The Page of Pentacles is the first of the 4 Page cards I will illustrate (as of writing this, the only other completed is the Page of Swords). I started illustration on the Page of Pentacles before the rest of the Pentacles Suit (with the exception of the Knight of Pentacles who was illustrated independently of the other cards in the Pentacles Suit). Since Pages are often about beginnings, it seemed an apropos place to start.
In the timeline of my Pentacles Suit, you could imagine that the Page is probably having his epiphany roughly around the same time that the space mystic is undergoing the strain of the Five of Pentacles. Stories of Scarecrow Agriculture have reached the Page who is starting to realize a solution to the recent death of the first Knight of Pentacles: recreating that essence using the mystic’s unique ability to animate scarecrows. The scarecrow looming over the Page, though lacking sentience, is an allusion to Scarecrow Agriculture and we can connect the dots to imagine what the Page sees as the potential of the golden coin.
A Dedicated Follower of Fashion
All of my Pages are loosely based on the same youth so that hopefully there will be a strong resemblance between all 4 when they are completed. That being said, each has a distinctly different personality and style. I decided to portray the Page of Pentacles as a mod, a dedicated follower of fashion, because of the youth’s proclivity toward the material world. Though pink is not a color oft-associated with the Page of Pentacles, I felt immediately drawn to the color as it’s one I personally feel drawn to in my own fashions. If I want to stretch for a connection, I could point out that the heart chakra consists of the colors pink and green with green also expressing life, nature, and money. But the truth is that pink just has a materialistic charm for me; something squeaky clean, glossy, and somehow innocent in a plastic, self-absorbed manner. The Page is also wearing pretty pink make-up in this illustration, re-emphasizing his interest in fashion and appearance. There’s a certain sense of glamour in his fresh, rosy cheeks and glossy pink lips.
The Page of Pentacles Connects to the Earth
That being said, the Page of Pentacles isn’t a very plastic fellow. I tried to draw some connection to the earthy colors typically associated with the Page by using a rustic brown color as part of the stripe pattern decorating his trousers as well as earthen colors for his sweater which is divided down the center by a golden textile chain of pentacles. Another color I used liberally with the Page is a golden yellow since, in the Pentacles Suit, I often used golden colors to represent material wealth. The Pentacle design emblazoned on his cap is golden, while the clasp that keeps his luxurious cape together is fashioned from gold. He wears bright yellow gloves clasped with gilded pentacle buttons. His hair, cropped into a page bob, is a lighter golden blonde, reminiscent of straw – a connection to the abundance of the land. The pentacle pattern that adorns his cape is actually the pentacle symbol combined with a bull’s eye target, emphasizing the Page’s characteristic focus and determination.
Revelations of a Budding Youth
The land itself around the Page is overflowing with the voluptuous bounty of nature and he is transfixed in awe at the center of it. Budding roses in the border are a reminder that this is a boy not yet in bloom but still evincing the flushed colors of potential. Since the Page of Pentacles is often a representative of comprehension of the full cycle of life (growth, harvest, death, and re-birth through the shifting of seasons), I decided that the crops growing around him should represent my association to differing points of the year. I see strawberries as my favorite fruit in warmer months while pumpkins hold a very special place for me in relation to my favorite season, autumn. The plentitude of fruits and vegetables presented in this illustration point to the obvious rewards for work and planning, yet the flowers serve no immediate purpose to the Page other than their gorgeous appearance. This is to remind us once again of the Page’s preference for material pleasure and his weakness for fashion over function. Despite the Page’s material inclinations, this illustration finds him at a turning point, demonstrated by the look of awed realization in his face as he fixates on the golden pentacle between his fingers. It may be a singular coin, no more than the golden pentacle that begins the mystic’s journey, but the Page of Pentacles often portends small starts to big stories. In his intense gaze, we can gain a sense of the potential he sees through the material world.
Careful Nurturance Grows Big Rewards
Keeping up with the theme of big things growing from small seeds, I illustrated the Page sowing pumpkin seeds as he gazed into the coin; an allusion to his future with Scarecrow Agriculture (the scarecrows are animated through magical pumpkin heads). These seeds also punctuate the pentacles that stand at the four corners of the border of the card. Sometimes seeds need gentle nurturance to produce their miracles and this energy is in sync with the essence of the Page of Pentacles. He can be at times joyful and flushed with the possibilities of the sensual world but then at other times quite somber, displaying a sensitivity that demands gentle guidance. In addition, we’re reminded that the minutest of seeds can, with diligence and time, become mighty redwoods. Again, the Page excels at the manifestation of the large with the small through diligence and determination.
The Page’s Yellow Roses
Without any initial research, I knew the Page would be surrounded by yellow roses specifically. With a cursory glance, I discovered that yellow roses in Eastern cultures could be seen as a symbol of wisdom and power, both of which figure heavily into the Page of Pentacles. His wise revelations reveal to him the power of the pentacle coin within his hands as he recognizes the full potential. However, the yellow rose is also used to symbolize a focus on new beginnings which is another theme deeply engrained in the Page of Pentacles.
Brave Boundary Breaking
The border of the Page of Pentacles is unique in that it’s the only one of my Pentacles Suit to have a pentacle with a point that breaks its own circle. I intended this as a reminder that the Page sees beyond the immediate and into the greater picture. It also can remind us that the Page is not afraid to enter new situations and scenarios to achieve his focus.
False Starts Miles from Earth
I began the sketch shortly before departing on a trip to Brighton where I was playing guitar for Carisa Bianca Mellado opening for the Academy of Sun. With a 13 hour plane trip ahead of me, I decided I’d have plenty of time to work on the sketch so I brought my illustration pad along with me. But before I’d even left LAX, I’d managed to spill a bottle of water directly onto my drawing pad. I never found myself in the mood to draw on the plane anyway and when I returned to Los Angeles a week later, I felt a distinct lack of inspiration stemming from the jet lag. There was something intensely beautiful to me about the face of the Page of Pentacles in my original sketch and it was a distinct charm that I wasn’t able to match in my subsequent effort that became my official illustration of the Page of Pentacles. Initially, this left a somewhat bad taste in my mouth, though I immediately liked my second attempt. Today, I’m pleased with the end result on the Page of Pentacles and feel that it is the representation it was always meant to be.