Woodblock Prints

While on a trip to Florence in 2012 I saw some exquisite woodblock prints by Piero Parigi and was inspired to try them myself. Since that time, I have delighted in the the stark imagery of black and white, the concision of line and the need for heightened narrative in order to convey the message.

The Passover tale of the Four Sons’ Questions has been transposed to Four Daughters. The Smart daughter knows all the traditions of Passover and leads the service. The Wicked Daughter knows the guidelines but breaks from tradition, the Simple daughter does not know the guidelines and She Who Does Not Ask, not only does she not know the guidelines for Passover she has no interest her tradition.

The first four commandments describe the relationship between God and humans. Subsequent commandments depict relationships between humans. I have used a hand to symbolize the universality of these laws, both for the sexes and for all cultures. The same hands that caresses the next generation, can also steal or covet since we are all vulnerable to human failings. This is a feminist and egalitarian interpretation of the laws.

Blanket story was created for a call to artists by the Teacher’s College of Columbia University. I was given a story about five brothers who shared a bed and never had enough blanket. My perspective on the Blanket Story conceit is that it touches on the universal need for space. Although circumstance leads us to close quarters, we all need to find comfort within those parameters.

The series describes the chances

we take as we get older. In youth, she undertakes the mountains, in middle age she fishes amongst the cliffs. In old age she totters

back down.

Based on the poet Agnes Marton’s works, these were exhibited in Luxembourg. 

This triptych illustrates social norms colliding with financial exchanges. A project which was commissioned by Dan Ariely’s Center for Advanced Hindsight, it illustrates the discomfort we feel when money inserts itself into friendship. Thrusting too many gifts on recipients is not welcome, Even the gift horse is inspected! In business, a handshake is prefer-able to a contract. The horse exits stage right, ignored and unnecessary in the business world.

Going Viral celebrates some great personalities alongside the image of the virus that killed them. The images are of Evita Peron who died of HPV, Dr. Khan a great Ebola researcher died of Ebola and Rudolf Nureyev who died
of HIV.

Esh is a study I undertook to see the breadth of the theme of Fire in Judaism. After doing much research, I chose 18 manifestations which wove a narrative from cosmic to intimate.

In the print of the burning bush (Image 8), I have emphasized Moses’ feet because he is commanded to remove his sandals in the heat of the desert. I found this quite interesting both as a show of respect and as proof of full commitment to God.

In the print of Black fire on White fire (Image 11) I have written Bereshit (in the beginning) in Hebrew in Black “fire” at the bottom and the white fire snakes from this. In Image 16, I have shown both the exterior light in the Mishkan (a huge consuming flame) of the Altar and interior light in the Holy of Holies (the gentle flame of the menorah). This exemplifies the dichotomy of fire which I hope the book showcases.

This series of woodcut prints depicts verses from Isaiah contemporized to our times. Isaiah addressed the issues of countries besieged by unbidden enemies, fear of an uncertain future and incursions by foreign nations. Today we also live in unstable times. Isaiah comforted and berated, warned and sum-moned the Jews of his time with a remarkably contemporary voice. In this series, the figures wear modern clothes and armaments, but soldiers have the head of Anubis (the Egyptian god of death). The women are depicted as birds in order to suspend ethnic visuals for the figures. This lets the viewers project their own time and place for the unfolding story. Both in Isaiah’s time and in our own, the ongoing political warfare erases humanity until we no longer see humans, just an enemy. Then and now, people are fleeing in order to find freedom and security. The destruction of our forests and waterways continues despite efforts to conserve our resources. In the final print, there is a promise of healing and binding. Perhaps Isaiah’s words can inspire all sides to find a peaceful and stable solution.



Snowmaiden Series

The Four Questions Series

The Ten Commandments Series

The Blanket Story Series


The Mountain Fisher Series

The Poetry Series

The Crowding Out the Gift Horse

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Self Portrait

Isaiah Series: Echoes of Wisdom


Going Viral


Esh: Fire In Judaism

Folktale/Herbal Remedy Series


This series illustrates folktales from around the world which focus on an herbal remedy. Despite although mankind uses botanical cures internationally, it was quite hard to find specific stories which detail the cures. These eight stories from Chinese, Tanzanian, Native American, Polish Chasidic, Scandinavian, Venezuelan, European and Hungarian, origins create a wonderful basis for the images.

Mi Yodeah? (Who Knows?)


Shakespeare’s King Lear offers many themes which are universal. As a parent my reading of Lear is newly informed. I was overwhelmed by the many references to parental blindness. These three prints highlight the play’s most affecting acts.

King Lear: Blindness

Ojibwa Woman HealingOjib_1.html


This project was created for an artist residency to which I was accepted at the Grand Marais Artist Colony in Grand Marais, Minnesota. I did eight woodblock prints which centered on botanical plants native to the region which were used by the Ojibwa people to heal women’s health issues. This project was partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

This print commemorates my favorite oak tree in Harms Woods which I visit three times a week.

This cycle of prints is in homage to Baruch Spinoza, the great philosopher, who encouraged analytical reading of the ancient Judaic texts. I have translated seven psalms into their essence. From top right to left Beginnings and Hope, middle row left to right, Fear, Greatness of God, Lies among men, Bottom row left to right, Fruitful Old Age and Humility.

Chad Gadya (One Only Kid)

Chad Gadya is the last song in the Passover Seder. It is cumulative as is Mi Yodea, but is darker in meaning.  The lang-uage is a mix of Hebrew and Aramaic while the tune has its origins in medieval German folk music. 

I have chosen to set the scene in the Judean hills. In each print (except for the first), the background has a foreshadowing of the action to come. For example, in the second print the money is paid in the foreground while the goat is seen in the distance.

The song “Who Knows?”
(Mi Yodeah in Hebrew), is one of the last sung in a traditional Passover seder (a ritual meal of prayers, songs and discussion celebrating the freedom of the Jews from slavery). In this series of prints inspired by the song, I have assigned a botanical element to thirteen important tenets of Judaism each of which is a cumulative stanza in the song. The song is fun and but still imparts lessons for the children and adults at the table.

The Old Oak

Tehilim: Homage to Spinoza