I wrote a response to this on Facebook and I don't think I need to add much to it:
The Hermit is about isolation, self reflection and withdrawal. It's about the wisdom we get when we spend time with ourselves and it usually represents the need to pay attention to what our isolation is telling us.
It is not representative of a chosen withdrawal from the world, but it's saying, "Take this as an opportunity, learn from it and then you may re-enter the world with new wisdom."
It can also be representative of a confidant, like a therapist or trustworthy friend.
I knew I wanted to have an intense and rich sky but I didn't realise the direction this choice would take me. It was easy to create the barren landscape on which The Hermit walks with a sky lit by a a rapidly setting sun. I'm immensely proud of my clouds and the expanse they give a rather small piece of sky. The glow of the lantern actually came to me after I ran out of the brown I'd mixed on my pallet, which I'd been using to fill in the path. The base of the path was yellow ochre and it stopped short of the raccoon's legs, right where the glow of the lantern would naturally be. I suspect this painting would have lacked the depth of shadow it has if not for that. I realised that the glow would be quite easy to do and any past intimidation I've felt about painting light into something dissipated.
I finished the painting in far fewer days than most of my cards take. I think this was because the canvas was always left off with an idea hanging, like when I write and I finish a sentence with a lead into the next to keep inspiration flowing.
...and once again I've done a card that depicts where I feel I am and what I feel I'm contemplating currently. London is full of people and I think loneliness is amplified when you're surrounded by so many strangers. I didn't expect to feel so isolated when I came over here. I make friends easily. When I went to Australia, when I attended conferences as a youth, when I went to Palm Springs, I have always managed to meet and greet and get to know a lot of very lovely people. I have been meeting people but the connections are few and far between and it seems like the moment I meet someone it will be weeks or even a month before either of us can manage to get together again.
This isolation and loneliness seems to be a well understood bi-product of a city the size of London. There are hundreds of things to see and do. There seems to be no end to the museums, galleries and performances. There also seems to be no end to the crowds, which is probably why most people who live here just want to go home after a day's work. When the tube or a bus is the quickest way to get around and the average journey is an hour, I can't blame people for not wanting to come out more often. I've felt the resistance at the idea of traveling if only because it's a two way journey and I'll have to factor in getting home at the end of the day.
So for now, I'm more alone than I'd like to be but, as with all things, there's a lesson to be learned in this.
I have six cards left to paint: The Tower, The Sun, The Chariot, The Wheel of Fourtune, Justice and Judgement.
Please let me know with a comment which one you'd most like to see next.