Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2018

dragonfly flower

Dragonfly in flower costume gets ready to go to the Butterfly’s Ball on Halloween. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

William Roscoe’s poem “The Butterfly’s Ball, and, The Grasshopper’s Feast” (1802) appeared in Gentlemen’s Magazine in 1807. Thomas Jefferson clipped this early nonsense rhyme about a party for insects and other small animals for his granddaughter Cornelia and soon it was considered to be the first purely entertaining verse for children.

In this image a dragonfly appears to to fly into a flower, both objects are drawn utilizing empty space, their vectors are in an apparent conversation. Eastern designers treat empty space like a positive mean and not as an entity that must be filled in or that is something spare. In Western design, this sensibility is known as Gestalt where objects and their environment are mutually defined.

The flower is grounded to the earth, whereas the iridescent dragonfly moves through the essence of change as a vector in the breeze where space is alive creating tension that gives way to the broader world of imagination.

More free studies…

August 7, 2018

Albers 21

21 features Greek letterform of “upsilon” designed by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Albers 22

22 features a light green base color, design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Albers 23

23 features a light blue base color, design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

“Siegfried” condensed…

February 27, 2018


Conceived out of the year of failed revolutions – 1848 – Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (1876) is a fusion of drama and epic narratives forged in a cultural hearth of shifting ideologies. Wotan disguised like an old man, becomes the Wanderer. Mime twists plots to obtain the ring of power created by his brother. Siegfried returns from his wanderings in the forest with a wild bear in tow, and immediately breaks the new sword. Mime has raised Siegfried as a foster child. Similar to The Fool, Siegfried complains to Mime that he has never learned the meaning of fear. Siegfried arrives, and the Wanderer questions the youth. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.


Mime despairs as he imagines the ferocity of the dragon, Fafner. The Wanderer also arrives at the entrance to Fafner’s cave, where Mime’s brother Alberich keeps vigil. A forest bird sings to Siegfried of a woman sleeping on a rock surrounded by magic fire. Siegfried, unaware that intimacy brings vulnerability, wonders if he will learn to comprehend fear from this woman, and follows the bird to the rock. Siegfried, confronted by the Wanderer, does not recognize him as his grandfather, and insolently responds before continuing on the path towards Brünnhilde’s rock. The Wanderer blocks Siegfried, but the youth only mocks him, laughing at his floppy hat and his missing eye. Siegfried breaks the Wanderer’s spear, the symbol of Wotan’s authority, with a blow from his magical blade, Nothung. Wotan calmly gathers up the pieces and vanishes. Siegfried passes through the ring of fire, emerging on Brünnhilde’s rock. At first, he perceives the sleeping armored figure to be a man. However, as he removes the armor, he discovers a woman beneath. She is the first woman he has ever seen, and at last Siegfried understands the power of fear. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Old Man Rhine

The Rhine River as an old man knows what starts in the River, is fated to return to the River. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Another grassroots production of the transient Trade Wind Opera Company, where even the Wanderer looses his hat.


Nursery Rhyme

April 6, 2017

Nursery rhyme 1

“One, two, three, four, five. I caught a fish alive. Why did you let it go? It bit my finger so.” Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

Nursery Rhyme Postcard


Nursery Rhyme Postcard


Is she good or bad…

March 28, 2017


Queen of the Night, or Königin der Nacht, is a major character in the Mozart opera called “The Magic Flute” (1791). “The Queen of the Night’s Aria”, “Der Hölle Rache” in act II inspired this drawing by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

In a fantastical world of ferocious serpents and enchanted musical instruments, a noble prince sets out to rescue a beautiful princess and ensure that truth and justice prevail…

A serpent chases young prince Tamino through a valley. He is rendered unconscious, and three ladies kill the snake. Tamino awakens with the assumption that a good natured bird catcher named Papageno killed the snake. Once Papageno takes credit for heroics of the three ladies, they reappear and padlock his lips to prevent further white lies. The ladies show Tamino a portrait of Pamina, the beautiful daughter of their mistress, the Queen of the Night. He is immediately smitten. The ladies inform Tamino that Pamina has been kidnapped by an evil magician named Sarastro. The Queen appears and asks Tamino to rescue Pamina, and he agrees. The ladies free Papageno and give him a magic set of chimes. They also give Tamino a magic flute and send the two off on their mission. Papageno comes across Pamina who is being seduced by her villain captor named Monostatos. Frightened, Monostatos runs off, leaving Papageno to tell Pamina that her rescuer is close. Three boys lead Tamino through Sarastro’s realm. He tries to enter the three temple doors, but is turned away from the first two. At the third door, a priest greets him and informs him that the Queen is evil and that Sarastro was merely trying to prevent Pamina from getting under her mother’s dark influence.

“Der Hölle Rache” Notecard


A stormy opening of Aïda

January 18, 2017


Aïda (1871) is the love story of an Egyptian military hero named Radames and a captured Ethiopian princess set during the reign of the pharaohs. Aïda was written by composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) and librettist Antonio Ghislanzoni (1824-1893). Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017. Aida Notecard

Art Enables…

January 13, 2017


“Art enables us to find ourselves and loose ourselves at the same time.” Quote by Thomas Merton, butterfly design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Magic eye beads of Tibet are called dZi beads, and they are often etched or treated agate revered for their protective qualities.


One of the stories about dZi beads is that they were originally insects that were petrified.



“Grace went searching for the first couple who dared to open their eyes in Eden.” Poem called “Evolution” by Gabriel Zaid and imaginary “Eden” designed by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.


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

Media Ecology: Introduction

August 26, 2016

Beads are an ancient medium for communication.

The earliest beads were produced in tubular, barrel, or disc-shaped forms; they were manufactured with technology and raw materials available. Once the technology was developed to make spherical beads, they dominated; though in many cultures, the earlier designs were never superseded. However, the sphere shaped bead was recognized as a small portable sculpture… whole and perfect… they could be joined together to form a circlet of, say, prayer beads, whereby the beads collectively became a primal extension of the human hand and consciousness. Thus, beads as an inanimate vessel medium that humans could be imbued with spiritual semantic with which to build human-object relationships.


Eye Bead

A photograph of a small Mediterranean glass eye bead (circa 6th – 3rd century B.C.) and modern prayer beads.

Introducing a new “eye bead” motif to this blog…


Disiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536) “In region caecorum rex est luscus = In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” ~ circa 1500. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Disiderius Erasmus (c. 1466-1536) was a Dutch scholar considered by many to be the greatest humanist of the Renaissance era. At a time when children were thought to be unformed adults, Erasmus perceived them to be little “barbarians” in need of civilizing. He identified childhood as a period when children need different forms of dress from adults to fit function. In establishing a concept of adulthood, Erasmus was also credited with establishing the concept of childhood as discerned a distinct period of development when book learning during childhood was needed as part a the civilizing process needed to conquer animal behavior in humans.