Friday, December 2, 2011

holiday blitz

Can it really be December already? It just doesn't feel cold enough. With my copies of A Warmer World  sitting on my desk, the mild weather feels eerily unnatural. Also tacked up nearby is a vintage postcard of ladies in swimsuits, which got me thinking about annual events like the Polar Plunge, when hearty types dash into the bay for charity. 

I'm not one of them, but I was inspired to create this for my holiday card this year, an Ice Harbor Holiday where people embrace the season's chill with frisky good cheer. I'll be addressing and mailing them this weekend, the old fashioned way, of course.

'Tis also the season for holiday theater, which we've enjoyed thanks to Portland Stage Company. Here are Marty's dynamic posters for their most recent productions, in which his strong design background informs his illustrations.

He was delighted to tour backstage for a closer view of the cool set for God of Carnage before the crew came to vacuum the tons of sand. Yes, the floor here is a sand box, for powerful reason.

Artistic director Anita Steward recruited Marty and my former student and MECA alum, Alysa Avery, to be nimble helpers in the frenzied dash to get The Snow Queen ready for today. Fun to see the drawings for the set designs.

Here's Alysa at work.

Can't wait to see this show, a marvelously fresh take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale.

Meanwhile, over at Maine College of Art, my current crop of students finished their illustrations for a set of monster cards. For the cover, I wanted to use this illustration done during class by Wyatt Barr.
He's been exploring watercolor and all it's accidental surprises.

Marty, with his superior design sense, helped pull it together, in a way I could not have.

The class has since done a couple of other projects and now, yes this very second, is scrambling to be ready for today's Holiday Sale.

Their last and most practical assignment is to create something to sell. The illustration department table will be just inside the Free Street entrance. Here's a sneak peek from class.

Ali McCahon has made very friendly fiends to wear.

Wyatt has hand sewn a series of blank books with original watercolor covers.

Bridget Dunigan has made Random Phantoms, curious little peeps to keep you company for the long nights ahead.

Cut paper maestro Zoe made a line of Santas from various cultures, for both cards and gift tags.

There's this and much more from my class of twelve intrepid elves. Come see!

The college's front window of the Porteous Building on Congress Street says it all: bring on the Joy!