back in October I took up a project that had been awaiting my attention. this scene was composed (credit due to imagery by R. Tanenbaum) by our associate rabbi and given to me; he indicated it can be used frequently in his web design work and would appreciate having it done “anyway you chose to.” now that frees the creative process–so I went with a traditional approach using watercolor as I have become familiar with that.
note that I’m still trying to break out and experiment with different styles, to recall the things I saw and heard while at college.
let it be noted that a fascinating series of transformations occurred after the caterpillar pitched himself and before this stage of the chrysalis– and I intend to draw them–but will probably put them to their own page with a link to view it.
in the last two images I brought out a charcoal pencil and eraser for the black areas. not only do I mix my media but I take a departure from simply representing the image to interpreting it in a way that isn’t too abstract, just playful.
the menorah … “is to be made of sixty-six pounds of pure gold. see that you make them according to the design being shown you on the mountain.” Sh’mot (Exodus) 25:39-40.
on one level the construction of the menorah is exact, and drawing an image of it is relatively easier than drawing light–for light is not static, it is a phenomena, its ethereal; it has an effect on what it shines on. hence when we realize that the Shekinah of G-d– represented as the menorah’s light– is present, we cannot avoid it having a profound effect on us.
since the time I took up the pen and brush again I have been drawn to the menorah as a subject, and studied the Torah for its description– mainly in Exodus 25, and Exodus 37. here is a concise entry of the menorah by Tracey R. Rich at Judaism 101.
I found it intriguing that the almond blossom is used to describe the bulbs and branches. (the almond staff of Aaron that budded a branch has great significance.) while there is no longer a temple in Jerusalem for the menorah to rest, one enduring purpose is to give light to man of the presence of Hashem throughout the world.
I want to give credit where its due. the first big help came last month (Feb 2015) when I walked in at Spring Board for the Arts offices in Lowertown St Paul, Minn. I met one of their resource directors, Zar M, and he showed me their free courses on Work of Art, Business Skills for Artists, which I enrolled in promptly. After meeting a co-attendee at the 3rd workshop, he gave me the Artist Directory & Guide for Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA). My eyes popped as I realized this community of 700 artists (in both Minneapolis and St Paul) have their collective studios or home in a 1-mile square neighborhood next to the Mississippi River. I’ve known of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, U of M, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Walker Art center, Weisman Art Museum, etc, but that’s a different kind of community; its more like the education phase–if you look at a continuum– where the business end is a gallery and patrons, and customers ranging from individual to corporations. I have definite plans to follow the map in this directory and get familiar with the artists there in NE Minneapolis, even take the Art-a-Whirl tour to get a lay of the land. I’m just so sure this will be the type of influence and encouragement I know I’ve been lacking for 25 years.