William Kentridge said it best: “All children draw. I just forgot to stop.”
From a very early age, I loved art. I spent hours drawing, making origami figures, cutting shapes and gluing everything together. My attraction to art was tied to my love of books and illustration. My mother encouraged me and brought me all kinds of art supplies. She took college art history courses when I was in middle school, and amassed a huge library of art books, which she freely shared with me.
The twin poles of my childhood home were art and Judaism. Although my family wasn't strictly observant religiously, my parents shared their love of Jewish culture and history with us. I am second-generation American, so I feel the tug of old-world language, as my parents both spoke Yiddish as children. I learned to read and write Hebrew, and as a teenager combined this interest with art by teaching myself to do Hebrew calligraphy. At the age of 17, I made my first ketubah (hand-written, illustrated Jewish marriage contract, a traditional folk art.)
Making a ketubah is collaborative. It becomes a portrait of a couple: their story, passions, personality. Talking with them inspires colors, simplicity or complexity, dynamism or serenity. The story-telling element in the ketubah awakens the love of stories I felt as a child, looking at beautifully illustrated storybooks. I bring this love of story to my paintings and woodblock prints, and even to my teaching.
My woodblock prints and paintings share my effort to spark insight, joy and discovery for myself and others. I always hope that my work resonates with people; that they find their own story in it.
In the woods around my house, I find inspiration and peace. I also find black walnuts for making ink and acorns to play with as I walk. I spend as much time as possible outdoors, in all seasons, with my dog, Addie. Together, we poke around in the nearby forest preserve and eye the hawks as they eye us.