‘Pirates of Penzance’ Opening Tonight

Tonight, June 14, the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society pirates take the stage, along with Major-General daughters and policemen, to perform a play 140 years old that still delights with its wit and soaring music.

I’m very happy to be involved behind the scenes while my husband takes his turn as Major-General Stanley, a part he imbues with genuine humor and sings with uncanny precision. My illustration for the show has served well for the poster, program cover, and in movie theater and newspaper ads.

it will be wonderful to see the show in full sail, with a magnificent orchestra, costumes, set, makeup and the million other details that support a community theater project. If any of you reading this are local, I utterly recommend the show for top-quality singing, and orchestral accompaniment. And the story’s a hoot too.

I’ll leave you with some photos of dress rehearsal, and if you want more info I’ve put a lot on the group’s website HERE. Tickets are still available at the door or thru BrownPaperTickets.




One of many fun email blasts I created for this wonderful & talented group!

Art in Progress for ‘Pirates of Penzance’

I’m buckling up the buccaneers for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society‘s production of “The Pirates of Penzance” in June – here’s a detail of the panoply of characters in one of my all-time favorite shows –

I have yet to paint in the background and then plop it all into place with the information details below it.

This show is an operetta, which means it is mostly sung, but don’t let that put anyone off; it is a VERY funny show, in addition to having magnificent music. (And, my husband does a wonderful turn as the Major-General!) The cast of about 25 singers will be accompanied by the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Orchestra, and the show performs Friday June 14 at 8 pm, Saturday June 15 at 2 and 8 pm and Sunday June 16 at 2 pm. The location is Delaware Valley University, 700 East Butler Avenue, Doylestown, in the Life Sciences Auditorium. Want to buy tickets early and save money over the price of tickets at the door? Just go HERE to order online.

Brochure Design for a Non-Profit

I recently redesigned the season brochure for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s upcoming 2019 events. Given the outstanding photography by our resident photog Dennis Klöppel, and the excellent acting and colorful costuming our group puts together, it is a very good-looking promotional piece – take a look.

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The Society is a wonderful group of friendly and talented amateurs and professionals, and I highly recommend anyone interested to audition for their shows or come and hear the engaging music and delightful wit in every performance. You can keep apprised of upcoming events through their website or liking the group on Facebook.

I am available for design jobs such as this, please contact me through my Contact page on the menu above to chat about your company’s needs.

Russian Badgers

I’m pleased that the Lenape Chamber Ensemble again requested a fun drawing from me, for their Children’s Concert next spring. This concert will include music by Mozart, Widor and Prokofiev, played by world-class musicians who also teach the young audience about musical themes and the composers. I read a bit about Prokofiev’s life and thought the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow would provide some architectural interest in the background, since my last illustration for a concert was set in Venice for Vivaldi.

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I also discovered that Prokofiev was a noted chess player! I decided on badgers for this drawing’s main characters, and so drew a couple playing chess while others serenade them with flute, violin, viola, cello and piano, which are all featured in this concert.

Here is the sketch partially inked in – unfortunately had to change the pelican at right to a small bird, to fit in the word bubble.

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And the final all inked in – below. Should be a delightful March concert!

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Venetian Bunnies

The Lenape Chamber Ensemble will again present a delightful concert for children in November, and I was asked to draw up a fun flyer advertising it.  The concert features world-class musicians who talk to the children about patterns and themes in the music, bits about the lives of the composers, and their specific instruments; and then they play snippets of the featured compositions (they play the full versions of these pieces for two adult concerts around the same weekend). Sometimes the musicians invite the children to get up and dance in whatever way the music makes them feel. I love going to these concerts to see the little preschoolers and elementary school children’s reactions to these glorious pieces of music!

This Children’s Concert will feature works by Leclair, Telemann, Couperin, and Vivaldi; I researched the pieces to be played and the composers, and found that Vivaldi (nicknamed the ‘red priest’ because he was indeed a cleric who inherited his family trait of red hair) was born in Venice. I’ve also been listening lately to Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta The Gondoliers, which takes places in Venice, so I decided to use that picturesque city as the backdrop for my illustration for this poster.

I researched pictures of gondolas and some landmarks in Venice, like the Rialto Bridge and the domed basilicas, and roughed out a pencil sketch of a little clutch of musical rabbits floating along in a canal –

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The layout of my flyers for the Lenape Children’s Concerts is always similar, as you can see from this one and this one – they like me to hand-letter the text, so I plan the drawing around where the words will fall. I traced this pencil sketch onto bond paper using my lightbox, and inked in all the details using Faber-Castell Pitt pens.

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I highly recommend the Lenape Chamber Ensemble concerts – both the children’s and the adult ones – the lovely auditorium at Delaware Valley University is just the perfect intimate size to enjoy these wonderful artists playing gorgeous music.

Doylestown Symphonic Winds Poster

It is time for the annual – and magnificent – Doylestown Symphonic Winds concert at Delaware Valley University, and I was happy to once again create the poster for this year’s theme – Song and Dance. This delightful orchestra of brass and wind instruments, under the baton of music director Gina Lenox, assistant conductor Jack Schmidt and guest conductor Dr. Virginia Allen, will perform Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger, as well as other wonderful symphonic pieces inspired by songs and dances. It is always a terrific concert, I’m really looking forward to it this Friday!

For this poster I made a rough pencil layout, then sketched folk dancers from research photos. While I sketched by hand, I ‘drew’ the final art graphically on the computer.

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An Animal Chamber Ensemble

I’ve drew my latest flyer illustration for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble’s spring children’s concert.  I always pick some cute animals to portray the musicians in the concert, although in reality they are world-class instrumentalists who play delightful snippets of classical masterpieces for youngsters, tell stories of the composers and get the children to dance to the music. These are wonderful concerts.

lenchens_beavers_1I had never drawn a colony of beavers before so I chose them; I placed a bunch of them on a dam for their concert, and since there were only four musical instruments to include this time I added a nattily dressed beaver couple as their audience. I started with a very rough pencil sketch, and I typed the wording in on a template I’ve made – the text always follows the same format, and I hand-letter it for the finish. It makes it easier to keep straight and space right if I hand trace the letters from this template.

I scanned the first sketch and made the characters a little bigger, and realized I had mistakenly drawn a harpsichord, but it should be a piano. Then I quickly inked & lenchens_beavers_2pencilled in blacks and gray values to see where I would concentrate the most color and texture in the picture. I added in a duck flying by, announcing refreshments, which they always provide to the kids at the concert. The duck was a little too large, I reduced it for the final art.

Onto a clean sheet of bond paper I traced the lettering using my lightbox, and also lightly traced the scene in pencil. Then I used a Faber-Castell fine felt-point to ink in the characters one by one, and all the little sticks and ripples of the dam and the water. I changed the backdrop from vague rolling hills to a fir-tree forest instead, with some reflections in the water. The finished art is below.

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Again, I heartily recommend these concerts if you want to introduce a young child to the beauty and enjoyment of classical music!