March 2021 News

Here we are, in the “Happiness” decan, or the middle decan of Pisces. We happy?

Personally, I’m looking forward to Aries season – when Spring (here in the Northern hemisphere) officially begins. It’s been a long cold lonely winter.

And it has also been a very long time since I posted anything. Today, March 8, 2021, there is news: Tarot Deciphered, a book that I’ve co-written along with T. Susan Chang (who is also my co-host on our Fortune’s Wheelhouse podcast) is officially published today! It’s big!

You can get it direct from the publisher Llewellyn Worldwide, that is a great option which benefits us as the authors.

Speaking of Llewellyn, you might be interested in an article I wrote for them, about the role of the “transpersonal” or outer planets in tarot:

Of course it is also on Amazon. I hope you took the opportunity to pre-order! As of today though it looks like Amazon has sold out and/or is awaiting stock to arrive, but the e-book version is available and it should be back there soon. You can also support your local booksellers, if that is an option in your area.

I also have a few author’s copies that I can sign and sell, but there would be a shipping cost. Since these weigh 3 lbs (!) they would cost around $8 to ship in the US. You can order a copy, signed by me, here at www.tarotcart.com or here at www.rosettatarot.com.

In other news, I’m still working on various artistic projects, including the HRU pop ups mentioned in the last post, the new deck art, and another esoteric art project and book, yet to be revealed but more to say soon.

I can show and tell some more about the new deck I’m working on though. I’m currently working on The Chariot, and just about done with the inking. Perfect as it is Monday (Moon Day).

For this deck, I’m using a dip pen and India ink to do the outlines and basic components of the design. When I did the art for Tabula Mundi, I used a fine line magic marker for the lines. While that is a lot easier to handle, I wanted to use a dip pen this time because a) I need to be challenged and more importantly b) a dip pen makes much more expressive lines, as the line width can vary depending on how much pressure you put on the nib. This leads to a much more interesting line.

While I tend to gravitate to the Thoth deck, one thing I really appreciate about Pamela Coleman Smith’s art in the RWS deck is the beautiful quality of her line work, and how much she could communicate with a drawing that was almost all line-based, with very little shading, stippling or cross-hatching. Only the bare minimum was used in the darkest places; most of what she contributed to the design was done with line, then because of the way things had to be printed back then, very simple flat planes of color.

So, while I don’t intend to go with such simple flat colors when I get to the coloring stage, I am inspired to make the line work as clean and elegant as possible. No stippling! Any shading will be done in the next phase. This stage is just about the line, and dividing the plane in a way that creates a pleasing composition.

I haven’t yet decided the medium for colors, but I *think* it will be something mixed as in multi-medium, and some new techniques! Of course I WILL be using the color scales, because that’s one of my passions and I don’t think a tarot card is perfected without them.

I’m following a very strict image guideline – more on that soon. My process is:

  • read the description
  • IMAGINE what I think that image looks like
  • find references and models to help the drawing process
  • do a rough pencil sketch
  • perfect the drawing in ink with a nib pen

That’s so far. Once all the basic lines are inked, then I have to decide on the manner of shading and coloring, and the related mediums for that.

Here is a sneak peak of the ink work, lines only, no shading or color yet, of the Empress:

That’s the Ishtar gate behind her, which I’ve always loved. The color scales are Emerald Green, Sky Blue, Spring Green, and Bright Rose rayed Pale Green – though for artistic license I’m going to include all the range of blue sky colors for the Sky Blue, so that I can use that beautiful lapis color in some of the brick work.

I’m finishing up the line work on Chariot today. After that only 70 to go!

3 thoughts on “March 2021 News

  1. I’m in! That card is stunning and I can’t wait to see the whole deck. I ordered my book from Amazon Canada Feb. 24…as of today no date estimated so I hope they don’t drag this out as they had pre-orders soon enough to plan for. Llewellyn doesn’t ship to Canada according to their site. Can’t wait to see other cards from this deck.

  2. So excited for this new Empress! She looks STUNNING. I’m sure the rest of the majors will be too. I’d love to add any new Majors to my Pharos ones, although smaller Majors would be nice (for Grand Tableau readings)

    I ordered the book too but since I’m in Europe, it might take a while to get to me!!

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