White on White Lattice Ketubah

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

White on White Lattice Ketubah

While papercutting is a largely universal folk art form, and while Jewish tradition has a rich history of ritual papercuts, the shifting of this craft into 21st Century Jewish expression is extraordinary in its appeal. Based on the clarity of this couple, decisions about the colors, shapes, and overall treatment of the ketubah came together very quickly.  The entire piece is hand-cut from a very sturdy water color paper (which reminded my throughout the cutting that it used to be a tree!), and the background paper is just slightly more off-white, creating the most subtle contrast.  Contrast is more strongly enhanced by raising up the front paper from the back paper by cutting the thinnest slivers of acid-free board and gluing them to the ‘struts’ to elevate the cut surface! The intentional drawing of the eye towards the text is done by subtly cutting the inner rectangle’s lines just a hair thinner than those on the outside, and making the spaces just a bit smaller. The intention is not to call attention to this, but to bring the eye to the text in the most natural...

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Yiddish Peacocks Ketubah

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Yiddish Peacocks Ketubah

It’s a rare opportunity for me when a couple asks me to create a document in mame-loshn – Yiddish! In this case, both bride and groom are Yiddish-literate, so the beauty of the poetry that borders the document and the deft translation from Shir Hashirim by Yehoash (between the text blocks) are deeply understood, as is the text they wrote in Yiddish that was translated into Modern Hebrew. The jumping off point for the design was a collection of several antique kesubes from Europe, and those designs informed the rough layout of the design, although every single design decision was made anew between the artist and the couple, bringing it solidly into 21st Century artistic sensibilities while maintaining the strongest traditional feel.  It was truly a gift to be able to work on this meaningful...

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Blended Cultures Ketubah

Posted by on Aug 28, 2018 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Blended Cultures Ketubah

We are all woven of such interesting strands of DNA and cultural/folkarts bits and pieces!  The couple who commissioned this work brought me a fabulous array of imagery from ancient pottery decoration to the colors and look of sweet grass basketry, and from a traditional hamsa to the traditional symbols of parentage in Scotland, Germany, and the Cherokee and Seminole nations! All of the colors are found in sweetgrass baskets, and the background painting is actually a blend of three of those colors. Looking at once organic and ordered, the placement of everything on the ketubah was approved by the couple and the result is a most unique document that honors their heritage and direction as they begin life...

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Seasons in New Haven and Philadelphia Ketubah

Posted by on Aug 6, 2018 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Seasons in New Haven and Philadelphia Ketubah

The two places that resonate most deeply with this couple were chosen to capture the four seasons on their ketubah.  They met at Yale University, seen here in the winter and autumn, and they live in Philadelphia, with Fairmount Park and Fitler Square representing spring and summer.  In order to capture the architecture of two of the corner shapes, I had to consult many, many photographs.  Not a single shot allowed me to fill in the deep corners and the extended spaces cut by the circle, so I tried to imagine myself in the physical spaces and ‘walk around’ a bit, ‘looking’ up, down and all around. A virtual tour of the cities! The fountain image is so detailed that before I painted it, I asked the bride to please walk to the park to confirm that, indeed, there’s a bear cub sculpture in the...

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Delicate Blues and Purples of Spring Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 20, 2018 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Delicate Blues and Purples of Spring Ketubah

Springtime on the east coast brings a profusion of color, and it’s always a wonder to welcome blues and purples after a long grey/brown end-of-winter.  This ketubah sets the text off with delicate wisps of monkshood, Virginia bluebells, columbines, dayflowers … the fleeting riches of the season tucked into all variety of greens.  To work with the design, we chose to letter the text in a cool grey instead of black, so the effect of the entire piece is in keeping with the flora of the season peeking out to appreciate new...

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A Far Out Acacia Tree Ketubah!

Posted by on Mar 21, 2018 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

A Far Out Acacia Tree Ketubah!

The groom was born and raised in Be’er Sheva, and when the couple spoke to me about the central image being an acacia tree in the Negev, I was already dreaming in the gorgeous, subtle colors of the Israeli desertscape. As I often do, I asked the couple to bring me a ‘few’ paint chips so I could have a larger palette from which to build some contrast.  When 18 chips arrived at my door and they were basically an array of psychedelic colors (at least by way of contrast to the desert!), I knew it was time to rearrange my own vision! Here’s a look at how I clustered the chips I chose to use so you can see how the design developed: Lettering in white on a deeply saturated (richest color) background is tricky, but a mix of several opaque white water-based paints gave me the coverage I needed and the ability to add enough water for the paint to flow through the pen.  No do-overs, so this takes concentration! If you look very carefully, you will see two hands rising from the trunk of the tree into the crown – a touch the couple requested.  In the palm of each hand is an open heart. The first letters in each line of the poems on either side of the trunk in Hebrew and English spell the names of the bride and...

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