Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Grand Wedding and The Art Deco Ketubah--A Modern Jewish Marriage Contract

The Ketubah, a Jewish marriage contract outlining a couple's commitment to one another, is an honor to create. Given pictures of the groom's grandparents 1940s Art Deco style Ketubah, photos of grand interiors, and cutouts from magazines, I set to work designing a hip, modern take on the Art Deco Ketubah.

Working with the bride to create an homage to her beloved's family yet incorporate the couple's own aesthetic, I set to work painting in gouache the image of the tree and birds as well executing my own unique English and Hebrew alphabets in calligraphy.

The bride sent me the pictures following the wedding. Held at the Ruins in Seattle, it was most certainly an affair to be remembered. My jaw literally dropped; she was so beautiful and the wedding a spectacular gala event, reminiscent of a scene from The Great Gatsby or maybe Grand Hotel. I felt like a movie star myself to be in some way part of such a lovely Art Deco inspired scene.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Women Making History and the Self-Styled Edwardian Broadside Painter

I am interested in politics. I like to participate in my democracy. However, sometimes politics is not top priority as life takes hold. Yet the past two weeks here in Portland, Oregon and throughout the United States illustrate how life and politics are inexorably linked.

Two years ago this month I participated in a mural project created and executed by my friend, colleague and personal hero, Robin Corbo. Painted on the side of a carpeting warehouse on busy Interstate Boulevard in Portland, Oregon, the mural serves to represent various Portland communities and celebrates the women who went above and beyond to help further equality within their respective neighborhoods, ethnic groups or human rights organizations.

Perched atop a three story scaffold at times, (a truly terrifying experience which I failed to really get used to) I spent two weeks creating the alphabet, designing the layout and painting the lettering below each portrait. Located next to a century old train yard and working solo without music, I listened to the rumble of the locomotives, the oncoming traffic and the streetcar line. Feeling like an Edwardian broadside painter I enjoyed the industrial feel of my environs.

I think about this mural when I listen to the speeches made by Sarah Palin. Each of the women pictured in the mural fought to further the rights of women everywhere and now a woman stands to threaten those painstaking accomplishments.

I think Eve Ensler and Tina Fey/Amy Poeler explain the situation best for while I think it vital for women to continue to make history I certainly do not want to see it rolled back.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Dresden Dolls, Steampunk, Octavine Illustration and an Apology

Created from the gears of industry, Steampunk is an expression of a desire to return to the elegance of tea-parties, ball gowns and the glamour of a more formal, ordered existence.

Steampunk fashion celebrates industrial beauty as pocket watch mechanisms and typewriter keys find new meaning in jewelry, adornment or collage. It is in direct opposition to the mass-produced, made in China, sleek minimalist look of the Millennium.

The Dresden Dolls, a Steampunk cabaret duo, embody this new fashion phenomenon. Their large, loyal fanbase seeks to portray this neo-Victorian aesthetic through Dresden Dolls inspired paraphernalia.

By returning to handmade, artisan crafted merchandise, the Dresden Dolls’ new website, Post-War Trade, seeks to provide hand-wrought items commissioned specifically for their fans.

Contacted personally by the Dresden Dolls with a vision for a notecard based around lead singer Amanda Palmer, I sought to create an aesthetic of old Hollywood glamour. With Dresden Dolls song lyrics and my own image of Amanda Palmer, these notecards are designed, hand-screenprinted and hand-painted by yours truly and can be purchased directly through the Post-War Trade website.

In other news, please accept my apology for my long absence. Vacation and weddings ruled the month of August leaving me little time for blogging.

I was however, featured in a wonderful eco-blog, The Organic Mechanic, with a lovely interview all about me and my art along with many ecologically minded details.

In addition, my "Career Gal" painting was featured on a major London travel site, The Londonist. And, of course, when not dancing at weddings or at a reunion, the was month spent working my little fingers to the bone creating Art Deco wedding invitations, an Art Nouveau inspired Ketubah as well as a couple new Moleskine and notecard images such as "London Mod." I hope to get everything posted soon. And I promise I will not be gone for so long again. I missed you all terribly.

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