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Goose and Frog’s Easter Journey
The original vintage image advertising Palmer’s Cologne (The Graphics Fairy) is very appealing, but I was compelled to alter it. Of course.

I created a textured background by blending several flower photographs and one ready-made texture from  2 Lil’ Owls.

The egg is taken from a photograph at the…

via First Night Design | Goose and Frog’s Easter Journey | First Night Design


Valentine Blush © First Night Design/Sarah Vernon

I can’t bear it when I have nothing of my own to post because while I love finding other work on art, books, writing or photography to introduce you to, there’s always those niggling thoughts that run: “But you need to be promoting your own work to earn money!” or “Why aren’t you going back to writing your memoirs?” But it’s got to stop, as I’m sure you’ll tell me. Living is more important when push comes to ultimate shove and you’re not the twenty-eight-year-old you feel.

Quentin Crisp NYC 1992 Ross Bennett Lewis

Valentine Blush is new and I had every intention of uploading it to the galleries in time to catch the Valentine market. It didn’t happen and so it’s still not available to buy. I don’t care because I’ve become more embedded in the local community by making some new friends including writer Barbara Jane Mackie whose screenwriter father, Philip Mackie, adapted short stories by Saki in 1962 with a cast that just happened to include my father, Richard Vernon. Some of you might remember Mackie’s later work as he was responsible for the incomparable adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant [1975] with a never-to-be-forgotten performance by the late John Hurt as Quentin Crisp.

Take care and keep laughing!


mellowplacematsI don’t think I’ve ever sold a set of placemats before so this is rather a treat.

Style: Placemats 20″ x 14″
Complete your dining table setting with custom place mats from Zazzle. These 100% woven cotton place mats are designed to complement any dining room theme.

Dimensions: 20″ x 14″
100% woven cotton
Printed in full color, with vibrant colors designed to pop
Fabric is made from natural fibers, which may result in some slight irregularities
Made in the USA
Dry or spot clean only

via Mellow Oak Placemat |

Take care and keep laughing!


Such fun! Zazzle have started producing candles. What could be better than to show you a candle that matches Spring Passion because you will, of course, be needing candles to go with that exquisite meal you will be conjuring up on Valentine’s Day for the person you adore.

“How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”
[Portia in The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare]

Take care and keep laughing!


Photograph © Sarah Vernon. Flowers, 30-08-17. Processed in Topaz Impression with the Impasto filter and painterly touches added in Photoshop.

“I must have flowers, always and always.” Claude Monet

Spring Passion would be suitable for any occasion, not least Valentine’s Day. Sometimes the simplest image is the best.

Lots of other products available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!


I’m considering my version of ‘Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell’, as printed in The Spectator when the late journalist had been rather too drunk or hung over to write his Low Life column. Mine will have to be shorthand for truly being unwell rather than drunk (I say this while slurping a Bailey’s at ten past midnight)! In the meantime, nothing new has been diagnosed and no new art created to display. This is one from the past that I’m very fond of.

First Night Design

Garlic is for Heroes © First Night DesignGarlic is for Heroes © First Night Design

‘What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.’
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, American sculptor [1848-1907]

It was seeing this quote in an iPhone app that inspired Garlic is for Heroes, which I created with a photograph from Wikimedia and a texture overlay from, yes, 2 Lil’ Owls. It was an interesting reversal of my usual method where a visual idea comes first. I was so taken with the quote, I had to do something with garlic!

Augustus Saint-Gaudens.jpg
Augustus Saint-Gaudens by De Witt C. Ward via Wikimedia Commons.

Saint-Gaudens, of whom I had not previously heard, was a sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who is said to have embodied the ideals of the ‘American Renaissance’. Wikipedia

I have taken my title from another quote, this time one by our old friend Anonymous who once said, “Shallots are for babies; onions are for men; garlic is for heroes.”

View original post 6 more words

Health update: You may be aware that I spent two weeks in hospital with severe gastroenteritis followed by hospital-acquired pneumonia. It’s a wonderful life! I’m still not up to writing anything substantial, I’m afraid, so here’s another sale.

Paper Type: Poster Paper (Semi-Gloss)

Your walls are a reflection of your personality. So let them speak with your favorite quotes, art, or designs printed on our posters! Choose from up to 5 unique paper types and several sizes to create art that’s a perfect representation of you.

  • 53 lb., 7.9 point thick poster paper
  • Recommended for large-format posters
  • Semi-gloss finish
  • More paper types available under “Paper Options”
  • Add a premium quality frame as an essential accessory

Source: The Chinese Vase Poster | Zazzle

FROM THE ARCHIVE 4th October 2015

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 mo…

Source: First Night Design | And for my next trick… #Art | First Night Design

As some of you know, our summer holidays as children were spent in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight where I now live. The other week I trundled round on my mobility scooter visiting my favourite haunts. This shot of Bembridge Lifeboat Station through the trees is just where the steps lead down to the beach and to the exact spot we invariably used for swimming.

It is true the original photograph is rather appealing and some of you on Facebook have already seen it as my header but true to form, I had to play.

I used two textures from Design Cuts — a yellow-based and a green-based one. I ran the photograph through Topaz Impression three or four times to produce different effects. I chose to layer ‘Cezanne 1’ and ’Cavedweller’ (as you do) and blended them with the textures to produce a digital painting. I hope it pleases you as much as it did me in its creation.

Part of a paper read to the Ladies of Shanklin Evening Institute, October 1951.

“It is quite possible that some among you are quite ignorant of everything connected with Lifeboat work […] I have no intention of going back into remote history, or to the founding of the Institution in 1824.  Moreover, I expect you will think that I have gone back quite far enough if I commence with the time of your grandfathers, and I select that particular time because it was then that the proud reputation of the Lifeboat Institution was built up, on the great hearts and stout muscles of the grand old men who served as crews for the small pulling and sailing lifeboats stationed round our coasts.  But to really understand the heroism of these grand old fellows, and to give them full credit for their marvellous rescues, and for their self-sacrificing efforts, one must be possessed of…” Bembridge Lifeboat

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

Take care and keep laughing!


Source: Time After Time Poster | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


Apples And Pears In A Hallway Framed Print from Fine Art America

The photograph I used as my starting point was taken a year ago at an erstwhile (and that’s another story to be told when I’m ready) friend’s hallway. I threw together a couple of books — vintage copies of Jane Austen’s Emma and Northanger Abbey that I bought from the shop attached to Chawton House in Steventon — a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey whisky and a wooden ‘bothy’ bowl that I bought from Garden Trading; I’ve since bought several more! The lilies were already on the hall table.

As is my way, I added a couple of textures from Design Cuts and some apples from an image by Leti Kugler at Unsplash.

Oh, I nearly forgot. Some of you might recognise the print on the wall. Yes, it’s Copper Pear.

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

Take care and keep laughing!


You have no idea just how peachy it has been to create a piece of art with my new vision after spending so many months re-blogging earlier pieces and promoting those which have sold. My heart and soul are leaping with joy. Just as well in view of the unconscionable state prevailing in the UK after a general election. I am reminded of my favourite quote from erstwhile US President Jimmy Carter (and there are many to choose from) which says it all when one thinks of Prime Minister Theresa May’s parentage: the daughter of a vicar no less. “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian values because you don’t.’

The original is a photochrom from the Library of Congress of the entrance to the harbour at St. Malo in France taken between 1890 and 1900. I duplicated the image, ran the jpg through the Topaz Impressions Abstraction II filter, which I added as a third layer before topping with one of my yellow textures. I made use of a variety of Photoshop blends such as Darken, Lighter Colour and Screen.

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfilment centres in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!


FROM THE ARCHIVE: 25th September 2015

‘Once you decide that it is the art that is important and not how popular and well-received you are, you no longer have an albatross.’ Stephen Stills, musician and instrumentalist. (Remember Crosby…

Source: First Night Design | Diomedea #Art | First Night Design

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,

I would my horse had the speed of your
tongue, and so good a continuer, but keep your
way, i’ God’s name, I have done.
You always end with a jade’s trick. I know
you of old.

Source: Beatrice and Benedick Postcard | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


Good News and Bad News. Again

As some of you already know, I had a successful cataract operation on my right eye yesterday morning. It was a relief to get it done. It will take a while for the sight to settle down and I know from previous experience that I’ll have a bit of double vision to contend with. However, it was a quick and painless experience and no overnight stay as it was in Crete nearly 18 months ago with the left eye.

Talking of the left eye, they removed a stitch but it wasn’t one that had been causing problems and I was left with Trump’s lips! I queried it and forced them to look again. It could be many things, the surgeon said, but there was nothing they could do about it. I’m not going to leave it at that but get a second opinion from the surgeon with whom I had the original consultation. What can I say but repeat that it’s the story of my life from womb to now!

  • Dimensions: 4.25″ x 5.6″ (portrait) or 5.6″ x 4.25″ (landscape)
  • Full-color CMYK print process
  • Double sided printing for no additional cost

The most popular paper choice, Matte’s eggshell texture is soft to the touch with a smooth finish that provides the perfect backdrop for your chosen designs.

  • Light white, uncoated matte finish with an eggshell texture
  • Paper is easy to write on and won’t smudge
  • Made and printed in the USA


Source: Looking for Landseer Postcard | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!



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