By Hunter Spanks
Getting a back piece is quite a commitment physically, mentally and financially. For all the reasons stated above this installment takes place a bit over a year ago. We knew Lizzy would not be able to come back for another session for quite a while so I held off submitting it to the TAM Blog. Little did we know that it would take so long. We hope to be on more of a regular schedule from here on out…
So after a somewhat stressful drive in the rain and traffic down to DC we are finally back here at Jinx Proof for the fourth session on Elizabeth’s (Lizzy) backpiece and at about 4:39 p.m. Dave gets to work.
The mood is great and so is the music as Dave sings loudly to Clutch in unison with Neil, claiming he will just sing the whole song along with him. Once again Dave is going to be working on the background of the tattoo. This time on the right side. The color palette that he has laid out is a range of olive style greens, yellow, and of course some black. Dave questions “have you seen the bridge”? Referring to Led Zeppelin that is playing in the shop. Dave hums along to The Final Countdown while we recall our fondness for the show Arrested Development and how Gob used it in his magic act and the debate of what bit off Busters hand.
It was a seal if you didn’t watch the show. Dave swiftly lays in deep greens and again Lizzy brought her friend Dr. Numb, which still seems to only takes the edge off. Dave moves back to laying down some more black shade, all on the right side which seems to be where they will be making most of the progress in this session. So by the look on Lizzy’s face the Dr. Numb is not living up to its name. Only about an hour in and she does not seem to be as relaxed as she claims letting out an “ow.” Dave has made great progress having completed most of the greenery up to her mid back.
David Bowie’s, Five Years or at least I think that’s the name, comes on and I am sure that she hope today’s session does not take that long. Dave breaks out the Bactine to try to take a bit more of the edge off. Dave shakes a bottle of Eternal deep blue, getting ready to work on the water that goes up the right side. Dave has said that he is on new meds and this is the reason that he’s in such a happy mood today. He has seemed very happy during the other 3 sessions, so I might make the assumption that he is joking about that as well. Dave mixes the deep blue with white creating a smooth blend of dark to light in the stream. Now it seems that it is time for the first break.
With a very quick break out of the way, Dave without hesitation gets back to work laying in more black shade in the foliage. Lizzy cannot seem to find her groove today and is struggling a bit with the pain as Alice Cooper sings “no more mister nice guy” which I’m sure is her feelings towards Dave at the moment. Dave wastes no time with the black and gets right back to the blues in the stream. Dave and Lizzy both seem to be very quiet at the moment maybe realizing that the joking might be what’s keeping Lizzy from finding her groove. Non the less with a determined look on his face Dave continues to blaze through the blues in the water. Let’s face it no matter how quick a tattooer can move they hurt and a tattoo of this size will take quite a bit of time to complete.
Dave and Lizzy take a bit longer break she gets up to stretch, Dave takes a stretch himself and after about five minutes they get right back to work. Lizzy claims during the break that she is just not into it today which is making it a bit tough on her. Not that getting work of this size is going to be easy. From experience though and the bit I have started on my back from Andrew Conner being in a groove can really make the difference on how long one can sit and how much progress can be made in a session. Once again they are both very quiet not the usual banter about cocks, porn, and things a bit X-Rated in nature.
Things seem a bit more serious today which means I am not laughing so hard my side hurts. Dave works with shades green again as we begin to talk about what we have in our personal art collections. Sailor Jerry, Mike Malone are the main two we mention in this conversation. The talk begins to pick up again and moves onto concerts we have recently seen. Myself and Lizzy most recently The Cars and U2. Dave talks about their RFK show years ago. Bon Scott exclaims, “He’s a live wire!” as Dave looks at what to tackle next.
It seems that Dave is going to move back over to the left side of her back and fine tune some areas of the stream. Starting with some black shade where the grass meets the stream, giving that area a bit more depth. The move back over towards the left doesn’t seem any better for Lizzy as she once again let’s out an “ow” this time adding a “fuck me” along with it. Dave moves from black shade to blues once again working on finishing up the bit of water that is left to do on the left side. They are now about two hours into it and it’s hard to say how much longer Lizzy will be able to hold out. The look on her face tells me not long.
Dave continues to work on the blues in the water. Dave again applies some Bactine in hopes that this will take a bit of the edge off. Dave tells Lizzy that they will try to finish the grass on the left side and decide it is time for another stretch before they do.
Well instead of a break they decide to call it a day feeling good about the progress that was made today. This will be the last installment for a bit based on the fact that Lizzy will not be able to make it back in until early October. She might try to shoot for a bit sooner but until next time that is all for now.
(Hunter Spanks is a contributing blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine and was previously in TAM Issue #11. He currently works in Baltimore, MD at Have Fun Be Lucky Tattoo.)
(Dave Waugh can be found at Jinx Proof Tattoo in Washington, DC)