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Reblogged to commemorate Grimaldi’s death on this day, 31st May, 1837. Click through to buy the greeting card or postcard and to get the joke!

Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778-1837 © First Night Design

Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778-1837 © First Night Design

A story is told that in 1806 a man goes to visit a doctor who is acclaimed for his ability to treat melancholia. “I can’t eat, I can’t sleep,” says the man. “I feel constantly miserable.  Please help me, doctor.”

“Laughter is the best medicine, my friend,” says the doctor. “Take yourself off to Covent Garden Theatre* where you will find The Great Grimaldi performing in Harlequin and Mother Goose; or the Golden Egg. It is exquisitely funny and will cure you of all your ills without…

via First Night Design | Joseph Grimaldi, Clown 1778–1837 | First Night Design

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Edited and updated 16 May 2018

At the beginning of February, I talked about cutting back on posting and visiting for the sake of my health. The times I’ve had for myself as well as family and friends since have been beautifully beneficial. On the other hand, it has and remains a lot easier to update First Night History and Rogues & Vagabonds since I’m either reblogging or transferring from the original R&V.

In the meantime, I have several works in progress but no pieces ready to display, let alone sell so here’s a re-post about the work of one of my favourite artists, whose 120th birthday is 16 May!

Sharing Secrets, 1928 Tamara De Lempicka is an artist whose work I wish was in the public domain so that I could sell it at First Night Vintage.  Alas, she died in 1980 so unless my business becomes a worldwide success in the near future (stranger things have happened!), I cannot afford to licence any of the images…

via First Night Design | Tamara De Lempicka [1898 – 1980]


FROM THE ARCHIVE 31st January 2014

Forget Wordless Wednesday, this is…

Source: First Night Design | WORDLESS FRIDAY — ISLAND LOVE


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?)


HAPPY EASTER!

FROM THE ARCHIVE 31st March 2014 & 2015 because another year has gone and I still haven’t created a new Easter image!
May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

I’m never quite sure how to categorise creations like May Easter Joy Attend You. Is it a collage? Is it digital art, a term that applies to everything I do? Why do I concern myself? Sites like Saatchi Art and Fine Art America need  you to add this information when you upload an image. It drives me nuts, partly because I loathe categories.

The method I use is collage in that I prepare a background and then bring in elements around a particular theme and blend to a seamless whole, rather than what is strictly known as collage where elements are arranged seemingly haphazardly such as in Indian Glories.

In this instance, I prepped a background by doctoring one of Kerstin Frank’s textures, the same one I used for Alice’s Adventures.

Some of the Easter elements I brought in were discarded and replaced but not before I’d worked on them quite substantially — all good experience and not a waste of time!

These rabbits looked best in the Darken mode. But this meant the egg was far from clear. I used the Lasso Tool to select it (the Magnetic Tool is never accurate enough unless you are working with sharply defined objects) and created a new layer for the egg alone. This layer I left in its Normal state and placed it on top of the original egg. It needed touching up with the Brush and Clone Stamp Tools before I was satisfied.

The Darken mode also meant that the lower part of the right-hand rabbit had taken on the green of the background. This needed adjustment which I did by tracing the exact shape of the offending part with the Lasso Tool.  I moved to the background image and chose a lighter area in the ‘sky’ to create a new layer of the rabbit-leg shape. I left it in a Normal state and placed it behind the rabbit. Several colour adjustments were needed until the rabbit’s nether regions matched the rest of his body!

The Multiply mode was ideal for the hot air balloon but left the chicks in the basket more green than yellow. Mind you, one could argue that would be appropriate as surely the poor little blighters would be air sick! I used the same technique on them as I did on the egg to bring their yellow feathers back to life.

This left me with the bottom half of the balloon which, like the chicks and the rabbit, had taken on too much of the background to match up with the rest of the balloon. I used the same procedure as with the rabbit’s nether regions to bring it up to scratch.

I had originally planned to use the Easter greeting on the hot air balloon graphic at the top of the image but it failed to make the impact I had envisaged so I made a type layer instead with a font called Great Vibes.

The last touch was using the graphic [left] by removing its border and background and applying a ‘drop shadow’ and ‘bevel and emboss’ effect.

 

 

 

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Inspired by the work of J M W Turner, I created Turning Windmill (yes, the part-pun is intentional!) by using one of my textures, one from Kerstin Frank and a photograph of a windmill in Estonia from Wikimedia.


‘Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on—that is, badly.’
George Orwell, Animal Farm


When I first posted about Turning Windmill in January 2014, I was not at all sure about it and had yet to upload the image to any of my galleries. But those of you who were following my blog at the time were enthusiastic and I went ahead and put it up for sale. I’ve become very fond of the image and am rather glad I left it as it is.

Turning Windmill Service Tray
Buy Turning Windmill Service Tray © Sarah Vernon at Zazzle


“This little piggy saved some water,
This little piggy biked for sun,
This little piggy used windmills,
This little piggy used sun,
And this little piggy squealed
‘Re-re-recycle!’
All the way home.”
Jan Peck and David Davis illustrated by Carin Berger


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

 

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


I’m delighted to say that 2016 has begun with the news that I have sold a metal print of Burnished Tigers at Redbubble. I’ve never sold a metal print before – it feels rather good!

What doesn’t feel good is the continuing danger to so many species on this earth, not least our own.

‘A hundred years ago there were 100,000 tigers in the wild. Today there are as few as 3,200.’

‘As more and more forests are cleared for paper and palm oil, tiger habitat disappears daily.’

Save Tigers Now is a global campaign by World Wildlife Fund and Leonardo DiCaprio. Our goal is to build political, financial and public support to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.’

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


FROM THE ARCHIVE March 2014

What a surprise! More cushions. I can own up to all except for Humpty Dumpty, which is a delightful illustration by Mr FND — do check out his  pantomime drawings.

Source: First Night Design | Cushion Obsession


Reblogged for World Elephant Day @wrldelephantday.

First Night Design

Elephants Learning © First Night Design Elephants Learning © First Night Design

This is a photograph from Wikimedia of elephants learning how to handle logs which I altered with a free texture from Denise Love of 2 Lil’ Owls who recently set up the Facebook group, Texture Artists, where you will find said freebie.

Ever since I mentioned elephants on here, I have worked on three different pieces. None of them were turning out as I envisaged – very frustrating – until, that is, I replaced the texture I had used for Elephants Learning with the free one. I do hope you like it.

The fact that the men are wearing solar topees — I’m not entirely certain they are, but I like to think so — puts me in mind of Noël Coward’s line in ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen: ‘…because the simple creatures hope he will impale his solar topee on the tree.’  Not, of course, that the men above would ever be…

View original post 10 more words


First Night Design

I have had a relaxing Sunday morning creating new cushions for my store and enjoying every moment of it. There are certain products available at Zazzle to which I enjoy adding my art more  than others.  Cushions — or pillows, I understand, if you’re from the US — are one such. This may be because my life depends on cushions if I am to avoid serious pain and discomfort. It may also be because cushions do so much to alter a room. After all, it’s cheaper than painting or decorating if you long for a change!

Girl on a Bicycle
Girl on a Bicycle

The Smoking Concert 
The Smoking Concert

Take care and keep laughing!

View original post 2 more words


Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to create any more Easter designs this year, partly because I’ve run out of ideas. I’m bored with eggs and rabbits and whimsy, and nothing amusing is coming to mind, so here’s a re-post of May Easter Joy Attend You from 2014 of which I’m rather fond even though it contains rabbits and chicks and an egg!

I dedicate this re-post to the artist Mary of Oil Pastels by Mary because we were discussing working with layers in Photoshop a couple of days ago. Do visit Mary’s blog to see her beautiful work.

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design
Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints [Redbubble]

I’m never quite sure how to categorise creations like May Easter Joy Attend You. Is it a collage? Is it digital art, a term that applies to everything I do? Why do I concern myself? Sites like Saatchi Art and Fine Art America need  you to add this information when you upload an image. It drives me nuts, partly because I loathe categories.

The method I use is collage in that I prepare a background and then bring in elements around a particular theme and blend to a seamless whole, rather than what is strictly known as collage where elements are arranged seemingly haphazardly such as in Indian Glories.

In this instance, I prepped a background by doctoring one of Kerstin Frank’s textures, the same one I used for Alice’s Adventures.

Some of the Easter elements I brought in were discarded and replaced but not before I’d worked on them quite substantially — all good experience and not a waste of time!

These rabbits looked best in the Darken mode. But this meant the egg was far from clear. I used the Lasso Tool to select it (the Magnetic Tool is never accurate enough unless you are working with sharply defined objects) and created a new layer for the egg alone. This layer I left in its Normal state and placed it on top of the original egg. It needed touching up with the Brush and Clone Stamp Tools before I was satisfied.

The Darken mode also meant that the lower part of the right-hand rabbit had taken on the green of the background. This needed adjustment which I did by tracing the exact shape of the offending part with the Lasso Tool.  I moved to the background image and chose a lighter area in the ‘sky’ to create a new layer of the rabbit-leg shape. I left it in a Normal state and placed it behind the rabbit. Several colour adjustments were needed until the rabbit’s nether regions matched the rest of his body!

The Multiply mode was ideal for the hot air balloon but left the chicks in the basket more green than yellow. Mind you, one could argue that would be appropriate as surely the poor little blighters would be air sick! I used the same technique on them as I did on the egg to bring their yellow feathers back to life.

This left me with the bottom half of the balloon which, like the chicks and the rabbit, had taken on too much of the background to match up with the rest of the balloon. I used the same procedure as with the rabbit’s nether regions to bring it up to scratch.

I had originally planned to use the Easter greeting on the hot air balloon graphic at the top of the image but it failed to make the impact I had envisaged so I made a type layer instead with a font called Great Vibes.

The last touch was using the graphic above by removing its border and background and applying a ‘drop shadow’ and ‘bevel and emboss’ effect.

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design
Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design

The Racing Hare at Easter Pillows
The Racing Hare at Easter Pillows by FirstNightDesign

No post planned. No time to do much so this is the cushion I sold today. Looks rather good on other products too, though I say so myself as shouldn’t!

The Racing Hare at Easter Tiles
The Racing Hare at Easter Ceramic Tiles by FirstNightDesign

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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First Night Design

Happy St Patrick’s Day to all my Irish friends and followers!

Shamrock for Ireland Cover For The iPad Mini
Shamrock for Ireland Cover For The iPad Mini by FirstNightDesign

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

View original post


Kelly Campbell has been sculpting books since 2011 and uses nothing more than whatever is in the pages of the book its self. The words, illustrations and page numbers. So let me take you on a journey of what I think are her 10 very best works of art…

Continue reading: Top 10 Amazing Book Sculptures by Kelly Campbell.


My internet connection is even worse today so no chance of doing a new post. Here’s a Valentine one from a year ago. I am aware that you’ve seen the first one recently!

First Night Design

One of the most insightful of quotes about love and the nature of relationships comes from William Shakespeare and features on an early design of mine.

Love is Not Love... CardLove is Not Love… Card by FirstNightDesign

“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.” Shakespeare, sonnet 116

It is easy to forget this when young.  Desperate for love after a confusing  and contradictory set of lessons from childhood, I would constantly alter and bend in my late teens and early 20s.  This is not love.  If the object of your affections wants to mould you a certain way, or you get the feeling he or she is not going to like you if you behave a certain way, this is not love.

schulz-lucy

If someone loves you, they love you, warts and all, and it matters not a jot if you have heavy thighs or a…

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