The Spanish deck of playing cards still retains the medieval imagery of its former divinatory use. Gold coins, swords, cups, clubs, pages, kings, knights, hold their exact value defined by the rules of the game. Value changes to meaning when these same cards are read by a different code, the Tarot system of devination. The position of each card in relation to others permits the reader to see the interaction of the archaic character traits. The reader translates image into meaning. The consultant brings that meaning into the physical world by linking it to a real and significant person.
Many times before my seveth birthday I sat looking at the cards my mother would shuffle and then read for herself. I was aware of their hidden meaning before I could read any text. I saw inthe images on the playing cards a secret way of telling stories that were true, or that will be true.
The 22 paintings in "Spanish Solitaire" narrate, as cards once did, an event that took place in my home before my seventh birthday.