Blue Ridge Mountains Marriage Contract

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

Blue Ridge Mountains Marriage Contract

The precious couple who asked me to craft their marriage document told me that the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is their ‘happy place.’  When I asked for pictures, I did not expect MILLIONS OF TREES! Oh my.  So I dipped into the wonderland of autumn color by creating a background painting of the sunrise sky and then the faintest of the old, worn mountains at the horizon, moving slowly, slowly forward into more sharply focused images.  The trick to watercolor is to build up with great patience, keeping transparency as long as possible. A special aspect of this piece (and please suspend disbelief here, because there are two opposing seasons in one painting) is that the groom has a beloved daughter from a previous marriage. Their desire to represent their new family of three at the time of their wedding led us to come up with an iconic cluster of blooming rhododendrons in the foreground.  They told me that when they received the piece and showed it to their daughter, she pointed to the small flower in the center and said, “That’s me, right?”  Perfect!...

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Pets, Pittsburgh and Petrified Wood!

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

Pets, Pittsburgh and Petrified Wood!

When a seemingly disparate list of images comes my way, I dive into the challenge of  building an aesthetic whole. This couple brought me a list that included beloved pets (a cat and two fish), an iconic bridge, a cross-section of the Grand Canyon, petrified wood, and cherry blossoms.  The color palette is bold, and together we came up with a riff on Mondrian’s recognizable horizontal and vertical blocks to define an appropriate space for everything: texts, signatures, and images.  No matter where we begin our exploration, the final product is a reflection of the couple. I see my function largely as one who channels a couple’s vision, and there’s great joy in that...

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Delicate Seasons Papercut Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Delicate Seasons Papercut Ketubah

The simplicity of this ketubah belies the complexity of the couples’ intentions and the work involved in bringing their vision to life. We began with a request for leafy images of the turning of the season and a very simple papercut design.  After many sketches sent back and forth, we hit upon a design that nests the text in a pattern of abstracted twigs.  The seasons are referenced in tiny buds, opening blossoms, new leaves, and finally aging and falling leaves – only a few for each season.  It’s worth the effort to spot the seasons this way!  The background color took 5 different tubes of paint to mix in order to match the periwinkle blue paint chip that the couple chose.  The background was painted on a stretched sheet of watercolor paper and then the text and papercut image were dropped on top to allow the cut paper to sit a bit...

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Papercut Orchestra Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 11, 2017 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Papercut Orchestra Ketubah

As always, the drawing table is clear when I start work on a ketubah and I am wide open to a new adventure!  This couple met while playing in an orchestra, he the horn, and she the bassoon, and along with the papercut images and the sunrise on the sea, they wanted the instruments somewhat hidden in the design.  The French horn (based on a photo of his magnificent instrument from an earlier era) was the easiest since it lent itself to becoming the rising sun.  The bassoon took some tweaking, at first very recognizable with all the stops and valves, and then stripped down a bit and nestled in among some sea grasses to keep it part of the bigger picture. Creating this piece involved lots of images sent back and forth to make sure the tree was just what the couple wanted.  If you look closely you can see that the papercut is elevated just slightly from the pastel colored background so it creates a thin shadow effect.  This way the delicacy of the papercut cannot be confused with a silk screened print. Here’s a look at the text and papercut before the color was...

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Leaves and Petals Ring the Seasons Ketubah

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Leaves and Petals Ring the Seasons Ketubah

The color palette of the seasons is represented in a ring of 32 trees, each one moving in color and foliage ever so slightly as the year marches forward.  The color changes are echoed in several lines that translate the chosen modern Hebrew text of the ketubah, lines the couple wanted to emphasize in their promises to one another.  Tucked in among the leaves is the college logo of the school where the couple met.  One of the special aspects of designing from scratch is the ability to place personal images and messages in the document to crystalize moments or experiences shared by the...

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West Virginia in Bloom Ketubah

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

West Virginia in Bloom Ketubah

For a beautiful ceremony on the top of a mountain, this couple sent me a very specific list of local wildflowers and trees at the peak of color.  These flowers are like old friends, and what a joy it is for me to place them in such a precious setting!  Language is so very important, as you can see from the care that clearly went into crafting this document. Here’s an image of the rabbi preparing to read the document as part of the ceremony.  My ketubot and marriage contracts are always mounted in hand-made folders, well protected – even on a mountain top!- and kept flat and safe until...

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