I have spent the last year working on a project for my now-roommate, the Golden Avenger. Last year, when we were driving around the mountains, we saw a couple of closet doors laying on the side of the road in the trash pile. Having watched my mother rescue and resuscitate furniture from the trash piles, I knew what to do! So I convinced Golden Avenger to pick up one of the doors and shove it in the back of his car.

Like you do.

Golden Avenger very much enjoys the Dragon Age series of games. I quite like them too; they have a quite beautiful artistic and literary sensibility to them. In the latest game in the series, Inquisition, the artists have introduced tarot cards as representational of the characters and the game elements. (This is a good explanation of the changes and symbolism, but be warned of spoilers. Side bar – I am REALLY hyperlinking today. Oops? Sources cited?). Golden Avenger has two favorite cards in the deck I got for my birthday two years ago, the necromancer and the Qunari warrior.  So, I decided I would combine the two in a mural.

On Golden Avenger’s birthday last year, I showed him the plan for the door. It looked a bit like this:


I took some of the elements of the necromancer card, with the creeping dead arms, and the chalice of some sort which I can only assume holds Horcruxes, or the elixir of life, or some ghost Koolaid. I dunno. It’s clearly something to do with magic. I also included elements of the warrior Qunari, although in this case I chose to represent the Qunari mage instead (for the necromancy access). I also planned out a pattern to paint around the outside of the door to frame the image. I figured I would just paint around the handles that were built into the door.

The next step was asking fiance to cut the door down to size, taking off about four inches on the bottom of the door so it was more proportional all the way around and functioned more like a large canvas instead of an actual door that fits in the wall or on a closet. This had been discussed with Golden Avenger in advance.

Then, it was time to paint.

(It took a very long time. I may have photos of the process somewhere, but I’m not entirely sure where…… @_@’)

First I blocked out inch by inch the graph paper squares onto squares traced onto the door. Then I started blocking out color onto the white door, big splotches of red and black, yellow and white. After I had figured out base colors, I realized I needed more of a plan for slightly more subtle blocking, and this sketch came along:


This is a very rough blocking, but it let me work on shading and other details. After I got the shading done (I love blending paint), it was time to make it look like one of the Tarot cards. I took a picture of what I had painted and doodled on a plan.

IMAG4223 (1)

You can’t really see the layering of color underneath in this picture, but it was good enough for me to work off of.

I overlaid that on top of the shading, did some touch-ups, cleaned up the outside of the grooves of the door, and then realized I hadn’t touched the outside framing thicker wood of the door, and on top of this, if I added the original pattern it was going to distract from the painting inside. SO instead I painted red and black stripes around the edge, sealed it, and called it done.

Just in time for Golden Avenger’s birthday!

Here’s what it turned out as.


It’s hanging on the wall. The Golden Avenger liked it quite a bit – he stood there petting it for a while after I gave it to him. Felt good to finish one of the big projects I have on my list, too!


On a slightly less cheerful note, there is a fire nearby to where we live tonight. We are not quite on pre-evacuation notice, but there’s a lot of anxiety in the house. It just made me think of all the other people who are evacuated, or refugee, or migrant, or otherwise who feel unsafe in their housing or lack thereof for emotional, physical, or mental reasons. I really hope that tonight is a night where we can all find the various levels of peace and calmness we need, and that it will be a night where we can all find somewhere safe to be. Good luck, O Reader, and I wish you whatever security you need!