The second in my ocean series of screen prints, this sailor heavily tattooed with an octopus and a peacock, strange combination you might say. But, the peacock is a symbol of immortality and the octopus although vaguer in it’s symbolic meaning represents reaching into a lot of things. I like the marriage of the two meanings. Old sailors tattoos are often in some way trying to protect or act as a trophy or an award, I like the idea that this sailor can stare out into the ocean unafraid of death and feel like he can go anywhere he pleases without any risk of harm.
This print is titled, Sailor with peacock
I’ve been wanting to do these screen prints for ages. They were a struggle. I drew the positives on tracing paper with indian ink and it was a bit of a dark art calculating the expose time. But I got there in the end. There are three in total.
All sailors, all to do with the mystery of the ocean. There is obviously a very heavy japanese print influence going on, but they are also very much influenced by naval tattoos. This fist one for instance has images of swallows which have a symbolic meaning when represented as a tattoo. Back in the days before modern navigation birds would obviously represent land and tattoos of swallows, sparrows and blue birds came to represent a safe passage home. Swallows, maybe because of their migratory habits came to represent successfully sailing a certain amount of miles.
There is an interview with yours truly at the superb blog Tangled Fingers, there is even a Mugshot! I spill the beans on my inspiration. It shows some of my illustrations from conception to completion.
Check it out here
It goes like this: in the 1920’s and 1930’s families would return from holiday in Florida and bring back baby alligators to New York City, with the idea of keeping them as pets for their children. When the alligators grew too large for comfort, they’d be flushed down the toilet!
The Crocodile is an Icon of how life can prevail. At the end of the Eocene period from which it is first recognised to have come from (56-35 Million years ago) there was a massive extinction event called Grande Coupure or the “Great Break”. It caused widespread extinctions and isolated may spices forcing them to evolve. The crocodile Came through unscathed.
Illustrators Unlimited by Gestalten in Berlin is a collection of contemporary illustration from around the world. They included my work in this anthology, which was nice! There are many excellent illustrators included and you get a feel for trends happening today. If you want a copy gohere.
These Three Illustrations below are featured.