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First Night Design

A couple of mornings ago I woke up with a scene in my mind’s eye and knew it was something I wanted to create.  I saw desert, night sky and camels.  I set to work last night.

Kerstin Frank & The Graphics FairyKerstin Frank & The Graphics Fairy

But I did not discover Kerstin‘s textures above till this morning and was convinced I could do something with two I already had.

So what happened, Sarah?

A happy accident. I put together two textures from Kerstin Frank that I had previously downloaded and experimented with blending.  It needed more work to create even half the background I had envisaged but I decided to add the camel from The Graphics Fairy and take it from there.  Yet I could not find the camel.  I knew it was on my computer but it was already past midnight and I didn’t have the energy to search properly nor…

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Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
   The shadow of the dome of pleasure
   Floated midway on the waves;
   Where was heard the mingled measure
   From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
   A damsel with a dulcimer
   In a vision once I saw:
   It was an Abyssinian maid
   And on her dulcimer she played,
   Singing of Mount Abora.
   Could I revive within me
   Her symphony and song,
   To such a deep delight ’twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Art Prints

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


A couple of mornings ago I woke up with a scene in my mind’s eye and knew it was something I wanted to create.  I saw desert, night sky and camels.  I set to work last night.

But I did not discover Kerstin‘s textures above till this morning and was convinced I could do something with two I already had.

So what happened, Sarah?

A happy accident. I put together two textures from Kerstin Frank that I had previously downloaded and experimented with blending.  It needed more work to create even half the background I had envisaged but I decided to add the camel from The Graphics Fairy and take it from there.  Yet I could not find the camel.  I knew it was on my computer but it was already past midnight and I didn’t have the energy to search properly nor visit The Graphics Fairy to download it again.

What happened next, Sarah?

During the search for the camel, I came across a charming vintage postcard depicting the home of Alfred Lord Tennyson – Aldworth House in Haslemere, Surrey. Let’s try that, I thought, and save it for another artwork.

Aldworth House

Aldworth House

The postcard has a facsimile of Tennyson’s signature on the right and the first stanza of In Memoriam on the left:

I held it truth, with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.

No sooner had I plonked the postcard on top of the Frank textures than I knew the piece was transformed.  and once I had made certain changes and experimented with different Photoshop states, it became clear that camels under the night sky would have to wait.

Tennyson's Manor @ First Night Design

Tennyson’s Manor @ First Night Design

So there you have it.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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