Lusi Lu,Temperance and the Eight of Pentacles

Hard work, not fortune will take me where I need to be.

Pride in my work.

My Nose to the grindstone.

Achievement will not come from the recognition of others but the personal satisfaction of a job well done.

These are the principles I decided would guide my two personal art projects in 2019.

New, large, allegorical oil paintings. And one book.

I set myself the goal of no longer settling for anything which I did not think was the best I could do; a bad habit of mine.

I am three quarters into the first draft of this first book of my 'three books in three years' project.

In this first book there is one character who reads the tarot. This attribute came by chance in relation to the origins of my choices of protagonists. A big fan of T.S. Eliot's Wasteland, I came up with the idea of basing my 6 main characters on the 'protagonists' in Eliot's poem. Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyant, being one of them. (A character who incidentally, Eliot himself snatched from the novel Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley)

Needless to say, this necessitated some research since I know next to nothing about the Tarot cards and their uses.

I you-tubed and I googled and I even had one website give me a free three card reading. As a novice querent (yes it is the word we Tarotanians use. Tarotanians is not.) I was happily surprised by the result.

Now I know this is the point of most readings BUT, a little more digging made me aware of the psychological game played when undertaking a reading using the beautiful images on the cards as guides to telling a personalised story.

The allegorical images work in much the same way for the reader as do the details of a patient's dreams to a Jungian analyst.

Anyway, I suddenly NEEDED a pack of my own. I had been given one by my Nan when I was 13 and massively into everything Occult thanks to Dennis Wheatley's corny, parochial tales of black magic in the fucked up villages of England. That pack is long gone.

"I want a pack for my birthday!" I shouted. And got one.

A few days later in my studio watching paint dry I dipped into the pack. I soon realised that my newest painting, which I had decided, post-exhibition, would be FULL ON allegorical, could also be read like one of these cards.

That I should have been lead to the Tarot in such a fortuitous route strikes me as...lovely.

For the pack to cause me to reaffirm everything I thought my paintings were or should be doing is...marvellous.

The massively personal hodge pudge of psychological symbols, characters, archetypes and wot not which has begun to establish itself in my work over the last two years as a very definite and tangible 'language', appears so much more orderly and rational than I believed it could be to anyone other than me. I now see this is not so.

The allegorical is a means by which each viewer is given the opportunity to position themselves as the hero of the story and make up their own minds as to how THEY will in fact affect the tale.

The paint I was waiting for was used to make stars on a wall. I just wanted a bunch of stars. I counted them. 8. Why 8? Subconscious decision? Was the number meaningful in any way? Wait...Pentacles. They look like Pentacles. The 8 of Pentacles! I looked up the meaning.

Hard work, not fortune will take you where You need to be.

Pride in your work.

Nose to the grindstone.

Achievement will not come from the recognition of others but the personal satisfaction of a job well done.


The Temperance part of the title is a fresh message and reminder for me to go easy on the sauce and save my body from dereliction. That should help me focus better on my eight big yellow coins now shouldn’t it?

See! No jiggery pokery here; just plain old common sense which I am prepared to let a game of playing cards (their original purpose) reveal to me quicker than any well-meaning smart human beings I might know.

Funny old world.


I would also like to give a big shout out to Lusi Lu (who incidentally had a Tarot reading done by no less than Alejandro Jodorowsky himself) and her pop up art exhibition/ritual/performance/concept/day long event at Hala C yesterday.

When it comes to artists utilising symbolism, allegory and sheer beautiful storytelling techniques in their work, Lusi Lu is the Mother of them all.

I cannot emphasise the respect I have for what she achieved yesterday and the true feelings of love and warmth manifest in the gallery.

Lusi’s unique photo/painting technique is at once arresting and attractive. Her art is to be read and interpreted and even used like talismans of good will and positive energy.

The possibilities really do seem endless when you see and hear the way Lusi approaches each piece. She does not rush into these things. Nothing is done without very considered planning and a profound belief that what she is making will successfully perform the psychomagic she channels into the work.

Please take time to read this concept statement of the show (click on picture below). It is rare that an artist is brave enough to give away everything which inspired and guided a piece of their art but here is a wonderful example of how it can be done without losing one iota of the mystery central to the exhibition. Thanks for a great show, Lusi 😊


Hope you enjoyed all that. Follow me on Instagram, like me on Facebook and feel free to say 'Hi' to me on either one of those or even on the contact page of this very website.

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I am committed to making this blog as snappy, fun, experimental and accessible as I can. If any of what I post, paint, paste or print resonates with you, please forward to friends and colleagues with wild abandon!

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