Rockpool Publishing

An Interview with Cheralyn Darcey Author and Artist of Australian Wildflower Reading Cards

Extracted with permission from "An interview by Alternative Spirit Magazine Spring 2014"

Q. Why did you choose Oracle cards as a platform to publish your artwork rather than more traditional means?

A: I have been an Oracle and Tarot Reader all of my life, my Mum is a Reader, so I can’t really say exactly when I began, but I’ve read professionally since I was 17 years of age. I also collect cards and have a great interest in cards which are written and illustrated by the same person. Being a professional artist it’s something I always knew I would create from my work. I don’t see these images as just for the deck of cards, they are Oracles unto themselves, as all of my artwork is.

Q. Your cards show an intimate relationship with Australian Native Flora, when did you develop your love for Australian flowers?

A: I can’t really pinpoint when that started, I have always felt a strong connection with flowers since I was a very young child. I’ve found them deeply spiritual and really, I’ve not understood why they didn’t hold the same reverence and fascination with everyone else. When i was in my early 20’s I had a friend who was very connected to crystals, she could never understand that I knew the same things about flowers, no one did. 
Q. Your artworks and style are reminiscent of Australian artist Margaret Preston. Was she an influence for your Wildflower Oracle cards and have there been any other artists that have inspired you?

A: She is definitely an influence! She had a ‘painterly style’ to her printmaking which I try very much to bring into my work. I think block printing has moved into a ‘too tight’ feeling, it has lost the ability to convey the energetic properties of the flowers and plants it portrays. I shudder when I see it being taught using tracing paper, sure you end up with this perfect almost photographic image but so much of the energy of nature is lost in that process.

Though I do not produce ‘Botanical Paintings” in the true sense, I am greatly inspired by the pioneering women who created these works, the greatest influence on my work and so too my life, is Elis Rowan. She was often criticised for not producing truly botanically correct paintings, but their life and energy was depicted with exquisite detail. She was also an amazing woman whose life and passion for flowers and art, for education surrounding nature inspire me always.

Q. Do you have a favourite card from your deck and does it hold special meaning for you?

A: Because I create the artwork while I am writing the guidebook and the companion books for my decks, each really has a hold on me at that time so if you asked me along the journey, I would answer the current flower being worked on. Now that this deck is complete. I would say the Flannel Flower taught me the most, lead me to other discoveries when I was out hiking searching for Flowers and provided very important learning that I needed to undertake at this time. I see that card now and I have a great feeling of gratitude. It is also featured on the backs of the cards and so I hope that this comes through the deck for everyone ie. How and when to be calm, understanding of the strength in vulnerability and what grace truly is.

Alternative Spirit Magazine Spring 2014. – 17 September, 2014