My tarot art kit


My tarot art kit
Originally uploaded by anselm23

Via Flickr:
Here’s my art kit. I think it’s worthwhile to note what isn’t in it. There’s no ruler in here, no eraser (mostly because I lost it, actually), no geometry tools. I think I feel the lack of geometry tools pretty keenly, but it’s not a bad kit, as is.

I’m minded, as I look at this set of tools, about what we ask kids to bring to class. Are your students mostly burdened with pens and pencils, books and notebooks?

I’m conscious, as I look at these tools, at how far I’ve come by duplicating about 26 cards. You may not like the style of the cards, or what they represent, but there’s no question that my abilities as an artist have grown.

I’m also aware, on another level, that this set of tools represents an investment in my own education as an artist. I didn’t know how to use most of these tools when I began. Working with them required a precision that I had more or less lost since the last time I had any education as an artist. I still don’t feel like I’m a master or even an apprentice with the brush pens.

Gianbattista Vico, the 17th entry Italian philosopher, wrote that “we only know what we make.” Drawing the analogy of the cards and the tools necessary to produce them back to student tool kits… What tools are missing from a student’s tool kit that prevents them from thinking as deeply and as clearly as they could?

4 comments

  1. Have you ever read Robertson Davies? The Cornish Trilogy is guided by the Tarot. It will also stoke your medieval interests while being set on a university campus. Be well and enjoy the rest of August–Bill

    • “The Rest of August…” we go back to school for teacher meetings tomorrow, Bill. Not much left of August to enjoy before school starts.

      Although truth be told, I’m ready to begin again. How about you?

  2. Wow, so pleased to find your blog this morning. The lack of eraser? I have fun with art and love practising drawing. I have recently decided to use only felt tip pen to draw as it is unerasable and I can just draw, without the distraction of wondering if I should change something. I am also a tarot fan, and what you said on your last post about the triple learning experience really resonates. I look forward to hearing more about your journey.

    • I’m glad you found my blog, too. I need an eraser, of course. It’s been recommended that I get a gummy eraser instead of the hard pink one I’d been using.

      I like the freedom of drawing ‘un-erasably’ with a felt-tip, but I like the discipline of trying to reproduce something cleanly and clearly. If you’re a tarot fan, I highly recommend doing this journey of making at least some of the cards — you’ll find that your progress as an artist is capable of growing greatly, as well as your skills as a tarot reader.

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