DIA @ Beacon

April 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized

go Visit, skip work, run Away: DIA: Beacon

“Croc” – Acrylics on Woodboard

September 3rd, 2013 in Japanese,Paintings

croc In an ongoing effort to take what-usually-are North American subjects (Like Crocodiles) and paint them with the distinct Japanese attitude. This next piece was done with acrylics on a wood board. It features the profile of the head and a lotus to the left. The mission was to capture an extreme intensity in the eyes that is often portrayed in Japanese styles.

“Afghan Buddha” One in a series – Acrylic on Canvas

June 3rd, 2013 in Japanese,Paintings

 

“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”  -Siddhartha

“Peacock” Painting acrylics on canvas 28in x 18in

January 4th, 2013 in Japanese,Paintings

A Japanese style animal painting of a Peacock. This piece was done over the course of days but required weeks of brainstorming. Done with a wispy almost water-color like back drop. Look at the gallery below to see the steps I took in creating this painting:

“Feast” An Original Japanese Gore Style Acrylic Painting

September 6th, 2011 in Japanese,Paintings

An ode to the traditional gory japanese prints, this painting titled “Feast” features a severed man’s head with a crow feasting on it’s fine flesh. 24in x 18in on canvas stretched on a wooden frame. For sale @ Etsy $95.

New Japanese Style Koi Fish and Tiger Tattoo sketches

July 7th, 2011 in Flash,Japanese

Been working on new sketches of Japanese style Koi Fish and Tiger tattoos. The Koi Fish is paired with waves and flowers.

Custom Tattoo machines

December 7th, 2010 in Tattoo — Tags:

Tattoo machines built by myself from parts consisting of custom Patina Binders, Paulo Fernando Frames, Custom coils wrapped in Vietnamese Bills, with foreign chemical worn coins for rear spring washer. Check out the details in the pictures.

Essay on Tattooing

December 3rd, 2010 in Japanese,Tattoo

Tattoos are viewed differently where ever you go. Some places they are loved and adored as pieces of art – some view them as tradition and have deep cultural roots. Then there are those who cannot tolerate them.

History of Tattoos

I won’t go in depth about why people cannot tolerate them, it’s evident and undeniable (Even Otzi, a 5,300 year old mummy from the Copper age has tattoos throughout his body) that every native culture and peoples have developed their own form of tattooing and tattoo art. Although along with these beautiful peoples, traditions, and cultures they have all been lost. The spread of Western ideals such as Christianity and early European attitude of it being a barbaric practice – although this attitude of barbarism didn’t just apply to tattooing, but also of these natives’ other practices, religions, and lifestyles.

Face tattoos of the Maori people

Today’s tattooing may not represent the cultural and traditions of our native heritage but there are still many artists and collectors (of tattoos) that honor these endangered traditions of our ancestors that have been eroded or destroyed by Western and Religious fanaticism. This is my mindset when it comes to Tattooing. The style I choose as my favorite is the traditional Japanese tattoos of the Edo Period.

Tattoos and Ukiyo-e in the Edo Period

Tattooing during the Edo period (1600-1868 AD) in Japan represented many things. With tattooing came hours and hours of pain, for those who could endure these hours of pain showed strength – and only those of wealth were able to afford these full body tattoos. So in this period tattoos represented strength and wealth – it was a status symbol shared only by few. The style of prints during this time was Ukiyo-e or “pictures of the floating world” – woodblock printing allowed artwork to be easily distributed to even the common people. These prints and motifs had a huge influence in Japanese tattooing, the artist that drew these prints did not print them but instead took them to someone who specialized in making these drawings into woodblocks to be printed. These same people who engraved these woodblocks became some of the first tattoo artists, they would take the prints and engrave them – only this time on skin.

I want to bring tattooing back to it’s roots – being a beautiful piece of our heritage and culture. I specialize in Japanese motifs and hope to bring as much influence to Japanese Tattooing as the first woodblock artists did.

Creating your own custom Chinese chops

December 2nd, 2010 in Uncategorized

Creating a traditional Chinese chop. A chop or Seal is a stamp used usually by East Asian artists as a signature of authenticity for their work. I will show you the steps to making your own traditional Chinese seal.

1. What you’ll need – Chops can be made from a multitude of materials, normally from stone, wood, or ivory. What I have here is a small wooden Buddha statue, you can find one of these for $1-2 and a tin of rogue (red ink for the stamp

2. I took my statue and outlined the bottom of it – I have what I want my seal to say above that.

3. I divide the base of the statue’s outline and divide it for each of the characters I want on my seal.

4. The seal should be engraved backwards so that it will appear right when stamped. So what I did was flip the paper around, take some tape and traced the now backwards design onto the tape.

5. I took the tape and placed it onto the bottom of the statue, I will use this as the guide for my design and engraving.

6. This is just a view of a couple tools I’ll be using to engrave the statue. All you will need is a Dremel tool or a Wood carving set.

7. This is the design after it has been drilled by the Dremel and further refined by wood knives. Next to the seal is a file, you will want to file down the base of the seal so that it will have a flat and even surface, which is important for stamping.

8. With my seal filed down and even, I can now apply rogue to the base and stamp

The non-permanence of Tattoo Art

April 27th, 2010 in Tattoo

When we think of tattoos we think of their permanence, as art tattoos are fragile and once the ink is inserted under the skin by the artist the life span of the tattoo is only as long as the person who wears it.

Faded tattoo

In comparison to other forms of art like sculptures, oil paintings, etc. which can last hundreds of years (although sculptures erode and paintings crack from age and the elements they can be preserved and restored.

Sailor Jerry
Sailor Collins Jerry

With the popularization of traditional Americana and Japanese styles from artists like Ed Hardy, Sailor Jerry, Horiyoshi III, and Filip Leu it has become easier now than ever to find traditional designs but this leads to the skewing of these designs and their meanings (Non-sailors wearing nautical tattoos like swallows, knots, and anchors).

Sailor Jerry Flash

Tattooing has always been an elite club, it was not till the last couple decades we saw tattooing becoming legalized where it once wasn’t – with mass appeal came the eroding of traditional values of the tattoos, creating trends and fads. Some see this as a good thing (More money into the industry) but as far as values and meaning of the art created it hurts tattooing. This post is not intended to tell the masses not to get tattooed but to raise awareness to its customs.

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(c) 2016 James Then