Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Wheel of Fortune

Finally we come to the Wheel of Fortune. I was extremely excited to paint this card. So much so that I actually could have finished it several weeks before The Chariot and Justice, but I chose not to. I wanted to savour it and I love saving the best for last. Whilst the last card I finished on February 19th was The Chariot, this was the last one which still had work on the main image left to do. I kept my wheel face blank, knowing it was something I'd be able to finish in just a few hours.
I moved between the three cards, adding layers of white to the text frames, touching up bits of shading here and there on The Chariot and Justice, and then adding huge swirls of blue to the wheel face on the Wheel of Fortune.

I had difficulty coming up with the animal for this card. I posted about it on my Facebook page and twitter account. Dozens of people sent in their ideas, one of which seemed to continue cropping up: The Orangutan or 'Old Man of the Woods'.

I'm not actually a huge fan of apes. They've never really delighted me like other animals have. But orangutans have always held a soft spot in my heart and the belief of them being ancient old wise men lent itself well to this incredibly powerful card.

This card is one of my favourite cards in the entire tarot deck because its meaning is largely why I identify as a Buddhist. It's easy to look at the world in terms of 'good' or 'bad', 'better' or 'worse'. This card tells us that the world just is. It's a roll of the dice or the spin of a wheel and our fortune or misfortune is determined by how we see the situation.
Life is what we make it and we can have all the good fortune in the world if we look at the very existence of our life as a fortunate circumstance. Even the darkest moments can be celebrated because we have the capacity and opportunity for enlightenment through each new experience we have.

I think it's quite fitting that these were my final three cards and of the final three, this one was the one I most enjoyed working on.

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