Fern & Oak


Xochiquetzal // The Three of Cups

The Three of Cups is a joyful card, indicative of celebration. Happiness and reunions, parties and meetings, flirting and fancying – this card can indicate pregnancy, attendance of a wedding or christening. This was a very easy card to find a goddess for as there were quite a few that would work nicely for this.

I went with the young and beautiful Aztec goddess Xochiquetzal. Her sacred flower is the marigold (her name means "feather flower" referring to the feathery petals) and she is a goddess of dance, music, crafts and love. Honored as mother of the world, this young sexual maiden seems to be the perfect embodiment of the Three of Cups.

I had a very clear visual of how I wanted to composition to be, but I really struggled with the colour scheme. I don’t work often in bright yellows, oranges and reds and I found my first attempt far too gaudy. I painted her skin too much and the texture got weird as I just couldn't get her how I wanted. So, after weeks of fiddling and working and reworking I made the decision to scrap my first attempt and start from scratch.

I am so glad I did! I found it very hard and sad binning a painting – I always want to “work through” my blocks. However, I am starting to realise that sometimes it’s better to let go and start afresh. For this painting particularly, I love how she turned out and I’m so glad I trusted my gut and started again. I was so inspired by the second version, that I forgot to take any progress pics beyond the sketch so I've also included the old version for comparison.