First Night Design | Save the Elephant

First Night Design

‘Another elephant?’ I hear you cry. Or even, ‘Yet another elephant?’ Yes, yet another elephant but very different from the last. One day soon, when poaching, trafficking and killing for pleasure have  been eradicated from the planet and the herds are increasing, I hope we’ll be saying the same thing with delighted relief.

Save the Elephant © First Night DesignSave the Elephant © First Night Design

This magnificent creature comes originally from Wikimedia, that great repository of public domain images.

Elephants [Wikimedia]Elephants [Wikimedia]

You might imagine that I added a layer of black in Photoshop to create the effect, this is not so. I duplicated the elephant to the power of four and used several of my backgrounds and textures. By playing around with blending modes, I was able to create the effect of an elephant coming out of the darkness.

I just might do something with the baby elephant next!

Art Prints

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First Night Design | My Letter to an Unknown Soldier

First Night Design

Neil Bartlett and Kate Pullinger have set up a grand venture to commemorate WW1. For them ‘it is important to move away from cenotaphs, poppies, and the imagery we associate with war memorials’.

We can all contribute: ‘If you could say what you want to say about that war, with all we’ve learned since 1914, with all your own experience of life and death to hand, what would you say? If you were now able to write to the unknown soldier, a man who served and was killed during World War One, what would you write?’

If you’d like to take part, you can do so now. All contributions will be published on their website from 28 June. To read more about this project, click here.

‘Five foot ten of a beautiful young Englishman under French soil. Never a joke, never a look, never a word more to add to my store of memories…

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Great Uncle Norman: ‘shot by a single sniper’

First Night Design

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‘Five foot ten of a beautiful young Englishman under French soil. Never a joke, never a look, never a word more to add to my store of memories. The book is shut up forever and as the years pass I shall remember less and less, till he becomes a vague personality; a stereotyped photograph.’

Captain Noman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon Captain Noman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon

Poor Norman.

Such a commonplace death.  Shot by a single sniper. Youngest child, only son.  Three sisters and a father left to grieve along with so many other fathers, mothers, sisters, wives, brothers, children.

“Poor Norman,” said my grandmother Joyce in the 1950s, and turned away so that her youngest son changed the subject.  Was she still, so many, many years later, too saddened by her brother’s death to talk or had he, for her, become nothing but a stereotyped photograph about whom she felt unable to talk?


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First Night Design | Artists 4 Peace — New

First Night Design

Artists 4 Peace © First Night DesignArtists 4 Peace © First Night Design

Two enterprising women, Melanie and Gigi, have created an excellent initiative, Artists 4 Peace. ‘Artists using intelligence and creativity to foster and spread peace and love throughout the world. We can work TOGETHER to bring about change!’

Everyone is welcome to take part, ‘whether your medium is paint, poetry, yarn, music or pottery YOU can be part of the movement’. Simply publish a blog post with relevant content and email the link to:

Your post will then be re-blogged.

At the moment Artists 4 Peace is welcoming submissions for a logo — yes, that’s my submission above! Email your design by 20 July and there will be a vote to decide the winning logo.

We live in a world that sorely needs a sea-change. We seem to have gone backwards not forwards and the state of the planet, in every way…

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