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Nick Baxter: Notes and Advice 9

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By Nick Baxter “If you wish to make certain your painting will succeed, a minimum of three things must come from you–and only you. The first thing is knowing why you want to paint your subject, the second is an analytical grasp of what you see, and the third is the skill to control the process of painting.” –Richard Schmid This quote I recently came across, written by a wise and very accomplished alla prima realism painter, got me thinking about the underlying structure that comprises the task of creating art. Schmid divides this structure nicely into 3 primary, foundational elements. This striking simplicity belies the complexity inherent in most forms of art, especially realism, and that simplicity bodes well for artists and laypersons alike–the so-called “uncreative” types, those who mistakenly regard themselves as “not having an artistic bone in my body.” Here’s my interpretation of Richard Schmid’s quote, expounding on his 3 main tenets and how they (encouragingly) apply to everyone: “Knowing why you want to paint your subject” refers to concept and theory. In other words, the philosophical side of the craft, the ideas and meaning the artist is working with or wishes to communicate through their work (I’ve written a lot about this here and here, with a future post coming as well). This relates to the study of your own mind, to “knowing thyself” and formulating ideas about life and the world around you. I believe that everyone has ideas about themselves and the world around them, because our living brains ... Read More »

STUNNING TATTOOED CERAMIC LADIES: WE INTERVIEWED THE ARTIST BEHIND THEM

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By Indigo del Castillo www.lostateminor.com Sculptor Jessica Harrison has forever changed how we see Victorian-era ceramic figures with her works involving ladies in fancy dresses sporting badass tattoos or their own blood and guts. In this exclusive interview, she talks more about her roots as an artist and her unique take on ceramics. [read our original posts about her sculptures here and here] How did you discover your passion for sculpture? When I was little I wanted to work in animation – there were quite a few great children’s tv programs on in the 80’s that were made with 3D models and I decided quite early on it looked like the best job in the world to mess around with clay all day. Let’s talk about your grotesque ceramic ladies with severed heads and misplaced body parts. Where did you get the inspiration for this collection? What was the message you were trying to convey here? That series is called ‘Broken’ as the pieces are made using found ceramics that I have quite literally taken a hammer and chisel to.They present an impossibly fair-skinned ‘perfect’ woman and my attraction to these works was precisely because of this image they portray of the female body – my aim was to counter it and present its opposite within itself. This was simple to do, by breaking apart the hollow cast pieces and ‘revealing’ the interior, a standard formula in Western knowledge for making discoveries about the body. The female interior is a ... Read More »

Tim Lehi’s Father, Rick Lee Peter’s Cancer Memorial Fund

Donate to Rick Lee Peters and his family as he continues his fight against Cancer. Please help provide him peace of mind in his final days. Rick Lee Peters received his Masters of Fine Arts with Honors from The University of Kansas.  But who needs a fancy piece of paper to notice the true talents of this man.  One peek at his repertoire is a clear display of a truly wonderful, creative and talented man who our Universe is preparing to take away due to Cancer. He began his battle about a year ago and we all had hopes that he would pull thru this routine procedure.  The other side of the curtain must need some funny, bright new personalities and probably some new artwork! As Rick prepares for a battle that his body no longer has control over, his family – his beautiful wife Jill, his son Tim and daughter Aimee, his grandchildren and a long list of loved ones and friends take comfort in being able to see and speak with Rick, and share encouraging hugs during these final days.  His good humor helps everyone ease thru an extremely heartbreaking and difficult process. Of course – with any medical battle there are costs involved.  Not only the hospital and treatment bills, but cost of living expenses, final resting costs, and the stress of being able to provide for loved ones once that fateful day has come.  One of Rick’s requests is to have a simple heart shaped headstone  -even the most ... Read More »

Advice for the New Year

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By Dan Henk I want to address two things in this blog. They might seem unrelated at first, but I’ll try my best to tie them together. The first is that people love to complain, and they have a ton of excuses on why it is someone else’s fault. You know what I’ve learned in my 41 years on this planet? Shut the fuck up, put your nose down, and try doing some ground work for a change. I hear all the time “I’m a good artist, but no one would give me a chance, so I bought this kit of eBay and starting tattooing out of my house.” Unless you happen to be one of the very few who just stumble into opportunity, like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton, you have to go above and beyond, spending countless hours trying to realize your dreams. I spent years doing menial jobs until, at age 28, I finally started tattooing for a living. Even then it was a touch and go at first. But after striving for so long, I was not about to give in. The guy who taught me was in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I lived in Brooklyn, New York. Working at his shop was not an option. The first shop I worked at was way out in the ghetto in Queens. I would barely even call it a shop. The second shop I worked at was Underground Tattoos on Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn. That is where Mike Tyson is ... Read More »

TCM #5: Available NOW!

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Tattoo Culture Magazine #5 featuring Gunnar, Eric Inksmith, Shawn Barber and more is now available on the App Store at: www.tattooculturemagazine.com/app Digital edition for all other devices/computer go to: www.tattooculturemagazine.com Read More »

Shenpa II

By Nick Baxter www.nbaxter.com Here’s a process sequence for a tiny diptych painting I did a few months ago related to the recurring theme in my work of healing wounds.  This tiny little pair will be included in the forthcoming art catalogue Pint Size Paintings Volume 2, which compiles these small paintings completed by members of the worldwide tattoo community, and features them in a traveling art show. I wrote about the Tibetan Buddhist symbolism surrounding my use of the hook symbol last year, after completing Shenpa I (which now resides in the collection of the amazing and prolific figurative painter Shawn Barber!). Read More »

Adam Guy Hays: Death Waits Step by Step

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By Adam Guy Hays www.losttexan.us A few months ago I took part in the “Fuck Art, Let’s Kill” exhibition put on at Nick Caruso’s Bound For Glory shop in Staten Island. It was a death and reaper themed art show. I’ve always been a big fan of drawing skulls and reapers and as excited as I was to be a part of the show the idea of trying to come up with something nice and original that would stand out was daunting. I decided to try to paint something a bit out of my comfort zone. I stuck to my preferred mix of watercolors, inks, and liquid acrylics, but I tried to give the piece a renaissance feel using those media. Before I’d started this project I’d downloaded a bunch of books from IllustratedMonthly.com to my iPad. I thought I’d just grab a variety and see what there was in them. They were cheap enough  that I ended up getting a heap of really good stuff for a fraction of what physical books would cost. There was a lot of visual information there in a variety of styles. I found it handy when I was struggling for ideas in coming up with the composition for this piece. I flipped through the books on my iPad until I saw something that caught my eye. I saved the first two images (Ref. 1) because I was drawn to the composition. I started formulating the idea of doing a reclined death. It just seemed different. ... Read More »

A Review on Jeff Gogue’s “tattoo as I see it”

By Nicki Kasper “In that moment, I realized that instead of trying to be inspired, I was going to try to inspire people.” I recently ordered two copies of Jeff Gogue’s DVD, “tattoo as I see it”… Jeff is one of my closest and most genuine friends and I wanted to support his project, something I know he and put a lot of work, time, money, energy and heart into.  I bought a copy for myself, and one for a close friend of mine – an artist I thought could use some inspiration.  I didn’t know exactly what the DVD would be like, but I know Jeff, and I knew it would be inspiring, as well as very giving with valuable information and advice to tattooers… I just now was able to find the time to sit down and watch it, and it doesn’t disappoint. I know Jeff in a couple different ways…  We’re friends; I know him on a personal level, and he’s fun, open, genuine, kind, generous, and hilarious. I’m also one of his clients, so I know him on that level.  I know how much he cares about his clients, about the pieces he puts on our bodies, about the pain we’re feeling, etc.  I know how much heart he puts into every single piece, and I’m grateful and fortunate to be covered in them.  But in addition to being a friend, and a client, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with him on side projects. I ... Read More »

The Story of Natha Part 2: The Forest Trek

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By Jon Osiris Read Part 1 here: http://wp.me/p14cQJ-59Q It so happens that after becoming a bit more familiar with this place, I have been privy to further tales and experiences with The Natha and his strange and magical ways… After morning exercises some weeks back, I was invited to take tea with the Natha somewhat privately, along with a couple of other students.  While we were ushered past a stone statue in the courtyard of the elephant headed god Ganesh, whom was bedecked with garlands of marigolds and offering bowls full of sweets, we entered into a small antechamber where the Natha’s consort was serving tea. I exchanged formalities and a few pleasantries with her and the other three while everyone was served.  Two of them were male senior students at the temple and neither were likely yet twenty years of age.  The third, a friend and guest of the Natha, a pleasant woman tattooist and artisan in her early thirties. While sipping the aromatic brew we listened as the Natha told us why we were assembled.  It had to do with a messenger who had arrived a few days back…  a weary looking fellow that had appeared one evening and begged to see the Natha straight away, even before accepting food or water.  I had not heard anything more about him until now.  The man had traveled for several days without stopping, only taking sustenance when it was dire, exhausting his provisions quickly nonetheless.  The news that the messenger carried ... Read More »

I am… We are…

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By Melissa Fusco   Men and Woman look at life through a different lens.  There are plenty of professions where women out number men, and each man in that field will approach their projects differently than a woman. On the flip side, there are many professions that men out number women.  It seems that most of my life I have found myself in a field that I enjoy where men greatly out numbered women.  I can honestly say that I have felt the stress of being a woman in a predominately  male dominated industry multiple times in my life. This has always pushed me to work harder to really become the best that I could be. I strived to keep up, and  always felt good when I gained the respect from those I looked up to.  I feel in the flash back I am reflecting on my years of competitive snowboarding. However, even in my years of college there were more men than women in my classes, and artistically I excepted the fact that I am a woman, I see things differently than a man. I approach projects differently, from my overall vision, application, execusion, and time frame  within each project. Within the art world I immersed  myself in, I never really felt the stresses of man vs. woman. Then in 2003 my life change with my newly found passion of tattooing. Read More »

Raking Light with Robert Ryan

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By Andrew Fingerhut   Tattooer, painter and musician Robert Ryan recently added to his impressive resume with the publication of a five color lithograph print created in collaboration with Brooklyn-based Master Printer Deborah Chaney.  Starting with a rough outline drawn by hand directly onto lithographic limestone, Robert and Deborah worked together to craft a price that manages to retain the best hand-made qualities of traditional printmaking while staying true to his creative perspective and style. I recently had the chance to ask Robert for his thoughts on collaboration and printmaking, what it’s like working in a brand new medium, and if his tattooer worldview informed the lithograph experience. Q – How would you describe the experience working with the lithograph materials and overall lithograph creative process?  Was it difficult to adjust to new / different materials?   A – It was more difficult to wrap my mind around the process then physically make the art. I still find it hard to believe anyone figured out this process for print making . I loved working on Stone . It was incredible. The texture is like no other . I was destroying the tips of the grease pens !  Your basically using the softest of tools on the absolute hardest of surfaces. What elements of the print were created in the studio with the printer and which were able to be created at your studio? All the artwork and shading were done at Deborah’s studio . I did the color plates at ... Read More »

Rocket Girl Redux: Step by Step

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By Adam Guy Hays A while back I decided I needed a new banner, as I’ve been using a shitty Kinko’s copy of one of my old ones for while now. I thought it’d be a good excuse to do another step-by-step of my painting process. I’ve included the photos of the references I used. I’m a big believer in having true life references for all projects. I started with an image that my business partner Mike Bellamy drew and that has been our shop’s longtime logo. I wanted to keep the overall composition more or less the same but make my own version. I changed up the proportions, added a tiny RR logo , and gave the girl more Alphonse Mucha styled hair. I love that art nouveau stuff. Typically when I’m sketching I like to use Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils on heavy vellum, which can stand a fair bit of abuse from erasing and sketching. The Col-Erase pencils are pretty good at staying where they’re put and not smudging too much. Some details in here are just plain pencil too. Read More »

*New* Photos Added To The Gallery

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Tattoos and Painting by Jeff Johnson www.jeffjohnsontattoos.com CA Read More »

Invocation Of Trust

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By Nick Baxter Here’s a recent piece I completed for submission to an upcoming charity art exhibit at The Egan Gallery in Fullerton, California, curated by friend and fellow artist Cody Raiza who is a passionate animal welfare activist. Read More »

Melissa Fusco: Breaking The Artist Bubble

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By Melissa Fusco Last month I had the pleasure of visiting  Off The Map Tattoo Studio in Grant’s Pass, Oregon. It was my first time ever visiting Oregon, and I must say it gave Colorado a little competition. I arrived with the all to familiar nervous, anxious, first time exploring butterflies that I feel in my stomach while starting a new journey.  Off The Map Tattoo Studio shares it’s name with Jeff Gogue’s Grant’s Pass location. I had a few days of tattooing lined up, and was very excited about that, however I was more focused on the plans I had made in advance. I coincided my guest artist spot around Jeff’s painting workshop. I had this trip planned out for about 10 months, and it seems the longer it takes for me to plan anything the more anxiety builds for the trip. Read More »