New Art for a New Life

I added accoutrements to the hat, the sweater and I redid the neckline of the dress, adding pockets

Dear Internets,

When I think about, I think about how much fun it was to blog about my art life. And since I haven’t been able to work this year, I haven’t really known what to post about.

I’m still not able to work-work. The people that I see regularly are usually my doctors, or the kind of friends and family that shows up for you when it’s hard for you to take a bath.

And while I used to be the happy-slightly-tipsy-slut, now I am the super-stoned-cripple. These days when something exciting happens it involves my cats. A TV show, or something dramatic to do with my neighbors. I live in public housing now. My apartment is amazing. But I live here because I am poor I’m disabled. And if I’m looking for a drama I can always find some close to home. Between the medicine I’m taking for my pain and my pain itself my sex drive is gone, effectively making my life drama free.

One of my favorite skirts

But I still make art. I can’t make as much as I used to. And it all goes very very slowly. And a lot of it is just about making my crippled life easier for myself.
I’ve been making myself skirts that are easy for my crappy hands to pull on and off. I made some black lives matters patches for my new skirts.
When my hands hurt I tend to overuse them. Picking at my nails, obsessively touching my phone, I discovered that if I always have pockets to shove them into I can concentrate on holding them still so that I can get some relaxation. So that the act of worrying about them doesn’t make me over use them.
So I sewed Pockets into all of my dresses and skirts and shirts and sweaters.

Fuzzy green pockets znd blue hair
This is my craziest abstract so far. 25″x35″

I’ve often thought that the lack of pockets in women’s clothes was a feminist issue. But it isn’t until I started putting pockets on to all my clothes that I realized how unhandy ladies clothes really are.

Bright colors get me high. I mean you probably could have guessed that because I’m an artist. But now that my health sucks, I’ve started to make a study of things that can make me feel better. And since I can’t drink, fuck, dance, or flirt my way through my body problems, I’ve been taking Refuge in color.

This oceanic whatever is painted on a 25″x36″ whiteboard

My hair is the most electric color I can get my hands on. And all the clothes I’ve been making myself for the brightest colors I can find. My body can’t handle painting the way used to but sometimes I still yearn to cover my hands in bright colors. So I’ve started a series of abstract paintings.

This is 39″x55″. I don’t know how to describe it. Abstract is weird.

I like to say I’m throwing paint on a canvas in a thoughtful way. But I’m literally just practicing that stupid new philosophy “does this bring me joy?” every time I look at the canvas. trying to gauge the way the colors make me feel. These paintings are done when they completely Delight me.

My cat (lady) suit

The paintings are bigger than anything I’ve ever made before. My skirts and shirts have become so outlandish so brightly colored, that people often ask me if I’m going to a party when I go outside and do my basic errands. “These are my clothes!” I say miserably, exasperated. I know it’s dumb. I know I’m dressing crazy.¬† But every time someone new asks me that question (And I get it once a week)¬† it still feels like they’re mocking me. I’m perpetually butt-hurt by how limited my life has become because of my shitty health.

There are good moments too. I have more time for my friendships now. And I need them now, more than ever. I’ve discovered, that children and animals delight me. And I started babysitting regularly. I’ve never enjoyed babysitting, until my health started to suck. And then those drooling, squirming, spastic, smelly, little weirdos started to sucker me in. And dogs! I have not been a dog person for as long as I can remember. There is a brief time when I was 8, when I campaigned for a dog. but once I realized it wasn’t true going to happen, I settled into Life as a cat lover.

But I have become the kind of person who has pictures of dogs on my camera. Sooooooo many dogs; dogs that I saw on the street or that in a park. I have no less than 15 pictures of my friend Matt’s dog on my phone right now, and he doesn’t even like the fucking thing.

I guess what im saying is the changes that I’m experiencing are internal as well as external. And I keep surprising myself with whom I’m becoming. My art reflects that right now.¬† is still up. I still get the occasional order. It’s not the cards is no longer the obsession of my life. And other art is capturing my imagination.


Alisa Starr

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