As an artist, I very much enjoy “contrasts.” So in my sketchbook, when I’m no longer in the mood to render detailed geometric illuminations, my pen strayed into free-flowing abstract interpretations of the Hebrew letters. The shapes that came out on paper randomly over the course of a few years became a full dreamlike alphabet.
Starting with “Aleph,” the first Hebrew letter, I transferred the shapes to watercolor paper. With no plan or color sketch, I started dripping wet-into-wet pigments of bright colors until the first painting in the series was born. It was a big departure for me, and established a brand new style for me to explore. Allowing the paints to mix on their own on the watercolor paper is a different experience to produce than carefully planned illuminations.
The name “Chalom” is the Hebrew word for “Dreams.” Ya’akov Aveinu (Jacob our Patriarch) had a dream at Mount Moriah where he saw angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven. All of the other prophets (except Moshe) were asleep or in a dreamlike trance in order to receive their prophecies from G-d.
Kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (the “Ramchal”) describes how, during sleep, your “higher soul” disconnects from your corporeal body and communicates with higher spiritually-based powers. Both dreams and nightmares are influenced by these encounters.