Puzzle: Hidden Arbor by Thomas Kinkade

: 300 pieces (oversized)
Dimensions: 46cm x 61cm
Artist: Thomas Kinkade
Painting: “I often seek out a quiet place to meditate and pray; a special retreat like Hidden Arbor. This marvelous waterfall, with its myriad rivulets and streams; the climbing flowers on a romantic arbor is a little touch of heaven.” [Thomas Kinkade site]

A pergola, arbor or arbour is a garden feature  forming a shaded walkway, passageway or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained. As a type of gazebo, it may also be an extension of a building, or serve as protection for an open terrace or a link between pavilions. [Wiki]

Puzzle: The Pleasures of Winter by Wendy Edelson

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 40.64cm x 40.64cm
Producer:  Hasbro, MB Puzzle, Big Ben series
Wendy EdelsonA completely self-taught artist, Wendy creates warm and joyful multi-media pictures bursting with details. She has illustrated over 35 children’s flat and pop-up books. [Morgan Gaynin site]
Painting: photo
“Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, musicians extraordinaire, have just come out with a brand new CD, Pleasures of Winter , music for Winter and the Holiday Season featuring Jay & Molly’s live performances from their annual Public Radio program with a variety of great musicians making guest appearances in the house band including: Harry Aceto, David Bromberg, Peter Davis, Peter Ecklund, Laurel Masse, Brian Melick, Michael Merenda, Ruth Ungar Merenda, Steve Rust, Butch Thompson, Tony Trischka and Sam Zucchini.

I was so delighted when they decided to use a painting of mine for the cover, I think ( hope! ) the spirit of the painting matches the spirit of the music really well.” [Wendy Edelson on Eleven Lemons blog]

Puzzle: Villa Coastline by Ming Feng

: 550 pieces
Dimensions: 61cm x 46cm
Producer: Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Picture Perfect series
Artist: Ming Feng was born on June 14, 1957 in Guangzhou (formerly Canton), China. Guangzhou, known as the “Flower City,” is situated in a subtropical area surrounded by lush trees, crisscrossing rivers and babbling brooks. “Nature’s beauty stirred my longing for art and its colorfulness gave wings to my imagination. I could not help but attempt to capture its beauty on paper. Perhaps that was the burgeoning of my passion for art. I was twelve.”

In 1988, Ming immigrated to the United States with his parents and settled in New York. The diversity of art there broadened his horizon while the market offered him more opportunities to show his paintings. He lived near New England’s Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, which today still remain his favorite places and the sources of his inspiration. [Framing Box site]
Notes: Beautiful puzzle cut with gaps being nearly invisible. Pieces fit together perfectly and there is no paper dust. A pleasure to assemble, glue, and display.

Puzzle: Die Jungfrau by Gustav Klimt

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 68cm x 48cm
Producer: Educa, Golden Art series, 7.127
Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt’s primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism—nowhere is this more apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil. [Wiki]
Painting: photo
Notes: The Virgin (Due Jungfrau) was painted by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt in 1913. It depicts a woman, The Virgin, lying on a bed of flowers, surrounded by a number of other women. They are covered in cloth decorated in different patterns and symbols. As is often the case with Klimt, round shapes and symbols are used for females, which in this case means all the subjects. The flowerbed itself is surrounded by empty darkness, thus drawing our eyes to the women at the center of the painting.

Klimt partner, Emilie Flöge, is the blank face of the woman at the center of the painting. [Art-Reproductions.net site]

Puzzle: Rio dela Martha by Vadik Suljakov

: 305 pieces
Dimensions: 42.86 cm x 50.48 cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Mosaics series, #75300-2
Vadik Suljakov
Notes: Unique Pieces Create a Mosaic Effect. Real Cork. [Puzzle box]

Rio is the Portuguese word for river. [Wiki]

Martha of Bethany is a biblical figure described in the Gospels of Luke and John. Together with her siblings Lazarus and Mary, she is described as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem. She was witness to Jesus’ resurrection of her brother, Lazarus. The name Martha is a Latin transliteration of the Koine Greek, itself a translation of the Judæo-Aramaic Martâ, “The mistress” or “the lady”. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Moonlight Grace by Klaus Strubel

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26 cm x 35.56 cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Keepsakes series, Reusable gift box with magnetic closure, #442220-2
Klaus Strubel
Notes: grace, –noun
1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action.
2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment.
3. favor or good will. [Dictionary.com]

Puzzle: Unicorn Heaven by Steve Sundram

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26 cm x 35.56 cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Keepsakes series, Reusable gift box with magnetic closure, #42220-4
Steve Sundram
Notes: The unicorn is a legendary animal commonly portrayed as a white horse with a goat’s beard and a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. First mentioned by the ancient Greeks, it became the most important imaginary animal of the middle ages and Renaissance when it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland  creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. In the encyclopedias its horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness. Until the 19th century, belief in unicorns was widespread among historians, alchemists, writers, poets, naturalists, physicians, and theologians. [Wiki]

Puzzle: You better be good!

: 1000+ pieces (oversized)
Dimensions: 68.58cm x 88.9cm
ProducerSunsOut, #19208
Artist: Nicky Boehme – Ms. Boehme studied Technical Art at The Oakland Art Institute in California, and went on to become the Art Director of several national art agencies. It was at this time that she received numerous awards as an illustrator and graphic designer.

She has many feature articles on her art in national magazines and trade publications. Her art has been published internationally in several books. Nicky is an artist member of “The National Society of Marine Artists,” and “The Oil Painters of America.” [ArtRev.com site]
Notes: The Christmas tree, also known as a Yule tree, is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real or artificial, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia and Germany in the 16th century. The Christmas tree is traditionally brought into the home and decorated with Christmas lights (originally candles), ornaments, garlands, tinsel, and candy canes during the days around Christmas. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Michelangelo – La Volta Della Cappella Sistina

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 67.5 cm
Producer: Edizioni Musei Vaticani, Art Collection series
Notes: The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City: Michelangelo took on the painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling when he was in his thirties and worked at the task virtually alone with great determination between 1508 and 1512. The nine central panels hold the stories of Genesis from Creation and Original Sin to the rebirth of humankind after the Flood. Five Sibyls and seven Prophets sit in the spaces between the webs, announcing the coming of Christ the Saviour from the depths of the centuries. The webs and lunettes hold the forefathers of Christ, while Michelangelo depicted episodes from the Old Testament in the four corner pendentives referring to the salvific interventions of God in defence of the chosen people. On the 1st November 1512 Julius II inaugurated the “new” Sistine Chapel with the celebration of a High Mass. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Paddle Boat Landing by Susan Brabeau

: 500 pieces, 2 missing
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 60.96cm
Producer: Collectible Puzzle (?), The Art of Susan Brabeau series
Artist: Susan Brabeau – The imagery of Susan Brabeau appeals to the viewer on several levels: bringing forth moods and sentiments of a by gone era, creating an illusion of life so completely that the viewer can almost hear the sounds within an image.

As with all good story-telling art, the imagery of Susan Brabeau is meant to be felt as well as seen. [The Art of Susan Brabeau]
Notes: A paddle steamer is a steamship or boat, powered by a steam engine, using paddle wheels to propel it through the water. In antiquity, Paddle wheelers followed the development of poles, oars and sails, where the first uses were wheelers driven by animals or humans.

The paddle wheel is a large wheel, built on a steel framework, upon the outer edge of which are fitted numerous paddle blades (called floats or buckets). The bottom quarter or so of the wheel travels underwater. Rotation of the paddle wheel produces thrust, forward or backward as required. More advanced paddle wheel designs have featured feathering  methods that keep each paddle blade oriented closer to vertical while it is in the water; this increases efficiency. The upper part of a paddle wheel is normally enclosed in a paddlebox to minimise splashing. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Antique Antics by Jan van Haasteren

: 350 pieces
Dimensions: 41.5cm x 30cm
Producer:  WHSMITH, Exclusive Collection, #80610
Artist: Jan van Haasteren – Jan van Haasteren is a comic artist who creates very crowded, comical puzzles that are very silly and enjoyable for any puzzler. He has been creating these hilarious, beloved and highly demanded cartoon jigsaw puzzles for almost 30 years. Every cartoon he creates features a hidden shark fin, can you find it?! [Puzzle Warehouse]
Link: All puzzles by Jan van Haasteren ever made.
Notes: an·tique, adj.
1. Belonging to, made in, or typical of an earlier period.
2. Of or belonging to ancient times, especially of, from, or characteristic of ancient Greece or Rome.
3. Of or dealing in antiques.
4. Old-fashioned.

antics, pl n
absurd or grotesque acts or postures
[The Free Dictionary]

Puzzle: Tea Time by Barbara Mock

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 60.96cm
Producer:  Karmin International
Artist: Barbara Mock
Notes: Afternoon tea traditionally known as low tea, is a light meal snack typically eaten between 2pm and 5pm. The custom of drinking tea originated in England when Catherine of Braganca married Charles II in 1661 and brought the practice of drinking tea in the afternoon with her from Portugal. Various places that belonged to the former British Empire also have such a meal.

Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot and served in teacups with milk and sugar. This is accompanied by sandwiches (customarily cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste, ham, and smoked salmon), scones (with clotted cream and jam) and usually cakes and pastries (such as Battenberg, fruit cake or Victoria sponge). In hotels and tea shops the food is often served on a tiered stand; there may be no sandwiches, but bread or scones with butter or margarine and optional jam or other spread, or toast, muffins or crumpets. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Emerald Dreams by Hiroo Isono

: 500 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 51 cm x 41 cm
Producer: Ceaco, # 1124-2
Artist: Hiroo IsonoBorn in 1945. Graduated from Aichi Kyoiku Univ. and started his career as a free-lance illustrater from 1970.
Isono’s work with mainly its theme in nature such as jungle and tropical nature are filled with serene atmosphere appealing nature’s wonder strongly.
Isono has travelled various places such as Yaeyama Archipelago, Solomon Islands, Yakushima, Amazon, North America, Kenya, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and other forest region.
1991 corporate calendar using his work received an award at Japan Ntional Calendar Exhibit. [Character’s Village site]
Notes: Printed on Holo-Glow shimmer paper

Puzzle: Cape Code Shed by Barbara Mock

: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 60.96cm
Producer:  Karmin International
Box: photo
Artist: Barbara Mock – American Impressionist Barbara Mock, is well known for her florals and still lives, peaceful scenics, charming cottages, ivy-framed birdhouses, whimsical gardening angels, delicate tea pots and tea cups and colorful dried flower wreaths. Her unique style of oil painting is structured with a strong sense of design and embellished with brush strokes varying from thin to bold. Barbara creates delicate lace patterns and strong substantive blends of subdued color in subtle contrast with an inner strength and romantic flavor so perfect for traditional decor. [Bentley Group Publishing site]

Puzzle: Volcano Moon

: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 48.1cm x 64.8cm
Producer: RoseArt, Borders series
Box: photo
Artist: A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet’s surface or crust, which allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases to escape from below the surface. The word volcano is derived from the name of Vulcano, a volcanic island in the Aeolian Islands of Italy whose name in turn originates from Vulcan, the name of a god of fire in Roman mythology.

Volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging. A mid-oceanic ridge, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has examples of volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire has examples of volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates coming together. By contrast, volcanoes are usually not created where two tectonic plates slide past one another. Volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of the Earth’s crust in the interiors of plates, e.g., in the East African Rift, the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and the Rio Grande Rift in North America. [Wiki]

Puzzle: The End of a Perfect Day, by Darrell Bush

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 50.8 cm x 68.58 cm
Producer: Karmin International, The art of Darrell Bush series
Darrell Bush – Awared-winning artist Darrell Bush brilliantly captures the unspoiled, simple beauty of the outdoors. From a North Woods campsite to a polished wooden runabout resting on a quiet lake, Bush’s acrylics suggest that these peaceful settings are only a memory away. He familiarizes the viewer with outdoor and wildlife subjects while often adding a touch of nostalgia.

In 1984,after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in commercial art from Northern Illinois University, Bush moved to Minnesota and worked as a commercial illustrator for five years. “It was during this time I began pursuing a second career, my true love, wildlife art,” he said. In 1987, he won his first major award, the Idaho Uploand Game Stamp Competition. In 1990, he became a full-time artist and one year later signed with Hadley House.

Since then, Bush’s success has escalated dramatically. He received international recognition when he was chosen for the September, 1996 “Wonders of Nature” exhibit in Hong Kong. U.S.ART named him among America’s Most Popular Artists in 1995, 1996 and 1998.

He and his family reside in Moline. [Puzzle box, mistakes omitted]


By the same artist the other puzzles available in the series are: “Crescent Moon Bay”, “Autumn Lake”, “Twilight Calm”.

Puzzle: The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci

: 1000 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 51 cm x 73.5 cm
Producer: Gospel Puzzle, #98-10
Notes: The Last Supper (Italian: Il Cenacolo or L’Ultima Cena) is a 15th century mural painting in Milan created by Leonardo da Vinci for his patron Duke Ludovico Sforza and his duchess Beatrice d’Este. It represents the scene of The Last Supper from the final days of Jesus as narrated in the Gospel of John 13:21, when Jesus announces that one of his Twelve Apostles would betray him.

The Last Supper specifically portrays the reaction given by each apostle when Jesus said one of them would betray him. All twelve apostles have different reactions to the news, with various degrees of anger and shock. Bartholomew, James, son of Alphaeus and Andrew form a group of three, all are surprised. Judas Iscariot, Peter and John form another group of three. Judas is wearing green and blue and is in shadow, looking rather withdrawn and taken aback by the sudden revelation of his plan. They are followed by Jesus. Apostle Thomas, James the Greater and Philip are the next group of three. Matthew, Jude Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot are the final group of three. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Ruslan and Ludmilla

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48cm in diameter
Producer:  Falcon, Skaska series
Art: RUSSIAN LACQUER, LEGENDS and FAIRY TALES.  Russian Lacquer Miniature Painting, an important 20th century art form, originates in the four small villages of Palekh, Kholui, Fedoskino and Mstera in the U.S.S.R. where it has been flourishing since the 1920s. Lacquered miniatures, as bright as the feathers of the legendary Firebird, take the poetic art of the extraordinarily talented artists of these villages to the far corners of the world.

The paintings are inspired by Russian legends and fairy tales and are executed on a specially treated papier mâché. The boxes themselves are a feat of technical skill and beauty before a single stroke of the brush is applied. They range in size from a tiny casket no more than 1″ x 1″ upon which an entire story unfolds, to large jewelry boxes, plates and panels.

The colours used are rich oranges, reds and yellows, brilliant blues and opulent gold on backgrounds of jet black or red lacquer. Each village has its own distinct and unique techniques.

The paintings reproduced on these puzzles are taken from the book: RUSSIAN LACQUER, LEGENDS and FAIRY TALES© and used with the kind permission of the publisher and author, Lucy Maxym, noted authority on Russian lacquer, of Manhasset, New York, U.S.A. Skaska means fairy tale in Russian. [Puzzle box insert]

Notes: “Ruslan and Ludmilla” is a monumental poem by the great Alexander Pushkin. A sumptuous banquet is given by the Grand Duke Svietosar in honour of his beautiful daughter Ludmilla. During the height of the festivities, Ludmilla mysteriously disappears, abducted by the evil sorceror, Chernomor. After numerous trials, her suitor, the Knight Ruslan, rescues Ludmilla and brings her back to her home, where they are married and live happily every after. The scene shown on this puzzle depicts Ludmilla walking in the magnificent gardens surrounding Chernomor’s castle, awaiting her rescue by Ruslan. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Princess of Light by Josephine Wall

: 600 pieces
Dimensions: 60.96cm in diameter
ProducerRose Art, MoonGlow series
Artist: Josephine Wall is an English born artist who currently resides in the seaside community of Dorset, England. She specializes in mystical, surreal-like, fantasy paintings. [Bio on Josephine Wall site]

Notes: With hair of glistening crystal the princess revels in her task of bringing light to the world. Shining brightly her precious orb reflects her earthly guise, attracting the attention of some passing moths. Flowers burst into bloom excited by her life giving light. The princess travels on, bringing light to even the darkest corners of our world. [Josephine Wall UK site]

Puzzle: Taste of Tuscany, Cucina Allegra

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Taste of Tuscany series
“Cucina allegra” according to Google translates to “Happy kitchen”. If anyone speaks Italian, please correct this if it is wrong.

As I could not find anything online with this name, I assume it is the artistic description of the painting. And so, I found a site in the UK called “Happy Kitchen” and browsed around. It seems, the kitchen is ran by two women making wheat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free organic dishes. Would be interesting to try, although I could not tell from their contact page where they are based. [Happy Kitchen site]