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Tattoos & Blues all about the ink

  • Tattoo artist Mike Hughes of Electric Monk Tattoo works on a tattoo on the thigh of Colleen Acree of Santa Rosa during Izzy's 23rd annual Santa Rosa Tattoos and Blues in Santa Rosa, Calif., on March 1, 2014. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

Brad Loomis will always have his mother with him. Literally. She's right there on his left biceps, in permanent ink.

The Santa Rosa man has several tattoos, including "Golden State" in script on his right arm, an eagle on his chest and after Saturday's session at the 23rd annual Santa Rosa Tattoos & Blues event, his mother, Michele, on his left arm.

"The pain is addictive," he said, beginning a list of reasons he keeps adding to his collection of tattoos. "It's a collection of personal art. To be unique."

Tattoos And Blues Festival

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Tattoo artist Bryan Vargas of American Classic Tattoo of Petaluma worked from a framed childhood portrait of Loomis' mom that he brought to the Flamingo Hotel. But if Vargas needed any reference, mom was there in person, too.

"All of a sudden he called me up and wanted a copy of that picture," Michele Loomis of Windsor said. "It's exciting. I'm all for it."

As with the Loomises, tattooing is becoming more of a family affair.

Laura Holman-Trew of Santa Rosa pushed her son Travis, 14 months, in a stroller as she walked through the exhibits of tattoo artists, ink vendors and tarot card readers.

It was Travis' second visit to the event and his mom was going to sit for a new tattoo later Saturday.

She has at least 29 tattoos already, including leopard spots down her back.

"It depends on how you count them," Holman-Trew said, showing her off the ink on her arms.


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