Judaic Expressions

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hi Everyone,

I am excited that my next book in the Create, Color, Pattern, Play series is going to press tomorrow! Here’s the cover design:

It was a bit of a rush, and I want to give a special shout out to the team of Color & Creativity Enthusiasts from the Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play  Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1471158256528576/), who created more than 30 inspiration samples. Thank you for sharing your wonderful work… it’s a thrill to see the different and creative ways you utilize my imagery. You inspire me!

Here’s a ‘sneak peak’ of two pages from the ‘inspiration section’, show-casing several artists’ interpretations of the same design. Isn’t it cool how different they all are?

The page below will transition from the full color section at the front of the book to the coloring page section. The full color images will be on the left, and the black and white coloring page of this image will be on the right. 

I also wanted to share a few of the pages I created specially for this book, and tell you about the creative process I used to design them. I love the Jewish philosophy that it is up to each one of us to use our God-given talents to make the world a better place, and tried to incorporate that into the piece below. It actually combines two core Jewish Values: ’Repair of the World’ (Tikkun Olam ), and ‘Deeds of Loving Kindness’ (G’milut Hasidim), which often go hand-in-hand.

In this next piece, I drew the parting of the Red Sea, and added the prayer of wonder and gratitude which the Israelites said afterwards, once they had safely gotten out of Egypt and were safe on dry land. This prayer, the ‘Mi Chamocha’ (Who is like You?) is a core component of Jewish prayer liturgy.  

I’m especially proud of the third piece I’d like to share tonight, because it took me outside my comfort zone. Earlier this year I was asked to design the cover for the Wedding Issue of The Heritage, Orlando’s local Jewish newspaper. The design features a ‘Chuppah’ (Jewish wedding canopy), and I liked it so much that I thought I’d use it as inspiration for a coloring page. Here’s what the cover looked like:

I took out the ‘Celebration 2015’ and replaced it with the traditional Hebrew phrase “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li” which means “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”… but quickly realized that there wasn’t much to actually color in the design. In brainstorming the best way to capture the essence of a Jewish wedding in a coloring page, I ultimately came to the conclusion that I should draw a bride and groom under the Chuppah. The only problem with that conclusion was that since I seldom draw people (or anything with faces for that matter!), I wasn’t sure if I would be able to pull it off. It was a challenge, and took me longer to draw than any of the other piece in the book, but I’m pleased with how it turned out. Thanks to my friend Barbi Striar Disraelly for her suggestion that I ‘ghost’ whatever is under the bride’s veil, which I did in PhotoShop. I really like the way her hair looks… and hope that it will be a fun design to color.
Now that Judaic Expressions is off to press, next on my agenda is to finish sending out the rest of the packages with my Kickstarter books. My goal is to get everything shipped by next week. Unfortunately I don’t have addresses for everyone… and since I know that many of my blog followers were kind enough to back the Kickstarter, I thought I’d ask those backers who haven’t received their package yet to take a moment to log into Kickstarter and make sure that you’ve given my the correct address. You can also e-mail it to me– but please make sure to put KICKSTARTER ADDRESS in the subject line so I can find them.
After I get When You Lose Someone You Love shipped, I’ll be heading right back to the drawing board to finish Expressions of Nature and Heartfelt Expressions; the last two ‘Create, Color, Pattern, Play’ books I’ll be working on this year. I hope some of you will be interested in contributing art for the new books. I plan to include inspiration samples (ike the ones above) for five of the 32 pages in each book, and will start posting art to download in the next couple of weeks.
To make sure you are notified, please leave me a comment to let me know that you are interested in submitting your art. Please also let me know how much time you would ideally like to have to create a design. Is one week enough? If not, would two weeks suffice? I look forward to your thoughts, and to our next creative collaboration…    
Stay Zenspired,

21 thoughts on “Judaic Expressions”

  1. I hope you include the original chuppah zenspiration as it makes it much more universal and i think it is lovelier than the one with the couple

  2. Joanne,

    This is a beautiful book and I'm so happy to be a part of it. I would love to do more coloring and patterning! I so enjoy your work and look forward to what you come up with next! As far as time, maybe 2 weeks would be good. I am ok with 1 week, but then as you know I'm in a holding pattern with our move and have some extra free time, but the extra week would be good for those who are working, etc. Thanks for all you do!


  3. Hey Joanne.. All of the pages are simply stunning!!! The colors are so vibrant. I think you are truly blessed !!!! I have a question for you, when is your Color And Peace coming out? I am told that it might take time. Is it ?

  4. I love coloring your designs and I think it's fantastic that you put people's versions of your artwork in your books! I love seeing all of the different variations of the design. I work slowly and have limited time, so for me two weeks would be much better. Thanks Joanne!!

    Kristen Zeitler

  5. Hugs Joanne,

    I am loving the new book thus far and can't wait to see more. As for the time, you know me, trying to learn a lot and prepare a lot lately so 2 weeks would be fantastic!!!


  6. Hi Joanne! I can't wait to see the book in print and of course I am looking forward to working on pictures for your new books! More time is always better! But I will take what I can get! Congratulations!

  7. My dear friend,

    Thank you so much for including me in this gorgeous book! I cannot wait to see it in it's entirety! I love all of the pages above and I think the wedding "scene" is delightful!

    Yippee, for more pages to color! I've been a bit occupied with my new puppy, but I really want to get some coloring in….so this will definitely motivate me, LOL! Two weeks would definitely be my preference, but whatever works for everyone is fine with me.

    Thank you again Joanne! Love and blessings, always!
    Mary Anne

  8. HI Joanne!

    The books looks lovely! Thanks you so much for including my designs to be a part of it. Yes I would love to participate again in creating new designs for the upcoming books, but as you know my schedule, 2 weeks would DEFINITELY be better for me!! Looking forward to creating again!

    The wedding design is beautiful and I love the Wedding Issue Cover too! SO colorful!

    Always a fan of you and your many talents!


  9. Thank you for creating this wonderful book. I've seen several people in various adult coloring groups bemoan the paucity of coloring pages/books that have a Judaic theme, so this is a fabulous addition to the available resources for them.

    While I am not Jewish myself, I shared my life with a fantastic man who was and over the time we had together he demonstrated both Tikkun Olam and G’milut Hasidim as well as the concepts of Mitzvahs and Atonement. My life was altered for the better by his example and I gained a great appreciation for the Jewish faith.

    I'm happy that others will now have your book and hope that it will serve as both an opportunity for their creative expression and a way to enrich their lives in faith!

  10. Thanks for yet another opportunity to create and color for another of your wonderful books. I would like to participate. Two weeks would be great, but will use whatever time is given. Congratulations on your success with these books and best wishes for all those books yet to come.

  11. Thank you for the wonderful zoodles, absolutely love the calligraphy included. Keep up the good work.

  12. Hi,
    So beautiful watching someone enjoy working in their talents.
    I like the pages of God's own.
    Learn a little Hebrew.
    Will you do a book on the names of God?
    Next holiday season…


  13. Hi Joanne,
    I love colouring in your designs and I would definitely like to create more inspiration samples for upcoming books. I totally love the frenzy of activity that happens on facebook during the period that we all are colouring and submitting pages. It is exciting and every few hours I keep logging in to see the new pages that have been submitted. If we could have a time frame of two weeks, that would be wonderful as it would become easier to find time to colour all the pages and one would not be so rushed.
    Thanks a lot for everything!

  14. Hi Joanne, the new book looks awesome I can't wait for my copies to arrive. It was such fun to create for it. Thanks for choosing my work again, I am so proud to be a part of the Zenspiration "family". Well done with the wedding card..it looks great.
    Re time to colour pieces…….as I work I find that I have to do bits and pieces when I can and 2 or even 3 weeks would be a brilliant turnaround. I was on holiday with my last work and it was quite a rush to finish. I would love to spend a bit more time and even work on more than 1 piece.

    Thanks for your amazing creativity and zest for life xx

  15. Hi Joanne, congrats on another finished book ! I cannot imagine how much work it all requires, but you must be buried in deadlines. I would love to color your inspiration samples and since I am slow I would appreciate two weeks time… Thank you for creating and sharing beauty.

  16. Joanne, L'Chaim!!! I am so pleased that you are making this Judaic coloring book. I understand your feeling about putting people/faces in Judaic art. For me, the beautiful and meaningful Hebrew letters are more than enough. I am going to forward this blog to the director of our religious school. What a wonderful gift it will make!!!!! May everything go smoothly.

  17. Your new book looks lovely and I am excited to look through the other pages you've designed. I'm looking forward to your other books too, and I would love to work on more coloring samples for you. I agree with the other comments, that two weeks would be preferable since I am so busy these days. But I will of course work with whatever your schedule allows. Can't wait to see the next samples!!

  18. You are amazing Joanne!
    I would love to submit for your next books. Two weeks would be better for me.
    Thanks for yet another opportunity!

  19. Joanne, I adore the couple under the canopy artwork. What it took for you to create it was worth every moment. The Life within you resonates through you to the page completely. Thank you for sharing your beautiful self so freely and graciously with all of us.


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