Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Meet the Dover Crafting Ambassadors: Gigi Floyd

Every other Tuesday we'll introduce you to a member of our Dover Crafting Ambassador Program- a group of exceptional artists and crafters known for their dedication to Dover. This post is a continuation of that series.

Today's featured Ambassador is Gigi Floyd! Regularly spotted in our crafting catalogs, Gigi is best known for her beeswax collages and mixed-media work.

“I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't creating something," says Gigi, who says an errant doodle on her mother's table cloth sparked a lifelong love of art. She would later go on to study studio art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston before heading out west, where she says "my art and all aspects of my life, continue to be nourished by the beauty of the North Coast, and the wonderful community here."

"I am especially jazzed when exploring a new medium and making it my own, and could barely contain my excitement when I first began to explore melted beeswax collage." Gigi says.  "Actually, I can still barely contain my excitement, exuberance, and enthusiasm for what has become my 'signature' medium."

In fact, it was Gigi's beeswax collages that spurred a bit of mutual inspiration between herself and Dover. After we highlighted some of her beautiful entries from our first craft contest in a crafting catalog, Gigi was inspired to create her first website. In turn, after seeing all of her lovely beeswax collages on display in one place, we were inspired to begin our Ambassador program to help shine a spotlight on all of the incredible works being created using our clip art. 

Let's take a look at a couple of Gigi's gorgeous beeswax collages from our Creative Sample Gallery:

This playful collage features an image from Leonardo da Vinci Treasury.

This sample was created using images from RedoutÉ Flowers and Fruits.

Want to see more? Check out Gigi Floyd's website!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy 168th, or 172nd.... Eugene!

That's right, we've all been waiting for it—Eugene Grasset's 168th or 172nd birthday, on May 25th. There seems to be a fair amount of confusion regarding his year of birth, strange, given the unanimity about the day and month. Anyway, tomorrow's his birthday—let's celebrate! I thought that I'd share a few of my favorite images of the man with you in anticipation of the celebration!

I know, for such a great colorist these are pretty drab images, however, the bottom one was made by the famous French portraitist, Nadar. So, in honor of his birthday (whichever year he was born...), we're going to offer his fantastic collection, La plant et ses applications ornamentals, deuxieme series (sous la direction de M. Eugene Grasset), which we call Grasset's Art Nouveau Floral Ornament, at a special one-day-only price! Go to DoverPictura.com on Saturday, May 25 to take advantage of this special offer.

Grasset's Art Nouveau Floral Ornament  (0486990087)

In this collection there are fantastic color plates by his contemporaries Verneuil, Bourgeot, Gaudin, Hervegh, and Schlumberger. The imagery ranges from the botanically accurate, to highly-stylized borders and patterns—here are some great examples of what you'll find inside

Birthdays come but once a year. Don't miss out on this special offer.
Bon Anniversaire, Chou-chou!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Using DoverPictura

Have you been following this blog, yet haven't tried DoverPictura? Feeling a bit techno-phobic? Don't worry- it's even easier than you think to find, buy, and download high-quality royalty free images using DoverPictura! Watch this quick tutorial, register for your three free image sheets, then get downloading! You'll be amazed just how many beautiful and unique images DoverPictura has to offer, and easy it is to download them for use in your next crafting or graphic design project.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Spring Kit: Part 5

Finally, the Butterflies.

They're definitely another of our strongest suites here at DoverPictura. Over the years we've really tried to expand our offerings in this department, both in terms of broadening the selection of butterflies (more unique images), but we've also tried to expand the types of image files that we serve up, to better suit our customers needs. A great example is Photoshop Brushes & Creative Tools: Butterflies (0486990583), 163 unique butterfly images.

Instead of furnishing the images as individual files–like JPGs, we've converted them into Photoshop Brushes or Photoshop Custom Shapes. These files are easily loaded into Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, and are then usable as brushes or vector shapes. You might ask why this method is preferable to JPGs or TIFs.  Used as brushes the images can take on an incredibly painterly quality that you just can't easily get using more conventional files types, The Brush Presets palette in Photoshop allows you to dramatically expand the expressive qualities of each butterfly image, and allows you to scatter, colorize, rotate and otherwise 'tune' the brush's marks. The image below is a gallery sample from this collection that illustrates some of the qualities of these brushes in use.

Another interesting collection is Chinese Butterfly Clip Art for Machine Embroidery (0486991121), 400 color and B&W images.

Don't let the title fool you—it's not only for machine embroidery! With this collection our intention was to prepare images for crafters who create their own machine embroidery patterns. Now, these aren't the sewable patterns themselves, rather, it is clip art that is optimized for the making of those patterns. Anybody who has ever tried making a design from their own scanned image knows just how frustrating it can be to clean up an image so that it's usable with programs like PE Design, SewWhat Pro, or Embird. With this collection we've done the drudgery, so that you get right to the fun part. But the fantastic images in this collection are also great for any other kind of crafting project that you have in mind–the images are saved as regular JPG files, that can be used with any of your other image-editing or layout software programs. Below is a typical image sheet from this collection, showing color variations (you get an image file for each variation).

And finally, we get to the old standards—the garden-variety butterflies.  Each of these collections features beautiful entomological renderings of butterflies (and moths). Typically, the images come to us from chromolithographically printed works, many from the late 19th century. The variety of images is truly astounding, and the number of images in each collections really gives you an incredible value.

Butterflies and Moths (0486996271), 490 color images.

Butterflies (0486998088), 235 color images.

Full-Color Decorative Butterfly Illustrations (0486999661), 388 color images.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Meet the Dover Crafting Ambassadors: Linda Ellett

Last Tuesday we introduced you to our Dover Crafting Ambassador Program- a group of exceptional artists and crafters known for their dedication to Dover- with a tutorial for embellishing flour sack towels using unique and beautiful clip art from DoverPictura.

Today, we'd like to begin telling you a little bit more about some of our Ambassadors and show you some of the things they've been working on, beginning with Linda Ellett, owner of L'esperance Tile Works in upstate New York.

Dedicated to the art and preservation of handmade ceramic tile, L'esperance Tile Works is known nationwide for their artistry and expertise in the manufacture and restoration of Victorian and Craftsman-era tiles.

Using authentic pre-industrial techniques, they produce both original and reproduction designs for an impressive range of projects, including high-profile restoration jobs, and original tiles for installation by leading architects and individual homeowners.

Linda says she got her start at a very young age. "I've always liked to play in the mud...." says Linda, "but when my first glazed piece came out of the kiln I was hooked - 4th grade to be exact! What did I make? An ashtray for my Gram Collopy inscribed with the words "don't smoke" (!) and a guitar as a tribute to my fav new band - the Beatles!"

A lifelong love of art was kindled, and Linda would later go on to complete her BFA in Ceramic Art at Alfred University College of Ceramics in 1979. "After becoming addicted to tile at an apprenticeship at The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, PA, that summer, I established L'esperance Tile Works 3 weeks after returning home...and have been making tiles ever since!"

"I met my future husband in 1983," Linda adds. "He had a degree in economics, and an interest in small businesses (especially mine!), and the rest is history..."

Now let's take a look at some of Linda's beautiful work using DoverPictura!

Haeckel's Art Forms from Nature add idiosyncratic beauty to Linda's ceramics.
This lovely ceramic bowl features a bouquet from our Ladies' Flower Garden collection.
Want to see more? Visit the L'esperance Tile website, browse the Etsy shop. You can also like L'esperance Tile on Facebook!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Spring Kit: Part 4

Now that the plants are in, it's time for the flapping & fluttering—bring in the Birds!

Each of the bird collections below are great for crafting and graphics projects, but they are radically different in the way that they treat their subject matter. Birds is a collection of color plates from a diverse array of sources. There are ornithological renderings from late 19th and early 20th century scholarly works, in which the birds are rendered in a highly realistic manner. In many cases the birds have been extricated from the original backgrounds, in an effort to enhance their usability in creating compositions. Also included are birds of a more stylized ilk— of particular interest in this regard are Edward Julius Demold's Art Nouveau-ish illustrations, and the comical, anthropomorphic birds of Jean Ignace Grandville.

Birds 048699158X

On the other hand, Bird Illustrations is comprised of black & white line renderings, done in a highly realistic manner.  It's an enormous collection, and a fantastic value—419 images. In it you will find: woodpeckers, finches, hummingbirds, parrots and partridges, ravens & wrens, owls & eagles, bluejays, bluebirds, tanagers, crossbills, warblers and doves, larks, martins and killdeers, swallows, hawks, waterfowl, sparrows and chickadees —I could go on. The images are supplied as TIF files, but if you have Adobe Illustrator they are easily vectorizable, which would allow you to reproduce them quite large, and to treat them using all of the effects that a vector-editing program allows.

Bird Illustrations 0486996697

And finally, for those of you with a penchant for the Victorian and Vintage we have Full-Color Decorative Bird illustrations.  In this case the birds are depicted in color, and rendered in the style of turn-of-the-century 'sticker art'. In many instances the birds are cleanly silhouetted as individuals, in other instances they are represented in nostalgic, period tableaux and vignettes. The birds range from the exotic to the banal— chickens to penguins. Again, a great value with 455 different images!

 Full-Color Decorative Bird Illustrations 0486999653