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November 2010 Back Cover Artist: Autumn by Judith Joseph

Northbrook artist Judith Joseph specializes in creating the Ketubah, a richly illustrated, hand-lettered marriage contract that is a Jewish folk-art tradition. Her expressionistic brushwork is based on the Japanese tradition of sumi-e, or ink and wash painting, which was born of calligraphy and the observation of forms in nature.

Aesthetically, Joseph’s work is firmly rooted in the natural world. She loves the woods, especially the sound and smell of autumn leaves crunching under hiking boots. Painting the delicate veins on a leaf or the translucent frost on a berry helps her see and experience the world more fully.

Autumn is part of a four-seasons series. It is painted in egg tempera, a natural, homemade paint made from egg yolk and pure artists’ pigments, whose recipe dates back to the Middle Ages. The medium is simple, natural and extremely long-lasting.

Judith Joseph has produced hundreds of commissioned works for private and public collections and is on the faculty of the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Art Center Highland Park, which will offer a solo exhibition of her paintings in March 2011. View her portfolio at See the artist’s hand-painted silk scarves at a holiday gift sale, from 3 to 7 p.m., December 4-5, at PerficalSense Studio, 1127 Florence Ave., in Evanston.