Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Public Domain British painting DVDs

I've been head down deep in books and art lately - just how I like it!  As well as revamping our Picturesque England and Wales series (watch this space), I've also produced 2 volumes of public domain British painting.  

These both have 650 images on them, volume 1 including 100 images by Pre-Raphaelite artists and Pre-Raphaelite inspired art.  The Pre-Raphaelites include Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, Edward Burne-Jones and William Holman Hunt.  John William Waterhouse produced work in the Pre-Raphaelite style too - there are 20 of his paintings in volume 1 as well.  This artistic movement is one of my favourites!

Volume 2 includes a 100-image folder of marine art including lots of paintings by renowned marine artist William Wyllie.

Both DVDs include a wide range of images including landscapes, portraits, history and genre painting including artists like Constable, J.M.W. Turner, Raeburn, Reynolds, Romney, Watts, William Orpen, Anning-Bell, William Blake, Gainsborough and loads more!

Volume 1 features artists A-Marriott
Volume 2 features artists Marshall - Z

Buy both together at a special price - click here.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Modern Art - Public Domain DVD (FREE images)

I was recently attending an art history class where we covered different artists or styles of art every week.  Although I loved the education, almost invariably the paintings left me cold.  
Sounds odd eh, but then one of the other lovely ladies on the course questioned me as to what kind of art I liked.  On answering no to most of the artists or genres that she asked about, I started to question myself on what I actually did like!

You see the problem with realist art is that the artist generally knows where they're going with it.  If you're painting a dog, once you've done the face, for example, you know you've got to do the legs, the tail etc. etc.  It might not always be plain sailing but you know what you've got to do to complete the painting.

This often isn't the case with abstract art.  Just look at this Kandinsky painting:-

This painting (entitled Swinging no.29) comes from within.  It's about thoughts and feelings and emotions, it's not a prescriptive way of doing things like painting a dog might be.  It's doing what you want to do, when you want to do it and according to the mood you're in at the time.  

I grant you that the artist would almost certainly have a plan and know where they're going - but that plan is based on emotion and mood and not on what is perhaps the 'normal' way of doing things.  All in all it's harder, cleverer and more creative to paint an attractive picture in an abstract way than to paint your archetypal dog.

It doesn't have to make sense to the viewer although that perhaps if we can make sense of it, we like it better.  Not all minds can make sense of it though which is why some of us love abstract art and some of us will prefer the dog picture.... or no picture at all!

This Paul Klee picture is more understandable to most of us as it's people, something we all know - although some still won't like the style.  Why can't it just be painted in a realist way, many would say.  My mind says that realism is boring so I like this - horses for courses!  I like this better:-

I don't need to understand, I just like the impression it leaves on me.  Would I put the realistic dog on my wall?  No.  This Kandinsky?  Most certainly yes (although I'd prefer the original to a print!).

So I thank the art class for making me actually think about what I really like.  Stuff 17th century art (my 'A'-level subject, yawn yawn) - give me an abstract piece any time.

There are over 500 fabulous abstract and modern pictures on our Modern Art public domain DVD.  Click on the link for more pictures and see if you agree with me!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Elizabeth Gordon's Flower Children series FREE images

The late 19th and early 20th century saw a great deal of anthropomorphised animals in children's literature, Louis Wain's cats perhaps being the most famous but, for a while at least, flowers and even vegetables became the subject of such treatment. 

Cicely Mary Barker is a well-known name today for her Flower Fairies although these are perhaps much more human-looking than some of the other offerings from this time.

Elizabeth Gordon, an American children's author published by Volland, wrote a series of books that began in 1910 with 'Flower Children' which was illustrated by M.T. (Penny) Ross, one of Walt Disney's first co-workers.

All of the flower children represent a flower and are accompanied by a nice little poem.

The next book in the series was 'Bird Children' from 1912 which is full of somewhat quirkier pictures.

The birds are given the same treatment as the flowers, each bird having a child's face and hands..... This picture even has children's faces in the background flowers. Cute... or maybe a little strange by today's standards!

Mother Earth's Children and Butterfly Babies follow in 1914, Mother Earth's children featuring children as vegetables - or vegetables as children, whichever way you want to look at it.....

You've got to love the quirkiness of this comic banana, certainly brings a smile to my face!

Butterfly babies is a lovely book and I have to say the most expensive book I have ever bought to get the pictures for our Elizabeth Gordon's Flower Children Series DVD!  It came from the States and is a book that I treasure.  How cute is this...

I love these chubby children with their gorgeous butterfly wings!

The last of the series is 'Wild Flower Children', this time illustrated by Janet Laura Scott whose style is a little different from her predecessor but still just as lovely.

If you want to see more of these lovely, quirky illustrations, click on the link now to see details of the more than 400 illustrations from this series.  You can use these images for any purpose, even commercial use, so take a look today.  Elizabeth Gordon's Flower Children Series.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Cats & Dogs DVD - now over 700 images to use for anything!

I've recently set myself the task of revamping all of our public domain discs by adding new pictures and making the discs a bit prettier.  I think progress will be slow as we now have 65 or so public domain titles but it will be worth it in the end!

Cats & Dogs is the first to get the treatment as this has always been one of our best-sellers and it's been a pleasure looking for new pictures to add.

This forlorn little fellow is by Randolph Caldecott, one of the original pictures from the disc. Cute isn't he!

Not all of our cats and dogs are quite as sad as this one - this happier pairing is by Hugo von Hofsten, who also illustrated one of the many Alice in Wonderland early editions.

There are now pictures on the disc from as early as 1850 right through to the 1920s and beyond so there's plenty for all tastes.  This hand-coloured engraving is by Harrison Weir from A Treasury of Pleasure books (1850).  What a gorgeous, scruffy little mite he is!

We do have cats too....

This one's by prolific animal artist Lilian Cheviot.  There are 15 lovely pictures by her on the DVD.  And talking of DVDs, this is how our revamped version looks now:-

You can see loads more pictures on the website and read about all the artists that feature on the disc so pop over now and take a look - Cats & Dogs public domain images.

Friday, 1 April 2016

World War I Images with FREE pictures

I love getting immersed in new public domain discs and this World War I disc has been no exception.

It's been a regret of mine that I never studied O-level (as was back then!) history as I know it's then that I would have learnt about the world wars, something I've longed to know more about.

Getting stuck into this one has certainly taught me a few things that I hope I can now retain!

This public domain disc features pictures from many aspects of the First World War from military personnel, recruitment posters, ships, planes, wartime pin-ups, sheet music covers through to war-time recipes.

As per usual, you can re-use and republish any of the pictures in any way you like as the copyright has now expired.  Your own use, commercial use or educational use - all are absolutely fine!

I love posters, especially posters with words - plenty of them here!  This one makes me smile:-

I love these plane images too:-

We've even included some fab war-time recipes:-

There's over 600 images on this DVD - I've loved every minute of compiling it so please swing by the website and have a good look - loads more pictures on there.  Remember, you can use them in any way you like so take a look now - World War I pictures

Friday, 13 November 2015


I've escaped from the norm with my latest public domain DVD - rather than book illustrations I've been immersed in photos, postcards, cigarette cards and a great deal of history to put together this Titanic collection.

This is a Titanic cigarette card (reduced size to that on the DVD).  I had to buy the whole set of 48 from Ebay to get this card! Both the front and back of the card are included on the DVD and there is also another Titanic card as well as one of its sister ship Olympic and of the Lusitania.

The Titanic story has been very much romanticised today, perhaps a great deal due to the most recent Leonardo diCaprio and Kate Winslet film, but also because the grandeur and opulence of the First Class areas of the steamer sit in stark contrast to the horror of the events of that night.

That hasn't been lost on me when putting together this collection, indeed my thoughts have been very sombre when the terrifying events have unfolded through the sorting of photos and when I have inevitably got lost in reading exactly what happened on the night of 14/15th April 1912.

I won't recount it all here as you can easily Google that one, but I have read some interesting things in my research that you may not know.

Titanic - sounds pretty big doesn't it? Not so, it was ridiculously small compared with modern cruise ships.  I just found this photo on the internet to demonstrate this (it's not included on the DVD).

The Costa Concordia, which sank in 2012 (100 years after the Titanic!), was more than twice the gross tonnage of the Titanic.

It is also clear from what I have read that not all images that claim to be the Titanic actually are!  Its sister ship the RMS Olympic was practically identical so pictures were taken of it after the the disaster which were purported to be the Titanic.

The Olympic had its maiden voyage before the Titanic in 1911 and then went on to have a relatively long and illustrious career, finally being taken out of service in 1935.  It was therefore easy to take pictures of the Olympic and 'pretend' that they're of the Titanic, no doubt for financial gain.

This picture has been used on the front of at least two Titanic books I've seen......

I've read a very interesting discussion online that claims this is actually the Olympic and not the Titanic at all.  This one is on our DVD - I don't know which ship it is, I'm no expert!

I've also read quite a lot about the 'unsinkable' Margaret Molly Brown who featured in the 1997 film, played by Kathy Bates.  

A very interesting character and someone who was perhaps looked down on by other First Class passengers as she represented 'new' money.... or was that just in the film?!  She was certainly a people's person, did a lot of charitable work and was not an upper class snob!

Anyway, I should probably stop rambling and talk about the DVD.... There are loads of black and white photos on it including Captain Smith of the Titanic (victim), Bruce Ismay who was managing director of the White Star Line (survived), Mr and Mrs Isador Straus (who owned Macy's Dept store in New York (victims), Frederick Fleet (ship's lookout and survivor) and loads more.

There are Titanic postcards in colour, more cigarette cards, ephemera & posters, a couple of poems, sheet music in colour written about the disaster, newspaper reports from the time, cartoons of the time and other little bits and pieces that are interesting, including this picture by Howard Chandler Christy from 1910.

Funny, I used this one in a cardmaking set on the website a while back, giving the picture the title 'Almost Titanic'.  It's nearly there (if you use your imagination!) isn't it!

You can look at the DVD on our website at www.printableheaven.com

Friday, 13 March 2015

The Birds of Archibald Thorburn with FREE pictures

I'm not particularly a bird-lover (although I rather like owls) but I am a picture-lover and really love good artwork.  Talking of owls I always think Will-i-am looks like a cute owl when he's on The Voice - it's the way he turns his head one way, then the other and those big eyes... 

But anyway.... Archibald Thorburn was a prolific Scottish bird artist and animal painter who lived from 1860 until his death in 1935.  Archibald was born in Midlothian, the fifth son of Robert Thorburn (1818-1885) who was portrait miniaturist to Queen Victoria. His first education was at Dalkeith and in Edinburgh, after which he was sent to the newly founded St John's Wood School of Art in London. His stay there was only brief, since on the death of his father he sought the guidance of Joseph Wolf. It was his commission in 1887 to illustrate Lord Lilford's Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Isles, for which he painted some 268 watercolours, that established his reputation. He illustrated numerous sporting and natural history books, including his own. He taught Otto Murray Dixon and Philip Rickman (both in Nature in Art's collection), and he encouraged the young Donald Watson when he came to visit him in Dumfries and Galloway. Thorburn was friends of other eminent bird illustrators including George Edward Lodge and John Guille Millais with whom he collaborated on a number of works including: Natural History of British Feeding Ducks; British Diving Ducks and British Game Birds.

His paintings were regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy and he designed their first Christmas card for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in 1899, a practice that he continued until his death. He was Vice-President of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. 

In the 1930s he refused to make use of electric lighting, preferring natural light for his painting, and making use of lamps and candles. 

His grave is at St John the Baptist church in Busbridge, Godalming.

These pictures are just 4 of 522 images that are included on our British Birds public domain DVD

All of the illustrations on our DVD are by four renowned bird artists - Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935), John Keulemans (1842-1912), Henrik Grönvold (1858-1940) and Joseph Smit (1836-1929).  

All of the 522 great quality images are out of copyright which means that you can do what you like with them!  Make prints, card-making embellishments, calenders, mousemats, fridge magnets, book covers, mugs and so much more!  Make items to sell for yourself, for charity fund-raising, school or church fund-raising with no restrictions.  Here's that link again... 522 Public Domain British Birds Images