Archive for September, 2010

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!