Saturday, October 22, 2011

8 of cups

While trying to gain perspective on things, the card that turned up most often as an outcome in tarot readings was the 8 of cups. It expresses exactly how I feel and has helped me realize I need to be more assertive in taking control of my life. 

Being a tea drinker, using tea cups felt like the perfect imagery to pull all these disparate symbolic images together to represent this card. After painting deeper shades of the various colors around the cups, to separate them from the background, I painted white around a scrollwork design, which feel like flames and feathers, passion and lightness.

I felt like it needed a strong graphic element, so I added a large 8. Then I used a gold paint pen to add decorative details to the scrollwork design.

The cups still blended into the background, so I added a rough and bumpy (like the road in life) outline to the cups, mimicking the style of the 8 and bringing them forward visually.

Finished painting, I think...

Eight of Cups: Moving on and letting go. Time to change direction in life. Dissatisfied and disappointed, wanting something entirely different, but not knowing what. Finding courage, taking time to rest and heal.


  1. The layering effect is looking amazing. You are so much braver than I am with layering and adding to the piece without over working it!! Very cool. Love how the heart is coming through the red-ish cup and crab through the other cup -great composition :)

  2. Grrr! This is the third time I have tried to leave a comment and blogger keeps inviting me to start a blog??? Anyway, love this. I liked seeing how you created the layers.

  3. This is amazing. I'm so glad that you showed your process because I'm sure the casual view would miss it all. I love the way the heart sketch can bleeds (no pun intended) throut the red cut, and the Tarot cards all have such meaning - thank you for sharing through your pain. All the best - Chris

  4. Judy,
    Glad to see you are working again, sorry for the events that inspired you. It's all connected though, isn't it? Anyway, this piece is visually stunning and so rich with meaning. I just love it!

  5. A beautiful painting. I love the scrollwork and the colours. I'm sorry for what has happened in your life, and hope you'll find your path through it.

  6. Lots of depth in your piece.
    Makes me want to keep looking at it over and over again.
    Wishing you continued success in all you do,

  7. This is beautiful. I love your process. 8-]

  8. As everyone before me has said, this is so striking and beautiful. I love how you can visually peel back the layers, yet it all comes together as one. I am intrigued by the tarot. I have the cards and Mary K. Greer's book, but have not taken the time to learn how to lay out and read the cards. Did it take you a long time to learn? Here is to better days and less drama in our lives! Heck, we aren't on a reality show, are we?

  9. I can't wait to see how you quilt this!

  10. Best wishes in starting anew where ever that leads!

  11. You are just amazing. Love the symbolism here. Love you.

  12. Jeannie, I 've been reading cards about 15 years, before that my sister read cards for me. I don't know the meaning of all the cards well enough to do readings without a book, but I do know enough to have a sense about what the cards are conveying when i see them.

    I think tarot cards are extremely helpful when needing to get perspective about a situation, or look at it in a different way. The key is having a book that you really like. I like books that are more literal and less metaphorical. Some books/decks can be a little airy fairy for my taste.

    One of my favorite books is Power Tarot by Trish Macgregor and Phyllis Vega, I have used it for more than 10 years. It has lots of options for spreads and you can cater the reading to very specific issues; career, finance, spiritual, health or romance and its easily applied to any deck.

    My favorite deck is the Golden Tarot all the images are digitally collaged from paintings from the early renaissance and middle ages.

  13. Thanks Judy! I will check out the book and the deck. I find tarot and numerology fascinating.

  14. Thanks for sharing Judy. I admire you and your work tremendously, and because I've gone through a similar situation and am still working through it, I know where you are coming from. I love your work, and your new piece is stunning.
    I hope to see you sometime in Houston next week. Maybe I'll come and say hello and we may find a moment to have a cup of tea together. Take good care of yourself,
    Calgary, ALberta

  15. Hi, Judy --

    I'm a huge fan and LOVE your blogs. This painting is wonderful and has inspired me to try some of the techniques.

    Question: After the background was covered with the inks, did you use ink or paint to add the images and the white scroll work?

    Many thanks for your continued inspiration.


  16. Hi Diane,

    Your welcome. The white background was painted with textile paint mixed with a bit of colorless extender, to give it a bit of transparency. Everything else is painted with acrylic inks.

  17. I love how the symbolism is worked into this piece and how organically it grew:) Amazing work and I hope this art piece brings you joy, calm, and peace in your life. Enjoy Houston! I really wish I was going as I would love to take a class from you:)
    Laura T

  18. Judy, This painting is just fantastic! I, too, can't wait to see how you quilt it.

  19. Oh Judy, Judy, Judy! Your work is just so inspiring! At any step you show I would think 'OH, now she's done.' THEN you add another layer and it works! AMAZING! What a fantastic piece. Glad you are finding your way through the mire. You are such a stellar artist and really a true, true inspiration to me.


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