Art Inspiration: Art That Comes Alive As A Tattoo

 I have been asked to create different pieces of art for people on a number of subjects and themes.  Some for professional reasons like a magazine layout or a background for a school play.  For others because they wanted me to show them how something looks like in a drawing like a cartoon character or a student request like drawing a pig.  But nothing is as personal until someone asked me to draw him or her a tattoo.   To be honest I am honoured to be asked to create a tattoo for them.  I created a few other tattoos, mostly for family or family friends yet this person is a colleague and some one whom I respect and consider a friend.   

I have drawn another tattoo for her of her Chinese zodiac animal however this second tattoo was inspired by my resent trip to Scotland with her and others. The land, people and stories so inspired me that I painted and drew many images of this experience.  One such legend or story were about the Kelpies in Scottish lore.  I had the fortune to visit the Kelpies near Falkirk and they were impressive.  They truly are a sight to behold in person. These 30-metre high horse heads rising out of the ground, illuminated in different colours were simply spectacular to behold.  They inspired me to create my version of the legendary creatures.  
This past summer I drew and painted the Kelpies and another Scottish mythical creature, the Unicorn over and over again.  My friend saw the images and asked if I could draw her a tattoo with these legendary creatures.   So I set off drawing and showing her my progress.  We went through several changes and suggestions but they were all worth it.  
The final image has a unicorn rearing on its hind legs with a kelpie in front of it.  The kelpie is modeled after a Thoroughbred horse.  I wanted to show and use a bred of horse that is known for its swiftness. I drew it looking down with a malevolent look, as if looking for it next victim.  The tail is similar to a mermaid but I wanted the look of the tail to have an almost wing like look with ribs along the inside for extra power. 
James IV Coats of Arms
With the unicorn I wanted to show its power and strength.  In Scottish lore it is seen as a powerful creature something a king, nobility or warrior would want.  James IV so wanted to show his strength that he incorporated the unicorn into his coat of arms.  With this in mind I thought of a Scottish warhorse and what better then the famous Clydesdale horses.  They are known for their strength and I love the feathering hair on their legs, which I think is a great touch for a unicorn.   They are also used in British and Scottish Calvary units up into the present. I have him rearing up to show its strength with a tough military look on his face.  I created mains for both creatures to represent flames.  I wanted the creatures to have a swift fiery look about them.  I continued the look into the unicorn’s horn as well.  

Unicorn and Kelpie Tattoo
This was a labour of love for me and when my friend wanted to use is as a tattoo, I cannot tell you how honoured I felt. They remind me of a culture I truly enjoyed and had the good fortune to experience.  Going to Scotland, touching the ground, the plants, the water, breathing in the air inspired me to create. These creatures, this drawing is the culmination of hours of imagining and drawing, trying to bring these noble creatures to life. Having my friend wear them as a tattoo only enhances my love for them even more.  To my friend I say, Thank you.  Thank you, for helping to inspire this and for bringing it to life.   
Inspiration comes to life

Friday Two Cents: Friend


At a time when you feel the world is against you what can you do? Who can you turn to.

I wrote a poem that spells out my feelings at a time when I felt alone and it seems the world is against me.  Perhaps you may have felt the same and you can relate.  I hope you enjoy it.

My Friend


How long must this go on?

An object of revulsion and suspicion.

What a cruel trick of fate.

For what is present is only hate.


From my tortured state,

There is no comfort, only hate. 

Hopeless, as if dreaming,

Helpless, disillusioned, unforgiving.


No one to hear me,

No one to cheer me.

What can I do?

Who can I turn to?


But with no hope in sight,

There came a shimmer of light.

The answer came with a smile and a helping hand.

They said to me, “I am here for you, my friend.”


By Paul Gauchi


Friday Two Cents: In My Own Backyard


This week I was fortunate to get re-acquainted with an old friend I have not seen in 10 years.  It was great to see her again and we had a wonderful afternoon talking about old times and what each of us have been doing all this time.  Yet as enjoyable as the get together was, it was enhanced with our stroll through a local park. 

If you are familiar with Toronto, you will be acquainted with a city park called High Park.  It is 161 hectares of urban forest near the core of the city.  I have been going to this park since I was a child and I even played little league baseball there.  However, in resent years I have not really walked through it or enjoyed what the park has to offer. 

My friend and I met at a Starbucks near the park where we talked for some time but then we continued our conversation with a walk or hike through High Park.  I had done this many times before, but I had forgotten how wonderful it is to have a piece of natural beauty in the city.  The plants, trees, swans and even the gardens and the zoo all were a wonderful sight to behold.  Many Inspired me to take pictures. 


Even the people and the children playing in the large playground were enjoyable.  My friend and I would walk and talk and just take in the environment around us.  We even stoped and shared a Poutine near the little league diamonds.  

After traversing the park we ended back at the front entrance were we said our goodbyes, reassuring one another that we will meet again for another adventure in the not so distant future.  Yet this excursion was one I will not forget, meeting and getting to know two old friends in one day.   My friend and colleague I haven’t seen in quit some time and High Park.  A part of my past I had almost forgotten about. 

Ailish Sinclair

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