Puzzle: Taste of Tuscany, Bella Piazza



Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Taste of Tuscany series
Notes:
A piazza is a city square in Italy, Malta, along the Dalmatian coast and in surrounding regions. The term is roughly equivalent to the Spanish plaza. In Ethiopia, it is used to refer to a part of a city. [Wiki]

Plaza is a Spanish word related to “field” which describes an open urban public space, such as a city square.[1] All through Spanish America, the plaza mayor of each center of administration held three closely related institutions: the cathedral, the cabildo or administrative center, which might be incorporated in a wing of a governor’s palace, and the audiencia or law court. The plaza might be large enough to serve as a military parade ground. At times of crisis or fiesta, it was the space where a large crowd might gather. Like the Italian piazza, the plaza remains a center of community life that is only equaled by the market-place. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Lighthouse Scene by Wendy Schaefer-Miles and Kevin D. Miles


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 99.06 cm wide
Producer
: Panorific, Sure-Lox
Artists:
Wendy Schaefer-Miles and Kevin D. Miles
Box: photo
Notes:
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for pilots at sea or on inland waterways.

Lighthouses are used to mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals and reefs, and safe entries to harbors, and can also assist in aerial navigation. Once widely used, the number of operational lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance and replacement by modern electronic navigational aids. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Summer Fruits by W. Hammer


Size
: 1000 pieces
Producer: Jumbo
Artist: W. Hammer (1821-1889)
Painting: photo
Notes: In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.

The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, juniper berries and bananas. Seed-associated structures that do not fit these informal criteria are usually called by other names, such as vegetables, pods, nut, ears and cones.

Fruits are the means by which many plants disseminate seeds. Most plants bearing edible fruits, in particular, coevolved with animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition, respectively; in fact, many animals (including humans to some extent) have become dependent on fruits as a source of food. Fruits account for a substantial fraction of world’s agricultural output, and some (such as the apple and the pomegranate) have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Marigold


Size
: 500 pieces
Producer: Mega
Notes: Calendula officinalis (pot marigold) is a plant in the genus Calendula, in the family Asteraceae. It is probably native to southern Europe  though its long history of cultivation makes its precise origin unknown, and may possibly be of garden origin. It is also widely naturalised further north in Europe (north to southern England) and elsewhere in warm temperate regions of the world.

Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula in suspension or in tincture is used topically to treat acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding and soothing irritated tissue. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Passage to San Marco by Bob Pejman


Size
: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 67cm x 48cm
Producer
: Hasbro, EZ Grasp
Painting: photo
Artist: Bob Pejman“In his works, Pejman creates idyllic, tranquil worlds. “There are no people in my paintings, so you can imagine yourself in the scenes”, explains the artist. “The scenes are already romantic, but my idea is to make them even more so”. In doing so, he pushes the colors to make them more intense and exaggerates the sunlight. “I don’t simplify the shapes. You get into the cracks and feel the structures and the stones”, he says, considering them to be marks of cultivated wisdom rather than declination. There is romance in history, and Pejman reminds the viewer of classic beauty and emotions that transcend time, all inherent to such places as the Mediterranean.” [Bob Pejman bio]
Notes:
“I was inspired to paint this oil painting of Venice in July of 2000, when I was visiting Italy.

On a sunny afternoon on my way to the San Marco Square, I passed through a narrow passage way by the Grand Canal. There was a trattoria on the corner and a gandola tied to a post in the narrow canal. This quiet and romantic spot captivated me to the extent that I stopped for a short while to do a rough sketch of this site, as I knew that I would paint a large scale oil painting of this location upon my return to the States.” [Bob Pejman site]

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Puzzle: Forest Fisherman by James C. Christensen


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 40.64cm x 50.8cm
Producer: Ceaco
Painting: photo
Artist: James C. ChristensenInspired by the world’s myths, fables and tales of imagination, James C. Christensen wants his work to add up to more than a beautiful – if sometimes “curious” looking work of art. Having taught art professionally for over 20 years, he likes to think of the world as his classroom. His hope is that through whatever he creates-be it a porcelain, fine art print or book-he can convey a message, inspiration or a simple laugh. He believes that teaching people to use their imagination helps us find solutions to sooth the stresses of everyday life-or get a little lift to help us keep going. In short: all things are possible when you share Christensen’s philosophy that “Believing is Seeing.”

Christensen was born in 1942 and raised in Culver City, California. He studied painting at Brigham Young University and, for a while, the University of California at Los Angeles before finishing his formal education at BYU. Since then, he has had one-man shows in the West and the Northeast and his work is prized in collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. [Greenwich Workshop site]

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Puzzle: The Great Garibaldi by James C. Christensen


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 40.64cm x 50.8cm
Producer
: Ceaco
Artist:
James C. Christensen
Painting:
photo
Notes: “Paintings grow out of many things, and this one is from my love of things not being what they seem. The inside scoop is that the Great Garibaldi is the fish (the gold perch is called a “garibaldi”), not the impressive-looking mountebank or the little sycophant. – JCC” [Gallery One site]

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Puzzle: River of Life Triptych by Steven Michael Gardner


Size
: 1500 pieces (3 puzzles of 500 pieces each)
Dimensions: 91cm x 91cm
Producer
: MasterPieces
Painting: photo
Artist:
Steven Michael Gardner is a native of San Diego, California, and I really loves all animals, the beauty of nature and the wonder of life itself. His love of the animal kingdom and passion for preserving our environment has given him the inspiration and basis for the subjects of his artwork. He has been drawing and painting as a full time artist since the age of 20. Many of his original designs have been widely published in magazines and books, and for many years he has created designs for zoos across the country. These are still available as signed and numbered prints, posters, jigsaw puzzles, notecards, and apparel wear. [Gardner Gallery site]

Notes: Find 13 eagles, 14 wolves, 10 bears [Puzzle box]. This puzzle consists of 3 separate puzzles that, when put together, create one large picture encompassing the land, the river, and the sky.

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Puzzle: Evening Light by David Miller


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 23 cm x 53cm
Producer
: MasterPieces, Vertical Panoramic series
Artists:
David Miller
Notes: David C. Miller is an internationally acclaimed marine artist who’s work has graced the covers of everything from greeting cards to jigsaw puzzles, but his best work has always been done on lexan and canvas. His use of acrylics have earned him acclaim from art critics as well as environmentalists. David’s personal pursuit has always been that of environmental preservation. His portfolio includes commissioned works for such prestigious foundations as Sea Turtles of the World, an environmental group protecting endangered sea turtles, and The Franklin Mint, part of the proceeds from the porcelain heirloom collectors plates goes to the Save The Dolphin program. His work is also shown in many prestigious Aquariums across the nation.

Coupling his artistic talent with a degree in technical drafting David began his career as a full-time artist in 1984, and received immediate recognition for his captivating marine subjects, portrayed with unique depth and three-dimensional perspective. [David Miller site]

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Puzzle: Cobblestone Bridge by Thomas Kinkade


Size
: 700 pieces
Dimensions: 86.36 cm x 30.48cm
Producer: Ceaco
Artist:
Thomas Kinkade
Box: photo
Notes:
Cobblestones are stones that were frequently used in the pavement of early streets. “Cobblestone” is derived from the very old English word “cob”, which had a wide range of meanings, one of which was “rounded lump” with overtones of large size. “Cobble”, which appeared in the 15th century, simply added the diminutive suffix “le” to “cob”, and meant a small stone rounded by the flow of water; essentially, a large pebble. It was these smooth “cobbles”, gathered from stream beds, that paved the first “cobblestone” streets.

Note that Cobble is a generic geological term for any stone having dimensions between 2.5–10 inches. A cobbled area is known as a “causey”, “cassay” or “cassie” in Scots. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: The Unicorn by Myles Pinkney


Size
: 550 pieces
Dimensions: 61cm x 46cm
Producer: Ceaco, Glow in the Dark series
Artist: Myles Pinkney
Box: photo
Notes: A unicorn (from Latin unus ‘one’ and cornu ‘horn’) is a mythological creature described as having a long, straight horn extending from its forehead. Though the modern popular image of the unicorn is sometimes that of a horse differing only in the horn, the traditional unicorn also has a billy-goat beard, a lion’s tail, and cloven hooves—these distinguish it from a horse. Marianna Mayer has observed (The Unicorn and the Lake), “The unicorn is the only fabulous beast that does not seem to have been conceived out of human fears. In even the earliest references he is fierce yet good, selfless yet solitary, but always mysteriously beautiful. He could be captured only by unfair means, and his single horn was said to neutralize poison.” [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Sanctuary by Sheila Wolk


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.6cm
Producer: Impressions, Sure-Lox
Artist: Sheila Wolk
Painting: photo
Notes: I wish the artist’s site contained some information about the painting itself and the inspiration for it. Unfortunately, the designers appear to be more concerned with protecting the images from being stolen by placing the artist name in large letters over the top of the paintings.

A sanctuary is the consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar. In modern parlance, the term is used to mean any place of safety.

In Europe, Christian churches were sometimes built on land considered as a particularly ‘holy spot’, perhaps where a miracle or martyrdom had taken place or where a holy person was buried. The place, and therefore the church built there, was considered to have been sanctified (made holy) by what happened there. In modern times, the Roman Catholic Church has continued this practice by placing in the altar of each church, when it is consecrated for use, a box (the sepulcrum) containing relics of a saint. The relics box is removed when the church is taken out of use as a church. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Architecture, Puri, India by Jim Zuckerman


Size
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox
Painting: photo
Artist: Jim Zuckerman left his medical studies in 1970 to pursue his love of photography and turn it into a career. He has taught creative photography at many universities and private schools… The work of Jim Zuckerman has been used for packaging, advertising and editorial layouts in more than forty countries. He has been published in calendars, posters, greeting cards and corporate brochures and annual reports, and his work is also sold as fine art prints in scores of furniture store outlets across the United States. [Jim Zuckerman site]

Notes: Puri is a city situated about 60 kilometres south of state capital Bhubaneswar, on the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal in the Indian state of Odisha. It is also known as Jagannath Puri after the Jagannath Temple (built in the late eleventh century). It is a holy city of the Hindus as a part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. It is considered that a pilgrimage of the temples of India is not complete without making the journey to Puri. [Wiki]

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Puzzle: Le passage by Vadik Suljakov

Le passage, med
Size
: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.70cm x 39.37cm
Producer
: Sure-Lox
Painting:
photo
Notes:
Since arriving in the United States over a decade ago, master Russian artist Vadik Suljakov (pronounced Shul-ya-kov) has established himself as one of the most distinguished young impressionists in the country. Suljakov, born in the cultural center of Moscow in 1960, comes from an intellectual family with many generations of artists and writers. [Monsoon Gallery]

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Puzzle: Hidden Cottage II by Thomas Kinkade


Size
: 300 pieces
Dimensions: 46cm x 36cm
ProducerCeaco
Artist: Thomas Kinkade (born January 19, 1958 in Sacramento, California) is an American painter of realistic, bucolic, and idyllic subjects. He is notable for the mass marketing of his work as printed reproductions and other licensed products via The Thomas Kinkade Company. He characterizes himself as “Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light” (a trademarked phrase), and as “America’s most-collected living artist”. Media Arts, the publicly-traded company that licenses and sells Kinkade’s products, claims that 1 in 20 homes in the U.S. feature some form of Thomas Kinkade’s art.

Kinkade has received criticism for the extent to which he has commercialized his art—for example, selling his prints on the QVC home shopping network. Others have written that his paintings are merely kitsch, without substance, and have described them as chocolate box art. [Wiki]

Painting: “I take a great deal of pleasure in finding out-of-the-way places, small wonders that sometimes seem to go unnoticed like the cottage behind the gate in Hidden Cottage II.” [Thomas Kinkade site]

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Puzzle: Hour of Prayer by Thomas Kinkade


Size
: 300 pieces (oversized)
Dimensions: 46cm x 61cm
ProducerCeaco
Artist: Thomas Kinkade
Painting: “The Hour of Prayer anticipates the dawning of a Peaceful Kingdom when time will be no more and prayer will be a direct communion with the divine. Until then, we must content ourselves with such glimpses of immortality as can be found in the Garden of Prayer, which exists in the hearts of the faithful.” [Thomas Kinkade site]

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Puzzle: The Concert Room, by John O’Brien


Size
: 500 pieces
Producer:  Parlor Puzzles, Soft-touch velvet backing
Artist: John O’Brien – John’s artwork conveys a series of mystery and romance seldom found in contemporary art. With exquisite craftsmanship, poetic ideals, and a modern awareness, he created a unique style, which has come to be known as “contemporary romantic realism”. His passion for France, Italy and Ireland can be seen in the romantic settings of elegant interiors, European street scenes, and neighborhood cafes and pubs. [John O’Brien site]

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Puzzle: Van Gogh – “Starry Night” photomosaic


Size
: 1000 pieces
ProducerBuffalo Games, Robert Silvers
Artist: Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 – 1890) was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work had a far-reaching influence on 20th century art for its vivid colors and emotional impact. [Wiki]
Painting: photo. “The Starry Night” depicts the view outside his sanatorium room window at night, although it was painted from memory during the day.  The center part shows the village of Saint-Rémy under a swirling sky, in a view from the asylum towards north. The Alpilles  far to the right fit to this view, but there is little rapport of the actual scene with the intermediary hills which seem to be derived from a different part of the surroundings, south of the asylum. The cypress tree to the left was added into the composition. [Wiki]
Notes: Mosaics, one of the oldest forms of surface decoration, date back to the 4th-3rd millennium BC. Mosaics take on a painted effect by forming pictures or patterns from compositions of small pieces of various colored materials (glass, stone, ceramics, metals, etc.). The most well known mosaics were produced during the Byzantine Empire (4th to6th century) in Ravenna, Italy.  Today, in the age of computers, mosaics have taken on a new form. In 1995 Rob Silvers utilized computers to combine thousands of photographs to make digital mosaics. [Buffalo Games site]

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Puzzle: Taste of Tuscany, Italian Lakes


Size
: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Taste of Tuscany series
Box:
photo
Notes:
Tuscany (Italian: Toscana) is a region in Central Italy. The regional capital is Florence.

The most famous lakes in Italy are in what is sometimes called the Italian Lake District, in the north of the country not far from the Alps. That anglicised description is evocative of the area’s poetic and literary connections. Beloved of the romantic poets as well as later writers, statesmen and royalty, the northern Italian lakes are beautiful and atmospheric, where mountains descend to meet the lakeshore, and stately grand hotels dominate pretty lakeside towns. [Italy Heaven site]

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