A Colorful Experiment

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to share a project I spent much of this past week working on… it’s a Ketubah (Jewish Wedding Contract) design for friends who are getting married this weekend. Their vows will be printed in the circular area in the center of the sun.

As part of design process I experimented with a lot of different color alternatives. Below is the same design with a fanciful rainbow trunk instead of the more subdued brown one. It totally changes the mood, doesn’t it?

Then I decided to try layering color, and was astonished at how much the version below resembled the cherry blossom trees which will be in bloom later this month. Being astonished made me think of a saying I had written in my journal last year “Be totally astonishing at least once a day… it is fabulous for your soul”, so I scanned it, cleaned it up, and placed it into the design.

But then the color also made me think of my favorite scripture “With God All Things Are Possible”, and I decided to see what the piece would look like with Matthew 19:26 in the sun. Since I wanted the text to be the focal point, I simplified the design by using a brown trunk with no dangle elements, and I added an outline to the sun so it would frame the text.

I plan to continue experimenting with color variations, and would love to know which version is your favorite. To make it easy to do a comparison, here are three of the versions lined up:

I’d welcome your suggestions for different things to try… and will post the results of future experiments sometime next month. 

Wishing you a creative and colorful day!

Stay Zenspired,


31 thoughts on “A Colorful Experiment”

  1. I like the rainbow effect for the wedding, but I prefer the brown trunk on the "with God all things are possible". Love your work!

  2. Wow.. What to choose..What to choose!!! They are all so beautiful (as is all your work!) I love the "Astonishing" quote one very much, but I think my favorite is the middle one with the "All things Possible" quote and the outline around it… Would love to see that one with "Astonishing" quote in that!

    Also, I wanted to thank you here for the personal drawings you made for me in-case you haven't gotten my email.
    My step-father, Chris Bankey, was in Florida a week or so ago & went out of his way to get me something from you. (SO wonderful of him!)
    I hope you you do get a chance to read my email soon, as I need some info on purchasing some things from you.
    Also, Chris told me yesterday that he has been meaning to send you some music you wanted, so expect that soon.
    I will remind him, now that I know he hasn't gotten it to you yet. (He's always busy, so sometimes forgetful)

    Thank You again for all your inspiration!
    All the best,

  3. Same as Anne, love the rainbow effect for the wedding, but my favorite is the brown trunk with the scripture "With God all things are possible."

  4. Hi Joanne,

    As is often the case, I feel each of these has its special merits. For me, the one with the blue, decorated trunk is favourite, although I might like it even better id one or two of the spaces took up a little of the other colours too. I think that design works best for the wedding as well. However, like you, I like the plainer trunk when the text needs the emphasis. I suppose it's all about individual taste and the purpose of the artwork.

    I'm glad I don't HAVE to choose.

    As always, I go away full of admiration and brimming with ideas,

    Thank you,


  5. I like something best from each one which would create a whole other one! They are all amazing and love that you share your work…thank you!

  6. Love them all. My favorite is the blue trunk with the designs on it. Reminds me of fantasy and fairies a little. Thanks for sharing your work! Always inspirational!

  7. I love all of them but my favorite is the rainbow trunk with the design on it. Love love love it.

  8. I like the one without text the most. The sun stands out on its own, without anything added to it. I love the simplicity. Also like the Astonishing quote, mostly for how cool the tree looks.

  9. I love how you are showing the alternatives!! I LOVE the brown trunk with the Scripture!! Thanks for sharing and all the teaching you do!!

  10. I like the first one with the subtle sketch on the tree trunk! Your little dangles always have something to say!

  11. I really like the "whimsy" feeling the multi colored trunk creates. It makes me smile and feel happy. On the other hand, the brown trunk radiates a more somber, serious feel. For the wedding I think I prefer the multi color but would like a couple more hearts swinging from the trunk. For scripture, definitely the brown trunk. I absolutely LOVE your work, Joanne. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Good morning Joanne, by another spelling, 🙂

    I love watercolor and how you have incorporated inspiration with it. I am working with a couple young (elementary school) girls who both love drawing and art. I have chosen to take on the role of 'Gma Mentor' for them. I am a retired high school guidance counselor and I miss that daily connection with kids. These two are perceived 'different' by their peers and have a difficult time fitting in. One is autistic and the other has a brother with special needs. I find using your books and inspiration as a great way to connect with them. I am so thankful that our local library has copies that we can check out 🙂 Your personal inspiration to me has guided this journey. THANK YOU!!!

  13. Each design has it's own merits. The Ketubah is a wonderfully modern design. I'm sure your friends will be very pleased. I really like the simple tree trunk in the one with "With God all things are possible." And high-lighting the sun certainly makes the words pop. But my favorite is the one with all the colors around the tree leaves and the "Astonishing" quote. You used the same tree trunk is this last one as you did on the Ketubah. Lovely work Joanne. Thank you for sharing it all.

  14. All three are fantastic, but I am drawn to the third one a little more. I think it needs some dangles on the trunk to be prefect!

  15. Wow! My favourite is the one with the brown trunk and scripture, however, I really like the colour around the tree in the third one (looks like leaves to me). I also like the quote in the third one, but find it a little difficult to read.
    All are stunningly beautiful!!

  16. Hi Joanne,

    I wish we lived closer to each other, I would love for us to be able to play with color, it is my favorite thing to do. Your scriptures and sayings are so inspirational, I cannot pick a favorite. It is always the next one you do. I have friends I will send the Astonishing—– card to when available. How about removing the rainbow effect from behind the tree, it pulls my eye away from the writing. Just a thought.
    Hugs, Mary Ann

  17. I like each one for different reasons as a couple of others have indicated. What I like the most though is that when you show us your alternatives it helps me to understand that almost always there is no "one right way" and that artistic expression has very few "wrong answers." Thanks, as always, for sharing and caring!!

  18. I love the symbolism of the 1st. The Star of David with the Candle in the Tree of Life. Rich!

  19. I always love everything you do! My favourite is the rainbow tree with the dangle elements – it brings out the happy in me!! The middle one with the brown tree is lovely and highlights the writing beautifully. The last tree with the layered colour is so beautiful although the writing seems to be a little lost. The tree would be amazing just on its own.

  20. My personal favorite is the first tree–with the design drawn on the rainbow trunk. It reminds me of sunrise — the way colors vary as the day grows and as the light changes it casts shadows that create images within the tree's bark. Just so peaceful and spiritual and very symbolic of the new beginning the couple is embarking on. Your works are extraordinary! Thank you for the smiles and heart-felt warmth your art offers! Sharyn

  21. I like them all! However, I am partial to the one with the Scripture, yet since God is Love, could we have some hearts somewhere? Thanks for sharing.

  22. You have given us a daunting task. 🙂 After much perusing I have chosen the one on the left. I like the colors and the blue trunk with dangles. I also would like the scripture:"With God All Things Are Possible"

    I think I would color some of the dangles on the trunk. But who am I to suggest what you should do? I'm so way out of your league.

  23. Wow Joanne. How does one choose the best from all of your lovely designs? My thoughts are that the first one (the blue trunk and dangle in it) is what I would choose for the Ketubah. The brown trunk with the scripture in the sun is the one that speaks to me, personally. Yet, the colors of the last one are so rainbow like and lovely. As someone else said, I think the words get a little bit lost in the last one. They need to be a bit darker to be more readable. They are all simply fabulous. You are so gifted, and I think we all are so thankful that we get to share a bit in the beauty and inspiration of your work……..Linda E.

  24. If – with G'd all things are possible – why is the tree brown? I think I'd love that expression on the simple rainbow tree but keeping the simpler leaves of the brown tree version.

  25. I really like all of the versions….of the three together at the end……the first one is my favorite if I had to pick. I do like the quote in the sun like on the third one. Thanks for sharing and I really enloy your inspiration!

  26. I like the first one with the Dangles in the trunk. You can still have the words be the focal point by using a fancy font that will attract more attention than the dangles. I just love the color and the dangles in the trunk. A pretty font for the vows and it will all come together.
    Big Hugs!! & Good Luck,

  27. I love all of them. Hard to chose. However my favorite it the brown trunk with the dangles. If only I was close enough to take a class from you. Love what you do. Very inspiring. Thank You for sharing.

  28. I love them all , but my favorite is the brown trunk on the "with God all things are possible".

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