Norma (1831) composed by Vincenzo Belini (1801-1835) and based upon the libretto by Felice Romani (1788-1865) tells the epic story of a Druid priestess who breaks her vows and bears two children of a Roman soldier only to discover he has fallen in love with a younger woman. This quintessential bel canto opera was one of the first to be performed in Gold Rush San Francisco.


Design featuring Celtic motifs from the “Book of Kells” by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

The Trade Wind Opera Company has gathered for a short summer run… in the San Francisco fog.


Hint… see the smoke in the fog? Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Susanna has a secret habit… Il segreto di Susanna is an intermezzo in one act by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948) with a libretto by Enrico Golisciani (1848-1919) that premiered with a German translation in 1909.

Composer Thomas Hewitt Jones has started a conversation on the humming motif of former British PM with a short musical fantasy developing a motif as sung by David Cameron as he entered no.10 Downing Street on 11 July 2016. This is the piece that wrote and hastily recorded between midnight and 2am on 12 July 2016:


Reverse-drawing of “Flower Child” by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

This was my response in approximately the same time frame (though not in two hours)… the artistic impulse is to create or compose harmony when there is seeming discord.

This “fantasy”  imagines new growth and optimism in transformation.

Flower Child with Butterfly Notecard


“Who would want to live with some crickets in your room carousing loudly all night? That is to say, either befriend all your thoughts, party with them the best you can… or toss the rascals out.” Words by Persian poet Hafiz (1325/26-1389/90), image by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Notecard and Survivors’ Hub Postcard


Haiku by Issa: “Weaving [image of a butterfly], I am no more than dust.” Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

one word at at time

July 6, 2016


“one word at a time. i believe i believe that all the people should stop their fight i believe that one should blow a whistle or sing or play on the lute” 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.

“one word at at time” Notecard

This drawing below comes from 2014, when a neighbor asked me to draw a picture for her granddaughters to celebrate Purim, the annual feast in memory of their deliverance from when Haman commenced his campaign against the Jews. Esther remains a role model for someone who used only logic/rhetoric to convince her husband, the king, to save her people. Esther speaks not only to women but to marginalized oppressed groups caught in an intersectional exile.


Esther drawn for Ruth by Meredith Eliassen in 2014. When I look into her eyes, I see my mother.


The LONG Weekend…

July 5, 2016

It was a crazy weekend. I should have known when the ravens started having loud conversations that something was coming. I had called the crickets from the lake for a drawing session, when Addison showed up, claiming that he was doing his part for Brexit… then bedlam broke out in the apartment. Addison went after the crickets, then the crickets chased the cast of Bellini’s Norma out the door. And this was before the fireworks outside started.


Addison, inspired by English essayist Joseph Addison (1672-1719)… can you see any resemblance? A hummingbird feather quill drops from the sky, will Addison follow his destiny and write, or will he raise havoc in the community? Portrait by Meredith Eliassen, 2016. Addison the Lizard Notecard

All I can say is that the ravens call things as they are… I had to call Lucky and his posse to restore order before the neighbors called the police. Last I heard Addison was turning on the charm with Miss Sally, but she has given her heart to another, unrequited. Sally, by the way, was not convinced by Addison’s British accent, she thinks he is from Eastend of Flagstaff judging by the for tricksters dancing on his back.