BLOG TOUR . . .
A wonderful artist and compassionate spirit, Catherine Meyers, from Catherine Meyers Art Blog, invited me to participate in a Blog Tour. It’s been going on for a while, with many wonderful studios involved! So in order to participate, I’ll answer a few questions and then introduce the next couple of artists who will be the next stops on the Blog Tour.
What am I working on? I have been creating works of calligraphy and illumination. I specialize in the Ketubah (illustrated Jewish marriage contract, a folk art.) Since marriage season is in full swing, I’ve been busy writing out texts by hand in calligraphy with hand-painted, customized illustrations. I’ve also been producing art for reproduction, where the image is printed with a digitally-produced text that I generate in a graphics program. Here are some recent works:
I also participated in a gallery show in March at ARC Gallery called Fractured Yet Rising, about violence against women, where I hand-wrote one of my poems on the gallery wall.
How does my work differ from others of its genre? I think of myself as a painter who includes calligraphy, rather than a calligrapher who decorates text.
Why do I write/create what I do? I was raised in a family environment that was richly steeped in my Jewish cultural heritage, and text (reading lots of books, learning to read and write Hebrew as a child) was a big part of this. So, it seems natural that text would be an integral part of my artistic expression, along with narrative imagery. I also am a people person, and I find the collaborative aspect of my work to be very joyous and inspiring.
How does your writing/creating process work? My commissioned work begins with people requesting a ketubah. I interview them and sketch, which leads to the finished work. For work I produce independently, I work with ideas or materials that engage me, and this feels more like play.
So, now you know a little more about me, let me introduce you to the next amazing artists in the tour.
Peggy Schutze Shearn is a Chicago area painter whose work incorporates letterforms, abstract calligraphy and text into colorful semi-abstractions. Her sense of color and pattern is gorgeous.
Nancy Charak is a committed abstract expressionist who makes paintings and drawings in Tucson, Arizona, recently transplanted from Chicago. Her watercolors are sensitive and reflective of nature.