Not Forced, Flowing

Daily Draw October 25th, 2010

I had The Compass of Fate down here as I was talking about it and now feel like using it a bit. It’s a Mah Jongg deck that the artist Robert Kalin once generously offered free to print online. Unfortunately he has taken his site down. I made my copy five years ago and coloured the linework in a blue, teal, and green. Each third of the deck is a subtly different colour but they coordinate nicely, and they look good printed on cream cardstock. Then I made a custom tuckbox for it and bought a little book for $1 that I collaged into a matching journal.

You can see the subtle gradations of colours if you look at the deck edges.

I used pictures of quilts with compasses found in magazines, plus some regular clip art painting for the collage, and painted the box with acrylic on 300 lb watercolour paper. It was then urethaned, as was the journal when I collaged that to match.

I love linework and I love the artwork and concept for this deck; even after five years I can see how fresh the idea is and the enormous amount of work and effort put into the 160 cards. These are great illustrations mixed with great words, just the kind of thing I enjoy working with. They shuffle beautifully printed on regular cardstock from Staples, lightly sprayed with Krylon Workable Fixative. I consider this one of the gems of my collection.


The “S” stands for South: in Mah Jongg directions are very important, and this card is from the Elements suit of Water. The River flows down from the mountain, under a bridge and it looks like it might flow around a large rock as it meanders further on.

South reminds me of south-facing windows in houses, capturing the sunlight of the day as my living room does. It’s interesting how a bit of sunlight in the home can make you feel happy having your morning tea, but then like a river you feel restless and need to get going, need to flow. Clean and pure is this flow as it originates in the glaciers of the mountains, and flows by obstacles, under the moon and stars and sun, past trees and grass and bull rushes, ever moving.

Not forced, just flowing, accepting where it’s going.

After a creative glitch yesterday, I managed to get some good work done on a project and that flow of the river will continue today.


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