Saturday, December 26, 2009

this may get to be a bit abstruse... but there are pretty pictures

My first post with this blog set out to explain my mission of inspiration and motivation. Recently I have been trying to realize and focus on the things that are my primary inspirations. Sounds easy right? Not so much. My interests are so varied it is difficult to actually try to sort out just what it is about each element that captures my interest. Considering anything from my love for the outdoors to my growing passion for classic American illustration styles, from my interest in traditional Americana/country music to my fascination with inspiration itself; it has become a goal to boil those factors down and capture the common thread that jumps out to me in the first place.

I’ll let you know if I figure anything out. Of course if I do manage to separate the wheat from the chaff, and really establish the core of my inspirations… what the hell do I do with the knowledge? If nothing else it is a fine fuel for introspection and hopefully the catalyst to push my creative process to another level.

Anyhow, I am posting some photos below that cover the past month. It makes for a rather large post this time around, but time has been short for me. I really need to make the effort to post more often so I can keep these shorter and more concise. The blog has really allowed me to focus a bit more on my creative life and evaluate the directions and decisions I make in that way. I plan to keep it going, but  do realize the need to post shorter and more often. I hope you can still get something out of it when it is so lengthy.

Ok so here goes:

First of all here are some tattoos that I have been working on. The first is the drawing and the start of the Halloween themed sleeve I have been really excited about. It shows a story he told about how his parents played a Halloween prank to scare he and his brother and sister.

Second is a cover-up of a tattoo I had actually done about 15 years ago. The new image and drawing shows a death/pestilence character. Around him will be diseased people and then not yet shown will be medieval plague doctors.

The next one is actually a finished healed photo of the The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner rib panel. I had shown this in progress in an earlier post. The tattoo was finished about 2 months ago, and we just got the healed photos last week.
The last tattoo photo is the color on the Headless Horseman tattoo. Of course it is another work in progress. We are actually a fair bit beyond this stage now, but We haven't gotten new photos recently.

Next up are some Christmas shopping photos. Yeah, exciting right? But eally it is more to show the wonders of the Q-Mart. A farmers market I have been going to since I was a little kid. Holly was happy I didn't find anything for her from there, but  it was certainly not a wasted trip.

Finally are some random outside shots.
First is the creek near our house. I follow along it every day on my way to work and rarely see it like this. It is spring fed so is always flowing, but rarely as violent as this.

The next ones are the same creek after some serious snow a week or two later.
the first two are the same spot as shown above at its more usual pace.

I'll wrap this all up with some white Christmas shots of the house and the tattoo shop. Thanks for taking the time to look at and read all this. Ill try to keep it interesting, and not as epic in the future.
See ya in the New Year!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Last Days of Fall

The past few weeks have been relaxing. After the past few months, Ill take the chance to enjoy what little bit of fall is left. We got out today to walk Hoss around at Highrocks. It was absolutely what we needed. A perfect evening spent walking all over one of my favorite parks. Hoss definitely enjoys anytime he gets to jump around on rocks and roots. Holly was patient with me while I took a ton of pictures. I'll post a few of them below.

Tattooing has once again been all about ongoing pieces. I started a few new ones, and continued on a bunch. I can't wait to get some of these done, though I have really been looking forward to each sitting. It's nice to have work I can really get involved with. As much as I have fought the idea of having a particular style or look to my work in the past ... I have actually been excited to have more and more folks looking for my take on their ideas. It really feels like my work has evolved over the past year or two, largely because I have actually been focusing on my approach to each tattoo. I have always taken each tattoo seriously and certainly don't want to give the impression otherwise. The change is the thought that I have always held back from trying to have too much of "me" in my work. Again, trying to avoid a style or particular look. I have definitely gotten better at walking the line of how to interpret what is asked of me. Below are a few photos of recent works in progress. I'm so unbelievably grateful to my customers for the interest in my work, and the trust to let me really run with their ideas.

The last group of photos below are a bit older. They are from a trip to the Golden Nugget flea market back in September. I love the bizarre pieces of history, and the way folks present them. I took most of the photos on the sly, so its fun to see what shots come out.

Take care

Monday, October 26, 2009

Old art, Old Friends, and an Old Me

Since the London convention, things have continued to be busy and hectic as hell. I am certainly not complaining, but i will say I am happy to see the end of over a month of running around. It will be good to focus on simply tattooing again. If i can i plan to even get the kayak out in the river for some fall smallmouth/sauger fishing... a guy can dream cant he?

Just after returning from London Turk had a day to relax here in PA before returning to San Diego. The highlight there was going to the Brandywine River Museum. It was a quick visit, but it made me realize i need to go back there more often. An amazing collection of the Wyeth families work, as well as a solid collection of one of my favorite artists, Howard Pyle.

After Turk returned home, I had less than a week to focus on work at the shop before leaving for a short trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire with Holly and Hoss. Every year around my birthday we try to get up there to visit friends, do some tattoos, and just get away from home for a bit. This year was rushed, but i wasnt about to miss the chance to get up there. First stop was in Mass to see some dear old friends for a day of tattooing and relaxing. I didnt get the chance to get any photos but it was no less a grand time.
The next day we were off to Portsmouth to visit more friends and work out of Hobo's Tattoo Shop in town. Most of the time there was spent tattooing, but we did get out a bit to hang out and talk shop. The Tattoo Shop there is one of my favorite places to work, including my own place. Its a pretty amazing group of artists. Definitely worth checking out if you are ever in the area. Jason Scott owns Hobo's, and just opened a second shop in town called Congress St. Tattoo. Both shops support each other and compliment each other in town perfectly. I couldnt be happier for them!

 The reason it was a rushed trip to New England this year was a tattoo convention that was arranged aboard the Warship Olympia at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. So Jason and his wife Kim returned home with Holly Hoss and I to attend the show. The concept of the show was pretty amazing, and the idea of working aboard an 1800's warship was too much to pass up. I am certainly grateful to Troy for inviting us to work it. In a time when conventions seem to be getting bigger and bigger, it was refreshing to be a part of a select group of folks where there were only 27 booths. Anymore it seems shows try to cram in hundreds of artists into a room all in the name of the mighty dollar.

All that said, the show was dead. It was a shame more folks didn't make it out. Between the weather that weekend, the Phillies playoffs (go  phils!) and simply little or no word out about the show made for a really quiet time. I was pretty busy as I had booked ahead of time, But many of the other artists were not so fortunate. It made for a chance to talk with other tattooers, and make some new friends so at least there was an upside. I would certainly try it again if it was to be put on again, simply to support the idea of a smaller show like that one. Not to mention the ship itself was Amazing!

Oh and by the way... The first day of the show, Fri 16th, was my birthday. A pretty rad place to spend your 36th birthday in my opinion. Sitting tattooing friends on the oldest steel-hulled American warship afloat, that served as Commodore George Dewey's flagship during the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898.

After the convention I had a the next week to prepare for the Pushing up Pumpkins art show we put on at Mercury each of the past 4 years. Between getting everyone's artwork together,  labeling it all, hanging it all, decorating the shop, finishing my own painting for it, and of course drawing and tattooing all my regular apointments... it was a brutal week. I will post a separate blog about the show when i get the photos from the opening. It was a great turnout! well worth all of the effort and expense to put it together. Holly of course was the one that really allowed it to come together. She decorated and cleaned the shop almost entirely by herself. I'm a pretty lucky fella indeed.
Here are some shots of the painting i worked out for the show..

And lastly here are a few pics from home. I was able to get out a bit and enjoy fall this aint over yet, but with halloween this weekend, the fall is ending soon indeed.

Hoss loves the fall as much as Holly and I!

These shots are all from the house and yard...