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One from the archive while I continue to enjoy the company of my beautiful niece.
Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah

First Night Design

Welcome to followers old and new and thank you for all your lovely ‘likes’!

Take the Cow by the HornsTake the Cow by the Horns © First Night Design

As soon as I saw this cow among the archives at The Library of Congress, I was smitten.  Wouldn’t you be?  Look at her eyes.  There’s an animal you wouldn’t dream of messing with but the expression is so direct that she holds you in her gaze without allowing you to look away.  I may have called the piece Take the Cow by the Horns but I would not recommend it!

Cow

I created the setting by adding a background from Asunder Ephemera and used Photoshop to adjust the colours and tones until I felt I had done her justice.

The cow has an interesting provenance, coming as she does from a scrapbook of illustrations that were collated by Hans Christian Andersen and A L Drewsen…

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Happy Day Before Christmas Eve!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah x

First Night Design

Hot Air Balloon Voyage Hot Air Balloon Voyage © First Night Design

Before I introduce you to my latest artwork, I’d like to give a warm welcome to all my new followers and likers and to say how much it gladdens a girl’s heart!  I  greatly appreciate your support even if I’m unable to visit your own blogs and sites or reply to comments in the near future.

I have always wanted to make something featuring a hot air balloon and now I’ve done it!  Hot Air Balloon Voyage was created with a texture from Lenabem-Anna, a photograph from The Library of Congress, and a map from The Graphics Fairy. A few tweaks are needed here and there before it’s ready to sell; however, I’m very happy with how it has turned out and I do hope you like it.

When I was much younger, and stronger, I was invited  to take a…

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One from the archives.

First Night Design

Dancing in Greek

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” said John Lennon, though he wasn’t the first.  This certainly happens when I’m in Photoshop.  I started with creams and greens and a romantic couple walking on the beach.  An experimental change of blending modes with the textures, one of which is a freebie from French Kiss, produced this vivid mahogany-like backdrop and I was sold!

I added a photograph of the Russian ballerina Tamara Platonovna Karsavina (1885–1978) from The Library of Congress and turned her into a silhouette.  The result reminds me of the lustrous designs on Ancient Greek  pottery, hence the title, Dancing in Greek.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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dancinggreekvogue

Yes, I’ve had PhotoFunia again! This might just be my favourite thus far as I happen to think that Dancing in Greek looks rather splendid on Vogue’s cover.

You may remember that I added a photograph of the Russian ballerina Tamara Platonovna Karsavina (1885–1978) from The Library of Congress and turned her into a silhouette overlaying a background of my textures.

And then I couldn’t resist putting myself on the cover. This photo was taken about five years ago.

meonvogue

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Welcome to followers old and new and thank you for all your lovely ‘likes’!

As soon as I saw this cow among the archives at The Library of Congress, I was smitten.  Wouldn’t you be?  Look at her eyes.  There’s an animal you wouldn’t dream of messing with but the expression is so direct that she holds you in her gaze without allowing you to look away.  I may have called the piece Take the Cow by the Horns but I would not recommend it!

Cow

I created the setting by adding a background from Asunder Ephemera and used Photoshop to adjust the colours and tones until I felt I had done her justice.

The cow has an interesting provenance, coming as she does from a scrapbook of illustrations that were collated by Hans Christian Andersen and A L Drewsen to entertain Drewsen’s grandson Jonas.  These illustrations came from myriad sources — England, America and Germany — and were mounted and coloured. Anderson added his own rhymes to many of the pictures.

In the meantime…

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Dancing in Greek

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” said John Lennon, though he wasn’t the first.  This certainly happens when I’m in Photoshop.  I started with creams and greens and a romantic couple walking on the beach.  An experimental change of blending modes with the textures, one of which is a freebie from French Kiss, produced this vivid mahogany-like backdrop and I was sold!

I added a photograph of the Russian ballerina Tamara Platonovna Karsavina (1885–1978) from The Library of Congress and turned her into a silhouette.  The result reminds me of the lustrous designs on Ancient Greek  pottery, hence the title, Dancing in Greek.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Hot Air Balloon Voyage

Hot Air Balloon Voyage © First Night Design

Before I introduce you to my latest artwork, I’d like to give a warm welcome to all my new followers and likers and to say how much it gladdens a girl’s heart!  I  greatly appreciate your support even if I’m unable to visit your own blogs and sites or reply to comments in the near future.

I have always wanted to make something featuring a hot air balloon and now I’ve done it!  Hot Air Balloon Voyage was created with a texture from Lenabem-Anna, a photograph from The Library of Congress, and a map from The Graphics Fairy. A few tweaks are needed here and there before it’s ready to sell; however, I’m very happy with how it has turned out and I do hope you like it.

When I was much younger, and stronger, I was invited  to take a trip in a balloon over the county of Berkshire.  It would have been spectacular.  Alas, when the time came, it was too windy and  the friend of a friend who owned the balloon quite rightly cancelled.  We never managed to meet up again at a convenient time and place and the owner later sold his beautiful flying machine.

I  would like to dedicate this artwork and this blog post to all the people who lost their lives or were badly injured in the recent hot air balloon tragedy over Luxor in Egypt, and to all the families involved.  May time bring some form of acceptance and tranquility. My heart goes out to all of you.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

 

 


This new design is dedicated to you, yes, you!

A day I was looking forward to and rather dreading has arrived and that’s because you have followed and liked First Night Design on this blog, on Facebook and on Twitter to the extent that I can’t keep up.  I’m delighted, of course, but….

It galls me that I don’t have the time or the stamina to thank you all individually and explore your blogs and Facebook pages and websites.  Forgive me.

Saying or writing ‘thank you’ was a big thing in my family.  Even now it seems wrong to say ‘thank you’ by email so even if no one else does, I shall be buying not a few of the above greeting cards!

Bless you all for your support and encouragement and comments.

Oh, by the way, the woman in the photograph is the Hollywood actress Norma Talmadge (1894-1957) and is from The Library of Congress.

Director Clarence Brown once called her “the greatest pantomimist that ever drew breath.  She was a natural-born comic; you could turn on a scene with her and she’d go on for five minutes without stopping or repeating herself”.*

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


466px-Rembrandt_van_Rijn_184

Self-portrait with gorget by Rembrandt, circa 1629. Oil on oak panel. Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg

Do you have a favourite Rembrandt?  Of course, it’s an invidious question.  Which of us can choose only one from any artists’ oeuvre, let alone that of a Master such as Rembrandt [1606-1669].  If I had a gun to my back, it would be one of his early self-portraits, Self-portrait with gorget [above], which lays bare a touching vulnerability and innocence.  I suspect that part of the attraction lies in its passing resemblance to my maternal forebears in the set of the eyes!

Click here to see the choice of Katherine Blood, Curator of Fine Prints at the Library of Congress.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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