Thursday, December 10, 2009

Book Review: The Art of Shadowscapes Tarot - Major Arcana

It's been a really busy holiday season so I must apologize for the barrage of holiday sales and things of that nature. To celebrate my return to entries with a little more substance to them, I wanted to talk about the book I finished reading while I was waiting at the airport during my latest travels.

I had the pleasure of pre-ordering the book The Art of Shadowscapes Tarot: Major Arcana, the first in a series of books planned by artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law presenting the major and minor arcana from her lavishly illustrated set of Tarot cards (with the full deck due out this coming Spring). I have been plotting to do my own deck ever since I started studying divination a few years ago. Stephanie's book was just the shot in the arm I needed to get inspired again for what will likely be my next involved project!

But back to this gorgeous compilation. As the title suggests, this tome encapsulates all 23 major arcana paintings from Stephanie's tarot deck reproduced in full color. Each section is adorned with fascinating ink drawings in the borders that draw the eye in with their intricate detail. Every time I look at them, I find some new detail I missed before.

However, the icing on the cake of this delicious treat of a book is the way it's jammed packed with preliminary sketches and tidbits of folklore discussing the symbolism utilized for the final pieces. One of the more interesting aspects of the book is seeing the process behind the finished images and how decisions were made to change the figures. Stephanie goes on to discuss how those changes affect the symbolism and presence of the compositions, something which is helpful especially to other artists learning how to make their own decisions when orchestrating a drawing.

But don't take my word for it, take a peek into this sumptuous feast of art for yourself!

All in all, a worthy addition to any artist's, or art lover's, collection! You can buy Stephanie's book here. For $15 more, you can purchase the book with an original sketch, which I can attest is well worth it! My version came with a lovely ink drawing of a masked crow woman.

It is a Shadowscapes exclusive book which you cannot find in stores and must buy directly from the artist. It won't disappoint!