Ant

A Celtic ant design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

An Ant will carry a leaf hundreds of miles to bring it to the anthill or the “group mind.” An Ant work for the good of the entire community. This ant (pictured above) was just rescued from a raging river by a dove that dropped a feather that he climb upon. The feather carried him to shore were he sits and contemplates the world.

Bees

Bees buzzing design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Bees. We cannot say enough about bees, that bring the sweet honey of life… and sting only with provoked. Bees spread pollen from flower to flower and mix things up to keep things growing.

Mouse

Little brown mouse design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

A Mouse must touch everything with his or her whiskers to know it, yet he or she can chew every little thing or idea to pieces. And oh, the Mouse must watch out for predators like birds, cats, and snakes. Life is not easy when you must watch closely, little brown mouse, for that piece of cheese may be sitting on trigger that will spring a deadly trap.

We take these small creatures for granted in our daily walks, but they will figure large in some of the coming stories on this page.

For my May10Boys.

Sometimes life brings challenges that require us to go out into the world to seek help… in doing that we pass sign posts of our lives and meet people on a shared path that nobody expected to take… on that path much good can be found if one looks upwards and beyond the immediate situation. The “Survivors’ Hub” series came out of my need to do art… the designs are simple, and the textures are meditations. As I shared them with folks on my path, they understood…

Art Deco Birds - pink

Surviving requires unity of thought, purpose, and action despite adversity. The three birds in flight symbolize spiritual unity that brings healing individually and collectively. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Survivors’ Hub Unity Birds Postcard

Survivor

“Survivor. I stumbled, fell, I cried, why, Abba! You lifted me, showed me who I was meant… to be… one step at a time.”

Breaking Bread with Nevermore

February 20, 2017

Nevermore, a raven from the ‘hood swooped down behind me the other day, and proceeded to eat an English muffin whole… who was I to argue.

nevermore

“Nevermore” in flight before discovering an abandoned English muffin, portrait by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

“The Raven” was first attributed to Poe in print in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— Only this and nothing more.” Edgar Allen Poe, 1845.

Amused by the raven’s comically serious disposition, the narrator asks that the bird tell him its name. The raven’s only answer is “Nevermore.”

img_0345

Nevermore about to take off with his feast.

life_truth_love

LIFE * TRUTH * LOVE designed by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

tiger

“O Tiger’s heart wrapp’d in a woman’s body.” King Henry IV, Part III: York’s monologue: words by William Shakespeare, design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

More from Dante…

August 4, 2016

Dante_blue

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) “Puro e disposta a salire alle stella=Pure and disposed to mount unto the stars.” Purgatorio, canto 33, 1, 145. Creature of Celtic design, by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

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.

Norma

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

In Unity

June 17, 2016

In Flight

Three birds fly in formation, Art Deco design by Meredith Eliassen.

I recently had an article published in the California State Library Foundation Bulletin about Siméon Pelénc (1873-1935):

http://www.cslfdn.org/pdf/Bulletin111.pdf

Siméon Pélenc was born and raised in Cannes, France. He hoped to become an architect and was an accomplished draftsman, but perhaps was best known for his murals and opera set designs. He settled in San Francisco, California in 1916. A study of San Francisco city directories indicates that Pélenc did not advertise as an artist for several years while he taught French to journalists in the Chronicle Building. By 1925, he occupied a studio located at 728 Montgomery Street and resided with his second wife Helen at various locations adjacent to the French Quarter.

Pelénc was a scenic painter who worked in oils and temperas. Some of his early work employed pointillism, a technique of painting in regular dots or small dashes of pure color, which from a distance created a vibrant effect. However, he was best remembered for introducing Italian sgraffiti techniques of mural painting to California. The Northern California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects invited Pelénc (who was a member) to participate in Exhibit and Honor Awards for Craftsmanship in efforts to revive “the splendor of fresco and sgraffito” in the region in 1927, 1928, and 1929.

“The word, “fresco” comes from an Italian word meaning “wet” or “damp” and the fresco painter does not paint his picture on the wall it is meant to adorn; he makes it become part of the wall, in the same manner in which nature makes marble — by adding mineral pigments to the plaster while it is still wet.

Pelénc’s credo was “Every effort in life teaches us something and this accumulated gain is what makes the big man out of the little man.”

I have found that researching Pelénc has made me want to draw with less realism. The following picture was inspired by a German example of ceramic sgraffiti with light/dark reversed.

Four birds in a stylized design by Meredith Eliassen, 2012.

Four birds in a stylized design by Meredith Eliassen, 2012.