Glory

This is a monthly newsletter about current artwork, influences, past projects, and upcoming exhibitions, often with some personal content thrown in. I will also include announcements when prints or originals are up for sale.

 

It's been a while since I wrote a post about the tarot deck I published back in 2014 (a full ten years after designing it), but it's still there, in the background of my life: still selling to customers all over the world, and still a useful tool to me in my art process.

The Cheimonette Tarot, published in 2014. Decks available for purchase  here .

The Cheimonette Tarot, published in 2014. Decks available for purchase here.

In case you're not familiar, tarot is very similar to a regular deck of playing cards. Like playing cards, tarot has four suits, which are in fact earlier versions of clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds: which were once staves (or polo sticks), cups, swords, and disks (or coins), respectively. Like playing cards, tarot has ten pip cards in each suit, ace through ten, and face cards, although tarot has four instead of three per suit. The biggest difference between them is tarot’s addition of twenty-one "trump" cards, otherwise known as the major arcana.

Many regard tarot and playing card decks as fundamentally different in the way they are used, but this is probably less the case than they realize. For most of its history, tarot was used for games and gambling (and still is, in some parts of Europe). When it did start being used in fortune-telling in the 18th century, it was often treated as just another amusing game one could play with friends. The cards and the symbols depicted on them gained more and more symbolic meaning from this point onward, with most of the present card meanings derived from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization devoted to study of occult traditions, and from which come the “classic” tarot decks most widely used in divination today. Tarot is now widely associated with spiritual practice, in which practitioners aim to use the cards to see into the future, and gain insight and guidance in the process. I'm in the somewhat strange position of practicing tarot very differently than most of my customers: I don’t use tarot for divination, I use it as a tool for exploring my thoughts, building narratives, and developing art ideas. I have no questions, no objectives, no goals; I just wander through the symbols and piece stories together from them.

This is certainly not to say that art can't be goal-oriented, or that ambition cannot inspire creativity. Different artists conceptualize and produce the art they make in different ways. For me, achievement is not a good motivator, and so the way I make art is not fundamentally different now than it was when I was a child. The skills that let me draw the things I want to draw in the way I want to draw them were certainly gained with a goal in mind, but this type of drawing does not feel like art to me, it feels like practice. For me, the real joy in making art is the dynamic exchange between visual qualities I try to control, and visual qualities I make no effort to control. In my superimpositions, I choose the objects I want to combine, but not their placement. This approach produces an endless array of unexpected conjunctions and tangents, creating visual puzzles for me to "solve". Watercolor is also inherently unpredictable. I can pick the colors, but I can never predict exactly how they will interact, how they will spread and how they will dry. Each work of art I make thus becomes a visual conversation between my own technical capabilities and the uncontrollability inherent in the process and the medium. In a sense, my paintings make themselves. The joy is in making them; the best part is over when the painting is finished.

This progression from achieving control to being forced, either by choice or by circumstances, to forsake it is wonderfully exemplified in the sixes and sevens of the tarot deck. I have always seen the sixes as the "Beauty" cards. They represent a complex, stable harmony of ideas—the most successful manifestation of each suit's particular personality. The first five cards make progress towards the ideal world of the six, while the seven is the beginning of the end of the world. It's what happens after the dream of worldly success—as though glory-chasing were merely a developmental phase—that is the most fascinating and beautiful to me. The ways in which finite things come to an end will always be more interesting than the ways in which they may achieve immortality.

The Seven of Staves (2005). Ink, watercolor, prismacolor, and gouache on paper.

The Seven of Staves (2005). Ink, watercolor, prismacolor, and gouache on paper.

My favorite sevens are from the staves and cups suits, probably because imagination (staves) and emotion (cups) are the human faculties best adapted to handling confrontations with human frailty. In the Seven of Staves (above), mortality becomes a cherished source of wisdom and inspiration. The Seven of Cups (below) is about how frightening things can get when one wakes up from the dream of success and realizes that it's all just a story they wrote themselves. These awakenings can occur numerous times, and range from a true leader's realization that her followers are not friends—much less family—and that she is just as alone as she was before her rise to power, to the times when a narcissist is forced to recognize his cherished dream of himself and the esteem he commands from others as delusions. If acceptance fails to follow, this card, which I regard as one of the saddest and scariest concepts in the tarot, can become a prison from which one can never escape.

The Seven of Cups (2004). Ink, watercolor, and prismacolor on paper.

The Seven of Cups (2004). Ink, watercolor, and prismacolor on paper.

I do not mean to condemn those whose lives are built on goals. I think that ambition is a deeply human characteristic, responsible for many of the most wonderful achievements of our species. Nevertheless, looking at human beings in terms of achievement and its power hierarchies has always been viscerally distasteful to me. I am certainly not immune to glory-chasing; I want respect and admiration as much as most people, I guess, but I don't like wanting these things. Compared with the experiences I have as an artist, they seem sordid things with which to occupy my life. Having an art career is in itself a goal-driven activity, just like any other career, but this is not why I make art. Even if I knew that not one person would ever like any of my work, and that I'd never get one bit of recognition or affirmation as long as I live, I'd still have to go on making it, because art is something I love to do. Ambition is inherently oriented towards the future, while joy is an experience one can only have in the present. This is why all strategies for seeing into the future are inherently ambitious. I don't think there is anything wrong with ambition, but without joy, ambition becomes mercenary: a game of status-hungry schoolyard kids chasing the trophy of social capital.

When I was three years old, my family got incredibly lucky. We met a woman who lived in a house across the street from us named Tilly, from an island in the north of Germany. Tilly had been born into a big family that ran a tavern on the island, a job which she had loathed but faithfully worked at for the first forty years of her life. The British occupation ended, and her family offered to send her to America, hoping perhaps that she might marry an American. Tilly had always wanted to travel, and seized the opportunity. She landed in New York City, and after a few months of unpleasant work in a relative’s delicatessen, she took a Greyhound bus all the way across the country to another relative’s chicken farm in Petaluma. As soon as the bus took her over the Oakland Bay Bridge, she knew that she had found where she wanted to live: San Francisco, the most beautiful city in the world. The Petaluma relatives offered her a job on their farm, but Tilly preferred to try cooking and housekeeping so she could be in the city. They examined the help wanted ads, and found a Mrs. Brown, who spoke German and needed help running a large house by the ocean.

Tilly remained with Mrs. Brown for 25 years until her death, shortly after my family moved in across the street. Tilly, by then in her mid-sixties, was considering whether to return to the island, where she could have a pension and live in an old age home for islanders, but she ended up falling in love with my family, and stayed with us until she was past eighty years old. Tilly worked for us, but she was also part of our family. Even after she left San Francisco to spend her last years on her island, we all kept in close touch, exchanging phone calls and letters almost every week. She was like a parent to me, and I am probably even more like her than I am like my mother or father.

Anyone who has met Tilly will know what a presumptuous assertion that is. She was as close as it is possible to get to being a real-life angel. If this image suggests sanctimonious propriety to you, I should elaborate that she had a wonderful sense of humor, both about herself and the world, and that her humility and generosity were absolutely genuine. She never seemed to have any aspirations to be "good", and never regarded herself as particularly bright or special. Nevertheless, she was the happiest person I ever met. She admired others for their accomplishments as one might enjoy a magnificent garden, and was kind and giving to everyone around her merely because she took pleasure in being so. Unsurprisingly, everybody she ever came into contact with—even if it was just in pleasantries over the phone—loved and respected her. Every good thing she had in her life, no matter how mundane, made her feel like the world's luckiest person. Perhaps she appreciated her life so intensely and minutely because she had grown up in wartime Germany, and with so little personal freedom. Until she came to us, she had never had a room of her own. Having her own apartment was one of her greatest pleasures, and one which she never relinquished, even after moving back home to the island.

She made me want to be like her. I wanted to live life in such a way that I never took anything for granted. I wanted to take the same joy in patience, generosity, and kindness as she did. As anybody who has raised children knows, these are not inborn characteristics of the human condition, but with such a model before me, I acquired some of her feelings and attitude. It is now over two years since Tilly died in her sleep, at the age of 96, still healthy and living independently in a little third story apartment in her home town.

The dictionary defines "Glory" as high renown or honor that is won by great achievement, but it provides an alternate definition: “magnificence and great beauty”. Glory therefore includes ambition and joy: the bliss of success and the visceral experience of sublime pleasure. It also has a third definition, as exemplified by the phrase "gone to glory", which refers to a soul's ascent to heaven. Tilly was a Lutheran, and believed in heaven (although she preferred to believe in reincarnation rather than hell). Personally, I believe that joy and ambition are both necessary ingredients for a bearable mortal existence. Civilization is structured on ambition, and this is a reality whether or not it is an ideal state of affairs. Joy is a state that cannot coexist with ambition, and yet without it, ambition has no meaning. Perhaps this seeming contradiction is similar to my art process: the conversation that happens between taking and relinquishing control, over and over, until the painting is done. Perhaps Glory is a state in which the painting is never done: an infinite loop that offers an endless array of unexpected answers, and an unending wilderness of beauties to explore.

The Summerlands

            My mother and I both sleep very lightly. I think this is probably because we were both very fearful as young children, although my problem was merely that I had an overactive imagination. In the quiet darkness, without any distractions, I would spin yarns of dark fantasy and horror. So as I grew older, I started to stay up late reading in bed, until I got so sleepy I could no longer keep my eyes open. The habit stuck, and today, even waiting until I’m very sleepy doesn’t help me stay asleep. This light way of sleeping feels most natural on warm summertime nights, when crickets sing in the darkness and the sun rises very early. The kind of nights where you move in and out of sleep so easily that it's sometimes impossible to tell if you're really awake.

            This month I've been alternately painting the new nursery, and finishing up my insect/flower pieces. The latest one is about two species that I remember from the countryside in the late summer, in the upstate New York orchard I used to work at, where the best plums only ripened in late August, and grew so ripe they would split while still on the tree, dripping sweet juice. The wasps clustered along the split seams and gorged themselves on nectar, and us farmhands, not wanting to spoil the intact fruit, would eat the split ones, flicking away the wasps with our fingers. The plums were miraculously cool inside on those hot summer afternoons, and I would eat them all day. Late August was also when apple season really got going, and apple picking, sorting, and grading took up most of our time. But I always made time for the plums, and I generally ate them in the company of wasps.

Detail of “Wasp x Plum” (Vespula vulgaris x Prunus spinata). Ink and watercolor on paper.

Detail of “Wasp x Plum” (Vespula vulgaris x Prunus spinata). Ink and watercolor on paper.

            I was a child of secular Jews, which meant that Sunday School was more like cultural education than religious training. In other words, I learned more about the adventures of Noah, Moses and Joseph than I did about existential matters like what happens after we die. As it turns out, even religious Jews don't have much to say about the afterlife, because there is almost nothing about it in the Jewish bible. There is some reference to "Sheol", a place of rest for the righteous and the wicked alike, and rabbinic traditions, influenced by Christianity, added a "World to Come", in which all righteous souls will dwell. Generally, both observant and non-observant Jews focus on earthly existence as the scene of action and good works. Nevertheless, heaven has been of great interest to me, for as long as I can remember.

            Summerland is an idea that originated in 19th century Spiritualism, a religious movement based on communication with the spirits of the dead. The term was coined by Andrew Jackson Davis in 1845. He described the Summerland as a place where "spirits of good will" dwell. They live a semi-corporeal existence, in an environment of great beauty, with greatly magnified senses and perceptions. The Summerland was a version of the Christian heaven: a place of beauty, love, and learning, but more like a civilized Eden than a place of peace and stasis. Davis described it as an idealized earthly existence, with reunited families in their own homes, grand institutions of learning, and a continued life of change and progress. I like the connection between heaven and summers, even though summer isn’t even my favorite season. I like thinking of my light sleep—and maybe all the unpleasant parts of my life—as finally becoming natural and right in the context of a perfect world.

            I don't exactly believe in the existence of the Summerland, or in any of the descriptions of heaven I've found in religious traditions, but I do trust my own ideas about heaven. The human mind is guided by imagined possibilities. We imagine perfection, and are attracted to anything that has characteristics of the world we so badly want to live in. This dream of a perfect world seems to be a phenomenon common to all cultures and eras of human civilization. While it's hard to imagine that there is any universally-shared, perfect version of existence, we certainly have individualized heavens of our own. I believe that these heavens are subtly linked, by our common qualities as human beings.

Some of you might recall I said something similar about art a while back. The experiences art can give us are inherently personal, and inherently connected. Some art is about beauty, some is about visual exploration, some is about a narrative or message, and some art is simply about the process of its creation. Whatever it’s about, it’s always informed by our perfect world, our Summerland—by its structure, or the revolution needed to bring it about, or just the glimmers of it in the real world we see around us every day. Maybe what I’m trying to do by superimposing images is see if the Summerland has any autonomy. Maybe I’m trying to find out, by artificially imposing uncertainty on my own artwork, if a perfect world can create itself.

Artifact

This is a monthly art-related (or at least art-adjacent) post about what I've been doing and thinking about. Welcome to the month of August!

General News

1. One of my tarot paintings, "Love" was accepted to a group exhibition at The Studio Door in San Diego! It will be on view from August 3rd to 26th. If you're one of my tarot customers and live in the area, it's really worth seeing the original painting, and it looks like it's going to be a wonderful show!

2. My drawing "The Sparrow and the sparrows" is up on view at Arthaus Projects gallery in Williamsport, Pennsylvania! Exhibition closes on August 11th.

3. I am participating in San Francisco Open Studios this year! Open Studios is a series of five weekends where local artists open their studios to the public and sell their art. The weekends are divided up by neighborhood, and my weekend is November 3rd and 4th. If you're going to be in the bay area, mark your calendars and PLEASE COME! I'll be posting more details as the event gets closer.

Painting in my home studio, photo by Jessica Palopoli (https://www.jessicapalopoli.com/

Painting in my home studio, photo by Jessica Palopoli (https://www.jessicapalopoli.com/

It's been a weird weekend. Over the last year, I succeeded in tracking down the movie that scared the everloving shit out of me when I was four years old, and I finally watched it last Saturday night.

If you ever have the opportunity of revisiting movies (or stories, songs, amusement park rides, pictures, or any other innocuous thing whose fearsomeness derives from the unformed and imaginative mind of the very young), I recommend doing so. You will find that you remembered some parts with surprising precision, and that other parts (in my case, most other parts) were largely fabricated. It is a glimpse into how utterly unrecognizable the same event can be when experienced by different people. I often think how miraculous it is that any of us can communicate with each other at all.

Me wearing my favorite elephant bathing suit (I still think the Pink Elephants song from "Dumbo" is one of the best things Disney has ever done), summer of 1983.

Me wearing my favorite elephant bathing suit (I still think the Pink Elephants song from "Dumbo" is one of the best things Disney has ever done), summer of 1983.

Now, of course, you would like to know what the movie was.

Embarrassingly, it was "The Horror at 37,000 Feet", widely known (among Shatner fans, at least) as William Shatner's worst movie—a made-for-TV production that first aired in 1973. The plot featured a haunted airplane, and ended relatively tamely, with two gore-free human deaths and one frozen dog. It was apparently still making the rounds on one evening during the summer of 1983, when my parents took me to their friends' home for a dinner party. The household children, who were several years older than me (and I imagine were secretly hoping to be entertained by putting a little kid into hysterics) were clustered around the TV, and of course I joined them. It appears I made it through almost the whole movie before silently leaving the room and rejoining my parents.

I need hardly say that William Shatner's worst movie was not, on second viewing, especially scary. The interesting part wasn't the movie, it was watching prototypes of all my nightmares since age four march across the screen for 90 minutes. Although I had apparently invented several scenes, my inventions had done a strangely excellent job of capturing the story and the characters' state of mind—better, in fact, than the actual movie did.

To conjoin a pair of disparate dictionary definitions of the same word, "artifact" (an unintentional or meaningless by-product of, say, a scientific experiment or photograph) turns out to be a valuable treasure-trove of historic information. Making up stories is an essential part of the pattern-recognition processes of the executive system. Our minds come up with a plausible narrative about what is going on and even who one is. These narratives never quite match with reality, but that is not their purpose. Without our stories, we would not be able to learn, to remember, to sympathize with others, to recover from negative emotions, or even to recognize ourselves. We would have no coherent identity.

I'm not exactly saying that such mental artifacts are either desirable or destructive—it really depends on the mind that's making them, I guess. Although every story we can think of is in some sense true, not every story is equally useful. However, I am surprised by how often our memories turn out to be deeply insightful fabrications, if that makes sense. Because isn't this, too, a form of art? Isn't reconstructing reality in a more human-sized way, in a way that distills its importance and meaning for us, what art is? And our minds do this all the time—it is fundamental to our functioning in the world. Many scientists even argue that this storytelling part of the brain is the cornerstone of consciousness.

Locust X Locust ( Chortoicetes terminifera x Robinia pseudoacacia )

Locust X Locust (Chortoicetes terminifera x Robinia pseudoacacia)

Speaking of finding important truths in trite places, the idea for my latest painting came from a misunderstanding I have always cherished. When I first heard the word "Locust", I thought the teacher had said "hocus" (as in Hocus Pocus). The association is now immovable; I always think of magic—of fairytale, joyfully implausible magic—when I hear the word Locust. Magic then becomes the foundation for all the word's other associations: penny-slice leaves clattering in the breeze (the black locust tree), destruction and ruin (the plague locust insect), species invasion (the tree), the dry, muffled snapping sound of the swarm (the insect), creamy and delicately scented cascades of blossoms (the tree), the judgment of God upon Egypt in the Book of Exodus (the insect), and so on.

The best part of making something new is always over as soon as it is finished. Artists and makers who feel the way I do tend to make the most intricately detailed things, because we don't ever want it to end. More opportunities for new artifacts, too.

The Life-Cycle of the Angels

Many tarot books describe the first 21 cards of the deck following the Fool card—otherwise known as the major arcana—as the "Fool's Journey", in which the Fool progresses through 21 stages of existence. In the Cheimonette Tarot, one could just as easily call this the Angels' Journey. The Fool transforms into the Angel in two ways, both of which are represented in the narrative sequence of the major arcana.

The Biological Life Cycle

            If you have been following my recent work, you've seen my recent botanical/ entomological paintings, which experiment with different pair relationships: morphological (maple tree samaras resemble the wings of lacewings), geographic (the Southern Catalpa and the tredecassini 13-year cicada have intersecting habitats), morphological (maple tree samaras resemble the wings of lacewings), and chromatic (the petals of white columbines have the same hue—even down to their rose-mauve shadows—as the wings of the white moth). As I learned more about each of these species, I became familiar with their life cycles, which are often incredibly detailed and bizarre. For example, periodic cicadas remain underground in their larval stage for the majority of their lives, progressing through several morphological stages as they feed off the sap from tree roots. At last, they "hatch" out of their hardened larval bodies into the large, singing imago (the winged adult) at which point they mate, reproduce, and die over a span of only a few weeks.

Magicicada tredecassini x Catalpa bignonioides, (2018). Ink and watercolor on paper.

Magicicada tredecassini x Catalpa bignonioides, (2018). Ink and watercolor on paper.

Acer circinatum x Chrysopa perla (2018). Ink and watercolor on paper.

Acer circinatum x Chrysopa perla (2018). Ink and watercolor on paper.

Aquilegia vulgaris, Iris sibirica x Haploa reversa (2018). Ink and watercolor on paper.

Aquilegia vulgaris, Iris sibirica x Haploa reversa (2018). Ink and watercolor on paper.

The Cheimonette Angels

            The 21 cards of the major arcana organize different primary concepts of human experience. In the Cheimonette Tarot, the Fool (card 0) takes two overlapping routes to become the Angel (card XX): in one sequence, the Fool simply grows wings (card XII: the Hanged Man) and finally reveals the Angel nature it had all along (card XX: the Angel); in the other sequence, twin angels divide (card VI: Love), separate (card X: the Wheel) and converge (card XV: the Devil), and finally combine to become a single Angel (card XX), by appropriating the human qualities of the Fool.

The Fool (2002). Ink on paper.

The Fool (2002). Ink on paper.

            These two parallel life cycles of the Fool/Angel can be thought of as interrelated, symbiotic life cycles of different biological species: sometimes mutually beneficial or harmful, sometimes competitive, sometimes parasitic, sometimes merely commensal. The two angels in Love (VI) are locked in a shared gaze of mutual support, trust, and safety: the perfect foundation for great freedom, experience, and exploration. In the Wheel (X), the angels have separated to form two independent bodies, working together to turn the wheel of time, dreaming their private dreams. In the Devil (XV), separation has become painful and the angels are reuniting catastrophically, seemingly in the act of annihilating each other. Only by becoming human can they be whole again, and they at last take on the animal characteristics of the Fool (its two tails), and resurrect as a single being, with the flower of immortality from the Tree of Life growing from its body, and the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge for a heart.

VI: Love (2003). Ink, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper.

VI: Love (2003). Ink, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper.

X: The Wheel (2003). Ink and watercolor on paper.

X: The Wheel (2003). Ink and watercolor on paper.

XV: The Devil (2003). Ink, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper.

XV: The Devil (2003). Ink, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper.

            The other life cycle is simpler and gentler. It represents not the fall of a God, but the apotheosis of a mortal. Even though the Fool and the twin angels have different characteristics (the Fool has its tails, and the angels have their wings), they are arrestingly similar creatures: bald as an infant, androgynous, and seemingly sexless. This insight is personified by the Hanged Man (a card I should have renamed as gender neutral), hung by its own tails in a window of one of the Moon towers (which appear in both the Priestess and Moon cards). The Fool in the Hanged Man is clearly not compelled into its position: as a symbol of its freedom, it holds an unattached chain between its hands as a plumb weight. Out of its back grows incipient wings. It is passively waiting for its transformation to occur, suspended between the strange world within the Moon tower and the outer world occupied by us, the observers. Its eyes are open—which shows that waiting is perhaps not so passive as it might seem. It believes in its own potential for divinity. In the Angel card, we can see that the Fool's conviction was justified.

XII: The Hanged Man (2003). Ink, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper.

XII: The Hanged Man (2003). Ink, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper.

XX: The Angel (2004). Ink and watercolor on paper.

XX: The Angel (2004). Ink and watercolor on paper.

            Plants and animals tend to have precisely as much as they need—and no more—to survive. If their lives are hard, they usually have the ability to endure those hardships. Animals are exactly as intelligent as they need to be, and so are we. Our own phases of existence are less apparently intricate than those of the 13-year cicada, but they are profoundly detailed nevertheless. The world we live in today is both of our own creation as well as far beyond our control. We experience reality as a web of probabilities: a fine mesh made from our own sensory experiences and from trusted authorities we use as outside sources of information.

           But I believe that these probabilities rest on a set of core beliefs. Whether those beliefs are religious, scientific, philosophical, or emotional in character is of little importance. What is important is that there is a fundamental particle, somewhere, in all of us, that will bear no division, no scrutiny. Our blind spot.

"If this is not true, then nothing is true."

Not all of us must reach that part of our life cycle where we are called upon by circumstances to shatter our fundamental beliefs. When we are, we often become even more hard and immovable, so that our shells may be the easier to shatter, our hearts more easily broken. To allow the possibility that the imago, winged and singing, may emerge from the ruins of truth.

The Composite Series

It's been a long time since my last post. For the past two years, I have been in a Ph.D. program, training in neuropsychology, and I haven't had time to do much artwork.

Then I got to a point where I became completely overwhelmed. In the aftermath of this, I realized that art really needs to be at the center of my life—no matter how valuable or interesting I might find other careers, my heart can only be in one place at a time.

So, I dropped out of school and went back to being an artist. The best part is that I got to keep my position in neuroscience research, and am still working in that part-time. Science feels a lot like art, except that the execution of an idea requires different materials than I'm used to using.

Anyway, here's what I've been working on recently: a series of seven paintings that take a Kantian approach to objects as transcendental schema—finding the "Tree" within three overlaid individual trees (in this case, Baobab, California Live Oak, and Dawn Redwood). Here is the finished painting (shown first), followed by previous iterations of watercolor underpainting leading up to it, in chronological order.

Trees (2017). Ink and watercolor on paper.

Trees (2017). Ink and watercolor on paper.

I also did another piece based on a similar concept: "Islands", which depict three overlaid islands, both from perspective view and an aerial view. They are loosely based on an island in the Stockholm Archipelago (which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever had the privilege of visiting), Tuckernuck Island (part of Nantucket), and Föhr, an island on the Danish border of Germany, and the birth- and death-place of a beloved lifelong friend of mine named Tilly, who died at age 96 last year.

Islands (2017). Ink and watercolor on paper.

Islands (2017). Ink and watercolor on paper.

I've started another one, "Bridges" which is by far the largest watercolor painting I've attempted. I plan to complete seven of the series in total, with "Towers", "Birds", "Ships", and "Tunnels" yet to come.

In any case, it's good to be back. And, as always a big "thank you" to my fans of the Cheimonette Tarot. Your continued patronage, kind words, and enthusiasm has given me the confidence to return to making art. If the Cheimonette Tarot continues to be so successful, then maybe I can make more things that people will love.

Lots of Love,

Eden