larch needles newsletter 12/2
it feels like winter has arrived here, but not without some trepidation. last week, the first snow came, and the studio grew frigid, with the archaic heating system broken at the worst possible time (don't worry, it's all fixed). now, it is mild and rainy again, with the rain carrying an entirely different feeling than it did before. i've been walking the river beach more often lately, collecting driftwood to take home or to the studio. the tide washed up several branches heavily inscribed by beetles. the longest of these branches seems to me like a wizard's staff, engraved with magical runes in a flowing and forgotten language. these particular markings are unlike any i've seen before - paths punctuated by repeating notches, almost like the teeth on gears. i can't decipher them as an entomologist could, but it's clear that each species has its own language, its own distinctive script.
i've been working on a new series of text-based designs, feeling somewhat inspired by the illegible forms of black metal typography. the shapes of letters provide a really interesting scaffolding, resulting in compositions i would never have come up with otherwise.
11/17, beetle gallery
this is a very special piece, because it's my half of my first trade! Ellyn (@leggybean) is an incredible tattoo artist based in LA, but makes semi-frequent visits to Brooklyn to do guest spots. i definitely encourage you to go follow their work!
11/22, winter yarrow
i don't do customs much these days, but i was happy to take on this request for a close friend. i'm really pleased with how the flat boundary contrasts the organic shapes of the flower head. we kept drawing the stem longer and more abstract, which i really enjoyed - i'm a big fan of long, spindly extensions in tattoos.
11/23, root system
i'm so happy with how these roots turned out, especially considering that a decent portion of this piece is right in the elbow ditch (a notoriously difficult area of the body). this flash design happened to fit the placement just perfectly, which is always a great feeling.
11/27, surface turbulence
this was an intense piece - so much crammed into a small area. i love how "in motion" it feels. this pattern started out inspired by the texture of a tinder hoof fungus, bur quickly veered off into abstraction and took on a life of its own. i'm really not sure what to call it at this point! everyone brings their own interpretations to my work, particularly the more ambiguous forms, which i love.
11/28, fault lines
the chest is truly one of my favorite placements, and it's always an honor to be trusted with this part of someone's body. i couldn't be happier with how the composition of this one ended up. it's completely different from anything i would have come up with on paper, but it makes perfect sense exactly where it is. this is probably my favorite thing about freehand. the chasm is by far the motif i've iterated on the most, and only now do i truly feel like i am perfecting it.
december: i'd love to get in a few more appointments in - scheduling is still pretty flexible for the latter half of the month.
january: if you're reading this, my january books are now open!