Twenty Years

First off, a little late but, happy new year and welcome to the new decade, blessings to all and I hope that we all continue to grow and fulfill our ability to be the best humans we can.

Today marks Twenty Years of tattooing for me, exactly to this day I tattooed myself for the first time at Good Karma tattooing in Eastbourne UK under the guidance of my mentor and friend Jim Macairt.

I have kept the original sketch, stencil and mildly blood soaked bandage in this frame since that year two decades ago.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that tattooing has affording me and will continue to commit myself to being the best tattooist and person I can be.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me on my journey.

Yesterday I coincidentally received this care package from Jim –

Some raw castings and components from Jim’s tattoo machines he builds and a Om Mani crew neck sweatshirt from Jim’s Merch he makes under Zen not Zen.

https://zennotzen.bigcartel.com

With gratitude, Thomas.

Michael Waters on Film

Last year I purchased a Pacemaker Crown Graphic 4 x 5 press camera, this camera was made in the early 1950’s so it has been a steep learning curve getting to know how to use this machine and not waste the expensive film! One main intention when picking up this camera was to use it to photograph large tattoos in an interesting, archival and non digital format.

With the constant need for tattoos to be digitally photographed and posted on the Internet within seconds of them being finished, I wanted to use a medium that slowed my actions and the entire process down to a crawl, removing the instant validation and disposable nature that the modern day smart phone photographs have created through social media.

Having had an interest in photography since my mother gave me my first 35mm Pentax ME SLR camera in 1997, learning to use this old and very mechanical camera has been a challenge and a lot of fun, I couldn’t have done it with out the invaluable guidance of Sandy Carson, an amazing photographer and friend. –  http://www.sandycarson.com

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Michael Waters has been getting Tattooed at Rock of Ages for the last 10 + years, its been an honor getting to work on his body suit, adding to a collection of only Tony Hundahl, Steve Byrne and myself’s work, his back is by me and his arms and front torso ( in progress) are by Steve and Tony. These images where shot using the above camera on Fuji Provia 100f slide film, there is something about these sheets of file that seems almost magical to look at, almost like a little part of the tattoo has been captured on the sheet of film and recorded in a tangible way.

Thank you for looking !

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  • Thomas

Process Fragments

I have just uploaded a collection of paintings and a series of one off screen printed mixed media pieces to the Paintings for Sale section.

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The Process Fragment pieces I am really happy with how they came out, an accidental series created through a making stencils and tools for a screen print project, from earlier in the year whilst collaborating with Jacob Bannon

Screen print on lazer cut stencil, enamel, acrylic and ink 22.5×16”

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Mounted onto hand finished 400lbs arches cold press. Repurposed process tools from a live print collaboration with @jbannon  @fullbleedexhibition @brlsq screen print lovingly applied onto to precarious surface by @benbrlsq & @gemma_monostereo #thomashooperart #mixedmedia #mixedmediaart #screenprint #thomashooper #thomashoopertattooing

https://meditationsinatrament.com/paintings-for-sale/

The Route to The End

Today, September 23rd 2016, the Neurosis album Fires Within Fires gets released, if I were to say I am excited, it would be a huge understatement. I wanted to share some of the art that was created during the whole process. Neurosis is a band that has influenced my art since I first discovered them, to have come full circle and create images to accompany their music is very surreal, and has been a huge honor.

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Here is the final cover, all hand painted, no photoshop or digital retouching, it is part of a larger piece that is 15 x 30″ – ink, gouache, acrylic and charcoal on paper. Before I show the finished pieces that make up the cover and album packaging I wanted to show a sample of the pieces that were created during the journey to the final art.

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August 26th 2015, this was the very piece that struck a chord with the band, I had made this by chance, to get the creative process started. I had shown it to them randomly, I think this piece was the one that I turned to for inspiration later on to create some of the final works.

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After sketching many trees and trying to associate symbols with one of the bands songs – Doorway, which is a song that has always stuck with me. (Having not heard any new material as it was not yet recorded I turned to some of my personal favorites of theirs). This tree was sketched as a warm up before starting a more complex painting, as you can see it hosted themes that became focal points of the finished art.

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After making a lot of different sketches and pieces I had to return to the original first piece I created, just adding some layers and textures, I think I had to assert to myself that it was ok to go with ideas from the ‘accidental’ first pieces.

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This was another piece, where I allowed myself to keep the work simple and play with layout and texture.

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This piece was the beginning of what became the back of the LP cover.

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Before I show the finished paintings, I want to show the sketch of these two elements, they were secondary sketches for some of the main symbols on the record.

 

FINAL ART

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A – Front and Back Gatefold Cover, 15 x 30″  ink, gouache, acrylic and charcoal on paper.neurosis-lettering

Detail 1 of A.

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Detail 2 of A.

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Detail 3 of A.heart

B – Interior Gatefold, 15 x 30″  ink, gouache, acrylic and charcoal on paper.heart-detail

Detail 1 of B.heart-texture

Detail 2 of B.5-circles

C – Lyric sheet Image, CD face and Vinyl LP labels 15 x 30″  ink, gouache, acrylic and charcoal on paper.pyramid-sunsetDetail 1 of C.circles

Detail 2 of C.

And there you have it, a journey that has allowed me to make something for a group of people that I never would have thought possible. Thank you to Neurosis for their trust and to all the bands that have trusted me and my art as the visual accompaniment to their music, to their art. A special thanks to both Tombs and Doomriders, bands who trusted me and used my work many years ago before I had really shown any of my non tattoo art publicly, these records I feel paved the way to me making art for musicians on a regular basis.

The Finished LP

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All of my Neurosis related work can be purchased here https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com/artists/neurosis

Thank you!

Fires within Fires Deluxe Print Set.

I just received these amazing screen prints from Burlesque of North America. They come with the Neurosis Fires within Fires Preorder Deluxe Vinyl set (It is now sold out and these will not be sold seperatly).

https://neurotrecordings.merchtable.com/pre-orders/pre-order-neurosis-fires-within-fires-music-plus-4-print-set-bundle#.V-RQuTKZNsY

Always Blown away by the amazing work of Ben Lafond and the crew over there.

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