Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Peacock 6

My mother was at my house this weekend and caught a glimpse of the tattoo. I expected her to freak. My mother is quite religious and very conservative. I was prepared to give the "I'm 34 years old and it's my body" speech. But what did I hear from her? "Ooh, is that a tatoo? I like tattoos. Can I see it?" And when I showed it to her, she told me she thought it was very pretty. It was just another reminder that even people you know well, can surpise you. Which is good.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Peacock 5

The day finally came. Sweet Cicely lives and works in San Francisco, but came down the weekend of July 14 for the Body Arts Expo in Pomona. It was an interesting atmosphere to get my first tattoo. The roar of the crowd served as white noise and was actually rather soothing. People stopped by periodically to ask Cicely questions about her work or make comments (all good!) about how the peacock was progressing. It was great to chat and people watch. The outline took about 2.5 hours. It felt less like a needle and more like a gentle grinding below the skin. It was at times almost pleasant. What can I say? I like a little pain. It got a little intense on either side of my spine. When she got to the part on my derriere, my nerves starting acting up and my legs kept twitching. It happened whenver she removed the needle, thank goodness. With about 15 minutes of work left to do, I began to get lightheaded and had to take a break. At least I didn't hurl. I drank some water, ate a few grapes and then we finished the outline. The photo was taken right before we started.

It's been about 9 days and it's done peeling. I am ecstatic. It's gorgeous. I love the way it fits on my body. Now I have to call Sweet Cicely and make arrangements to start the color. She expects it to take about 2-3 visits. I'm going to start looking for cheap fares to San Francisco.

Peacock 4

On July 13, Sweet Cicely sent the draft. I am very happy with it, but had a few questions for her. They were:

1) Does the tail need to curve in a way that covers the feet? I love bird feet. It sounds weird, but I think their feet is the one area that shows they evolved from dinosaurs. Dinofeet. If you think it will make it look awkward to move the tail, let me know.

2) It doesn't quite have the art nouveau quality I was hoping for, but I love the style so I don't want to change it. But I was thinking we could add, either now or later, an art nouveau border - something to anchor it and give it more the feeling of a stained glass window. The border would be the window frame. What do you think? Do you think it will make it to busy? If you think it's too much to do now, that's cool, but I want to make sure the size is right so there is room to add the border later.

She responded right away. She added the feet and I am very happy now. We decided to discuss the border later.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Peacock 3

My husband and I have had several tense discussions over the last few days about this tattoo. Bottom line-he thinks tattoos are disgusting. I made all the arguments about why want a tattoo, and why I decided on a peacock. I like things that are positive and beautiful and empowering. I connected with the ideas a peacock is supposed to stand for-infinity or immortality, confidence and beauty, being egotistic or vain, prideful. (Not that I'm vain. At least I hope I'm not!) I think art is what separates us from the animals. Our creativity and our search for self expression and individuality is what makes us special. (I didn't make that up, I read it somewhere else).

His argument was that people will look at me and think I'm white trash. He also felt I was seeking an emotional response or cure through artwork-that if I have the need to feel more powerful, etc. these needs, and the solutions, come from within. He felt that I am seeking an outward solution that has a permanent consequence.

In part his arguments have merit. I agree that emotional needs and solutions come from within, but that there is nothing wrong with an external reminder. I asked him to think hard about what was at the root of his disgust. I went on to say that I hoped he could embrace things that make me happy, not belittle me because of them. He suggested I get something smaller. I declined. Something smaller would not have satisfied me. I already had my heart set on something large, and I didn't believe that it was the size of the piece bothering him. I invited him to come with me. Ultimately he accepted that I was getting a tattoo, but was upset at my failure to comprise.