Archive for the ‘Body Painting’ Category

Sitting here in Northeast Pennsylvania trying to remember where it was that I came from before I left to Sturgis……..probably Amsterdam….then a week at Mom’s. Albuquerque to Denver is about 7 hours of beautiful landscape. I spent 2 nights with my Brother before picking up Léa Selley at the airport. Been waiting a while for that. Hadn’t seen her since February and I was so excited to get to just sit in my truck and talk for 7 hours on the drive to South Dakota.

It’s been a year since Sturgis and it’s nice to really look forward to something that is looking forward to you. I remember Wiser and I showing up last year and the welcome was bland. We were excited, but treated just as another vendor arriving to set up. When we left, we were celebrities. Respected for going above and beyond the expectations of our employer by creating the most intense body art ever seen at a Biker Rally…..especially Sturgis.

When Léa and I arrived, we were greeted with hugs, warm welcomes, free beer, and Petra jumping into my arms. This was good for Léa to see and understand the relationship that can be established when you work hard for people and earn their respect through your art. It was great to watch her. She was getting excited and getting to meet a whole new group of people who couldn’t wait for the first body to be painted. My friend and my student…..I opened a new door for her and she walked right in…..scared to death, but her chin held high and a smile that wouldn’t quit.

The first day we spent setting up and were asked to paint EXIT signs and an assortment of other signs. It was good as we got Dinner tickets with the Production company. (The only “Real” food we had the whole week.)

The first day we painted the Promo Girls. We did Roses and Tribals I think. Lawren Alice painted with us. Léa’s first customer appeared later. I will never forget it.  “I have a customer and she wants skulls…..what do I do?”   “Paint her.”    “Where do I start?”    “Right there….just paint her.”    “What do…..”JUST PAINT HER.”………………….”ok.”

I felt a little bad about that but I knew I had to make her do it………….and she did it! Nothing in the world like being thrown into the fire.  I know it made her a better painter, gave her confidence, and opened her eyes to the real world of Body Painting for large events. I am very proud of Lea.

The coolest thing that happened to me the whole week was this guy walking up to me and asked if I was in Amsterdam last year at the AC/DC Concert. I said yes and he said “I knew that was you!” Then he showed me a pic on his phone of Xandra and Sabine in my painted jeans at the concert. WOW!! Small world we live in.

Painted Penthouse Pet of the Year and the Runner Up!

Well, I don’t know, it is a close race between that and getting to paint the Penthouse Pet of the Year and Léa painting the Runner-up. They were there signing posters and I went up and stood by them for a minute and she looked up at me and asked if I would like an autographed poster. I said no and she looked at me kind of sad and asked why. I said “I just want to paint you.” Well, one thing led to another and next thing I knew, we were painting them. We were invited by them to Los Angeles to paint them anytime.

Butch Lord with a painted Budweiser model

We also met this really cool Jesus looking guy named Butch Lord. (Go figure) He does a traveling radio show and interviewed us and hung out with us for a few days. Check out the Butch Lord Radio Roadshow website as he interviewed me and it should be up in his episode #4 on the Sturgis shows in mid August!

We painted promo girls for headliner Bands the whole week. Godsmack, 3 Doors Down, Stone Temple Pilots, and the best one we did was Guns N’ Roses on Friday. By that time, Lea was used to me and the flow of how this whole thing works.  We painted Sarah, Tasha, and Autumn in the morning with some incredible Roses and Banners. It was by far the best Promo art of the week. The layout was perfect and it prepped us for the insane painting on Petra later in the day. I drew out the design and told Lea what to paint. She did it without question or hesitation as if she had been doing it all her life. She was totally focused. It was nice to see now that I think about it because at that time, I was already used to her just jumping into projects without even thinking. It was good. We got photos of us and our art with the new guitarist from GNR. That was a bonus!

Front Row Guns 'n Roses!

Later that evening, Wiser came over and we had “All Access” passes that got us to the front row of Guns N’ Roses. What a treat! I got a lot of great photos and we just had a great time.

Our Promo girls had a long night on Friday and didn’t show up on Saturday so Lea and I went downtown for lunch and to go shopping for t-shirts. It was really an amazing sight with all the bikes lined up all up and down the streets. We did very little painting that day and Dawn Dewitt showed up in the afternoon for a nice visit and her and I painted Léa.

The night ended with a party for all the employees and vendors. John (The Colonel) ordering the bartender to line up drinks for everyone. After a few drinks, Léa and I decided to get tattooed…..that’s another story………………

Make sure you click the little arrows in the slide show windows on the bottom right to see the pictures FULL SIZE!

Enjoy the Show!


Mark Rei and Wiser Body Painters Monkey Rock USA Sturgis

Mark Reid and Wiser Body Painting Sturgis @ The Monkey Rock USA

In August 2009, I had the insane opportunity to paint at the Monkey Rock in Sturgis South Dakota with my friend and fellow body painter Wiser from Denver, Colorado.  Every morning we would paint four beautiful models provided from the Monkey Rock, it was so tight.  We painted Petra in jeans with a black Harley vest, she stood out in the road like she was thumbing a ride and we painted girls to match custom motorcycles as you can see in my gallery… it was the coolest thing!

We also painted this guy as a living Monkey Rock Logo!  Every day at 5pm he’d run out on stage with his airbrush monkey upper body and face – the crowd loved it!

Petra body painted jeans

Petra in painted Jeans in Sturgis 2009

The people who attended this event are really what made it so special for us.  The amount of people who became fans of body art was awesome!  We painted a constant line-up of eager models right from the crowd.  We met so many amazing people from all over North America, and painted the most beautiful, strong and vibrant female canvasses ever at this event, each model more inspiring than the last.  This year Wiser will be joining me again along with Léa Selley from Calgary Canada. 

We are all looking forward to painting you there!

View Full Slide Show with Large Pictures

Sturgis 2009 Gallery

Created with flickr slideshow.

Fans! If that’s not enough photos for you – check out the Monkey Rock Gallery for more body painting pictures at the event!


WOW! Amazing how we change and how our work improves over the years. This is Kasey and my first pair of painted jeans about 5 years ago. Notice that there are no folds on the sides of the legs. It’s crazy, but I actually thought they were really cool back then. I did figure out on that first attempt how to get the effect of worn denim.

I think I’ll shave…………….

10 May

Let There Be Jeans!

Author: Léa Selley

About 5 years ago I was asked to paint for a production company out of Dallas for a TUACA Body Art Ball Tour. Upon acceptance, I was asked if I could paint jeans. Of course, I said yes even though I had never painted them before. I immediately called a friend of mine to model for me. I painted them twice on her and was quite satisfied with them. The tour began and I painted 20 pair of jeans the first year. For 2 years, I painted with Tiana Tong by my side at the Body Art Balls. Once, in an emergency situation, her and I painted a pair of jeans in 25 minutes for a show. After women started seeing these, they wanted them painted. After the first 3 years, I had painted over 75 pair of jeans.

3 years ago, I painted Katie Williams totally naked and we walked through 350 people at the FABAIC in Orlando and nobody said a word…..nobody noticed!  Here is a video trailer of me painting these jeans on Katie!

To date, I have painted over 200 pair of jeans all over the world with jeans classes in Australia, Holland, Canada, and many more including Jeans Classes at the World Body Painting Academy in Seeboden, Austria.

While painting with Léa Selley at the NABPC this year in Las Vegas, we took the next step to making these jeans more 3-dimensional by adding fabric from real jeans. I don’t think they will ever lose their popularity. I have had women running down Bourbon Street In New Orleans to Fantasy Fest in the Keys in Florida to Xandra walking through the streets of Almere in the Netherlands and the streets of Seeboden, Austria. I even painted Xandra and Sabine in jeans for an AC/DC Concert in Amsterdam. Will the fun never end??

I never get tired of painting them…….

August 2009, Sturgis South Dakota

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an American motorcycle rally held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota, usually the first full week of August for the past 70 years.

Body Painting at Sturgis Bike Rally 2009

Last year Wiser and I took a trip to Sturgis to work for Monkey Rock. It was the greatest adventure. We painted every day for 9 days. Painting promo girls in the mornings and PPB the rest of the day. The customers were amazed at the matching bodies to custom cycles. It was an awesome experience. 

Here is an article on it: Painting Sturgis