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Posts Tagged ‘Dropkick Murphys’

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“Life is like a tattoo: we have a certain space available and that’s it. The more we fill it with negative elements, the less space will be left for the positive ones. Shape your life like a work of art as you would do with your tattoos, and keep the good in it.

Shape your dreams.”

Roberto Gemori

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At the opening at the Principle Gallery on Friday, as I was speaking with some folks, I noticed a man standing just on the edge of the group, not part of it. That’s not unusual at openings. Sometimes at these things I get to tell stories about the work and people often step up to listen in. After the group departed, this man moved up and said he had something he wanted my opinion on.

His name was Kevin Jobe who explained he was a police officer there in Alexandria and said he hoped I wouldn’t be offended. He was such an affable guy I couldn’t imagine what he could do that would offend me.

He proceeded to pull up his sleeve and, lo and behold, there was the image of a Red Tree painting on his bicep. The tattoo artist had done a great job replicating the trees and other elements of my work, using their own technique for creating texture in the field rows in the lower part of the tattoo, which I really liked. It had the impact of one of my paintings for me.

I was stunned and couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I felt a bit awestruck as well as deeply honored that someone chose that image to permanently engrave on their body. I mean, how do you respond to that?

I told Kevin that I thought it was awesome. And I do. And it is.

He explained that it was still a work in process and he asked for my opinion on how he should finish the sea and sky. Not knowing the tattoo medium too well, I hesitated. It was like looking at a painting that’s it’s at a point where I am afraid of screwing it up because I am not sure which is the next right move. We discussed the possibility of using a swirled pattern in the sky, as I sometimes use in my work. The painting here on the left, Energizing Light, from a few years back has a pattern in its sky ( and possibly in the water) that I think might translate well to the tattoo without crowding out the Red Tree.

Any suggestions from my tattoo knowledgeable friends out there?

I am still very much honored by Kevin’s action though I will point out that I did feel slightly uneasy afterwards. I mean, that’s permanent! It’s not like he had a t-shirt made or carved a red tree out of an old 2×4. That’s his skin and it will most likely, pending a thresher accident on the farm, be with him forever. I have to admit that I felt a little pressure to somehow live up to Kevin’s confidence in committing that image to his skin. I worried that just meeting me might have him doubting his decision.

Hopefully, I can live up to his confidence. Thank you, Kevin, for showing me your work in progress. I am honored and still awestruck. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

On the subject, here’s a little song from the Dropkick Murphys about a tattoo. And the Roberto Gemori from the quote at the top is a well known tattoo designer.

 

 

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The suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame,

The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,

For Willie McBride, it all happened again,

And again, and again, and again, and again!

Eric Bogle,

 No Man’s Land (Green Fields of France)

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Another Armistice Day. We observe the day now as Veteran’s Day  or Remembrance Day in some other countries, recognizing with it the service of all veterans, living and dead. But originally it was observed to commemorate the end of combat in World War I, 100 years ago on this date in 1918.

The Great War.

The War to End All Wars.

If only.

Unfortunately, we humans have short memories and a poor grasp of history. The Great War was but a prelude to a another World War and in the years since, there have been a multitude of other wars, invasions,genocides and ethnic cleansings.

They seem to always begin with an act of aggression based on greed, ego, or some kind of racial, religious, or ethnic hatred. One nation envies what another nation possesses. One leader desires more power and self enrichment. People, spurred on by manipulative leaders, feel threatened by the existence of others, those who don’t share their race or religion or social beliefs.

It seems so long as we live in a world ruled by the greed, envy and fear of those who lead the nations of this world, war will always be near at hand.

It will remain a necessary evil until men stop exploiting other men.

And as such, the continued service and sacrifice of young men and women will be required.

Today is a day to honor those who serve and or have served their duty to this and other countries.

It is a day to remember how much has been given to us the living and how much has been taken from those who sacrificed their futures for the living.

A day to remind us all how fragile this world is and how each new war dishonors the veterans of the past and makes their sacrifice seem to have been made in vain.

Take a moment from your day and give it some thought. It is the least we can do.

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Before playing this week’s Sunday music, I have to note that our current president* cancelled his attendance at a ceremony yesterday because of rainy weather. It was an observance to honor  the US Marines of WWI who died at Belleau Wood in France. Yesterday was also was the 243rd anniversary of the formation of the Marines by the Continental Congress in 1775.

I am not a veteran so maybe you might think I have no standing to criticize. But looking back at the many relatives who served and sacrificed through the past near 400 years in this land, I am ashamed as an American and consider his absence in honoring these fallen soldiers a great dishonor to this country and those who have served it.

Thank god a little rain didn’t dissuade those soldiers from the duty they felt to this nation. I am sure that the weather will not prevent him from his cordial meeting with Putin today in Paris, on the 100th observance of Armistice Day.

The song today is from 1976 and was written by the Scottish Australian singer Eric Bogle. It is titled No Man’s Land and is also known as Green Fields of France. It tells the story of young soldier named Willie McBride who died in World War I. It was inspired by Bogle’s visits to the battlefield graveyards in Flanders and Northern France. It is a song that has been recorded by numerous artists but I chose this version from the Dropkick Murphys. It’s a well done version and the video is a moving document and tribute to those who died in that war.

A word of warning: This video contains graphic images from that war.

Have a good day…

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