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As a lover of all things maritime and a descendant of admirals and sailors, I am often drawn to centuries-old paintings of seacraft at work or play. I created Flying Colours with two images far apart in time. One layer is the Russian Squadron at Malta, 20 October 1827, painted by Alfred Gomersal Vickers which is in the public domain. The other is a photograph of Bembridge Lifeboat which I took the other day. I have melded them together using Photoshop’s various tools to make it look as if it were an original 19th-century image.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah



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


View of a Harbour – Caspar David Friedrich Card created by FirstNightVintage.

Source: View of a Harbour – Caspar David Friedrich Card | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


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:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfilment centres in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Oh, the frustration of not being able to see clearly enough to create some new art or read all your blogs! In the meantime…

Original & vintage art © First Night Design [www.firstnightdesign.wordpress.com]

Source: At the Going Down of the Sun Round Clock | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Welcome to Margate … translated.

Margate in Kent, a popular seaside resort since the 18th century, is possibly best known these days as the town where artist Tracy Emin grew up. But did you know that it was home to J.M.W. Turner?

“Where therefore, and in this very town of Margate, [Turner] lived, when he chose to be quit of London, and yet not to travel” John Ruskin

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_harbour,_Margate,_KeAlthough I wasn’t thinking of Turner when I discovered this photograph of Margate and its harbour dated 1897 (Wikimedia), I might have been ‘channelling’ him!

"Mrs Booth", sculpture by Ann Carrington, Stone Pier, Margate

“Mrs Booth”, sculpture by Ann Carrington, Stone Pier, Margate [Wikimedia]

The Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate writes that ‘Turner’s connection with Margate was the founding inspiration for our organisation. He loved Margate for the sea, the skies, and his landlady Mrs Booth.’ Don’t you just love it that he was potty about his landlady!

Visit Thanet gives some interesting snippets about Margate:

  • In the 1700s, bathing in the sea and drinking seawater became a fashionable cure for all sorts of diseases. From the Georgian period onwards visitors from London began flocking to resorts like Margate for the seawater cure and increasingly as a place to socialise. Margate has built a reputation as a place for bathing in the sea – both for health and pleasure.
  • Margate has a special place in the history of the ‘Bathing Machine’ with Benjamin Beale inventing the modest hood in 1753. This canvas canopy could be lowered and raised by the driver of the machine, allowing bathers a modicum of privacy as well as some protection from wind and waves.
    A man opening the door of a woman's bathing machine, the wom Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A man opening the door of a woman's bathing machine, the woman in side looks shocked and angry; the man claims he thought it was his machine. Coloured lithograph by Br. Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    A man opening the door of a woman’s bathing machine. [Wikimedia]

  • Whilst in Margate recuperating from a nervous breakdown, TS Eliot sat at the Grade II listed shelter on Margate seafront and composed the key lines in his poem ’The Waste Land’ – “On Margate Sands./I can connect/Nothing with nothing./The broken fingernails of dirty hands./My people humble people who expect/Nothing”.
  • Margate, was the first place to offer and popularise donkey rides on the beach, starting back in the early 1800s.

So now you know!

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


ONE FROM THE ARCHIVE FOR REMEMBRANCE DAY.

Prints & Greeting Cards available – click through to original post for the link to buy.

FOR THE FALLEN by Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against…

Source: First Night Design | At the Going Down of the Sun


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


A direct contrast to the feel of yesterday’s Song for Freedom, Land, Ho! is another design from a few years ago that centres on my photograph of an abandoned fishing boat in Nea Chora in Chania on the island of Crete, and to which I added textures from Shadowhouse Creations.

To say ‘abandoned’ is, perhaps, to stretch the truth since one sees many apparently abandoned boats  (and houses) on this island that have not been abandoned but have been worked on for years without any sign of improvement! When it comes to the dilapidated houses, it can be assumed that the owners are a disparate collection of family members who have inherited the property and who can’t agree on what should be done with it. It is so sad to see them going by the board as they are often three or four hundred years-old and beautiful examples of Venetian or Ottoman Empire architecture.

Land Ho!
If I get my hands on a dollar bill
Gonna buy a bottle and drink my fill.
[Lyrics to Land Ho by The Doors]

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Sea Fever by John Masefield 1878–1967

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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