It’s all just ink anyway…

I like tattoos. I have a couple of them now and have been slowly acquiring them over the last 17 years. One thing that making woodcuts has done has been to shift my impulse of making the transient image permanent, from tattoos to paper. I often see pretty images or have a strong emotional connection to something with a defining visual element and think “that would make a great tattoo here”. Sometime later, It might in fact make a great woodcut – a process I am now familiar with.

But recently I had a moment of life imitating art imitating life where my love of Mexican culture and their unique spiritual beliefs (as well as the brilliant artistic stylings of Mike Giant) morphed into a tattoo that I wanted to get. A few sessions later my friend Tim decorated my forearm with a sugar-skull, some roses in red and black and scroll in Spanish. This is the side of my arm with the sugar-skull…

I love the tattoo and after looking at it for a few weeks I got the idea of trying a woodcut of… well of my new tattoo. I made some adjustments seeing as I was working on flat rectangular surface and not my skinny old arm. I’m real happy with the print. Both colours are off the one block too.

I gave Tim a print today to say thank you for the the great work he did. I’ll now file this one away seeing as I already get to look at it everyday. Looks like my love affair with ink won’t dry up any time soon!

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    • Lance
    • December 1st, 2011

    As someone who’s aquired tattoos at about the same rate over the same period of time as you, I think that’s a pretty spot-on summary of the impulse there. And sometimes just liking an image can be enough, all the deeper meaning of the piece develops over time, as you retain this permanant make of a time or place.

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