Art for Inspiration: The Lady of the Lake by Henry John Yeend King

The Lady of the Lake
by Henry John Yeend King (1855 – 1924)

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?" That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Art for Inspiration: Mixed Flowers by Margaret Rose Preston

Mixed Flowers by
Margaret Rose Preston (1875 - 1963)

Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.
― Andy Warhol

What keeps life fascinating is the constant creativity of the soul.
― Deepak Chopra, Life After Death: The Burden of Proof

But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.
― Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water

Fine Art Note Cards: Pelicans on the River Bank by Hugo Charlemont


Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?
That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall,
at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present
only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Landscape painting by Hugo Charlemont (1850 – 1939) titled "Pelicans on the River Bank." I found the original file on Wikimedia here but you can also download my colour-enhanced version (14" x 9.75" @ 300 ppi JPEG) without a watermark here. Great as a cover for a nature journal but you could also use it as a greeting card or frame as wall art.

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Colour-enhanced reproductions of public domain fine art are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source if using this digital file and/or provide a link back to this page where possible.

Public Domain Victorian Poem: Primrose Sweet by Samuel S. McCurry

Photo credit: Ella8 from Pixabay

Here is a public domain Victorian poem by Samuel S. McCurry entitled "Primrose Sweet," originally published in March of 1893. This is how it goes:

O Primrose Sweet! Of sun and shower
The offspring fair. Of glade and bower
We watch thy dainty leaves unfold
In fairy clouds of clustered gold,
When wintry skies no longer lower.

The earnest, thou, of Spring's bright dower;
For thee we longed the dreary hour,
When wailed the winds across the world,
O Primrose Sweet!

We hail thy coming, gentle flower!
And, yielding to the majestic power,
Love, Love, that erst was doubting, cold,
Shall pipe to thee a paean bold,
And Faith revived shall cease to cower,
Primrose Sweet!

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All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when using this work and/or provide a link back to this page.

Free Digital Ephemera for Garden and Nature Journals, Scrapbooking or Graphic Design: Victorian Girls in the Garden Tag Templates (Set #1)


A set of two Victorian trade cards originally published in the late 1880s.

The first card shows a girl in a summer orchard, reaching up to pluck a ripe peach as a colourful bird sings joyfully on a bough. A little verse below her hand reads: "Thy name is music unto me, Thy voice the sweetest melody." Her image is surrounded by a border of garden roses.

The second card shows another girl surrounded by various garden flowers, waving a handkerchief either in greeting or farewell. The verse that accompanies this card reads: "Smile on the flowers, they bring thee Love!"

Both have white space where you can add your own personal message. You can use these templates in garden and nature journals, for scrapbooking or in other graphic design projects such as for gift tags or greeting cards.

You can download the high-res 6" x 3.5" @ 300 ppi JPEGs without a watermark here and here.

Creative Commons Licence
All digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when using this work and/or provide a link back to this page. More detailed ToU can be found here.

Art for Inspiration: The Edge of the Woods by Charles Courtney Curran

The Edge of the Woods, 1912
by Charles Courtney Curran (1861 - 1942)

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost

The starting point of discovering who you are, your gifts, your talents, your dreams, is being comfortable with yourself. Spend time alone. Write in a journal. Take long walks in the woods.
Robin S. Sharma

We walked always in beauty, it seemed to me. We walked and looked about, or stood and looked. Sometimes, less often, we would sit down. We did not often speak. The place spoke for us and was a kind of speech. We spoke to each other in the things we saw.
Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

Antique Victorian Easter Tag: Three Chicks with Wheat, Violets and Rose


An antique Victorian trade card from c1890 with three chicks - the two yellow ones are fighting over a stalk of wheat - and an over-arching border of more wheat, purple violets and one red rose. I thought this would make a fun hang tag or label for Easter baskets and loot bags or a place card for Easter lunch but you could also use it in a spring-themed project. High-res 7.5" x 4" @ 300 ppi JPEG is free to download here.

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All digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when using this work and/or provide a link back to this page.

Art for Inspiration: Rhubarb by Nikolai Astrup

Rhubarb, 1911
by Nikolai Astrup (1880 - 1928)

The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds. If you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte.
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

It often happens to children - and sometimes to gardeners - that they are given gifts of value of which they do not perceive until much later.
Wayne Winterrowd

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.
Elizabeth Lawrence

Free Illustrated Template for Garden and Nature Journals, Scrapbook Page or Spring Announcements: Cheery Robin Decorative Border

“Birds know themselves not to be at the center of anything, but at the margins of everything. The end of the map. We only live where someone's horizon sweeps someone else's. We are only noticed on the edge of things; but on the edge of things, we notice much.”
― Gregory Maguire, Out of Oz

Lovely antique border showing a cheerful robin perched on still-bare branches singing a song to welcome in the spring. You can certainly use this to decorate a journal or scrapbook page but it is also useful for spring-themed announcements such as for baby and wedding showers, yard sales and community get-togethers. You can download the high-res 8.5" x 11" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

Creative Commons Licence
All digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when using this work and/or provide a link back to this page. More detailed ToU can be found here.

Art for Inspiration: Spring in the Forest by George Edward Lodge

Spring in the Forest
by George Edward Lodge (1860 - 1954)

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.
Harriet Ann Jacobs

The forest was not dark, because darkness has nothing to do with the forest — the forest is made of life, of light — but the trees moved with wind and subtle creatures.
Lauren Groff, The Midnight Zone

All forests have their own personality. I don't just mean the obvious differences, like how an English woodland is different from a Central American rain forest, or comparing tracts of West Coast redwoods to the saguaro forests of the American Southwest... they each have their own gossip, their own sound, their own rustling whispers and smells. A voice speaks up when you enter their acres that can't be mistaken for one you'd hear anyplace else, a voice true to those particular tress, individual rather than of their species.”
Charles de Lint, The Onion Girl

Art for Inspiration: A Convent Garden, Brittany by William John Leech

A Convent Garden, Brittany, c1913
by William John Leech (1881 - 1968)

About the painting:
In this picture, Leech’s first wife Elizabeth poses as a novice of the Soeurs du Saint-Esprit, looking up contemplatively from her prayer book, as nuns from the same order, their heads bowed in prayer, process through the shadows in the background. The setting is the walled garden of the nuns’ hospital and convent in Concarneau, in which Leech had convalesced in 1904, having contracted typhoid fever. Elizabeth wears the Breton bridal costume traditionally donned by novices on the day they took their final vows.

About the artist:
The painting reflects ... the artist’s particular love of sunlight and pattern. Leech shows admirable confidence in painting with vigour and freedom on such a large scale, and in managing a complex palette of, among other colours, acid greens, bright yellows, subtle pinks and various shades of white. He displays particular skill in suggesting Elizabeth’s slim, elegant form under the delicate folds of her dress.

Excerpted from: National Gallery of Ireland

Vintage Easter Card Template: Edwardian Girl with Friendly Bunny in Field of Flowers (Digital Ephemera, Instant Download)


We don’t stop playing because we grow old;
we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw

A vintage Easter greeting card from 1903 featuring a cute illustration of an Edwardian girl carrying a basket of flowers in one hand while she is led hurriedly along by a skipping bunny (clutching a posy of flowers in one paw). Are they headed to a big Easter egg hunt or a festive spring celebration? I've removed the original words so you can add your own in Photoshop or Microsoft Word. To download the free high-res 6" x 4" @ 300 ppi JPEG for your Easter or scrapbooking projects, please click here.

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All digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when using this work and/or provide a link back to this page.

Fine Art Note Cards: Woodland Still Life with a Mouse, Goldfinch and Salamander by Matthias Withoos


There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters
into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.
Washington Irving

A ready-to-print fine art note card featuring a landscape painting by Dutch painter Matthias Withoos (1627 - 1703), titled "Woodland Still Life with a Mouse, Goldfinch and Salamander." You can download the high-res 4" x 6" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark here.

For personal use only, not meant for mass distribution. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source where possible.

Fine Art Note Cards: Landscape with Cranes at the Water's Edge by Bruno Liljefors


If you want to be happy,
do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future,
focus on living fully in the present.
Roy T. Bennett

A ready-to-print fine art note card featuring a landscape painting by Swedish artist Bruno Liljefors (1860 - 1939), titled "Landscape with Cranes at the Water's Edge" painted in 1924. You can download the high-res 7" x 5" @ 300 ppi JPEG without the words here.

For personal use only, not meant for mass distribution. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source where possible.

Public Domain Victorian Poem: Spring Song by S. F. Flin

Windflowers, 1903 (sometimes also referred to as "Windswept")
by John William Waterhouse (1849 - 1917)

Below is a Victorian poem by S.F. Flin called "Spring Song" that was originally published in the April 1860 issue of Godey's. I thought it seemed to fit well with the image above.

The Spring is drowsy and numb with cold,
Her hair is sodden and dank with rain,
Her garments are faded and tattered and old,
She never will dance and laugh again.

The robin is trying to make her smile
Sometimes, with a flutter and timid shout;
And there seems a gleam on her cheek awhile,
When through trailing vapor the sun peers out.

But she only opens a dull, blue eye,
And giveth a shuddering sigh of pain;
She has only wakened, alas, to die!
She never will dance and laugh again.

Behold! thou prophet, false and fond --
Who is it tripping adown the dale?
Who is it has sprinkled the hill beyond
With tufts of the liverwort blossom pale?

She has planted cowslips along the brook,
Has wandered the thickets of hazel through,
And into each sly and sunlit nook
She has flung a cluster of violets blue.

She has hung the willow with tassels fine,
She has painted the buds of the hickory,
And the robin is drunk with the draught divine
Of her breath in the blossomy cherry-tree.

Ha! ha! 'tis she, with her sweet, old smile,
Her tresses tossed by the breezy South;
One rosy, silk, soft hand, the while,
Scaring the bees from her honeyed mouth.

Dancing her chaplet above her eyes,
Laughing over the emerald plain --
Ha! ha! I knew she would waken and rise,
Laughing and dancing and singing again.

Creative Commons Licence
All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when using this work and/or provide a link back to this page.

Free Victorian Clipart for Crafts, Walk Journal, Scrapbooking or Card Making: Portrait of a Victorian Girl in Winter

There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks.
Most of the time we are simply not patient enough,
quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.”
― Linda Hogan

A black and white illustration from 1882. This image shows a portrait of a Victorian girl set against a winter landscape. The portrait is enclosed within an oval frame decorated with early spring flowers. You can download the free high-res 8" x 10" @ 300 ppi JPEG without a watermark for use in crafts, a walk journal, scrapbooking or card making projects here.

Creative Commons Licence
All digital scans by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when using this work and/or provide a link back to this page.

Art for Inspiration: Camelias, Amaryllis, Hyacinth and Violets in Ornamental Pots by Johan Laurentz Jensen

Camelias, Amaryllis, Hyacinth and Violets in Ornamental Pots on a Marble Ledge, 1836
by Johan Laurentz Jensen (1800 - 1856)

Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering 'it will be happier...'
Alfred Tennyson

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do It.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
Neil Gaiman

Diary of a Nature Lover, January 6, 2019: Aster and Bee

"Aster and Bee"
© 2019 FieldandGarden.com. All rights reserved.

Do you miss the balmy days of summer? As I sit in a chilly room on a darkening day in the midst of a gloomy Canadian winter, I long for the hours I spent tramping about in the fields and meadows with my family when the sun shone hot and insects droned incessantly.

Among the daisies all astir
Observe the belted rover,
The merry little mariner
That sails the seas of clover.

Whene'er a shower falls, pellmell
Upon the seas of clover
He flies into some flower-bell,
And waits until it's over.
("The Bee" by R.K.M., published in 1888)

What do you miss the most from when the weather was sultry? As the snow clings to these January days, let's shake our boots and march through our memories of clover seas and mariner bees and dream of the days when we will arrive at the shores of summer once more.