Butterfly Flash, Norman Collins aka Sailor JerryIt has been mega fly time at the lake. When we get to the house in the evening, there they all are, clustered at the windows banging to be let out, or dead in groups on tabletops, corners and the floor. It is weird doings and I cannot fathom why this moment for the flies to gather here, chez moi. It most definitely could be something agricultural—as the Luckystone is near open fields and vineyards. But why now and why in general?

“Good work isn’t cheap. Cheap work isn’t good.” Sailor Jerry

I have been trying to learn about Norman Collins, tattooist going by the moniker, Sailor Jerry. The interweaving of Sailor Jerry’s life, art, local and the rise and legalization of tattooing is taking me on a wild ride from blogs to websites to tattoo shops. The history is intriguing as is the source of the imagery—but to me Norman Collins steady and sure hand, his drawing rocks my world. This untrained guy—a sailor, musician, poet and tattooist, was remarkable when it comes to simplifying an image, making a limited palette work, and then sheer good design skills. A rose is a confident series of lines that is complemented with solid color leaving the highlights white without blend or gradation. However, as in the woman’s head I posted yesterday, look at the deliberate use of gradient/tone around her eyes to really take something simple and really sex it up. The eye gradient makes the tattoo. His interest and relationships with master Japanese tattoo artists peeks through his work. One can see bits of Utimaro and the brevity of line and tone work right there in his flash .

I am also surprised to find out that tattooing became legal in 1997. Look at the mad popularity that expanded after that date. Hmmm.

more musing later.