16 July 2008

HNT - Gray Garden

Life. It's a funny thing really. Full of scars, haunting memories and glimmers of joy. Some of you know the story behind the body art. For those that don't I'll share it with you. Although this looks like one, large piece, it grew from three "plantings"; the first in 1989, the second in 2006 and the most recent addition just a few months ago.

The flower at the top center, the iris, was the first flower in the garden. It was planted in San Antonio during my Advanced Individual Training for the Army. I went to the tat shop with my "love" - or more appropriately, my love for the moment. He was a fellow (married) soldier who would return to his wife after the four months we spent in training together. He was the first
man I allowed myself to care about after Alan's death. He was special to me. I wanted something that would always bring a smile to my face and remind me that I could care about someone again. He got a dragon on his shoulder while my iris was being planted.

Some of you may remember the story behind the planting of the lily, the flower at the top left position. It was done the summer of 2006 in San Diego during our first vacation as a blended family. It was meant to symbolize the rebirth of my perceptions of what a family really is.

Then came the biggest piece, the three orange flo
wers and the vining that balance out the garden. They are there to celebrate my son. Orange is his favorite color - there are three flowers, one of those larger and different from the rest - the total number of flowers (3) symbolizing his birth month and the single, larger flower (1) symbolizing the day of the month he was born.

Because I had the entire piece recolored during the final "planting", the colors really are this bright - this intense. Soon, the colors will fade, but the memories will remain vivid.
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“Out of damp and gloomy days, out of solitude, out of loveless words directed at us, conclusions grow up in us like fungus: one morning they are there, we know not how, and they gaze upon us, morose and gray. Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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HNTbutton

60 comments:

doggybloggy said...

Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food. ~Austin O'Malley

Anonymous said...

Great shot! Makes me want to get some new work... or at least the old work re-inked. HHNT!

Hammer said...

It's cool that your art has meaning. I was never able to think of anything so I remain blank.

Curvaceous Dee said...

Your tattoos are gorgeous - the more so for knowing the symbolism and meaning.

HHNT, xx Dee

Amorous Rocker said...

Ink with meaning is wonderful. =D You are beautiful. XoXo. Happy HNT!

Osbasso said...

Hell, I'll say it--Look at that bod!

Dana said...

Dee, thank you!

Amorous, ink without meaning is just silly!

Os, *giggle* I was starting to wonder if I used the invisible filter instead of the B & W setting!

Dana said...

DB, some day I might hoard colored rags AND food, but with my love of food there is no concern of ever throwing it out!

PP, I'm all about the color!

Hammer, I never understood those that got tats because they looked "cool" If they don't have meaning they are not art.

Lucia said...

next you in San Diego, hit me up :-) maybe we can go on a tattoo date or something :-)

lovely lovely tattoo btw, and such a wonderful and beautiful pic over-all :-)

HHNT !

Anonymous said...

That is beautiful, Dana. I'm up in the middle of the night but for whatever reason that made me want to tear up a little.

If I were ever going to get a tattoo, it would have to be symbolic and not just some image I wanted for no other reason than it caught my fancy for the moment. I love how you say the flowers were planted. Very cool.

d2b said...

Beautiful tattoo holding so many memories placed on the shoulder of a beautiful woman.

A great job in Photoshop (or Gimp?)too!

Happy HNT Dana!

Mariposa said...

How lovely...just lovely!!!

HHNT

Mariposa's HNT

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that you have specific memories attached to those peices. I myself, got mine for more random reasons, but I still love them. The joining of the two pieces totally makes the whole thing work. Nice art, sweet canvas!

FMD

Mike said...

A beautuful tattoo upon a beautiful body. HHNT

Dana said...

Lucia, how 'bout we go to Rubio's instead?! I miss fish tacos!

FF, I decided long ago that if I were going to permanently alter my body it would need to have reason.

d2b, I'm a Gimp girl!

Dana said...

Mariposa, thank you! HHNT!

FMD, one of the things I've always liked about tats is that there are so many different stories behind them - some symbolic, some not - but always a story.

Mike, thank you! HHNT!

Richard said...

A tat with feeling. You look so artistically beautiful.

captain corky said...

Very nice! I hope one day you put all of these pictures into a hard cover book.

Turnbaby said...

Very lovely. Maybe it's just me but did you notice the 'cross' made by the light? Interesting.

Happy HNT

Dana said...

Richard, feeling, memories and yes, artistic (hopefully)! HHNT!

Corky, I could be just like Madonna! Except I don't know that anyone would want me on their coffee table.

Turnbaby, I was trying to play with the light as well but didn't notice the cross until you mentioned it. It is there! HHNT!

Karen said...

Very nice. The lighting is just perfect.

And you title captured me right away. I am bit (or an obsessive) fan of Grey Gardens and I thought you were doing a play on that.

tt said...

in a word...you're just plain AWESOME! Daring too...and brave...and courageous...and bold...and lol- I've got a mole on my butt cheek too!
I adore the tat...Cheers!

buffalodickdy said...

As I have said before, when I win the Lottery I will get my first tattoo. It will be a pair of large red lip prints, on the left cheek of my butt.... Then mooning the boss... then leaving formal employment...

Matt-Man said...

Well written post and incredibly sexy and well done picture Dana. Cheers!!

the good doctor said...

Great photo! I'm envious of others being able to create these types of effects. I must learn this. I simply must!
I think a tattoo (or group of tattoos) with as much forethought as yours is the one true reason for wanting to have one. An eternal reminder of a very special time in your life. Happy HNT!

Lu' said...

I get a kick out of the non-color and then color pictures. This is very well done Dana. Note, color should not fade much if you use sun block and moisturizer on the tatts. Is that a mole?

Anonymous said...

I like the way the light plays on your skin.

Paul B said...

Cool pic...and very sexy too.

HHNT!

Dana said...

Karen, I just sucked you in, did I? *giggle*

tt, butt cheek moles UNITE! *gigglesnort*

Buff, I look forward to seeing that kiss on your ass *wink*

Anonymous said...

What an incredible story to go with such an incredible woman.

~ Fantastically Brilliant

Dana said...

Matt, I've been wanting to do that B & W/Color reveal thing for quite some time, and this pic seemed the one to do it with.

Good Dr., thank you! Now, go download GIMP (it's free) and get to work!

Lu, thank you! And yes, that is a mole on my right butt cheek!

Biscuit said...

Absolutely gorgeous. Since I'll never have my own, I love living vicariously through the beautiful ones belonging to others. Thank you for sharing :)

Dianne said...

The quote is beautiful Dana and the image - well the image is awesome!

I think you're an amazing gardener.

Baby said...

GORGEOUS - absolutely gorgeous photo - and the tattoo is phenomenal - Sexy YOU!!! HHNT!!!!

Dana said...

not2shy, thank you! HHNT!

Paul, thank you too! HHNT!

DME, I like to tell stories, especially when people enjoy hearing them!

Dana said...

Biscuit, thank you! It's funny, I still get some odd reactions when people see it - assumptions are clearly made - and I often wonder how they'd react if they new the story.

Dianne, the quote seemed to fit not only the picture, but recent posts. I got lucky!

Baby, thank you! HHNT!

Vixen said...

That is really, really beautiful.

MarcelloNYC said...

Very Beautiful....HHNT!

Jay said...

Wow! That is freaking gorgeous!



And the tattoo is nice too. ;-)

Bittersweet said...

a very touching history - thank you for sharing

happy HNT

Dana said...

Vixen, thank you! HHNT!

MarcelloNYC, thank you too!

Jay, you always make me giggle. When is that blogger tour going to kick off?

Bond said...

dang that Turnbaby...I was going to mention the cross...

DANG YOU TURNBABY!!!!

Lovely shot...

Luka said...

Utterly beautiful.

ambergail77 said...

This is another great shot. I agree about meanings behind tats. My husband just got his first and is ready for a second, I am ready for my second too, but it has been 6 years in the making and I am still not satisfied with the choice. He just doesn't get it sometimes. Yours are beautiful, and the stories are too.

BTExpress said...

Three great reasons for getting the tats and touching stories.

May I say, you look hot!

Happy HNT!

Lapis Ruber said...

For the first time, I begin to understand that body art can have a meaning to the person much more significant than mere self adornment. Thank you for giving me that insight.
A lovely picture too. Happy HNT.

lecram said...

That is really stunning... thanks for the great background info. Cheers and Happy HNT!

Ro said...

It's a beautiful tattoo and I adore the way it stands out so well against the B&W.

I've not got any tats myself but if I were to get one I'd want there to be a good reason for the choice. Your stories are just perfect :)

Happy HNT!

Dana said...

Bittersweet, sometimes I think the HNT stories (from everyone) are far more appealing than the photos - no that I don't like half-nekkidness ...

Bond, you've got to get up early to beat out Turnbaby!

Luka, thank you! HHNT!

Dana said...

ambergail, thank you - I do like to share stories.

BTExpress, why you most certainly can. Tank-you-very-much! (Did you hear Elvis?)

Lapis, you know, everyone does it for a different reason. When I got my very first tat (1987) they weren't near as acceptable as they are now. In fact, I almost don't want to have anymore only because I know they've lost their uniqueness.

Dana said...

Lecram, thank you for reading the background information!

Ro, it really did do well against the black and white. I have a tendency to get a little brown in the summer and somehow - as vivid as those colors are - they get lost.

SeaRabbit said...

Very interesting story... and the photo is exquisite!!
HHNT!

Boo(duh) said...

The colorless background reminds me of the way you present yourself to the world. Tough, no-nonsense, and a little sad. The bright colors and meaning of your tattoo belie that bland backdrop, giving us a small peek into the inner Dana - beautiful, creative, and just a little joyous, given the chance. You're far more than you give yourself credit for, as a woman and as an object of lust. *wink*

Rage said...

Very nicely done with the tat being the only thing in color!

Happy HNT!

Neil Benson said...

Your tattoos and the story behind them are wonderful. At my ripe old age I mutter now and then about getting my first tattoo. I'm torn between a grizzly bear and an eagle. Of course I need to work up the courage first.

cat said...

I love your tat! I also share the love of body art. When my Mother, father and brother passed I needed something that represented my family as a unit, so I had a large (tramp stamp) of a chinese symbol put on my back side that means family.

I love the colrs and like your its is very vivid and beautiful.

Enjoy it!

Love the Pic!

Knight said...

I don't know how you leave just one section of color but this photo is incredible. I love the vibrant colors but I think the fading that happens is even cooler. How special for your son that he is a part of it.

Maeve said...

I really like the contrast between the brightness of your tattoos and the paleness of your skin! And you position seems to be a relaxing and natural one!

An Artist Exposed said...

The symbolism of the tattoos is very moving in its significance. You look such a lovely woman with the light playing on your skin.

figleaf said...

Wow, Dana, that's just an amazing way to show off your tattoo. I ordinarily don't care for Photoshopped images but that's beautiful. It's hard to make out your scars but your curves are very nice.

Happy extremely belated HNT,

figleaf