Dear All,

This coming week, I shall be moving into my cottage and only sporadically on the internet. I will catch up properly as soon as I can. In the meantime…

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Jane Austen died aged forty-one in Winchester, Hampshire on the 18th of July, 1817. Signature from…

Source: On this day: the death of Jane Austen | In Times Gone By…


July 15th 1606

Birth of Rembrandt van Rijn

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in 1606 in The Dutch Golden Age (1585-1702) where the Dutch Republic was the most prosperous nation in Europe. It led the way in trade, science and the arts. Rembrandt was this periods most dominant figure.

Early on, Rembrandt decided that academic life wasn’t for him and he left university to become a painter’s apprentice. This was only a stepping stone for him as he had greater ambitions of becoming an artist himself. In 1631, he moved to Amsterdam where his career took off. Interestingly, his paintings would offer art lovers today an insight into the Amsterdam of his day. He painted portraits for wealthy families and organisations, as well as scenes from history, mythology and the bible. Many of these paintings or portraits were known as ‘impasto’, owing to the fact that they were created on thick, lumpy paint. His technique also made dramatic use of light and shade.

The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, better known as ‘The Night Watch’ was one of his finest examples of effective use of light and shade. It is also famous for rather than showing the soldiers in a formal pose, Rembrandt painted them as though they were about to march into action.

While his career flourished, his private life was clouded by tragedy. He would lose his wife, his son and later in life his lover. Bankruptcy would almost also cripple him, but despite his troubles his later years would be a prolific period artistically. His life work included hundreds of paintings and prints, and interestingly some 90 self portraits, leaving us a record of how he looked throughout his illustrious life, until his death in 1669.

Source: What happened this month in history? – If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History


 

Originally created in May 2014, this collage uses a vintage handwritten image from Wikimedia. The mallards, swan, and the butterflies hovering around some flowers, are all from The Graphics Fairy.

Mallards and Swan Collage Letterhead
Mallards and Swan Collage Letterhead by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Thank you all so much for commenting on my Rose in Snow post and giving me the confidence to upload the piece to my galleries. I made one change, which was to ensure the rose itself covered the whole area so that no background green is showing. I like it better this way.

A Burgundy Rose in Snow Flask
A Burgundy Rose in Snow Flask by FirstNightDesign
A Burgundy Rose in Snow Throw Pillow
A Burgundy Rose in Snow Throw Pillow by FirstNightDesign

A Burgundy Rose in Snow Card
A Burgundy Rose in Snow Card by FirstNightDesign

A Burgundy Rose in Snow Postage
A Burgundy Rose in Snow Postage by FirstNightDesign

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Jean, Jean-Paul Tibbles, 2015

I had the chance last weekend to visit the BP Portrait Awards 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery. As always it is an interesting review of the world of portraiture today. There are portraits of all shapes and sizes, some which strike a chord and some which don’t. But what made a very strong impression on me this year was…

Source: BP Portrait Awards 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery – Just add pictures


Portrait of Mary Robinson by Thomas Gainsborough, 1781 [Wikipedia]

Portrait of Mary Robinson by Thomas Gainsborough, 1781 [Wikipedia]

“She overloads everything; but I never knew a human being with so full a mind – bad, good and indifferent, I grant you, but full and overflowing.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge [1772 – 1834] on actress and writer Mary Robinson [1757-1800], both of whom were said to be an influence the other.


e395blog copy

Since the above isn’t the kind of work I normally do, I’m not at all sure whether the image is effective. It’s part of a photograph of a rose I took a few days ago. It wasn’t actually snowing — I was inside — but I ‘painted’ it in Corel Painter and purposely left the specks of white as if there had been a gentle sprinkling of snow…or does it look like dandruff? I finished it off with a texture by Kerstin Frank. Does it have any appeal?


“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Jacob-Abraham-Camille Pissarro was born on July 10, 1830, on St. Thomas, in the Danish West Indies. His father was a French citizen of Portuguese Jewish descent, and his mother, who had previously been married to her new husband’s uncle, was Creole. The marriage was controversial, probably due to racial factors, and as a consequence the Pissarro children were compelled…

Source: Happy 186th Birthday Camille Pissarro | Waldina


A R T L▼R K

61C8tjcyicL._SX385_On the 10th of July 1928, French artist Bernard Buffet was born in Paris. Buffet belonged to a group – “L’Homme Témoin (The Witness)” – along with Bernard Lorjout and André Minaux, considered as a new school of figurative painting. Going against the emerging trend of abstraction in modern painting, Buffet remained an Expressionist through and through: during his last visit to Musée Bernard Buffet in May 1996, he is recorded to have said, “I want you to have a dialogue with my paintings by pure affection. Painting is not something to talk about or to analyse; it is something just to feel. A hundredth of a second is enough to judge a painting.” (Musée Bernard Buffet).

In 1948, when Buffet first became popular to the public, the gloom, pessimism, and horror of his work appeared to be related to recent history and the end of the war…

View original post 670 more words


This is a delightful vintage photograph from Wikimedia of the seafront at Southwold (not ‘Southwell’, as the site erroneously calls it) on the Suffolk coast, blended with several textures created out of my photographs. I adore the grainy, textured look. I feel it has a touch of John Atkinson Grimshaw about it…and another artist whose name escapes me. Are you reminded of any other artists? Not, I hasten to add, that I’m putting myself on that level! To enhance the whole, I did quite a deal of work on the tone, sharpness, brightness and contrast and so forth.

A Stroll Along the Seafront Throw Pillow
A Stroll Along the Seafront Throw Pillow by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


V&A director Martin Roth with the Duchess of Cambridge

The Victoria & Albert Museum pledges to help smaller museums across the country after being named the Museum of the Year 2016…

Source: Museum of the Year 2016: V&A wins £100,000 prize – BBC News


IMAGE: SSPL/GETTY IMAGES

Born in Switzerland in 1855, Otto Pfenninger moved to England in the 1880s, where he became a pioneer in the emerging field of color photography.In 1905, he designed and built a…

Source: Dreamlike color photos capture English beaches at the turn of the century


Miss Marie Studholme  [1875-1930], a popular Edwardian performer, played the title role in a 1905 production of the musical comedy  Lady Madcap. The music was by Paul Rubens who wrote the lyrics with Percy Greenbank, while the book was written by Nathaniel Newnham-Davis, The show had originally opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1904 before touring the provinces. The tale is a classic of its time with the daughter of an Earl holding a ball at her father’s castle without, of course, telling him. Once she decides to pose as her maid, mayhem ensues.

Born Caroline Maria Lupton in Bradford, Marie Studholme made her debut at the Lyric Theatre in London during the late 19th century although her later career would show that she was particularly popular with provincial audiences. It is said that she charged sixpence for autographs so she could donate the money to theatrical and animal charities, a practice I think should be introduced across the board today.

Bradford Alhambra [Wikipedia]Bradford Alhambra [Wikipedia]

She apparently took Jujitsu lessons and invented an early form of air conditioning by blowing air from an electric fan over iced water. One 21st century commentator  has referred to her as the ‘original Spice Girl’. No comment!

Miss Marie Studholme retired in 1915 but not before rounding off her career by performing at the opening of the Alhambra music hall in her home town the previous year.


‘Miss Marie Studholme was beautiful, of course, as Alice, and easily found her way to favour by her graceful dancing.’ Review of Alice at the The Prince of Wales Theatre, London, in Lloyds Weekly News [London] – 23rd June, 1906.


Available at the following galleries:
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Zazzle US
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Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]

Source Links:

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Georgian Stripe Duck Egg Throw Pillow
Georgian Stripe Duck Egg Throw Pillow by FirstNightDesign

Simple background of Georgian stripes, partly created for the cushions I want to buy for my new sofa!

By the way, I’ve been feeling a bit weary of late so I’m not sure how much of an appearance I shall be making this week on my blogs — except First Night History for which I have a backlog of drafts ready to publish — or visiting and liking all your posts. Please bear with me.

Georgian Stripe Duck Egg Pillow
Georgian Stripe Duck Egg Pillow by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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