Welcoming in the New Year with Antique Botanical Prints

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All botanical prints featured in this post are courtesy of The Graphics Fairy Blog http://thegraphicsfairy.com/category/botanicals/ Check it out for FREE printables!

Dear sisters,

A fresh NEW YEAR is laid out before us perfect as a freshly plowed field waiting for the first planting. I can’t think of anything more symbolic for ringing in the new year than celebrating the world of things that grow. The very essence of life pulsates through every living, growing thing. Like plants, we are programmed to do certain things, at certain times, and in the right conditions we flourish and inspire. What kinds of seeds will you sow in 2016? Creative seeds I hope! I just happen to have a fun decorating idea to share sure to help you welcome in the new year. If you’re in the mood to re-do a wall or two you’ll love how easy and fun it is to create beautiful wall art with antique botanical prints you can print from home. Come see!

Antique/vintage botanical prints come in and out of favor in the decorating world and right now they are back in bloom!

Recently a renaissance has been occurring in botanical art and illustration. Organizations devoted to furthering the art form are found in the US (American Society of Botanical Artists), UK (Society of Botanical Artists), Australia (Botanical Art Society of Australia), and South Africa (Botanical Artists Association of South Africa), among others. The reasons for this resurgence are many. In addition to the need for clear scientific illustration, botanical depictions continue to be one of the most popular forms of “wall art”. There is an increasing interest in the changes occurring in the natural world, and in the central role plants play in maintaining healthy ecosystems. A sense of urgency has developed in recording today’s changing plant life for future generations. Working in media long understood provides confidence in the long-term conservation of the drawings, paintings, and etchings. Many artists are drawn to more traditional figurative work, and find plant depiction a perfect fit. Working with scientists, conservationists, horticulturists, and galleries locally and around the world, today’s illustrators and artists are pushing the boundaries of what has traditionally been considered part of the genre.” Wikipedia

I’ll buy that! Thank you, Wikipedia. I’ve always loved botanical art drawings and paintings. In fact, when we remodeled our hair salon in Reno years ago it was the color palette of an antique botanical illustration I tore out of a magazine that inspired the design and theme of the renovation. What’s better than being blanketed in soft, muted earth-tones for a relaxing day at the spa? I carried it around with me as I made my choices for all of the finish surfaces. One of our stylists was a talented decorative artist so we commissioned her to paint a series of lush vines on columns and over hangs in the space. She also painted a giant mural which we hung behind our front desk. Imagine Italian garden meets modern salon.

I like to believe there is a deeper reason for my passion for botanical art that goes beyond a general appreciation for the art form itself. A few years ago in my garden reading I learned of a highly revered botanical artist from the 1700’s named Joseph Banks ( Banks is my maiden name). Perhaps it’s in the blood! What ever the reason is I love it and I was excited to finally have a reason to display some of these fine works of historical art in our home.

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We recently remodeled our downstairs bathroom to make it more functional and pretty for my mom. It’s the only bathroom on the first floor so we are all enjoying the change and it’s especially nice that mom isn’t having to dig through baskets for her toiletries anymore.It’s become a much more pretty, soothing space. Just what every Grammy needs. As with most remodeling it always takes longer than planned but once the dust settles it’s fun to add the finishing touches and artwork.

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I’m always enthusiastic about remodeling and decorating. I love the planning stages and I can choose fabric and a paint color in short order but I am terrible at choosing art for our home. Maybe terrible is too harsh a word but I’ll live with blank walls FOREVER before I hang something I don’t like. The thing is, we have such a large photo library to choose from that I tend to get overwhelmed deciding which photos to use. I was headed down that same road with our bathroom until I stumbled upon FREE botanical printables online.

I already had some left over frames in the correct size and color. PERFECT! All I needed were a few mattes for the frames and I was ready to go. Oh, and ink in the printer.

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It took some discipline to choose which illustrations I wanted to print. I only had room for a few. At first, I was going for an earthy, winter-y, holly, evergreen-y and pine cone vibe but in the end I just couldn’t resist the colorful floral prints. Everything about these beautiful drawings and paintings just draws me in which is exactly what they were designed to do. They make me want to look closer and learn more about them.

I’m in love with muted pinks this year and the faded vintage ink pigments just sing to me. And, of course I had to print out a dandelion for Dandelion House too.

 

Botanical-Flower-Dandelion-engraving

If you’re using a standard printer the largest size you can print will be an 8×10 but by choosing a matte that fits inside an 11×14 frame you can create a larger piece of artwork just right for a small nook, home office, hallway or bathroom. I used a white card stock paper which gives the print a more realistic matte finish and if your image has a faded parchment paper background on it, it will print true to color over white. A laser inkjet printer will work. If you have a photo printer, even better.

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I chose a classic, double matte with a soft marbled tone on top and an earthy taupe for the under layer and white frames for a fresh look in the bathroom.

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Once everything was printed it only took about an hour to assemble the frames and hang them on the wall. This might be a record!

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I love the way they turned out. The bathroom feels so much more lively with the colorful botanical art prints added to the neutral backdrop.

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Do you enjoy botanical art too? I would love to hear about your projects too!

Do you have your ” word” for 2016 yet? I have chosen two.

My words for 2016 are GROW and GATHER. I feel like a tiny seed just waiting to pop open and sprout into the world. My roots will grow deep for a strong foot hold and wide to inspire and encourage. My hands will act like branches creating more beauty in the flowers I grow, the photos I take and the words I write. My farmgirl heart will be pumping with pleasure as I gather new wisdom, meet new people and try new things. What ever you do in the new year, own it!

Until our next shoreline visit~  Cheers and Happy New Year Sisters!

Thank you all for being the bright lights that you are and for sharing your stories here in 2015! Let’s keep cruisin’ together in the new year!

Beach Blessings and Much Love,

Deb # 1199

PS.This space is much too small to delve into the roots of Botanical Art and Illustration but here’s a link to get you started if you’re interested in learning more.

Leave a comment 16 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures. You made my day. I approach 2016 without our son. 2015 was a year of suffering for him and us. He’s out of pain now, so I’m looking for beauty, peace and a way of helping others. My garden is so important this year. Want to see a lot of flowers and growing some awesome vegetables we grew last year but the garden understandably was ignored. Will be growing some plants for natural dyeing. Can hardly wait until spring. Love seeing your flowers.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Sylvia,
      I am so sorry for your loss. There is no doubt in my mind you will find healing among the flowers and in your giving back activities.I’m curious to see what you grow for natural dying. Fabric and yarn perhaps? God Bless you and your family in 2016 and beyond. Sending farmgirl hugs.
      Deb

  2. Dori Troutman says:

    Oh Deb these are so gorgeous!!! It is amazing the free art we can find online (kind of like Google Patents) that you can do so many awesome things with. These are positively stunning! I’m thinking about all the possibilities!

    Happy New Year to you dear friend. Thankful I have you to count among my many things to be thankful for.

    Hugs,

    – Dori –

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Dori,

      It IS amazing how much FREE art is available online. One more positive creative change we can all enjoy because of the world wide web. I bet you’ll find place for a few of these images too cuz you are a flower farmgirl too! 😉 Big hugs!
      Love,
      Deb

  3. Adrienne says:

    How beautiful and creative! I did the same thing years ago by creating the same small framed designs in needlepoint. Then I gave them away. Looks like it’s time to try your method and I’ve got a few blank areas to fill.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Adrienne,
      I’m impressed not only with your needlepoint skills but that you actually parted with your work. I get so attached to things I make and have a hard time letting go sometimes. I need to work on that. Growing flowers has taught me a lot about that. I hope you find just what you’re looking for and fill your spaces with something inspiring and pretty to look at.
      Wishing you all good things in 2016 and beyond!
      Love, Deb

  4. Joan says:

    Your bathroom is beautiful!!! what a fun project. Thanks for the printables address!! it will be great fun using these. I have a set of shelves that remind me of something that would stand against an old chimney – 6′ tall about 12″s wide – I cover the inside back with different papers according to whatever I am feeling – well can’t ya just see it now – Spring — botanicals – oh yeah this will be a good thing. Thanks for bringing on an idea for me. God bless.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Joan,
      Now that sounds like a great idea! I CAN see it. Spring Botanical backgrounds… Love it!
      Best for a wonderful and creative 2016!
      Love, Deb

  5. Marilyn Collins says:

    Thanks for the lovely photos. What a treat!
    Marilyn

  6. Sharon Elaine says:

    Love The Graphics Fairy blog and what you have done with the prints. Creative decorating doesn’t have to be expensive. I do nature inspired – a large pine cone in a vase, framed preserved fall leaves and baskets of nests, feathers and branches. I cut a white birch log in half, drilled out holes for votive candles. My favorite accessories are inexpensive and homemade. My words for 2016 are reveal and recreate. Health and happiness to all farmgirls at heart.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Sharon,
      You are so right. My favorite kind of decorating has three components. Frugal,natural,and personal. I always seem to like the end results much better when I stick to my rule.
      Ooh, your words for 2016 sound mysterious and fun! You must be teasing out some great ideas this year! Best in all your new endeavors.
      Love, Deb

  7. Vivian Monroe says:

    BEEEUUUTIFUL!. I love it. I found these prints at some estate sales, and found out they have one for each month. My goal is to collect all 12. I have been leaving them in the old frames they came in (only have two) but one day will have my walls filled with these old botanical prints. cant wait. THanks for stirring me up again to search out the 10 I still need. :) As always love your blog, keep inspiring, keep writing, and I love your two words. I think my two words will be Nourish, Believe. Have a BLessed healthy new year. Neta (oh the prints I will send on your email, I just cant figure out how to post pics here. )

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Neta! Always great to hear from you. I got your prints in my inbox. They are truly beautiful. That’s exciting that you are still on the hunt for 10 more. I hope you find all of them. What fun it will be tracking them down. I’ll keep a look-out too! Thanks for the kind words my dear. Speaking of words. I LOVE both words you chose for 2016! Blessings,
      Deb

  8. Susana says:

    Love the art work… My mother used to get these booklets with poems and the artwork which was similar.very inspiring…. But I font have much space in my bathroom. I got butterflies all over my house. Wish I knew how to aff them here…I’d Snow you. Love the blog!Susana

  9. Denise Ross says:

    Fabulous idea Deb. Love the prints in your bathroom. They really make the room look fresh and inviting. I’ll have to look Into doing some for myself.
    Flowers instantly lift my mood and the artwork is just amazing. So intricate in detail – an absolute delight to look at. :) enjoy your new bathroom.
    Denise
    Australia

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