Emerald Arches came about when I was playing around with a makeover for Stephen King’s novel Green Mile. One particular blending of an image and a background, the former discarded as far as Green Mile was concerned, shrieked at me to be recreated as my next art piece. The photograph is a painting from 1842 by Jules Victor Genisson on Wikimedia  of the interior of Amiens Cathedral.  Blending it in ‘overlay’ mode via Photoshop with 2 Lil’ Owls texture 2LO Distressed 7 made my heart leap!

I wanted to bring out the edges as if the original had been an architectural drawing with a colour wash. This I achieved by adjusting the brightness and contrast and sharpening the edges until I was satisfied. I could have used Photoshop’s rendering tool on a duplicate layer but this is never satisfactory as it always looks unnatural and manufactured rather than actually drawn by hand.

Amiens

Amiens

Like so many towns in Northern France, Amiens is, for me, inextricably linked with The Great War. The Battle of Amiens — also known as the Third Battle of Picardy — took place ninety-seven years ago this month and was the one  that would eventually lead to Germany signing the Armistice. The town also suffered during the Second World War and was occupied several times by both the Allies and the Axis powers. Perhaps if I had ever visited Amiens, I would associate it with something else, not least the 13th century cathedral — a World Heritage site — which is clearly an exquisite example of Gothic architecture, and the town’s renowned macaroons.

Gare du Nord (old postcard published by Caron No. 328, postmarked in 1909).

Gare du Nord (old postcard published by Caron No. 328, postmarked in 1909).

Emerald Arches Greeting Card
Emerald Arches Greeting Card

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


ONE FROM THE ARCHIVE – JUNE 2014

As usual, I had something entirely different in mind when I began The Woman Behind the Curtain. I had discovered a photograph on Wikimedia  of a rather beautiful ruin, which was tagged as the arches at the Sonargaon Folk Arts and Craft Museum in Bangladesh, and was intent on a purely architectural piece. I tried several ideas but none of them worked until…

Source: First Night Design | The Woman Behind the Curtain | First Night Design


Originally posted on A R T L▼R K:

41P-Kylyx0LOn the 30th of August 1797, English novelist Mary (Wollstonecraft) Shelley was born in London. She was the wife and muse of Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley, daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and of philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. Short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, she was most famous for her Gothic novel Frankenstein (1818)Much of Mary Godwin’s personal life was fraught with misfortune and grief. Almost as soon as she had given literary birth to her hideous creature Frankenstein, her world began to disintegrate.

Tragedy was present very early on in Mary’s life when she lost her mother at only eleven days of age. After her publication of Frankenstein, however, something akin to a curse seems to have descended on her circles. In 1816, Mary’s troubled half-sister Fanny Imlay Godwin checked herself in to a hotel in Wales and committed suicide with…

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I have sold two more cushions — very heaven!


‘Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven.’
William Wordsworth, The Prelude


Romantic Meeting Throw Pillows
Romantic Meeting Throw Pillows

Click here for the original Romantic Meeting post.

Romantic Meeting is available on other products at the following galleries:
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White Rabbit is available on other products at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Rachel Strong by Léon Bakst 1924 © First Night Vintage

Rachel Strong by Léon Bakst 1924 © First Night Vintage

The Russian designer and painter Léon Bakst (1866–1924), born Lev Samuilovich Rozenberg, is more generally known for his luscious costume and set designs for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes as witness Schéhérazade. When I discovered his magnificent portrait of Rachel Strong, the future Countess Henri de Buazhelen, on Wikimedia, I was entranced and knew I had to sell it on First Night Vintage.  What I wouldn’t do to be dressed thus — such elegance. If I had the means and the money, I would get gifted photographer James Hall of Just Add Pictures, whose recreations of classics I have enjoyed, to recreate this portrait with me and my dog! I can dream.

Who was Rachel Strong? Apart from marrying Count Henri de Buazhelen, I have been able to find nothing of note about either of them, which is a shame. If anyone comes across a snippet of information, do let me know.

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on  ღ Vintage Blog.

In 1844 Pierre-Louis Pierson began operating a studio in Paris that specialized in hand-colored daguerreotypes. In 1855 he entered into a partnership with Léopold Ernest and Louis Frédéric Mayer, who also ran a daguerreotype studio. The Mayers had been named “Photographers of His Majesty the Emperor” by Napoleon III the year before Pierson joined them. Although the studios remained at separate addresses, Pierson and the Mayers began to distribute their images under the joint title “Mayer et Pierson,” and together they became the leading society photographers in Paris (source).

Pierre Louis Pierson´s most interesting professional project is the close collaboration he led with Virginia Oldoini, the Countess of Castiglione. She directed Pierre-Louis Pierson to help her create…

via Pierre Louis Pierson (1822 – 1913) – Countess Virginie de Castiglione | ღ Vintage Blog.


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 7
It’s Week 7 of the Photo Rehab Cover Makeover run by Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday. This week, as you can see, we’ve been asked to re-imagine a cover for either the book or film version of Stephen King’s Green Mile. I’ve seen the film a few times but not read the book. Actually, I’ve never read any of King’s work.

I didn’t think I was going to get this ready in time, as I said yesterday to Joanne of Coffee Fuels My Photography. At that point, I had loathed everything I’d tried. A short while ago, unable to sleep, I replaced one of my photos of some museum gates with a photograph of some prison gates from Wikimedia and blended it with a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls. I was more than happy with the result. I hope you like it too.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

And now I’m going back to bed: it’s ten to six in the morning here in Crete!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


‘Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.’ Nathaniel Hawthorne

‘I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.’ John Keats, Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

‘Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.’  Robert A. Heinlein

These butterflies are found in China, Japan, and Korea, and come from an image at  The Biodiversity Library. The soft background of flowers is adapted from a painting at the Rijksmuseum — I’m so thankful this inspiring museum allows artists to download some of their exhibits to merge them into our own work. The other texture, which includes the flowers bottom right of the image, is from Kerstin Frank.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on A R T L▼R K:

61yXPxQLYXLOn the 22nd of August 1908, painter and pioneering photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson was born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, France. By self-admission, his first true love of photography was inspired bya 1930 photograph of Hungarian photojournalist Martin Munkacsi showing three naked young African boys, caught in near-silhouette, running into the surf of Lake Tanganyika. The picture captured the very essence of a joyful moment in time. Cartier-Bresson remembered:“The only thing which completely was an amazement to me and brought me to photography was the work of Munkacsi. When I saw the photograph […] of the black kids running in a wave I couldn’t believe such a thing could be caught with the camera. I said damn it, I took my camera and went out into the street. I suddenly understood that a photograph could fix eternity in an instant.” Initiated into the mysteries of the simple “Brownie” snapshot camera as a…

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Burlap Simple Chocolate Brown Throw Pillow Burlap Simple Chocolate Brown Throw Pillow

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted on The Library Time Machine.

The interest here is not number 19 St Leonard’s Terrace, a perfectly good house which takes up most of the picture, but the door to number 18 on the left, the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, not to mention the Lair of the White Worm which made a curious Ken Russell film, and the Jewel of Seven Stars which was turned into one of my favourite Hammer films, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb. Stoker wrote both of those at number 18 where you can find a blue plaque, but wrote Dracula next door at number 17. He also lived in a house in Cheyne Walk which makes him suitable for a blog post of his own one of these days.

via Old Chelsea – more photographs from the Miscellany | The Library Time Machine.


Halloween: The Final Frontier Jumbo Tote Bag
Halloween: The Final Frontier Jumbo Tote Bag

Zazzle tells me that now is the time to promote my products for Halloween. Since I almost never do this with calendar dates in time to make a difference to my sales, I’m continuing with the theme for today’s post. Look away now if you can live without 31st October!

I selected the witch from a vintage image from The Graphics Fairy and then created a black background with stars. I’m rather fond of the result though I say it myself as shouldn’t.

Halloween: The Final Frontier Small Square Tile
Halloween: The Final Frontier Small Square Tile

ACT I  SCENE I  A desert place.
[Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches]
First Witch When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Second Witch When the hurlyburly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.
Third Witch That will be ere the set of sun. 5
First Witch Where the place?
Second Witch Upon the heath.
Third Witch There to meet with Macbeth.
First Witch I come, graymalkin!
Second Witch Paddock calls. 10
Third Witch Anon!
ALL Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
[Exeunt]

Halloween: The Final Frontier Address Label
Halloween: The Final Frontier Address Label

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Just imagine you’re living in the 19th century and want the perfect entertainment for Halloween. You could try The Haunting at the Theatre Royal. But beware the black cat!

Having just sold this Halloween card on Greeting Card Universe, it’s clear that people are already thinking about 31st October and being spooked out by kids trick or treating!

Just in case you were wondering, there was never — to my knowledge — a Victorian play called The Haunting. The image was created with various bits of family ephemera and Photoshop’s design tools, except for the black cat, which came (I think) from The Graphics Fairy.

The Haunting 4x9.25 Paper Invitation Card
The Haunting 4×9.25 Paper Invitation Cards at Zazzle

The Haunting Courier Bags
The Haunting Courier Bags at Zazzle

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I created Bound for Santiago in the form of a collage and then blended the images into one with Photoshop. It comprises one of my textured backgrounds, two photos by Joshua Earle at Unsplash, and a lovely antique ship by Zakhar Kleyman on Flickr.

Why Santiago? The title came fully formed from the mouth of Mr FND; where would we be without dreams and imagination? The fact that the antique ship photograph was taken from Staten Island ferry is neither here nor there!

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


e309thumbI’m entering another challenge.  Who’d ‘ave thunk it! It’s actually a form of creative procrastination since although I have several pieces in the pipeline on my digital drawing board, as it were, I’m not happy with any of them at the moment. See a sneak peek of one on the right!

The Photo Rehab Cover Makeover is run every week by Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday. The idea is to re-imagine a new cover for a known work, whether a book, an album, or a movie, by adding your own photo and embellishments. For the latest challenge, we are asked to re-do a bar of chocolate – a particularly uninspiring packaging design as you can see!

covermarkeoverchoc-2

I used a detail from one of my Christmas pieces which had been created using a photograph of a bowl of grapes to which I had added textures as well as leaves with Photoshop brushes. Since the original chocolate bar has the legend ‘Fair Trade, Fair Taste’, it seemed an appropriate detail of that image suggesting, as it does to me, the goodness of unadulterated food.

Original & vintage art © First Night Design [www.firstnightdesign.wordpress.com]

© Sarah Vernon

I took  as my lead the violet and teal hues of this detail to fashion the bands of colour containing the brand name and the type of chocolate. The lemon for the citrus taste is from The Graphics Fairy.

 Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

I suspect that since my adaptation is not obviously photographic, even though it was a photograph originally, it might not qualify for the challenge. But never mind!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Sarah Vernon

Sarah Vernon

Artist, Actress, Writer

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