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I’m considering my version of ‘Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell’, as printed in The Spectator when the late journalist had been rather too drunk or hung over to write his Low Life column. Mine will have to be shorthand for truly being unwell rather than drunk (I say this while slurping a Bailey’s at ten past midnight)! In the meantime, nothing new has been diagnosed and no new art created to display. This is one from the past that I’m very fond of.

First Night Design

Garlic is for Heroes © First Night DesignGarlic is for Heroes © First Night Design

‘What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.’
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, American sculptor [1848-1907]

It was seeing this quote in an iPhone app that inspired Garlic is for Heroes, which I created with a photograph from Wikimedia and a texture overlay from, yes, 2 Lil’ Owls. It was an interesting reversal of my usual method where a visual idea comes first. I was so taken with the quote, I had to do something with garlic!

Augustus Saint-Gaudens.jpg
Augustus Saint-Gaudens by De Witt C. Ward via Wikimedia Commons.

Saint-Gaudens, of whom I had not previously heard, was a sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who is said to have embodied the ideals of the ‘American Renaissance’. Wikipedia

I have taken my title from another quote, this time one by our old friend Anonymous who once said, “Shallots are for babies; onions are for men; garlic is for heroes.”

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All I can say is that I’m very glad I can earn even when I’m in hospital, as I was again just before Christmas. No, don’t ask — I’m too bored with answering!

I hope you’ve had a glorious festive Christmas and will have a splendid New Year!

Source: At the Circus Poster | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


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

Source: Time After Time Poster | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


FROM THE ARCHIVE: 25th September 2015

‘Once you decide that it is the art that is important and not how popular and well-received you are, you no longer have an albatross.’ Stephen Stills, musician and instrumentalist. (Remember Crosby…

Source: First Night Design | Diomedea #Art | First Night Design

Wet Magic Digital Art by Sarah Vernon
Adapted from Francois Boucher’s La Toilette de Venus of 1751.

Does anyone recognise the title I’ve stolen? Clue: Think of the books you read as children. The older you are, the better placed you will be for finding it familiar, even if you haven’t read it!

Source: Wet Magic Digital Art by Sarah Vernon

Take care and keep laughing!


American artist Grant Devolson Wood (1891-1942) painted American Gothic in 1930. It is held by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Source: American Gothic by Grant Wood Poster | Zazzle

N.B. I’m not currently responding to comments or visiting blogs because of ill-health but I much appreciate your support.

Take care and keep laughing!


Le Déjeuner dans l’atelier by Édouard Manet is one of my favourite paintings. Some classics, I find, can pall after too many viewings — postcards, chocolate boxes and so forth. Not Le Déjeuner. Not for me.
The French artist Édouard Manet (1832-1883) might well have gone into the law had he followed the dictates of his upper-class family but his passion for art held sway. Influenced in his style by the work of Francisco José de Goya and Diego Velázquez, he chose subjects not hitherto considered suitable for art such as gypsies and beggars or nudes alongside the fully-clothed and strove towards a form of realism that paved the way for modernism. Luncheon in the Studio, or Le Déjeuner dans l’atelier, which Manet painted in 1868, is on display at the Bayerische Staatsgemaldesammlungen in Munich.

Paper Type: Poster Paper (Semi-Gloss)

  • 53 lb., 7.9 point thick poster paper
  • Recommended for large-format posters
  • Semi-gloss finish
  • More paper types available under “Paper Options”
  • Add a premium quality frame as an essential accessory

Source: Le Déjeuner dans l’atelier by Édouard Manet Poster | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


This is one of my earliest montage designs, created at a time when Zazzle didn’t do gift tags. Now they do!
Media: Matte

We’re not saying the presentation of your gift is as important as the gift itself, but no one wants a present wrapped in old newspaper. Add a touch of elegance to all your gifts with beautifully crafted personalised gift tags. Along with personalised wrapping paper and customised ribbons, your gift will be the one they can’t wait to rip open.

  • Dimensions: 3.5″l x 2″w
  • Sold in set of 10
  • Printed on 120 lb. 17.5 point thick luxe matte paper, a soft paper with eggshell texture and a smooth finish
  • Pre-punched hole
  • Choice of 4 colours of uncut twine
  • Made in U.S.A. with 30% post-consumer content

Source: The Grand Tour Gift Tags | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


Paper Type: Value Poster Paper (Matte)

Your walls are a reflection of your personality. So let them speak with your favorite quotes, art, or designs printed on our posters! Choose from up to 5 unique paper types and several sizes to create art that’s a perfect representation of you.

  • 45 lb., 7.5 point thick poster paper
  • Matte finish with a smooth surface
  • Economical option that delivers sharp, clean images with stunning color and vibrancy
  • More paper types available under “Paper Options”
  • Add a premium quality frame as an essential accessory

Source: Royal Geographical Society Collage Print | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!


I’m delighted to have sold this poster while poorly. I’m on the mend, though, and really appreciate your comforting wishes. Thank you.

Vintage French postcard from The Graphics Fairy and a background from Textures of Italy.

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

Take care and keep laughing!


FROM THE ARCHIVE 17th April 2015

I have to confess to an unwavering passion for narrow streets. The temptation to go exploring and, inevitably, to get hopelessly lost, is overpowering. This type of street is often laid with cobble…

Source: First Night Design | And Don’t Forget the Garlic! | First Night Design

FROM THE ARCHIVE 15th August 2014

New in my vintage store is this wonderful black & white portrait of Tallulah Bankhead. “I’m as pure as the driven slush.” “My father warned me about men and booze, but h…

Source: First Night Design | Tallulah Bankhead — “pure as the driven slush” | First Night Design

FROM THE ARCHIVE 14th March 2014

Photograph by Fré Sonneveld from Unsplash. Textures 2 Lil’ Owls.

Dover Beach — Matthew Arnold [1822-1888]

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the Fr…

Source: First Night Design | The Lookout | First Night Design

FROM THE ARCHIVE  14th July 2013

Birds of the Jungle by FirstNightDesign Original art © First Night Design.

Birds of the Jungle Collage. Myriad layers including a background from EKDuncan-My Fanciful Muse and from The Graphics Fai…

Source: New! Birds of the Jungle


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© Sarah Vernon and First Night Design 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Vernon and First Night Design with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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