Barn Swallows, Tattoos and the my Dad the Navy Man

two traditional american tattoo inspired barn swallow paper art designs

These pair are called “Cole” and “Ember”, they are siblings, brother and sister.

These swooping barn swallows I’ve made on a number of occasions, and I currently have two on display in our kitchen. 

Based on Traditional American style tattoo motifs, these pretty pair were inspired close to home.

two traditional american tattoo inspired barn swallow paper art designs
Meet Ember and Cole, two barn swallows made of brightly coloured paper inspired by my father’s tattoos


My Dad was a navy man and had a few tattoos long before it was common place. 
He has two swallows, one on the back of each hand in the web between his thumb and forefinger.
In the small rural town I grew up in, he often wore longer shirts to cover the ink on his arms, but there was never any hiding these. 
When extending a hand to shake, they were one of the first things people would see. 


Dad turned 70 last year and although faded, and their original colours long forgotten, clear green outlines of the original birds are still there and their presence on his skin is both familiar and comforting to me.

This particular design, will continue to be one of my favourites for a very long time to come x 

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