About the Artist: Kristina Swarner

The beautiful images on this site were created by Kristina Swarner.

Some years ago I came across a boxed set of “Yiddish Wisdom” note cards while browsing in a bookstore. Over the years I’ve used the cards sparingly and now there are just a few left.

I love these cards. The images speak to me of our basic loneliness as human beings, of our longing for connection. They speak of sorrow and the need for gentleness.

The dreamlike pastels seem to be set just at the break of day or at sunset, the time of vespers, a time of gathering, of quiet reflection, an hour of song. It is sacred time, in which we may find solace in family and in the grandeur and intimacy of the natural world.

Having admired the images for so long I hoped I could share some of them on my website and the artist kindly agreed. The cards are blank on the inside but have Yiddish proverbs printed on the back.

On the back of the card pictured on this page there is the folk saying:

The smoothest way is sometimes full of stones.

Der gleichster veg iz ful mit shtainer.

The “Yiddish Wisdom” cards were published by Chronicle Books, in conjunction with a small book of the same name.