"Harmony," a.k.a "Nature Tarot: The Hermit"
Watercolor on watercolor paper
~ Prints are available here ~
A friend commissioned me to paint Christmas presents for her family and, with her permission, I designed the paintings to fit into my long dormant Nature Tarot project. For her daughter, she requested something with pandas, bamboo, and purple. It was the painting I looked forward to the most, but I didn't expect it to take me over for several days!
I chose the panda for the hermit card because, contrary to how they are kept in zoos, pandas are solitary creatures, meeting only to mate. The hermit's hidden beauty and wisdom remains theirs and theirs, alone, unless they meet a traveler willing to journey with them through the mists of their mountain home and back again. The traveler here is a dragonfly, which the Japanese regarded as a symbol of joy and new light. Together with the Chinese panda, it acts as a guide to destinations far and near, within and without.
As for the alternate title, this fellow turned out much too lovely to be eternally branded as "The Hermit"!
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Artwork and text © Arden Ellen Nixon