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.

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.

More Shakespeare…

June 28, 2016


“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Words by William Shakespeare in Hamlet, act 2, scene 2, design inspired by the Tragic Comic Masks in the Hadrian’s Villa mosaic drawn by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.