Amazing Self Taught Artist Enlivening Playing Cards – A Tale of Fortuna

There is a lot of “hoop-la” right now about the new Alchemy Edition Deck, (most of which being made by me!) which it most certainly deserves, BUT….

There is a ton of great work by my dad (C.J. Freeman) that need not be forgotten. And lots and lots of stories. I guess that happens when you have the kind of passion my dad had for the playing cards.

10 Clubs orig pencil

original drawing for Playing Card Oracles deck, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Here is a little beauty from the archives, an original drawing for the 10 of Clubs. I really like these originals, before they were colored for the Playing Card Oracles deck. (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) And I love this one, it just feels fresh, un-fussed over.

I remember my dad had a particular image for “Fortuna,” the 10 of Clubs, he was fawning over rather extensively, messing with details and shading – doing many renditions. To me, it was an okay drawing, but it didn’t feel like “Fortuna” to me. After all, I was the poor wench who had to go out on the street and schlep cards for 20 dollar readings. It was the only way to really get to know these cards and how they worked in actual practice. So I had a little sway when it came to these things.

So I explained to my dad the way I felt Fortuna would look. Keep in mind, I was only using regular, unadorned playing cards for the readings, yet always bearing in mind the ideas of numerology, elements, and other fundamentals about playing cards that made things work. My dad and I would go back and forth about things like this. He was the artist, the one who conceived all this craziness to begin with, but I was the one with rubber on the road. We would argue, but always come to something better than either of us alone. And his drawings were a great source of information. They had a life all their own, and they showed us a lot about card personalities and how they wanted to be read.

My dad would typically start with feet, the bottom of the drawing. He would “let his hand move” and see what came out. Then he would build the figure on top of the way the feet were positioned. Body positions tell a lot. Well Fortuna’s feet are barely touching the ground.

He said this drawing reminded him of me. I agreed, for a change 🙂

For more info on C.J. and Ana, click HERE.

To see the most recently published deck of C.J.’s art, click HERE.  THANKS!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *