Archive for the ‘Playing Cards’ category

Spines

August 16, 2017

I just got somewhere between 10 and 11 hours of sleep which is a small miracle given my insomnia. I think I was worn out by pain.

We took the dogs to the vet and my Newf has developed some problems walking in addition to her arthritis. It looks like some spinal cord damage affecting her right hind leg. Sometimes she stumbles or falls, because the nerve signals cut out on that leg. She is almost 14 so there is nothing to be done. The vet said at some point if she can’t walk it will be the end.

Knowing this already, as both my dogs are old and in final decline, it still left me with a lingering weepiness and sadness. Tears keep coming to my eyes periodically.

KING OF SPADES
Nietzsche – “God is dead.”

KingSpades_Exist

I’m getting somewhere, I can spell “Nietzsche” off the top of my head. Of such marketable skills are life made.

Back in the 60s man, Nietzsche was revered and this one phrase of his reverberated in universities throughout the world. Weren’t we clever? Is God dead? I think our human notion and bastardization and mistranslation of God is the problem.

Beyond that, I think there are people who shine with something providential; they access the divine.

For today, awash in tears for old dogs and inevitable death, I prefer to imagine something concrete, but rarely accessed by 6 billion humans.

 

 

 

I Exist, Therefore I Scan Freely Wearing a Bowler Hat

August 14, 2017

I’ve been playing around today examining my new Existentialist Playing Cards or Exist Playing Cards as is printed on the title card. The bowler hat is a reference to Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot which I studied in high school but missed the reference here until I looked it up, thinking instead that it might refer to a RenĂ© Magritte painting which depicts a man with a bowler hat. Beckett features in the Clubs suit in caricature and in several quotes on the Clubs pips.

ExistPlayingCardssm

I scanned several more cards for my database but here is a sample of a few cards and the back with numerous bowler hats.

ExistPlayingCards2

The colours are wonderful in this, I can see where you could pick a card or two and use them as impetus for artwork. Yes, Camus would like you to use a bunch of gold green shades and paint a reptile. Of course he does. I think Rita put a lot of thought into the organization of this and the stream of colour families in each suit.

The Court Cards have caricatures of the three philosophers quoted in the pip cards with a name tag on each that says “Hello my name is ______”, and each has an additional famous quote in a speech ballon.

The pip cards have quotations on them from Ace to Ten:

SPADES: Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers.
HEARTS: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Simone de Beauvoir, Gabriel Marcel.
CLUBS: Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka.
DIAMONDS: Jean-Paul Sartre, Paul Tillich, Martin Heidegger.

Existentialists brought in emotion and the whole human experience rather than just reason and rationality to philosophy. They felt conventional philosophy was too distanced and abstract from human experience. They were very, very big on being free and authentic.

And wearing bowler hats.

 

 

Exotic Birdbrains and Drop Caps

July 31, 2017

Not much doing today, I finished this jigsaw puzzle of the Exotic Birds Playing Cards which are from the Heritage Playing Card Company. Image courtesy of the Somerville site.

ExoticBirds_sm

I also painted three biggish drop caps for a calligraphy project. A pen pal of mine is sending me a pen in the mail which should be a suitable size for the calligraphy. The pen I have has a nib that’s a bit too wide for the scale. I used my new softcover Zeta sketchbook for the drop caps and that went well using pen and ink, gouache and watercolour pencils.

My Existential Playing Cards have shipped. Yay!

The Existential Existence

July 28, 2017

Some people might wonder at my fondness for doing jigsaws of interesting card decks. What I like about it is that it can cement in my mind what I like. I do a jigsaw of the latest and greatest super new-fangled secrets of the universe deck and see how I like it.

Meandering around this month, I finally bought a playing card deck that I’ve had on my wish list forever, The Existential Playing Cards by Rita Orlov Rosenfeld. Looking at new decks, fiddling with puzzles of new decks, I realized that I nearly let this beauty get away. Sometimes the $20 deck gets shoved to the wish list as you reach for the latest and greatest shiny minty pizazzling gotta-have thing. You know, the thing you regret spending $97 on that is a good deck but not a pizazzling gotta-have deck after all.

I thought this was out-of-print and had a drop of the heart. Actually Etsy had cancelled the listing (I guess it timed out) without informing the seller and my note to her wondering where the deck had gone made her create a new listing. So I WAS able to buy it.

I am quite pleased.

ExistentialPlayingCardsJig

Hell is other people who don’t appreciate a fine playing card deck: philosophy reference #642.7

 

 

 

Gothic Tree is a Pain

July 16, 2017

I barely managed to get this jigsaw done of the Jeu Gothique playing cards. I got the image for this from Roddy Somerville’s Playing Card Sales site. I hope Mr. Somerville is well, he had such a passion and interest in cards and offered so many great decks on his site. Many, many of my most interesting playing cards are from him.

JeuGothiqueJig

The reason I can’t use the computer much is that I’m painting my tree in the hall. I managed to draw it in chalk on Friday, then on Saturday I managed to paint the lower 2/3 of it before having to stop for pain.

Today is Sunday and after eating and taking some aspirin, I’m strapping on my tendon cuff and s-l-o-w-l-y going to finish the top so that one whole coat is completed. I hope so much that I don’t hurt my shoulder. I just want to complete one coat, maybe 45 minutes work, and then I’ll leave it for the day and hopefully be able to put a second coat on half of it tomorrow, and half the next day, and thus finish it.

I am very pleased with it so far, but the pain is getting to me and I have to manage it in increments so I don’t end up spending weeks not being able to do anything.

TreeHall_sm

Happy Sunday!

Cryptic Moths in Spades

July 13, 2017

Arrrr Jim lad, there’s nothing like a deck of playing cards with moths.

These are the Cryptic Cards by Immy Smith. I suppose you could call this a semi-transformation deck, but her scientific illustrations of moths are gorgeous. She uses acrylic gouache on Bristol card. I’ve had these on my wish list for ages but they are quite costly for a playing card deck at $34 CAD which includes shipping.

CrypticCardsJig2

But that’s why they call it a “wish list”.

Oh man, let’s all go and draw insects!

 

 

Sort of an Ace in the Hole

July 11, 2017

This is An Ace in the Pack playing cards by Lesley Barnes, an illustrator from Glasgow, Scotland. She has a wonderful animation on her web site. She illustrates books and cards and all kinds of things.

AceinthePackJig

I don’t think she has finished these playing cards but here is some information on it. Since she sells through Etsy, I might have a hope of procuring one when she releases it. Although, in looking at her blog on the cards, she doesn’t seem to have updated it since 2011, so perhaps she’s lost the impetus to complete the project.

These illustrations remind me so much of a book called Russian Folk Tales that I’ve owned since I was a teenager. The illustrations were by Alexander Lindberg and Lesley’s art slightly reminds me of his, done back in 1967.

These charming, detailed illustrations made a good jigsaw. There you go Lesley, an interesting legacy: a digital jigsaw of your excellent work. Should you decide to complete it, let me know so I can purchase the deck for my collection.

I don’t know, is that not an incredible incentive?