the‘Tom’s Place’ series


   Sitting on a plane on my way back from England, I sketched a scene that I wanted to create. I was coming back to a new studio that was situated above a tattoo parlour. The story is as follows: Tom’s father set this place up in the 1920s and now in the 50s, Tom has taken over the parlour, so everything in the room is from that time frame, right down to the book on the arm rest of the lounge - “Memoirs of a Tattooist”  -  a 1950s publication.  Now that Tom was running the show, not only did he do good traditional tattooing (you know the stuff - three needle outlines and solid colours) he also worked on Harleys for his mates, hence the work bench on the right of the set.  

   This room started as white brick wall with a black timber floor.  3 months later with 12 coats of paint on the back wall and a fantastic collection of period props brought to the set by many wonderful people, Tom and I sat with fine sable brushes and an airbrush and illustrated the dragon tattoo onto Fiona’s back.  4 hours later at about 11pm, when Fiona walked into the set and I lit it up for the first time..... I cried.... this was beautiful.  I turned to my assistant Craig (thanks man, you were the best) with a huge grin on my face and then set about capturing this image on large format, medium format, name it, I shot it...oh yes... this was back in film days by the way.  I couldn’t sleep till I knew that every sheet of film was perfect, nobody in the lab (which was next door - thanks Doug) was allowed to breathe or move until my sheets of film were dried and in their sleeves.

To this day I believe this to be the best of me, the image that I would like to be remembered for....I was so alive, so dangerous, so Carl....


Tom’s Place #1 - Tom and Fiona

Limited Edition of 100    Order Code  TP1

Tom’s Place #3 - Trip’s Pan

Limited Edition of 100    Order Code  TP3

They had finished working on the Harley and here it sat in the quiet light of morning.  The colours in this are wonderful in the final drum scan that we made prior to print production.  I have released this as a poster and greeting card, it was nice to share this image. 

Tom’s Place #2 - Tom and Trip

Limited Edition of 100    Order Code  TP2

so now to create the next image....My dear friend Trip (thanks man) offered to let us drag his 1959 Panhead up a winding set of firestairs to my studio...took six of us, but we got her there safely.  I wanted a grungy look, two mates working on a bike, empty beer bottles strewn across the floor, sorting out a clutch issue.  Once again this just came together so nicely.  I chose to do this in sepia colours in contrast to Tom and Fiona but the image was captured in all formats and both colour and mono.