Sunday, August 21, 2016
After completing the previous painting that welcomed the Sabbath, it seemed only fitting to move on to the blessings that heralded the end of Shabbat.
This particular painting has more concrete images hiding in plain sight, than my other paintings. It was a challenging little game I set up for myself. I wanted the light of the candle, the Kiddush cup and the spices to be discovered by the viewer. Challenges are important elements to an artist. We want each new creation to surpass the last, lest we get stuck in a rut and lose that element of authenticity. Abstract painting requires more 'work' on the part of the viewer, to discover meaning and connection. My goal in this painting was to set up a visual treasure hunt of sorts.
Havdallah is my favorite service and not because of the brevity of it. It is a bittersweet time, yet it is filled with hope for the coming week. We say goodbye to what is holy, losing the special gift of an additional soul, but we are renewed and refreshed to face the work week ahead. For me, it is almost magical to share this separation with others. No other service has such built in ambiance.
Our senses of sight, taste, smell, hearing and touch are all addressed and delighted.
Being one who often leads Havdallah, I can attest to the fact that it can elicit a sense of childlike wonder to those who participate in it. Close attention is paid to each ritual item and the order in which they are presented.
When I began this painting, I had thoughts of movement upward, whether it be the aroma of the spices or the direction of the flames. I wanted the kiddush cup to anchor the design because this blessing is central to so many of our celebrations and holy days.
For those of you familiar with my body of work, you know that I adore circles. They crop up everywhere and found their home in this series simply because they symbolize concepts found in our prayers....wholeness, infinity, life cycles, etc. In this particular painting, it was important for me to bring in the idea of having an extra soul to aid us on our spiritual journeys on Shabbat. Hence, the stacking of two circles to represent the souls.
Design wise, the braided lines of the tri-wicked Havdallah candle are repeated in the fragrance from the spices, as they both wend their way upward, toward G-d, as symbolized by the color red.
G-d gave us a day of rest to make us holy. We acknowledge it's end, as we acknowledge it's beginning.
To see the complete series of 23 paintings and texts: Sacred Intention
Please note that Clergy and Jewish organizations receive discounts on selected products. These images are available in a wide variety of sizes and materials. Please contact me directly.