Saturday, 25 February 2017

Tarot Times

The Rider-Waite deck. First issued 1910.

Tarot Lady by Celia Turner. Oil on canvas.
The 78 cards of the Tarot deck are made up of the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana, which basically mean 'big secrets' and 'little secrets' respectively. Nobody really knows where the tarot originated but it is known that decks of mystical numbered cards existed in India and the Far East in ancient times and were probably brought to Europe by the Knights Templar during and after the  crusades to the Holy Land. There have also been suggestions that travelling gypsies from the Far East brought the tarot to Europe during the Middle Ages.
I was introduced to the tarot at a visit to Dreamland in Margate in Kent when I was about fifteen. My friends and I giggled as we queued outside the red velvet curtain which was haphazardly attached to some wonky wooden hooks around a makeshift tent. I entered to find an old lady (she probably wasn't that old but at fifteen anyone over the age of thirty looks pretty ancient) sitting at a round table which was covered in a green velvet cloth. The lady herself had an abundance of black curly hair and wore huge hooped golden earrings. An absolute stereotype and so perfectly fitting. I loved the theatre of it all.
She gestured for me to sit down, I obediently sat on a creaky stool.
I remember looking into her face and being confronted by astonishingly green, green eyes.She didn't actually say anything to me before shuffling her pack  and laying some cards on the table.
She pointed to a card that had  a picture of the moon on it and told me that I was a little lost. Then another card that had a picture of a knight on a horse riding into battle clutching a huge sword, as she pointed at this she told me that I had been insensitive to a friend and needed to sort it out. There were more cards but I cannot remember the others, except the last one which depicted two children surrounded by cups full of flowers. She smiled at me as she explained that I had a strong inner child and needed to nurture her, to beware of becoming cynical or to grow up too soon. She told me never to lose my 'gift' of childlike delight.
It wasn't at all what I had expected it to be. I thought she was going to tell me I would fall in love and live happily ever after.
Thank goodness she didn't.

I have been reading tarot cards for a long time,, this skill has helped me through some dark times.

For readings and more information:

Friday, 24 February 2017

Henry Miller.

Henry Valentine Miller.
26 December 1891 - 7 June 1980
Writer and Artist

An artist's life involves great swathes of attention. Attention is our way of connecting and surviving. Paying attention to the small details in our lives makes our lives extraordinarily large. Henry Miller championed this attention and his artistic and literary career stand as a legacy to his vast vision and close scrutiny.

'The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.'  Henry Miller.

'The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.' Henry Miller.

'Develop interest in life as you see it; people, things, literature, music- the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.' Henry Miller.

Miller's daughter, Valentine,  describes her father as '... tolerant, kind ,inspiring, droll ,genuine, loving, intelligent, thoughtful, a wonderful combination of many talents, humble as well as proud.'

What a top man. An inspiration.

Author of: Tropic of Cancer. Tropic of Capricorn. Sexus. Black Spring. The Books in My Life and many more.


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Painting Portugal.

Ferragudo, Portugal. Oil on paper by Celia Turner.
This is one of my earliest paintings. I visited Ferragudo in Portugal for the first time back in 2002. This area of Portugal is absolutely stunningly beautiful. Ferragudo town seemed untouched by time with fishermen bringing in their catch, widows in their weeds strolling quietly by, dogs chasing each other and impeccably dressed babies being taken out for a stroll. The air was fresh with salty sea air and barbecued fish. The lovely yellow houses seemed to lend an air of sunshine even on a rare gloomy day. I felt a sense of freedom in Ferragudo, that strange feeling that I had been there before and feeling totally at home even though I had never visited before in my life.
Around the corner from this scene is the Fort of Sao- Joao do Arade, I think it has been modernised now but then was a stately old fort proudly protecting the coastline. I have many paintings of this fort /castle. The coastline itself is very much like our rugged Cornish coast. The deep blue waves bash hard against the burnished orange rocks. If you look carefully you can spot brave fishermen clinging high up on cliff faces as they try their luck at catching supper.
The amazing light in this part of the Algarve is enough to inspire any aspiring artist, it begs a paintbrush. 
An amazing beach at Caneiros provides another stunning vista,To spend a whole day and evening on this beach provides a life long lesson in natural beauty Colours seem to actually dance around the rocks and coves spreading a fairy-tale kind of beauty. When I first visited this beach there was a very old restaurant built into the cliff. The floor was wibbly-wobbly and the structure groaned in the wind, the food and owners however were lovely. A few years after my first visit and the restaurant had been renovated, the lovely old grand-dad was still in residence thank goodness and he and I would watch the sunset and somehow have a conversation even though he spoke no English and I spoke no Portuguese. I painted a scene of the restaurant for the owners at their request but circumstance has sadly meant I have not returned so I have never seen my painting in situ.
I always look back to my visits to this special place with a smile in my heart.