Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What does an idea look like?

I haven’t had much of a chance to blog away here. There has been plenty to go on about, but by the time I get the chance to get into it.. It somehow looses it's excitement and I eventually get on to other things. The main downside to having the attention span of a goldfish

At any rate, the mere fact that I haven’t blogged in a while isn’t my only reason for posting on here. I was planning to post some recent photos of work in progress, and some shots from trips out with Holly and the Hoss.

Before I get to those though, I wanted to repost this rather long quote I copied. It is from a book by Peter London called “No More Secondhand Art” I really know nothing about the author (though I will be looking into more about him now) The quote is really pretty amazing as it pertains to a large problem within the tattoo community. The concept is of course not new, but the tendency of tattooers to simply copy other artists work is maddening. I find it interesting that Mr London has identified and attacks the same problem within the painting/fine art world. So here is his quote, and if you are an artist of any sort it is worth reading… and if you are a tattooer, read it and really give it some thought.

”Of course technique is important; so are principles of design. But you already know this. You also know what it takes to acquire these traits; long, hard work. Do you want to draw like Rembrandt or Degas? Simple! Just draw ten hours a day, six days a week for forty years. That’s how they did it. Ready for that? How did Monet paint those densely woven symphonies of strokes of light, weaving that luminescent Japanese bridge over the swarming lily pond? First he excavated a huge hole, then diverted a river to fill the hole, planted it with lily pads, then built a Japanese bridge over the whole thing, all at vast expense. Then he bought a boat, made a floating studio out of it and for twelve hours a day, for over twenty years, he paddled around that pond, and painted and painted until his eyes glazed over. If you want to make stuff that has Monet’s charm ...have Monet’s passion, devotion, largess, sacrifice.

The techniques of Monet or Degas can be copied; their principles of design are not obscure, they can be learned. If you want them for yourself, you can have them for a price. And the price is dearer than you may think. Not only will you have to put in at least as much time as they did in developing these same skills, all your living days, but the real price you will have paid is that you will have succeeded in becoming them, and will have missed becoming you.

Monet’s technique and principles of design are Monet. They were created by him so that he could portray what he alone was seeing and thinking and feeling. These are not simply techniques or principles of design. They are conceptions of the world. Monet had to create his own repertoire of techniques and principles of design because he could not portray through the prevailing means what he alone was seeing and feeling. You can’t have his technique or apply his principles of design without becoming him.

Better to raise the questions Monet did than to mimic his responses. What are his questions, the task he set himself? They are remarkably similar to the questions any artist, any creative person, any awake person asks.  What is that damn thing out there? What does an idea look like? How can I give form to a feeling? How does this whole mess fit together? How can I speak about the thing no longer there? The thing not here yet? Why am I moved like this by mere daylight, by nightfall? Is there a truth here, or merely beauty? Does this line have integrity, or is it guile? What have I made up, what have I observed? Of all the things I can do, what shall I do, what should I do? Will I ever get it right?

Your particular techniques and your principles of design will be derived from your struggle with these questions. Monet did it. Rembrandt did it. So did Bellini, Breughel, Bosch, Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Byron, Bartok, Berlioz, Bernstein, Brubeck, Basie, Balanchine, Beckett, Bergman, Beckmann, Berryman, Borges, Bellows, Baldwin. You get the picture.

All creative journeys begin with a challenge to introspection, to fathom not only what’s out there , but what’s in here. They are invitations to original response. 


Ok so here are the Photos... as if this weren't long enough huh? haha sorry

The first few shots are the start of a sleeve. We wanted to get this part first as the girl will be the primary foreground image. The rest will fall into place behind her.

Next is a section of a coverup I have been working on. It will represent death/disease. The funny part of the cover-up is that I did the original tattoo we figured at least 16 years ago. HAHA If anyone is going to cover my work, im glad i got the chance.

Yet another cover-up in progress.

Here are a pair of tattoos I was able to start and finish in one sitting. I'm grateful as hell for the chance to work on the large and involved pieces, but it sure is nice to start and finish a piece in one sitting now and then. And for the record, both are on the same gal. They were done 2 weeks apart.

Last but not least, here are some shots from the few times lately Holly Hoss and I have been able to get out and about.
 I hope you are well.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monuments and Rollercoasters

I mentioned earlier that I was going to post photos from my actual camera as most of the other shots from my trip were from my phone. Most of the Shots are from the Monumental Cemetery in Milan. Photos really dont do justice to the scope of this place. 2 1/2 hours of walking around and we still didn't see the entire thing. The carnival photos came from a small one set up in a park across from where we stayed. It is pretty rad that they keep it going through the winter months.
Ok I'll quit yammering... Here's the photos