all quiet on the eastern front

I’m in PA. (full tour tattoo dates are here). Here’s the trip, in all its glory. photo-heavy post after the jump.

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some works from the archives.

These are the more popular things I’ve made available as prints over the last few years. They’re not all my own personal favorite pieces, but they’ve gotten the most attention and love from you guys. I think collecting them together here might give me some clues about what you all like so much, maybe.

Also I won’t be posting for a few days as we’ll be celebrating solstice here, but I’ll be back right after, on the 23rd. xox

“Down with the Ship”
This was a piece of tattoo flash I did as part of a series, and people really seem to like the sideways lighthouse in it. I did it at 11×14″ in watercolor, and did the linework with a nib pen and ink. The original sold and the prints have sold a lot too, I don’t often draw ships but I think I did a decent job on this one. You can still get some sizes of prints of this, here.

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“Einstein”

I did a little contest on my facebook asking people to tell me the funniest story about someone falling down. My friend Tiny told a great story, and was the winner. The prize was a portrait of anyone famous they liked, they’d get to keep the original art. He chose Einstein, and man was he fun to draw. Lots of people seem to like this one. I tried to give him nice gentle eyes. Yes, there are still prints of him. I did this one at 8×12″ in colored pencil.

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“Red Highway”

The original of this, I gave to a collector of my work. It was a 10×13″ watercolor. Of all the landscapes I’ve done, people seem to be most interested in this one. Maybe it’s all that hot dawn cloud color. I’m not sure.

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“Dahlia with Dice”

Of all my still life work, this one gets the most attention. Maybe it’s the format, that high vertical? It was originally a 12×16″ watercolor painting. The prints of this one are popular and I’ve made a few handmade runs of it, as well as the open edition prints.

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“River Otter”

A lot of you guys love the animal totem series, and this guy is the crowd favorite. He’s a little more simple than some of the others, so I think a lot of people just really, really like otters. Colored pencil on handmade tinted paper, 8×12″.

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“Weeping Doll”

I’ve done handpainted prints of her. The original sold as soon as it was finished. I’ve redone the entire image twice and both reproductions by hand sold immediately. And the open edition prints…people really like this beat-up old doll. She’s pretty melacholy. It’s originally a 10×13″ watercolor on hotpress.

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Then, there’s “Shy Owl”. The most popular of them all. Due to the buyer of the original schmoozing me out of open edition printing, (I was an idiot and won’t be doing that so cheaply ever, EVER again) there are only cards available of this guy. Every print I did make of it, that limited amount, sold instantly. People email me asking for a print all the time. I’d be at least a few hundred dollars richer if I’d never said I’d only make a few prints of him.
An expensive lesson.

I'll never give up my reproduction rights so cheaply ever ever again.

I’ll never give up my reproduction rights so cheaply ever ever again.

 

materials post: oils, article in Brut Force

 

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I wanted to show you what I use with my oils. in this photo you can see at the top left an expandable wash bucket. I use detergent in the water, this is for any washing I have to do with my brushes, but I usually don’t. if you paint every day and rinse the brushes with turp when you’re done they stay soft.

in front of that you can see a good example of modernization. in the left is a bottle of “copal”. this new product is not copal, which is made from amber/pine resin, instead it’s some citric junk. next to itf you can see a corked bottle of real copal, which I’ve got a jug of hidden away from many years ago and dole out to myself in small quantities. I’ve been using this small jar for about a year.

in front of that is a sealable jar I use for turp. I get the odorless but it still stinks. I use this while I’m working to wipe paint off the brushes. nothing else.

on the right
you can see my paints. they’re antique, I inherited them. the cadmium paints I use aren’t hues (substitution colors) but real cad reds and yellows. it’s poisonous so I can’t eat a sandwich while I work. I’ve got a smallish tube of real rose madder which I hoard. this and the ultramarine are also very old. I think maybe 40s-60s era based on what I was told. they’re heavy pigments, really rich compared to the newer brands I tried. I use lead white from the same batch as well, I’ve got a lot of that. more poison!

the brushes- that big one is hog bristle. the next biggest is synthetic sable and very soft, I use it to blend. there’s a stippler there I use for scrubbing color into or off of the canvas. a few filbert and bright firm synthetics, small chisels, and then a really nice long real sable rigger.

I use a mayo tray as a palette, I’ve bought a few over the years for tattooing but this one got dented while I was traveling so it’s a palette now. I cover it with clingwrap at the end of the day so my paint stays soft.

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Here you can see everything set up for working. I use a mayo tray that unfortunately got dented as a palette. I’m working on two paintings, more about those in a minute. you can see I use a lot of paper towels too as well as a rough old rag. The not-paint-water mug makes its usual appearance, though when I work in oil it just holds the brushes. I don’t trust my brain. There is a bottle of Bob Ross gesso in this photograph. It is empty, I like having it there though. It reminds me not to eat paint.

 

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This is an underpainting, I don’t do them every time but this time I did. I then screwed up the painting beyond repair with some bad composition choices so it’s going to get scrubbed and I’ll reuse the canvas for another thing.

Here is a terrible blurry photo of the little seascape, which I think will turn out just fine.

This is a thin first layer just to lay in shape and tone. It’ll get a second layer, some detail and smoothing, and a glaze.

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I don’t use a lot of medium, I have liquin if I’m impatient and a stand oil too just in case but mostly I work fat, just paint, and heavy and thick. it takes a long time to dry but I like the look. the copal is my glaze at the end.

I use liquin early on, I like the early layers to dry fast. I keep two or three pieces going at once in oil, so something is always ready to be worked on. Going back and forth from watercolor is like stepping onto the ground from a carousel, though. Takes me a minute to get my sea legs back.

 

You have seen my watercolor setup, which is a lot simpler.

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I trust myself more when it’s water and not turp in the mug. All these things have been put away for a few weeks so I can work with oil for a bit. Then the oils will get packed into the box and these things will come back out. I used to have a few dining room tables, each with a different medium set up on it, so I didn’t have to pack things away like this. Right now my space is very limited so it’s one thing at a time. We are supposed to be putting in a shed studio though, so maybe that will change.

 

 

I also want to mention the fantastic magazine Brut Force, which recently interviewed me. The whole magazine is great and I feel a little out of my depth being in there among so many beautiful creative artists and their work. You can read about that here. I usually do not use the telephone but the interviewer had a good bedside manner and he got me through it with aplomb.

 

As a last thought, I’m planning to start scheduling posts by topic; I think mondays will be tech/materials day, tues will be tattoo advice or informaion, weds will be process shots, thrs or fri will be tattoo or other photos.

all-saints’

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I’m not religious by any stetch and no amount of ceramic dominicans can change that.

all-saints’ day. i’m not religious but i was mainly raised catholic, my middle name is a saint’s name. patron saint of migraine sufferers and writers. she liked to read. she was a rebel at home so they sent her to the convent, which was a lot less strict than her family had been.

she of course was religious but not nearly enough. she had malaria and seizures and visions, and decided to promote reform in the church. “The only right prayers are those that create actíon. Prayer without action does go unheard.”

this was a bit of a mistake. the catholic church persecuted her and disliked that a woman was ‘teaching’. she lived a good long time though.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=208

I’m pretty sure that my middle name was intended to be the name of the “little flower”, st. therese. however it’s spelled as the english version of st. teresa of avila, which means they done screwed up and gave me a hotshooter as a namesaint rather than a quiet little girl, and I’m ok with that.

tomorrow is all-souls’, or dios de los muertos if you’re latinx/excatholic. a much more meaningful day for me. but I figured I’d share this tidbit about saints and middle names. what’s your middle name? who’s watching out for you?

a journey

It’s very hot in AZ. Also there was lightning.

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Three projects at a time

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black-eyed kids

I’m back east in Spokane for a few weeks. In the time I’m here, I have to:

I leave October 1st and I won’t get home until the 26. It’s going to be a long trip full of events and work!

Here are some photos- small images from the new book. A picture or two of the seminar prep work (kinda boring to look at but the seminar itself will be out of this goddamn world, you should go preregister for it, because it’ll cost a little more if you just show up on the day)- and pictures of the lifesized predators.

Now, I had some of this work done from before- the seminar text I had written already, but not the slideshow or the handouts. I had the illustrations sketched, but in pencil and messy, not inked or scanned. I had copious notes for the book text but nothing completed or proofread. I had the shark nearly finished and the grolar bear and wolf sketched out as underpaintings. But everything else? I’ve had to work every day I’ve been home, sometimes pulling ten hour days on these projects. Not to mention I have another show going on all this month at a gallery in Seattle! I spent last month’s days off prepping for that.

Once I leave, I have no days off until halfway through the month. And then I will spend those days driving.

It’s going to be a long and rough road until November, but I think I can do it all. Then I can relax for two weeks. Then I’ll be in Seattle at the shop there for two weeks…and then I will not be working in December. Like, at all. Maybe on personal little things but NO big projects like this. It’ll be a nice break and I think my brain will need it by then.

Hope to see you guys at one of my stops on this trip!
(I’m totally booked for the trip for tattoos- except for one day in Redding, and one day in Phoenix. If nobody wants in I’m gonna take those days off, though. !!!)

jersey devil

jersey devil

deerwoman

deerwoman

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a short break

a short break

seminar stuf

seminar stuff

running on fumes?

running on fumes?

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meeting niharika and luisa

On this visit I got to meet two incredible, creative women. One was Niharika, who does costume/dress for movies in India. She is so sweet, funny, and stylish. And she made me feel stylish too.

I worked overtime one night and stayed late, and when I came home she gave me the most perfect soft sweater ever…
Also she took some pictures of me which are kind of funny. We had cactus tacos together, and she got a really fun floral tattoo (with wasps in it! I’ve been dying to do some wasps.)

Here are picture she took and pictures I took.

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Then I also got to meet Luisa, a glass worker from Mexico City. She’s Colombian, beautiful, and hilarious. We watched some episodes of the Strain together and talked about art, and she shared her coffee with me.
Here we are looking fantastic.
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And here she is with some of her work, which was marvelous. I got a pair of green glass ear weights from her.
In this picture is her work in mirrored glass.
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While all this was happening, the shop here got a new owner. She’s a really wonderful woman and incredible tattooer that I worked with ages ago- and I’m really glad to be working for her/with her again. Here’s a picture of all the women I work with right now, it’s so great to have a good mix of man and woman at work. I love working with other women.
There are men at the shop as well and they’re awesome too, but I had this photo of all of us ladies together so I figured I would post it.
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Last but not least, I got my hair trimmed and fixed by Jordie, my favorite hair worker, I think she did an amazing job. I feel stylish. Between her, Jason, and Niharika I was a fashion queen this week.
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I say Jason as well, because I got the most amazing glass ring that matches my eyes. He made it from matte glass and layers. You can see it in the photos up top that Niharika took of me, it looks like sunny side up eggs (just like my eyes)

art opening at True Love Gallery, Seattle in september!

Art opening images: what a great show! My friend Aaron and I had work hanging, there was a great DJ, and snacks. Thanks to George Long for putting on the show and being such a great organizer. True Love has a great space for art, too.

The work will be hanging until October 4th, so stop by there and take a look if you missed the opening. Some things have sold but some are still up and waiting for you… xox

 

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sketches from the moleskin, siuslaw 8/15

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art and craft day with the roseburg kids.

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Today we had arts and crafts day here in Roseburg. I made these three sets of weights! Jimmy made a split sheet of flash, and Zack made a painting, and Annee made a pair of earrings with beads. Here’s some photos of everyone crafting and drawing.

I grew up the oldest of a bunch of kids. Until my brother was born, I was the only kid in a house full of people, uncles and aunts and grandparents and cousins. I love when there are a bunch of other people around making art, crafting, doing things. The energy of a group really makes it easier for me to work somehow. Even just someone in the other room writing, feeds my energy and my ambition to see things through.

Today was great.

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