Thursday, April 16, 2009
This is my most recent tattoo design. It is based on a song I wrote called 'Emerging' which is about the human soul emerging from a state of hopeless addiction, and darkness, into the light, and a sublime spiritual state of being. This would be a very large tattoo, most likely a back, chest or side body work......
This work is still in progress, and the versions you see here are relatively 'rough'
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
This artwork represents three aspects of 'self', in this case, myself. The centre character being the main 'me', the self image with which we generally identify. On the left is the dark, dangerous, ego driven male dominated side, and on the right is the warm, and yet potentially destructive (like fire) female aspect.
I love the idea of creating these types of alter ego designs for someone looking to get a unique tattoo that very much describes who they really are, deep down inside. Each individual has his or her unique vision of what makes them tick, after all....
This style of artwork draws heavily on ancient Mayan and Aztec designs, as well as Egyptian. A lot of the really fine tattoo art work I see in the world today, I feel is a modern day reflection of the ancient culture's 'spirit' art.....Something sadly missing in much of our so called 'culture' today. I feel as a culture, as a race, Western man has lost his roots, and tattooing is a profound and meaningful way of connecting with our ancient tribal roots.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I designed this monstrosity quite a long time ago. Surely there is someone out there twisted enough to get this as a tattoo! A big part of my artwork back then was concerned with the dangers of nuclear proliferation. I still think we are playing with fire, regardless of all the talk of 'safe' nuclear energy! Nuclear Burn anyone?
Monday, April 13, 2009
Over four years ago I started working on my book 'Elemental Magic'. One of the first things I designed for the book, was the cover artwork. I was sure that my publisher, Focal Press, would ask for changes to the cover, as it is very organic and clean, in sharp contrast to most of their book covers, which are far more 'textbook' in style. But they LOVED the design and stuck with it. I think it would make a bitching tattoo, and I am considering getting it done, large on my back between the shoulder blades...
My good friend Scott asked me to design, a 'Biomechanical Dragon' tattoo design for his left shoulder. Initially I designed a dragon that was not 'biomechanical' but distinctly not a traditional Chinese dragon either. I did a rough colour version of it, before I moved on to redesigning the dragon as the fully biomechanical version seen in black and white above. Scott loves it, and is probably getting it done right about now, down in Cabo San Lucas at Baja Tattoos, where I recently had a beautifully stylized Aztec Sun God tat done on my inside left forearm. Carlos and his tattoo artists at Baja Tattoos are fantastic, and I know that carlos will do a beautiful job on Scott's dragon.....
While on a short vacation recently to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, I drew this macabre smoking, flaming skull while sitting at my friends Michael and Collen's dining room table, in their beautiful desert castle. While they played cards, I sketched away with my blue Colerase pencil, and came up with this. Back in Vancouver, I cleaned it up in black graphite, and added the red flames in photoshop. Not sure which way I like it best, but it would definitely make a killer tattoo for someone who is into the skull thing.....
Recently I was asked to design a tattoo for a good friend of mine, Val. All she told me was that she wanted a large white rose, and a Koi pond, with two or three fish in it. She also wanted to see some blue or purple Iris flowers in the design. The tattoo is intended to go across Val's back, spanning her shoulders and hooking up nicely with the colourful tattoos that she already has on both shoulders.
24 hours later I had come up with this design, and Val is delighted with it. Of course there is still room for the tattoo artist to embellish the colours and design. I hope Val finds an excellent artist to complete this tattoo. I would love to ink it myself, but I think I will need at least a couple of months to master the tattoo gun.....
Here is Val's tattoo, with the line work completely finished!
Just like my Yin Yang design further down the page, I drew this one in my journal, sitting on the beach in Guadeloupe, one of the French Caribbean Islands that I visited during my 6 week long travels through the Caribbean in 2002. Although the way it is drawn, with a kind of wood engraving look, would need to be changed to be more shaded rather than cross-hatched, I think the over all design would make a stunning tattoo.
I designed this Celtic Cross for my own right shoulder, in early 2008. I had the tattoo done by Michee, a Japanese woman who does beautiful tattoo work at Sacred Heart Tattoos in Vancouver.
The design incorporates several elements important in my life. Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, Elemental Magic, are portrayed. The center circle and triangle design represents my recovery from addiction. Above that there is also a Yin Yang design, which is central to my life's philosophy.
This portrait was originally done in Montreal, way back in the early eighties. It was my girlfriend at the time, Manon. Almost thirty years later, Manon and I got in touch on Facebook, and she sent me a hi-res scan of the original drawing, that was very worn out and dirty, but still a beautiful drawing. (I had given it to her at the time) I cleaned it up and retouched it heavily in Photoshop, and this is the final result. I would love to design and create portrait tattoos. Many portrait tattoos that I see, seem to lack a real artistic flair, and I think I could provide that extra special touch.
I designed this sea turtle tattoo, while sitting at the dining room table with my friends Michael and Colleen Johnson, at their beautiful home in Cabo San Lucas this April. It was a reflection of where I was at the time. Although I did not see any sea turtles during my visit, they are a common symbol seen around the Cabo area.....I suspect a good number of female tourists would love to get a sea turtle tattoo done while they are vacationing in Cabo San Lucas!
(OOOPS! I left out his tail!!)
When my dear friend Mary Anne Shelton, passed away last year, her girlfriends and I decided to get a tattoo to remember her by. This humming bird design was found by someone, but I changed it substantially, smoothing out the lines and flow of the design, and adding the sphere, intended to portray an eclipsing sun, or moon, as Mary Anne's life was eclipsed. The lettering, "Memento Vivere" is latin for "A remembrance of life" and that was added to my tattoo, for another biker lady friend, Josie, who has been battling cancer for many years now. Over a dozen of her friends have tattooed these words on themselves in her honour. I have not heard form her in several months now, and I fear she is passed as well......
I had the tattoo done on my left shoulder, but decided to leave out the colour and just add black and grey shading instead. It looks beautiful. I am planning to add a subtle blue shading to the center of the circle, and leave the bird in black and white. The tattoo was done by Sean Cox at Millenium Tattoo in North Vancouver.
(this photo illustrates well, the long term damage that was done to my left shoulder in a motorcycle accident over 6 years ago. My tricep's nerves were badly damaged, and the muscle has never been able to grow back!)