Autumn 2015, and here I am at the end of a massive two-year project, an artistic journey through the 78 strange and mysterious images of the Tarot. The Fiery Wands Tarot is now on sale as a professionally printed deck from theGameCrafter.com
at $27.99 USD, or alternatively hand-made by me, from etsy.com
Then I did a couple of bird pictures, and now, October 2015, I'm starting on some paintings of faces and phases of the moon.
And how did I get here? The story of my life as an artist follows...
I am half-Indian, half-English, grew up in rural Lincolnshire, studied French and Spanish at the University of Oxford in the late 1970s, then drifted into computer programming and now have a job as a software developer at the University. But at heart I am a painter not a geek! I have always loved painting, but for years of my adult life I felt undermined by people's discouraging attitude, and did not produce any artwork. Then I started enviously eyeing and sneakily using my young daughter's art materials. Finally I decided I had better get some paints of my own! I started painting ceramic tiles to decorate my home: paintings that evoke day-dreams of a mystical, magical and unreal India populated by blue or yellow elephants, jewelled peacocks and women in embroidered red-and-gold saris.
Next I wrote and illustrated a children's book called Jasmine's Unicorn
, and the full-colour version of the illustrations can be seen here in my Jasmine and the Unicorns
gallery, while the story itself (with black-and-white pictures) is available from amazon.com
and Amazon UK
In 2010 I began a series of paintings called 'Bird People': weird magic birds with human heads. I entered one of these, 'Bird People: the Chaffinch Family', in a BBC TV talent show for artists called Show Me the Monet and appeared on BBC2 in May 2011. In the same month, my picture 'Bird People: Little Green Bee-Eaters of Upper Egypt' was shortlisted in a competition to provide an illustration for the cover of the guide to a local arts festival, Oxfordshire Artweeks 2011.
From 2011 to 2013 I painted birds, animals, fairies, mermaids, monsters, the four seasons, Zodiac star signs, people playing chess or lolloping on the sofa.
Then in September 2013, I began my biggest project yet: the 78 cards of the Tarot deck, completing the set a year later. But I did not say goodbye to the Tarot straight away, as a friend asked me if I could paint an alternative series for the suits of Wands and Swords. Traditionally the suit of Wands is associated with the element Fire and the suit of Swords with the element Air, but some people feel that it should be the other way round, so I now offer an 'Airy Wands' and 'Fiery Swords' alternative.
To see more of my artwork, visit my website
And my paintings are also available:
* printed out on T-shirts, mugs, bags
and many other products
* as illustrations in an exciting magical adventure story for children aged about 5-8 years, Jasmine's Unicorn
* as a hand-made Tarot deck