Portland Stage Company

It’s a Wonderful Life

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in Illustration, Portland Stage Company | 1 comment

When I learned last winter that this season’s holiday show at Portland Stage Company would be It’s a Wonderful Life, I couldn’t WAIT to see the live radio play version. Joe Landry’s adaptation brought in all the vintage touches of a live radio broadcast, with applause signs, a foley table, and period commercials for cake soap and hair tonic. I worked on rough ideas for the theater poster last February. My first idea used a big radio as if it’s the pivotal scene on the bridge between George Bailey and his guardian angel, Clarence. Another composition, with a...

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Complications From A Fall

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Illustration, Portland Stage Company | 2 comments

Kate Hawley’s script Complications From A Fall, triggered some heartache for me. Having walked that final episode of eldercare with my mother years ago, it touched a few nerves. I went looking for the walker that is still in the basement, don’t ask me why. That thing was a metaphor for my mother’s decline. I made it an element in all of my ideas for the poster for Portland Stage’s recent production. In one scene, Elizabeth, the aging mother, sets fire to some old letters. It seemed very direct to visualize the walker falling in flames. Maybe too direct. So I tried...

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Lady Day in moonlight

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Illustration, pastels, Portland Stage Company | 4 comments

These are just a few of the records I grew up with. My parents were into jazz. I heard Billie Holiday long before I knew her name. Sarah, Billie, and Ella were my mother’s favorites; Duke, Satchmo, and Coltrane were my dad’s. These were the faces on the records, but in fact I went all through elementary grades and high school without having a single person of color in my classes, or in my small world in rural New Hampshire. That changed in art school and beyond, but those soulful voices remain somehow elemental for me. The script for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill by...

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Postcards from the Rock

Posted by on Aug 31, 2017 in Charlesbridge Publishing, curious city, drawing, Illustration, Illustration Institute, Maine College of Art, Peaks Island, Portland Stage Company, Tiger Boy, Tilbury House | 1 comment

I have always been a snail mailer. Even when I was growing up at the Red Doors Motel, I cultivated pen pals. Creating post card promotions as an illustrator is one occupational hazard that I enjoy. These are just a handful from many years of mailing out samples. Here’s the scoop behind my most recent postcard, Summer in the Slow Lane. I’ve always hankered for little campers and the time to take road trips. I made a sketch on the ferry one day based on a photo I took a few years ago on the way to Stonington, Maine. Kirsten Cappy happily modeled inside this camper we spied for sale...

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Disgraced

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Illustration, Portland Stage Company | 2 comments

When I read the script last year for Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced, it leapt off the page. This play is his first, and he’s the first Muslim playwright to win a Pulitzer. The story begins in Amir and Emily’s posh apartment on the Upper West Side in NYC, where issues of identity, race, religion, and culture clash in unforgettable drama. The play begins with Emily sketching Amir, inspired by Velazquez’s Portrait of Juan de Peraja. It played into my first sketch for the poster. Amir has renounced the religion of his birth, Islam, and diligently climbed the ladder at a law...

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String Around My Finger

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Illustration, pastels, Portland Stage Company | 4 comments

Over a year ago, I read the script for Brenda Wither’s play, String Around My Finger, now in it’s final run at Portland Stage Company. As someone who has suffered infant loss, the comedic tone seemed too light then. The aftermath of such an event is devastating, confusing, and heavy. In the play, Emma’s had a miscarriage, and everyone else is ignoring her trauma, trying to keep up good cheer while navigating realities. To tackle illustrating this, my initial ideas played with the literal visual of a string around a finger. The first was a baby hand that looms over small...

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