Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Third set of six

Card number 13: Endurance, purpose, motivation
Here is another artwork that ended up being "fried" by my hot air gun. This time, the acrylic paint wasn't a design of flowing lines, but a big white blob of paint that turned into a pool of "zits". I initially dyed it over with black china ink, but once I imported it into Photoshop and started playing around with the colour, I opted for a rich brown hue. It made the design look like the gnarly bark of an old tree.Trees always evoke in me a sense of steadfastness and endurance. After all, most of them do live a very long time (think of the California redwood, or the English yew.) They stand tall, proud and strong, as if filled with a sense of purpose and commitment to their job (mainly making sure us humans don't choke on our crappy polluting fumes.) "Onward and upward" they say to us. If reversed, this card could represent feeling lost, a life devoid of meaning, or apathy.

Card number 14: Mystery, synchronicity, luck
For this one, I used deep China ink, to which I tossed in a handful of sea salt. This resulted in a bunch of little snowflake designs peppering the paper. I added some blotched of gold flake paint on top (the original images looks better than the scanned card, unfortunately.) Just like distant stars in the heavens, some brighter than others, luck and serendipity tends to be like that as well. It's the "unknown" factor of life that something blesses or curses us. It secretive, selective and very fickle. One minute it's here, the next, it's gone. We can try to surf with it when we catch the wave, but it does eventually crash and fade away. This card could also stand for secrets and confidences. A reverse card could mean that we are currently enduring a streak of bad luck, things aren't going our way, or some skeletons that would be best left in the closet are being ousted out into the open.

Card number 15: Protection, guidance, awareness
This is another project where I used the old fashion Rorschach technique of applying paint and folding the paper in half to get a mirror effect. When I unfolded this one, I was pleasantly surprised by the image. It looked like a fairy, or an angel. "How sweet!" I thought... Until I turned it upside down! OMG! The flipside crept me out... It looks like a demon with huge bat-like wings. The meaning for this card is rather clear; a guardian angel, protecting you, guiding you and bringing you awareness... Or a dark figure, endangering you, blinding you and leaving you vulnerable. Need I say more!?

Card number 16: Success, status, achievements
Here's another project that makes use of the capillarity of watercolour paper. By adding clear water in various streaks and then blotting in yellow and orange paint, I manage to achieve this beautiful pattern, reminiscent of the sun. The sun has many symbolic meanings associated to it, but the most common ones are linked to success, status, and achievements. The sun is a star, and none shines more brightly upon our lives than it does. This card, in reverse, could indicate failure, a demotion, or lack of recognition.

Card number 17: Honour, order, justice
This artwork is probably the one that had the most modifications done to it. I initially painted the paper with some bright yellow green acrylic for the background. I then used petroleum jelly to paint some scribbles and designs unto the paper. I finished it off by adding a layer of sepia ink on top. Because the petroleum jelly is oil based, the areas it masked repelled the ink and it remained green. Once I imported it into my computer, I really liked the visual effect... But I wasn't too keen on the colours. So I juggled a few things on Photoshop until I ended up with this final look of deep blue and red. Blue and red have strong symbolism with rules, laws and right action. This card smacks of integrity and ethics; the one who abides by the book (written "scribbles"). It is structure and order. The inverted card could represent anarchy, a self-serving dishonourable attitude, and a lack of moral fiber.

Card number 18: Cleansing, nurturing, healing
For me, the meanings for this card make total sense because I know the process I used in creating it... But for others, it may be a bit far fetched. Then again... The colours and patterns are quite evocative of the keywords; brown earth (cleansing), pink flowers (nurturing), green grass (healing). In this process, I used coloured charcoal, baby oil and rubbing alcohol... Can you see the correlations? When inverted, this may represent clinging on to what is outdated and/or toxic, a need for self-care, illness and disease.


  1. Number thirteen makes me feel like I'm looking at a topographic map. :) Fifteen is simply beautiful, and number eighteen feels like a walk in the woods. These are so cool!


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