I spent hours online trying to find a suitable piece of art for this year’s Rosh Hashanah cover, then even more hours for what I might do myself. I really wanted to include a shofar in whatever I did, as a call to hope and action, for myself as much as anyone else.
I stumbled on artist Yitzchok Moully’s Elul Shofar Art Challenge (moullyart.com). Moully’s work is bright, colourful, full of life. As I mulled it over, I received an email from local artist Merle Linde, who generously created art for the JI ’s Passover cover this year and for last’s year Rosh Hashanah issue. She sent me an emotionally charged piece lamenting the countless trees that have been destroyed by wildfires. The base painting was an acrylic pour, and I spent several fun hours learning about and practising the technique, deciding it wasn’t quite what I wanted for my shofar blast.
I eventually came across creativejewishmom.com, the site that inspired my 2020 Passover cover depicting the Israelites (made of corks) crossing the Red Sea, who made a second appearance for Passover 2021, participating in Zoom seders. This time, it was a Tashlich picture made with yarn, coloured paper and felt marker that caught my eye on creativejewishmom.com. Inspired, I made the JI masthead out of yarn and ink, and created the shofar and the hand holding it – I wanted there to be a human presence, as we are critical to any change, for better or worse.
The middle section of the page eluded me for days, and I tried various things that just didn’t feel or look right. Thankfully, a middle-of-the-night couple of hours resulted in the finished cover, albeit with some tweaking in Photoshop. It ended up being more cheerful than I was intending. I am happily surprised at my latent optimism, and hope that readers also find it uplifting.