Highlights of 2009:

Saratoga Faire's debut CD, Saratoga Romance, was completed in September of this year.

Concerts were limited yet again this year because of the CD project. Concerts included:

1. Special Valentine's Concert and Grand Opening, Woodsongs Coffeehouse at Mavericks Music Hall of Fame, Saratoga Springs, NY
2. Kribstock, Luzerne, NY
3. Schroon Lake Art Council, Schroon Lake, NY
4. First Night Press Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY
5. Victorian Streetwalk, Saratoga Springs, NY
6. First Night, Saratoga Springs, NY

Exhibits included:

1. Once Again (5 person juried invitational) at Lower Adirondack Regional Art Center, Glens Falls, NY, March - April
2. At Play Hubbard Hall Projects (Valley Artisans Member show with guest artists), Cambridge, NY, March – April.
3. Member's Exhibit, Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Center, Glens Falls, NY, May - June
4. Holiday Art Shows October - December

She has continued to receive airplay for her Wing'd With Hopes and Goldenrod CDs in England, Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands.

A new facebook fan page was set up for Saratoga Faire.

Lise set up a few new sites of her own in 2009 including a blog, twitter, Renspace, and an Etsy on-line store.

Lise was mentioned in 2009 in the following blogs: Crystal Rose, Pepper-peppers2 and Nature Manipulated

Lise created many new greeting card designs. She experimented with home-printing them on a giclee printer with archival inks (most were hand-signed and some were limited edition) and displaying them in a limited number of shops.  

Lise’s web-diary for the year follows:

January 5, 2009

I seem to come around every year or so to recount the following year. So, for all intents and purposes, this is another attempt to keep you up-to-date as to what I was up to in 2008 and also to make an announcement. 

I will get my announcement out of the way first... 

The announcement is that I will no longer be making gift shop pottery: i.e. mugs, drinking vessels, smaller dishes and bowls, casseroles, etc unless they fall into an art theme I am working on for an exhibit. In other words, I will be focusing more of my attention towards art pieces, theme pieces and solo exhibits. For those of you who have been buying smaller works of pottery from me over many years from various gift shops, I do appreciate your patronage, but it has become increasingly difficult to manage to find time to do this kind of work and I find that I’m not inspired to make it. This may change in the future, but for now I am hoping to replace the present inventory in these shops with graphic works. 

Okay, so now that that is out of the way, onto the rest of my doings in 2008:

There have been very few photos taken of me over the last few years (for this site or any other occasion), so Jim took some pictures of me to make up for that fact. All photos were taken in 2008. Here are a few taken in various seasons (click on pictures for larger view):

All photos © Jim Lestrange











I have also posted a few of the same ones you see here in the photo gallery as well, particularly if costumes are involved. And yes, I do make a lot of the clothes that you see on this site (and for members of The Spirites Consort). The one exception above is #5, but I did sew the shirt when I was 20 years old (it’s an oldie… & a bit bleached out… hmmm, maybe time for a new one…).

Anyway, here is a synopsis of some of my experiences in 2008: 

In January of 2008, I published 8 more greeting card designs. I had drawn the designs in Spring of 2007 and they were ready to be published in June of that same year, but we had trouble on the digital end of things.

In February, the Saratoga Faire band played at The Dance Flurry Festival. I was also co-curator (with Audrey Sturman) of a ceramics show at Fulton Street Gallery called A Gathering of Peers: Regis Brodie, Leslie Ferst and Friends. Both Audrey & I had pieces in the show. Here are a few photos that Jim Lestrange took at the opening (click on pictures for larger view):

All photos © Jim Lestrange

& ME
posing before Audrie's wall sculpture in the show




(my long time teacher)
& ME

In March & April I continued to show at Fulton Street Gallery for their Small Works exhibit. Also in March, I joined Enchanted Folk. Here are 2 graphics by fellow Enchanted Folk artist, Tommy Gleason, who made me into a fairy (click on picture for a larger view):

photos © Jim Lestrange & Tommy Gleason
graphics © Tommy Gleason

... in Tommy's words:
"This guitar-slingin' fae loves faerie-folk, of course!"

... in Tommy's words:
"Lise's lyre is so tiny (notice the pine needle next to her) that it's song lays well beyond ordinary human hearing. Not a problem for the little creatures though!"

In May & June I was busy at work with my band mates finishing up our CD project and creating art work for the cover of the CD. I was also in two exhibits at Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Center, a Featured Artist of the Month exhibit and a members’ exhibit. Here is a view of the Saratoga Faire CD cover in its raw state (click on picture for a larger view): 

For July and August I devoted some time to my usual work (mostly preparatory drawings, practicing for the CD, spending time in the recording studio), but I found that much of the time I was distracted by home & garden duties. The garden is providing us with a great deal of our “winter” food, so it is fairly labor intensive for a couple of months a year (the short growing season of the northeast USA). 

September was a month of un-ending work in both music and art & the beginning of selling CDs to the European market. October was similar in intensity to distractions I underwent in October 2007 (which I wrote in 2007’s web diary), but they were somewhat different distractions (but still had to do with home issues!). 

November and December were very busy with holiday art shows and a holiday concert and preparing some art for an upcoming March exhibit at an art center. I also make gifts for family and friends, so that added to the frenzy. November was the month that Jim and I worked at updating this website and giving it a new look (hope you like the results!).

In the future, we hope to have a new website up for the greeting cards. Jim and I both own the greeting card company (Lilac/Grove Graphics) and he is a graphic artist and photographer who will be selling note cards along with mine, so we thought it would be best to start another website. Website “building” is a slow and arduous task, especially one with lots of graphics and pictures, but we do hope to have it up soon for you to peruse. We will announce it in the news section of this website as soon as it is up.  

This year’s reading included:

Life in a Medieval City by Joseph and Frances Gies
Daily Life in Chaucer’s England by Jeffrey L. Singman and Will McLean
Elizabeth’s London by Liza Picard
Creative Medieval Designs for Applique by Eileen Campbell
World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker by Steven Greenhouse
(Not) Keeping Up With Our Parents, The Decline of the Professional Middle Class by Nan Mooney
The Late Great USA by Jerome R. Corsi
Moyers on Democracy by Bill Moyers
Promises to Keep by Joe Biden
A Rare Breed of Love by Jana Kohl, Psy.D
Growing Green, Animal Free Organic Techniques by Jenny Hall and Iain Tolhurst
Goodnight John-Boy by Earl Hamner and Ralph Giffin
books on birds: hummingbirds, bluebirds and other species
and lots of on-line articles 

Some of this reading I liked more than others but all of it followed my general interests.

I also saw some great movies this past year too (none of which were current), but they come highly recommended if anyone out there is a movie buff: Girl with a Pearl Earring, Lovers of the Arctic Circle, Like Water for Chocolate, My Mother’s Castle, Madame Bovary (Claude Chabrol version) and Paper Moon (which I originally saw when I was 14 and couldn’t remember much). 

If I had to pick one that effected me most deeply it would have to be Lovers of the Arctic Circle. It’s a Spanish film that makes use of coincidence. It was riveting throughout and it takes the viewer in unexpected directions. I wished that the filmmakers had gone with a different ending, but it was an unexpected and interesting ending none-the-less. 

The coincidences that the two characters experienced really do ring true to me. It’s an interesting concept that I’ve witnessed in my own life (in all of the major relationships anyway).

For instance, on the following day that a former boyfriend and I broke up, I picked up a magazine that someone had left on a lunch counter. I was reading the stories in the magazine, trying not to cry, and came upon a story about a local man who had a number of professions and was photographed with a beard of icicles. I thought nothing of it (it was as significant as any short bio of a person), but then a couple of years later I met this man with the icicles. He has been in my life now for seven years. There are many, many other coincidences having to do with our relationship and some of them are in the Twilight Zone category, so I won’t divulge them here, but suffice it to say that Lovers of the Arctic Circle explores the realm of these kinds of experiences in a satisfying way. 

I also saw some other movies that didn’t quite knock my socks off the way the aforementioned did, but are still admirable movies: like The Girl from Paris, Japanese Story, Under the Sun, Chocolat, Kristin Lavransdatter, Lion in Winter, Blue and The Turn of the Screw. I also recommend these slice of life movies of remote places in the world like The Fast Runner, Osama, The Clay Bird and Himalaya .   

I feel that movies like The Fast Runner, Osama, The Clay Bird and Himalaya are must-see movies in order to really understand certain cultures. We saw Chocolat without any chocolate in the house (torture! make sure you have some on hand, especially with some chili in it!). Under the Sun was an admirable production with an interesting story and wonderful scenery. I really like The Girl From Paris too, about a young woman who forsakes big city life for farming in a remote area of France. Kristin Lavransdatter was great for the scenery, architecture, art, costumes and steamy romance.

As for other parts of my life: 

I became more interested in local government and attended hearings and planning board meetings. So much is being developed around here. Perhaps it will all end very soon as the depression economy seems to have taken over and seems to be slowing the rate of developers going to planning board meetings to have their schemes approved. In the meantime, green spaces, farm land and forests are disappearing at an alarming rate and preposterous high rise buildings are being proposed in areas that are not scaled to accommodate them. Most of the proposed development in the cities around this part of upstate New York seems to be geared towards the rich: luxury condominiums that are $500,000 to $1,500,000, retirement communities with absurdly high rents and suburban neighborhoods of McMansions. The developers apparently feel that their schemes will go unchallenged as they seem to count on the fact that the city governments are ever hungry for more tax income and will rubber stamp anything that can add lots of tax revenue to the cities coffers. Meanwhile, there is a glut of existing houses and dead unused buildings and at least half of rentals are unoccupied. We have very harsh, cold, snowy winters. How many wealthy people would really want to live here and drive through all of the snow? There is a reason why upstate New York north and west of the Catskill Mountains has been depressed for as long as I’ve been alive. 

Anyway, I continue to soldier on in this region, but perhaps will eventually look into life in a county with even smaller towns and farms.


Special note:

I have decided to start a yearly tradition of naming artists, musicians & writers who are not household names who I found somehow & greatly admire... for musicians that would mean those who are not playing at Carnegie Hall, large arenas or sold 200,000 copies of a CD etc yet; for artists that would mean those who are not showing at the Whitney, Mary Boone Gallery, written up in Art in America, being collected by a major U.S. museum, etc yet; for writers, that would mean not on the NY Times bestseller lists, books not being considered for a movie, etc yet... 

I am doing this because I feel that these artists may be just as talented as the stars. Perhaps I am a curator at heart and I like to see remarkable talent that is in the background come out into the foreground where it deserves more public recognition. You may not agree with my choices, and to some degree I make these choices out of a somewhat limited awareness of what kinds of artists inhabit these fields and a biased aesthetic. Being biased perhaps is manifested as a desire to see certain kinds of music, art, writing and creativity come more to the forefront that may only be in the background because of certain trends, contemporary tastes, politics and lack of powerful connections in a field that make marketing the work much more difficult.


Laurie Ann Haus
Helena and Bogdan Kosanovic of Mysterious Ways
Daughters of Elvin
Djilia Phralengo
John Doan
Tobias Tåg and Thoby Loth (same musicians)

Andrew Wielawski

AnnMarie Tornabene

Laura Von Rosk

Paulina Cassidy

PICKS FOR 2009 (also repeated in the 2010 diary entry):


Martine Lund Hoel 


Susan Schroder


Diana Sudyka
Larry MacDougall
Lisa Hunt