Art on Playing Cards

The Playing Card as a Canvas

On the home page of my website, in the middle photo that pops up with respect to close-up magic, you’ll see a beautiful piece of jewelry made by my daughter at the age of 12. One of my signature effects uses this Mona Lisa pendant to induce the power of suggestion.

This brings two results:  a surprised artist creates something on the fly; and everyone else forgets where the artist placed their masterpiece! There are several remarkable moments, and it’s my favorite piece to perform.

You can tell a bit about a person by what they choose to draw when offered a wide-open canvas. For example, it’s a safe bet that if the artist draws a palm tree (which are plentiful here in Naples, FL), they’re from Michigan or Wisconsin. Or if a smiley face is ruled out, many will draw a frowning face.

Sometimes, these quick, impromptu masterpieces catch my eye or my imagination, and I’ll ask the artist if I may keep their work.

Here are a few pieces of art on playing cards:


Maestro Dingwall Fleary is the Music Director for the McLean Symphony and the Reston Community Orchestra in the Washington D.C. area.

John Carney is one of the top sleight-of-hand artists in the world, as well as an accomplished teacher and comic actor.


Mike Peters is the famed cartoonist for the “Mother Goose & Grimm” series. He’s also known for his political cartoons which earned him a Pulitzer Prize. Our magical arts encounter took place while I was performing on 3rd Street South in Naples.

El Duco was one of the finest creators of magic in the world, and his work still carries on. He visited the Watermark Grille in 2008 from his native Sweden, and was as warm and gracious as could be.


I liked this one because it was the only time someone chose to draw the Mona Lisa pendant that was used to induce the artwork!

Amanda was young, so I did not expect her artwork to be this good. She graciously allowed me to keep it.


OK, Mackenzie was also a young girl. When I saw her artwork, I think I did a triple-take – I said “is this an alien and a chicken?”. She enthused “Yes!”. I asked “What’s the connection? What do they have to do with each other?” She confidently said “Nothing. I just wanted to draw an alien and a chicken”. I had to keep it. And I’d love to know what she takes on as a career years from now.

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