First Night Design | Church at Twilight #Art

Church at Twilight © Sarah Vernon

To say I was influenced by the atmosphere of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White — must read it again — would be bending the truth, although I’ve included that sentence in the description boxes at the galleries. However, only when I had finished creating it did the book come immediately to mind.

I have used a detail from a photograph by Stefan Ringler which I’ve warped and extended. This I added to Photoshop in Soft Light mode over a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls, Beguiling-5. I made various adjustments to give the roof of the church more definition and provide extra light on the walls. I like it and I hope you do too.

And here comes the promotion bit! If you haven’t read The Woman in White, you have a treat in store. Buy it immediately!


The Woman in White (1859-60) is the first and greatest `Sensation Novel’. Walter Hartright’s mysterious midnight encounter with the woman in white draws him into a vortex of crime, poison, kidnapping, and international intrigue.

The novel is dominated by two of the finest creations in all Victorian fiction – Marion Halcombe, dark, mannish, yet irresistibly fascinating, and Count Fosco, the sinister and flamboyant `Napoleon of Crime’. A masterwork of intricate construction, The Woman in White sets new standards of suspense and excitement, and achieved sales which topped even those of Dickens, Collins’s friend and mentor.’

Apart from being besotted by the story, which bears repeated reading, the second time I read it, I was appearing in The Beaux Stratagem at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley (1978), wherein lies a tale. I remember waiting at the overground station for the train to Bromley with book in hand and trying to paint my fingernails with the palest of pinks. For The Beaux Stratagem, I hear you ask? Alas, yes. I was trying to cover my stress-spotted and ridged nails. The director’s wife spotted it immediately and I was told to remove it. Quite rightly.

Not the most prepossessing of theatres [ Wikimedia]
Not the most prepossessing of theatres [Wikimedia]

Anyway, back to the railway station. The train arrived (early) and in my haste to replace the top on the nail polish, put the book in my bag and board the train, I spilt the polish all over the book and my rather chi-chi wrap-around skirt.  The skirt could never be worn again but the book still graces my bookshelves and always will.

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

Take care and keep laughing!


21 thoughts on “First Night Design | Church at Twilight #Art

  1. What a beautiful design and wonderful story to go with it. I confess to having not read this book, and so will be ordering to day. The more I learn about you, the more I look forward to the day when we sit together enjoying a meal and good brandy….Meanwhile, keep smiling and thank you:)xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks very atmospheric, Sarah, and the original photo is excellent too.

    I saw a production of The Woman in White at The Greenwich Theatre, in the 1980s. I recall a young Helena Bonham-Carter was in it, but sadly cannot remember the rest of the cast.

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you like it, Pete. Being me, I did a quick search and it was in 1988, Bonham Carter’s stage debut, also starred Michael Byrne, and was directed by Sue Dunderdale. I’m infuriated to find no mention of other cast members!

      Liked by 1 person

            1. I don’t think I saw that one, but I used to spot Sheila Gish and Dennis Lawson around Primrose Hill and Parkway, when I lived in Camden. Shame what happened to her, I liked her performances a lot.

              Liked by 1 person

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