My Gilbert & Sullivan Artwork

I’ve just completed designing the show program for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s June production, Trial by Jury and More! This production is a melange of two comic operettas and some magnificent overtures and solos from Gilbert & Sullivan.

I’ve been pleased to paint the poster illustrations for a number of these G&S shows, which I then use on the program cover as well. It’s a pleasure to get to know the witty and comical characters in these operettas – and they are truly operettas, with some dialog but a lot of gloriously operatic sung music. I really recommend these shows for anyone who loves classical music and good theatrical humor.

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My illustration for Trial by Jury and More includes the characters Mr. Cox, a hatter, and Mr. Box, a printer, who unwittingly occupy the same rented flat because one works all day and the other all night; they meet unexpectedly and both are furious with their landlord for double-dipping on the rent – until they discover they are, or were, also engaged to the same lady and neither wants to fulfill that contractual obligation! Also depicted in this cover are characters from Trial by Jury: Angelina, the tragicomically jilted bride, and the Judge, who is instantly smitten with her. Together these 1-act shows make up the operatic musical comedy Trial by Jury and More!  and it is set to open in two weeks, on Friday June 16 here in Doylestown – all info is on the website here.

With my art for HMS Pinafore I shoehorned the main characters into a tiny rowboat for comic effect: the gallant sailor Ralph Rackstraw kissing lovely Josephine and Captain Corcoran carrying his sunny Buttercup, with ornery Dick Deadeye paddling them through the waves and Sir Joseph admonishing them all to be quite polite. My husband played Sir Joseph in this show locally, and friends may see the resemblance in my rendering of him.

For Princess Ida I stood our stalwart princess front and center, and in the background her bastion for women, Castle Adamant. If you look closely you can see the brave fellows clumsily scaling the castle battlements – Hilarion, Cyril and Florian – who engage the theme of this battle-of-the-sexes play. For some elements of Castle Adamant I was inspired by the design of Marie Antoinette’s Hameau de la Reine, and you may notice I incorporated male-female symbols into the castle windows.

For the Patience illustration I painted sweet, sensible milkmaid Patience listening skeptically to the florid words of poet Bunthorne. (I enjoy that G&S often chose hilariously Dickensian character names.) Meanwhile the lovesick maidens of the village cling and swoon on Bunthorne, with even Lady Jane and her cello getting drawn into the undertow. There’s a lovely small magnolia tree in my neighborhood that I used for reference in the Patience art.

In all these illustrations I painted with acrylic paint on illustration board. If you’d like to see my sketches leading up to these paintings, I wrote about my process – Trial by Jury here, Pinafore here, Princess Ida here and Patience here. Leasing of my artwork for other productions is available, and inquiries can be made through my Contact page.

 

Pinafore in Albion

I was charmed to receive the poster for Bicester Choral & Operatic Society’s performance of HMS Pinafore, for which they leased my artwork:

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I wrote a bit about painting this piece in a past blog post here.

The BCOS did a splendid job with the design. It’s gratifying to know my work was seen in merry England for such a merry show!

My Illustrations in the Philadelphia Sketch Club’s Phillustration Exhibit

I’m very pleased and honored to say that I have two illustrations accepted into Phillustration 8 at the Philadelphia Sketch Club.

The juried show at the Sketch Club, which is the oldest association for artists in the country, has an opening reception on Sunday November 20 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. The show runs from November 11 to December 3. It features some of the best illustrations in the Philly area in categories such as books, editorial, advertising, institutional and student work. This year’s jurors were freelance illustrator and designer for 3×3 Magazine Skye Bolluyt; and Steve Spatucci, an illustrator, animator. author and multimedia creator whose Plasmic Studio develops identities for companies and implements them in various media formats.

The pieces of mine that will be in the exhibit are my illustration for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of HMS Pinafore:

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And my portfolio piece for The Pied Piper of Hamelin, published in the Bucks County Illustrators Society showcase book Fantasy Tales:

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I invite everyone to take in this exhibit; illustration is fine art that tells a story. The Sketch Club is located at 235 S. Camac Street in Philadelphia, and the gallery hours are Wednesday, Friday,  Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

All artwork (c) Pat Achilles.

HMS Pinafore this weekend

I’m happy to remind everyone that the delightful Gilbert & Sullivan comic operetta, for which I painted the poster art, is opening this coming weekend: HMS Pinafore, performed by the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society.

The program cover, using my artwork:

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H.M.S. Pinafore will perform on Friday June 17 at 8:00 PM, Saturday June 18 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM and Sunday June 19 at 2:00 PM, at Delaware Valley University’s Life Sciences Building Theater, Doylestown. The story weaves together exceedingly polite naval officers, love-struck sailors and starry-eyed young ladies, all sung to Sullivan’s glorious music. Comic patter songs, ballads and madrigals are featured, including favorites “When I Was A Lad,” and “I’m Called Little Buttercup.”  The cast is accompanied by the full Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Orchestra under the direction of Lee F. Milhous

Tickets at the door are $23 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for students, and discounted prices are available by ordering ahead online here.  Delaware Valley University is at 700 East Butler Avenue and attendees should enter the campus from New Britain Road onto Admissions Drive and turn right into Parking Lot C, which borders the Life Sciences Building. For more information call 215-348-4837 or visit www.bucksgilbertandsullivan.org .

David Swartz directs the show, with Bob Binkley as Choral Director and Bill Buckman as Producer. The cast features George Achilles, Perry Beem, Bill Buckman, Bob Binkley, Carla Engebretsen, Tina Margot, Dennis Kloppel and Robert West of Doylestown; Jenne Carey of Manalapan, NJ; Derek Hess of Boyertown; Elise Bjordammen of Blue Bell; Michael Dutka of Kintnersville; Theresa Swartz and Nate Binkley of Ambler; Fred Dittman of Berwyn; George Bourrie of Exton; Sarah Darrow of Trenton; Clare Fannon of Newtown; Virginia Ziegler of Pipersville; Ridge Goodwin of Holicong; Sue Hudson of Media; Alice Deanin of Princeton; Doug Kurtze of Ardmore; Jim Palmer of Hatboro; and Jim Sanders of New Hope.