Thursday, January 14, 2010

At Work on the Tarot Deck

I finally started working on my tarot deck again - here are a couple of the newest. I usually draw from live models, but for the tarot deck I have been taking photographs of myself or my brother (when he is around) and basing the poses on the photos. I included both the finished painting and the photo, so you cold see something of my process.

The Two of Staffs.
This card features an Aztec emperor, crowned with the turquoise diadem and labret of power, stands on a temple parapet, overlooking his dominion. He holds a turquoise staff in his hand, crowned with the golden flower of art and poetry, and to the parapet is fastened another staff, painted with the crocodile skin pattern of the earth mother, lined with thorns, and crowned with a flint. The emperor holds a calendar in his hand, marked with the four directions and the four seasons, thus all of space and time. In the background is the sacred city of Tenochtitlan, rising above the lake, and in the distance the smoking volcano Popocatepetl. This card signifies the man who generates change, who sets things in motion, and awaits the result. He holds the turquoise staff, which suggests good fortune, but the thorned staff awaits nearby, for all is in balance, and has not yet been decided. This card councils patience, and offers guarded tidings of good things.

I am going to post this card to ebay on Friday - check it out!
The original photo. This is of my brother, and the lighting was bad, so its blurry! Good enough for my purposes, but not really to share with you. Sorry!
Knight of Staffs
This card is the Knight of Staffs, which corresponds to the knight of Wands in the standard tarot. Here the knight is a young traveling warrior, as indicated by his staff of turquoise and his back basket strapped to his forehead. He wears a deer helmet, for staffs are the sign of fire, and the deer is symbolic of the dry and dusty season. He carries a macuahuitl, the Aztec sword of wood and obsidian blades in his belt, but he does not use it, for though he is armed, he is not on a violent mission. In his basket is an open casket, for this card is symbolic of absence. He wanders through a desert landscape, but the cactus is in bloom, and in the distance stand ruined pyramids, the familiar abandoned and left behind. This card represents movement, emigration, departure, and flight. It tells of the entrance of a dark and friendly young man into the querants life. It signifies a change of residence.
This card is already available on ebay and in the "Tarot" section of my website.

Write a comment if you like seeing the original photos with the artwork, and I'll be sure and post more!

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