Ship-shape for One Year Anniversary

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Spent a beautiful sunny day yesterday on the pier, where the Shipyard is supporting me to patch the tattoo designs around their cement repairs. Looking good, Connected By Sea has held up well for its first full season! Poetically, this week is … Read More

Going Strong

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Most of the designs have weathered quite well and are going strong! Some cement patching has been done by the Shipyard as part of their regular maintenance, and they are generously pitching in to have the affected designs maintained! I’ll … Read More

It’s A Sign!

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Our official plaque made by HarborArts has been installed at the start of the pier, giving background about the piece to visitors and a link to this site to follow along while viewing, if they choose. Thank you, HarborArts!   … Read More

Visible From Spaaaaace!

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I was just alerted that Google Earth has updated its photos of the pier… The new one seems to have been taken in late June 2014, because it’s just about at the completion of the Native American piece. I’m wondering … Read More

Sister Project in Salem

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Just completed a sister Tattoo Project commissioned by City of Salem, “Salem’s Connected World“, honoring the cultures that contributed to Salem’s growth as a trade seaport, informed by the collections at the Peabody Essex Museum, with 2 of the original designs made … Read More

Pier installation complete- Sealing Done!

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This past Friday was the final wrap-up for applying sealer coat to the designs. I’m happy to say we had great weather for the last couple of weeks and got the whole thing 100% done! Your donations at work = … Read More

Interstitial Birds: or, art on a chilly day

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The last few days, with the help of some expert painters and stalwart companions, we’ve filled in all 19 designs and made connecting elements to knit them all together, I’ve even been able to draw some design elements out into … Read More

Stephen Hamilton to consult on West Africa

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I’m utterly delighted that Stephen Hamilton, artist, educator and arts mentor, has agreed to advise me on the huge topic that is West African cultures & art history! It’s an absolutely pivotal subject for this project and one that it’s really … Read More

Chinese dragon begun

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In honor of the August full moon, I started the Chinese dragon tattoo near the end of the pier.  The Boston Chinatown full moon festival was observed Sunday, oops! And the Mid-Autumn festival is next month, on Sept. 8 this year. … Read More

Maori & Ireland done

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With help from a beautifully talented crew, we’ve inked in the Maori and Irish designs (You’ll have to walk all the way out to the end of the pier to see them!)  

Inking Progress: Maori

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A fine afternoon out on the pier with a couple of highly skilled helpers, Joe and Sara. We made great progress inking in and filling in details on the big Maori piece designed by Tiki O’Brien. One more day like … Read More

Japan done!!

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Added bolder line weights and shading washes today to finish the Japan tattoo design. This one is based on a historical textile, but is done in a style someone might see in a tattoo. I hope to add more cranes … Read More

Maori/Pacific Islands tattoo begins

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Today we began putting the Pacific Islands design created by Tiki O’Brien down on the pier! It’s going to be 18’x24′, and truly momentous. We got all the shapes sketched out and even began inking it in! A great day … Read More

Painting Day: Japan and Ireland laid out

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Great progress with a great crew- a lovely warm day and a small crowd of skilled get-it-done people made for a lot of progress today! We laid out the Japan design in sketch form, laid out the Compass Rose, and … Read More

Bonus Compass Rose!

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A great painting day out on the pier with a great crew. Today we installed a Compass Rose at the very tippy end of the pier! As a special bit of poetry: Jenn, who was helping paint, had a compass … Read More

Installation: Ireland! fun with stencils

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After several experiments with projection systems for transferring designs to the ground at a large scale, I decided that at this juncture stenciling was the way to go for Ireland. It’s huge, 18 feet across, but has a six-fold repeating … Read More

Conversations with Brinda Gill of Pune, India

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“For someone with an interest in symbols and decorative motifs, India is a treasure…” I have been able to benefit from correspondence with a writer and scholar on Indian decorative and symbolic motifs, Brinda Gill of Pune, India. She has … Read More

Tiki O’Brien Joins Art Team

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I was happy to hear today that New Zealand-based tattoo artist Tiki O’Brien has agreed to work on a design for the Pacific Islands portion of Connected By Sea. I had been concerned because originally he hadn’t returned my emails, … Read More

Planning phases: Irish tattoo

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Waiting for the spring painting season, I’ve been spending the cooler months doing a lot of research and design… Here’s a taste: Ireland! I’ve always enjoyed old-skool manuscript illumination and the complicated knotwork… also it’s something I can easily do, having … Read More

Planning phases: Haiti

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The Afro-Caribbean piece of this project is going to be crucial. Our wealth as a trading city was built in no small part on the rum triangle trade, with all the history and baggage that entails. Also Boston is now … Read More

Basque Fishermen tattoo!

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In the chilly wind of early November, Dan and I braved the elements to lay out and paint a 10-foot-circular Basque themed tattoo on the pier at Harbor Arts. These fishermen were the first to bring cod from George’s Bank back to … Read More

Pigment Tests!

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Offsite testing of different inks and natural stains on outdoor cement. With a fun stencil!