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When I was young, my father – a passionate sailor – bought a small yacht called Bruno of Bath. Eighteen months ago, I received an email from a couple who had bought her, seen a list of her previous owners from the 1960s, found me on the internet and told me they were restoring her. They have promised to sail her to Bembridge on the Isle of Wight where I now live and where Bruno was often moored so that I can see her again. This rusting pilot boat looks nothing like my father’s Westerly but I have named her in honour of my childhood adventures.

Original photograph from Absfreepic. Texture from Jewell of Distressed at Flickr.

So far she’s only available on products at Redbubble but I will be uploading the picture to my other galleries shortly.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Well, that’s a turn-up for the books. I’ve sold some The Swan Also Rises Wrapping Paper. Thank you, whoever you are!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


A delight it is to sell a poster of Renoir’s charming child!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This is an original vintage colour lithograph by Frank A. Nankwell used for a Puck periodical cover in 1899 (April 5) from The Library of Congress and copyrighted by Keppler & Schwarzman. Easter has never looked so attractive!

Please note that Zazzle is taking a long time for this design to show in search results.

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfilment centres in 5 countries]

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Sold!

Remind me to create something new with these original cigarette cards or, rather, playing cards. They were sold to me as cigarette cards but a recent conversation online and a search to complete the set made me realise they were playing cards!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


 

Sold!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Such fun! Zazzle have started producing candles. What could be better than to show you a candle that matches Spring Passion because you will, of course, be needing candles to go with that exquisite meal you will be conjuring up on Valentine’s Day for the person you adore.


“How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”
[Portia in The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare]


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Photograph © Sarah Vernon. Flowers, 30-08-17. Processed in Topaz Impression with the Impasto filter and painterly touches added in Photoshop.


“I must have flowers, always and always.” Claude Monet


Spring Passion would be suitable for any occasion, not least Valentine’s Day. Sometimes the simplest image is the best.

Lots of other products available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


‘Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.’ Khalil Gibran

I took this view from one of my favourite vantage points in Bembridge before I went into hospital on the August Bank Holiday. I used a Chiaroscuro effect in Topaz Impression before processing in Photoshop by adding a Cheryl Tarrant texture in Multiply mode.

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah



Alice in Wonderland: Alice and the Flamingo Postcard | Zazzle.com

To illustrate my Alice card, the following is a very satisfying interpretation, written by Gigi at Rethinking Life, of what Alice in Wonderland is really about.

Alice didn’t fall down the Rabbit Hole, she bloody well jumped.  She was tired of her pre-planned life and wasn’t looking forward to marriage and the rigid rules that went with it.  She ran after the rabbit, curious and terrified that she would lose sight of him and be forced to stay where she was.  She saw him jump and she dove in head first after him.  Because she was willing to risk everything, she drank, shrunk, grew, found a new world, went to a fabulous tea party, met a crazed hat maker, a door mouse and enjoyed herself immensely.

She got to see an amazing cat, one who could disappear but leave his smile behind, a drug-addicted caterpillar and twin boys named Tweedle who were strange, to say the least.  She got to hold a flamingo. She saw huge, brightly colored,  flora, fauna and she learned that everything she saw could not be trusted to be real.  She saw the Queen of Hearts and ate a tart.  She saw that life didn’t have to be dull and boring, it could be so much more. She didn’t have to to get married, live in a house and do as she was told.  She realized that she could be free to explore everything. Even the Jabberwocky was interesting.   The biggest thing she learned was that she had the courage to take whatever risks came her way.  She was brave and wild.  She wasn’t cut out for a ‘normal’ life, she was meant for something different…she wasn’t going to settle, she was going to fly.  And that is the true meaning of the Rabbit Hole. Source: Alice.. | Rethinking Life

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


“Salt in the Air” Framed Prints by Sarah Vernon | Redbubble

Features / Artists with Disabilities 1 September 2017 / © Sarah Vernon. Overlooking the Solent, Bembridge, Isle of Wight, UK 27-08-17. Taken with an iPhone 6c. Processed in Photoshop – duplicated layer in Colour Burn and adjustments to Vibrance and Contrast. • Also buy this artwork on wall prints, apparel, stickers, and more.


“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

Then again—

“There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness and death.”
― Fran Lebowitz


Be that as it may, the spot photographed is as near to external peace on my little island. Note how it’s suddenly ‘my’ island now that I’m living here! For those new to this blog, I’m talking about the Isle of Wight. Mind you, I probably said the same when I was still in Crete.

“Salt in the Air” Drawstring Bags by Sarah Vernon | Redbubble

 

“Salt in the Air” Mugs by Sarah Vernon | Redbubble

“Salt in the Air” Laptop Skins by Sarah Vernon | Redbubble

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This cute illustration of a young witch (surely an innocent apprentice!), with her cat and pumpkin carriage, takes us back to the early 20th century when greeting card illustration was highly inventive and extremely popular. I have given her a new lease of life with a starry night background.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Dame Ellen Terry as Volumnia in Coriolanus Card

This signed photograph of Dame Ellen Terry (1847-1928) as Volumnia in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus is a treasured possession, left to me by the actress Rosamund Burne [? – 1975]. Ros was a close friend of my mother, Benedicta Leigh — both had worked together on stage in the Midlands during the late forties and early fifties. They remained friends until Ros died ‘in harness’ in 1975 while playing Queen Mary in a production of Crown Matrimonial by Royce Ryton.

Contained in a weathered, black leather frame, the photograph provides an evocative link to a long-gone generation of actors. Sadly, I have no knowledge of the picture’s provenance, other than that it was mounted and framed by art dealers and frame makers T & R Annan and Sons, established in Glasgow by photographer Thomas Annan in 1855.

It is addressed to “Winnie – In affectionate remembrance of Ellen Terry – 1902” but who was ‘Winnie’? Was she an admiring member of the audience, a fellow actress, a theatrical landlady, perhaps?

The phrase “affectionate remembrance” suggests a reasonably close association. Could it possibly be Miss Winifred Emery (1861-1024) who, wrote Miss Terry in her memoirs (The Story of My Life – Recollections & Reflections), “came to us for The Belle’s Stratagem and played the part that I had played years before at the Haymarket. She was bewitching, and in her white wig in the ball-room, beautiful as well. She knew how to bear herself on the stage instinctively, and could dance a minuet to perfection. The daughter of Sam Emery, a great comedian in a day of comedians, and the granddaughter of the Emery, it was not surprising that she should show aptitude for the stage.”

Photograph of Winifred Emery with her children

Photograph of Winifred Emery with her children (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winifred Emery married Cyril Maude who was famous for his ability in light comedies from the pens of such as Frederick Lonsdale. Though born in 1862, Maude was still working as late as 1947, appearing as the Old Admiral in the film version of Rattigan’s While the Sun Shines, directed by Anthony Asquith.

Could Ros Burne have met or worked with either Winifred or Cyril and been given the picture by ‘Winnie’ herself if, indeed, this is the correct Winifred? It is just possible, even though Winifred died in 1924, for Ros was born in the early years of the 20th century and had not, to my knowledge, even reached the age of twenty when she started learning the ropes under the watchful eye of Lilian Baylis at the Old Vic.

I may never discover the full story behind the framed photograph but nothing can diminish the joy I take in its possession.

What is without doubt is that the signature is genuine and that Ellen Terry played Volumnia at the Lyceum Theatre in London in 1901 opposite Sir Henry Irving as Coriolanus. Her diary entry for 16 April, one of several recorded in her memoirs, reads: “The critics who wrote their notices at the dress-rehearsal, and complained of my playing pranks with the text, were a little premature. Oh, how bad it makes one feel to find that they all think my Volumnia ‘sweet’, and I thought I was fierce, contemptuous, overbearing. Worse, I felt as if I must be appearing like a cabman rating his Drury Lane wife!” By 20 April, however, she feels she is “beginning to play Volumnia a little better.”

The actress later comments on parents in Shakespeare’s plays: “How many times Shakespeare draws fathers and daughters, and how little stock he seems to take of mothers! Portia and Desdemona, Cordelia, Rosalind and Miranda, Lady Macbeth, Queen Katherine and Hermione, Ophelia, Jessica, Hero, and many more are daughters of fathers, but of their mothers we hear nothing. My own daughter called my attention to this fact quite recently, and it is really a singular fact. Of mothers of sons there are plenty of examples: Constance, Volumnia, the Countess Roussillon, Gertrude; but if there are mothers of daughters at all, they are poor examples, like Juliet’s mother and Mrs. Page.”

She goes on to wonder “if in all the many hundreds of books written on Shakespeare and his plays this point has been taken up?” Having once written a paper on ‘Letters in Shakespeare’s Plays’, which she had thought to be the first of its kind, she was given a rude awakening when she received a letter from a lady from Oxford who said she was “mistaken in thinking that there was no other contribution to the subject”. Enclosed was an essay of the lady’s own which led the actress to conclude that someone must have already addressed “Shakespeare’s patronage of fathers and neglect of mothers!” She wonders what the mothers of Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia were like: “I think Lear must have married twice.”

Sarah Vernon © 29-04-05

  • This is a revised version of an article first published on the Rogues & Vagabonds website 29-04-05 and transferred to the R&V blog on 29-03-13
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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


As some of you know, our summer holidays as children were spent in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight where I now live. The other week I trundled round on my mobility scooter visiting my favourite haunts. This shot of Bembridge Lifeboat Station through the trees is just where the steps lead down to the beach and to the exact spot we invariably used for swimming.

It is true the original photograph is rather appealing and some of you on Facebook have already seen it as my header but true to form, I had to play.

I used two textures from Design Cuts — a yellow-based and a green-based one. I ran the photograph through Topaz Impression three or four times to produce different effects. I chose to layer ‘Cezanne 1’ and ’Cavedweller’ (as you do) and blended them with the textures to produce a digital painting. I hope it pleases you as much as it did me in its creation.

Part of a paper read to the Ladies of Shanklin Evening Institute, October 1951.

“It is quite possible that some among you are quite ignorant of everything connected with Lifeboat work […] I have no intention of going back into remote history, or to the founding of the Institution in 1824.  Moreover, I expect you will think that I have gone back quite far enough if I commence with the time of your grandfathers, and I select that particular time because it was then that the proud reputation of the Lifeboat Institution was built up, on the great hearts and stout muscles of the grand old men who served as crews for the small pulling and sailing lifeboats stationed round our coasts.  But to really understand the heroism of these grand old fellows, and to give them full credit for their marvellous rescues, and for their self-sacrificing efforts, one must be possessed of…” Bembridge Lifeboat

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

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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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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