About twenty years ago, I found myself in an apartment that was being rented by a guy named Spyder. Spyder had tattooed a few of my friends, and it was my turn. I chose to have Georgia O’Keeffe’s hands put on my ankle, because my art appreciation instructor once mentioned that Alfred Stieglitz had taken stacks of photos of Georgia but didn’t feel that he captured her artistry until he focused on her hands. (I was a piano performance major for a while in college, and was very much into hands. (I’m still very much into hands.))
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my ankle tattoo, but if I boil my thoughts for a bit, what remains is my love of art and hands and there you go. On my ankle.
Last month I mentioned that I was considering having a word tattooed onto my arm. My friend Shana stepped up and volunteered to write it for me, I absolutely loved what she created, a few days back I took her work to a tattoo place, and are you ready? Because here we go.
I had originally envisioned the tattoo as brown and tiny and going from side to side where the veins in my wrist poke back into my arm. However, the artist explained that brown will require touch-ups and maintenance, and there is a chance that the letters will close up if you go too small. I’m the first to admit that I’m not an expert at anything, so I went with her suggestion—black and vertical. She took a few minutes to redraw the word a bit bigger with more open letters and I loved it. She stenciled it onto my arm and I loved it even more.
The tattoo artist’s name is Anna and she is spritely and talented and owns a really enviable beaded yellow cardigan.
Anna: Are you nervous?
Me: Yes. But I’m also BRAVE.
Anna: Brave is good.
It’s still bumpy and healing and I may need a bit of a touch up at the top of the C, but so far? So good. (I chose the word for many different reasons, but mainly as a directive.)