How can it be Sunday, already???
The last thing I remember, I was getting a new tattoo on Thursday evening.
Where was I ?
Oh, I remember, it was Thursday night... date night for me and Mrs Gunfighter. SoccerGirl was at summer camp, riding horses and so forth with the Girl Scouts in the hills of central Vriginia. Since SoccerGirl was out of the picture (we really missed her... you know we did!), I had planned to get my new tattoo from the aforementioned primo custom tattoo artist, Paul Roe, of British ink.
Well, let me tell you... when Gunfighter does date night, he does it right, full stop.
Here's how it went down: After teaching all day (and I could tell you what a pain in the ass last week was... but I'll spare you), I left work a wee bit late, but in plenty of time to pick up the Mrs. We immediately headed to the Washington National Cathedral, because we hadn't been there together in months and months. We spent a lovely little time chatting as we drove to the Cathedral, and after parking the the brand-spankin'-new underground parking lot, we went to the Cathedral gift shop which always has some great books, CD's and other treasures.
Both of us spent a bit of money there, with me buying a new book on living life according to the Benedictine rule, which is awesome, and Mrs GF bought some books on Christian art.
Anyway, we left the Cathedral and proceeded back to the Washington Navy Yard area, where the ARTOMATIC festival was being held. We got there in short order, having driven through some areas of the city that we used to enjoy when we were in our youth (seeing some of those people made me feel positively ancient!).
We felt a little nostalgic passing by the old news agent on Connecticut avenue, and the area where Rumors lounge, and The Sign of The Whale were/are. Does anyone here remember the Mad Hatter? Dude, I used to rule those places in the late 80's!
Ahem (ask me the stories later!).
So, we arrived at the festival, and parked a block away, near Nationals Park. Securing a parking space, we walked to the ATM so I could score some cash to pay Paul, and while we were getting said cash, a woman walked past us, wearing what would have been a long t-shirt, if she had been eight years old. As it was, she couldn't honestly be considered dressesd, what with her backside hanging out and her rather ample boobs exploding out of a bra that was clearly two sizes too small. Mrs GF, can I get a witness? Holla!
Anyway, we got to the festival about 30 minutes before my scheduled appointment with Paul, and had the chance to browse through the exhibits on the second and third floors. We saw some of the performance artists setting up, and one young woman who was clearly there with her parents, was setting up her cd's for sale... she looked like a nice enough sort, so I bought her cd right there and then..... hey you have to support your local artists, right? So, here is a free plug for Margot MacDonald, of Fairfax County, Virginia. Her latest CD is called Walls. While a couple of the songs on the cd are covers, most were penned by young Margot herself. Give here a fair listen... I think that you will like her music.
After buying Margot's CD, we saw some really interesting art... as well as some things that I could have done without. I'm not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but some of that stuff was downright out of hand!
No need to catalog the weirdness, but I will say this: To the "Guns Into Art" guy: Good on you, my friend, but you'll probably never see the artistry that goes into a long-range headshot in a crosswind with unenhanced sights. 'Tis a thing of graceful beauty, indeed. Violence isn't always evil or morally wrong.
So, eventually it was time. Time to go visit Paul nad get my next piece of... art? Art, for sure, if you are an artist like Paul. Art, if you are an artsy type of person. This is art, even if you are like me, a not very artsy kind of guy.
If you know me at all, you know that my tattoos have stories behind them. You know that all of them mean things that are deeply held and important to me in the depths of my soul. This tattoo was to be no different. I told you a couple of months ago, the sketchy basic design for this piece, so you already know most of what it was going to look like.
Paul greeted us warmly, and invited us into his shop away from his regular studio. When we got there, we were greeted not only by paul, but also by his lovely wife, his son, as well as Liaa, his new apprentice. British Ink is a family affair, my friends... believe it.
So, we got down to business right away, and Paul cleaned and shaved my forearm, and immediately be began my stencil. If you have never been tatooed before, please understand that this isn't just some crap that the artist dedcided to scrawl on your arm. This is serious stuff, and since you will likely carry this to your grave, you had better make sure about what you are looking to get!
I spent a little time getting to know Liaa, since she had become part of the British Ink family, it only made good sense. I won't go into Liaa's professional life without her permission, but she is an educator who works with multiple media, which should serve her well in the world of custom tattoo artists.
Now, with the outline done, it is time for the shading and coloring... which is always the least comfortable part of a tattoo... at least for me.
You might notice that we departed from the black and grey that we usually do, and opted for a little red shading to make that image pop out at you just a little bit.
The picture that you see here was taken as soon as the tatoo was done. It still looks a little angry, but since then, it has begun to heal quite well. I will attempt to post a picture of the finished product in a few days.
I've said it before, friends. If you want good custom tattoo work done, here in the Washington, DC are, go see Paul. I promise you that you will go home happy.
Mrs Gunfighter and I plan to interview Paul at his studio later in the week, so please, when that happens, give it a read and pass it on to your friends.
OK, it's 1230 and I have to be awake in less that 4 hours... I have to go to sleep.
Good night all.