The Fortune of 1999

I have been reading Roz Stendahl’s art blog for a while. She is featured in a few of my books on art journalling and I like her art, use of materials, and sense of humour. I just discovered today that she was involved in a couple of No Monet decks, particularly the Artist’s Inner Vision Tarot which I own.

So I went on a little scrounge because I don’t remember…..she did three cards for the deck (click to enlarge):



I admit to being a bit disappointed. Apart from the hand painted rose on the Wheel card, and the hand painted bird of paradise flower on the Seven of Coins, this is the kind of busy, muddled collage I find forgettable. When this deck was created in 1999, it was the style. Now we have seen so much of it, and so much of altered book collage and such that it simply looks a bit tired. Roz’s skills are much better than these samples show.

For me, I pulled back from Photoshop cut and paste and decided that maybe using my hands and real art materials is better. I still believe that. I find in Adobe Illustrator, the hand drawn aspect can shine through, and it requires some skill to colour vector art, so I don’t mind that, but Photoshop seems to have eaten our creativity and chained us to layers and tweaking effects, drop shadows and colour sliders for mixing. You lose the other skill in your hands and mind, and once lost it is very hard to pick up again.

Trust me, I know. Every time I sit down to draw something that I can’t get right, my mind drifts into how easy it would be to trace it off the computer and then fill it in. How easy to do a smooth gradient in Photoshop, to do a duotone or apply a filter or pop in a background or frame. Cheater. So, today these cards are about how it takes time to grow and develop skills (again) and the Ace is the penultimate fire of creative energy, combined with the changes of the Wheel, the turning cycle of one’s life, the way not one of us is the same as we were in 1999.

Which is a mercy I expect. I was a naive idiot in 1999, thrashing about looking to other people to save me, hooked to the computer, losing my real life. Hopefully today I have greater awareness and the ability to choose wisely, to provide my own harbour of encouragement and growth for the Self. In 2002, tarot cards gave me art again, gave art and writing back to me that I had left behind in life, and thus gave me back an ability to relish time alone.



7 thoughts on “The Fortune of 1999

  1. I don’t have this deck, but I remember it. I think it was around when tarot began for me and I always loved the look of it. When I see it now on your blog, I get a shiver of reminiscence. For that reason, I like it.

    I did worry that my own Fragments and the new deck would be ‘too much cut and paste’. I could have drawn or painted but for the project I am creating, I feel the crispness of photography will have a strong effect (it’s also a place where Kate and I can engage creatively together)

    I know those feelings of tracing off and nice flat colour and slick chic drop shadows. They haunt me too.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only way who is haunted by thought of digital usefulness. You’re much better at drawing than I and I find your people really good–I haven’t mastered portraiture yet.

      Yes, I can see your point in working with Kate and using photography. But knowing your style, it won’t be a mish-mash of unrelated junk the way so many digital decks are.

      The Fragments deck is beautifully done.

  2. I love these posts, so interesting especially for someone like me who is completely new to this.

    On another note – does the foot on my machine mean I don’t need to buy a special quilting foot like you need to do with other sewing machines? That will be great if I don’t.

  3. (I answered you via e-mail about the foot Lorraine.)

    Most people know I am not really into the esoteric aspects of tarot, it was the art of it and the inspiration to write essays and poetry with cards that gave me such delight and still does. Everybody has a different approach I find.

  4. The tactile quality of paper, canvas, pencil, paint leads to surprises that art program like photoshop can’t match.

  5. Thanks for your kind words, re Fragments and my drawings. I hope that my digital collages will be crisp and clean for the new deck, just like photos without too much useless stuff in them. A lot of people go crazy with effects for the sake of it, it seems. I chose this way of doing it because I thought it might make teaching and learning tarot understandable.

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