Archive for the ‘Tennessee Tattoo’

Extreme Ink: Local adventure athletes share the stories behind their tats – Chattanooga Times Free Press09.04.21

Extreme outdoorspeople belong to a unique tribe, banded together by a drive to conquer the world one climb, one ride, one paddle at a time.

And like warriors throughout history, many choose to commemorate their victories with a tattoo.

Here, a local climber, paddler and cyclist share the stories behind their ink, and eight others show off their outdoor-inspired tats and the meanings behind the designs.


Once Bitten

Stiles Tate's dream was to become a raft guide on West Virginia's Gauley River. He had rafted the river in 2013 with friends and been awestruck by its deep gorge, powerful rapids and "all the hype" surrounding the Southeast's most infamous Class V big-water run.

He devoted the next several seasons to honing his skills as a guide on the Ocoee River. Then, in 2016, he was given the opportunity to begin training as a Gauley guide.

In the weeks leading up to his move, Tate barely slept.

"I was too excited. It felt like Christmas," he remembers. "The whole drive up to West Virginia, I was just buzzing."

Day one of training went swimmingly, Tate says. So did his second day.

That evening, he returned to camp happy and exhausted, stepped out of his truck and felt what he describes as "the worst wasp sting I could imagine."

Tate had been bitten on his foot by a copperhead.

"I knew it was a snake because I could feel it wiggling under my shoe," he says.

An hour later, at the hospital, a nurse told Tate, "Your Gauley season is over." He was unlikely to recover in time.

But Tate refused to give up his dream.

"I was eating Motrin like candy," he says.

Five days later, he was walking.

He returned to camp and begged the river manager not to send him home. And one week to the day of his bite, Tate guided his first trip down the Gauley River.

That season, says the now-29-year-old, "was life-changing for me. It opened up so many worlds. It kicked off a really adventurous time in my life."

To commemorate the experience, on his inner thigh, Tate got a tattoo: a coiled copperhead above a dedication, "Gauley River 2016."

A reminder, he says, to go for your goals. No matter what.


What Strength Looks Like

Coleman Spinks wanted a meaningful tattoo. Especially following the rainbow narwhal he had inked across his lower back in 2018.

"The result of a lost bet," laughs the now-28-year-old.

So, in 2020, he chose the image of a carabiner, an important piece of gear used in rope sports, framing the face of a lion and inscribed with the word "Emerson," the name of his 2-year-old son.

As Spinks explains, the carabiner, the lion and even the name "Emerson" all stand for strength.

A lifelong climber, Spinks says part of why he loves the sport is that it keeps him strong. It also keeps him on his toes.

"The risk of falling is real," he says.

He remembers his first crack climb, which he attempted earlier this year at the Tennessee Wall in Prentice Cooper State Forest. A crack climb involves following a crack in the rock and using a specialized technique to find holds within it.

"I didn't know if I was remotely capable. I didn't know if I would be able to get off the ground," he says. "But I just shot right up."

That sense of pride following a climb, says Spinks, is rivaled only by the accomplishments of his son the first time he rolled over; the first time he crawled.

"I can't wait to see [Emerson] top out his first wall," Spinks says.


A Fork in the Trail

David Snyder says his first tattoo serves as a daily reminder to embrace change though it didn't always.

Across his forearm in black ink is the image of a bicycle crank arm and the words "LIVE THE RIDE."

Bicycling has always represented freedom for Snyder, from the rides he took as a child to nearby Booker T. Washington State Park, to the steep dirt jumps and downhills he dedicated himself to as an adult.

"Finding flow and being able to ride the ideas I had built was big," says Snyder, now 35.

For 20 years, Snyder helped build trails across Tennessee, including some on Raccoon Mountain that are especially near to his heart, he says. But the profession and the extreme riding took a toll on his body.

Over five years, "I threw my back out eight or nine times," Snyder says.

Eventually, he was diagnosed with a herniated disc and a pinched sciatic nerve. His doctor recommended he find a new hobby.

"I spent at least a year pretty depressed. I sold all my bikes and haven't ridden since," Snyder says.

But he did eventually find a new hobby: kayaking.

"I'm making new dreams in the water trails of Tennessee and North Georgia," he says.

And as for the words inked on his forearm, Snyder says, "I'm still living it. Life is a ride. So many twists. So many turns. I couldn't have predicted any of this."


Extreme Ink: Local adventure athletes share the stories behind their tats - Chattanooga Times Free Press

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Three Musical Notes, 1,848 Miles and a Lifetime of Memories – The New York Times07.09.21

I packed my bags for a trip I never expected to take, to a place I never imagined Id visit.

Three months earlier, on a Sunday night in early January 2019, my 22-year-old daughter, Maggie, walked into our living room and sat down on a love seat facing my wife and me as we watched TV.

Im getting married, she announced.

I panicked. A recent graduate of the University of Connecticut, she had met her beau through social media four months earlier. He was an intelligence analyst in his second year of the Army stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. They were planning to marry soon at the Bell County courthouse in Killeen, Texas. Was she mature enough to get married? Id miss that first moment gazing into my daughters eyes in her wedding dress, something I had dreamed of since the day she was born.

My wife sat motionless.

Maybe you could move in together, I suggested in as calm a demeanor as I could muster. Maybe get to know each other a bit more.

We want to make a commitment and be together before hes deployed, Maggie calmly responded, sitting up straight with her hands in her lap.

I grew up in Connecticut the land of steady habits. My wife and I followed custom. We dated for 10 years before we were married, bought a house, brought two children into the world, and started college funds. Maggies surprising marriage plan broke all the principles I had lived with my entire life.

They tied the knot four weeks later, the day after Valentines Day, at a civil ceremony we couldnt attend because of the unpredictable schedule at the courthouse. They were hastily given an appointment late in the afternoon with the justice of the peace. Even then, they werent sure when they would get married because the justice of the peace also the county coroner was called away just before their vows. Two hours later, they stood in a quiet courtroom, about 1,800 miles away from our home, promising to love each other in a tranquil, yet joyous, ceremony. They sent us their wedding video, taken on a smartphone by my new son-in-laws Army buddy, his best man and witness.

Two weeks later Maggie returned to Connecticut for a few of her things.

We need a car in Texas, Dad. Would you drive down with me? she asked. Well make a vacation out of it.

Ship the car, I said. Itll be cheaper to get it there by truck, figuring in gas, hotels, food and the flight back.

In a few days, Maggie was off to Texas with her laptop, chargers, and some shorts and T-shirts. I parked at the end of the airport runway to watch her early-morning flight take off, still trying to process everything that was changing so quickly. It was dark in the early morning stillness and I felt my grasp on her disappear as quickly as the twinkling lights of her plane faded in the distance. The little girl I had once clutched so close as an infant our only daughter and youngest child was out of my reach, out in the world on her own, out of my protection zone.

Im in for the road trip, I told my daughter on the phone the next day.

Awesome! she said.

Theres one condition, I responded playfully. Id like to stop in Nashville for a few days. Ive never been and think itd be fun.

Music was woven into the fabric of our family. I had been a DJ for a decade after college, and my daughter played three instruments. Visiting Nashville would become part of our musical DNA.

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Maggie flew back to Connecticut in early April to help pack her car. We agreed to share driving duties, and be on the road no more than eight hours a day in daylight. I ordered a TripTik from AAA, an old-school, 8 -by-5-inch spiral-bound booklet made up of 61 pages of paper maps, customized for our journey. According to the booklet, the trip would be four legs, 1,847.8 miles total, taking 27 hours and 52 minutes of travel time.

Ridiculous, my daughter said dryly, catching sight of the old-fashioned booklet.

We left early morning, choosing the scenic route on a highway that ran alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway. Vast rolling green hills were dotted by black cows. The dogwoods planted alongside the road in Virginia and Tennessee were singing in full April splendor, their welcoming pink blooms tilting in the gentle breeze and pointing south toward our destination. And there were crosses, all sizes and colors, the Bible Belts symbol of continuing hope.

Two days later, we arrived in Nashville around supper time. Maggie spied a tattoo shop while we walked down Second Avenue.

Dad, do you want to get matching tattoos? she jokingly asked, as she had many times in the past. I was dismissive, never serious about getting inked, thinking only rowdy bikers got tattoos. But once we were immersed in the aura of Nashville, I realized how the two of us would be forever connected in our own way. We had to do this. It was the perfect moment.

The next day, after a couple of slices of pizza at Luigis City Pizza, I asked, So, what kind of tattoos are we getting today?

Right, Dad, Maggie said, thinking I was joking.

Lets do it.

What would we get? Her eyes grew wide.

Im thinking music notes, since were in Music City, I said.

OK, you pick the design and Ill pick the placement. Same place on both of us.

Done, I said, nervous yet excited.

Like a frenzied Whac-a-Mole arcade game player at the county fair, she began pounding out websites on her iPhone for designs and shops in the area. Within minutes, she had all shapes and styles of music notes to show me as well as a couple of tattoo shops within walking distance. I was impressed. Research and deliberation would have taken me at least a couple of weeks.

We settled on three music notes one quarter note, one eighth and one sixteenth in a triangular cluster. We agreed theyd be inked on the inside of our right arms, just above our elbows.

Remember, Dad, Ill scope out the shop to make sure its clean, she told me. If Im not comfortable, Ill give you the signal and well book outta there. Take your cue from me.

I followed Maggie into a small dimly lit shop, like a 5-year-old getting his first bike. The person at the front desk gave us forms to fill out and took our drivers licenses. We headed to the back where the tattooist prepped our table.

He worked up the design on a tattered legal pad, its worn pages curled up in the corners, printed the design on transfer paper, cut the cluster of three notes apart, and attempted to place them on my daughter.

I dont want them cut apart, she said. Id like them together so the placement is exactly the same on both of us.

Same. Positions. On. Both. Of. You. Dont. Worry, he droned.

They started to argue about the placement on her arm. Her smile disappeared and she looked downward.

Were not getting tattoos today, she said, standing up abruptly and heading for the door. Disappointed, I followed, scooping up our paperwork.

I felt disrespected, and wanted no part of it, she said outside. And Im thinking he was high.

Im proud how you stood up for yourself, I said.

Maggie had another shop lined up. We walked past a vintage Indian motorcycle in the small wood paneled foyer and up a flight of stairs. The studio was brightly lit with a line of client chairs and sparkling clean steel trays, each containing tattoo pens and needles.

Sizing our design on a gleaming iPad, our artist printed the pattern to be traced on our arms. My daughter sat first while the design was painstakingly laid out on her arm. Then it was my turn.

First tattoo? the artist asked seeing my forehead wrinkling. It wont hurt a bit. Just pinch a little.

I squeezed my eyes shut and listened to the buzzing of the electric pen, feeling the tingle of the notes being etched in place.

I slipped two folded $20s in his hand as a tip as we walked out, each of us beaming in our newly inked bond.

On the last leg of our trip, we left Little Rock, Ark., to overcast skies and light rain. By afternoon, it was dark as midnight, matching the apprehension I felt about leaving my daughter. I wrestled with the steering wheel in the wind, trying to stay in our lane while quarter-size raindrops pelted us.

When we passed through Dallas with only two hours left until our destination, Home to You by Sigrid drifted from the Spotify playlist my son had created for our trip. Fluffy white clouds floated in a bright blue sky.

Arriving at Fort Hood, my daughter closed the last page of the TripTik we had followed every day. She ran breathlessly into her husbands open arms. In the softness of the moment, I witnessed their love for each other.

During my five-day stay, my son-in-law was promoted to private first class. We were invited to the ceremony on base, the only civilians attending with 30 of his military peers. As he attained his third rank, I realized how serious he was in honoring his commitment to his fellow soldiers.

The night before I boarded my plane, Maggie and I sat in a convenience store parking lot, tears streaming down our cheeks.

I dont want you to go home, she said. Ive had so much fun with you. I dont want it to end.

Nor did I. Wed gotten to know each other as adults in a brand-new way. Shed be OK. I could say goodbye to my little girl who had turned into a confident young woman.

Life could be as unpredictable as transforming ship the car into an unexpected road trip, and as surprising as my daughter embracing paper maps. Sometimes I had to break tradition. I could be and needed to be more open-minded.

I gained more from our adventure than I would have in one hurried day at a wedding reception. Instead of a walk down the aisle with flowers gracing each pew, I drove my daughter down a scenic byway lined with pink dogwood blooms to her new husband, a man I could trust and admire. Instead of a wedding toast, I celebrated my son-in-laws promotion. We never had a father-daughter dance, but our shared tattoos represented the synchronized beauty of our bond.

I hugged her at the airport, thanking her for the gift of knowing shell never be far away. Shell always remain as close as the three small music notes I will forever carry with me.

Stan Gornicz is a writer, husband, and father who lives in Connecticut. He is working on a memoir from which this essay is adapted.

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Three Musical Notes, 1,848 Miles and a Lifetime of Memories - The New York Times

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Pointed Turkey Bones Are Oldest Native American Tattoo Kit, Says Study – Ancient Origins05.31.21

A group of researchers now think theyve discovered and identified what might be the worlds oldest tattoo kit - a set of pointy, ink-stained needles that were carved out of wild turkey bones and then buried in a Native American grave from central Tennessee at least 3600 years ago. The Native American tattoo kit study was published in The Journal of Archaeological Science , which states that the earliest forms of tattooing began in North America.

Like all modern traditions that have acquired almost ubiquitous fame, the art of tattoo making is an ancient one. Since human skin is something that doesnt survive the ravages of time, tattoos have been difficult to study archaeologically and decipher, but evidence of the tattoo tools used to make these remarkable ink paintings have lived to tell the tale. Remember, the first tattoo machine was only patented by Samuel OReilly, at the end of the 19 th century in the USA.

The tattoo kit unearthed at Fernvale, Tennessee, USA. This is the oldest tattoo toolkit discovered to date. ( Aaron Deter-Wolf and Tanya M. Peres )

The word tattoo comes from the Samoan word tatau, which means to mark or to strike, but now we know that the very first tattoos were likely made in the Americas.

The latest study on North American tattoo tools reveals that Native Americans used turkey leg bones and ochre pigments to make tattoos sometime between 5,520 and 3,620 years ago!

Led by archaeologist Aaron Deter-Wolf of the Tennessee Division of Archaeology in Nashville and his colleagues, this study pushes back the earliest understood date of tattooing in eastern North America by more than a millennia . Prior to the latest tattoo kit study, it was tzi the Iceman who held the record for the oldest tattoos, which were dated to about 3300 3100 BC. This finding may challenge that record.

The Tennessee research team conducted traditional artifact classification schemes by analyzing bone tools from the Southeastern United States. In addition to basic morphological classification, they also undertook studies of traditional animal remains from the Fernvale site (west of Nashville) tattoo kit artifacts. The assessment showed that the occupants of the site used sharpened turkey bone tools ( Meleagris gallopavo ) as implements for the tattooing process, and black and red ochre pigment for the tattoo colors.

The tattoo kit and other artifacts were discovered in 1985 during a bridge construction project but spent the next three decades in storage labelled simply as a toolkit.

"It was one of these situations where it went into a collection and nothing was done with it, said Deter-Wolf. It was initially thought to be an indigenous medicine bundle acting as a portable shrine, but after teaming up with zooarchaeologist Tanya Peres from Florida State University, they found it to be a tattoo toolkit.

Deter-Wolf took his research into the practical arena by re-creating one of tzis tattoos on his left wrist by making 1,500 puncture marks with a bone tool and black ink. "At this point there's not another activity that we know of that would create that same pattern on bone tools," Deter-Wolf says.

A photo of a Mohave Native American woman with tattoos from 1883 AD taken at Needles, California, USA. ( Public domain )

"By the arrival of the Europeans, virtually every Native American group in the Great Plains and the Eastern Woodlands practiced tattooing," Deter-Wolf told Mental Floss . "If it's something that widespread and that important, we suspect that it is very deeply rooted in Native American history."

Mummified preserved skin and ancient art shows that tattooing has been practiced since at least Neolithic times (10,000 4,500 years ago). There are also certain ancient tools that point to tattooing. Unfortunately, these skin and tool artifacts are from 49 sites scattered across the globe, including tzi the Iceman and his 61 body tattoos.

Tattooing was widely prevalent among the Austronesians in the Indo-Pacific region , perhaps as a form of expressing conquest during headhunting rituals, and have been dated to about 1,450 BC. They made tattoo tools by combining wooden handles and mallets with animal bones, fish bones , teeth or the shells of turtles and oysters .

While there are scores of sites across the globe pointing to a prevalence of tattooing among various cultures and subcultures, North America and its indigenous people have been well known as one of the oldest tattoo cultures. Previous research published by the same author and research for the current study by Aaron Deter-Wolf focused on the metaphysical understanding of tattooing. According to Aaron Deter-Wolf, tattoos arent just simple skin markings but are a form of communication that reflects the desires of the indigenous peoples to culturally connect with the ways of knowing and seeing the world: a connection to family, society, or a particular site.

Today, tattoos have acquired a strong hold over the public imagination and are used to commemorate lovers, important days, quotes, life, and death. Tattoos were popularized by music artists through the 80s and 90s but are also used by survivors of breast cancer, sexual assault and acid attacks to signify victory over a deeply emotional and traumatic battle.

Top image: Two previously unearthed turkey leg bones with sharpened tips (top) are the oldest known tattoo tools according to the latest study on the Fernvale, Tennessee site artifacts. Two other turkey bones from the same site (bottom) may also have been used for tattooing but lack tips for analysis. Source: A. Deter-Wolf, T.M. Peres and S. Karacic / Journal of Archaeological Science

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Pointed Turkey Bones Are Oldest Native American Tattoo Kit, Says Study - Ancient Origins

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Talk About Two Peas In A Pod – The Mckenzie Banner05.06.21

By Kesley Colbert

I stood in line behind a young lady at the Just Love Coffee Caf in Nolensville, Tennessee, trying to get a better look at the tattoo running down her left forearmwithout looking like I was trying to get a better look at the tattoo running down her left forearm!

It was a hunting dog. A Black and Tan hound I believe. But my peeks were hurried and scattered. She ordered a White Chocolate Tiramisu Latte. I had only an inkling that latte is some fancy word for coffee but I had noticed the holes in her jeans. Maybe I could pay for her drink, you know, help her out a little


Are you kidding me! I stared at the register in astounded disbelief! She musta ordered the pancakes and bacon when I wasnt looking.

I would like to be polite, do a good deed, help a young damsel obviously in need of a whole pair of pantsbut you never know. She might think me a meddling old man.

I let her pay for her own drink.

And ordered the sausage, egg and cheese biscuit. And a glass of sweet tea. I didnt figure I could afford the coffee in this place.

I wouldnt have been here if it werent for my mindless son. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate weekends the boy takes after his mother. He bought some steaks off of a guy parked at a service station Boy howdy, you talk about a sure sign that you are in Tennessee!

Josh had grilled the steaks the night before. They looked fine. Smelled great. But somehow I couldnt get over how we came by this meat. I didnt know if it was butchered after dark in somebodys back pasture or taken out of an Omaha Steak package on someones front steps two months ago. What if these steaks were picked up in Texas. Isnt there some kind of law against eating stolen beef that has been transported across state lines?

As you might well imagine, I ate rather guardedly.

And woke up hungry. And after the grandkids were off to school, I went looking for the Nolensville Cracker Barrel, Bojangles or Mary Lous Sweet Down Home Country Cooking Breakfast House.

Failing to find a familiar early morning culinary moniker, I took a chance on the first caf sign I saw. I was getting desperate. And its hard to mess up eggs and sausage.

The only available table was next to the hound dog tattooed girl. At least the place was popular, that was a good omen in any eatery


Maam? I dont hear as well as I used to. And my mind was a thousand miles away

His name is Festus. The young lady was holding up her forearm so I could get a real look at the dog. And she was grinning from ear to ear. I saw you eyeing him at the counter.

I leaned in with interest. The hound was leaping over a fallen log, his chest stretched out, his head up, his eyes intent on the prey ahead. Truly a striking animal.

Hes a Black and Tan.

Yes maam. Will he tree a raccoon?

She came alive, and her beautiful grin widened, Will a mop flop, will a bear run into the woods, will a hundred pound sack of flour make a big biscuit!

She was from Wartrace, down in Bedford County. And it took her less than a minute to convince me that Festus was near bout the greatest all-purpose hunting dog ever to come out of Middle Tennessee. Hed also run a fox. Could point birds if the occasion was right. Hed fetch about anything if he was a mind to. And I know he was a tick slow for it, but I tell you mister, he wouldnt quit for love nor money when that ole boy struck a deer!

But you dont tattoo a hound dog on your arm because he could hunt.

He belonged to my grandfather, was her answer when I asked. And after a slight pause, a measurable lessening of the smile and a long pull on the latte she continued, Granddaddy understood me when no one else tried.

Over a pretty decent sausage, egg and cheese biscuit we discussed life as we both understood it. And you might be amazed at how un-far apart we were. Oh, I was a mite puzzled over holes in brand new jeans and expensive coffee And she was equally bewildered by an antique still wearing faded Levis who knew the difference between a Treeing Walker, Bluetick or Redboneand a Grand Nite Champion Black and Tan!

Neither of us cared to tackle the worlds problems. Or the current political morass. Or waste time on idle chit chat.

We talked about her future. And a mite about my past. We were definitely two ships heading in opposite directions but we both loved being in the moment, appreciated where we had been, hoped things were better around the next corner and saw lots of good in most everybody.

We shared a terrific five minutes in this life together

One I will never forget. She gave me a last look at Festus and her beautiful grin as we both stood. I just know you are a wonderful grandfather, too.

Before I could find my voice she was gone.

She didnt even wait for her pancakes and bacon



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Cleveland mom in contest to land a magazine cover – WDEF News 1202.17.21

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who voted. Hannah Spurlin finished in 2nd position when voting ended Thursday night. She had to make the top 5 to move on to the next round in March.


CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) A Cleveland mom wants to prove that normal women can get on magazine covers, not just models.

Hannah Spurlin is a stay at home mother of four, who has been married for 18 years.

She says she entered the Inked Magazine contest to make a point to her daughters.

Her husband, Derrick, shared her story with us.

She never thought she would get this far. Its very inspirational to me.

If you want to help land her on the cover of the tattoo magazine, youve got until midnight on Thursday to vote.

But we warn you, there are tattoos we arent showing you here with more explicit photos.

Here is the link to vote for Clevelands Hannah Spurlin.

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Cleveland mom in contest to land a magazine cover - WDEF News 12

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Five questions with Tony Henson, a painter and educator – Johnson City Press (subscription)01.26.21

Growing up outside of Nashville in Portland, Tennessee, Tony Henson spent most of his childhood working on a tobacco farm.

When he wasn't working, Henson would spend hours watching his brother draw Marvel characters enamored with his older Todd's ability to take a blank piece of paper and turn it into his favorite superhero: Spider-Man.

Inspired by his brother, Henson made art his life.

After graduating from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelors of Studio Art, Henson made his way to Johnson City and East Tennessee State University, where he earned a masters degree in fine arts. After graduating from ETSU, Henson went on to teach at Watkins College of Art in Nashville.

Now teaching drawing at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Henson was recently selected to be a part of the Reece Museum's Contemporary Culture Makers exhibit, curated by Jocelyn Mathewes. The gallery also features the art of former featured artists Ruby Berry, Jason Flack, Richard Graves and Stacie Williams.

Earlier this week, the Press emailed Henson to discuss his introduction to art, his experience museum and the inspiration for one of his paintings at the exhibit.

Henson briefly:

Favorite colors: Purple and blue

Favorite local restaurant: The Label

Coffee or tea: Sweet tea

Biggest influences: My oldest brother Todd. I watched him draw Spider-Man when I was 3 and he was 13 for hours each day. Artists Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Joan Mitchell, Van Gogh, Jim Dine, etc.

Dogs or cats: Cats!

How did you get into art?

Watching my oldest brother draw Marvel comic book characters is what got me into Art. I thought it was magic how he could transform a white sheet of paper into my favorite superhero, which is Spider-Man. At age 40, I got a Spider-Man tattoo as a reminder on where my passion started with Art. Art saved my life.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Expressive, emotional, and loose. I don't plan a painting or make a sketch. My paintings are about how I see and experience color in nature. I also listen to music while painting as I have synesthesia which means I can see colors when I hear music. My paintings are a religious experience for me and I may weep while painting as if the Holy Spirit is next to me.

What's been your experience working with the Reece Museum?

Everyone has been so professional and great there. (Exhibition Coordinator) Spenser (Brenner) and (Director) Randy (Sanders) allowed a couple from Charlotte to see my paintings on Jan. 18 when the museum was closed. The couple came to my studio and later bought the 3'x9' painting "Creating a New Landscape."

How did you end up being selected for this exhibit?

My artist friend Jocelyn Mathewes sent me an email asking if I would show a few large paintings. My answer was. "Yes!!!"

What was the inspiration for the 'Creating a New Landscape'painting in the Reece exhibit?

I got the idea from a James Turrell book my wife bought me. The last chapter has the same title as this large triptych. Each canvas is 36x36" and put together really creates a strong statement of space, texture, and color. I was thinking of Gene Davis, Sean Scully, and Gerhard Richter during this small series of paintings. One similar to this was in a show in NYC and another was at LeQuire Gallery in Nashville. I created 6 of these paintings a few years ago. I took the horizontal idea of landscape and flipped it vertically while compressing the space in some areas and opening the space in other areas.

In terms of texture, there is plenty of contrast and thick vs. thin areas to provide visual interest. The color especially to the far left represents a large tree with fog behind it. The opposite side to the far right represents a sunset and throughout this painting you have colors that indicate sunrise/sunset, water, sky, flowers, grass, moss, etc. Elements in nature or colors that are exaggerated from nature.

I have no interest in creating a painting of a landscape that a camera can capture. My goal is to be influenced and inspired by nature and show the viewer how I see and experience it.

You can view more of Henson's work at

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Five questions with Tony Henson, a painter and educator - Johnson City Press (subscription)

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The NFL Clubs with the Most Tattooed Fans – kiss951.com01.26.21

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 03: Footballs are seen on the grass prior the Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Are you the ultimate NFL fan? Well, if you got the ink to prove it maybe you just are. New research from online sports betting expert Pickswise has revealed the football teams with the most fans tattooed in club colors and got some interesting results!

Pickswise conducted a study using Instagram metrics to reveal which fans really do love their team the most In fact they love them so much they want to make it permanent with a tattoo. From tattooing club logos to iconic players, Pickswise reveals the NFL fans taking their love for the sport that one step further.

So which NFL sides come out on top?Philadelphia Eagles fans have been revealed as the most inked followed closely by the Chicago Bears and Las Vegas Raiders. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans sit at the bottom of the table with less than 10 tattooed fans each.

See the complete fan tattoo table below:

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige

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The NFL Clubs with the Most Tattooed Fans -

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