Hamsa Ketubah II

Posted by on Aug 21, 2012 in Ketubah Art, News | 0 comments

Hamsa Ketubah II

The bride and groom searched for a ketubah that would reflect their backgrounds and visions and found that I had crafted a text once before within the shape of a hamsa.  The groom is Moroccan-born and speaks several languages, including French and Arabic. The Hebrew along with English and Arabic translations of a line from Shir HaShirim circle the text. The couple chose the colors they wanted to reflect a sunset atmosphere, and two tiny butterflies complete the design.  Raised gold leaf dots highlight the design.  The lettered art is created using gouache, an opaque, water-based paint, thinned to flow through a chisel-point...

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Four Seasons in Trees

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Ketubah Art, News | 1 comment

Four Seasons in Trees

Inspired by a similar ketubah, this couple worked with me on developing a ketubah design that features 32 trees, each one slightly different from the one before and after, the foliage, berries, buds and blooms representing a discreet moment in the course of the year.   A few judiciously placed, raised dots of 22 K gold add the sparkle that make the piece come alive. The lettered verses across the top and bottom translate as “I have Found the One in Whom My Soul Delights” and “This is my Beloved and This is My...

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Soft Colors of Jerusalem Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts | 0 comments

Soft Colors of Jerusalem Ketubah

This couple had few but very specific requests:  a traditional text laid out with squared margins, a painting of the Kotel (Western Wall) in a lunette at the top, water-like abstract papercuts bracketing the text, and a background of the soft colors for which Jerusalem is known.   To emphasize the papercuts, I had my framer meticulously cut a backing mat with reversed bevels to elevate the lettered panel just a bit above the background painting while remaining invisible.  Then to pull the eye into the text itself, in discussion with the couple, we decided to prepare mats for the wedding that were the choice for the final framing.  The two outer mats were one four-ply and one eight-ply mat, the same color, cut to give great depth to the whole piece and keep the focus on the central area.  Very effective! The wonder of watercolor is that working with transparent paint, you can build up multiple layers of subtle color to develop a depth unattainable with opaque paints.   The paper must be stretched on a board to keep it from warping terribly with all the soaking the multiple layers create. Soft Colors of Jerusalem Soft Colors of...

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Queen of the Jews Book Cover

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012 in Awards, Certificates, and Commissioned Works, News, Public Art | 0 comments

Queen of the Jews Book Cover

The opportunity to research and develop a book cover and maps for a work of historic fiction by author Judy Petsonk was one at which I leaped!  An evocative work that paints in words images of ancient Judea prior the first Century also deserved cover art that would draw people into another time and place.  This is the story of Queen Salome Alexandra (Shalom Tsion), woven from fragments The History of the Jews by Josephus and bringing life of a woman who ruled a nation and oversaw tremendous development of infrastructure in her time. The mosaic design is based on recently uncovered floors in the area of Lod.  What goes around … ends up on a book! I had the delight of collaborating with graphic designer Tammi Reid who found the perfect typeface and photo image of a blooming almond branch which I was able to incorporate onto the back cover of the book A great...

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Israeli Wildflowers Ketubah

Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Ketubah Art, News | 0 comments

Israeli Wildflowers Ketubah

A couple with deep connections to the land of Israel chose to have me embellish their ketubah with a garden of protected Israeli wildflowers.  As simple as this sounds – ‘just’ flowers – the challenge is to balance color, size, shape, and height to make the design ‘read’ as an aesthetic whole. I love painting wildflowers.  They are so much more cooperative than birds because they never fly away, and they generally look just like the examples in the field guides! I find that once I’ve spent hours drawing from life and then incorporating the images into a painting, that encountering the same flowers in the future feels like bumping into old friends. The 22K gold leaf which is applied to the first word of the ketubah (b’echad) and the text from Torah that forms the ribbon across the flowers is laid on a ground of Secotine, a fish-based glue that has been used for centuries in Jewish...

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Vivid Papercut Ketubah

Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts | 0 comments

Vivid Papercut Ketubah

The exuberance of this couple is reflected in their concise wish-list for their ketubah:  “Bright!  A circular text with papercuts and a tree and two doves and… whatever you think!  Bright and colorful!”  We talked to flesh out some more specifics, but basically I was guided by a feeling of their energy and relationship.  So here’s the finished product, which brought them to tears and had them each ask me how I had climbed into their minds to craft exactly what they’d hoped for!

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