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Purchase an adult t-shirt featuring the image of Cosmic Collision by Sarah Vernon. Available in sizes S – 4XL. Each t-shirt is printed on-demand, ships within 1 – 2 business days, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Source: Cosmic Collision T-Shirt for Sale by Sarah Vernon

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


An architectural and engineering marvel is silently standing within a public building in the old town of Graz. Completed in 1438 under the guidance of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III, The Burg of Graz was expanded by Frederick’s son, Emperor Maximilian, from 1494-1500. When reopened, officials…

Source: The Stairs of Reconciliation – Graz, Austria | Atlas Obscura


Features / Art Universe 12 December 2015 / Digital Art at Its Best 6 October 2015 / Everyday Women 3 September 2015 /

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.

• Also buy this artwork on home decor, apparel, stickers, and more.

Source: “Emerald Arches” Tall Mugs by Sarah Vernon | Redbubble

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


As you know, I can never resist altering a modern photograph in order to give it a vintage feel. The original photograph of Saint Étienne Fontaine du Square Jean Cocteau in Paris is by Daniel Vill…

Source: First Night Design | Saint-Étienne Re-imagined #Art


FROM THE ARCHIVE 6th October 2015

The original photograph is by Joshua Hibbert at Unsplash and I had enormous fun changing the dimensions of each element and layering the result with a couple of my textures, one orange and one a gr…

Source: First Night Design | The Magic Lighthouse #Art


Another of my moody and mysterious efforts comprising a collision between a texture by 2 Lil’ Owls via Design Cuts and a photograph by Rachel Davis at Unsplash of the Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE 7 March 2014
What! No elephants? Visitors who read yesterday’s post will know this piece started out with elephants. After adding textures from 2 Lil’ Owls, I played around for some while adding and…

Source: First Night Design | Day at the Exhibition (What! No Heffalumps?)


This is an old book-plate by Ernest Haslehurst of a public house called The Grapes at Limehouse (once The Bunch of Grapes) that I bought from collectors Vintage Views. It would be fun to think this Taylor Walker & Co pub was the inspiration for Dickens and Fagin’s den in Oliver Twist but it certainly makes me think of the narrow cobbled streets of Victorian London where pickpockets and other nefarious persons would ply their trade. It dates from the 16th century but the frontage is Victorian.

Although the original is in good nick, it has a faded quality even though it has not actually faded, so I added a duplicate layer in Overlay to bring out the colour and detail.

Look closely — I can see Nancy on the balcony, and isn’t that Bill Sikes with his Staffy, Bullseye, coming up the ladder? And surely that’s Fagin himself at the curtain. Could this not, in fact, be the very place from which Sikes hanged himself?

The Grapes does have a connection to Dickens, however, since he knew that area of Limehouse well and probably based The Six Jolly Fellowship Porters in Our Mutual Friend on it.

From the research I’ve done, I learn that the lessees are actor Sir Ian McKellen, director Sean Mathias and Evening Standard owner, Evgeny Lebedev, the trio having bought the pub in 2011; it looks as if it’s a charming place to find some excellent beer and food. Let me know if you visit.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This photograph of Berenice Abbott was taken by Hank O'Neal at his Downtown Sound Studio in New York City, 18 November 1979 [Wikimedia]

In the summer of 2014, I posted a marvellous photograph of Penn Station by Berenice Abbott. Here are many more treats, including Penn.

Photograph of Berenice Abbott (left) was taken by Hank O’Neal at his Downtown Sound Studio in New York City, 18 November 1979 [Wikimedia]


Manhattan, New York, by Berenice Abbott (1930s)

Berenice Abbott (1898 – 1991), née Bernice Abbott, was an American photographer best known for her black-and-white photography of New York City architecture and urban design of the 1930’s. Ab…

Source: Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), Vintage Photos of New York City | FROM THE BYGONE


I just adore anything skew-wiff!

Back of The Crooked House Tea Rooms, South Staffordshire, England (Photo: Toby Oxborrow/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Whether due to construction errors, shifting ground, or just the accumulated weight of time, buildings all over the world have become crooked masterpieces. We look at a few of the most whimsical examples…

Source: The Asymmetrical Charm of Crooked Houses | Atlas Obscura


Church at Twilight © Sarah Vernon

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 galleries. However, only when I had finished creating it did the book come immediately to mind.

https://unsplash.com/stefan_ringler

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!

womaninwhite

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:
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Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I’m back on the moody and mysterious trail with Casanova’s Waterway. The original photograph of Venice, taken by Nick Scheerbart, is available for free from the Unsplash site, as are all the other photographs on this magnificent site for artists and designers.

My base layer (Normal mode in Photoshop) is 2LO Confetti 4, above which I added 2LO Confetti 9 (Multiply mode), both from 2 Lil’ Owls. The photograph looked delicious in Colour Burn mode. I tried many other blends, you can be sure, before settling on the latter.


“The sweetest pleasures are those which are hardest to be won.”
Giacomo Casanova, The Story of My Life


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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Decaying Light © Sarah Vernon

Decaying Light © Sarah Vernon

After the success of Scorched Earth both here and in my galleries, I couldn’t resist trying the same process with the 2 Lil’ Owls texture—2LO Distressed 21—on my Chania lighthouse photograph. However, instead of Photoshop’s Overlay mode, I used Soft Light. I tweaked the tones of both the photograph and the texture so that the overall effect had more red than in Scorched Earth, or a Titian tone as I like to call it: such a lovely word.

Regular readers will know I do a lot of tweaking but I haven’t mentioned it for a while. I’m saying this just in case you experiment with the same processes I describe using similar photos or textures and discover you end up with something that doesn’t come close! For exact descriptions of what you can achieve in Photoshop, do visit Syd at DigitalLady. I don’t like to give away all my secrets!

I dedicate this post to the friends who commented on The Magic Lighthouse by saying how fond they were of lighthouses, a passion I share, as I think you may have guessed. Do visit these lovely blogs, all very different to each other. In no particular order I give you:

Beetley Pete
Yesterday After
Just Olga
Aquileana
Living with Batman

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The Magic Lighthouse © Sarah Vernon

The Magic Lighthouse © Sarah Vernon

The original photograph is by Joshua Hibbert at Unsplash and I had enormous fun changing the dimensions of each element and layering the result with a couple of my textures, one orange and one a grungy yellowy cream. The outsize marigold is from The Graphics Fairy. I guess you might call it a cross between surrealism and magic realism.

https://unsplash.com/joshnh

Using exactly the same combination of photo and textures, Mr FND created his own surrealistic take.

Lighthouse © Mr FND

Lighthouse © Mr FND


“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Roald Dahl


#BLOGSHARELEARN LINKY PARTY OCTOBER 9/15

#MidLifeLuv Linky

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Scorched Earth © Sarah Vernon

Scorched Earth © Sarah Vernon

And for my next trick, I have used the same Venetian Harbour in Chania photograph (Overlay mode in Photoshop) to show baking hot, sand-encrusted houses overlooking the sea.  The underlay (Normal mode) is a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls (2LO Distressed 21).

And oh boy, does that red desert dust cover everything. The Libyan Desert may be closer to South Crete but those pesky winds sweep it up and over. Every morning our beaten-up car is caked in the stuff.

That’s not even taking the henna-red earth of our garden into consideration. In the early days, I considered how it could be pressed into service. Might we be able to sieve it and press it into jars with some magic ingredient that would serve as hair dye? Would it work as a tanning agent? Was I ever seriously going to do any such thing? A resounding no! But it was fun to think about.

Which reminds me of our Greek friend ‘Panioyotis’. He was born in mainland Greece but brought up in Germany. He works mainly in the tourist industry but is constantly dreaming up ideas to make money, none of which he ever follows through, though not before he has brought me on board as his website designer and general factotum.

There were the rape alarms that are illegal in Greece but that he planned to order and dispatch from Germany. There were the lighthouses he hoped Mr FND would make out of abandoned wooden palettes.  There was the time he saw one of my images—

beenfishin

Been Fishin’ (US) Been Fishin’ (UK)

—and wanted to start an online business selling my Crete-based designs, whether straight photographs or digitally adapted.

Eventually, we realised these were pipe dreams that were never going to amount to anything. How much money he wasted on research—ordering the alarms and so forth—we’ll never know.

‘Panioyotis’ is now working back in Germany. He visits occasionally and although it’s lovely to see him, we have one problem: our dog, Pisch, has never liked him and barks constantly when he’s around. This activity is usually a good indicator of the decency of another human being but not in this case for ‘Panioyotis’ is a sweetheart!

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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