Portland Stage Company

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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Buyer & Cellar

Posted by on Mar 18, 2017 in drawing, Illustration, Portland Stage Company | 0 comments

Between shoveling snow and illustration deadlines, the winter is blasting by. Hard to believe it’s actually spring break for those of us at MECA, MICA, and MCLA. Post-blizzard, we enjoyed finally seeing Portland Stage’s current production, Buyer & Cellar by Jonathan Tolins. About the same time last year, I was in a mad rush (like this year) to illustrate posters for the entire season. The hilarious script features the famously nimble Dustin Tucker, who plays Alex Moore, as the imagined shop-keeper in the basement boutique on Barbra Streisand’s Malibu estate, where she...

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Portland Stage fun

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Illustration, Island Birthday, Portland Stage Company | 2 comments

On a bitter cold Saturday morning, the colorful sight of Portland Stage’s Executive Director Anita Stewart warmed me right up. It was the Theater for Kids 7th birthday and Island Birthday was being featured in their Play Me a Story production. I was delighted to be on hand to witness the theatrical reading. But first, party hats were a necessary prop! Actors voiced different characters and provided sound affects. Below James Patefield (middle) plays Riley, the lead character in Island Birthday who is tired of being out of milk, and living on a remote island. (James was bully good as...

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Kick Off ’17

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Art Classes, Children's Book Illustration, drawing, Illustration, Island Birthday, Maine College of Art, pastels, Peaks Island, Portland Stage Company, school visits | 4 comments

Everybody seemed eager to kick 2016 into history. Yeah, there were losses, that Election, hate, and plenty of things I want to forget. But a New Year…is a perennial place for hope. An earnest band of neighbors called the Get a Grip club gathered at our house on New Year’s Eve, armed with resolutions of change, good humor, and some hand-made glasses we will use for envisioning a better world. Rest assured, we will keep a grip on what matters! A few days later I visited King Middle School, a hive of young people poised to take over the world. It was my 9th outing as a visiting...

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Take something like a star

Posted by on Dec 27, 2016 in A Porcupine's Promenade, Children's Book Illustration, Illustration, pastels, Peaks Island, Portland Stage Company, Tilbury House | 2 comments

I have stars on my mind. It never fails that I am working out of season when illustrating a picture book. Last July I was feverishly drawing deep snow for A Porcupine’s Promenade.  As the ice forms outside, I am drawing a summer day at the beach for Ana and the Sea Star (for Tilbury House, coincidentally located on Starr Street in Thomaston, Maine) When we decorated our tree, I noticed how many star ornaments we have. This one, from former island neighbors Deb Deatrick and Scott Vile, is a joy to rediscover every year. The letterpress poem by Robert Frost always shines a light on...

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