29 July 2019

Ten of Water


The classic Rider deck’s Ten of Water (Cups) shows a scene of domestic tranquility, a nuclear family group under a shining rainbow of cups. I’ve chosen to depict an image that reflects a more interior-focused kind of happiness, an image of the Japanese art of kintsugi, repair of broken pottery with lacquer and gold. Nobody comes through life emotionally unscathed, but our emotional wounds can become our strengths when treated with care. The Ten of Water indicates a return to a sense of wholeness and emotional well being, along with a powerful maturity and wisdom that can only be gained through experience.

I tried doing the gold fill using gold leaf but I wasn't happy with how it turned out, so I did another version using gold pigment.

The gold leaf is interesting but I didn't like how it scanned for the digitally-collaged tarot card.
This version using gold pigment worked better for my purposes.

04 July 2019

Nine of Water


Emotional stability and maturity are the hallmarks of the Nine of Water. Self-love, contentment, emotional literacy and fulfillment are all represented by this card. Be on the lookout for self-satisfaction, though, and the isolation that can come as a result.

Here are a few progress shots of the woodblock print of the Chinese porcelain pot.

I began with a layer of titanium white in the shape of the pot, over the off-white paper. I was nervous about how subsequent colors would print on top of the white, but I couldn't think of a better way to show porcelain thatn white, so I took the chance. Then I began building up the shadows with tints of gray.

Next I did some carving on the block and printed a few underlayers of light blue. You can see the emboss created by the other carved ares that I hadn't yet inked. Pretty nice just as it is here. Had I made a larger edition I might have reserved a few at this stage, but I only had three prints in the works so I continued on.

Then I went back into the block and did the fine carving.

I printed the final layer in a darker blue. One of the three prints went off register, so I was left with only two. All I needed for the tarot deck was one, though, so it was a success.