The First Major Arcana Assemblage is Done!

Just finished up Temperance earlier today. I admit I’ve been a little more cautious with the Major Arcana, in part because skulls are generally more expensive than the other bones. That, and people have a tendency to make a bigger deal out of them than the minor (it’s even in the name!) But the little resin replica burrowing owl skull I had was reallllly speaking to me over the weekend, and so I spent some time assembling the Temperance card for it to live in.

As an artist, this was a particularly challenging piece. I am not especially confident in my painting and drawing skills; I’m surrounded by people for whom traditional media are their primary tools of the trade, folks who went to school and took dozens of hours of classes. So I feel like my homegrown painting skills aren’t as impressive. Still, I’ve developed a style over the years, and I wanted to bring it to bear in this piece. I figured it was small enough, and the replica inexpensive enough, that if I screwed it up I wouldn’t be out much for materials.

Actually, though, I like how it turned out. I’m especially proud of the band of stars in the upper right quadrant; I don’t believe I’ve ever tried painting stars all that seriously before. I wasn’t up for trying to paint sand, though, so I opted for the real thing–yes, that’s actual sand on the bottom two quadrants.

I do have to admit that while the skull I used is an especially nice replica, I prefer working with the real deal, both for feel and appearance. However, of all the owl skull replicas that didn’t cost an arm and a leg it’s the nicest (here’s where I got it). It’s actually made from a barred owl, not a burrowing owl, but they look close enough that for the purposes of this deck this one will work. After I do some crowdfunding and other fundraising this spring I’ll be able to purchase some of the more expensive replica skulls on my list. (Ah, the things I do for my art.)

I’m also catching up on my schedule of making the assemblage pieces. In order to successfully make 78 pieces by the end of 2015, I need to average 6.5 pieces per month. This is a quiet time of the year; as we get closer to summer and festival season I’m going to have less time for this project, so I’m making the most of the present. I’ve also been writing up the descriptions of each card for the companion book as I finish its assemblage piece, so that ideally by the end of the year not only will I have the assemblage pieces done but I’ll also have most, if not all, of a first draft of the book.

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