larch needles newsletter 11/11
shortly before the strange warm spell of the last few days, we had our first frost in my part of the world. i had an open weekend, which is unusual for me these days, and i got up early on saturday morning to go hiking with my parents. it was remarkable foggy - almost too thick and viscous to be real. as we crossed the river, we could see the fog flowing through the valley like a second river, suspended over the water. we drove to a mountain called Schunnemunk, which is one of our favorite autumn hikes, hoping to take advantage of the brilliant foliage, which seemed to be living on borrowed time at this point. while passing through the meadow at the base of the mountain, i noticed swathes of frost clinging to the cleavers and tall grass in the shadows of the trees. a row of elderly maples led us to the trailhead. on the ascent, i found an abundance of hedgehog mushrooms growing amidst the mountain laurel, which i stowed away in the pouch of my jacket. eventually, we broke through the treeline into a wildly different biome - huge slabs of conglomerate rock criss-crossed with fissured and chasms, watched over by a congregation of gnarled pitch pine growing low to the ground. was undoubtedly a formative place for my long-time fascination with crevices and other geological structures.
last week, i helped move my studiomate Moth into the building - i've never shared a space with another tattooer, so this has been a big change for me! like most artists, i deal with a fair amount of imposter syndrome, which has often been exacerbated by my isolation from other people in my craft. i often feel bogged down by an unshakeable sense that i am doing something wrong, that i am not "professional" or "legitimate" enough, and that in reality have no idea what i'm doing. having other tattooers to talk with and bounce ideas off of goes a long way to relieve those feelings. it also feels much less empty in here now, but still far from cramped - the space is the perfect size for two setups.
10/30, cellular incursion
gap-filling is really enjoyable to me. it's like solving a puzzle. it was also great to dip my toes a little further into color by rendering this one in teal. i think most of my designs are best served by straight blackwork, but when color makes sense, it can be really fun. i know i say things are "fun" all the time, but i do really mean it!
11/5, chasm (in progress)
it's always really special getting to work at this scale - this one was really fun to compose. Katri has a whole collection of pieces by Briar Lake (@godstooth), including some lovely long and spindly ones which definitely influenced the shape of the chasm.
i love how these two kinds of forms interact, and i really enjoyed weaving the veins around the existing tattoo!
december: still wide open!