Visit our Shakespeare and Opera Shop online!

Immortal Longings is an artist-run London company specializing Shakespare & Opera illustrations.

What you'll discover: Delightfully dramatic Shakespeare gifts featuring the Bard's best loved characters. I'm passionate about offering inspired gifts for actors, literature lovers, teachers, poets, dreamers, dramatics and romantics. My Opera Series provides art for international productions, giving an illustrated style to the thrilling music and characters.

My unique Shakespeare Gifts and Opera Gifts include: Giclée Art Prints, Art Cards, our Leatherbound journals (which make wonderful diaries and sketchbooks), Postcards, iPhone Wallpapers, and More.

The artwork is created by designer Elizabeth E. Schuch, working with local artisans in the UK and Society6 in the USA to produce gifts. Elizabeth has worked with Shakespeare's Globe, The Metropolitan Opera, The Seattle Opera, The Royal National Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, and other venues around the world to create illustrations based in the world of drama.

Tudor Portraits

Thursday, 27 August 2009

New Opera Designs: Carmen, Lulu, and Tosca

Some new artwork I'm working on in the Opera Series.

First, the red dramatic one:
Carmen is a mix of watercolour, and pastel/pencil.
This one is more painterly and less of my art nouveau line work.
Painted on brown paper, hi-lites have been brought out with the paint and pencil.
I'm excited to see how this one looks on fabric- I think it will make a spectacular couture purse.
The pose captures Carmen in the midst of a dancing leap, full of life and just above heaps of skirts. Free and lively at a glance, there's a little fraying/decay of the letters hinting of the unraveling of love and happiness.
The Zeffirelli curtain design...
Inspired by: Zeffirelli's sumptuous scenic renderings for the Met production. First saw his designs by chance- in a full exhibition on his work in Florence..... beautiful. I love his style, and his sense of texture and scale and colour and well, everything.

Lulu, the quintessential art deco woman, and a blank canvas for the men in her life. She's a beautiful and playful fem-fatale. I've decorated her with feminine trappings of beads and feathers in just as playful a fashion.

Inspired by: Art Deco adverts and posters, and the bobbed silent screen star Louise Brooks.
Lulu is a less well known opera, but a great character to work with.

After I'd completed my inking and selected my colours- I happened upon this actual poster from the period!
I was shocked a bit- but at least I was on the right track for the era.

Tosca: After doing some on-site research in Roma, with a trip to the top of Castel Sant'Angelo (where the opera tragically ends), I felt the angel made the perfect image of Tosca's justice.
Normally pictured with knife in hand- here we have Tosca nervous before her lover's "execution". The angel in the statue wields the sword for her, she has recently killed Scarpia.
“Tosca combines Puccini’s glorious musical inspiration with the melodramatic vitality of one of the great Hitchcock films,” says Music Director James Levine.
(Source: Met Opera Website)
I'm a huge Hitchcock fiend, and this idea really stuck me. Tosca does have that claustrophobic victimization and entrapment Hitchcock used so well. So Tosca has a little in common with Ingrid Bergman's character in Notorious, trapped by her own sensuality and thrown into intrigue. The light and composition are inspired by Hitchcock, and the wings of the angel reference his most famous film, as well as his use of well known monuments.
The lettering needed to be ornate and capture the style and richness of Rome.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Stop the Presses!

I'd been itching to try some new products for the Shakespeare collections, and Cafe Press had caught my eye.

So, now you'll find the illustrations on a whole new series of gifts from Cafe Press:
There's a King Lear throw pillow,
new Spiral Journals
Love Quote ceramic tiles
and my favorite- little ceramic ornaments!

Totes and ...maybe... t-shirts. I've been a little against t-shirts, but hints have been coming in...
Feedback and requests welcome- this one is new for me!
Visit Immortal Longings on Cafe Press:

Monday, 3 August 2009

Roman Holiday

Roma è Bella

I managed to escape for a little bit to Rome this summer. It's always an inspiring escape- great friends, great coffee, great food... It's easy to find inspiration in such a stunning city. The mix of graffitti and baroque, ancient and fashionable and the pistachio ice cream make it a treat for the senses.

Spent my time reasearching my upcoming Opera illustrations, and hopefully the fruits of my labour will arrive soon!

Some of my Rome favorites that you shouldn't miss (beyond the usual sightseeing.)
- Gelato at San Crispino - just at the back of the Pantheon. All modern and fancy schmancy, but well worth it in quality. Nocciola, Bacio, and Pistachio are my favorites anywhere in the city.

- Opera at the Baths of the Caracalla - Ruined baths on an epic scale, the source for many a public building and train station since. Quite possibly the most peaceful place in Rome during the day, they hold opera performances there at night. With Zefferelli sets!

- Pizza at the Vatican - Al Taglio on Via delle Grazie. I want to eat lunch here every day for ever. Try the melanzane (just eggplant and spice, it's heaven.) Don't let the queue stop you, it's the perfect treat for energy to pound the cobblestones. (Or in the evening Dar Poeta in Trastevere, but go early, it fills up.)

- Go for Apertivo - anywhere in Trastevere, really. A selection of dinner morsels comes with the price of a drink. Perfect beginning to an evening. My favorite: Freni e Frizioni
I love wandering the alleys around Campo Dei' Fiori for hours. Peeking in any churches or into any doorways you find can lead to lovely things. Doorknobs especially are my favorite. Find a rooftop for a night out, try the back of a motorino for the best city tour, and the gardens around the Villa Borghese for some shade. Secure yourself a good cafe seat and sketch the people or the history around you. It's quite a life!

And it always gives me lots of ideas...

Sigh... really should live there at some point.
Now, I must get back to work!