By Meryl Cohen
I live in the Givat Sharett neighborhood of Beit Shemesh, and from my house I have a lovely view of open land where sheep graze. In the winter, the landscape is barren and devoid of color; but in the spring, around Pesach time, everything turns green. Everywhere you look you see new life budding forth from the ground and trees. Nature comes alive with a plethora of color. Like an artist’s palette.
As an artist, I love working with color. Moreover, the fabrics that I use in my fusion paintings give my realistic subjects a touch of abstraction. Whenever I go, I take time out to gaze at the flowers and local vegetation. My camera is always with me and I snap hundreds of photos. When I was visiting our daughter in Florida, in front of her home was a magnificently colorful plant. I knew immediately that it would be perfect for some new fabric that I was so anxious to use.
Other flowers that captured my imagination are the chrysanthemum and the anemone (kalanit). The chrysanthemum is so colorful even though it appears to be of one color. With the kalanit, I worked with primary and secondary colors, a favorite palette of mine. Simple flora that are a representation of G-d’s magnificent handiwork, transform the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Indeed, my neighborhood is filled with natural beauty. Even the streets are called by the names of flowers: Ha-Iris, Ha-Kalanit, and Ha-Nurit. I feel blessed to live in Beit Shemesh where I can encounter the beauty of nature as I travel on the highways and byways of our wonderful city. As we never grow tired of flowers on our Shabbat table, I am still painting flora.
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