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Soft Art appeals to the heart

We would love to take home something special from Israel, something we can look at every day to remind us we must return." This remark, uttered by cruise-visitor friends as I took them for a brief taste of the remarkable history of our past in Caesarea port, made me decide that our final sightseeing visit there would be to the vibrant ArtNova Gallery at the top of the Port tower. And there they found just what they wanted to take home to California.

The gallery in Caesarea is one of the five ArtNova Galleries in the country – another two are in Jerusalem, one is in Jaffa and the main studio and gallery is in Moshav Beit Nekofa. Here visitors are able not only to see and touch the artwork on display but also to watch the artists at work, learn about the technique and even try it themselves. This technique was developed by local artists in Israel. One of the initial developers was Johanan Herson, originally from Canada, who came to live in Israel as a young man and furthered his artistic talent for painting initially at the Bezalel Academy. The technique used provides clean lines, vibrant colors and a variety of textures. The paintbrush is replaced by a special needle which fastens the threads of the material used to the "canvas" which is either synthetic felt or burlap. When the layers of fiber thicken, the artist uses a special punch tool with a hundred needles that attach the fiber into the background fabric. In this manner varied alternate layers of threads in diverse colors constitute the complex color shading of the work.

The beauty and versatility of this soft-painting method is that it can be used with almost no restrictions on the size, colors or shape of the material used. It does not need to have a fixed frame. This provides a perfect solution for large wall decorations, concave or convex spaces and unsightly gaps that need to be hidden, and it is now widely used by interior architects to embellish lobbies, halls, stairways and even conference rooms.

Insulation material can be integrated into the painting itself and thus improve the acoustics in a large enclosed space. Another advantage of this technique is that the artist can remove and change the fibers to improve or alter the effect, and those fibers can then be reused.We would love to take home something special from Israel, something we can look at every day to remind us we must return." This remark, uttered by cruise-visitor friends as I took them for a brief taste of the remarkable history of our past in Caesarea port, made me decide that our final sightseeing visit there would be to the vibrant ArtNova Gallery at the top of the Port tower. And there they found just what they wanted to take home to California.

The gallery in Caesarea is one of the five ArtNova Galleries in the country – another two are in Jerusalem, one is in Jaffa and the main studio and gallery is in Moshav Beit Nekofa. Here visitors are able not only to see and touch the artwork on display but also to watch the artists at work, learn about the technique and even try it themselves. This technique was developed by local artists in Israel. One of the initial developers was Johanan Herson, originally from Canada, who came to live in Israel as a young man and furthered his artistic talent for painting initially at the Bezalel Academy. The technique used provides clean lines, vibrant colors and a variety of textures. The paintbrush is replaced by a special needle which fastens the threads of the material used to the "canvas" which is either synthetic felt or burlap. When the layers of fiber thicken, the artist uses a special punch tool with a hundred needles that attach the fiber into the background fabric. In this manner varied alternate layers of threads in diverse colors constitute the complex color shading of the work.

The beauty and versatility of this soft-painting method is that it can be used with almost no restrictions on the size, colors or shape of the material used. It does not need to have a fixed frame. This provides a perfect solution for large wall decorations, concave or convex spaces and unsightly gaps that need to be hidden, and it is now widely used by interior architects to embellish lobbies, halls, stairways and even conference rooms.

Insulation material can be integrated into the painting itself and thus improve the acoustics in a large enclosed space. Another advantage of this technique is that the artist can remove and change the fibers to improve or alter the effect, and those fibers can then be reused.

Today the ArtNova studio artists provide the major output of soft paintings across the world. Johanan Herson still produces works at the studio. His art tends more to the abstract, with a blend of colors and shapes and a lyrical approach. Amongst the works of two young women artists – originally from Russia – there are vivid flowers and landscape productions as well as Jewish themes. And now two new local artists are adding more diversity to subject and style. A wide choice of art, as well as small colorful pictures which especially appeal to younger children, can be found to please every eye and every pocket.

After some deliberation and the assistance of the charming woman on duty in the gallery, my guests did leave Israel with the picture that would bring the memories of Israel they sought into their home, all safely bound in bubble wrap.

For further information see www.artnova.co.il 

 

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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

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