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Long-time followers will know how fond I am of changing vintage photographs and adding a little something extra.
Vintage Notre Dame is a Photoshop-created digital adaptation of a turn of the century photograph of Notre Dame and St Michael’s Bridge (Pont Saint Michel)  The photo is in the public domain at Wikimedia and I have added two textures from Design Cuts.

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

Sarah


Give Thanks Tote Bag by Sarah Vernon. The tote bag is machine washable, available in three different sizes, and includes a black strap for easy carrying on your shoulder. All totes are available for worldwide shipping and include a money-back guarantee.

Source: Give Thanks Tote Bag for Sale by Sarah Vernon

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Lulu in Hollywood Card
Lulu in Hollywood Card by FirstNightDesign

Reposting the incomparable Tallulah yesterday gave me a taste for creating another of my Hollywood images à la Edward Steichen. I found an image of silent film star Louise Brooks from Hello-Tuesday and used the vintage wallpaper from MGB Stock that I’ve used previously (DeviantArt). It is, I believe, a still from Pandora’s Box (1929) — ‘The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naïve young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.’ This time, however, I have done it slightly differently and given her a background of the wallpaper in its original form. The effect of this can be better seen if you click on Saatchi Art or  Fine Art America.


“I have a gift for enraging people, but if I ever bore you it will be with a knife.”
Louise Brooks



“I never gave away anything without wishing I had kept it; nor kept anything without wishing I had given it away.”
— Louise Brooks


Lulu in Hollywood Wrist Watches
Lulu in Hollywood Wrist Watches by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
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Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


If you read my blog regularly, you can probably guess my thoughts this Bank Holiday!


“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.” ― Henry James

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas Crete anymore.” ― L. Frank Baum

“In the long run, the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip.” — Daniel L. Reardon

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
(Little Gidding) ―  T.S. Eliot

“Sometimes losing everything is the only way to begin.”  (The Firebrand Legacy)
T.K. Kiser


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

Sarah


The Sports Pavilion uses a photograph from a store called Clark Street Mercantile who have added what I assume to be their brochure photographs to that great free resource, Unsplash.

In the first instance I used Topaz Impressions’ chiaroscuro effect but I wanted something else. To this end I added 2LO Texture Artists 2 in the Multiply mode and enhanced the brightness and contrast. The image now appears to be a charmingly aged print of an old sports pavilion from, say, the 1920s or ’30s. Well, I like to think so!

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

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:
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Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Welcome to Margate … translated.

Margate in Kent, a popular seaside resort since the 18th century, is possibly best known these days as the town where artist Tracy Emin grew up. But did you know that it was home to J.M.W. Turner?

“Where therefore, and in this very town of Margate, [Turner] lived, when he chose to be quit of London, and yet not to travel” John Ruskin

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_harbour,_Margate,_KeAlthough I wasn’t thinking of Turner when I discovered this photograph of Margate and its harbour dated 1897 (Wikimedia), I might have been ‘channelling’ him!

"Mrs Booth", sculpture by Ann Carrington, Stone Pier, Margate

“Mrs Booth”, sculpture by Ann Carrington, Stone Pier, Margate [Wikimedia]

The Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate writes that ‘Turner’s connection with Margate was the founding inspiration for our organisation. He loved Margate for the sea, the skies, and his landlady Mrs Booth.’ Don’t you just love it that he was potty about his landlady!

Visit Thanet gives some interesting snippets about Margate:

  • In the 1700s, bathing in the sea and drinking seawater became a fashionable cure for all sorts of diseases. From the Georgian period onwards visitors from London began flocking to resorts like Margate for the seawater cure and increasingly as a place to socialise. Margate has built a reputation as a place for bathing in the sea – both for health and pleasure.
  • Margate has a special place in the history of the ‘Bathing Machine’ with Benjamin Beale inventing the modest hood in 1753. This canvas canopy could be lowered and raised by the driver of the machine, allowing bathers a modicum of privacy as well as some protection from wind and waves.
    A man opening the door of a woman's bathing machine, the wom Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A man opening the door of a woman's bathing machine, the woman in side looks shocked and angry; the man claims he thought it was his machine. Coloured lithograph by Br. Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    A man opening the door of a woman’s bathing machine. [Wikimedia]

  • Whilst in Margate recuperating from a nervous breakdown, TS Eliot sat at the Grade II listed shelter on Margate seafront and composed the key lines in his poem ’The Waste Land’ – “On Margate Sands./I can connect/Nothing with nothing./The broken fingernails of dirty hands./My people humble people who expect/Nothing”.
  • Margate, was the first place to offer and popularise donkey rides on the beach, starting back in the early 1800s.

So now you know!

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

Sarah


FROM THE ARCHIVE March 2015.
This is an adaptation of an old photochrom postcard circa 1895 from Wikimedia showing the beach at Ostend, Belgium. I have used textures from 2 Lil’ Owls to age it further, along with a French document, also from 2 Lil’ Owls, to add ‘a little something extra’…

Source: First Night Design | A Côté de la Mer or a Jolly Time was had by All!


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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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Theatrical Attitude © Sarah Vernon

Theatrical Attitude © Sarah Vernon

This enchantress  was the famous late 19th and early 20th century actress and singer Miss Marie Tempest [1864-1942], who is referred to in the description on the back of my original print as ‘the prima donna of the English stage’ and possessing ‘a very beautiful voice which has had the training it deserves’.

I imagined a faded portrait in a frame that has suffered neglect and fire damage with a hint of gold breaking through. Naturally, I imagined no such thing but this is what came out when I faffed around in Photoshop with a couple of textures from 2 Lil’ Owls: 2LO Confetti 6 (Normal), 2LO – Crackle 11 (Multiply).

Theatrical aficionados might be interested to learn that the actress was the original Judith Bliss in Noël Coward’s Hay Fever. She was made a Dame in  1937.


“Hitler has taken nearly everything from me but my life, but you can’t live on regret. You’ve got to live for the present and future, not the past.”
She was forced to sell her art collection after losing her home in a German air raid during WWII. IMDb


Available at the following galleries:
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Fine Art America
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Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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