never worked and never will. I understand that they are mostly for the purposes of ribbons. Fine. BUT If categories must exist, let there be consistancy.
Either categorize by subject matter or by medium/material, e.g. Paintings, sculpture, jewelry, costumes. I'm sick to death of sculpture being excluded from genre. My work generally falls into the Fantasy or Horror categories, and occasionally into Science Fiction or Humor. And, for award purposes, it's unreasonable for jewelry to be lumped into the same category as huge kinetic pieces. I've seen some exquisite small pieces lost in this 3D black hole. Sometimes size matters.

It's way past time for convention art shows to rethink this thing.

Grumpiness from studio withdrawal aside, this is a valid issue. I'd love to hear from you and will happily forward your comments to my list of art show directors, who are generally reasonable people and will listen if artists bitch loudly and long enough. It only took me five years to get a few tables moved away from the loading docks.

Ok Lois, my dear. Here we go again....

But first, Lisa goes for a walk in the cool desert air. A very brisk walk...

Oh and by the way, Blogger ate my post and I have just re-composed and re-typed the entire thing.

Kick, kick, kickityy-kick.


Coffee Monster

Eyes compliments of one of my favorite ever possessions, this Coffee Monster by artist Jeff Coleman, who is a talented sculptor (and, I hear, guitarist) cute and funny and sweet. Sculptures and Paintings by Artist Jeff Coleman, Fayetteville North Carolina

Monday, May 02, 2005

Not about teeth, really.

This is a message for Jordan’s Mom for Jordan: My dear, my experience with sushi is sadly lacking. I look forward to meeting you in person so you can help me learn to appreciate it. You’ll probably even have to order for me! Would you mind, terribly?

To Robert: Thank you for your kind words for me and the frank words about your own experiences. I would love to display your photos. I think anyone who read your comments would want to see what you choose to show us. Please do.

I spoke with a good friend on the phone today. He listened quietly as I told him about how my life was going and, after a thoughtful pause, said. “So, you’re fucked.” (That, for me, by the way, marks the difference between friends and people who say things to make you feel better.)
It’s true, but it could be worse. Mostly, if I’m awake, I’m working very hard. But, the work is good. A movie wouldn’t kill me though, or a full night’s sleep or dinner, sitting down. That sounds good.
Overall, for the time being, he is right.
Everything has a price

If I don’t stop drinking so much coffee I’m going to have to wear strips on my teeth every weekend for the rest of my life. That or I could resign myself to tan teeth. Or I could tan my skin---at least neutralize the blue---the contrast alone would help.
But who has time? Actually, I do. It’s the desert. Five minutes a day, sitting by the pool. But then there’s the health thing. But mostly it’s the sitting thing. I don’t sit. Hey---think it’s the coffee? Tom? Feel free to jump in any time. I could read, or write something instead of just sitting. Or I could tan and wear strips and start to look as though I live in Palm Springs, except that my tennis dress must be at the cleaners…
I am not giving up coffee. I could decide I don’t care if my teeth are brown. But, for now, I do. For now, it’s strips. Everything has a price.

Last week I decided that I didn’t like being ten pounds over what I think is my ideal weight, which is about two pounds over what the laminated pamphlet hanging by the register at the pharmacy says is my ideal weight. So I started a whole foods diet. I was looking forward to the energy and even thinking I might put a barre up again and bend and stretch and toe... I decided that whole foods are what you serve to people you expressly don’t like.
I simply bought some new pants. And made lasagna. Everything has a price.

Everything has a price. I say this a lot. You could substitute “choice” for “thing”. It’s like a mantra. Learn it. The worst you can do is never again be reeled in by a single hook that starts with the word “free”. There is no “free”. It goes against the laws of the universe. If it says “free”, it is a lie.
Is that a bad thing? No!! Not necessarily.
Actions have consequences. The glass can just as easily be considered half full, grasshopper.

And, if you’re wondering, this does not count as a sermon. If you ticked it off on your “I was good” list in ink, you’re fucked too. See? Everything has a price.

Orion is sleeping and I’m going now to pack up lots of art, and cast the first Harlan Ellison rat. I took photos of the molding/casting thing. Will post them when the rat is finished.


What? Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Somewhere outside the Garden.

For over a week now, I've been thinking of how to tell you about "Composition for the Right Hand". I've started several times from various directions. Okay. LOTS of times. The truth is, I'm not ready. Maybe it's the kind of thing I'll have to write in the book. Or maybe I haven't known this 'animal' (this journal---or you) long enough to go that deep. One of the reasons I started writing here was to do just that. I'm a little surprised, and I'm truly sorry. I'm glad you're here and I don't plan to stop trying. I will say these things about "Composition": I dropped everything I was doing to build it. I built it with no regard as to whether I could sell it, ship it or show it. It was the answer to a question and, though it wasn't the answer I'd hoped for, I accepted it anyway.

Little Ones

Turn the handle on the smaller wheel and the belt spins the larger one. The belt is peopled with creatures made from puzzle pieces. They disappear behind the top of the large wheel and reappear at the base. Red metal "jacks" tumble inside a glass tube in the center of the small wheel surrounded by crows.

Does she look familiar?

Indifferent angels keep showing up. The original carving for this one (and her companion) is on "Midway Between Grace and Chance" from Dark Caravan. She has bird's feet and juggles two red balls. I've cast several sets of them. They are a bit difficult.

Paper Grail

I skewed this chalice, pulling it between two and three dimensions. It has a child-like, almost cartoony appearance at first glance. The base is covered with puzzle pieces.


These two rabbit-like figures face in opposite directions and are bound to the post with wire barbed with more red toy jacks.


To view one of these little fellows straight on is to lose sight completely of the other. The first time I used one of these rabbit figures was in a sculpture called "Bunny" which will appear on my website gallery soon. That sculpture came into being much as this one did. Ther've been several more. I'm not done with these guys yet. Or, they're not done with me.


As with the rabbit figures, the angels are on opposite sides of the sculpture. Neither is necessarily aware of the other. Composition looks and feels somewhat organic, as do most of my sculptures. It has a skin-like quality in places and organic shapes that tend to be feminine but are sometimes masculine, though not necessarily human.

The View from Inside My Head

From where I stood, my first vision of 'Composition' appeared much as it appears finished. As the handle turns there is a good deal of scraping and creaking. There is a good deal to be said for scraping and creaking. There is a good deal to be said.

Right Hand

It, if you were wondering, fits.


A veneer, however genuine, can be peeled away. It is a raw thing indeed, just underneath.

Close up

At the center of things, looking closely, it's possible to deconstruct the wheel into its parts. Each puppet has its own face. Each little figure looks outside of the direction in which it travels.


The faces in motion become the spiral.

Composition for the Right Hand is leaving me next week. It will become part of the collection of Roland Chisolm and Robert Johnson in Atlanta. They have gathered a number of my original sculptures, including several very personal works like this one. The very cool thing about them is that they don't just collect the work, they explore it, seeking to uncover what's in there. I hope to do an online exhibit of their collection. I have but to find the photographer. I hesitate only because I'd thought I wanted to shoot it myself. Just now it occurs to me that it might be more interesting to see them from another view point. Sort of like when someone writes a story about one of my sculptures. Usually there's a surprise or two there.

This fall Aubrey will begin her studies at the PS Art Institute. She will be photographing "Jack" for the trade paperback of Strange Attraction and today, whilst I stuggled with writing this, she brought coffee with clairvoyant timing, and extra cream. She hates the rabbit figures, so of course, I have made it very clear to all that "Bunny" is hers.

As always, thank you for reading.