Artist: Elena Kotliarker

From the artist:

In my work I make my utmost effort to bring forward the abundant beauty and splendor that is within Judaic Art. In my method, I do this by embedding numerous Jewish symbols and icons that have developed throughout many centuries of our rich history and heritage. The symbols mainly identify signs of fortune from the Kabbalah like good health, prosperity, fertility and so on.

What do my pictures depict?

First of all, it is my strong feeling for the nature of Israel – its rich gardens and its blooming and colorful & flowery palette…  The garden is rich in symbolic forms that are meaningful for Judaism.

How is a painting born?

I make sketches at any free moment – while looking at flowers, sitting on a bench… In these series of small sketches I try to catch rhythms, motives and moods, and to learn them by heart as melodies.Once at home, I stretch a canvas, touch and caress it as if it were alive, expecting its response. I think of a blessing for a work yet unborn. Then I either copy my sketches as they are or develop a new one based on their motives. Drawing is often made in pencil or in charcoal, but my favorite is oil pastel which enables free line drawing…  And then, one by one, the paint layers appear.The first background layer is a bunch of color patches. Then lots of new layers land on top of these preliminary color patches. They are made of paint and paste which helps create a texture both sophisticated and inviting, calling for touch and caress. I give colors a lot of thought, tuning myself to a specific hue, thinking of its energy and its unique message.

Afterwards I fill in the lacquers and glazing, creating half-tones and subtle color transitions. The resulting variety combines opaque as well as glowing lacquers. In fact, I am inspired by sophisticated surfaces created by nature, such as the multi-layered surface of minerals, or the play of light in pearls… I use minerals to provide me with warmth, their touch causing a pleasant sensation inside that urges to create. So I place them around the candles, sprinkle them with aromatic oils and they help me enter my canvas door into a world of imagination. Once there, I may pick up one of the stones, study its texture and think of its essence and impact on people.

When I review all those intervening stratums, I start making repairs: erasing at some points, placing accents on others, adding tiny dots and delicate lines so as to achieve an esthetic and harmonious form. Once my new jewel is ready, I thread in some strings of gold…

Peace and Blessings from Israel,
Elena Kotliarker