Thursday, June 28, 2007

ושבו בנים לגבולם

Zionism and the Land of Israel are of course major themes in my artwork.

As always, I have an interior battle between painting what I, as an artist, am interested in painting, or have something innovative to say - and painting what I feel customers and collectors want to buy.

Often the two pulls, pull in the same direction. Integrity and Income unite. Sometimes they don't. I paint what I think will sell. And I'm usually wrong. If I don't find it interesting, neither do others.

My "Zionist" artwork is often inspired by an idealistic fervor. In todays "post-Zionist" bon ton, it is almost embarrassing. And sometimes... I just wanna paint! And experiment with a brush. And Israel is such a lovely subject for just painting.

Above Painting: Homecoming

Jeremiah portrays Rachel the Matriarch as crying for her children, as they are led to exile. He then comforts her,
“And there is hope for thy future, saith the LORD; And thy children shall return to their own border.”
I painted Rachel׳s Tomb and an ancient olive tree - a symbol of tenacity, as they witness the Ingathering of the Exiles. They are surrounded by new homes and villages growing in the Land of Israel

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I would like to invite anyone close by, to two showings of my artwork in the USA this summer.

Torah and Tradition
Originals and prints, acrylic, goache and giclée

July 1 - 26
JCC on the Palisades
4 E. Clinton Ave
Tenafly NJ

Opening (and opportunity to meet me)
Sunday, July 8, 1 - 3 pm

People of the Book
Giclée prints

June 24 - August 14
JCC of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike
Fairfax VA

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I have been painting like a whirlwind since returning from my art shows in America this spring. Did I write "whirlwind"? Well, if breaking my own rules is included in the meaning of that phrase, then I've been working like a tornado.
Rule #1 is start with a good composition. Make several thumbnail sketches, with variations on the theme(and usually use the first, freshest).
My older serious works were created after painstaking, detailed and researched compositions and iconography.
Rule #2: Don't make too detailed plans. Some spontaneity and the unexpected corrections of small mistakes, makes more interesting art.


Pomegranate Carpet - first image
First I threw a few pomegranates down on the canvas. No Pencil sketch. Just Random.
Then I started filling in the blank spaces. With more and more and more pomegranate like shapes. Circles have no direction> The are notoriously troublemakers in compositions. The delicate and not so delicate crowns didn't always help, because I positioned some of them wrong.

NOW THE HARD WORK BEGAN: Making it a coherent and pleasing piece, after such a difficult start!

I knew that I wanted this painting to be rich, tactile, riotous. I wanted to flaunt the rules of genteel decor, just as I flaunted my own old rules. And make Jewish art fun.


For the past two months, I kept planning to move on to other subject matter - perhaps architectural, Israeli history, or even making the bold step to re-include human figures in my professional paintings.But the Pomegranate Games kept calling me back. I've learned so much while at it.With each painting, I set for myself a new goal, or creative restriction, or experiment in technique. The sizes vary greatly. The color palette less - that is, the raw colours, as they come out of the tube.
About paint tubes: who needs a brush all the time? Tubes can sometimes do a brave job, all on their own. So can fingers - but wait a minute - this stuff can be carcinogenic.

The Month of Tishrei - second image
... Experimenting with a new long, narrow and soft watercolor brush. Using it for scroll work like drawing, contrasting heavy solid painting with graceful light lines. Role reversal: fiery summer red retreating into the background, calm gentle green leaves forward. Tension/calm. Tension/calm

Bell and Pomegranate - third image
The largest canvas in this batch.
Again, I used the anti planning strategy. I just threw some stale pomegranate stencils on the canvas. But rotated them. Topsy Turvy. I even rotated the canvas constantly while painting it, and couldn't decide which way it should hang. We had a vote at home. The results were split along gender lines.
I told the framer to put two wires on the back - so whoever purchases it, can turn it around, have two paintings for the price of one.
However - the final result was anything but dizzying. Somehow, with some help from color and transparent glazes. this is the most tranquil painting of the lot.

My Love's Pomegranate
- the newest pomegranate, sixth acrylic in the series
I kept the basic composition simple and banal - to see just how exciting layering and tactile textures and transparencies can be. Standing ground on their own.