Kente Cloth and Papercut Marriage Document

Posted by on Oct 4, 2021 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Kente Cloth and Papercut Marriage Document

There are times when the blending of families and cultures leads to a synergy where the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts.  This document offers a glimpse into one of those magical meldings.  The groom’s father is Ghanaian and the traditional wedding pattern of his home region’s  woven kente cloth became the painted border of this piece. The traditional Jewish papercut art and text in modern Hebrew center the document as part of the centuries-old custom of beautifying the marriage contract with artwork.  There are four small Adinkra symbols which are Ghanaian symbols representing unity/human relationships, love/harmony, cooperation/interdependence, and safety/security. The rich colors are created with gouache – an opaque water-based paint that was a pleasure to work with on this piece. Sharp knives, sharp pencils, and tiny pointed brushes.  I love my...

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Negev Ketubah

Posted by on Sep 26, 2021 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Negev Ketubah

In the midst of pandemic restrictions, I’ve been given a magical travel opportunity!  The chance to create a ketubah for a wedding of two Be’er Sheva residents has allowed me to spend about 70 hours diving into the geologic wonderland of the area around Makhtesh Ramon, deep in the Negev.  Don’t ever imagine that deserts are colorless!  The mountains, rocks, and sand in this part of Israel are a paintbox of dreams.  And into this stunning setting, the couple requested that I ‘plant’ a jacaranda tree in full purple bloom.  There’s nothing more to say.  I’ve loved every stroke of the paintbrush, line of colored pencil, and blush of pastel chalk in building up an imagined environment for that tree.  I hope it feels right at...

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Anchorage to Philadelphia

Posted by on Sep 2, 2021 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Anchorage to Philadelphia

What’s the wish list?  I never know, as I meet a couple (these days always on Zoom…), what their requests will be in terms of design.  For this one, the specs were few and varied, and as always, my job was to make it an aesthetic whole.  THAT’S where the fun begins! Two trees, a koa and an olive, interlocking roots that form the mountain range above Anchorage, the Philadelphia skyline – with William Penn restored to his monumental glory, and a color palette limited to yellow, orange, and royal blue.  The solution was to hold the design together as a papercut and slip the color behind using pastel chalk sifted through a small sieve and then...

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Klimt-Inspired Ketubah

Posted by on Aug 16, 2021 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Klimt-Inspired Ketubah

Another gift of a deep dive into a vision only glimpsed before:  the gilded and textured treasures of Gustav Klimt, translated into a cosmic ketubah, and grounded, like the vision on the horizon line of a planetarium as the light begins to change, with a clump of trees.  Crafting the art for this piece involved multiple layers of watercolor wash to give the heavens depth, and then a deliberate exercise in various metallic paints and metal leaf to design the swooshes that embrace the text and cut through the skies! Parts of the illumination are textured and raised, catching light and sparkling in copper, bronze, silver, and...

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Interlocking Shapes Ketubah

Posted by on Jul 18, 2021 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Interlocking Shapes Ketubah

Each ketubah I craft comes with its own story, which makes my work a living, growing experience all the time.  This ketubah was a true collaboration with three artistic minds at work!  Not only the beautiful text, composed by the couple and translated into modern Hebrew by the renowned Israeli poet Nitsa Kann, but the design and color choices all came to me from the grooms.  A sketch on grid paper and an envelope full of paint chips was all I needed to be off and running.  At times this felt to be an Art Deco exploration, at times a dive into an early 20th Century Industrial Art style, and at times, the color palette offered me a visit to the American Southwest and its turquoise-heavy Navajo/Diné arts. Here’s a look at the process of mixing paints to match paint chips provided by clients.  Scientific?  Mmmm… It’s like cooking without heavy reliance on a recipe.  A little more of this and a little less of that. And VERY careful notes about the building of each color. It always seems like magic, and sometimes even like...

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