I have been hand painting wooden boxes and furniture using sailor tattoo imagery as the source of inspiration, in particular referencing the work of the American tattoo artist Norman Keith Collins (January 14, 1911 – June 12, 1973) known as Sailor Jerry.
So here is the symbolism behind the sailor tattoo imagery I have been slowly painting onto boxes, sea chests and small pieces of furniture …. A contrast in activity to the frenzy of oil painting seascapes.
Swalllow – that a sailor has sailed 5000 nautical miles for each swallow tattooed
Anchor – stability and security
Rope – hold fast, a deck hand
Rigged Sailing Ship – sailed around the Cape of Good Horn
Heart – love, dagger through the heart – broken heart
Mermaid – the dangers of the sea and life, potent female energy
Compass – Making way safely home, direction, protection, getting through rough waters
Octopus – Complexity, diversity, mystery, vision, camouflage, illusion
Sea Horse – Symbol of strength and power, connected to Posiedon and Neptune
Red Rose – love
Key – luck, knowledge and success, freedom and liberation
Shells – love and fertility
All pieces and more will be for sale at my upcoming exhibition Dundas Gallery, 6 Dundas Street, Edinburgh 26 – 30 April 10 – 6pm