Saturday, March 9, 2013

Adventuring and Art

Last weekend I went on an adventure. One of my favorite tattoo artists, Mark Hartenberger, was tattooing at the InkLife Tattoo tour and convention in Fort Myers. My sister, brother-in-law, and man-friend (have you noticed the awkward way I avoid saying husband? I don't know why, but I have never really liked that term) drove the interminable distance so that my sister and I could get work done. The drive was made longer by the fact that we were dropping the littlest members of our family off to stay with grandparents because the only thing worse than going to a tattoo convention would be dragging children to a tattoo convention.

We arrived in Fort Myers late in the afternoon on Saturday night, which left enough adventure time for roaming to the beach, acquiring snacks and cards for at the hotel, and eating dinner. I know this sounds like a fairly laid back adventure, and it was, but with my companions laid back adventure is kind of where it's at. These are the best adventuring companions around. It's mostly because they are all hilarious and really smart. I don't want to brag, but I've got some of the best friends around.

We went to the beach where we froze our asses off in the wind. I thought the ospreys were going to drown themselves due to the wind strength, and a sailboat gave up on its sunset cruise.
The wind off the Gulf was cold. I thought I was going to lose toes.
The wind blew the ospreys off course.
For some reason, we decided that walking in the water was warmer.
This could be their album cover.
Lovely sunset.
On Sunday we woke up, ate bagels, wandered in a park for a while, and then the boys left to while away the time. The lovely sis and I waited around for the convention to start. Conventions in general are funny things, but tattoo conventions draw such an interesting assortment of people. It's not the ideal environment for me to get a tattoo, but after waiting nearly five years for Mark to come back to Florida, I wasn't going to miss him. The sister started things off, and damn, she's tough. She spent about five hours in the chair.

This is the outline for the new work.

And this is the new addition. It's not finished yet, but it's pretty incredible. 

My tattoo took somewhere between three and four hours. I added a kestrel to the inner part of my upper arm--on the outer portion, Mark had already done a peacock for me. This won't shock anyone who has had an inner-arm tattoo, but they hurt worse than the outer arm, and due to the limited space in the booth, I had to hold my arm at an odd angle for the duration of the tattoo. But I love my new piece, so all-in-all it was worth it.
This is my finished kestrel.
I can't wait for my arm to heal completely. I love my new piece. And with every new tattoo, I love tattoos more. I carry my art with me. I carry it on my arm, and neck, and back, and leg. I know tattoos aren't for everyone. I know there are jobs where having my arm covered in birds might not be ideal. I know my skin won't always have the elasticity it does now. But goddamn, I love art.

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