Monday, December 31, 2007

Card Border Example

Here is an example of the border and text for the Tree deck. I may tweak this some more....thoughts?


I also struggled with the theme for this card. I decided to go with a seed theme--the idea that the seed is buried and remains dormant until the right conditions arrive--sunlight and rain from the heavens.

The Star

The star shines brightly in the sky as the landscape below blooms.


The last few cards of the major arcana were a struggle for me. I knew I wanted to portray a dead tree, or a fallen tree, in some way for this card. Death is about permanent change--and what is more permanent for a tree than being cut? But the wood will live on--in paper, furniture, the flame, or even as food for other plants.

Devil Revised

I thought that something was missing in the "devil" card, so I added a raven. I think the card feels more complete now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tree Tarot Progress

At this point, all of the cards that I have spent the last four months painting are complete. I have three more cards to do from the major arcana - the Star, Judgment, and Death. These cards are conceptualized and sketched and will be painted over the holidays.

After that, I will begin on the suit of wands. More updates to come soon!

The World

The world is one of my favorite cards I have painted yet. I think the image here speaks for itself.

The Sun

The sun brightly lights up the sky while a peaceful walled garden grows below.

The Moon

The moon looms high in the sky while it is framed by two trees on the surface of a still lake. The mist, often associated with the otherworld in Celtic mythology, begins to roll in.

The Tower

This was actually the first card in the series that I painted. I love this card, despite its negative meanings. Perhaps that is because I have experienced many "tower" moments - and while these certainly were difficult to live through, in the end I came out of them a better person. The tree grows on the remnants of the tower, its dark and twisting branches reaching toward the sky.

The Devil

I don't know if this card is quite complete. It was hard to work in much of the traditional symbolism with the Devil. I though that a chained tree would be best suited on a crimson background.


Trees, like all plants, are true agents of alchemy. They take the fire of the sun and the waters of the earth and combine them in perfect harmony. I wanted this card to reflect that actuality.

The Hanged Tree

This card took me quite a while to conceptualize. I decided that a tree with its roots sticking out of the ground and its leaves underneath was the best representation of the meaning of the hanged man card. This tree, certainly, is getting a different perspective! :)


Here is the justice card. The balance of seasons - summer and winter--are reflected in the two trees on the scale.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of fortune here is represented by the seasons and the primary colors. Where will the wheel stop?

The Hermit

The Hermit seeks out knowledge and solitude. In the dusty landscape, where nobody else feels the desire to abide, the hermit makes his residence. The knowledge he has gained shows from his thick trunk and wisened branches. His lamp lights the way.


Strength is going where none other dares to walk. Strength is holding on against all odds. For a tree, strength is growing in places that overcome all barriers--such as the side of a sheer cliff face. The strong tree not only grows, but thrives here in hostile conditions, its strong roots digging deep into the mountain.

The Chariot

The chariot was a difficult card to conceptulize as a tree. I decided to go with a fall and movement-themed approach. The chariot winds blow into every nook and cranny of the tree--the winds will seek their goal. The tree grows to fit their constant movement and pull.

The Lovers

The Lovers are intertwined in the heart of summer. Their trunks grow as one.

The Hierophant

The Hierophant is also an oak, this one overlooking a druid grove. When I think of the hierophant, I don't think of a pope or pastor, but rather of a druid. An ancient one of wisdom, law, and divine knowledge. His gnarled and wisened trunk has seen many seasons. And like a wise religious leader, this oak is comfortable growing in a forest not just of oaks, but of other types of trees.

The Emperor

The Emperor, a massive oak tree, lords over the forest below. Flanked by two mountains in a kingly purple, he keeps order and authority in the lands.

The Empress

The Empress sits upon a hill, the bounty of her creativity and bounty overflowing in baskets below.

The High Priestess

The High Priestess sits upon a moon framed by twin pillars. In her roots she holds pomegranates. Will you eat of the fruit?

The Magician

The Magician, a vibrant tree who works with all of the four suits at his will.

The Fool

The FOOL - Tree Tarot. The seedling tree, with vibrantly colored leaves, looks out upon the world. His journey is just beginning. Where will the path lead? Will the sun continue to shine or will the clouds roll in?