isabelle stops in

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Illustration, Portland Stage Company | 1 comment

Summer in Maine is a fleeting yet spectacular thing. It helps, when you’re on a deadline, to have an island outside your studio, an island that draws others into your world unexpectedly. Recently, Isabelle Dervaux knocked on my door, a famously talented illustrator visiting our neighbors across the street! I was in the midst of working on a poster for Portland Stage Company, and she wanted to take photographs. Now a photo organizer, she enjoys creating visual narratives.

I showed her some of my sketches for Words By: Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook, in which I tried multiple ways to tackle a wordy title.



While these were both favorites all around, they didn’t get chosen. Instead, I went in this direction, captivated by the script in which Ira states he created a mosaic, fitting lyrics into fragments of music. I liked the visual solution of fitting the pictorial elements into a mosaic.


Since arriving on Peaks Island, I’m a beachcomber finding shards of ceramics and sea glass. I made these mosaics entirely from bits found on the beach.



I showed Isabelle my sketchbook with the inspiration I found of an old album cover and the color study I made. Isabelle took these photos in my studio.


I drew the parts on paper, and planned to scan them and assemble the final illustration in Photoshop, fitting each bit into the whole design.


She captured my clutter, too.




Gosh, what a mess.


We invited her and her kin back later for gin and tonics. Is this not a most sublime still life?


Thank you, Isabelle, for your cool photos and warm laugh! Here she is on my couch.


After she left, I finished the illustration.


I get a moment to catch my breath and begin the next one: for Veils by Tom Coash. Stay tuned!

One Comment

  1. Love the finished piece Jamie! So great to meet you and Marty.

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