Tag Archives: calligraphy

Artists’ Beit Midrash Exhibit Opening Nov. 12

Artist as Kohen:

Transmitting Holiness

Art by participants in Artists’ Beit Midrash

Judith Joseph and Jane Shapiro, co-facilitators

Curated by Judith Joseph

Choshen, by Linda Sonin

Choshen, by Linda Sonin

North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, 1175 Sheridan Rd., Highland Park, Illinois Through January 2015

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 6:45pm
Exhibiting Artists:
Lois Barr ▪ Sam Bernstein ▪ Sylvia Dresser ▪ Nessia Frank ▪ Judith Joseph ▪ Ruti Modlin ▪ Lilach Schrag ▪ Judy Solomon ▪ Linda Carol Sonin
Leah Sosewitz ▪ Sandy Starkman

Join us for a wine & cheese reception and study session with Jane Shapiro.
Reservations are requested to Marcie Eskin at meskin@nssbethel.org or 847/432-8900×234.

To view exhibit at other times, please call NSSBE  847/432-8900 for open hours.

Ibis Ketubah

Ibis Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

Ibis Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

I love my job!  This commission gave me the challenge of creating a ketubah which had similar imagery to a previous work from 2008, which the couple really liked. (See below.)  The brides are cousins, so I wanted to be sure that, although the overall colors and imagery were similar, they were still distinctly different.  How did I do?

Doves/ Moon Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

Doves/ Moon Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

I had the privilege of making a ketubah for the sister of the Doves/ Moon Ketubah bride in 2009 (see below.)  I love it when my ketubahs become a family tradition, it is truly an honor, and fun to get to know various members of the tribe.

Mediterranean Islands Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

Mediterranean Islands Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

Sunrise Ketubah

Sunrise Ketubah; 18" x 24", acrylic on paper.  Simpler custom ketubah, digitally printed text, hand-painted decoration.

Sunrise Ketubah; 18″ x 24″, acrylic on paper. Simpler custom ketubah, digitally printed text, hand-painted decoration.

Artists’ Blog Tour

BLOG TOUR . . .

Studio of Judith Joseph, 6-2-14

Studio of Judith Joseph, 6-2-14

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.

Ghost Scroll, cut and painted,mixed media, 3' x 4'.  Judith Joseph, 2014.

Ghost Scroll, cut and painted,mixed media, 3′ x 4′. Judith Joseph, 2014.

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.

Chicago Fireworks Ketubah

Chicago Fireworks Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

Chicago Fireworks Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

New ketubah:  inspired by the beautiful skyline of Chicago, as seen from out on Lake Michigan.  This is a new interpretation of an earlier painting, which I created for my son Cameron and his wonderful wife, Blake, for the save-the-date for their wedding:

Chicago Skyline, by Judith Joseph

Chicago Skyline, by Judith Joseph

Blake’s beautiful mom, Raina, just married her beloved, Jeff, and they asked me to create a ketubah for them inspired by the earlier painting I had done for Blake and Cam.

When I look at Raina and Jeff, I can see the sparks fly between them, so I suggested we add fireworks.  Raina asked for lots of flowers, which is also appropriate for love, joy and the motto of the City of Chicago:  “Urbs In Horto”, which means, “City In A Garden.”

So much joy and fun for our family this year!  Blessings and joy to both couples!  See it here on my website.

Introducing Blue Spring Ketubah

Blue Spring Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

Blue Spring Ketubah, by Judith Joseph

My new ketubah design is available on museum quality paper or canvas, for more information click here.

The Political Freight of Letterforms

Book Cover Design by Jan Tsichold

Book Cover Design by Jan Tsichold

Are you interested in the socio-political aspects of typography and calligraphy?  Check out this article about Jan Tschichold, calligrapher and graphic designer:  persecuted by the Nazis for his modern, sans-serif, asymmetric design (and Communist leanings); later distrusted by the English while he worked for Penguin Books (as a German.)

The article touches on the Nazi relationship to black-letter type.  On the one hand, they promoted it as part of their national identity; on the other, it ran counter to the fascist embrace of the streamlined style of Futurism.