Norman tattoo artist hold first show of paintings 

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The mantra of "success is assured" was the source material for David Bruehl's first painting for the Think Ink tattoo artist's first show: an illustrated version of himself, looking more than a little overwhelmed.

"I was dealing with the whole process of producing so many pieces in the spare time between family and traveling," Bruehl said. "After that piece, I got really calm with everything I've done. The fact that I've created a body of work large enough to have a show is a success for me."

WORKS
The show is in its second month and Bruehl's works are broken up between watercolors, which derive from his tattooing style, and oil paintings, which veer off in a different direction. These soft, ethereal illustrations feature:
" a cardinal in a business suit,
" a self-satisfied hipster,
" heavily stylized giraffes and
" imaginary creatures that have a Dr. Seuss feel.

"Those don't come so much from my tattoo style," Bruehl said. "If anything, I've tried to avoid much of that, because tattoo always spills over into what I draw since it's my day-to-day."

INFLUENCE
The major influence comes from being a family man who spends the bulk of his free time with children. His work is still bold and expressive, but angst is no longer his primary color.

"I just don't operate from the angry need to shock anymore," he said. "When I was in college, I majored in illustration, and what I was doing at that point was very punk rock, pulling in from illegitimate art sources. Time mellows you out."

"?Charles Martin

 

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