‘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!

Vote for the Best Caption for my Cartoon in the New Yorker

I posted about my cartoon being published in the New Yorker Caption Contest last week, and now anyone can vote for the best among the many caption submissions they received. You can click HERE to go to the voting page, and as it scrolls through the captions you can rate each as Not Funny, Somewhat Funny, or Funny. When you have scrolled through enough cations, you click on Done.

I warn you, there are a LOT of submissions, but if you leave the tab open on your screen you can come back to it later and continue rating more captions. Interestingly, I found that many caption writers came up with similar jokes, even similar phrasing. There are others that use rather unique wording or twists, and those seemed to stand out.

I believe voting on this stage closes on Sunday, then this contest moves to the next stage – next week the cartoon will appear with the top three captions underneath, and you can again vote for what you feel is the funniest of the three contenders.

I’ll leave you today with another of my cartoons – again, this one has a caption written by my dear dad, one of the funniest writers I ever knew.

My ‘Pirates of Penzance’ Poster Illustration

The Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society is once again gearing up for one of the Victorian playwrights’ funniest, most lyrical and most popular creations, The Pirates of Penzance. I’m happy to again be illustrating the poster for this wonderfully fun musical. If you have ever heard the brilliant patter song I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General, this is the rambunctious show for which that song was written.

I started with a very rough pencil sketch of a group of the colorful characters – maidens, pirates, bobbies, the Major-General – in a classic triangle composition.

I defined the characters a bit more in the next sketch.

I scanned this sketch and did a rough colored pencil blocking in of the colors

I traced this drawing onto illustration board, outlined the characters and began to paint it in using acrylic washes.

And now the finished piece is dropped into the poster design, below. I hope you consider coming, this will be a terrific musical comedy!

My Art at the CB Chamber Expo

I’m very pleased to say I have joined the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, a rousingly active organization of business people who are productively involved in every aspect of the Bucks County community. My good friend Debbie Wagner, who owns and runs the outstanding graphic design firm The Graphic Edge, described to me the CBCC’s great benefits to local business owners, and I felt it would enhance my work and connections to join.

Once a year the chamber hosts a business expo, and I welcome the chance to display my work and meet other business owners, so you will find me at my booth there. The CBCC Business Expo will be Tuesday, May 14, from 2 pm to 7 pm at the Student Center Exhibition Hall, Delaware Valley University. The University is at 700 E. Butler Avenue, Doylestown, PA. I designed the postcard below, featuring my illustration work, to hand out. The back has a few of my gag cartoons, and I’ve created a slideshow of my gag cartoons to run on my laptop throughout the expo.

In addition to meeting and learning about your local business owners, you can also enjoy some goodies from generous CBCC members, including Annie’s Water Ice, Tru-Brew Coffee and food from Applebee’s. Also, Fine Art Appraiser Lauren Travis will do free verbal approximations of value for a Fine or Decorative Art item from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Capping off the day will be the Chamber’s Largest Business Card Exchange of the Year – from 5 to 7 pm, in between networking with new colleagues, all can enjoy complimentary food courtesy of Chambers 19 Bistro & Bar with wine courtesy of Buckingham Valley Vineyards. Major event sponsors include Provident Bank, USI Affinity, My Benefit Advisor, NJM Insurance, and Delaware Valley University. This entire event is free and open to the public – I hope you stop by to see me!

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.

BCIS Hosts Illustrator David Wiesner

The Bucks County Illustrators Society and the Lahaska Bookshop will host a talk and book-signing by Caldecott award-winning author-illustrator David Wiesner this Thursday evening, April 4 at 7:00 PM.

David Wiesner is the author and illustrator of many childrens books such as Tuesday, The Three Pigs and Flotsam, and is a three-time winner of Caldecott Medals, which recognize distinguished American picture books for children. Mr. Wiesner will speak about his illustration career and how childhood memories and  images influence the stories he creates. He will sign any of his books purchased that evening. This event is free and open to the public.

Please take a moment to g HERE to register for the event – it is free, but registering will give the Lahaska Bookshop an idea of how many people will be attending, so they can provide enough seating.

The event takes place at the Lahaska Bookshop, located at 162A Peddler’s Village, Old York Rd. (Rte. 263) and Carousel Lane, Lahaska, PA. There is parking in front of the shop, with other lots nearby in Peddler’s Village. For further info contact 215-348-4837 or bcillustrators@gmail.com.

Eagle Scout Thank You Notecards

When a Scout makes his Eagle rank and is celebrated with a Court of Honor, there are always some exceptional people to be thanked. The journey to Eagle is guided by Scoutmasters, parents, friends and others who inspire and encourage the Scout to accomplish the challenges needed to achieve Eagle rank.

For these special mentors in a Scout’s journey, several customers have asked me to produce smaller thank-you notes for Eagles to use. I have now listed these on my Etsy shop, AchillesPortfolio. My Eagle thank-you notecards come 20 to a pack and have my “Eagle Scout on a Hilltop” illustration on the front. To see my Etsy shop for further ordering details, click HERE.

I drew the artwork on this card when my son was in Scouts, because I was so impressed with these fine young men who achieved Scouting’s highest rank. I have these cards printed in full color on sturdy glossy card stock, invitation-size, which is 4.25″ wide and 5.5″ deep. No envelopes are included, but invitation-size envelopes that fit these perfectly are easily available at any office supply store like Staples. The card requires standard first-class postage. The cardstock is made from partially recycled paper and the cards are printed in the USA, and the cards are blank inside so a thank-you or other message can be written by the sender.

For special orders of quantity or size on these notecards please send your questions by clicking HERE to go to my Contact page.