Saturday, May 31, 2008

Aeronautic Maneuvers

This last week has been yet another new experience. North Bank Gallery in Vancouver will be featuring a show entitled Airborne: Lighter Than Air, during the month of June. My contribution will be something I'm calling Aeronautic Maneuvers. It is not printmaking in the traditional sense, although the manikins are prints in some sense, if you stretch the term far enough, I suppose. My idea was based on aeronautic = having to do with wind and air currents and the manipulation of them, and maneuvers = dance positions. The work is done with steel cable, copper tubing and wire, & wooden manikins (thank you IKEA). It has been a lot of fun to do, much more like playing than work, and will be a challenge to transport and hang, I'm sure. Next week it will be time to pack and get ready for the Alaskan cruise we've been planning for some time and have done nothing to get ready for, yet. Since we leave Saturday morning to drive to the "other Vancouver" I guess it is time to give this trip some serious thought! There will be plenty of time for printmaking when we return. Maybe some of these figures from Aeronautic Maneuvers will find their way into some new images – along with glaciers and icebergs!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another New Experience

Education continues, and this time it is in the realm of ketubahs, a word I had never heard before this assignment came into my life. My niece is marrying a wonderful man of Russian/Jewish heritage this weekend and they asked me to design and execute their ketubah, which (according to Wikipedia is) a Jewish prenuptial agreement. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage. It states that the husband commits to provide food, clothing and marital relations to his wife, and that he will pay a specified sum of money if he divorces her. If he dies, leaving her a widow, the ketubah amount is the first charge on his estate. Not knowing really where to begin, I began on the web where I found approximately one cajillion examples. The kids sent me samples of their likes, and they were not even similar. The groom's choice was very ornate and geometric, and the bride's choice was organic and natural. So, I tried to combine the two. My approach was to go to the Victorian Language of Flowers site and choose: Bird of Paradise - magnificence, Asteracae - love, Wild Rose - perfect happiness, Star of David - Judaism, entwined ribbons - individual qualities joined harmoniously, and an abstract heart - the universal emblem of love. The rest of it is shape, line, space, color and value, the old stand-by principles, heavily influenced by Alphonse Maria Mucha, one of my favorite Art Nouveau printmaker/illustrators. The kids have not seen this, yet - I just hope it will not be something they hate, since it is supposed to be a "work of art", signed at the rehearsal dinner, that will be framed and hang in their home.... Yikes! I hate commissions. By the time the client sees the work I am tied in knots fretting furiously that they are going to gasp and turn pea green when they see it... Oh dear, Oh my...