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

Friday, 23 April 2010

Happy Shakespeare's Birthday

Hooray! I'm celebrating Shakespeare's Birthday on Etsy with this Guest Curator Article
Read it here-

UK Edition: Happy Birthday Shakespeare With immortallongings
Elizabeth E. Schuch, a.k.a. immortallongings, is a London-based designer whose award-winning artwork, The Immortal Longings Series, is currently featured in Shakespeare's Globe Shop in London and in theatres internationally. Her Opera Series illustrations can be found at The Metropolitan Opera in N.Y.C., and current projects include storyboarding a BBC TV show, and designing a circus theatre production.
You can find out more at the Immortal Longings website and blog.
In a suitably Shakespearean twist, the time-honoured playwright becomes our muse on his birthday today, as Elizabeth takes us on a tour via Etsy items of some of his most well-loved works.
As an illustrator and designer, I look to the world of theatre for my inspiration. Velvet curtains, bustling around in the dark behind the scenes, bright lights, opening nights, thrilling drama... it's an addictive place.

It's no secret that I'm fascinated by William Shakespeare, and it's more than just the loveliness of the verse. The characters themselves, and the moods that surround each poem and play are magical.

Photos via sadieolive
So, to celebrate and set the stage for the birthday of the Bard, I suggest conjuring up the mood of your favourite kind of Shakespeare...

Seductive

"Eternity was in our lips and eyes, 
Bliss in our brows bent."— Antony and Cleopatra 

Do you dream of ancient times and glamorous indulgence? Cleopatra, last Pharaoh of Egypt, was famed for her historical skills of seduction, and inspired some thrilling quotes in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Find some linen, grapes, and feather fans, and just recline.



Gothic

"To sleep, perchance to dream."  Hamlet 

Do you prefer a more brooding sort of Shakespeare? Take the melancholy Danish prince Hamlet as your guide. Grab a handy skull, adorn yourself with blackest black, forsake friendship and exercise, and retreat to a quiet window to ponder the meaning of it all. You may also plot revenge, but please don't seek to carry it out, as that would spoil the atmosphere.

Hazel II by misfitchic, $49.


Romantic

"Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun." — Romeo and Juliet 

Whether the courtship is comprised of witty banter or shy glances, and whether it ends with wedded bliss or tragedy, Shakespeare's lovers are some of the world's most intriguing.

If Romeo and Juliet describes your approach to love, let yourself run away with the romantic. Have a secret breakfast in your boudoir, dress for a masked ball, or pine away on any convenient balcony.  



Poetic

"The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact." — A Midsummer Night's Dream 

Use Shakespeare as your writing mentor to wax poetic. This is best done by moonlight, with a good quill and your best journal, wearing a velvet cap and with a bottle of your preferred indulgence at hand.



Dreamy

"We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep." — The Tempest 

Are you drawn to faerie dust and enchanting spells, or to Pre-Raphaelite tragic heroines? Cultivate a dreamy Ophelia disposition. Start by wrapping yourself in a filmy gown, then dip your toes in a warm bath strewn with flowers. Humming distractedly helps, but is not required.



However you decide to celebrate, Shakespeare's birthday is a brilliant excuse to enjoy the dramatic side of life. The rest is silence.
Many thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her passion for the UK's beloved poet with us! Check out her incredible work in the Seller's Items and more of her Shakespeare-inspired picks in the Related Items.

Friday, 2 April 2010

The Tudor Series Arrives...

And now to reveal the brand new Tudor Series!

Yes, I'll admit to being dreadfully addicted to Tudor and Elizabethan history.  My library shelf and audiobook collection can attest to it... But the drama of the court life, and the art accompanying it is fascinating...  (See more on Henry & his relationship to art on this BBC Show, in the UK only, while you can.)


Three portraits begin the series, and for them I've used a mix of contour and crosshatch inking.
All are inspired by contemporary portraits of the period.
Also, I've illustrated my own version of the Tudor Rose, here, with Henry VIII initials.

The signatures of Anne and Katherine are based on their own handwriting.

My sympathy and admiration go out in turns to Anne Boleyn and Katherine of Aragon.  Queen Katherine is depicted in her later years, with a penetrating gaze, and strong determination not to back down.  "Humble and Loyal" was her motto, I especially admire her dignified self defense.

With Anne Boleyn, I feel like the deep set eyes and strong nose of the painting attributed to Holbein is the most lively version of Anne.  Admittedly, the Holbein sketch may not even be of Anne, but other portraits show her stiff or sour, and I can't quite picture the real figure behind them.  Scheming and cruel in her rise, she showed such bravery and composure in her death sentance that one can't deny her a share of respect.    "The Most Happy" was her motto, and  you'd have to think she regretted that one later.

And King Henry, the most recognizable (and sizable) of monarchs.  Intelligent and dangerous to be close  to, he must have been terrifying to be on the bad side of.  His arrogant gaze and squinting eyes are unsettling.


The Tudor Prints are now on sale in my Etsy Shop, and you'll find Journals and Tiles on CafePress.
Coming soon on leather goods and mirrors to my Etsy shop...

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Sneak Preview: The Tudor Portraits

Coming Soon, inspired by Shakespeare's "Henry VIII", I'm drawing a series of portraits based on the key players in the Tudor Court.  
Using historical portraits of the period as reference, I am using my ink and crosshatch style for the first images.

Preview Below:
Partial Detail of Anne Boleyn

Spring Special In Store

To celebrate Spring, and the brilliant start of the year,
Every customer who buys an Art Print gets a lovely 2010 Shakespeare Calendar for FREE!
Offer good from 23rd March until Shakespeare's Birthday (the 23rd of April).

Art Prints are printed on high quality printmaking paper using Canon inks.
All of my Shakespeare illustrations, and a selection of romantic Quotes are available as Art Prints.


The 2010 Shakespeare Calendar

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Acrylic Series: A Cuppa

When I happened upon some mini-canvases at the art store this winter, I decided to take up my old acrylic painting habit.  

Acrylic is not popular with everyone. One of my art teachers hated acrylics with passion:"it's like trying to paint with bubble gum!"

Acrylic was what we were taught with back in school- because it was inexpensive.  And I'd gotten used to it, and continued painting with it a long time precisely because it's cheap.
And because it dries fast. I'm admittedly impatient about drying time.  Well, okay, and because gouache just never really did it for me. Gouache doesn't have the clear and pretty tones of watercolour/inks, nor the body of acrylic, and it just dissolves when you try to layer it up. Though, perhaps that was due to my lack of patience, too.

So throughout my design training, I'd stuck to my lumpy acrylics.  I'd thin then into fake watercolour, and thicken them into fake oils. 

But after these past few years mostly dedicated to ink and watercolours (with the exception of making props or random murals), I have to admit, it's trickier now to handle the old bubble gum. It's still fun though!

Wanting to pay tribute to the delightful tea tradition here in in the UK, I'm made my own take on a cuppa. I adore a good cup of tea. 

The painting itself is all in acrylic, with a few helpful drops of Encre Sennelier ink in the background to boost the yellow background colour.

As for the biscuit, it's just a bit of fun.
I will be picking up oils at some point, when I decide my patience can handle it.






Monday, 15 March 2010

News Buzz!


Immortal Longings made the Etsy Finds list today!
The article was based on a Shakespeare theme, of course, and filled with inspired goodies.

You can check it out here.
Exciting stuff!



And Happy Ides of March...