The Comfort of a Routine

This weekend I went to the farmer’s market and picked up a ton of fruits and vegetables to make some jam and pickles. Now that it’s late summer in Minnesota, everyone’s gardens are exploding with vegetables and i’ve been lucky enough to get some bags of vegetables from friends as well as from the farmer’s market. This weekend I made three kinds of pickled beans (!), peach-plum-ginger jam and pickled ginger beets. I’ve also been spending a lot of time teaching friends how to can food from their garden, which is great. Canning is meditative as a solo mission, but works great as a social thing because there’s lots of chopping and waiting for things to boil. While I was teaching my friend Lacey about canning, we started talking about feeling satisfied and comforted by closely following a recipe. Canning is pretty particular about doing things exactly the way it says in the recipe; the acidity, the amount of time something cooks, how full the jars are, all play important factors in making sure the food is safe to eat. It probably sounds like kind of a pain, but it is so satisfying to pull jars out of the hot water bath and hear them all sharply “ping” over the next hour, sealing lids ringing in approval of your careful attention to detail! After having an amazing dinner with John and Lacey, I went home and thought more about the comfort of having a routine, and using the barriers and rules as guides to be carefully creative rather than as limits.

This might be revealing some obsessive compulsive tendencies, but I realized that I take comfort in having a routine in many aspects of my life, especially in tattooing. I set up and break down my equipment in the same exact way every time I do a tattoo. When I draw a design, without thinking about it I employ many of the same tricks that I have been satisfied with on tattoos i’ve done before. Recently I’ve felt these boundaries pushed by new people and new experiences. Tattooing in a different environment as a guest artist at Hope Street and working on different stations depending on who was working that day pushed me to be confident with a more relaxed routine and take the day as it came. Talking about tattooing with Mike Brousseau at Hope Street made me think about the choices I make in my tattooing and why I choose them. Working with our most recent guest artist, Alec Benjamin, caused me to question the way I draw and push myself to draw looser, with more movement. It was really great to work with Alec, not only because he’s a great tattooer who I learned a lot from, but because he’s such a different tattooer than I am. Since Alec left, I find myself looking at different reference material and assessing my tattooing and drawings differently.

So, on the theme of pushing the boundaries of a routine, I’m going to post some pictures of some cover-ups I’ve done recently as well as a couple other tattoo photos and some canning pictures. Cover-ups are the epitome of adjusting your routine to your situation–the existing tattoo dictates a lot of how the cover-up tattoo looks. I’m pretty happy with how these ones came out, and I tried some stuff I’ve never done before. Thanks for looking!

peonycoverupeaglecoverup photo-49 photo-50 horsemermaid hurricanelamp

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