The Day of the Dead continues …

The early stages of the board where the pencil lines can still be seen in the bottom left hand corner
The early stages of the board where the pencil lines can still be seen in the bottom left hand corner

In a break from the land of divination deck art I have taken to a Ouija board project. Ouija, or sprit, talking boards are one of my other fun collections of interest. Historically they were in vogue in the latter half of the 19th century when the spiritualist movement was at it’s peak. Night after night, newspaper columns would report, seemingly rational people were gathering together to ‘knock at the door sprit world’. People would make markings on a plain piece of wood and use a wine glass at that time. Some called it memorizing and reported great results others said it was nothing more then a hoax. Just read the reviews on Amazon to find out the polarizing affects of this game. Once the board went commercial it rivaled the sales of every other game out there even Monopoly. It’s popularity has waxed and wained over the years but I still love it. There is something wonderful about the board’s art that I find enduring. The iconic faces of the sun and moon that were placed on back by William Fuld back in the early 20th century have become part of the artwork that I love most.

The bulk of the board getting colored
The bulk of the board getting colored

When working on the Day of the Dead Lenormand back several years ago the idea came to me for a trio of Spirit Boards and now I’m finally getting around to manifesting the first one. For this project I started out with a rough texture art paper in a stunning shade of blue that is 24x36in. I first sketch out the idea on paper to get the elements right before doing a light outline of the work on the art paper. It’s a necessary task when working with soft pastel paints as you get very littler room for erasing error. What I mean by that is every time you make a mistake that requires erasing you lose a bit of the ‘tooth’ or texture of the paper and it’s less likely to give you the desired hold on the pastel pigment. It takes a good deal of time to sketch things out, making sure that elements are in their right proportions to other things and that the whole design feels full and right. Once that is done the fun begins and the process of working with the colors starts. This is where I love to be. In that zone of using color and being inspired to put new colors on top of old colors to see where they take me.

Finishing up the coloring outside on a very nice spring day.
Finishing up the coloring outside on a very nice spring day.

The board is now finished and I’m looking into designing a very unique planchet to go with it. I hope to have the next design stages done soon. These include the final board size as well as the mounting process. It will be released in a limited edition of 150 copies starting in about August just in time for use in the fall season.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Your OUIJA Board drawing is incredible!!!! If only you could actually use it! Well maybe you could if you laminated it or something?

    1. I’m going to have the art reproduced and mounted on wood so it will be very useful I hope

  2. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Love this! I have 2, one the standard Parker Bros. version, and the other from a board maker on Ebay (who I can no longer find).

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