Fort Mason Bike Commuters

I enjoyed a partial commute to North Point in San Francisco over the past three months. This new painting is inspired by my favorite part of the ride, the peak of Fort Mason hill, with breathtaking views of the city and bay from either direction.
This painting depicts a morning where the rain had stopped and the sun was warming the trees. The bikes and trees are reflected in the wet pavement. This oil painting is 18" x 36" on a 1.5" deep canvas. $1,500. Please email me to inquire about purchase or prints. Thank you.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly...SF Girl Version

Tues. January 5, 2016

The Good, the bad, and the Ugly...
A Day in the Life of...
a completely screwball SF Gal, roaming the North Point of San Francisco on a rainy day,
with her umbrella, an antique watch, and an iPhone.

Picture the girl,
smiling atop the Fort Mason Hill,
as she looks West, the sky opens up over the Golden Gate Bridge...
She beams, decides she must capture this with her iPhone, and removes phone from pocket.
Perhaps this is when she lost her grandmother's gold, engraved, antique watch that her parents recently repaired and gave her for Christmas the first week of December... Truly incredible gift, now MIA after one month. (Anyone on FB here now must swear not to mention this watch to my parents or you will be immediately unfriended, and don't try to be all, "Oh it wasn't me" about it... I'll hunt you down, and my finger knows how to use the checkbox that will send you far, far away, into a galaxy no longer near me on Facebook... But, I digress)

Back to our Mary Tyler Moore character, beaming on the hillside over Fort Mason...

She snaps a few shots of trees, the bikes reflected in the wet pavement, she walks up the hill towards the hostel, then across to the mesa with a military canon. She briefly imagines being shot out of said canon, crosses past it and sees Alcatraz glowing in the distance.

The sky is cloudy and that deep Steele blue with just a dancer's translucent scarf of purple just holding it back from itself. The sun pierces the darkness and warms the wet pines with glistening crystals and light, birds shoot out of nowhere like they've never seen the day before. A patch of blue sky appears, and the cherry red Balcutha schooner peaks through the trees, like a smile of a dreamy toddler holding both legs of his mother and peaking through to cautiously calculate who you are, but tempts you just the same.

She decides at this very moment to love life. She thinks of her family, the past and all the people that lead her to this moment. Born the year after her parents passed through the Summer of Love in San Francisco, she has always believed she was meant to be here, but she wants to live big, explore and travel the world, like her Swedish grandmother did.

She descends the staircase in high heeled boots like a model on the runway, only to ponder how the small red fire extinguisher she saw 25ft to the left yesterday is now on the right at the bottom of the staircase. She reaches the bottom of the second flight to a blanket of green nasturtium leaves, tickled with light rain. Imagining the fire of reds and oranges that will soon come, she turns South towards the office and heads back to work. A black crow on the wire reminds her of #MikeDeni of #Geographer, staring down at her while she had the audacity to order a Cosmopolitan at the Big One. She spoke to the female bartender and smiled, as she noticed Mike, barely visible in the wall of black that was stage right. Originally, she thought he was smiling at her, but she no longer can tell. He was wondering about her, as she too was wondering about him. Perhaps that was enough for now. Shaking hands with the keyboard player and quickly returning to the dance floor, she disappeared into the night...

Oh, right, the watch.. the waterfront, the Bad and Ugly? Sure, sure...

Back in the office, a young bearded co-worker is refilling the Xyron machine at the comp table near her desk. It's close to 6pm, and most people have left. He turns his phone on with music. She is just about to realize the Bad news that her grandmother's watch is missing from her left wrist, but then, the second song on his playlist is "Awake" by Tycho. She can not help but start swaying her body to this trance music that she heard live on New Year's Eve... She has to duck down below her computer screen to keep him from seeing her moving and revealing a brush of ecstasy across her lips. She then returns to the realization that the timepiece is lost, and she struggles to look for it against previous desires to go introduce herself to her co-worker and tell him how much she loves Tycho....

The search brings her upstairs to the lobby of Williams-Sonoma and the bathroom, where she decides it's possible that the watch fell off when she came in from her walk and had to use the restroom. removing her gloves and coat may have caused the watch to fall off. then she sees the caution tape across two sinks. Peering through the tape she sees rocks mud dirt both sinks. She wonders if the watch was flushed down the toilet causing the sinks to back up. Ugly and sad it would be, if the watch was now sitting in a P trap at the office, costing her employers extra money as the stock market tumbles. Wondering if she'll still have a job or a watch tomorrow, she heads out into the darkness and light rain to make the commute back to the North. Exuberance, time and money, now lost or flushed down the toilet, she remembers holding hands with her grandmother at the art museum, and feeling like all was right in the world.

DDW, Clif Bar CykelScramble & Geographer

June - October, 2015

What a busy and fun Summer.  I can not thank the folks at enough for letting me work as a Production Designer under direction of Shin Eguchi. Shin is a master at Packaging Production and I learned so much from him while freelancing this past summer. Slugging dielines and creating packaging mechanicals for the Senior Designers was a highly detailed and meticulous craft. Shin really does it with finesse. I also spent many days photographing, cleaning up imagery and creating graphics for major account packaging audits and presentations in Keynote and Powerpoint. Oh, and the mockups and comps, how could I forget those. : ) The best part about DDW was that they are a highly professional but very laid back agency. I respected everyone who worked there and the Presido location can not be beat. I spent many days, taking in the history and great vistas of the Presidio, learning about the cafes and restaurants there, the George Lucas  Campus, Crissy Field and the Disney Museum. I even attended a couple "Off the Grid" events. I highly recommend the DDW team if you are looking for sustainable packaging and branding updates.
A photo posted by Colleen Proppé (@cproppe) on

I went on to work for a smaller agency in SOMA, designing two Powerpoint templates for a CEO Summit that took place at the beginning of October. I enjoyed biking to the ferry and biking to SOMA for a few days.

In September, Clif Bar put on an amazing event in Marin at the Marin County Fairgrounds. It was an obstacle race course for bike teams, aptly named "CykelScramble".

I really wished I had entered the races with a team of 4, but this year, my sons and I rode the 6 miles there by bike to enjoy the day as spectators. They had two bands at the event, and one of them was San Francisco-based, Geographer. I had never heard of this band, so I checked them out online and pretty much fell in love with their music right away. Their current album is "Ghost Modern". I was so excited by this band that I followed them on Instagram and created a graphic of the lead singer from one of his Instagram posts.
Design created for fun during Geographer music tour to East Coast, 2015. (Journey to the East is a book by Herman Hesse). Let's just say, I'm not a teenager, and I never had celebrity crushes as a kid. My only person I loved on tv was Lindsay Wagner, aka the Bionic Woman. But, #ClifBar invited @geographermusic to their #Cykelscramble event, and I started listening to this incredible voice with layers of electronic keys, strings, guitar... it's really beautiful, and I am in love with this band. Thank you, Mike, Joyce, Duncan, Cody and Clif Bar. Keep up the great work! (Graphic created by me with Adobe Shapes and Illustrator, inspired by a video posted here on IG by the band) #graphicdesign #posterart #bandart #geographer #music #artists #bands #voice #journeytotheeast #design #print #screen #poster #fanart #portrait #sunglasses #faces #beards #AdobeShape #AdobeCapture #AdobeIllustrator #sfbayarea #sanfrancisco #illustration
A photo posted by Colleen Proppé (@cproppe) on

Michael Deni's voice is so beautiful there is no way to truly describe it but to tell you to just listen. I tried to describe it as a cross between the Icelandic band, Sigur Ros and the coyotes howling in the hills of Marin at night... there is an amazing sense of longing in the music. The lyrics are poetic and inspired me to swim in Bolinas with out a wetsuit recently, which was awesome, and to get back to my painting. (actually, that was also because of the book Mike recommended by Herman Hesse, "Journey to the East". Upon reading this, I took the message to heart, that artists must create their imaginations). Truly, I am so grateful for Mike's amazing ability to share teaching moments with their fans. Not only a Geographer, but a fine teacher.

I revisited one of my bike paintings I started when I had Google Glass as a beta tester, and was able to finally finish this painting this week. It is for sale, so email me if you are interested.

Although I always have plenty of my own projects going on at home, I am still looking for great work in the Bay Area. Have a 1 or 2 month need in Production Art during the holidays, or need a full-time Packaging Production Artist indefinitely? Give me a call. Thanks so much, and don't forget to check out Geographer !


Flower Piano at SF Botanical Garden
Excerpts Recorded July 19, 2015

This is a compilation of excerpts of piano music and people enjoying
San Francisco Botanical Garden during the Flower Piano exhibit
July 19, 2015
*Please change settings to HD 720 for best viewing!*

Thank you to the SF Botanical Garden for this wonderful, interactive exhibit. Sorry about adds. My sons and I chose a piece by Philip Glass and Chick Corea Tri to use for Intro and a segway here, and because these are copyright songs, you may have to click the X to turn off an add during this video. We bought the songs on iTunes, and you can find them here:

Philip Glass: The Complete Piano Etudes, Etude No. 2

Chick Corea Tri: Trilogy, Song 6- Fingerprints

In the spirit of free pianos in the garden, we hope that Mr. Glass and Mr. Corea will approve our video to be shared freely. We also hope many more people get out to the Botanical Garden and become members there. It is an amazing place that my sons appreciate every time we visit. Enjoy the music!