Spotted Salamanders & Transformations

Two years ago, I began gearing up my fitness level with yoga, running, weight training. As a result, I’ve noticed some pretty remarkable changes in my body. I also geared up my creativity level, with more regular drawing/painting practice. I’ve seen productive changes in my art, too. I’ve been thinking about recognizing & combining these personal revolutions by getting a tattoo (or two, maybe three). I want to display some of my own art on my own body.

I’ve been stumped about what I’d like to draw for permanent application on myself, and where I’d want it applied. Nature things are a recurrent theme in my art… so nature-based tattoo art seems, well, natural for me :-)

Here’s a ballpoint pen rendering, above, as a size & placement test. I’m thinking about a spotted salamander, on the side of my foot. In the wild, they hide under rocks & leaf litter, so why not underfoot? I may do a flying squirrel or deermouse for the top front of my thigh, drawn as though clinging/climbing my leg like a tree trunk, tucked so that only half of him would show from under the cuff my running skirts or shorts. And maybe a wren or bluebird perched on the back of my shoulder by my neck, grass or twig in its beak, as though it were gathering nesting material from my curly hair. So many ideas!

I’m very excited. The salamander might have to wait until late fall, as I don’t want a sore foot to curtail my summer running. I will soon start sketches for the other two instead. But because it’s spring, I am thinking & painting spotted salamanders right now. They will soon wake up from their winter sleep & be crossing the roads on warm, misty nights. Below is one we found on our property a few years ago. They are shiny & surprisingly large. I had to hold up this one’s tail, to get him all in the photo!



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7 Responses to “Spotted Salamanders & Transformations”

  1. Mary Stebbins Taitt Says:

    I wrote a story about spotted salamanders one time–they were a crucial part of a novel I was working on.

    Congratulations for all the positive results of ramping up art and physical fitness! YAY!

  2. Mary Stebbins Taitt Says:

    Nice drawings! I love nature, too!

  3. leah Says:

    How exciting! And what a great way to celebrate the changes you’ve made! I love the spot you’ve chosen for the salamander. very cool.

  4. henniemavis Says:

    Thanks! I hope to soon find a local tattoo artist I can trust, who does excellent rendering. I’m asking around & will be visiting a parlor or two soon :-)

  5. Shannon Says:

    Just a note from a practical sister – I hear that tats on feet wear off because of shoes and socks and heavy appendage use. Same goes with hands. I would hate for you to display your art in a place where half of the art will disappear or distort in a fairly short time.

  6. Shannon Says:

    There goes your running career.

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