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An Auburn Beauty

I am sure that the artist Émile Vernon and I must be related somewhere along the line! My father’s side of the family came over with William the Conqueror from a place called Vernon in France. I’m doing research on my family tree so I’ll let you know!

Source: Émile Vernon (1872-1919) – Art Bacchant

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Source: Rachel Strong by Léon Bakst 1924 Postcard | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE 28 August 2015

The Russian designer and painter Léon Bakst (1866–1924), born Lev Samuilovich Rozenberg, is more generally known for his luscious costume and set designs for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes as witness S…

Source: First Night Design | Rachel Strong by Léon Bakst 1924 #Cards #Prints | First Night Design

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Carlile’s portrait is the earliest work by a female artist in Tate’s collection

A 17th-Century portrait by the first woman in Britain thought to work as a professional portrait painter in oil is acquired by the Tate.

Source: Tate announces female artist first with 17th-Century portrait – BBC News


[Portrait, Jean, Jean-Paul Tibbles, 2015]
Image removed at the request of the artist.

I had the chance last weekend to visit the BP Portrait Awards 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery. As always it is an interesting review of the world of portraiture today. There are portraits of all shapes and sizes, some which strike a chord and some which don’t. But what made a very strong impression on me this year was…

Source: BP Portrait Awards 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery – Just add pictures


Duke of Wellington Waterloo Flask
Duke of Wellington Waterloo Flask by FirstNightDesign

I may be two hundred and one years too late but I’m going to cheer for the Iron Duke because I’ve just sold one of these flasks and have nothing else to write about! There’s something immeasurably pleasing about selling a ‘big’ item. Now, if I could just sell one a day…


‘I don’t know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me.’ WellingtonNapoleon Guide


I’ve yet to sell the flask below but I’ve sold quite a few mugs and prints with the battle scene by William Sadler, especially in 2015, the 200th anniversary of Waterloo.

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler Hip Flask
Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler Hip Flask by FirstNightDesign


Another Side to the Iron Duke

The Duke once met a little boy, crying by the road. “Come now, that’s no way for a young gentleman to behave. What’s the matter?” he asked.
“I have to go away to school tomorrow,” sobbed the child, “and I’m worried about my pet toad. There’s no-one else to care for it and I shan’t know how it is.”
Keen to ease the little chap’s discomfort, the Duke promised to attend to the matter personally.
After the boy had been at school for just over a week, he received a note: “Field Marshall the Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Master —- and has the pleasure to inform him that his toad is well.” Napoleon Guide


All flasks at Zazzle US
All flasks at Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This adaptation of an autochrome photograph from Wikimedia by Robert Demachy (1859-1936), which was taken some time between 1907 and 1915, took a great deal of work to get just right.

The original image is enchanting but as soon as I saw it, I wanted to turn it into a painting with a hint of the Pre-Raphaelites about it — yes, one of those rare occasions when I knew what I desired and didn’t wait for one of my ‘accidents’!

I used various textures to give it colour and texture before using a detail of the clock from this image to create the top right-hand detail. I duplicated this detail and warped and shaped it to create an art nouveau pattern for the drape. I also removed her left arm as it looked slightly odd!

I had to think carefully when uploading it to my galleries as a lot of the groups (such as on Redbubble) don’t accept nudity. I had to tick boxes about ‘mature content’. I’m not sure I’ll do another nude any time soon!


Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been;
I am also call’d No-more, Too-late, Farewell — Dante Gabriel Rossetti, (The House of Life: 97. A Superscription, 1-2)


Not as she is, but as she fills his dream — Christina Rossetti, In An Artist’s Studio


The term ‘Pre-Raphaelite’ is in danger of becoming one of the most misused tags in art history — Christopher Wood, Author of The Pre-Raphaelites


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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE 13 October 2014

The lynx is from Vintage Printable. I created the background by blending a couple of  2 Lil’ Owls textures with one of my own concoctions. The lynx is mostly found in…

Source: First Night Design | The Lynx Has Landed


This is a photograph of our own magnificent mongrel, a cross between a Terrier and a Jack Russell (we think). I have processed the image in Photoshop by adding a texture from The Graphics Fairy in order to bring out the vibrance of his fur coat and the colour of the grass, although that vibrance is missing in the screenshot of the spiral notebook below.

I never thought it was possible to love an animal as much as I love Pisch. Yes, that’s his name and before you all start to comment on what it means in German, let me explain that it came about when he was rescued by a friend of ours who wanted to find a home for him. “What do you call him?” I asked. “Pisch,” said our friend. He went on to say, “As in the noise you make to get a cat to go away.” So there you have it. He’s seven years old and I want him to live forever!

I probably wouldn’t have put him up for sale, so to speak, had it not been for a Cats & Dogs Challenge at the Art Universe group on Redbubble. I’m still not sure about uploading it to the other galleries. I would have turned him into a digital painting if my GMX-PhotoPainter software was working. But it ain’t!


‘Yes, he’s got all them different kinds of thoroughbred blood in him, and he’s got other kinds you ain’t mentioned and that you ain’t slick enough to see.’ – Don Marquis

‘He wa’n’t no common dog, he wa’n’t no mongrel; he was a composite. A composite dog is a dog that is made up of all the valuable qualities that’s in the dog breed—kind of a syndicate; and a mongrel is made up of all riffraff that’s left over.’ – Mark Twain


Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


‘Girl Wearing a Kokoshnik in Profile’ is a Léon Bakst painting in a private collection, which I downloaded from Wikimedia and blended with a handwritten document, also from Wikimedia, and a texture from Kerstin Frank.

The kokoshnik (Russian: коко́шник; IPA: [kɐˈkoʂnʲɪk]) is a traditional Russian head-dress worn by women and girls to accompany the sarafan, primarily worn in the northern regions of Russia in the 16th to 19th centuries. Wikipedia

Happy Sunday!

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


The stream of news and discoveries about Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa are seemingly never-ending. In a shocking twist, it’s now been reported that a second version of the iconic portrait might have been discovered in a private collection in St. Petersburg.

Experts are now analyzing the artwork in order to establish whether it is a genuine work by Leonardo da Vinci or simply one of the many…

Source: Second ‘Mona Lisa’ Discovered in St. Petersburg – artnet News


Woman in Black © Sarah Vernon

Woman in Black © Sarah Vernon

I’ve called my latest piece Woman in Black, not because she is dressed in black, but because the scene I’ve created reminds me of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black. If you’ve only ever seen the stage adaptation (still running in London at the Fortune Theatre), I strongly recommend reading the book: it is genuinely intriguing, frightening and mysterious.

womaninblack

The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill

Yet again, I’ve used the Chinese print from the Library of Congress at Flickr and blended it once more with the Beguiling-18 texture from 2 Lil’ Owls. The costumed lady (Ida Rubinstein) by Ballet Russes artist Léon Bakst is from Wikimedia.

The title of this post is because Mr FND said he thought woman’s arms were unusually long and that reminded me of absurdist playwright NF Simpson’s play, One Way Pendulum, in which one of the characters keeps complaining that her arms are too long! If you’re interested in learning more about Simpson, click here for a reblog from The Guardian on Rogues & Vagabonds which I was prompted to post by writing about Simpson here.

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


Rachel Strong by Léon Bakst 1924 © First Night Vintage

Rachel Strong by Léon Bakst 1924 © First Night Vintage

The Russian designer and painter Léon Bakst (1866–1924), born Lev Samuilovich Rozenberg, is more generally known for his luscious costume and set designs for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes as witness Schéhérazade. When I discovered his magnificent portrait of Rachel Strong, the future Countess Henri de Buazhelen, on Wikimedia, I was entranced and knew I had to sell it on First Night Vintage.  What I wouldn’t do to be dressed thus — such elegance. If I had the means and the money, I would get gifted photographer James Hall of Just Add Pictures, whose recreations of classics I have enjoyed, to recreate this portrait with me and my dog! I can dream.

Who was Rachel Strong? Apart from marrying Count Henri de Buazhelen, I have been able to find nothing of note about either of them, which is a shame. If anyone comes across a snippet of information, do let me know.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The Lynx Has Landed © Sarah Vernon

The Lynx Has Landed © Sarah Vernon Click to buy from Crated. 10% discount available until end of October

The lynx is from Vintage Printable. I created the background by blending a couple of  2 Lil’ Owls textures with one of my own concoctions.

The lynx is mostly found in Eurasia and North America, although I’m sure I saw one in the shadow of the olive trees in our garden just the other evening. Okay, I’m lying. It was next door’s cat but you would have thought it was a lynx by the noise our dog made.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


René Descartes 1596—1650

Portrait of René Descartes by Frans Hals

Portrait of René Descartes by Frans Hals [Wikimedia]

The French philosopher René Descartes was born on this day in 1596 at La Haye en Touraine. The first quote below is, of course, the one that everyone knows in its truncated form, even if they have no idea who said it or what it means.

‘Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum.’
‘I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.’

‘If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.’

‘The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.’

‘Conquer yourself rather than the world.’

‘Let whoever can do so deceive me, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I continue to think I am something.’

Dispute of Queen Cristina Vasa and René Descartes (detail of Nils Forsberg's (1842-1934) copy of Pierre Louis Dumesnil's (1698-1781) original.

Dispute of Queen Cristina Vasa and René Descartes (detail of Nils Forsberg’s (1842-1934) copy of Pierre Louis Dumesnil’s (1698-1781) original. [Wikimedia]

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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