My latest challah cover design is inspired by an artwork I saw in a book entitled "Traditional Jewish Papercuts" by Joseph and Yehudit Shadur. It's a beautiful book, with highly informative text and descriptions. The papercut my illustration is based off of was a type of amulet called a "childbed letter". It was originally meant to hang on the nursery wall to thwart "the evil intents of the witch Lilith who carries off newborn infants"... Where there were areas of text on the papercut, I substituted a sun, and in the rectangular shape flanked by lions, I inserted the word "Shabbat" in Hebrew.
Below you can see that I've experimented with three color combinations: red and yellow, purple and orange (with purple ball fringe), and the traditional blue and white. Do you have a preference?
In future variations, I may add facial features to the animals... Initially I thought that people might want to embroider these details in on their own to add their own personal touch, but either way, having them there can at least serve as a guide...
For the month of March I'm showing my illustrations in our town's public library (along with my sister's beautiful oil paintings which are hanging in the next room!) If you're in the area of Glen Rock, NJ, stop by! If not, no worries, I've included my art shpiel below...
The 100 Day Project is “…intended to awaken, nurture and sustain your creative spirit through the cultivation of small daily acts for 100 days.”
Have you heard of The 100 Day Project? It’s an online challenge that anyone can take part in.
Several months ago I began my own 100 day project. For my small daily act, I decided I would create a cut-paper illustration. I limited myself to the use of one sheet of black origami paper and two pens - one white and one black. Subject matter was left open, to be decided on a daily basis.
I started the project with several goals in mind:
- I wanted to establish a habit of making artwork every day.
- I wanted to explore the use of limited art materials over an extended period of time.
- I wanted to develop a visual language with a cohesive style.
I am now close to finishing my project (will be done mid-March), and am happy to say that I (mostly) accomplished these goals.
- I’ve established an ‘art habit’ - although it’s not every day, I make artwork most days, which is much more than I did before starting the project.
- I’ve stayed within the limits of the art materials I set out to explore, using only black origami paper and two pens (with only a small amount of cheating - at times I used more than one sheet of the black paper, and for a period of time I added the use of kraft paper, just for fun).
- Over time, I developed a visual language (a collection of icons and symbols I feel an affinity with) and I believe a cohesive style emerged. I ended up favoring bold, simple shapes of cut-paper combined with a spare white line with which to add detail.
What you see here are a collection of ten images from my 100 Day Project, digitally reproduced. Not only are these some of my favorite illustrations from the series, they also represent the range of subject matter I tend to be drawn toward, which includes plant-life, animals, architecture, Judaism and African art.
If you’d like to see the entire collection of images from start to finish, they can be found on my Instagram account: www.instagram.com/vickykatzman/
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Vicky Katzman is an artist and illustrator living in Glen Rock, NJ. She earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, after which she began her career as a freelance illustrator. She currently enjoys designing and making quilts, teaching art, and creating illustrations (on a regular basis, using only black origami paper and white pen!)
I bought the frames online and am happy with their quality and overall appearance. I think the simple style suits the work.
I'm three quarters of the way through the 100 day project. I think it's been really helpful limiting myself to just two materials (black origami paper and pen) in terms of clarifying my style. I especially like the use of bold, simple shapes (which have graphic impact from afar) complemented by spare use of the thin white line which allows me to define and clarify the image.
I participated in a craft show last weekend at my old alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design. I'm so glad my sister Karen agreed to help me out (along with my daughter and her son who are 9 and 10 respectively). Not only was it way more fun to have the company, but I actually needed the help since my booth was busy ALL DAY LONG! This was a huge surprise to me based on the previous three craft shows I'd done earlier in the year (which were a big yawn), and I am now left with a small amount of hope for some future success in the craft show market.
What was especially nice to see was that there's a market out there for my newer work (which is mostly black and white). If you take a look at my last blog post, you can read about the project from which they born... but if you'd rather not, all you need to know is that they are cut-paper illustrations made from black origami paper and a white pen. Below you'll find some of my favorites.
Of course, in all the hectic happiness, I neglected to get a picture of my booth. Luckily, this photo of my wares was posted on instagram by Print Club Ltd. shortly after the show (check out founder/artist Elizabeth Corkery's beautiful handmade silkscreen prints here). Thanks for the photo Elizabeth!
I'm currently preparing to show my work at the Glen Rock Farmers Market on October 23rd, right here in Glen Rock, NJ! I'm especially excited to be a part of this because it was started in part by my friend Alison, who brings a positive vibe to all that she does. If you live in the area, I hope you can stop by and check it out, and if you do, be sure to come by my stand and keep me company for a little while...
Berkshire Museum presents PaperWorks: The Art and Science of an Extraordinary Material, a new exhibition that explores paper as a source of creative inspiration and innovation.
The ways paper can be part of art-making are endless: it can be folded and twisted; it can be pierced or cut; it can be pulped and molded. Paper can be used as commonplace wrapping or packaging or as a green material in sustainable design; it can be engineered for use in exacting technology or hand-crafted into a rustic journal. PaperWorks includes delicate origami pieces, large-scale sculptures, re-purposed books, green design, works in vivid color or pure white, with every object telling a story.