Paisley Palm Pun

January 31, 2016

Palm Impression

Drawing of hand with paisley design by Meredith Eliassen

The Haiku Snail

January 29, 2016

Felix and mushrooms

Filix possesses nothing but his own shadow. He moves and acts spontaneously from his nature and without purpose, he has become one with the Universe: “Look snail, look, O look, at your own shadow.” — Issa.

Haiku is a Japanese poetry form that originally evoked a moment in nature consisting of seventeen syllables in a five-seven-five pattern. Issa (1762-1826) was a poet of nature, who wrote about a thousand haiku on small creatures in nature including snails, frogs, fireflies, and fleas. His work demonstrates an empathy, gentleness, deep feeling and oneness with nature.



“Just simply alive, I and the poppy.” – Issa. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2015.


January 28, 2016

I went to an event with women working and studying in STEM fields and had the most wonderful conversations about children’s books that inspired them to think mathematically. I went home and did this very quick drawing.


“The Universe… is written in the language of mathematics, its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometric figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it, without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth.” Quote by Galileo Galilei, drawing by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

For the Birds…

January 27, 2016


“eve ry word a choice eve ry act a pray er eve ry act a choice eve ry word a prayer” Words by Robert Lax (1915-2000) from “In the Beginning was Love: Contemplative Words of Robert Lax,” edited with an introduction by S. T. Georgiou (2015), design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

“every word” Notecard

Paraphrasing the Vinaya-pitaka about a Buddhist concept of inter-dependence:

How can you, foolish men, dig the ground…?

There are living things in the ground.

How can you, foolish men, fell a tree?

There are living things in the tree.

Whatever man should intentionally deprive a breathing thing of life, there is an offence of expiation.”

Check out the Gallery if you get a chance.


“Turn ing the jun gle in to a gar den with out des troy ing a sin gle flow er” Words by Robert Lax (1915-2000) from In the Beginning was Love: Contemplative Words of Robert Lax, edited with an introduction by S. T. Georgiou (2015), design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

“Turning the jungle” Notecard

It was now the hour that turns back the longing of seafarer and melts their hearts, the day they have bidden dear friends farewell, and pierces the new traveler with love if he hears in the distance the bell that seems to mourn the dying day. Dante


Seahorse design featuring paisley motif by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Some Asian cultures traditionally viewed the seahorse as a sea dragon and prized them as symbols of good luck. The seahorse is a unique creature. The female impregnates the male who carries the offspring to term. A mild-mannered creature, the seahorse contentlt ambles through the ocean. The seahorse wraps its tail around the nearest object or mate in order to anchor itself in turbulent waters. Paisley Seahorse Notecard

Lax from Last Year

January 8, 2016

Last year my friend Steve re-introduced me to the work of Robert Lax after a couple of decades, and WOW! Age and perspective have shifted my interpretation and appreciation of his words on a page. What I enjoy about Lax’s work and words is that they allow the viewer and reader to be in a moment. Here is a stream of consciousness image that came to me last year, it was posted in another spot, but I think at some point I will add a LAX gallery to my site.


“never a root without a tree * never a tree without a bird * never a bird without a song * never a song without a sky ** never a sky without a song * never a song without a bird * never a bird without a tree * never a tree without a root ** never a root without a tree” ** words by robert lax ** new poems ** 1962 ** design by meredith eliassen ** 2015          “never a root without a tree” notecard


Into the Woods We Go…

January 7, 2016


“You will find something more in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” ~Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration or illustration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniatures. In the strictest definition of the term, an illuminated manuscript only refers to manuscripts decorated with gold or silver. However all words accompanied by imagery become more memorable to the artist and to anybody that views the imagery.

mer illume fav 2

A leaf from a French Book of Hours, circa 1420, photographed by R. I. Otterbach in late afternoon light on an autumn day in 2014. The reversal of numbers in the years amuses me.

I am embracing the illuminated written word. Though I cannot replicate the work of this scribe with my little Micron pens and Strathmore watercolor paper, I admire this illuminator’s fine decorative line work and I am letting up-lifting messages shape my designs.