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Three of Pentacles
by Mari_Hoshizaki

Symbolism & Meaning

Artistic Media
Artist's Bio

Description, Symbolism & Meaning

Pearl One: Be true to where your art leads you.

My image began as a young sculptor who is forming an allegorical portrait in stone. Her teacher looks over her shoulder. The image taking shape is the smiling feminine form facing the student and teacher. In the background, the imagined ideal is a classical Muse. Teacher, Student and Muse are at a juncture where the imagined work is coming to form. To me, this is the result of the first pearl suggested wisdom. This an imaginary scene of a young Pamela Colman Smith studying art under Arthur Wesley Dow and Ernest Fenollosa at the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, New York.

I based the scene on the Rider-Waite Smith (RWS) design of the Three of Pentacles. The RWS image shows a sculptor standing on a platform gazing at his work beneath an arch with three pentacles in the design. Two others also gaze at his work. A Pictorial Key to the Tarot suggests this means trade or skilled labor, aristocracy, and glory.

Pearl Two: To others as yourself

In the reversed position of the Three of Pentacles, I see the meaning as mediocre work or pettiness. To me it means lacking the attention to work or to other people's concerns. When this lack that is brought to my attention, than I need to follow the above motto. Pamela Colman Smith took this motto for herself when she was ordained into the Golden Dawn chapter headed by William Butler Yeats.

My picture took on another meaning as I looked at it. The young woman could be lying down, propped up on pillows. Friends or attendants can be standing over her in a kindly visit. The Muse in the background is the spirit of compassion suggested as a remedy for the lack of care or concern for others.

Pearl Three: Dreams made visible.

Whether this a picture of art emerging or a compassionate visit, both skill and sensitivity are required for results that reflect maturity and grace. In Pamela Colman Smith's mature years, the musician Claude Dubussey said her skill and results to painting to his music was "Dreams made visible".

Pamela Colman Smith lived in England most of her mature life. She shared her income and living space with a friend in her local parish and nursed the woman through shell-shock during World War II. She was awarded membership to the Royal Academy of Art. Even if others did not buy her art and she was not well-known, she continued to be both true to her vision and compassion. Her elderly friend also helped Pamela Colman Smith in her declining years, when she was restricted to her bed with heart problems.

The highlights of this tale is in between the lines--she was an artist who may have not made the largest impact on the art world. But to a small corner of tarot art fans, the details of her life can be inspirational. Her art can also be considered inspirational in a sense to many--her tarot card designs are said to be the bestselling style even to the end of 2003, about 97 years after the first publication of her designs in 1910.

Artistic Media

I did four versions of drawing and painting around the collage of Japanese papers and the central Muse image. I hoped to blend them all manually to look like a line illustration of the early 20th century. I took inspiration from readings of Pamela Colman Smith in Stuart Kaplan's Encyclopedia of the Tarot Volume III. One of my favorite topics is Eastern and Western art influences that may have come from the Meiji period of Japan. My grandparents were influenced by that time period previous to their arrival to the United States.

Artist's Bio

Mari Hoshizaki is a student of Western Humanities and Studio Art in evening hours. She finds Western Tarot studies fascinating and is trying to combine her other studies with the tarot archetypes. Her preferred creative writing sources include poetry from Italian literature and translated Japanese language resources. Her preferred art uses watercolor and watercolor pen sketches from her original photographs, and collage scraps from art magazines. Her dream is to travel to the original sources of her studies in Western Europe in a time of peace and prosperity.

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