Friday, March 2, 2012




For me it comes in spurts & random order.

Surrounding myself with a sense of decay has been par for the course for as long as i can remember.  Oftentimes i think that's ok, too.  The whole "know thyself" dealio rings true, no matter how old the saying gets.  Perhaps realizing that 'old' in itself is a great thing is another positivity altogether.

Growing older.  We are ALL doing it every second of every day.  I've got this French blood running through these Irish veins, so on the outside i "look it" a bit less than i actually FEEL on the inside.

I will be 37 years old this year.  And I'm not there yet.
By 'there' I mean at a settled place.  Not rushing to get there and taking it as it comes while pushing myself where needed most.

Art will forever reflect my life, good, bad or ugly - both life and the art.

Art?  What a fucked up word.

What's art?

...still working on that one.

...and a few quotes & mantras I've thunk and remembered:

"Wear your art on your sleeve".

"Wisdom is the fruit of the fool's full labor".

"Clean & Dirty"


Saturday, February 11, 2012



Finally feels like i'm getting closer.  My skill and confidence?  Strong.  Definitely can start expanding the elements and themes, too.  Digging working in greyscale.

I can feel my focus shifting 100% towards tattooing.  Scary.  Why?  Because i have a shitload of responsibilities with f/t and p/t work.  All i can think about is pulling lines and getting this whole whipshading technique down...least on paper.

Still, i am ready to make whatever sacrifices are necessary, and i feel like i have the support and sandbags to do so as well.

What u see above is a final render of my very 1st flash page.  Technically, it's not a 'flash' page, as i have never held a machine in my hand (and won't until my master says i may);'s a 'portfolio flash' page.  I'm not qualified to put a needle in anybody's skin whatsoever, but i'll be damned and roasted alive before i cease to do so on paper.  Must once again emphasize the 'NIB'.  This pflash wasn't done with a nib - but there's work forthcoming that is.  LOVE using it.  Sharp.  (more on that later, guaranteed.)

Overall, I'm nervous, but confident in my gut about the 25th.  Funny.  I remember the old days of standing in line in NYC and elsewhere, feeling a relative anxiety.  Know what i did when i was in line at those auditions?  Draw.  The difference between the visual and musical/performing arts for me, is that my natural talents are plum-stronger when holding a device containing ink, graphite and color.  I can sing (semi-pro), play piano (pro for a guy who doesn't read music), and acting may be my top talent in this realm - but all of em combined can't hold a candle to drawing.  I've been drawing my whole life.

...I will be a tattoo artist, and a successful father, lover, and American.  Success is determined by my own definition, and by nothing or nobody else.  If i can pay my bills, enjoy life with my family, and get my rocks off in the down time, then i will be as content as capable.

Matter of fact, i am content right now.  I struggle, but deep down i am grateful for what i have, who i am, those very important people in my life who support me, and for the gifts i was given.

...patience my friends and enemies, i will get under ur skin...


Monday, February 6, 2012



...I'm convinced that it's the writing of this blog that's keeping me sane.

This beauty of an Irish lass allowed me to sketch on her back.  Feeling confident with my understanding of at least one 'rose formula', i went for bold, clean-but-messy lines and shading.

clean-but-messy.  Like that.

As far as the overall weekly goes, progess made on my 1st flash sheet.  Of course i think it sucks.  maybe i'm supposed to, but i digress.  Will keep twiquing that mofo until it clicks.  Going for a total of 3.  One roses and skulls (custom), one greyscale - maybe a portrait and something downright evil.  And a traditional sheet - essentially copying Collins' flash, with my hand.  On the 25th i will ask, again.

Got some nifty new supplies today:  Dr. Martens bombay ink (r,y,g,br,bl).  And a nib pen.  Gunna use em to take a go at the crawling panther and tiger. (kinda excited for that!!!)

...good, bad, I kinda' feel like i'm in a tunnel.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012



...this drawing, when colored and complete, flew out the godamn window when i was taking the picture for upload!!!

...saw it float down from the 3rd floor of the tree fort into the neighbor's yard, and thought to myself as it was occurring:  "well, not meant to be, gutta redraw it."  Nice lesson:  Let it go and move on.  Find that inspiring in art, fresh.  i actually chuckled.

...u know what i'm liking MOST about this whole tattoo artist pursuit?  Is that i'm taking it as light heartedly as possible.  Yes, it's starting to PERMEATE off of me (literally), and only my closest loved ones know of my frustration in its process.  But what's cool is people BELIEVE in me, and it helps.  A lot.

I think i'm starting to ENJOY getting familiar with the CULTURE, the real deal ACTIVE happening of TATTOOING, and TATTOO ART, and TATTOO ARTISTS.  Regardless of  our issues with diversity, tattoos seem to bind us all.  ANYONE can be tattooed.  I think.'s my plan:  1) go back thru my work and develop 3 flash sheets, 8x10, fully hand crafted, best work possible.  2) bring them to my primary shop first, humbly ask...the shop owners.  3) if yes, ideal.  if no, back to researching artists/shops, drawing, reading on the mechanics, visiting select shops and artists for a tattoo and vibe gathering...finding one that clicks and...asking.    ...and finally? INTEGRATING INTO THE SOCIAL ASPECT of the trade, meeting, acknowledging and PROMOTING TATTOO, TATTOO ARTISTS, & TATTOO as an ART worth buying!  Why buying?  Because TATTOOS are pretty much as PERMANENT as u can get.

...did i mention it's the ASKING that's the hard part, u know...

...and so it's in digi ink, lemme mention that i went back today and scoped out JACK RUDY's work.  Outstanding, that black and grey...

...oh...why the hell doesn't HARTFORD, CT have an official CONVENTION yet???


Tuesday, January 17, 2012



coming into a point with drawing where it's getting downright fun.

When i stop to think about it, it's been roughly four years since i've dedicated my drawing to tattoo.

...had this kinda' obvious thought:  "'s as if on the paper i am able to release and communicate, if lucky, engage the looker."  With a focus on technique and the tools necessary to accomplish the desired look to the drawing, things start to click.

...this dragon is the last of a lengthy run on COLDPRESS watercolor paper.  Can't stress enuff how much changing the paper has affected the quality of the blend and color - much smoother.  My lady was right when she expressed that the coldpress offers the drawing texture, so important not to toss the paper out the window. to color this first concept, and onto hardpress.


Friday, January 13, 2012



..bit of negative vibin lately.  Seems to be a running theme.  I dunno, maybe i like it.  The mental grind, that is.  ...keeps me feeling like i've a purpose.

Bought a new liner pen.  Chinese.  Sakura MICROPERM.  Really smooth.  And tapers just a pube at the tip, which gives it a slight edge over my ever-trusty sharpie.  Don't get me wrong, not deucin sharpie...just keepin things fresh.  Sharpies work well on the cold press watercolor paper.  The itsy-bitsy-bit of bleed they offer helps in giving the line a bit o' texture.  This sakura pen stays solid and pretty damn clean - like how it can take just a bit of pressure.  And HARD PRESS watercolor paper???!!!!  Holy Valhallan Descendant, Batman!!!  Awwwwweeeeeesome.  Blending is wicked fuckin smooth, like butta'.

Dragons.  And a humble bumblebee in the summer.  Those are the two muses.  Rule of 1/3rds would say there's one more coming...somethin to look forward too.  Gathering reference material on the dragons, drawing from my noggin until shit makes sense.

Going to MA tomorrow to be tattooed.  Looking forward to it for a few reasons.

...And fuck no i'm not writin 'em down.

Date night.  Happy.

On the forecast for the weekend:  lil' bit of graphic-work-for-work tomorrow morn, rehearsal on an underscoring project i'm working on with a hot chic in the afternoon, tattoo exodus into the night - and hopin to have the energy to watch Hostel 3 'fore bedtime.  Sunday in Skyrim with the fam.

"Only love, can leave such a mark.  But only love, only love, can heal such a scar."


Friday, January 6, 2012

4 (prologue)



Santiago's arrow struck deeply into the heart of the beast. Her shaft was of sycamore.  Her now stained red head of molded clay and her quills hand-placed from the fell feathers of a father cardinal, rested in peace. She was gifted in the art of drawing blood.

Standing quite still, holding his breath, Santiago had made his first kill.  Not out of necessity, for his village was able to breed all needed bellymeat and to harvest bountiful crops.  No, Santiago's prey was sent from the forest as an act of sacrifice.  A rite of passage.

He exhaled.  And collapsed into the shallow, stone bottom creek.  His bow fell from his shoulder as on his hands and knees he sought stillness in the sharp flowing current.  And cried.

rick stanton