Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Night Fall with Snow Fall

This is my front porch at 10:00 o'clock last night. I had to push the door open against the snow piled in front of it to take this photo. (I forgot to adjust the camera, the night and the snow were not this yellow!) Somewhere there are steps winding down to the street. Maybe by spring I will find them. The snow is almost to the top of the porch railing!

I would complain, but aside from the hassle factor, it is a beautiful sight.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Silent Night

As I mentioned in the previous post, I had the opportunity to work on some concepts for the Minnesota Opera, with Amy Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Design, and here is the second opera visual concept in progress, "Silent Night". This World Premiere opera depicts the true story of a Christmas Eve truce in the trenches of the Western Front during World War I. Such a poignant tale - it began with the Germans lining their trenches with tiny Christmas trees and progressed to the soldiers exchanging chocolates, cigarettes and other token gifts in No Man's Land. Apparently they partied all night long, showing off pictures of their loved ones back home, sharing whatever liquor was to be had, and even playing a game of soccer. When the next day came, the war resumed, but with such reluctance on the part of the soldiers that they had to be stationed elsewhere in order to continue to fight.

This is one of the cut-and-paste thumbnails that I submitted.

Another thumbnail, with postcards fortifying the trenches.

A third version, featuring the soldier in a more prominent position.

In the end, the last version was chosen, and I'll show you the finished result tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Madame Butterfly



Here's the final version - Madame Butterfly awaits the return of her lover.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Minnesota Opera Project

A while back I had the good fortune to work with the very talented graphic designer Amy Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Design on concepts for the one of Amy's many clients, the Minnesota Opera. Amy thought my collage style of illustration might be a good choice for the upcoming season's brochure and marketing materials, and invited me to submit concepts for consideration. I worked on two of the season's upcoming operas, the well-loved classic, "Madame Butterfly" and "Silent Night", a world premiere libretto based on the true story of the World War I Christmas Eve truce in the trenches of the western front.

In the end, the Opera folks opted to go with photography instead of collage and my fun came to an end, but I really had a good time working with Amy on the preliminary concepts. Speaking of which:

I began with this photo of Kelly Kaduce of Madame Butterfly. With a little Photoshop magic, I reduced those worried lines in her forehead, (if only I could do that with myself) and I reduced the blue hue.


and after

Next I took out my scissors and found my glue stick and created some rough thumbnails with a cut and paste routine. Here's what I sent to Amy, and she decided to go with the last version, which will show in my next post: