Doors of perception

Doors of perception


Grace Coolidge

sunlight blue flower cabin (1)

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Wait till the rain has fallen


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Uptown Arts District First Friday Art Walk

Here is our flyer for the June First Friday  Art Walk in the Uptown Arts District in Michigan City:


If you are in the area stop on by Haas & Associates at 526 Franklin St in Michigan City in the Uptown Arts District. Joy and I will be there to greet you.  The District is part of the city’s plan to revitalize the historic downtown area. Art stores, boutiques, and  professional firms line the streets, attracting locals and the summer beach crowds alike. And on Saturday mornings you can find fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market on the corner of 8th and Washington.

This will be our second First Friday Art Walk in as many months. Tim Haas, owner of Haas & Associates kindly invited us back after the May event. After gleefully accepting his offer we both went back to the drawing board intent upon having new pieces to show for the June event.

I decided that I wanted more control over the process of producing my photography, of pulling it out of the electronic ether and into the physical space, instead of sending it off to be printed on an expensive canvas or photo paper. So I turned to the world of image transfers. Pretty cool stuff. You can print out photographs and graphic designs on a regular old laser printer or inkjet (though I haven’t tried that yet) and apply a chemical mixture to it, press it down on wood, canvas, clay, you name it, and your image will transfer onto the surface. If you have never tried it – you’ve got to do it now.  I tried it using three different methods: gel medium, acetone, and fluid matte medium. The fluid matte medium took the cake. After application of the medium you only have to wait 2 minutes or so for the image to fully transfer onto your surface.  I won’t go into the process here because there are so many great posts on that already, following is a list of the ones that I found to be the most helpful: here, here, and here.

I did a lot of these transfers over the last month. Only a few turned out. I think this is probably the best one:


The most difficult part of the procedure for me is making sure you have no air bubbles! Air pockets trapped under the paper mean that the ink will not stick to the medium and you will then see the surface behind it. If you are going for a vintage look that can be great but I didn’t want that for this picture so I painted over it all. I ended up painting over almost everything. Here is the original photo:


There is a bit of a glare on the first image but as you can see it is a pretty faithful rendition. I think this piece will make it into the show. I also have a version of this photo printed on a 16×24 canvas in the show as well.

When I walked into Joy’s studio today I was blown away by her latest piece:


“Birds of A Feather” is a 48×36 acrylic on canvas painting. It is so beautiful. I have to say it: that green really pops! and the detail on the feathers is spot-on. So honored to be sharing the space with such a talented lady!

Joy and I are excited to share the space with the folks at Arturo’s Baked Goods & More this month. Ginny Scott, an abstract expressionist painter, will be applying her painting style to Arturo’s cookies live at the Art Walk tonight.

And last but not least, Oh Mamma’s Italian Deli will once again provide a scrumptious meat and cheese plate. They make their own cheese from goat’s milk raised and tended to on their farm in northern Indiana.

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Bike Winter Art Show

The Bike Winter Art Show is brightening the gloomy late winter skies once again! The closing takes place this Friday at C. Haus in Humboldt Park. The event space has room enough for dancing, the annual fashion show, and large-scale installations. For more details follow this link.

2013 will mark the second year that I have participated in the show. This year I created a graphic design of a girl posing in the Chicago Bike Salute stance, seen below at the opening at Gallerie F in Logan Square.


Also on display at the show is a photo of my ’63 blue Schwinn Suburban amidst a sprinkling of woodland wildflowers.


We made it through another winter! I biked nearly every single day and was the happier for it. Thanks to all the bike winter volunteers for putting on fun events like these to keep the community warm and close on these dark winter days!

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Best Chicago Pictures of 2012

The Huffington Post featured one of my photos in their 2012 Best Chicago Pictures. Thanks, HuffPost!

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Send Mail Windows Nuance & Workaround

Hey all, just posted my first blog post over at the Soliant Consulting blog, where I hang my database consultant’s hat. Read it here.


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It’s a beauteous evening, calm and free

It's a beauteous evening, calm and free

Photo Caption

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Mass Up

I write this with a heavy heart, for as many of you know, Friday morning brought with it a terrible accident on Wells Street. Neill Townsend, an attorney riding his bike to work, was doored and killed.  A terrible, tragic accident.

What makes this tragedy even more heartbreaking is that it could have been prevented by safer infrastructure. In many European cities where many, many more people bike, like Berlin, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen, this would never have happened. They build their cities centered around pedestrians and cyclists not cars.  According to this New York Times article, “…pedestrian deaths in the United States are three times as high per capita as in Germany and five times as high as in the Netherlands. Safer road designs in these countries slow motor vehicles and separate them from pedestrians and cyclists.” CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein and Mayor Emmanuel have made significant progress but we obviously need more.

In the meantime, some contributors to (an online bicycling community) discussion group suggest that bikers take matters into their own hands and try to mass up and take the lane whenever possible. I think it’s a good idea. Doing so will undoubtedly anger motorists but at least they’ll know we’re there.

Whatever we do, we can’t let this tragedy keep us from the streets. We have to fight harder. Think of new ways to raise awareness. Demand safer streets. And keep up the critical mass rides. It is from participating in the mass that I gained the confidence to take the lane when I don’t feel safe. And where I found a sense of community and strength.

September’s 15th Anniversary Ride drew a large crowd. Thank you to everyone who helped to print the shirts, the 2013 winter stickers, and the Derailleur! Here are some pics:

My favs first…

And here are a few photos from the July ride that my good friend and fellow photographer contributed. Once again, favs first!

A group of chainlinkers are planning a memorial next Friday for Neill at the scene of the accident. Read more about it here. I hope to see you there.

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It’s official! (I heart LSQ!)

I am honored to announce that  you can now find my artwork at Wolfbait & b-Girls in Logan Square. I just dropped off my first pieces this evening.

Happy as can be.

Wolfbait & b-Girls rocks the Logan Square ‘hood, proffering only local gems ~ unique clothing designs, handbags, jewelry, you name it.  In fact, the Chicago Reader crowd voted them Chicago’s best local shop. If you are in the area it is worth a lookaround. Logan Square abounds in fantastic little shops, cutting edge restaurants, and just a general creative, independent vibe.

Indeed, before I stopped in at Wolfbait, I had my hair cut at Mops Beauty Shop by Bria. It is without a doubt the best experience I have had at a salon in the ten years that I have lived in Chicago. No joke. Not only did she work wonders with my hair but she asked me in-depth questions about my usual methods and my likes and dislikes and then she truly tailored my cut to what she thought would work best given the information provided. The ultimate in artistic professionalism. Love her. I think I may have finally found the one! As Cat Marnell would say, I die.  I found Bria through my fav personal style media source – Refinery 29. Thank you once again, Shani Silver!

After I talked with one of the lovely proprietors of Wolfbait, I made my way over to New Wave Coffee on Milwaukee and grabbed a tasty sandwich and a glass of water. It’s so nice to patronize an establishment that leaves a jug of tap water out for guests. At Navy Pier the restaurants are not even allowed to give out water – you have to buy plastic bottles. Anywho, the New Wave coffeehouse/sandwich shop is great ~ comfy vintage furniture, lots of hipsters on their computers and a plethora of reading materials and posters/info of local goings on. OH! And an old-school Nintendo with a bunch of  big ‘ol game cartridges! I’m going to rifle through them next time to see if I can find the original Super Mario Brothers. Oh yeah!

Hope ya’ll have a great night.

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Bike Winter 2013 Logo Sticker Contest

Hey everyone! The winter season is not too far away and, a group of volunteers dedicated to supporting biking through the winter, is holding their annual logo sticker competition. The stickers will be used to spread the word and good cheer of biking through the cold months ~ “Every day is a good day to ride a bike”, they say. And so do I! I’ve biked through two Chicago winters now. It ain’t so bad. It actually makes the winter much more enjoyable. holds events such as art shows and decal making parties; they provide information on safe winter biking and what to wear; and just generally raise awareness about the joys of winter biking!

Check out the sticker candidates this year and vote here.

Below is my submission this year!

While I think there are a much better submissions than mine, it was fun to make! I used Gimp, the free image-editing software to cut out the bike silhouette from a picture that I took a few years ago:

And then modified the color scheme down to the gray shadow… and you can see the rest! By next year I hope to learn how to use inkscape (the free alternative to Illustrator) to draw a smoother, more polished submission..

Anywho… Hope you vote and hope you get to experience the fun of winter biking this year!


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