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As I’ve said before, there are various software applications by which you can turn a photograph into a digital painting. While they have their uses, I prefer to use textures to provide a more interesting and subtler creation than that created by algorithms (or however it’s done!).

I created Searching the Sands in Photoshop with a photograph by Chris Sardegna and a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls, I tweaked the colour balance, brightness and contrast in both images and enhanced or faded certain areas.


“I had a dream about you. We were running on the beach, holding hands. It was a nude beach, but we were the only ones wearing clothes. You wore a bikini, and I wore my dead grandma’s dress—with my grandma still in it.
”
Jarod Kintz, I had a dream about you 2


 


They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.
Edward Lear


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

Sarah

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FROM THE ARCHIVE December 2013

In a tribute to Landseer, although regular visitors will know that I rarely start out with such a premise in mind nor did so this time, I have used images from Kerstin FrankEKDuncan and The Graphics Fairy.

I began with the same background I used for Alice’s Adventures

Source: Looking for Landseer | First Night Design


I have combined a beautiful landscape photograph by Ales Krivec at Unsplash with two textures from 2 Lil’ Owls, one in Photoshop’s Normal mode, the other in Linear Burn. The photo is the top layer and in Multiply mode.


“…freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night…”
John Geddes, A Familiar Rain


Scent of Pines Pack Of Gift Tags
Scent of Pines Pack Of Gift Tags


“I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer — and what trees and seasons smelled like — how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden


Scent of Pines Food Trays
Scent of Pines Food Trays

Scent of Pines Bicycle Playing Cards
Scent of Pines Bicycle Playing Cards

Available at the following galleries:
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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


Heavens to Betsy! My weekend has been totally transformed by an email from Zazzle telling me I’ve sold 25 of these Give Thanks Postcards.

The main image is a photograph of our garden – they’re actually Cretan olive trees in the background – and a couple of textures. I’ve used Photoshop to create a Thanksgiving scene with a pumpkin from The Graphics Fairy and an open book from The Cottage Market.

Are you wondering about the phrase ‘Heavens to Betsy’? I have to acknowledge that it’s one of my favourite sayings. I learn, however, that it’s fallen out of use and considered far too anachronistic. Tough. I shall never stop using it. It seems it originated in America in the late 19th century. No one knows who Betsy was and the etymologist Charles Earle Funk said the origins of the phrase were ‘completely unsolvable’. [#1]

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first written use as from a short-story collection by Rose Terry Cooke, Huckleberries Gathered From New England Hills published in 1892. [#1; #2]

I’m also very fond of ‘Heavens to Murgatroyd!’ but I’ll leave that lovely for another day.

Available at the following galleries:
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Zazzle US
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Fine Art America
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Original photo by Scott Webb from Unsplash lovingly blended with a texture from Kerstin Frank to create a ‘painting’.


“Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.”
Dalai Lama XIV


Buy the duvet from Fine Art America or Fine Art England

Buy the duvet from Fine Art America or Fine Art England


“Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. – Amir”
Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner


Available at the following galleries:
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Zazzle US
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Fine Art America
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE BYGONE

Alvin Langdon Coburn (1882 – 1966) was an early 20th-century photographer who became a key figure in the development of American pictorialism – the name given to an international style and aesthetic movement that dominated photography during the later 19th and early 20th centuries.

Typically, a pictorial photograph appears to lack a sharp focus (some more so than others), is printed in one or more colors other than black-and-white (ranging from warm brown to deep blue) and may have visible brush strokes or other manipulation of the surface. For the pictorialist, a photograph, like a painting, drawing or engraving, was a way of projecting an emotional intent into the viewer’s realm of imagination

Coburn became the first major photographer to emphasize the visual potential of elevated viewpoints and later made some of the first completely abstract photographs.

Alvin_Langdon_Coburn_(British_-_Study_-_Miss_R_-_Google_Art_Project

Study – Miss R by Alvin Langdon Coburn (1904)

via

wiki

landscape

Landscape by Alvin…

View original post 35 more words


The pleasure of creation is infinite and Wings over the World was immensely enjoyable to do.

Using Photoshop, I began with a coastal scene from Unsplash.com, a good site for free images.

coastalunsplashblog

I overlaid this with another Unsplash photograph by  Oliver Berghold  of seagulls, which I set to the ‘Hard Light’ blend mode.

fullbirdsunsplashblog

I followed with a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls in ‘Multiply’ mode at 82%.

2lilowlstextureblog

The next stage was selecting only the seagulls from that photograph and making these into a separate layer to go over the texture. This I put in ‘Multiply’ mode at 61%.

birdsaloneunsplashblog

The final touch was a Kim Klassen texture in ‘Colour Burn’ mode.

kktextureblog

The resulting image is below. I’m rather fond of it. I hope you are too.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Looking for Landseer is from a year ago. Had I not been blighted by computer failure this month, I would have been counting down to Christmas with lots of new creations. But such is life!

Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah x

First Night Design

Red Stag Looking for Landseer Red Deer Stag Looking for Landseer © First Night Design

In a tribute to Landseer, although regular visitors will know that I rarely start out with such a premise in mind nor did so this time, I have used images from Kerstin FrankEKDuncan and The Graphics Fairy.

I began with the same background I used for Alice’s Adventures.

Kerstin Frank Texture © Kerstin Frank Texture

This I overlaid with a background from EKDuncan.

EKDuncan © EKDuncan

I added the red deer stag from The Graphics Fairy before blending and ‘painting’.

© The Graphics Fairy © The Graphics Fairy

I will let you know as soon as the piece is available to buy.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

View original post


Pippa Rathborne's SCRATCH POST

enchanted castleClaude Lorrain, Landscape with Psyche outside the Palace of Cupid, 1664
National Gallery. Image source: National Gallery

“You know the Enchanted Castle, – it doth stand / Upon a rock, on the border of a Lake, /
Nested in trees….” (Epistle to Reynolds)

(FINAL) PART EIGHT

Claude’s Landscape with Psyche outside the Palace of Cupid, inspired by Apuleius’sstory, which Keats sourced for his Ode to Psyche, is a late work of the painter’s, an elegant baroque fantasy with less than the usual “incessant observation of nature” and quality of “Brightness [that] was the excellence of Claude, brightness independent on colour…the evanescent character of light”[1] that Constable valued above all other artistic attributes.

The picture’s shortcomings, its dark, sleeping stillness, as if waiting for someone to step in and breathe life into it, gave literary advantages to Keats. The glimpse of the stone…

View original post 1,255 more words


Pippa Rathborne's SCRATCH POST

“…..every man whose soul is not a clod
Hath visions, and would speak, if he had loved
And been well nurtured in his mother tongue.”
(Keats, The Fall of Hyperion – A Dream)

turner sunriseTurner, Norham Castle Sunrise, 1845, Oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London. Image source: WGA
“Oh God, not another f******* beautiful day”. (Alice de Janzé quoted in White Mischief, novel by James Fox, 1982, and in the film adaptation, 1987, screenplay by
Michael Radford and Jonathan Gems.)

At the climax of Hyperion, tremors are passing through golden-haired Apollo’s classically beautiful body like electric shocks . He shrieks while “Creations and destroyings, all at once / Pour into the wide hollows of my brain”. Empathizing with all this random suffering and emotion is too much for a god to bear, let alone an artist or poet, striving to render teeming images exactly as they were when originally experienced.

View original post 2,335 more words


For The Fallen

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 odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

by Laurence Binyon

Drawing of Laurence Binyon by William Strang, 1901

Drawing of Laurence Binyon by William Strang, 1901

Binyon wrote For the Fallen between the retreat from Mons and the victory of the Marne (1914):

“I can’t recall the exact date beyond that it was shortly after the retreat. I was set down, out-of-doors, on a cliff in Polzeath, Cornwall. The stanza They Shall Grow Not Old was written first and dictated the rhythmical movement of the whole poem.” All Poetry

When we were staying with friends in Crete a few years ago, we went to the Remembrance Service at the Allied Cemetery, designed by Louis de Soisson, in Souda Bay. It is a beautiful setting on a hill from which you can see the whole of the bay.

Souda Bay Cemetary

Souda Bay Cemetery

Every year, an old ex-pat recites the They Shall Grow Not Old stanza, as he did when we were there. He infuriated us by saying ‘We shall remember them’ instead of ‘We will remember them’. When we mentioned how frustrating this was, we were told that he gets it wrong every year, even though he has been told many times about the error.  He refuses to let anyone else do it, apparently. It’s a great shame. My actual words at the time — under my breath — are unprintable.

It would be lovely to say that the photograph I used for At the Going Down of the Sun was of Souda Bay but although it is in Crete, I can’t remember where! I added a delicious texture from 2 Lil’ Owls to create a Turner-like effect.

Photography Prints

Related

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Turning Windmill @ First Night Design

Turning Windmill @ First Night Design

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 windmill in Estonia from Wikimedia.  I have not yet uploaded the artwork to any of my galleries as I’m still not too sure about the slightly garish tone. My instinct is to make it much softer.  What do you think?  Do you like it as it is or would you also prefer a softer aspect? If so, do take a moment to comment below.  Thank you.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

Related articles

Red Stag Looking for Landseer

Red Deer Stag Looking for Landseer © First Night Design

In a tribute to Landseer, although regular visitors will know that I rarely start out with such a premise in mind nor did so this time, I have used images from Kerstin FrankEKDuncan and The Graphics Fairy.

I began with the same background I used for Alice’s Adventures.

This I overlaid with a background from EKDuncan.

I added the red deer stag from The Graphics Fairy before blending and ‘painting’.

I will let you know as soon as the piece is available to buy.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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