Biker Chick

New Birthday HelmetI’m anticipating this weekend with glee. It’s been two long weeks since we’ve gone cruising.  Yep, that’s me… a biker chick… Who would have thought that this artistic, whimsical, nose always in a book, silly-heart of a girl would grow up to LOVE riding motorcycles!!!!!  It’s a conundrum.

My first ride ever was in December of 2009.  It was on my second date with this guy who lived 2 hours away and I drove to see him (we’d met online and he’d come to see me a few weeks earlier).  There is more to the date that I will leave for another time, but as for the motorcycle ride… it can be described by what I asked him early on in the ride:  ”Is there booze where we’re going?”  That was our last date.

Fast forward two years… I decided to look that guy up again.  I was still single and remembered the date, and the ride, a little more favorably.  After all, it was fun leaning into those curves… and the wind on my face and the immediacy of scents and sights was pretty cool. Low and behold, he was still single and interested in seeing me, although he prefaced it by saying that we’d already tried dating, let’s just have fun. So we had LOTS of fun… and long story short… we fell in love and were married this past July.

Our courtship was really awesome and involved flowers and jewelry, oodles of cards, emails and texts flying fast and furious, and lots of motorcycle rides.  Big happy sigh.  We live in Southern California in a part where the rolling hills are perfect for riding… and close enough to the coast for delicious trips past the pelicans and surf boarders.  Each time we go out we have a meal at our destination, brunch, lunch or dinner, and then head home a different way.

My hubby is a Honda kind of a guy and has had about umpteen million different bikes since he first learned to ride at age 14 (I did ask him and that’s the official number ;) ). He is a self proclaimed motorcycle putterer.  I think between here and our ranch in Idaho he has 20+ bikes in various forms of repair ranging from turbos to dirt bikes. (You take your life in your hands when you try to walk through our garage…)   Although I’ve ridden his red turbo (picture below) and thrilled to the speed, we usually tour on his Honda Shadow Sabre 1100.  We even rode it on a 4 day honeymoon through Washington, Idaho and Montana… it wasn’t even embarrassed by that “Just Hitched” sign on the back.

I guess I can’t stop being artistic, even on the back of a motorcycle.  I took to writing imaginative descriptions of the rides in my head to tweet when we got home.  Since Twitter is limited to a certain amount of characters, my thoughts were almost poetic in their expression.  I’ve included a few here, fancied up by using an app called Whims.  My hubby, Tim, enjoys reading them since his experience as the driver is so very different from mine as a passenger.


I mentioned that we always eat halfway through the ride. It’s part of the special nature of the experience for us… like a date.  I began taking photos of the places we ate at and posted them on Facebook to let my family know what we were up to (and to make my friends jealous :) ).  I’ve gotten pretty creative when we go to the same place often, so I don’t repeat myself!

Why do I love to ride?  Just imagine what a dog must feel like when he sticks his head out the window of a moving car, and smiles with glee… it’s like that.  The excitement of moving fast, and traveling somewhere, and wind whooshing by, and sounds surrounding you.  Smells overwhelm, senses soar, thoughts are freed and life is intense.  And then the fact that we are sharing that experience makes the ride so much sweeter for my husband and me.

So I AM a biker chick.  And a biker poet.  And in love with a biker/putterer.  And a lover of the curvy road…. And I can’t wait for our next ride.



I’m in Love with Color

curtain abstract sig webRecently I wrote about my transition from photography to tradigital art in the blog Loving Abstract Artwork. Tradigital art is a combination of traditional art, painting or photography for example, and digital art, generated on the computer. (Wikipedia has an interesting article on the subject you might be interested in: Tradigital Art.)  My style has developed rapidly since those first experiments with textures and I am now approaching each new art piece with joyous anticipation.

You see, I’ve remembered my love affair with color.  When I was in art school, I ended up majoring in ceramics because… well… it’s a blast to play with clay! :)  At that point I chose to focus on shape and texture, with natural colors, to evoke an earthy, primitive effect.  Meghan's Pots

However, I had quite a number of drawing, painting and design classes that developed my understanding of 2-dimensional texture, pattern, composition and COLOR!!!!!!  Even then my 2D style wasn’t realistic in any way… what can I say?  I can’t draw worth a darn!  But I do love color.

As I delve into the mysteries of Photoshop, I’m discovering how rich the possibilities are to create 2D work with a vibrant and passionate color palette, complete with the textures I love.  With each new project, my personal color palette is emerging.  There are some colors I am deeply drawn to and if you look at my abstract work you will begin to see it.  You can see this in all artists’ work actually. Each person not only has their own style but their own color palette as well.

I just finished a project focussing on a photograph of a raven.  I came away with three different images of this raven and am posting them to my online gallery this evening.  As I was finishing up the pieces I thought about what my mom would think of them.  She was there when I took the photo of the raven, and she is extremely proud of me and supportive of all of my artistic endeavors. However, she admits to having to get used to my new abstract direction.  I realize the joy I get out of viewing the strong colors and vivid, abstract nature of my recent work, doesn’t translate to everyone enjoying it (my hubby for instance ;)  ).

So what I thought I’d do is show her, and him (and all of you) the recipe for my raven series.

Take one photo: crow vista web

Place in Photoshop (one of a number of design programs for the computer).

Take five different “textures”.  These are images that have textures or writing or color (or any or all or something else) on them.  These are the ones I used for this project in various combinations.


Layer them like lasagna in your Photoshop document with the crow at the base. Then PLAY! Change the properties of them. Change the order of the layers. Soften the intensity of one, boost the intensity of another… make one or more layers invisible… and you finally come up with something you really like!  In this case I had more layers than I usually have and so found three combinations of the layers that I really liked.  So I’m keeping them all.  Here are the results:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I realize this is probably still Greek to my mom (and many of you), but maybe it gives you a bit of an idea of the magic that happens when such disparate elements combine through the imagination and skill of the artist.  I mean, look at the colors of those “ingredients”…. they are far from what I ended up with. Yet somehow, in the visual cauldron I created, they transformed into the deep and richly vibrant COLOR filled final pieces of art.


The Raven Series


TGIF MOMOk, so yesterday I decided I would write a blog today about Thank God it’s Friday… but now that it’s Friday I keep procrastinating and doing pretty much everything BUT write.  Pretty soon it will be happy hour for all you 9-5′ers and I’ll still be stuck here at the computer because if I’m publishing a blog about TGIF it really does need to be published on Friday, right?  But instead all day I’ve been playing on Pinterest… getting a haircut… playing on Pinterest… coloring my hair… playing on Pinterest… painting my nails… you get the picture.

Maybe my hesitation has been because Fridays have changed for me since I “retired”.  I don’t have the same sense of impending release I had when I worked at an outside job 40 hours a week.  As a working artist all of my days are free… or rather all of my days are working days.  Actually, I think I work longer now than I did when I was going to a job.  Of course the big difference is I can work in my bathrobe with no makeup on! ;-)

I realize that there is another huge difference… I am doing something I absolutely love and the inspiration floods through me, invigorating me rather than exhausting me.  I used the term “impending release” for how I used to feel on Fridays as quitting time came closer and closer.  I’m trying to pin down why I used that term.  Release from monotony?  Release from having to make money doing something my heart’s not in?  Release from following someone else’s rules?  All of the above and more?

I know that a lot of you reading this are doing that 9-5 thing and some of you love your jobs, and some of you hate them, and everything in between.  It occurs to me that the end of a work week with that sense of needing to celebrate can simply be that… a celebration of a week well done… or at least DONE. 

Back to TGIF for a self-employed artist… Friday means my hubby gets “released” and life becomes about US for the weekend.  So you see, TGIF still has meaning in my life.


P.S.  Check out my accompanying blog – TGIF Drink Recipes and please contribute!

P.P.S.  Check out my Pinterest Board throughout the day as I collect images that relate to TGIF: FireBonnet’s Board TGIF

P.P.P.S.  While finding images for my TGIF board I realized one of my favorite artists has some GREAT happy hour stuff… check them out!  William Patrick is such a fun storyteller.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Original TGIF post was on May 17, 2013. 

TGIF Drink Recipes

cocktail_FD_attic vintage web

“Date with Self” BEFORE I met my sweetie!

When my now husband was courting me, and he TRULY took courting seriously, he made up a drink just for me.  I thought I’d share the recipe with you as it will make your Friday night REALLY nice.


1 ounce Galliano

1 ounce Tequila

1 ounce Tennessee Honey liquour

7 ounces OJ (or to taste)

Pretty it up with an orange slice, bright red cherry and whatever else tickles your fancy.

Now it’s your turn.  What fancy drink have you made up?  Or has someone made up for you.  And it does NOT need to be alcoholic.  Whatever floats your boat is welcome here.

P.S.  Don’t forget to read my accompanying blog post:  TGIF!

(originally posted on May 17, 2013)

Remembering Horses

my pony crop

I messed up my blog earlier this week and had to get help from my oldest son to recover it.  As you can see he was successful and I am eternally grateful.  With relief I checked to make sure everything was still there and I reviewed all the previous pages and posts I did back in 2011 that I’d made inactive.  I found some that I thought would be fun to share again.  Here is one close to my heart.  Although my current favorite form of recreational travel is cruising on a motorcycle with my sweetheart, I look fondly on my early years when I was horse crazy…

I was lucky to have been given a pony when I was little.  As I grew older we had Morgan horses (awesome breed).  I scanned these photos to remind myself of the true joy I had learning about and living with horses in my youth. Simply click on one of the photos to get a slide show complete with captions.

Of course all my horse memories have a rosy glow to them now…   even the one where I got yelled at for leaving the water on all night…   during a New Hampshire winter…   and the horse trough overflowed…   and we woke to a skating rink between the house and the barn…. but hey!  I was a kid!   ;-)