Queen of Diamonds — Jody Scott Chandler


The Queen of Diamonds was inspired by the Tarot card equivalent, the Queen of Pentacles or Coins. Tarot cards traditionally have rich symbolism and somewhat variable interpretation as to meaning depending on the situations, relationships to other cards, and who is doing the reading, but I chose to distill this card’s symbols down to a fairly simple dual image of a pregnant nude woman on a throne with a cornucopia underfoot, representing the sensuality, fertility, generosity, and material abundance of the card. Tarot cards have an upright orientation for purposes of readings such that a card that comes up “reversed” or upside down will be interpreted in a different light, but playing card decks generally have a reversible design such that the card is the same upside up or upside down. I compromised these two design strictures by depicting the Queen’s torso on the “top” portion of the card, but depicting her foot and the cornucopia on the “bottom” upside down so that when the card is reversed they are seen upright. This suggests that in its “reversed” aspect (cornucopia upside up, torso upside down), the card can be read as an overemphasis on material abundance without the spirit of nurturing generosity.

The final image itself was accomplished through a trace monotype technique whereby the design was impressed through a sheet of paper into black ink on a glass plate and then finally the remaining ink was printed onto a second sheet of paper, producing a unique, one-time print of the image in the ink. There is no fixed matrix for such a print, and while keeping the original design available for tracing into the ink each time allows similar prints to be produced, there is no way to accomplish the consistency of an edition with monotyping. Every monotype is it’s own unique work of art, and this is part of its appeal.