larch needles newsletter 3/3
hello and happy march! i'm writing this shortly after encountering my first spring flowers of the season, at a spot down the road that has reliably produced snowdrops every year in early march (or sometimes late february). the very early spring can be a tough time - cold, muddy, and still mostly lifeless. i think it's an incredibly special time though. the feeling of anticipation is so palpable, as if the branches and soil are on the verge of bursting. i recently got pulled into a wikipedia deep dive on the early history of life on earth, in particular the ediacaran fauna - an enigmatic family of organisms that existed around 600 million years ago. this was before the cambrian explosion of biodiversity, in which animal life as we know it began to take shape. the ediacaran fauna represent the earliest known examples of complex, multicellular organisms with specialized organs. they bear little resemblance to modern lifeforms, and their evolutionary lineage is mostly a matter of speculation. it's not known whether they are related to subsequent cambrian lifeforms, or if they are an isolated branch of the evolutionary tree. in a very roundabout way, these biological oddities seem to capture something of the liminal season we find ourselves in now.
in less esoteric news, last month i had the privilege of hosting my very first guest artist at the studio! Liev (@trinketkeeper) ventured all the way from oregon to spend a few days in beacon. it was truly a joy to meet them, and to show them around some of my favorite places in the local area. we walked together around denning's point - a waterfront preserve in beacon, and the former site of a brick factory - chatting while they scanned the ground for human-made detritus to collect. i was very impressed by the enormous pair of forceps they carry with them, for the express purpose of collecting artistically useful trash. later on, we visited the woodland ruins of an early 20th century mansion and farmstead, known as the cornish estate. no matter how many times i've visited a place myself, showing it to people always allows me to see it with new eyes. i'm excited to welcome them back to the east coast (sometime tba) in the near future!
2/5, living fractures
this is a somewhat unusual freehand piece, being based on a pattern i'd only drawn once before. normally i like to take more time to develop a motif before tattooing it without a stencil - while this is still true, i'm really pleased with how this turned out!
a very small root!
i don't think i ever expected to love blastovers so much. coming from a fine art background, i initially put way to much emphasis on the "blank canvas" in my conception of tattoos. i wanted my work to stand alone, inside an otherwise empty frame. this is counter to the nature of tattoos in a lot of ways, as there's really no such thing as a blank canvas. even with a totally unmarked part of the body, you're still working with the unstable form and texture of a living being. i've come to think of tattoos more as extensions of the body, rather than images superimposed on the body. the challenge of working with a client's existing tattoos, whether by weaving through the negative spaces or blasting right over them, has become a very rewarding part of this practice.
2/15, root juncture
it's always nice when an old design is given new life. this flash piece sat in my sketchbook for over two years before becoming a tattoo. compared to the original drawing, i took a slightly different approach to the textural lines in the "bulb," which is something that's taken me a long time to figure out. the goal is to make it feel like it's a 3d shape bulging outwards, rather than a cavity going inwards.
2/27, beetle gallery
this was Max's first tattoo, so we spent much longer in the planning phase than i typically would for a freehand piece. it felt nice to take things slow, and to compare different options. i wish i got to do more beetle gallery pieces - so many possibilities to explore!
after a very slow february, i'm happy to say that march is filled up! i'm now rolling my books over to april. any spots that open up this month due to cancellations will be announced via instagram.