Art Journal Summertime Bubbles

Hello Peoples! And welcome to another week here at The Artistic Biker.  Man, do the weekends go quickly or what?  I had all kinds of major plans this past weekend and barely got anything accomplished.  I did, however, manage to get two MAJOR tasks completed.  I believe I have finally worked out a production schedule that will allow me to not only work in the journal, on my videos, podcast, U-stream, newsletter, and various challenges as well as my other forms of art and family life, but it will also let me keep my day job, at least for a while longer. And, this is just bonus as far as I’m concerned, it won’t kill me. I have been asking around the interwebs how other people manage to accomplish such tasks.  I know that this will pique the curiosity of a BUNCH of people.  If word ever gets out that I managed to work out a system for getting all of this done, I will be on the cover of every major business, art and tech magazine for the next 10 years.  And, I gotta tell ya, I’m DYING to share it with you.  But I want to make sure it works first. <evil grin>  No, seriously, you wouldn’t want me spilling all of that out for you only to come back a week later to tell you it was all crap.  So, let me play with it for a while. Let’s say, I don’t know, one week for an update to it’s efficacy, and two weeks to spill the whole system. If it still needs tweaking after the first week, I’ll let you know. Then I’ll try it for another week, yada yada yada.

This week’s Art Journal video was all about layers.  My mom and one of the other viewers at The Artistic Biker Live! were talking in the chat room about not “getting” layers.  The question invariably comes up, “Why would you paint or write something just to cover it up?”

For me, there are a couple of reasons right up front.  The first is that it adds to the back ground.  Layers almost always bleed through in some fashion and so the viewer is constantly finding something new and interesting about your work.  The second is that, even if no one will ever see your layer, it helps to build the mood and give the piece direction, especially if the piece is a free abstract.  When you lay down a foundation of blue paint and then start pasting things over it, then gesso, then acrylics or spray paint, you may never see the blue again.  But the texture of the paper/canvas may be altered and your mood will definitely be affected as you decide what images to use and where.

For this page, as usual, I start by gessoing to seal the paper.  Then I begin writing summertime song lyrics using sharpie markers in different directions.  This is a “Ghosting” technique I picked up from Leslie Herger of Comfortable Shoes Studios. You can see her video on that very technique HERE.

Then I drew and painted various images that make me think of summer like palm trees and bikini tops.  I took some close up photos of those images and then glazed the whole thing with purple, blue and black.  I used the end of my brush to add some swirlies into the paint.  I took a picture of Girl2 blowing bubbles and pasted her into the book.  The photos I took were edited with a “fish eye” effect in Paint Shop Pro 8.  I printed and cut them out and pasted them in as bubbles.  If you look closely at the printed bubbles, you can see the leaves of the palm tree, the polka dots of the bikini and the gauges of the motorcycle.  This was a lot of fun and I think the bubble my appear in some other work in progress.

You can watch the video at The YouTube, or just watch it in the embedded player below:

Art Journal Zen Tangles

The other day, my friend Lucy (@PoeticDreams on twitter or SheWhoWanders on The YouTube) was posting Zendalas that she had drawn while working at a pool for the summer.  She seemed to be having a lot of fun doing them and they were elegant and beautiful!  I decided that I would do a page in my journal and on my U-stream show about Zen Tangles.

First, I don’t do Zen Tangles very often.  I find them very close to simple doodling and I just have never been one to do that.  I don’t know why.  After reading up on them though, I realize that it is really much deeper than a simple doodle.  Doodles are just a collection of scratches that keep your hands busy.  Zen Tangles are doodles with a purpose. They require composition and direction.  They are a focus  point instead of a distraction.  It wasn’t until my show had started that I asked the question of why they are sometimes in circles and sometimes not.  My friends in the chat room informed me that when they are in circles they are more like Mandalas and are referred to as Zendalas.

I started this one on my show, but there was no way I was going to be able to finish it.  These actually require a lot of my attention and that is VERY hard to do and interact with a live audience at the same time.  During the show, I pretty much got the three circles done and the tangle that eventually made the eye.  The rest was done on camera, but not in front of a live audience.

You can watch the video on The YouTube, or simply watch it in the embedded player below:

The best part of this for me is that the folks watching the show that night were inspired to do their own Zen Tangles.  They posted them on Flickr, and Twitter, and their blogs and Facebook pages.  I was so very happy to see so many people playing with this along with me that I asked them if I could post them here.  Here they are!







Art Journal What I’m Like

Just a quick update as I’m running out the door today.  This week I’m playing with some simple images that illustrate what I’m like. I took a cue from Kelly Harcus and Kirsty Neal and did a tribute to the What Are You Like? art exhibit.
Kelly Harcus:…
Kirsty Neal:

My Newsletter:
My Blog:
My FaceBook Fan Page:…
My Flickr:
My Twitter:

This was done in front of an audience on The Artistic Biker Live! I broadcast every Thursday night from 7-9pm U.S. Central time.  Grab your art supplies and come join me at

You can view the video of this journal entry at The YouTube or simply watch in the embedded player below:

Art Journal for Young Love

Hello Peoples! Welcome to this week’s edition of The Artistic Biker.  June 9th is the anniversary of the first date for me and and my beautiful, young bride.  Fourteen years ago, the woman destined to be my lover wanted nothing to do with me.  I asked her out on a date and she was hesitant because she barely knew me.  I told her that it could just be as friends so we could get to know each other.  She asked if she could bring a friend and I told her that’d be swell.  That night I got all primped up and gathered my best friend Kenny up to play wing man with her chaperone.  She outsmarted me by bringing two friends.

We went to the drive-in movies.  I have no idea what we saw because I was busy staring at her all night.  We left the friends in the pick-up and we spread out on a blanket.  She looked up at me & saw shooting stars.  She saw DOZENS of shooting stars.  The stars she saw were zig-zagging in the sky and she said, “HEY! Stars aren’t supposed to move back and forth!” I looked up at them and pointed out to her that they were moths in the light of the movie projector.  We laughed and played and giggled the rest of the night and when I leaned in to kiss her goodnight she turned her head and yawned.  Fourteen years later and we still only want to kill each other a little bit.  :)

I wanted to demonstrate with this page various ways of highlighting areas in your art.  The four main ways used in this piece are outlining, spotlighting, clipping, and spotlight glazing.  The outlining is obvious, I used light paint to show the edges of things in the dark.  This has the effect of looking like light bending around and reflecting off of the object, but if over done just looks like “outlining.”  The spotlighting is evident in the thought bubbles.  I made and area lighter than the rest of the page to draw your attention to it and then placed an important piece of the image there.  If you don’t put something relevant in your spotlight, it will distract your viewer and he will walk away realizing something was missing but maybe not being able to place a finger on it.  The clipping trick is to cut the image from a different source.  I usually draw mine in a sketchbook, color them and then paste them into the piece.  The different colors used, the different textures, even the fact that the clippings haven’t been worked the same way as the rest of the page makes  them stand out a little against the background.  This can be especially true of a magazine clipping as the ink tone and lighting will likely be VASTLY different than your work.  Lastly, the glazing.  This is the technique I use more often than anything else because so many times I start a piece only to shift focus halfway through.  By picking an area you want emphasized but not lightened, you can effectively spotlight it by glazing everything around it with a transparent dark.  In the video, you’ll see where I placed a round mask (in this particular instance, it was a PVC 4″ rounded cap) over the dancing hot dog.  I used black spray paint from 12″ – 18″ away and let the mist fall over the rest of the picture.  I especially like doing this with spray paint because it’s fast and not immediately obvious as there are no brush strokes or heavy lines added.  This is also good with spray inks or acrylics.

Problem areas for me are things like making that blanket we are laying on look like a blanket.  If you look closely, you’ll notice there is over a foot of blanket left over on my side where I kept scooting closer to her.  There is barely any visible blanket on her side where she kept scooting away.  :)  Anyway, if you have any tips or advice on how to make a painted blanket in the dark look like a blanket, I’d love to hear from you.  You can leave the information in the comments below or email me at  I will share that with everyone on my U-stream broadcast, The Artistic Biker Live!, on Thursday night from 7-9pm central U.S. and also on the following YouTube video.

You can watch the video for Art Journal for Young Love at The YouTube or simply click play in the embedded player below.  Remember to comment, rate, and share these videos because it helps to grow the family!

U-stream Update 03JUN2010

What are you like mosaicTonight on The Artistic Biker Live! I will take a cue from Kelly Harcus and Kirsty Neal and do a tribute to the What Are You Like? art exhibit.

From the website: The exhibition is based on a Victorian parlour game that asks you to describe yourself with images of your favourite things.

So tonight I’d like to play around with that concept and journal about What I’m Like!  Grab your crayons and your pencils and come join me tonight and every Thursday night from 7-9p central U.S. on The Artistic Biker Live!