Showing posts from 2012

Avoiding the tattooed T Shirt look

It's been several months since I last had any work done.  Nothing dramatic this time, just something around the collar.  I wanted to get rid of that quasi T Shirt look and I think this has done the job.  Next Ben will recolour some of the petals that are rather buried in the blue ink just below these new flowers.  This should make it all look one of a piece.Then it will be the beginning of work at the top of my legs and the lower part of my cheeks.  I want this to be Japanese style.  That kind of shaded feather look.

Marked Up in Knowle West, Bristol

These past few months much of my time has been spent delivering leaflets for George Ferguson in the mayoral election in Bristol.

Today I was in Knowle West, an area of Bristol that suffers from severe economic and social deprivation.   I was tired and need a pee.  I spotted a tattoo studio and headed there.  As soon as I lift my shirt it is immediately evident I belong to that great club of the tattooed and have immediate entry to any studio I visit and am regarded as a friend. 

One of the artists working there was young Tim.  He was inking a sleeve for Ross, which can be seen below.  The top of his arm is just in outline now. 

Tim is a new young artist and will be interesting to see where his career takes him.

The sleeve on Tim's arm was done by his female colleague, Jodie, who alas was away today so I didn't get to meet her.  Like Tim she has only a couple of years working professionally.  It seems that many young women are making their way in the profes…

Gonzo tattoo

I was in The Beehive pub in Horfield, after spending a couple of hours delivering political leaflets on behalf of the independent candidate George Ferguson ( the other evening when I spotted a couple of tattooed folk across the room.  One was Gemma (see below) who works as a criminal lawyer for the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service).  Her photo is rather overexposed, so you can't really see her quite prominent lip piercing. On her arm she has an usual design. She chose it because of her obsession with the writings of Gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson.  The image is taken from the famous cartoonist's image of bats in perhaps Thompson's best known novel, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and the quote is from the book.
I asked Gemma if she wears her piercing at work.  She says she does at the office but when in court she has to remove it.  It does show how gradually tattoos and piercings are becoming m…

Dante's Inferno inked

Walking down Park Street in Bristol the other day I saw these beautiful tattoos.

They belong to Rachel who preferred not to be identified.  The lower one, her right arm, is still work in progress and is a Japanese take on Dante's Inferno.  Very original.

The work is being done at Ink in the Skin at Brighton.

Tattoo message - in a bottle

Charlotte Lewis turned up at the Clifton Arts Club exhibition.  She is a classmate of Rob Martin, who is one of the club's leading lights and is an artist.  Rob took these photos for me.  Charlotte sported a neck tattoo with a story.
Her grandfather was a paratrooper in world war II and had been stationed in Palestine.  He was travelling to France by ship and decided to send a message to his wife.  He popped a written note into a bottle and threw it overboard.  It eventually was picked up in Northern Ireland..
The message was: "Take care of yourself for me.  Goodnight God Bless".  Charlotte was so taken by the romantic story that she's had it tattooed onto her.
She has eight other small tatoos discreetly placed, including one on the back of her neck.  Another is the Turkish flag.  She got drunk while on holiday in Turkey and woke up to find she had the national flag tattooed onto her hip. 

Pubic tattoo

The work in my groin and pubic area has been completed.  Years ago Louis Molloy did the central figure in this picture but avoided going all the way.  Now Ben has tattooed a circle of clouds all around the image that goes as far as it can without inking my genitalia.  This completes the work on my torso.

Added to that Ben has worked some hair detail on a much older art nouveau image originally tattooed in the nineties.  Months ago Ben covered the black hair with brown.  Today he gave the hair some texture.

To mark the end of this phase Ben took some pictures of my whole body.

Tattoos at Bristol Harbour Festival

Today at the Bristol Harbour Festival there were plenty of tattoos on display. Notably there was Jemma, who is a Fraud Investigator for an insurance company during the week but by night and weekend she's a girl heading towards a body suit.  She's having her work done by her boy friend, Marcos, at the Broad Street Studio in Bath.
At work she keeps her tattoos covered, but happily on a sunny Saturday afternoon they are there for the world to see.  And it's beautifully executed.

By great good fortune I bumped into Anna Ayres.  Anna is the wife of the late Dave Ayres of Bristol's Skin Deep studio in Old Market in the centre of Bristol.  Dave's life came to an untimely end in 2009 when he died in an accident on his Harley Davidson.  Hundreds of bikers formed a procession at his funeral.

In this photo you can see boats in the background at Bristol's harbour.  I asked Anna if all her work was done by her ex-husband and had she stopped her body art subsequent to her de…

A tattooed artist's artists

David Gamble is not a tattoo artist but a tattooed artist. I met David for the first time outside the RWA (Royal West of England Academy)  in Bristol just after he had delivered his paintings to the Clifton Arts Club exhibition at the Bristol School of Art just over a week ago.  You can find out more about David's work at

David is unusual, not because he has the images of people he admires tattooed on his arms, but because both those images are of artists.  The first will be a name known to everyone, whether interested in art or not - Rembrandt.  But the other is Robert Lenkiewicz.  David writes "I knew him for five years and in that time he taught me a great deal about painting. He did about twelve thousand paintings in his life and I have seen a few of hundred of them and got to examine them quite closely.

I think he is the closest thing to Rembrandt of modern times and it is baffling that he is n…

Bristol's Gay Pride Festival

I went down to the Gay and Lesbian Festival in Bristol today.  It was over three sites, one of which is close to where I live and it here that I was campaigning for George Ferguson to become Bristol's first mayor.  Handing out leaflets I could hardly fail to notice the number of tattoos on show, even though it was a miserable day's weather.
Above you can see Lindsey, who had her arm piece done by Slug in Chippenham. She plans to have her arm completed by him in due course.
Then there is Ben, who is a body piercer from Wales, who neck was very strikingly covered with ink.  There's no going back for him. I could have spent the whole time photographing tattoos, but I was there for other reasons so had to get on with my work.

Danish tattoos

I have just spent a few days in Copenhagen, visiting my son David and his partner Joannah.  It's a lovely city and we were able to cycle everywhere with ease.  The city is as flat as a pancake and all the main roads have cycle paths on either side. On Friday, yesterday, I went back to Nyhavn, in the city centre, on my own.  Eventually I stumbled across a tattoo studio, Tattoo Ole. Front of shop was Miguel who is half Filipino.  He was there with his young sister, who appeared to be of school age and sat languidly copying some tattoo outlines, just to occupy herself.  She barely looked up.  The tattooist hadn't yet arrived and there was no hurry as there had been a late cancellation. As I usuually do when  dropping by at tattoo studios, I showed off my own work.  Then I asked Miguel what work he had.  He gave me a good glimpse, so I asked if he'd let me photograph him.  This he did, though I had to ask him to drop his trousers so I could see the whole back piece.  He said h…