Animals Divine Tarot is my way of honoring the very creatures that inspire my art and writing. It is my hope that they can help inspire you in new, exciting ways. The animals are there to help guide you through some of your most pressing questions. They call upon our instincts and remind us of our intuitive powers. Each animal has something to say and if we take the time to listen to their messages, we can learn to live more fulfilling lives.
Designing the deck was a labor of love. I spent many years researching, sketching, and observing the wondrous nuances of the animal kingdom. I visited parks, zoos, animal sanctuaries, farms, and any environment that would enable me to see the animals fairly close-up. Studying animals has been endlessly fascinating for me. I have even taught animal drawing at an art college, rehearsing anatomical terms, studying locomotion, and engaging in lively discussions about their behaviors and habitats with my students. Some students proudly brought their pets to class for everyone to observe and sketch. Such drawing sessions not only facilitated learning, but the animals created an environment of good, creative energy. Being in the company of animals brought out the best in my students and often resulted in fantastic works of art.
For me, communing with nature is an essential part of my well being and an important part of my muse. Even as I sip my morning coffee, I observe the birds that chatter in the trees and gaze affectionately at my cats as they eat their breakfast. They help to set my day in motion.
When I was a child, I would run with the neighborhood dogs feeling as though I was one of the pack. I would roll and jump and mimic their canine moves. I would also try to act like a cat by skulking in the grass in a pounce-like stance. I was the stealthy feline ready to spring into action. In my eyes, there was no separation between my world and theirs. As I grew older, I was convinced that I wanted to be a veterinarian. But painting animals supplanted that desire and has held me spellbound ever since.
While painting, I get meditative and often let the paint flow as it will. Many paintings are rendered with spontaneity. I rarely know how the painting is going to turn out. I pre-plan a basic color scheme/lighting situation and work out anatomical details, but then I let the painting pretty much evolve the way it wants to. Watercolor is my sole medium and I never tire of the process.
When sketching tarot cards, I work on automatic mode; I do not restrict myself in any way except for the basic border approximating the card size. I just let myself go and allow feelings and creative impulses to direct the composition. It is my way of connecting with something sacred within my being. I may sketch several versions of a card before I arrive at that "this feels right" moment. Or I may settle on a design relatively quickly. I rely heavily on intuition when deciding which sketch would best represent a particular card.
Animals Divine Tarot perfectly married my two passions for nature and painting, coming together in a very satisfying way. I hope the writing and images in this deck will resonate within you and help you to appreciate animals on a deeper, more spiritual level.