Monday, October 31, 2011

Fluid Abstraction

As a painter you often get to meet an artist that you wish you were as good as.  Art collectors need to keep an eye on Jeanine McShea & Joshua Harker.  Her work was powerful and his is inventive.

I recently went to the Fluid Abstractions Exhibit.  The show featured pieces made by a combo of monotype and creating on water printing.  The four featured artists were Jeanine McShea, Ingrid Albrecht, Karen Goldstein and Sally Misiora.

The flow of the paint in the pieces was incredible. These artists had a really interesting medium and the colors that each artist used complimented each other’s pieces.  The paintings were not large in size, but the vibrant shimmering blend of the paint stood out creating a larger than life picture. 

These pieces had shapes and movement; they are one of a kind and would be difficult to duplicate.  I was fotunate to visit this show and learn about a new technique.

Also, just because it's Halloween (my favorite holiday) Here is a totally creepy piece of art you should check out:
 Joshua Harker's Crania Anatomica Filigre.   This artist is a modern day sculptor and an out of the box thinker.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I mentioned a few times since starting this blog that music is an absolute for me. I am always interested in checking out new bands.  I have been to see local band California Wives play a couple times.  They remind me of 80s techno.  Their music is lively and I find it very hard to sit still while they listening to them. I cannot compare their sound to anyone new out there. They are worth checking out if you are looking for a fun band.  You don’t have to know their music, the sound will get up off your feet and before you know it – you’re dancing. I was lucky to score a sweet interview with guitarist & bassist, Dan Zima.

What age were you when you decided you wanted to become a musician and what age were you when you knew were living it?
I started playing guitar around 5th grade, when a friend convinced me to make my mom buy me one rather than a Nintendo 64. I guess I thought he was really cool and I would be like him. I played in some bands in high school, but it was always a fun thing until California Wives started making music; at which point I decided that it was worth a shot. We're pretty close to where we want to be, so the hard work of the last few years is paying off. As of now, I'm still earning nothing from music that doesn't get reinvested into the band, so I have no idea what it will be like to try to live off of it, but I imagine it could be tough.

What is your band’s music writing program? Sitting in a café? Locked in a room for 24hrs? All night bender?
It varies. Some stuff gets started with one person doing a demo and everyone else contributing to finish it. Some stuff is done in collaboration, but everything is done completely sober. I do like writing music late at night; things seem a little more exciting and seem to flow a bit easier.

What are your 5 favorite songs?
"Cause=Time" by Broken Social Scene
"Heaven or Las Vegas" by Cocteau Twins
"Souvenir" by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
"Teenage Riot" by Sonic Youth
"Leeora" by The Sea And Cake

What can’t you live without?
 Music for obvious reasons; I have a very long catalog of artists that I listen to and like to think that I'm well informed with what's out there today. It's always on, whether I'm working, or relaxing, I can't imagine not listening to music on a daily basis.

What band, song, movie, concert, etc changed your life or has had the most influence on you?
My mom took me to see Oasis as a kid and I'll never forget that experience. It was lots of bright lights, and guitar, but also a really great atmosphere of people really enjoying music right then and there.

What do you hate about touring?
I really hate not sleeping in my own bed and not knowing where we will be sleeping, in general. We've been fortunate to land on a few friends’ couches, and we really appreciate that, but hopefully we can tour one day where we can each have a comfortable bed to sleep on, as opposed to couches or the floor.

What’s your take on the arts (music, art, theatre, film) in Chicago?
I think Chicago has a thriving music/arts scene. I know a lot of music people from being in a band and I can say I enjoy a lot of what's coming out of Chicago these days. Art and Theatre has always been a staple in Chicago and it seems to get bigger every year.

If you were in a jam at 3am who would call?
I would never be in a jam, I'm pretty responsible. If by some chance things got out of hand, I'd call our manager.

Tell me a great California Wives caper while touring.
I nearly got us killed in Omaha, Nebraska by telling whoever was driving to turn onto a one way street full of oncoming traffic, but that's probably a normal thing for bands. We sort of broke into the house where we were staying in one city to get to bed early, but only to find the owner there making coffee. We once played while people next to us got massages and haircuts. I'm hoping we get some better stories in the near future.

Who in band can scream the loudest?
Probably Jayson. He has a couple of climactic endings in songs that really take big range and lots of control to make it sound just right. Crowds really get into it. 

What’s your favorite place to play in Chicago?
I love playing Schubas and Lincoln Hall. We also played Metro with Peter Hook and that was probably our biggest thrill since we shared the green room with Peter and his band. That was pretty cool.

Worst fear?
I hate heights, even just looking up at tall buildings like the Willis Tower, makes me nervous.

Thank you Dan for being an interesting guest and my first interview.

California Wives play on
Saturday, November 12, 2011 10pm at
Schubas 3159 North Southport
Chicago Illinois 60657

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


My favorite month is October. Every day of this month I am happy.   It is truly a fuel pumping time for me. Here are my top reasons why October should be yours too:
Hockey officially begins
Taffy Apples
Harvest Moon
Pumpkin patches pop up all over the city
Chicago International Film Festival
Pumpkin flavored food
Hot apple cider
Chicago Marathon
Haunted Houses
Chicago Artist Month
Crisp air
Eye blinding sunny days
Acute blue skies
Crunchy leaves

Lately I have been listening to Elliott Brood. There sound is delicious.  The banjo is solid. I cannot get enough. Music is very much one of the biggest influences in my art. There are days that I feel if I cannot hear music I cannot move forward. I feel so deeply that music is my spirit. It’s something that turns the light on inside of me.

My focus until the end of the year is my Ocean Revolution project.  Here is my newest painting for this important cause.  Please forward this to anyone you know who might be looking for a worthy cause or the ocean lover in your life. 50% of the painting sale will be donated to www.

"When Beholding The Tranquil Beauty And Brilliancy Of The Ocean's Skin One Forgets The Tiger Heart That Pants Beneath It"