It is the Solstice, the origin of all winter holidays, and one of my favorites of the year. It kicks off the season for me with the promise of warmer days and more light, with Christmas, New Years, and the kickoff of Carnival season in New Orleans. It only gets better from now until March, and then Spring is on us, and the peregrination back to Alaska.
Yesterday was the start of a big tattoo with Jamie Ruth at Treasure Tattoo. She spent a lot of time with me on the art, and works in a more linear fashion than Rodney. We have the big piece plotted and sketched, ready to be transferred to a stencil after final review. She does the line work first, outlining the whole thing or the big chunk we are working on, and then will fill details, shading and color in subsequent sessions. Rodney would try to complete an individual element of the piece, through color, and then tie it in with background work later in the process. I find Jamie Ruth’s approach more comprehensible, if not as pretty in the time between initial appointments and finished product.
The idea is to tie the two partial sleeves together with a Japanese style upper back and shoulders, maintaining the color and ocean theme. We decided on maintaining the octopus as the main figure on the back, with an orca on one side of the chest and a boat on the other, secondary to the big curling wave shapes. So far, so good, and only a dozen or two more hours of ritual self-mutilation before a finished product.
Deanna arrives today, and we start our Christmas rodeo. Stef and Rosie arrive tomorrow, and we all drive to Shreveport for a few days with Larry and Judy, and then back to New Orleans for a few days with the Abbott family. Everyone disappears right before the New Year, like Cinderella at midnight, and then a less crowded week.