David Palladini: An Appreciation

April 1, 2019 | Filed Under History, Things I Think About | No Comments

Dear David,

Today would have been your 73rd birthday. You left this world, and the people who love you, just a few weeks ago, but it feels like an eternity.

I had hoped to have one more visit with you, one more chance to hold your hand and see you smile, while I tell you again how much I love you, for yourself, for the beauty you brought into this world, and for the dramatic effect your work has had on my life.

I remember that day, so long ago, me as a young girl, being allowed into the store I was not legally old enough to be in, so that I could choose a Tarot deck. I remember first seeing the box for The Aquarian Tarot, its glossy black surface a dramatic contrast to the face of the box. As an Aquarius, I was delighted to find something named Aquarian, and felt that the deck had been created just for me. None of the other decks were of the slightest interest; the Aquarian had captured my attention.

As I became familiar with the deck, your art captured my imagination, and my heart. The deck was my only deck for years and years; despite being given other decks as presents, I never bonded with any of them the way I instantly connected to the Aquarian.

Fast forward to 2010, and my receiving an email from Michael Orlando Yaccarino, asking if I would be interested in speaking with you, which was beyond any possibility I had ever imagined. I cannot adequately describe the combination of nervousness and excitement as I waited for the phone to ring with your call. You were every bit as charming as I expected, and even more delightful than I had hoped.

Then you kindly graced us with more of your time to record a podcast with me and RoseRed in May of 2010, and then—wonder of wonders!—we were able to meet in person that summer. A lovely lunch with you and RoseRed at the Sherman Library and Gardens, made all the more wonderful by basking in your presence for hours, with no interruptions or outside concerns. You spoke to us further about the book you’d read an excerpt from on the podcast, and I was thrilled when you agreed that Tarot Media Company could publish The Journal of an Artist.

Then, in 2012, I received a call from Stuart Kaplan, congratulating me on the publication of The Journal of an Artist, and suggesting that we do a book on your Tarot art. I was speechless with delight at the prospect of writing a book with you on this deck that was such a part of my life. Letters and phone calls, and meetings at the lovely Sherman Library and Gardens to work on the manuscript, were highlights of my year as we worked together. And thus, Painting the Soul: The Tarot Art of David Palladini came into the world in 2014.

Never did that young girl in 1972 imagine that she would ever meet the amazing artist and incredible man whose work spoke to her, even as young as she was. Never did she imagine that her love of art and affinity for Tarot would take her all over the world, meeting wonderful people and having incredible adventures. Never did she imagine that she would share time, bread, and wine, with the artist and man who seemed to know her so well, even before they ever met, and who gave her the heartfelt gift of his art.

David, you were a gift to this world, and through the gift of your art, made a place for yourself in the world, and in the hearts of all who view your art, and whose souls are enlightened, comforted, and guided by the wisdom you instilled into your work.

Know that you are loved by many, and find comfort in the knowledge that your work has made boundless, positive differences to the lives of countless people, through its beauty, honesty, and depth.

I offer you my infinite gratitude, my deep appreciation, and my unending love for you.

You truly painted the soul, my dear David, and I thank you, from the bottom of my soul, for all that you have given to the world, and to me.

Anastasia Haysler and David Palladini, Sherman Gardens, Corona del Mar, CA July 19, 2010

There will be a private service for the family; no other memorial is planned. If you would like to do something to honor David’s life and work, make art and support artists by buying their work and sharing it widely.

You can also donate to the Pratt Institute (his alma mater), and designate the funds for an art student scholarship, and make the contribution in David’s memory.

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