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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

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE 21st September 2016

loggia |ˈləʊdʒə, ˈlɒ-, -dʒɪə| noun a gallery or room with one or more open sides, especially one that forms part of a house and has one side open to the garden. ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from Italian,…

Source: First Night Design | Una Logia Privada #Art | First Night Design


In the mid-1990s, after a delightful holiday in Crete with a dear friend, she and I decided we wanted to buy a bolt-hole on the island. I planned to spend half the year in Crete to give my health (or lack of it) the warmth it desperately needed.

At the Going Down of the Sun 
At the Going Down of the Sun (coastline, Chania, Crete)

But life, as John Lennon and others before him said, has a way of happening when you’re making other plans and we never did buy that bolt-hole.

Lighthouse in the Mist Post Cards
(Chania) Lighthouse in the Mist

Cut to September 2008 and Mr FND and I went on our first proper holiday after thirteen years together, prompted by my having four TIAs (mini strokes) in the May. We knew we had to change our lives and a holiday was a priority.
We settled on Chania and the rest is history. I think that even before we got on the plane at Gatwick, we knew we would move to this glorious island permanently. It may, at this time in history, be part of Greece, but there is something different about the island and an atmosphere that is quite unlike the mainland.

Lighthouse in Chania iPad Mini Cover
Lighthouse in Chania iPad Mini Cover

DAKOS

Dakos

© Sarah Vernon

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Crete has the healthiest diet in the Mediterranean. The island has the agriculture, the chefs and the recipes to make your stomach and your doctor very happy! The tavernas and cafés in the tourist areas of Chania, the nearest city to the village of Chorafakia — primarily round the Venetian Harbour — are, alas, not the place to find great Greek or Cretan food but venture into the cobbled streets of the Old Town or up into the mountains and you will often find places to eat that can fulfill your every Cretan dream.

We’ve probably all heard of Moussaka and Tzatziki but unless you are partly or wholly Greek or have spent many years having Greek holidays, you may not have heard of many of the staple mezes or snacks. One such are Dakos, which originated in Chania.  These are barley rusks (twice-baked bread) topped with fresh tomatoes, feta or mizithra cheese, olive oil and oregano. Simple but delicious … and healthy!

Details of how to create Dakos at home can be found at Maria Verivaki’s blog, Organically Greek. She writes:

‘This is the healthiest salad snack you can imagine. It has been immortalised all over Greece and is famous for its Hania origins. It is served in practically every single restaurant, taverna, café or kafeneio in the province. It is extremely easy to make. I don’t know why it’s called dackos (or dakos, or dako for that matter); the same name is also used for the troublesome fly that infests olives and ruins olive trees.’

Scorched Earth Greeting Card
Scorched Earth Greeting Card (Chania’s Venetian Harbour)

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


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


Una Logia Privada © Sarah Vernon

Una Logia Privada © Sarah Vernon


loggia |ˈʊdʒə, ˈlɒ-, -dʒɪə|
noun
a gallery or room with one or more open sides, especially one that forms part of a house and has one side open to the garden.

ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from Italian, ‘lodge’.


My starting point was a photograph of the covered patio attached to one of the houses belonging to Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan, Turtle Bay Gardens, 228 East 48 Street, New York.  In 1919, Miss Sorchan bought several dilapidated brownstone houses along East 49th and East 48th Street that dated from the 1860s, and renovated them.

Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan house, Turtle Bay Gardens, 228 East 48 Street, New York, New York. (LOC) Johnston, Frances Benjamin,, 1864-1952,, photographer.   [Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan house, Turtle Bay Gardens, 228 East 48 Street, New York, New York. Loggia]

Charlotte Hunnewell Sorchan house, Turtle Bay Gardens, 228 East 48 Street, New York, New York.

The photograph was taken by Frances Benjamin (1864-1952). As soon as I saw it in the Library of Congress’s Flickr stream, I imagined it could only be somewhere in Spain or Italy on a dullish day.  How wrong can you be. The only thing Mediterranean is that the intended design was Spanish. Perhaps Olga or Sally can tell us if it looks remotely Spanish in style!

I determined it should come over as Mediterranean as possible — stone-built walls washed with terracotta, a sun-kissed floor and such like — and give the impression of a 19th century oil painting. To do this in Photoshop I used two textures from 2 Lil’ Owls — 2LO Confetti 9 (Multiply mode) and 2LO Confetti 4 (Overlay mode), and gave the original photo a softness with the Smart Blur tool.

I hope you feel I have made a fair stab at what I imagined.

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


Patchwork Window
Patchwork Window Travel Mug

This is a very early piece of digital art which I’d almost forgotten about. I hope it appeals to you. Have a superb weekend — I hear it’s hotter in London than here in Crete. Perhaps we should return to the England for the summer!

Patchwork Window
Patchwork Window Binders

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The work of the Dutch-born artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema [1836-1912] is unmistakable. A dazzling Mediterranean sea? Exquisitely rendered marble? A delectable female or two draped in classical robes? The chances are you’re looking at a painting by Alma-Tadema. His detailed brush strokes and rich colours owe much to his Dutch forebears and while one might consider his paintings to be somewhat chocolate-box pretty, it’s difficult  not to be charmed by them. You may remember that the last time I mentioned Sir Lawrence was when I adapted another of his pieces, Ask Me No More, for The Proposal.

Lourens Alma Tadema

Lourens Alma Tadema [Wikipedia]

The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra was commissioned by a Samuel Hawk of New York in 1883 and painted in 1885, its inspiration taken from Shakespeare’s play. Alma-Tadema trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp in Belgium but moved to England in 1870 and there he remained, though he was in Wiesbaden, Germany, when he died in 1912.

Lourens Alma Tadema's birth house and statue in Dronrijp, Netherlands

Lourens Alma Tadema’s birth house and statue in Dronrijp, Netherlands [Wikipedia]

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah



“Gently the waves would break (Lily heard them in her sleep); tenderly the light fell (it seemed to come through her eyelids). And it all looked, Mr. Carmichael thought, shutting his book, falling asleep, much as it used to look years ago.”
― Virginia WoolfTo the Lighthouse

I’ve been at it again with lighthouses. I do love them. If I had my way, I’d live in a lighthouse. Mind you, it would have to have a special lift all the way up to the top. I envy anyone I read about who buys and renovates a lighthouse as a family home. Heaven!

The original photograph is one I took last month when my niece was staying. It’s the lighthouse that juts out from the Venetian Harbour in Chania which is twenty minutes away from our home in Crete. I plan to make this available for sale also.

lighthouseblog


“Man must behave like a lighthouse; he must shine day and night for the goodness of everyman.” ― Mehmet Murat ildan


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

See also:
Lighthouse Impasto
Lighthouse in Chania

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


AnAdventureInBosnia

Emina by Alex Šantić Emina by Alex Šantić

Many centuries ago, it was a tradition for men to go for a turkish bath from time to time. This was where men would gather in a relaxed ambience to exhange small talk. This area was called Hamam.

Then, one young man who was returning from the Hamam, passed by the garden of the city imam (Muslim Pastor), saw the daughter of the imam. Struck by her beauty, he wrote a poem which later made him a famous poet.

Here is my humble translation of the poem, hope you like it.

At dusk, while returning from the warmth of the Hamam,

I passed by the garden of the old city Imam.

There in the garden, Under the shade of the jasmine tree,

A pitcher in her hand stood beautiful Emina.

 

What Beauty! I could swear by Imam!

That even the sultan would not be…

View original post 241 more words


And so the handwritten document from The Cry of the Peacock and the First Night History header comes into play again! This I combined with a lovely, messy texture of orangey-yellow that I created some time ago. Needless to say, it took a while before the perfect image to overlay became apparent. I had time on my hands with an internet connection playing fast and loose so what better way to spend the hours? No, that animal wouldn’t do. Oh, no, those flowers look appalling. The lady with the parasol? I don’t think so.

It was only when I discovered a free image in my folder from Vintage Art Download, run by the wonderfully talented Mindy Sommers, that this piece was made whole. The image was the famous painting from 1906 by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Ask Me No More, which takes its title from the poem by Tennyson. You know me! I can’t help tinkering, even with the Masters.

Art Prints

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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