Art for Inspiration: Untitled Landscape by Richard Heintz

Untitled Landscape
by Richard Heintz (1871 – 1929)

“Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot. A mile becomes a long way, two miles literally considerable, ten miles whopping, fifty miles at the very limits of conception. The world, you realize, is enormous in a way that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know. Planetary scale is your little secret.

Life takes on a neat simplicity, too. Time ceases to have any meaning. When it is dark, you go to bed, and when it is light again you get up, and everything in between is just in between. It’s quite wonderful, really.

You have no engagements, commitments, obligations, or duties; no special ambitions and only the smallest, least complicated of wants; you exist in a tranquil tedium, serenely beyond the reach of exasperation, “far removed from the seats of strife,” as the early explorer and botanist William Bartram put it. All that is required of you is a willingness to trudge.

There is no point in hurrying because you are not actually going anywhere. However far or long you plod, you are always in the same place: in the woods. It’s where you were yesterday, where you will be tomorrow. The woods is one boundless singularity. Every bend in the path presents a prospect indistinguishable from every other, every glimpse into the trees the same tangled mass. For all you know, your route could describe a very large, pointless circle. In a way, it would hardly matter.

At times, you become almost certain that you slabbed this hillside three days ago, crossed this stream yesterday, clambered over this fallen tree at least twice today already. But most of the time you don’t think. No point. Instead, you exist in a kind of mobile Zen mode, your brain like a balloon tethered with string, accompanying but not actually part of the body below. Walking for hours and miles becomes as automatic, as unremarkable, as breathing. At the end of the day you don’t think, “Hey, I did sixteen miles today,” any more than you think, “Hey, I took eight-thousand breaths today.” It’s just what you do.”
― Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

Free Shabby Chic Garden Graphic for Art Making, Crafts or Scrapbooking: A Branch of Yellow Roses


“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

“True love is like little roses,
sweet, fragrant in small doses.”
Ana Claudia Antunes, Pierrot & Columbine

A branch of yellow Victorian tea roses from an 1880s trade card. To download the high-res 3" x 4.75" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark, please click here. Great as a gift tag or card for sending to friends and loved one but can also be used in scrapbooking as well as other graphic design projects.

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Free Illuminated Initial for Crafts, Scrapbooking, Card Making and Graphic Design: Upper Case T with Blooming Oriental Lily (Flower Illustration, Flower Graphic)


The light of love, the purity of grace,
The mind, the Music breathing from her face,
The heart whose softness harmonised the whole —
And, oh! that eye was in itself a Soul!
Lord Byron

From an 1893 publication, here is a beautifully illustrated capital "T" that can be used in crafts, scrapbooking, card making, bookmarks, gift tags and many other graphic design projects. To download the high-res 6.5" x 10" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark, please click here.

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Art for Inspiration: The Quiet of the Lake, Roundhay Park by John Atkinson Grimshaw

The Quiet of the Lake, Roundhay Park, 1870
by John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836 - 1893)

You cannot wait for an untroubled world to have an untroubled moment. The terrible phone call, the rainstorm, the sinister knock on the door—they will all come. Soon enough arrive the treacherous villain and the unfair trial and the smoke and the flames of the suspicious fires to burn everything away. In the meantime, it is best to grab what wonderful moments you find lying around.
Lemony Snicket, Shouldn't You Be in School?

Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Free Botanical Illustration for Crafts, Mixed Media Art, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Fly Honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum)


Third and last colour plate from an antique French botany book that shows Lonicera xylosteum, also known as the fly honeysuckle. You can download this high-res printable botanical illustration (without a watermark) for craft, art making, scrapbooking or graphic design projects here. Below is a sample journal cover I made with the illustration. If you would like to use the cover, you can find the high-res JPEG here.


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Free Botanical Illustration for Crafts, Mixed Media Art, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Common Hazel (Corylus avellana)


Our world is falling apart quietly. Human civilization has reduced the plant,
a four-million-year-old life form, into three things: food, medicine, and wood...”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

Second colour plate from an antique French botany book that shows Corylus avellana, the common hazel, a species of hazel native to Europe and western Asia. To download this high-res printable botanical illustration (without a watermark) for craft, art making, scrapbooking or graphic design projects, please click here.

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Art for Inspiration: Butterflies by Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson

Butterflies, 1891
by Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson (1847 - 1906)

I tell of hearts and souls and dances...
Butterflies and second chances;
Desperate ones and dreamers bound,
Seeking life from barren ground,
Who suffer on in earthly fate
The bitter pain of agony hate,
Might but they stop and here forgive
Would break the bonds to breathe and live
And find that God in goodness brings
A chance for change, the hope of wings
To rest in Him, and self to die
And so become a butterfly.
Karen Kingsbury, Oceans Apart

She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn't mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that.
Lisa Genova, Still Alice

Art for Inspiration: Wildflowers by Anna Stainer-Knittel

Wildflowers, 1889
by Anna Stainer-Knittel (1841 - 1915)

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them

Free Botanical Illustration for Crafts, Mixed Media Art, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Cornish Oak (Quercus sessiliflora)


Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed,
and a giant oak in an acorn.
William Arthur Ward

A colour plate from an antique French botany book that shows the Quercus sessiliflora, the sessile oak, also known as the Cornish oak or Durmast oak. You are welcome to download this free printable botanical illustration (without a watermark) for any craft, art making, scrapbooking or graphic design project here.

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Art for Inspiration: Girl in a Field by Ludwig Knaus

Girl in a Field, 1857
by Ludwig Knaus (1829 - 1910)

When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Little things seem nothing, but they give peace, like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless but all together perfume the air.
Georges Bernanos

How does the meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold.
William Wordsworth

Free Illustration for Garden and Nature Journals, Bookmarks, Gift Tags or Scrapbook Page Embellishments: Bird and Pink Rhododendrons VTC


Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars,
because it is his natural characteristic, so the artist works.
Alma Gluck

Fabulously colourful bird illustration from an old Victorian trade card (VTC) in my collection. I am not sure if this brilliant fellow is a real bird or an imaginary one but I really admire how his green, purple and yellow feathers stand out so nicely against the showy pink rhododendrons in the background. You can download the free high-res 4.25" x 7" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for journals, scrapbooks, bookmarks, gift tags and all kinds of other design projects here.

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Art for Inspiration: Garden View with a Dog by Tomás Yepes

Garden View with a Dog, c1665
by Tomás Yepes (1595 – 1674)

All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog.
Charles M. Schulz

Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.
It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.
John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog

People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.
Ashly Lorenzana

Free Illustrated Template for Journal or Scrapbook Page, Card Making or Graphic Design: A Garden Scene with Children and Elderly Lady


Defend the weak, protect both young and old, never desert your friends.
Give justice to all, be fearless in battle and always ready to defend the right.
Brian Jacques, Lord Brocktree

A garden scene with an elderly lady and several children, two of them looking on as a boy bends down on one knee to kiss the hand of a little girl. You can download the free high-res 12" x 12" @ 300 ppi JPEG here for use in mixed media collage, scrapbooking, card making or graphic design projects.

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Art for Inspiration: Elegant Ladies at Rest Beside a Pond by Louis Emile Adan

Elegant Ladies at Rest Beside a Pond
by Louis Emile Adan (1839 - 1937)

A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.
Leo Tolstoy, Family Happiness

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one."
... It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision - it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Art for Inspiration: An Afternoon at the Beach by Hermann Seeger

An Afternoon at the Beach
by Hermann Seeger (1857 - 1920)

A bond between souls is ancient - older than the planet.
Dianna Hardy, The Witching Pen

We've got a bond in common, you and I. We are both alone in the world.
Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

It is often the moments of silence that strengthen the friendship between two people. When friendship is bound by companionship… intertwined with love, secured by mutual understanding…
A.J. Vosse

Art for Inspiration: Sweet Repose by Valentine Cameron Prinsep

Sweet Repose, 1885 by Valentine (Val) Cameron Prinsep (1838 - 1924)

What hath night to do with sleep?
John Milton, Paradise Lost

Before you sleep, read something that is exquisite,
and worth remembering.
Erasmus

Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work
and helps make something of the world.
Heraclitus, Fragments

Art for Inspiration: On an Apiary by Aleksandr Makovsky

On an Apiary, 1916
by Aleksandr Makovsky (1869 - 1924)

The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist.
For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.
Jacques Cousteau

It is so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun,
to have lived light in the spring,
to have loved, to have thought, to have done.
Matthew Arnold

And we should always remember that, in matters of evolution, nature will select for the ability to adapt and survive, not for maximum convenience to mankind.
Phil Chandler, The Barefoot Beekeeper

Art for Inspiration: Mountain Landscape by Alfred H. Maurer

Mountain Landscape, c1925
by Alfred H. Maurer (1868 – 1932)

Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart's Desire

Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction - so easy to lapse into - that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.
Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit

I like the mountains because they make me feel small,' Jeff says. 'They help me sort out what's important in life.
Mark Obmascik, Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled--and Knuckleheaded--Quest for the Rocky Mountain High

Free Antique Illustration for Garden Journal, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Mother and Child in the Garden (with Decorative Dandelion Border)


An elegantly dressed Edwardian mother and her daughter taking a walk around a profusely treed garden. Their portrait is embellished with a decorative border of dandelions in flower and in seed. You can download the 6.5" x 12" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here for a bookmark, gift tag, scrapbook page, card making and other graphic design projects.

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Victorian Clipart for Crafts, Collage, Scrapbooking or Card Making: A Balloonist in Spite of Herself

“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Whee! Here is a fun graphic for a wild and windy day like today (don't let your kids try this at home). A little girl, clutching an enormous umbrella that's seen better days, is being blown away by a mighty gust of wind. This black and white illustration originally appeared in the September 1875 issue of Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine. You can download the 9" x 11" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

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Whimsical Victorian Graphic for Crafts, Collage, Scrapbooking or Graphic Design: Garden Fairy with Pink Rose


I was very much provoked.
Of course, I knew there are no fairies;
but that needn't prevent my thinking there is.
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

A cherubic girl garden fairy, balancing delicately on the leaf of a rose bush. She is gazing intently at a tiny little seedling in her hand. You can download the 5" x 7.5" @ 300 ppi JPEG for crafts, collage, scrapbooking or card making projects here.

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Vintage Decorative Border for Garden Journal, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Butterfly and Honeysuckle Journal Page or Card Template


An art nouveau style decorative border that shows a purple butterfly resting on the stalk of a yellow-orange honeysuckle. The blue stalk of the honeysuckle drops down to a ribbony scroll pooled at the bottom of the template. I think this would make a pretty background for a journal or scrapbooking page but you could also use it in a greeting card or other graphic design project. You can download the high-res 5" x 7" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

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Free Victorian Clipart for Crafts, Walk Journal, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Victorian Girls Dressed for Rainy Weather from 1886


Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.
Vladimir Nabokov

A collage sheet with two black and white illustrations from 1886 showing a pair of Victorian teenage girls dressed for rainy fall (autumn) weather. Both are carrying umbrellas and wearing thick woolens. You can download the free high-res 10" x 10" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for use in crafts, a walk journal, collage art making, scrapbooking or card design projects here.

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Art for Inspiration: June, 1876 by Fidelia Bridges

June, 1876
by Fidelia Bridges (1834 - 1923)

And since all this loveliness cannot be Heaven, I know in my heart it is June.
Abba Woolson

June falls asleep upon her bier of flowers;
In vain are dewdrops sprinkled o'er her,
In vain would fond winds fan her back to life,
Her hours are numbered on the floral dial.
Lucy Larcom

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.
Al Bernstein

So sweet, so sweet the roses in their blowing,
So sweet the daffodils, so fair to see;
So blithe and gay the hummingbird a-going
From flower to flower, a-hunting with the bee.
Nora Perry, In June

Free Illustrated Template for Scrapbooking, Card Making or Graphic Design: Blue Campanulas on Aged Paper


Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you,
and to give thanks continuously.
And because all things have contributed to your advancement,
you should include all things in your gratitude.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Campanulas, a popular flower in traditional cottage gardens, are often associated with gratitude. They are also given as symbols of affection, as they represent constancy and everlasting love. Here is a pre-made template that merges a botanical illustration of a blue-purple campanula with various aged textures. You can download the free high-res 12" x 12" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here. This graphic resource can be used as a background for art journaling or scrapbooking as well as in various card making and graphic design projects.

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Art for Inspiration: The Nasturtiums, No. 2 by Thaddeus Welch

The Nasturtiums, No. 2
by Thaddeus Welch (1844 - 1919)

*** --- *** --- ***

Lines to a Nasturtium
by Anne Spencer (1882 - 1975)

A lover muses

Flame-flower, Day-torch, Mauna Loa,
I saw a daring bee, today, pause, and soar,
Into your flaming heart;
Then did I hear crisp crinkled laughter
As the furies after tore him apart?
A bird, next, small and humming,
Looked into your startled depths and fled...
Surely, some dread sight, and dafter
Than human eyes as mine can see,
Set the stricken air waves drumming
In his flight.

Day-torch, Flame-flower, cool-hot Beauty,
I cannot see, I cannot hear your fluty
Voice lure your loving swain,
But I know one other to whom you are in beauty
Born in vain;
Hair like the setting sun,
Her eyes a rising star,
Motions gracious as reeds by Babylon, bar
All your competing;
Hands like, how like, brown lilies sweet,
Cloth of gold were fair enough to touch her feet...
Ah, how the senses flood at my repeating,
As once in her fire-lit heart I felt the furies
Beating, beating.

Free Victorian Clipart for Crafts, Scrapbooking, Card Making and Graphic Design: Colourful Roses and Tulips in a Fluted Vase (Flower Illustration, Flower Graphic)


The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves,
the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.
If in loving them we do not love what they are,
but only their potential likeness to ourselves,
then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

From an old Victorian trade card in my collection, here is an illustration of colourful spring (tulip) and summer (rose) flowers in an elegant, fluted vase. Can be used in crafts, scrapbooking, card making, bookmarks, gift tags and many other graphic design projects. To download the high-res 7.5" x 10" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark, please click here.

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Vintage Postcard with Coastal Landscape: Cottage by the Sea Cheer-up Greeting


A charming vintage greeting postcard from c1910. It shows a cottage by the sea with a lushly blooming garden. There is a winding path between the cottage and the beach on which someone is traveling along in a horse-drawn buggy. A short poem reads:

If 't were only in my power
To make all good things come true,
Then I'd start this very hour
And bring happiness to you.

You can download the high-res JPEG without a watermark here.

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Vintage Botanical Illustration for DIY Wall Art, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Dandelion Forms Digital Paper (Printable Ephemera)


Dandelions, like all things in nature are beautiful
when you take the time to pay attention to them.
June Stoyer

Botanical illustration of dandelion forms from a 1901 textbook on textile designing. I have digitally combined it with an old paper texture for a vintage-style composition that you can print and frame for DIY wall art, use as a background in scrapbooking or as part of a graphic design project. You can download the high-res 5" x 7" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

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Antique Decorative Border for Garden or Walk Journal, Scrapbooking and Card Making: A Little Happier Journal Page or Card Template


This image was extracted from an art nouveau style vintage postcard in my personal collection. The decorative border shows an L-shaped row of stylized red poppies with a lush summer meadow and billowy clouds in the background. On the upper right side of the page is a little verse that says:
“A little happier, a few more friends,
A little richer, In the blessings Heaven sends...”

I think this would make a wonderful background for a journal or scrapbooking page but you could also use it in a greeting card project. You can download the high-res 12" x 12" @ 300 ppi JPEG here.

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Art for Inspiration: Young Lady in a Flower Garden by Tivadar Zemplényi

Young Lady in a Flower Garden
by Tivadar Zemplényi (1864 - 1917)

Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty.
Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
Franz Kafka

Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no.
But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”
Stephen Colbert

There is a certain part of all of us that lives outside of time. Perhaps we become aware of our age only at exceptional moments and most of the time we are ageless.
Milan Kunder

Free Vintage Illustration for DIY Wall Art, Nature Journals, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Colourful Hummingbirds from 1904

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Antique illustration of colourful hummingbirds in the rainforest by Ernst Haeckel (1834 - 1919), originally published in 1904. You can download the free high-res 5" x 7" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for moxed media collage, nature journals, scrapbooking, card making and other graphic design projects here. This would also make a lovely art print.

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