Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Tarot of Trees Website!

I now have an official website for my tarot deck:

I encourage each of you to go there and see the full spread of the two suits and the majors. Its easier than viewing it here on the blog.

I also have started a mailing list, which you can find and join on the site.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Suit of Pentacles is progressing!

The summer energy must be good for me because I have been working a few hours each day for the last two weeks on the tree tarot deck. I now have all of the pentacles sketched out, and I have started doing the watercolor backgrounds for them.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about my process for each card.

1) I start with reading and researching the card I plan on painting extensively. This includes looking through my own tarot deck and library about the card.

2) Then I go online and look at other artists' renditions of the card, read on the symbolism, etc.

3) At that point, I write a list of meanings and symbols I'd like to convey and do some small sketches (maybe 1.5" x 2.5" high). Just to get the creative juices flowing.

4) During this stage I burn some incense I specially crafted for divinations and then meditate for a bit on the design, painting the card in my mind.

5) Now I'm ready to start sketching more seriously. The sketch comes together, and finally, I am ready to trace the whole thing out on Canson 128 lb Rough watercolor paper.

6) Usually a bit later, I come back and look at the sketch and then if I'm satisfied, I start the watercolor layer. I have painted the entire deck with mostly Shin Han Professional Artist watercolors, with a few Winsor and Newton colors thrown in. I love the Shin Hans for their brilliant colors!

7) The watercolor portion takes a while to paint, and I let it dry in between layers and work on something else. Finally, when its dry, I go back in with some white acrylic, watered down (liquitex works best) and I add in some detail. This is a method of painting I developed especially for this deck, and I love how wonderful it makes everything look!

8) The acrlyic dries. I then go back for my third and final layer--with a Faber Castell medium point waterproof/india ink pen. I define areas, add detail, and so forth.

9) Then I scan at 400 dpi! That is it!

:) More tarot cards to follow soon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Updates - Tree Tarot Deck

I have been so busy writing my dissertation that my tree tarot has not had the progress that I wanted it to have. But these last few weeks, I have managed to paint four cards--and I have several more rough sketched. I am still hoping to finish this project by the end of 2008, but we will see how busy the fall is. I have decided to work on the suit of pentacles next, although I have concept sketches of many cards yet to complete from the swords and cups.

Nine of Pentacles

Rooted deep in the earth during the winter months.

Page of Pentacles

I am finally on my second suit - the pentacles. These are wintery. I'm not sure what I think of the ground on this one yet. I might revise it. But the sky stays.

King of Wands

The final card in the suit of wands! WOOT!

Tree Tarot - Queen of Wands

Finally, I have been able to paint more tree tarot cards. Here is the queen of wands. The cat looks a little sad, so I'll have to brighten her up a bit :).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Knight of Wands

The knight of wands was SO tricky too! I decided to do a brave tree, sitting out on a road. The road symbolizes movement--the knight of wands is moving about so quickly and bravely that he often doesn't see where he is going. And he might be hit at any moment by a car, but he doesn't care!

Page of Wands

I've finally gotten over my "painters block" concerning this deck. After much deliberation, I went with the standard page- knight-queen-king approach, but each of the trees will be older and wiser than the last. Anyways, here is the page of wands! Creativity and inspiration, through flowers and butterflies. A young tree, with much life ahead of her!

Friday, February 8, 2008


I have been sketching the rest of the suit of wands, but I have not had as much time as I would like to work on it lately. I should have something to post later this week :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ten of Wands

I'm really happy with the 10 of wands! The seedling tree tries so hard to grow, but the light is dim...

Eight of Wands

Eight of wands - I went with a traditional kind of view on this because I liked the idea of it :)

Nine of Wands

Here is the nine of wands card. I was thinking about trees who get weighted down--by snow, rock slides, or another fallen tree. This tree has been weighted down, but as per the meaning of the 9 of wands card--it has managed to endure and continue to grow, new shoots growing to the sky!

Three of Wands - Revised

I was very unhappy with my three of wands card, so I painted a new one. This new painting, I feel, better reflects the meaning of the three. What do you think?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Seven of Wands

My favorite wand thus far. The seven of wands stands in the face of adversity (a village cutting down the forest for firewood. They stand firm and unyielding against the axes of the villagers. Beyond, they protect a wood surrounded by mountains. The wands are trees in full summer bloom.

Six of Wands

The six of wands sits serenely in the sunlight. The wands are trees in full summer bloom.

Five of Wands

The five of wands fight against each other for the forest space and sunlight. The wands are trees in full summer bloom.

Four of Wands

The Four of Wands are at peace. The wands are trees in full summer bloom.

Three of Wands

The three of wands stand apart from the woods! They are free and invidualistic. wands are trees in full summer bloom.

Two of Wands

The two of wands sit by a serene lake. The wands are trees in full summer bloom.

Ace of Wands/Staves

The completed ace of wands card. The wands are trees in full summer bloom.

Friday, January 4, 2008


I went to the local copy shop today and had the printer print out a major arcana set just to see what they look like. I had them printed at 2.5 x 3.5, which was my original size I intended, but I think now that that is a little small so I might go bigger for the final deck. I have plenty of time to figure this out while I am painting the minor arcana.

Updates: I am finishing up the first 10 wands now and will post these once I think they are complete. I painted most of them over the Christmas break. Now that I am starting my studies back up next week, things will slow down. My goal right now is to try to get the rest of the deck painted and scanned by the end of the summer!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Card Borders - Attempt #2

This is a super-simplified border from the last one I posted.  Thoughts? I think I need some border so that I can put the text on, but I've toned everything down and made the art larger.