Around the bend | Looking for ideas

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Any of you that have been following my work for a while know that I’m always looking for new ideas. It’s not enough for me to just record what I see or experience. I’m always looking for a way to push what I see. Stretch the reality and distort the image to what I may feel or want to project. In my old life as an advertising creative director this was a daily requirement. We called it looking for an idea, it was my job.

Well in my new job as the cycling artist, or doodling for dollars as my bike riding mates call it, I do the same thing. And as you might well have expected my trip to France this summer has flooded me with images I’m desperately trying to share. But these things take time to develop into final works. So in the spirit of sharing what I’m up to with you, if you’re interested these are four drawings I’m working on. Each will find a way to become part of a Special Edition Series of Cycling Art Prints inspired by my 21 Days of Cycling Art | Tour de France 2017.


Hay Riders.



In so many of the places we visited in France, the rolled hay was always present. The idea of turning them in to bike riders was obvious to me. What better way to combine the color and excitement of the Tour de France and the rolls of hay found everywhere across the country we were traveling.

I think the color on this image will be very much like the reality. Vibrant blues and vivid yellows across the fields as the riders find their way in the hay peloton.


Jersey Trees



If there is an iconic image of France cycling its riders going down the road lined with Poplar trees. Evenly spaced. Perfectly shaped. Bending to the prevailing winds. Just absolutely beautiful in every way.

The idea of making the trees into the TdF jersey colors just makes them more fun – a blending of reality and fantasy. It’s kinda what I do. I’ve drawn a variation of this idea for a few clients now and every time I do it’s different. I think that shows it is a really good idea. I can change it but it’s still true to the concept. I look for that.


Eiffel Tower Riders



I can’t believe I never had the idea to draw this until now. Having cyclists travel over all sorts of buildings, landscapes and whatever is something I’ve been drawing for years. I guess it just wasn’t time until now. I think this will finish well and even sell very well. Not that my reason for drawing something is potential sales, but it can’t hurt if it does sell well, I gotta buy bike stuff you know.


Sunflower Rider



I think this image is going to make a kick-ass poster print. My wife thinks it’s too Wizard of Oz – I said thank you! Sometimes pushing the “wacky” factor is difficult for me. It’s good fun to step over the lines you set for yourself and drawing is no different. This was a good push for me and I can’t wait to finish it.


Digital makes it possible.


Taking my pen and ink drawings to a place where I can reproduce them as prints is new for me. Two factors changed this recently to make it possible. One is my good friend Rich bought an amazing scanner for his business. He reproduces vintage cycling posters, I’m sure you’ve seen his website Bicycling Art. Well Rich is making scans for me now and it allows me to take the original drawing and reproduce it.

The way I do that is on my large ink jet printer from LexJet. I’ve been working with them for years. Now armed with my digital scan, my Sunset Watercolor Paper from LexJet, my paintbrush and a monster printer I can reproduce a wider variety of art works for you. I’ll keep creating my vector art digital Cycling Art Prints but I have to admit having a new toy at my disposal is fun.

And chasing ideas should be fun, at least that’s how I see it.


Watch for my new work, I know you’ll enjoy it.





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Michael Valenti is "The Veloist" - He is an avid cyclist and artist known for his Cycling Art work. Each year Michael chases the Pro Peloton at the Tour de France and other major cycling events. He is available for event and corporate cycling related projects as well as personal commissions for art.

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