Monday, September 19, 2011

Cursive hebrew (mostly) and not becoming a Sofer

Learning to read and draw Hebrew letters is a challenge. My initial attempts to copy an alphabet were soon thwarted by my unwillingness to be bound or restrained by the strict laws governing the formal writing of letters. I am not destined to be a Sofer (Jewish scribe). Nevertheless, the letter forms and language remain fascinating. The four abstract drawings here are based on my practice pieces. The first (above) presents a conundrum: while creating a satisfying abstract design, I didn't realize until I was 'finished' that the letters were upside down! This begs the question: how is the reader of Hebrew going to interpret this? Do tell me.

Seeking a more lyrical solution I made a number of composite drawings using a broad brush and nib pen. Again it is the word בְּרֵאשִׁית, (Bereshit) meaning Genesis, or 'in the beginning'.

Then I turned to the cursive alphabet that had first confused me. Here I felt there was more freedom for creating adventurous designs. Which, if any of these pieces will be included in my interpretation of Carlyle's Sartor Resartus & Heroes, remains to be seen . . .

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