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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.

Amiens

Amiens

Like so many towns in Northern France, Amiens is, for me, inextricably linked with The Great War. The Battle of Amiens — also known as the Third Battle of Picardy — took place ninety-seven years ago this month and was the one  that would eventually lead to Germany signing the Armistice. The town also suffered during the Second World War and was occupied several times by both the Allies and the Axis powers. Perhaps if I had ever visited Amiens, I would associate it with something else, not least the 13th century cathedral — a World Heritage site — which is clearly an exquisite example of Gothic architecture, and the town’s renowned macaroons.

Gare du Nord (old postcard published by Caron No. 328, postmarked in 1909).

Gare du Nord (old postcard published by Caron No. 328, postmarked in 1909).

Emerald Arches Greeting Card
Emerald Arches Greeting Card

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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I created Bound for Santiago in the form of a collage and then blended the images into one with Photoshop. It comprises one of my textured backgrounds, two photos by Joshua Earle at Unsplash, and a lovely antique ship by Zakhar Kleyman on Flickr.

Why Santiago? The title came fully formed from the mouth of Mr FND; where would we be without dreams and imagination? The fact that the antique ship photograph was taken from Staten Island ferry is neither here nor there!

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Saint Étienne Re-imagined © Sarah Vernon

Saint-Étienne Re-imagined © Sarah Vernon

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 Villafruela on Wikimedia which I have blended with textures from 2 Lil’ Owls.


“Mirrors should think longer before they reflect.”
Jean Cocteau


 “Be yourself. The world worships the original.”
Jean Cocteau


“We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like? ”
Jean Cocteau


Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Postcard Lemons has always been one of my favourites from the early days and I’m delighted to say that I have just sold a pack of the business cards on Zazzle.


“When life gives you lemons, squirt someone in the eye.”
Cathy Guisewite


“We live in a world where lemonade is made from aritificial flavoring and furniture polish is made from real lemons.”
MAD Magazine


Available on all products at the following galleries:
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Have a beautiful and creative Tuesday!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The Cuckoo Calls © Sarah Vernon

The Cuckoo Calls © Sarah Vernon

I’m on a roll with the divine vintage illustrations stored at The Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr, as per my Pheasant post. This cuckoo, to which I’ve added the same background textures, also comes from the ornithological publication of 1849 mentioned in that post.

‘They frequent tropical lowland evergreen forest and tropical deciduous forest according to the species. They are usually found in wooded and forested areas such as gallery forest, secondary forest, open or scrubby woodland, shrubby pastures or with scattered trees.

They may be found in humid areas, mangroves, swamps, humid woodland edges, forest with seasonal flooding, low thickets and dense shrub near water.’ [oiseaux-birds.com]


The Attic warbler pours her throat
Responsive to the cuckoo’s note.
Thomas Gray—Ode on the Spring.


“In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

Orson Welles as Harry Lime in The Third Man


I’ll let you know as soon as The Cuckoo’s Note is for sale.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Whirring Pheasant Springs © Sarah Vernon

Whirring Pheasant Springs © Sarah Vernon

This gorgeous pheasant, to which I’ve added my background textures, is from The Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr. Known as a Canje pheasant (or ’stinkbird’, as I discovered), he comes from an ornithological publication of 1849 and is a tropical bird found in the Amazon and South America’s Orinoco Delta.

I’ve taken my title from Alexander Pope’s Windsor Forest:

See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs,
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings:
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.

The piece is not yet for sale as I’m running out of bandwidth again and would overstep the limit were I to upload it to all my galleries. #Frustration!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Buy a framed print of Post Haste © Sarah Vernon at Crated

Oh, how I enjoyed creating this collage with layer upon layer of vintage French ephemera from 2 Lil’ Owls via Design Cuts. The creative process brings me such joy. I came across the perfect quote yesterday about this joy but I didn’t make a note of it and I can’t remember whether I saw it on a blog post or Twitter. Here are some other quotes instead! The Picasso comes closest to a part of what I’m feeling.


“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” Edward Hopper

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Pablo Picasso

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.”
Alberto Giacometti


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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I’m not particularly good at natural history. I can admire and squeak with delight at a bird or a flower but ask me to name them and I’ll look at you blankly. I downloaded this bird print of c.1879 from The Graphics Fairy and since the inestimable Karen Watson had not specified anything other than ‘birds’, I searched high and low (on Google, of course) to find out what kind of creature I was attempting to ‘doctor’ with my own textures and vintage postcard background.

It led me to a site selling prints from another copy of the 19th century book from which it comes. I know now that they are finches. If push had come to shove, I’d probably have said swallows.

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


It was an original painting of a ‘cabinet of curiosities’  on Wikimedia that inspired me to create this image. These ‘cabinets’ contained collections of objects around a theme whether it be art, theatre or archaeology, antiquities, religious icons or geology, or anything else for that matter.

One might even refer to them as miniature museums. If you have ever gathered objects of a certain type, as I have done, on a small table or in a room, for instance, then you have created a ‘cabinet of curiosities’.  I should point out that ‘cabinet’ in this case refers to a room and not, as Wikipedia tells us, a piece of furniture.

I used the following image from Wikimedia as my starting point.

A corner of a cabinet, painted by Frans II Francken in 1636 reveals the range of connoisseurship a Baroque-era virtuoso might evince

A corner of a cabinet, painted by Frans II Francken in 1636 reveals the range of connoisseurship a Baroque-era virtuoso might evince [Wikimedia]

I continued by making small versions of some of my own images and placing them on top and within the frames of paintings before blending and merging. Look carefully and you can see The Lynx has Landed in the bottom left corner and Earthly Delights top left. Scrutinise the next to last image bottom right and you might see that I have merged a part of Romantic Meeting with the original Tudor-looking man to create what looks — to me — like Danny La Rue in his glad rags drag!

The finishing touches were done with a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls, a layer of yellow in Photoshop’s Overlay mode, and a black & white photograph by Len dela Cruz from Unsplash.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


What could be better than a party to herald the Spring and nurture the hope in our hearts? Freedom is a precious commodity these days. Rousseau’s famous words – “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains” have never been more apt than they are today. The élite is forcing upon us a world in which we have no say and little means of survival. But we have to keep hope in our hearts or we are lost.

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Another re-run for my Easter Egg Basket. Have a lovely Wednesday and keep smiling!
Sarah

First Night Design

Easter Egg Basket © First Night DesignEaster Egg Basket © First Night Design—Available on cards, prints & posters

New for Easter.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Could I have resisted the impulse to call this The Grapes of Worth? Of course not. Let’s hear it for John Steinbeck!

It started life as a gentle Christmas image for those who prefer their cards not to be overloaded with symbols of the season. And then my computer, as many of you know, died completely. I give it to you now as a Mother’s Day piece.

Grapes and French brasserie advertising from The Graphics Fairy.
Texture from Kerstin Frank.

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I created this design about three years ago, maybe even  four. I started with a photograph of a beautiful, hand-made bird-cage decorated with an air plant, created by Ursula of Etsy shop EarthSeaWarrior, and which she was kind enough to let me use. I added several of my own textures, a piece of sheet music from The Graphics Fairy and a collection of handwritten letters in French from Magic Moonlight Studio.

Available at the following galleries:
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Let joy be unconfined! I’ve sold one of these cushions and shall be entering the weekend with a big grin on my face. A girl’s gotta eat…

Hot Air Balloon Voyage Throw Pillows Hot Air Balloon Voyage Throw Pillows by FirstNightDesign

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Easter Egg Basket © First Night Design—Available on cards, prints & posters

New for Easter.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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