I am going through the giant prints left over from the gallery showing of the Tarot deck, so I can hang some of them at Morsel, and I am realizing they are from 2008.
That’s ten years ago. And it feels like a while. Some of these pieces I’d want to spend a bit more time on now. Some of them are still just fine by my current standards. My anatomy’s gotten better with subtle stuff but these are still perfectly fine drawings; I think the biggest change in the work if I was to do them from scratch now would be that I’d go from rough to final colors a LOT faster – I was still laboriously pulling paths out with the pen tool back then. I think it was near the end of the whole thing that I discovered that the pencil tool has settings, whose defaults render it useless, played with those settings, and switched to it for pretty much everything shortly afterwards.
I wonder if I should make a regular practice of drawing some kind of bright, happy flat piece once a month. As a vacation from the giant task of a fully-painted comic. I could do it as porny commissions with my alter-ego, like I did this December, or I could do them as my cleaner identity and regularly print them out and do galleries. Finding subjects feels like the hard part; I could start going down some prompt lists? Or I could occasionally just ask my followers/patrons for an assortment of words, then shuffle them together to give me some directions to draw in. (If I wanted to be topical it might be fun to do a series of Chaos Deities, since that sure feels like the theme of the past couple years. Eris, Kali, Tiamat, Kek (yes probably with a frog pin), Azathoth, etc, maybe even paired with Law Deities from the same pantheons because that would be a lot of chaos to evoke in my personal life without some balance…)
(more: hmm, really I could just mine “a selection of deities” for multiple shows. wisdom would be fun, I could use more of that in my life.)
Mirrored from Egypt Urnash.
These are all one-off prints, signed and numbered. They're as close as a digital artist like myself gets to "originals".
All links lead to the full image; these thumbnails are the tight crops used for my gallery pages.
MAJORS: $200 each. These are gorgeous, huge prints - about 20x32". They will brighten the heck out of a room.
0. The Fool
2. The High Priestess ($150 if bought with the High Priest)
3. The Empress ($150 if bought with the Emperor)
4. The Emperor($150 if bought with the Empress)
5. The High Priest ($150 if bought with the High Priestess)
6. The Lovers
7. The Chariot
9. The Hermit
12. Untitled (The Hanged One/The Traitor)
15. The Devil
16. The Tower
17. Star ($400 gets you Star, Moon, and Sun) held for coraa until next week
18. Moon ($400 gets you Star, Moon, and Sun)) held for coraa until next week
19. Sun ($400 gets you Star, Moon, and Sun)) held for coraa until next week
COURTS: $100 each. These are about 12x19". They won't dominate a room but they'll certainly add some character to it!
Chevalier of Cups
Chevalier of Swords
Princess of Swords
King of Pentacles
Queen of Pentacles Moderate damage, $80.
Chevalier of Pentacles
Prince of Pentacles
Queen of Wands
Chevalier of Wands
Princess of Wands
NUMBERS: $50 each. They're 9x13" or so.
Several of these got damaged in hauling them to I-Con and back. These pieces are discounted. If you're interested in one, I can
A. The Root of the Powers of Water
5. Disappointment Mild damage, $30.
A. The Root of the Powers of Air
2. Peace Very mild damage, $40.
10. Ruin Damaged, $30.
A. The Root of the Powers of Fire
2. Will Very mild damage, $40.
A. The Root of the Powers of Earth
If you really connect with one of the damaged Minors but can't imagine hanging it in its current state (ask, I'll provide photos) I can destroy the existing print and have a new one happen to take its place. It'll be full price though.
S&H: $20 for one or more Majors, $10 for one or more Courts or Numbers. No charge if you're in the Boston area and can come pick it up yourself.
Payment: Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or stick a check made out to Margaret Trauth in the mail to 78 Summer St, Apr 2R, Somerville MA 02143. Cash is fine if you buy one in person.
koogrr, you're still first in line for Death, the Tower, and those Fours; these new prices do apply. Except to the 4W which you already paid the gallery for. *grin*
A little earlier this week I got e-mail from my contact at one of the publishers I've sent a sample to (I need to send some more out, but busy/cold/distractable) saying that he himself is definitely interested in the deck and will be pushing for it when the company makes a decision. Nothing firm yet so I'm not mentioning any details in public.
But right now I got this crazy raccoon to draw.
There I met a man who was building a small concrete building to keep an Elephant in.
After some very loud banging around to secure the Elephant while he took a break he came out to talk to me, and that is when i woke up. And decided he was a very alternative take on the Heirophant: the elephant (by way of the old saw about the blind men and the elephant) is a metaphor I'd used recently for the Unknowableness of the Divine, and he was constraining all comers' experience of this elephant to one particular angle and facet.
Before that---- i was happily running from Hindi-myth-looking multiplying replicating creatures when I fell into another reset of the archetype cycle and rolled down that mountain.
Before that there was cataclysmic weird sex layered with the ghostly overlays of the whole set of major arcana. Ethereal snakes coiling around my right arm guiding it in caresses. This was after guiding a maternal figure who slowly lost tokens of senses around a dangerous swampy place; she had surrendered her eye to a floating creature that was like a ceramic tube in texture when I dropped her eye into its unmoving mouth and it rattled through its short tube-like body and fell out. Her eye bounced on the ground like a ping-pong ball and I kept it; I was still holding it during that overlapped sex.
Before that I was watching a girl become some kind of fire heroine on a streetcorner that felt like hollywood, constantly distracted by an ever-growing mass of roots hanging from above that brushed my head.
There was stuff before that, too, but it's all fragmented.
Maybe Someone wants me to do another Tarot deck but I am kinda busy this year, I haven't even gone publisher-hunting for the last one!
A fool with knowledge is still, perhaps, a fool.
This is the Mother fool. Read the info on the Crone fool for more about that.
I was hoping to get some Absinthe done but this is what my hand has been doing over the past three days.
Eight cards between me and Total Tarot Extension Completion, but I think only two of them have sketches I'm happy with.
(I printed this out at deck size and I think I need to zoom in a little; the figure is a tad too small compared with the rest of the Majors. Oh well!)
A wardrobe opened, revealing a scene: several swords hanging from chains, with three skeletal figures hanging upside-down among them. I counted the swords and there were thirteen of them. I then tried drawing this as I liked the idea of a 13 of Swords for my Tarot deck; instead of doing a 99 for each suit, I'd have a different outlier card for each suit. There was an idea for the 15 of Cups, I think, but that's gone now. Overall, this 13S looked like something off of John Jude Palencar's covers for the H.P. Lovecraft collections.
Then I woke up and felt kind of creeped out by the image as I thought about it, and managed to get back to sleep eventually.
Later, I dreamed about having immense troubles trying to shuffle a copy of my deck. The handmade decks are a bit of trouble to shuffle, but this was moreso: the Courts were thinner than the rest of the cards (as in, ooh, 2x5" amongst a deck of 3x5"), and the Majors were circular. I'd do a loose insertion shuffle on them, then riffle them, and all the Majors would clump together. It was a pain.
13 of Swords. It's almost a caricature of what the suit ends up being about. Which is the idea behind the 99s - but I don't think I want to have the extra cards be that disconnected from each other.
When I felt it was sufficiently shuffled, I flipped over the top card.
Queen of Pentacles.
And what jumped out at me wasn't anything I'd deliberately encoded into the image. My eyes darted to her reflection in the pentacle-inscribed disc she held. "Look into yourself to decide", I instantly thought. Well. That's a big help, Mz. Chaos-oracle.
Note the new box; I've acquired all the big boxes the stationery store had on their shelves. These are a bit less imposing but carry out the deck's themes a bit better.
Glass is finally on its way, so I can deal with getting the stuff from the show ready to go out. Maybe then I'll actually be able to concentrate on Absinthe when I get back in town. The weather hasn't been helping motivate me, either; I just want to lay in bed until the sun returns. And of course there's worrying about the cold Rick brought down from Canada...
( Long list cut! )
Also, there are two large pieces that were not shown at the gallery: the
0 of (VOID) and X: History. History has been sold to raxvulpine already, but if you want the 0 of (VOID) at 20x31(same price as the Majors), let me know. and it looks like the 0 of (VOID) is being sold to both roricat and protocat, because resonating nothingness multiplies.
Discussion, commentary, questions, and contradictions are all quite welcome over there. Even essays about what you see in the cards.
(Be warned, the only thing I'm cutting there is typically images - adding it to your daily reading list will mean you're hit by a wall of text every now and then.)
edit: And I posted some discussion of the Fool's Journey as it manifests in my deck. Read, ponder, comment, disagree!
The main theme of this card is rejection of duality. This is a theme running through much of my deck, but it really comes to a point here. The main figure is sitting in a meditative pose, floating in the middle of a very black-and-white room. But she's not meditating - her eyes are open, she's looking off to one side. She is, perhaps, a little irritated. Irritated at being forced into the role of "the Devil", source of evil and ideas to suppress; irritated at her failure to meditate; irritated at something else in the spread next to her. (Did her gaze direct you to a particular card?) Or perhaps she is not so much irritated as disinterested, and distracted; her focus lies not on you sitting there dealing the cards, not on something in the image, but out of the panel.
She is the Devil, what the Christian mythology part of the deck would have you believe is the source of evil. And yet she is serene and not at all interested in tempting you. She is completely detached; she is something on a far larger scale than you work at - and she doesn't care about you. There's a bit of the Total Perspective Vortex going on in this card - you're just a tiny insignificant speck in the universe, you are not particularly loved or loathed by it, you're just there. You're technically her business, but she has broader things on her mind. She doesn't care about the fight between "good" and "evil" any more; maybe she never really did and that's just the story Christianity imposed.
In the context of a question with two main answers, she is a reminder to pause and consider what lies outside the binary thinking of your question - you think X or Y are mutually exclusive, but are they? Are they really just part of a single-dimensional continuum your thoughts are stuck in? What's the third, fourth, fifth option you're not seeing? Can you do X and Y at the same time, if they both tempt you?
Her costume is formal: this is the "man of wealth and taste" of the modern Devil. Were she to bother trying to take her official role and tempt you, you wouldn't notice those hooves, that fire-tipped tail; she'd seem a perfectly sensible businesswoman with a terribly attractive offer and a perfume from the steampunkier reaches of BPAL's range. This is a devil shaped by the industrial world. There's also some definite resonance with one particular Voodoo figure but I am not sufficiently versed in that to discuss it. Lightning-bolt markings on her head recall the linkage of the Christian Devil with various fire-bringer mythology, as well.
Traditional imagery for this card has two little humans in chains at the Devil's feet. Here, they are unchained, but contained within her briefcase: they are her business. They may already have sold themselves to her. They may be about to; what do you see in their interaction with the fiery serpent of her tail?
I am still not entirely certain of the symbolism of the cube and the piece of paper with the nearly-circle drawn on it. They connect with the 'think on more axes' message, but there's something more lurking there...
Here's a couple decks made for sale - the small one is for chirik, and the large one is for aprivatefox. Behind them is a roll of the backing paper I'll be using for badger's deck. I still need to hit these with some fixative (which I realized is a Good Idea after slicing them all up) and print up the little list of card titles before I can call them Done.
(If anyone's counting, by the way: deck #1 is sitting at my computer, deck #2 is in the hands of the woman who read at the show, deck #3 is an abandoned experiment in using bristol between the printout and the wrapping paper; deck #4 was sold at the show, and #5 is kicking around my purse.)
If y'all loathe the paper I used for the backings, let me know before I get them on their way. *grin*
Also, on the way back, I came up with the horrible idea of Calvin pissing lawn statues. With LEDs inside so the stream glows at night. Bill Watterson would hunt me down and kill me.
But I just made a small deck with almost as much visual impact as the large one. The key? Removing the white borders. I still have the numbers, suit symbols, and the rows of vertical lines on the pips and Courts - but the Majors are completely unlabeled now. A borderless large deck should probably be really amazing.
(click for close-up!)
I dunno if I'll be able to have it mass-produced like this, but I think all the decks I make by hand are going to be done this way. Probably with numbers and names on the Majors, though.
(Anyone want a hand-made Tarot deck, by the way? $130, and to be honest, I'm not making that much profit on 'em after getting a nice box to stick it in, and buying more ink every three decks.)
Also, I am pretty sure that the list of what's available from the gallery that I posted earlier was incorrect; it's unavailable until I get things synched with the item numbers the gallery was using.
Folks in Seattle, I can bring y'all some of the signed and numbered prints when I come over there at the end of September, and you can pay me direct - we'll save on shipping and PayPal fees. Let me know.
(big image: 13672x1607, 1.7M)
When we got to the gallery, one of the first things I did was to take a panorama of the whole thing, before there was really anyone there. At the far right you can see ff00ff, postrodent, and koogrr - sorry you guys got kinda cut off, I didn't want to get lost in playing with the panorama stitcher I used!
Then I handed the camera off to Rik, because I knew I'd be too busy talking with visitors to actually use it.
At first, it was pretty empty.
But it started to fill up.
It really started to fill up.
There were a lot of people there!
And I stalked around talking to a lot of them.
There were a hell of a lot of people there. All to look at my art. I didn't really process that until after the show, but when I did, it felt pretty awesome.
Okay, maybe they were also there for the free munches and the free booze.
Either way, there were a ton of people there! Nobody bought the sketchbook (which I really wasn't expecting to move) but the hand-made prototype got sold, along with a decent sampling of the rest of the show.
Afterwards, we went out to a place called Christopher's for dinner with all our friends who came in for the show. And one guy who just kinda trailed along with the group.
Left side (L-R): my mom, Rik, Cube, Kevin, ff00ff, Bill's girlfriend Kaz (well, the back of her head), Bill (hidden by his girlfriend), the waitress.
Right side (R-L): Nick's hand, Rachael, Frostbyte, Cassandra, the tag-along, Koogrr (not visible), Chris. I think there was someone else between Koogrr and Chris but I can not remember who it was; I was just a little bit dazed by this point!
Front and center: the raspberry cheesecake martini I had. It was exactly as bad an idea as it sounded.