The Artistic Biker is me, Jonathan "Blade" Manning.
A treasure troll of a man, with hobbit feet and a sharp pointy head.
The Artistic Biker is a blunt force journey through the art world and art journaling. If Bob Ross, Red Green and Justin Wilson had a love child, it would be The Artistic Biker!
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Plein Air Watercolor: The Cemetery at Cullen Park, Houston, TX

June 27th, 2021

This week I trekked out to Cullen Park in northwest Houston to do a little sketching at the Koch-Schmidt cemetery. Established in 1854 this cemetery sits inside Cullen Park just north or the Addicks Reservoir. There are a lot of these little cemeteries around, even in the golf course I like to go to. This one is chained off so I can’t really get up inside for great pics, but it was a fun day for me at least.

There’s a video at the YouTube showing the sketch set up and process: https://youtu.be/trPzDCfZxzM

Plein Air Watercolor of the Vultures at Mary Jo Peckham Park, Katy, TX

June 21st, 2021

This week, took the bike out to Mary Jo Peckham Park. It’s a a little fishing park in a small town just outside Houston. There’s a playground, an indoor swimming pool free to all county residents, and a pond stocked with bass, rainbow trout, and catfish.

The place is FULL of vultures. The whole area has vultures. Golf courses, parks, mall parking lots… Vultures flock here like other places have pigeons.

So I decided to load up and go paint them. At one point while painting them, some ducks wandered up and about twenty MORE vultures swooped in hissing and posturing to run the ducks off. It was very surreal.

There’s a video of the the painting process up on the youtube machine here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPBF-lJvJr8&list=PLUaBuRlaP-h7ZF0tfnnu6deFqcum835fn&index=1

Plein Air Watercolor at the Battleship Texas

June 13th, 2021

This week I took a 100 mile round trip down to the USS Texas, a WW1 and WWII era battleship that has been permanently recommissioned as a museum. I got some nice pics of it and shared some nice ones from when my beautiful young bride went. The museum is closed indefinitely while they make repairs to the ship. It is leaking so they have to repair the leaks BEFORE they can haul it to the shipyard for full repairs. You can learn more, by goodies, and donate here: https://battleshiptexas.org/

Had to go old school on the “GPS” by taping the directions to the motorcycle tank. After putting a hunnert miles on the bike, it’s time for a beer!

I’ve uploaded the video to the YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRsT9VaPVvM

Plein Air Watercolor: Veterans Memorial Museum Liberty Tree, Katy, TX

June 6th, 2021

This week, I loaded up on the bike and zipped out to Veterans of Foreign War post 9182 to see the Katy Veterans Memorial Museum. Bob Lee showed me around and gave me a brief interview so I could share it with you. The museum has areas dedicated to each branch of the military and memorabilia from every generation of the American military history. Their prize display is a set of the Medals of Honor offered by the branches that congress has granted them for display purposes.

Then I spent a pleasant hour or so setting up and sketching their liberty tree

There’s a video at the YouTube if you would like to hear the interview and watch the time lapse sketch:

Biker Once More

May 3rd, 2021
Motorcycle with backpack strapped to it
Azula loaded for an art ride

I bought a motorcycle last October. I told the wife I needed one and she agreed. It’s a 2011 Yamaha Stryker 1300. I will be cruising along wondering why everyone is going so slow before I look down to discover I’m going 90 and couldn’t tell.

I’ve been unemployed (again) for a little over a month. After a morning of filling out applications, sending resumes, I decided to load the art bag on her and take her out for a spin.

30 minutes down the road from me is No Label Brewery. Founded in 2010 they are in an old rice grainery. I thought the grainery would make a nice sketch so that’s what I did.

rice grainery
No Label Brewing Co.
ink and wash sketch
Ink and wash sketch

I did most of it live on Twitch, but it was difficult to get the camera to stay still, especially when the wind picked up. However, I did manage to video most of the process so watch for it on the you tube. I’ll update this later with the link.