Tarot Feature: Tarot of Trees

Tarot Feature: Tarot of Trees

(crossposted at Ridley the Fool)

I love Dana Driscoll’s Tarot of Trees – so vibrant! Also I love trees.

Driscoll says that she started the project because she couldn’t find a Tarot deck that really spoke to her, so she decided to make her own. She painted the images in watercolor, acrylic, and ink – you can definitely see the watercolor in the winter skies of the pentacles. The original paintings were four by five-and-a-half inches and took a bit over a year to make. Head on over to her Process page to see several in-progress photos of the Three of Swords – I like how she builds up the background.

The deck comes in two forms: a physical one and as an app made by The Fool’s Dog, an app company specializing in Tarot.

Below are some of my favorite cards.

The Fool
The High Priestess
The Moon
The World
Page of Swords
Ten of Wands
Nine of Pentacles
Page of Pentacles
Queen of Pentacles
Tarot Feature: Shadowscapes Tarot

Tarot Feature: Shadowscapes Tarot

(crossposted at Ridley the Fool)

I love Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s Shadowscapes Tarot so much! Actually, I already wrote about it in 2014 but I wanted to bring it to your attention again because it’s lovely. (This post has all-new images, so be sure to look at both.)

What I notice this time around the “scapes” part – the landscapes and how many of the cards show two or more “worlds”, like sea and sky, and how the main figures on the cards often occupy the space between. Click on the images to see the details at Pui-Mun Law’s website, Shadowscapes.com.

Also, see her YouTube channel for some cool painting videos!

Shadowscapes Tarot, The Tower
Shadowscapes Tarot, The Star
Shadowscapes Tarot, Two of Cups
Shadowscapes Tarot, Three of Cups
Shadowscapes Tarot, Queen of Pentacles
Shadowscapes Tarot, Page of Swords
Shadowscapes Tarot, Two of Wands
Shadowscapes Tarot, Three of Wands
Tarot Feature: Tarot of the Magical Forest by Leo Tang

Tarot Feature: Tarot of the Magical Forest by Leo Tang

(cross-posted at Ridley the Fool)

Tarot of the Magical Forest, by Leo Tang, is a deck featuring cute animals. The animals’ wide eyes have a touch of creepiness to them, but not so much that it’s off-putting (to me, anyway).

Strength is my favorite, and is my favorite Strength card of any deck I’ve come across – so cute and really only possible in an animals-only deck.

The Hanged Man bat, likewise, is clever.

The Major Arcana show several kinds of animals, but the Minor Arcana have just one type of animal each:
pentacles = foxes
swords = cats
cups = rabbits
wands = frogs

Below are some other cards for your perusal. You’ll notice that there are two editions – the one with the swirls is the 2005 Taiwan printing and the one with six languages is the 2008 Lo Scarabeo edition.

The Chariot
The Hermit
5 of Wands
10 of Cups
4 of Swords
Tarot Feature: Illuminated Tarot by Carol Herzer

Tarot Feature: Illuminated Tarot by Carol Herzer

This is my 500th post!! : D

(cross-posted at Ridley the Fool)

Carol Herzer’s Illuminated Tarot is my first Tarot Feature, a series highlighting my favorite Tarot (or Tarot-like) decks that I’ve seen online. (They are basically my Tarot wishlist!)

Ms. Herzer’s deck has the same line art as the ‘standard’ Rider-Waite-Smith deck (RWS), but her use of the early-Renaissance mische technique of painting sets her decks apart. For the original set of paintings, she used many thin layers of paint to create a jewel-like luminosity to the colors. For the printed decks, Herzer hand-paints the iridescent colors before she sends each one out to be laminated.

The origin of Herzer’s deck is interesting. She says she had a vivid dream in the 1960s in which she saw the tarot cards as paintings. Over the next twenty years, she painted many esoteric subjects and even created her own tarot deck, Astrotaro, but was left wanting to paint more. Eventually she came into possession of some black-and-white line art of the RWS deck, and with this as her basis, she painted the Illuminated Tarot.

She chose to paint the RWS deck because the drawings by Pamela Coleman Smith had “so much more potential in them, as real paintings” than what printers have produced so far.

Herzer painted the initial version from 1987 to 1989 and has improved upon it since then, even expanding into a few more color palettes like “Elemental Visions”, which emphasizes the elemental associations of the suits.

If you’re interested in purchasing a deck, you have to go a little old-school by emailing her first and then sending her money directly via PayPal – the process is described on the Illuminated Tarot Decks page. You can also choose the pattern you want on the back of your deck, as well as the size (very nice for a person with small hands, like me!).

You can read some reviews at Tarot Elements and Aeclectic Tarot.

If anyone orders a deck from Ms. Herzer, post about it on your platform of choice and tweet me @ridleythefool about it!

Artist profile: Pui-Mun Law – Shadowscapes Tarot

Artist profile: Pui-Mun Law – Shadowscapes Tarot

Every month, I profile an artist who inspires my own art,
in several segments.

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law had her Shadowscapes Tarot published in 2009 by Llewellyn. Tarot decks can be sources of beautiful art and inspiration, and Shadowscapes is no exception.

Shadowscapes Tarot, The Hermit
Shadowscapes Tarot, The Hermit

I could go crazy and post all my favorites, but I’ve only posted five – one Trump, and one from each suit. You can see all of them at her website, and I’ve linked to the deviantArt pages.

It’s easy to see why Pui-Mun Law’s deck is so popular – the swirls and motion, her fascinating color technique, the natural imagery, and just the feeling of mystery and depth that should be part of every Tarot deck. I always say this about watercolor artists: I am so jealous of your details! How do you do this?

Shadowscapes Tarot, Queen of Cups
Shadowscapes Tarot, Queen of Cups

Shadowscapes Tarot, Ace of Pentacles
Shadowscapes Tarot, Ace of Pentacles

Shadowscapes Tarot, Knight of Wands
Shadowscapes Tarot, Knight of Wands

Shadowscapes Tarot, Nine of Swords
Shadowscapes Tarot, Nine of Swords

Other parts in the Stephanie Pui-Mun Law artist profile series
Mysterious Miscellaneous