Friday, 21 June 2013

The Making Of: The Sun

©C. McCracken & W. Worthington
Welcome to another round of the Tarot Blog Hop, and another in the series looking at the making of the Celtic Lenormand.  You may have followed links here from Joanne's Cosmic Whispers, or from Pepi Valderrama, if you're headed in the opposite direction :)  There's always the Master List, too, if you get a bit lost.

Our wrangler, Sharon Cumming, asked us to talk about creativity, so here I offer this glimpse at the creative process behind the Sun card of the Celtic Lenormand deck.  As to why the Sun card: it's the card I associate with this spoke on the Wheel of the Year, the Summer Solstice or Litha.  Today is, after all, the day when the sun shines longest, and has long been celebrated by rising and welcoming the sun.

©C. McCracken & W. Worthington
Many of the cards in the Celtic Lenormand are set close to the sea.  In part, this is because of the Brittany connection, and the fact that sea-faring was important to ancient Celts.  Another part of it is because I wanted the cards, as much as possible, to feature all four elements: fire, water, earth and air.  This isn't explicit in the card meanings, nor in how they are read, but it is an underlying feature that emphasises the pagan understanding inherent in this deck.

From the outset, then, I wanted a scene of bright sunshine pouring down onto a beach, lending that sense of happiness and joy, energy and life, that are key meanings of the Sun card in the Lenormand system.  My brief to Will read simply: "The sun illuminates a beautiful, somewhat rocky beach, with waves gently lapping at the shore."  I also included some reference images that caught my eye. 

©C. McCracken & W. Worthington
Though I loved Will's first sketch, I asked him to alter the trees in the painting, as I didn't want something that could detract from the 'Sun-ness' of the card.  We also had a discussion about the colouring.  Will used watercolours for these paintings, with some egg-tempera for highlights.  It gives the cards a lovely, soft feel, with a lot of lightness.  However watercolours mingle, as Will pointed out, and mixing blue and yellow risks giving you green, rather than a nice sun in a blue sky.  His creative solution: show the sun as a bright, white light which, if you look at many photos of the sun, is exactly how it does appear!

When the first painting came back, the Sun, trees and landscape were great, but the clouds felt overly central to me.  Requesting that Will change those made some extra work for him.  Still, I think the final outcome was worth it.  What I see here is a warm summer's day, with barely a breeze.  A time to enjoy the light and the time of ease, to feel energised and joyful.

I hope you've enjoyed this insight into what goes into the creation of these cards.  For more creativity, please hop on over to Pepi's lovely blog!

14 comments:

  1. How fun to see the progression this way. I love the warmness of the last even if I prefer the cloudiness of the middle one. I burn easily. LOL

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    1. Hi Arwen, yep, I know what you mean. We had a scorching day yesterday out on a boat, and I now have horrible t-shirt burn, that will hopefully progress to a t-shirt tan before flaking off :/

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  2. Thank you for a look at the process of card creating. Lovely card.

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    1. Hi Cher, glad you like the card. And I've loved being a part of the process, too, working with someone else brought up lots of questions and thoughts I hadn't had before :)

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  3. Interesting to have an insight on your process - thanks :)

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    1. Your welcome, Viv! It's been great working with Will :)

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  4. I love the summer warmth of that last card :)

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  5. How wonderful to read about the creative process in making these cards! I love both versions, but can see why you chose the second one to represent the Sun. Thank you for sharing!

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  6. Than you for sharing the process of this card. I always enjoy seeing the way other people work. It's fascinating watching the final image emerge from all the preliminary sketches and paintings :)

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    1. I've always thought that, Sharon, which is why I hoped it would be interesting to share these Making of posts :)

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  7. I don't know Lennormand, but I'm looking forward to finding out!! :)

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    1. Well, you're getting little bits already, I know :D Given your skill set, you'll be off and flying in no time!

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