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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Windows of Color Ketubah

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Windows of Color Ketubah

Most of my work is just a joy, and once in a while, the joy comes even before I have the germ of a visual idea!  In this case I was blessed to be asked to create my first ‘second generation’ ketubah!  I’d created the marriage contract for the bride’s parents … a while ago!  Starting with a phone conversation and the most simple thumbnail sketch, we knew we were on the right path.  The couple saw my sketch of 3 balanced but different-sized rectangles looking like windows into their new life. It was a GREAT idea that became our touchstone going forward. The central text is the traditional Aramaic language, and on either side a text that was written by bride and groom in English and translated into Modern Hebrew. I often ask people to take a field trip to a paint or hardware store and pull paint chips for me to match.  This is one of the more magical things I get to do as I stir in a touch or this or that, mostly by instinct, to match the chips.  This design called for colors spanning the three rectangles in a spray of arcs.  It may look simple, but this required eight color arcs to move from a central point off the right side and allow the edges of the colors to read naturally.  Wherever you can picture a ‘line’ between colors, the individual letters are drawn with my pen in two different colors, coming down exactly where the colors should meet! Good, sharp pen nibs and magnifying lenses over my glasses are among my tools of choice....

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New York City Skywatchers’ Ketubah

Posted by on Dec 15, 2017 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

New York City Skywatchers’ Ketubah

Deep sky, its swirling and wispy clouds reveal tiny pricks of starlight and a massive rising moon. You may imagine correctly that both bride and groom are deeply connected to New York and love to look beyond the lights of the city to the skies.  The moon is mounted on a reverse-beveled board so it floats in the blue/purple heavens.  What’s impossible to see in this photo is the deeply stippled background of lunar craters under the grey lettering! So take a look at the moon-in-progress: Another thing that’s hard to see in the photo is the detail on the skyscrapers, each showing the tiniest bits of light in windows. About 6 different pen nibs were used to write the English text since each line of lettering is very slightly larger than the one preceding it. (Star Wars...

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