Thursday, 19 January 2017

Vintage ad

I love vintage ads, so much so I have several on my walls at home.  I think it's the nostalgia and the history of them - a snapshot of a time gone by.  I came across this one (and plenty more) in an old Canadian publication called the Farmer's Magazine from 1913.

Great isn't it?  I might frame this for my kitchen.

You can see our full range of public domain image DVDs by clicking here.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

New Victorian children public domain DVD

I have very fond memories from when I was young of being in my nan's garden, surrounded by pretty flowers and making daisy chains on her lawn.  She had a huge, long garden divided into 3 sections by trellis arches that had climbing roses growing over them.  

A rambling country house it was not - it was a council house that just happened to have a lovely garden but I have been taken back there whilst gathering pictures for our latest public domain DVD, Victorian children.  And, by the way, I wasn't a Victorian child - much younger than that!

There are over 600 colour images on this DVD that you can use for anything at all, even commercial use is absolutely fine!  Here are some of them:-

The DVD features pictures by Helen Allingham, Myles Birket Foster, John Sowerby, Rose Barton, Bessie Collins Pease, Jessie Willcox Smith, Ida Waugh, Maud Humphrey (Humphrey Bogart's mum) and loads more.  There are many Victorian chromolithographs including those from Nister/Dutton children's books by artists such as Harriet Bennet and Lizzie Lawson too.  Quite a few Christmas images included as well - great for making Christmas cards.

Use these pictures to make prints, postcards, greetings cards, decoupage, packaging, for mugs, mousemats and promotional items and loads more!

Click to look now - Victorian children.


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Gilbert Holliday

I paid a visit to my favourite little Mencap charity bookshop today.  Almost invariably when I go there I come back with something old and interesting (at a bargain price!) so I'm always filled with anticipation when I go.  I'm like a child in a sweet shop when it comes to old books!

Today was no exception.... My best find was a lovely old book called Hunter's Moon which is full of poems and with pictures by Gilbert Holliday (1879-1937).  There seems to be a variation in the spelling of his surname by the way - it has two 'l's in Holliday on my book but internet searches show it with just one.

The book isn't dated although one of my internet searches gives it a date of 1930 although I would have said it's earlier than that but who knows!  It's on a hunting theme - not necessarily politically correct but I only look at the pictures!

This one's called 'Best of All' and shows this horse in all of its galloping glory - just wonderful.

This one's called 'Ware wire' which perhaps means beware of the wire?  Not quite sure, but again the horses are beautifully captured.

This book has 8 colour prints all together and cost me the brilliant price of just £2.... I love that shop!  I also managed to buy a 1950s book 'British Romantic Artists' for the princely sum of 50p and a re-print of the Life and Works of Birket Foster, someone who I've been researching in the last couple of weeks so that was a real bonus.

Those books made me happy and I also made my daughter happy by getting her 'Gone Girl' for £1 - something she's been saying she wanted over the last couple of weeks so I've done good today!

Shame I didn't find this book before I published our 'Horses' public domain DVD but this one's already jam-packed anyway!  If you want lots more out of copyright horse images to use for anything, take a look at our fab Horses DVD here.

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.