Lamplight Village

Lamplight Village
Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 76 cm x 61 cm
Manufacturer: Springbok, Hallmark, PZL6196
Artist: Thomas Kinkade
Original: photograph
Puzzle: Peaceful imagery, challenge added by irregularly-shaped pieces. Good lighting is a bonus, especially for the sky. Good places to start are water, grass, boundaries between them, bright flowers, tree canopies, the bridge and house roofs.

“My art is nothing more than a reflection of who I am as a person — what I value, believe, and experience.” With those words, Thomas Kinkade paints a picture of his life for all to see. His delightful paintings transport us to a gentler time and a lovelier place and give us a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings behind Thomas Kinkade.

Working under the guidance of two mentors — Charles Bell, considered one of America’s best sign painters, and Glenn Wessels, an associate of Hemingway, Picasso, and Ansel Adams — Kinkade began to develop his unique style which would delight his fans for years to come. The radiant light that permeates his work captures the perfection that exists only in places that touch our imaginations and our hearts.

In LAMPLIGHT VILLAGE, the fourth painting in the Lamplight Lane series, the Brooke Windermer gently wanders through this idyllic locale. With his trademark style, Kinkade produces wonderful effects with the interplay of sun and lamplight. The blaze of sunset makes silhouettes of the trees and dapples the village row houses; the twinkle of distant lamps enhances the dance of light and shade. Villagers stroll along the warmly lit paths, while a fisherman and his dog wait for a bite at the river’s edge. The tower and spire of the Gothic church in the distance hints at a fascinating history; this is a town that invites exploration. [Puzzle box, Selected text © 1995 Abbeville Press, from Thomas Kinkade’s Paintings of Radiant Light]

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Central Park, New York

Central Park, New York
Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #43270-24
Photographer: Sandra Baker
Puzzle: Small bright puzzle easily put together in an evening. The horizontal bands of lilac flowers, green tulips stems, white and pink tulip flowers, darker hedge, lighter leaves above, the fence, and the grass and trees beyond split the puzzle up into easily-assembled regions. The fountain and the statues are distinct enough in texture and colour to be easily put together as well.

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Egeskov Castle and Gardens

Egeskov Castle and Gardens
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Günter Gräfenhain
Puzzle: Lovely festive puzzle with clusters of bright white, red, yellow flowers, a pond reflecting a bright blue sky, a castle in the background and a wall of green on the right. Fun and bright, pleasure to assemble.

The easiest part to assemble is the top, with the sky, the castle, adn the wall. After that, perhaps the pond border and then – the bright kaleidoscope of flowers.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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Thomas Jefferson’s Houses

Thomas Jefferson's Houses
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Alamy
Puzzle: Vibrant, uplifting puzzle with blue skies, green trees, bright flowers, and a stately manor reflecting in a pond. Pleasure to assemble.

I liked starting with the red path around the pond, to separate the building and the grounds from their reflection. Building on that horizontal guide, the lawn and the gardens can be assembled. The sky and its boundary with the building, the building itself, as well as its reflection in the water can come next. The remaining area with trees and their reflection will follow.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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Portugal Azores Islands

Portugal Azores Islands
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Günter Gräfenhain
Puzzle: Windmills always seem somewhat magical to me – an image from a quiet pastoral fantasy, drowning in luscious flowers, with bottomless blue skies. This puzzle is quite simple due to clear transitions and small number of pieces. I loved letting my mind wander in in its clouds and fields.

There are many good places to start: the bright red of the mills and the white nets of the blades, the boundaries between green and deep blue, the horizon, the mountains and the clouds against the sky. Hydrangeas are probably the most challenging part, but if you’ve filled in everything else, including the black shadows at the bottom, they soon fall into place.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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Puzzle: Lakeside Porch, by Julian Askins

Julian Asking - Lakeside Porch, med

Size: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 48.57 cm
Producer
: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, 2008, #70310-7
Artist: Julian Askins has gained renown for his brilliantly-colored works that capture the light, beauty, architecture, and nature of the Mediterranean, Caribbean and coastal North America. His artwork often features peaceful outdoor verandas, harbors, seascapes, and terraces that evoke a mood of joyful solitude. [Park West Gallery site]

Puzzle: A lovely painting, this puzzle was very simple given the size and number of the pieces. With the pieces flowing into place, it made for a zen evening. I have started with the sea, the window and the wall, the sunny blankets and cushions, the tablecloth, and the wicker chairs. The flowers followed and the rest of the picture filled in with little effort.

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