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