Walking down  the street yesterday, about 2 minutes before an onslaught of what I refer to as Chinese water torture, or the rain in Seattle, which is never enough drops, lightning and thunder  to be interesting but just enough to make everything soggy and irritating. I saw this little beat up, wood, round end table in the street. It has cracks and chips and all around character, just the way I like it. I thought it would be a great table to read on. So I dragged it home and scrubbed all the Vincent Price style cobwebs with large, dead a long time cockroaches stuck in them (which is confusing because we don't even really have giant cockroaches in Seattle) and took it inside. As you can see from the picture, it's perfect for a 7 card reading and I feel like it was the perfect find....wellll almost perfect. I suspected it had some bad vibes on  it and when a lot of my readings came out SO negative that it was almost impossible and intentionally spiteful (My deck isn't supposed to talk to ANYONE that way!!) I decided to give it a good saltin' and sagin'. Of all these sorts of activities I remember from my childhood, saging something is the one I hold strongest to. Perhaps because my mom and my aunt were saging me from such a young age that the smell triggers feelings of safety and security or it's as simple as I believe it, but either way I think strong intent and belief in something can manifest just about anything. The table is warming up a little and I'm excited to take product shots of the new deck with the new packaging with it later this month. 

Today I did all the ordering for my next run of tarot cards. It was a little nerve racking and there was a lot of budget balancing and careful attention to detail as to not make any catastrophic mistakes but all in all I think it went okay and I look forward to seeing it all put together. 

There will be a few changes with this run. The packaging will be a sturdy, 2 piece black box with a sticker label and the tarot deck will include a little rustic, unbleached cotton sack for you to use or until you find a bag that suits  you better. I felt like the simple cotton bag was perfect honestly. It reminded me of a potato sack and I'm not a big fan of super purple, velvety, moons and stars tarot bags. They just don't fit my theme. I know it might seem odd to some veterans but I want a meat and potatoes tarot deck where things are surreal and helpful but not overly mystical. 
Hi folks! First of all, good news, I have been accepted to the Twilight Artist Collective in West Seattle. Prints of my work are not available there. Follow the link :)

Twilight Artist Collective

I also have some stuff at Box Top Vintage in Tacoma! I dropped stuff off with them this weekend on my way out of town. I drove to the Oregon Coast this weekend for a good friend's wedding. With me I took a list of things I needed to shoot for my artwork along the way and I was able to find everything on my list! Old motel signs, a wide open field, a prison and a casino. Everything seemed like it would be pretty easy to find but I didn't hold out too much hope for the prison until I saw a sign about 3/4 through my drive that said "Federal Penitentiary Exit 33" Well that was easy! ha!  I needed photos of one for a piece I'm working on with John Dillinger walking away from a prison and I'm glad I found a more than suitable background! The only person in the world to be happy to see a prison, that's me.
We used to live near a prison I called the peach prison in Denver when I was a kid and I would always stare at it really hard every time we went by, especially after I heard the Oklahoma City Bomber was transferred there.

Anyway, point being it's been a long time since I've seen a prison, living in Seattle and I've been lucky enough to have never seen the inside of one or even close up to visit someone. So I drove up slowly, there was no one outside at all just some cameras and loud speakers and started to take pictures. I wish that I would have been able to take more but I was asked to leave after a few shots. However, that's the beauty of mixed media. I was inspired by something that struck me as ironic but I wasn't able to get the best shot of it. The gates were surrounded, every inch in razor wire and circling the razor wire was hundreds of birds. Seemed to me to be a metaphor for freedom in which ever direction you prefer. Here's the photo I got

So even though the photos didn't have exactly what I saw in them, it gave me a picture in my head of someone walking away from the prison with hundreds of crows flying behind their head, which I will draw, or photograph to add to this piece later. I would also like to get some more razor wire at a different angle because this photo doesn't really demonstrate just HOW MUCH there was, it was insane. I felt pretty lucky that I at least got to snap a few shots though. It wasn't all good luck though. I also went to a  junk yard yesterday filled with the frames of some GORGEOUS old cars, rusted and wonderful, but I was stopped the second I got there. I didn't think it was THAT private of property. When I got there the owner and his dog had already heard me coming down the road and came out to meet me and shoo me off. He was covered from head to toe in dirt and a mean look on his face, his dog looked about the same. Very interesting, very humbling. Going to new places is DEFINITELY humbling. Sometimes I feel like being a photographer makes me a thief, but I think it's all in the way you approach it and humility is probably a pretty good start.
For those who speak fluent sarcasm, the title of this blog should read accurately. For those that have a morbid curiosity concerning me and my problems, hate to disappoint  :) because! it is in fact, not a rough life! Tomorrow I will be heading to the Seattle Center to buy some Cotton Candy for a photo shoot, take photos of the carousel then I am going to find a little wedding chapel I never new existed that looks incredibly bizarre right in White Center. Then if I have time I will be going to a local casino to take photos for my wheel of fortune piece. Sounds like tomorrow will be a good day in my estimation.

  I'm enjoying working like a maniac on the Tarot Deck and all new pieces that I'm hoping to show somewhere in October once finished. I have completed 3 new pieces and have about 7 more almost there. A lot of what needs to be done is the location shooting which I had almost forgot can be one of the best parts about being a photographer. Just going out and taking samples of what you see. Last week I went to the Old Curiosity Shop on the water to take pictures of all their vintage arcade games and had an amazing time doing so and with that I leave you with a photo from last week and thanks for reading.

For the last year or so I have been working on a Dark Americana Tarot Deck, hoping to finish it.....welll a long time ago. I think I just didn't quite realize just how much work was going to have to go into this and how long it would take. Honestly I have only done about 20 pieces in the last year anyway. I finally have time to really devote to finishing it but I'm feeling overwhelmed by the work load being so heavy....there is no end in sight!

Pictured is a sample of the deck and the way it would read. Not only am I doing all the artwork I'm also writing the description for the cards.

Even though there are a million other stories I want to tell with this deck and a lack of ideas isn't really the problem. I'm considering simplifying the deck so that the designs for the minor arcana (the bulk of the deck) are less complex therefore making the deck more accessible to all a lot sooner. I'm also afraid the longer this takes me the more I'm losing genuine interest! Even a classical deck has simplified minor arcana.

I'm going to give the whole idea some thought and continue to finish the major arcana. I ALMOST have all of it sketched out. Once that's done I'll be inviting participants over to my place to model :) and it will be a big celebration for a variety of reasons but mostly....the completion of a BIG part of a BIG project. Let me know what you think, feedback is MORE than appreciated. I don't want to be driving blind towards ya :)