I discovered Stacey Fischer of Visual Venturing when Joanne of Coffee Fuels My Photography took part in Stacey’s monthly After-Before Friday (ABFriday) challenge, which happens every first Friday of the month. The idea is to download the given image and cast your spell with post-processing. The image for July was provided by Robin Kent.

The deadline for July’s submission was some days ago but I thought I would nevertheless see what I could come up with. As regular followers know, I rarely plan or have anything specific in mind so that the result can be a complete surprise. Here it is.

goldcapitolhill

I overlaid the image with two textures. The first was 2LO Haunting 5 from Denise Love at 2 Lil’ Owls, bought via Design Cuts. I cycled through Photoshop’s blending modes without finding anything that looked remotely interesting. I left it at ‘colour burn’ and searched through my own backgrounds. I chose a grungy green created for His Master’s Voice. I reduced the opacity to 87% and tried ‘colour burn’ for this as well, which gave Capitol Hill a gold, bronze and red feel which appealed to me.

I’m also rather fond of the green-grunge-only effect.

greencapitolhill

I hope to enter the challenge next month for real.

Click here to see the submissions for July and here for the rules.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Originally posted in The Paris Review.

Full title: The Virgin in Prayer Artist: Sassoferrato Date made: 1640-50 Source: http://www.nationalgalleryimages.co.uk/ Contact: picture.library@nationalgallery.co.uk Copyright © The National Gallery, London

Full title: The Virgin in Prayer
Artist: Sassoferrato
Date made: 1640-50
Copyright © The National Gallery, London

Michelangelo couldn’t afford ultramarine. His painting The Entombment, the story goes, was left unfinished as the result of his failure to procure the prized pigment. Rafael reserved ultramarine for his final coat, preferring for his base layers a common azurite; Vermeer was less parsimonious in his application and proceeded to mire his family in debt. Ultramarine: the quality of the shade is embodied in its name. This is the superlative blue, the end-all blue, the blue to which all other hues quietly aspire. The name means “beyond the sea”—a dreamy ode to its distant origins, as romantic as it is imprecise.

Derived from the lapis lazuli stone, the pigment was considered more precious than gold. For centuries, the lone source of ultramarine was an arid strip of mountains in northern Afghanistan. The process of extraction involved grinding the stone into a fine powder, infusing the deposits with melted wax, oils, and pine resin, and then kneading…

via A Brief History of Ultramarine—The World’s Costliest Color.


For my second post to commemorate the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland 150 years ago, I give you ArtLark’s article on Carroll and his photography. See Alice is at it Again #1 here. The title of this post has no connection to Lewis Carroll and his enchanting character but to the song by Noël Coward, which was the first thing that sprang to mind when I wrote that first post!


Originally posted on A R T L▼R K.

On the 4th of July 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published in London. Written by Victorian author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898) under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, author, mathematician and Oxford don, this fantasy novel has since made him famous all over the world. Less known is the fact that Dodgson was also an avid and early practitioner of photography. He took it up in 1856, first under the influence of his uncle Skeffington Lutwidge, and later, his Oxford friend Reginald Southey.

In that first year, he made about 2,700 photographs, the last of which he finished in 1880. Half of these are photographic portraits of children, predominantly girls, while 30 percent are of adults and families. Overall, Dodgson produced a selection of self-portraits, group photographs, still lifes, landscapes, pictures of works of art, as well as featuring literary narratives and skeletons (including that of an anteater) and other props for anatomical studies. He even made a portrait of the Dodgson family doll, Tim. The majority of his surviving photos are in American collections, and 407 of those are at the Princeton University Library, which published a comprehensive album of them in 2002.

The incipient stage of photographic tools and techniques in the late 19th century gave Dodgson the inspiration for the imaginative…

via Alice in Wonderland and Photography | A R T L▼R K.


‘Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin,’ thought Alice; ‘but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!’


The Alice Collection: The Cheshire Cat Letterhead
The Alice Collection: The Cheshire Cat Letterhead

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass (Bantam Classics)

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

Sarah


Originally posted on The Genealogy of Style.

Study for Homage to Delacroix

When Eugène Delacroix died on August 13, 1863, the modesty of his funeral was seen as an insult by all those who considered him to be one of France’s greatest artists. Henri Fantin-Latour, especially, was outraged that no official tribute had been made. As it was common in the 19th century to celebrate prominent figures, he wanted to raise this monument himself with a manifesto painting that reunited the tenants of the modern movement, which he exhibited at the Salon of 1864. This sketch bears witness to the first project, in which six artists are gathered around the bust of Delacroix, crowned by one of them.

While it is clear that Fantin made deliberate reference to the coronations of the great men of theater on stage, the most striking source of inspiration for this artwork remains the 1827 painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Apotheosis of Homer. The artist made use of the same…

via Homage to Delacroix | The Genealogy of Style.


Patchwork Window
Patchwork Window Travel Mug

This is a very early piece of digital art which I’d almost forgotten about. I hope it appeals to you. Have a superb weekend — I hear it’s hotter in London than here in Crete. Perhaps we should return to the England for the summer!

Patchwork Window
Patchwork Window Binders

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

Sarah


The Cuckoo Calls © Sarah Vernon

The Cuckoo Calls © Sarah Vernon

I’m on a roll with the divine vintage illustrations stored at The Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr, as per my Pheasant post. This cuckoo, to which I’ve added the same background textures, also comes from the ornithological publication of 1849 mentioned in that post.

‘They frequent tropical lowland evergreen forest and tropical deciduous forest according to the species. They are usually found in wooded and forested areas such as gallery forest, secondary forest, open or scrubby woodland, shrubby pastures or with scattered trees.

They may be found in humid areas, mangroves, swamps, humid woodland edges, forest with seasonal flooding, low thickets and dense shrub near water.’ [oiseaux-birds.com]


The Attic warbler pours her throat
Responsive to the cuckoo’s note.
Thomas Gray—Ode on the Spring.


“In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

Orson Welles as Harry Lime in The Third Man


I’ll let you know as soon as The Cuckoo’s Note is for sale.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design:

Incorrect use of the apostrophe is my bete noir, as anyone who has read my punctuation post will know.

Originally posted on Eagle-Eyed Editor:

writing pen Weapon of mass production: the humble writing pen. Image courtesy of cohdra, Morguefile.

SCENE: COFFEE SHOP, WEEKDAY, 5:00 P.M.

(Apostrophe shuffles in the door)

THE EDITOR: Hey, Apostrophe, how are you? What’s going on?

APOSTROPHE: Oh, man…..

THE EDITOR: Apostrophe, you don’t look so hot. Come on, sit down here. I’ll buy you a skinny latte.

APOSTROPHE: (sighs wearily): All right.

THE EDITOR: So come on, spill it. What’s happened?

APOSTROPHE: I’m just spread around so much these days. You know I don’t mind working hard, right? (Editor nods) I stand in for those vowels and consonants all the time. Whenever they need me — I stand in for the “O” in haven’t, don’t, won’t, wouldn’t and isn’t and the “A” of you’re and they’re. I replace the “G” in sayin’ and thinkin’. I even stand in for the “ou” in y’all and the “ha”…

View original 272 more words


Originally posted on artnet News.

Egon Schiele.  Photo: Imagno/Getty Images

Egon Schiele.
Photo: Imagno/Getty Images

Known for his envelope-pushing paintings as well as his anguished self-portraits, the artist Egon Schiele has remained a controversial figure in art history for his erotic images.

Despite his infamy, Gustav Klimt became one of Schiele’s biggest supporters as well as his mentor; the elder Secessionist artist introduced Schiele to the Wiener Werkstätte, the fine arts society founded by Secessionists Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser.

June 12 marks the artist’s 125th birthday. Here are some things you need to know about one of the leading figures behind Austrian Expressionism, who once wrote in his diary, “I do not deny that I have made drawings and watercolors of an erotic nature. But they are always…

via 8 Things that Will Change the Way You Think About Egon Schiele – artnet News.


Whirring Pheasant Springs © Sarah Vernon

Whirring Pheasant Springs © Sarah Vernon

This gorgeous pheasant, to which I’ve added my background textures, is from The Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr. Known as a Canje pheasant (or ’stinkbird’, as I discovered), he comes from an ornithological publication of 1849 and is a tropical bird found in the Amazon and South America’s Orinoco Delta.

I’ve taken my title from Alexander Pope’s Windsor Forest:

See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs,
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings:
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.

The piece is not yet for sale as I’m running out of bandwidth again and would overstep the limit were I to upload it to all my galleries. #Frustration!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design:

From the Archives (27-08-12).

Originally posted on First Night Design:

There’s an elegant lady in New Orleans who’s having a party!  Yes, I was delighted to start the week with 75 invitations sold.  I drew The Lady in the Big Hat with LiveBrush software which enables me to draw as I used to before Limited Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis put paid to using my hands thus!

The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements
The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements by FirstNightDesign

Take care and keep laughing.
Sarah

View original


Buy a framed print of Post Haste © Sarah Vernon at Crated

Oh, how I enjoyed creating this collage with layer upon layer of vintage French ephemera from 2 Lil’ Owls via Design Cuts. The creative process brings me such joy. I came across the perfect quote yesterday about this joy but I didn’t make a note of it and I can’t remember whether I saw it on a blog post or Twitter. Here are some other quotes instead! The Picasso comes closest to a part of what I’m feeling.


“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” Edward Hopper

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.”
Alberto Giacometti


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

Sarah


Originally posted on SPEAKZEASY.

Right at this moment, mothers of small children, around the world, are singing along to seemingly innocuous nursery rhymes that, if you dig a little deeper, reveal shockingly sinister backstories.

Medieval taxes, illness, religious persecution : these are not exactly the topics that you expect to be immersed in as a “new parent.”  Babies falling from trees ?  Heads being chopped off in Central London ?  Animals being cooked alive ?  Since when were these topics DEEMED APPROPRIATE TO PEDDLE TO TODDLERS ? — Since the 14th century, actually.  That’s when the earliest nursery rhymes seem to date from, although the GOLDEN AGE came later, in the 18th century, when the canon of classics that we still hear today, emerged and flourished.  The 1st nursery rhyme collection to be printed was Tommy Thumb’s Song Book —- around 1744 ; a century later Edward Rimbault published a nursery rhymes collection, which was the 1st one printed to include “notated music” —— although a minor-key version of THREE BLIND MICE can be found in Thomas Ravenscroft’s folk-song compilation DEUTEROMELIA, dating from 1609.

The roots probably go back even further.  There is no human culture that has not invented some form of “rhyming ditties” for its children.  The distinctive sing-song metre, tonality and rhythm that characterises “MOTHERESE” has a proven evolutionary value and is reflected in the very nature of…

via The dark side of nursery rhymes | SPEAKZEASY.


Having reblogged Picture Book of Animals from 2013 the other day, I seem to have created a lot of confusion about me and my cataract operation! It was supposed to happen in April of that year but the hospital ballsed it up and the saga continues. I have to go through the whole process again, starting in September with a new eye examination.

In the meantime, I thought this old American Eye Salve advertisement (from The Graphics Fairy), doctored with some grungy textures with handwriting and music, might amuse us all!
If you have a problem with clowns or ventriloquist dolls, I suspect you might find this advert disturbing so look away!

Vintage Advertisement - Eye Salve
Vintage Advertisement – Eye Salve Throw Pillows

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

Sarah


Originally posted on Culture and Anarchy.

As the review of this book in the Guardian points out, Ian McEwan is fascinated by roles and institutions of authority, and how the playing of such a role affects his protagonists. In The Children Act, (which is a novella, really – I read it in an evening) we are invited to consider the intricacies of the life of a high court judge, both professional and personal. Fiona Maye is in her fifties, a distinctly-delineated character whose devotion to her work is only paralleled by her lack-lustre marriage to Jack, who wants to have an affair. Specialising in family law and with a history of difficult cases, she is haunted by the children who might have suffered from her decisions, and overwhelmed by the need to make the ‘right’ decision in the interests of children – whatever ‘right’ is. And this is the central question of the book: who gets to decide? Who knows what ‘right’ is? And ‘right’ in what sense?

The law collides with faith in Fiona’s next case, where a Jehovah’s Witness boy refuses a blood transfusion which will save his life. After meeting him, talking to him and agonising over her decision, she concludes that he is not old enough to make this decision, perhaps being unduly pressured by his family and church. I won’t spoil the novel by detailing what happens next, but the novel asks, ultimately, serious questions about what is important in life: relationships, art, career, faith? Are they reliable enough the build a life around? What happens when you lose one of the pillars which…

via Book Review: The Children Act | Culture and Anarchy.


I’m putting my cards on the table to tell you I’m in love with my latest piece, a burnt-out pier! I keep looking at it in Photoshop and giving a contented sigh or two! And this I say coming straight from a conversation with Vanessa Couchman about the difficulty of promoting your own work after an upbringing which taught us never to put ourselves forward or show off — if anything, we were directed to show off the work of others. “I don’t think it gets any more comfortable but one becomes more proficient at it,” said Vanessa. She’s right. It’s something we have to do on social media if we are to get any attention. That said, I’m not feeling remotely uncomfortable telling you of my love on this occasion; I wonder why.

I began with this photograph by Victoria Alexander at Unsplash (loving this site of free, high-resolution photographs, if you hadn’t already guessed).

I used one texture — 2LO Distressed 11 from Denise Love at 2 Lil’ Owls, bought via Design Cuts – and another from Lenabem-Anna J. on Flickr.

There followed a great deal of blending and stretching and tweaking before it was done.

Pier into the Depths Greeting Card Pier into the Depths Greeting Card

I hope you like it too. If you do, as Olga Núñez Miret says at the foot of her posts, you know what to do — like, comment and share!

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Sarah Vernon

Sarah Vernon

Artist, Actress, Writer

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