Category Archives: FREE images for you

being an artist is not necessarily logical


I am always honoured to be included in Seth Apter’s blog.  Seth (who has recently published a collective of mixed media from around the world) is a hub of infomation of how artists tick – what they’re thinking, what materials they’re using – who is inspiring them – and so much more.  Being an artist is not necessarily logical.  Seth kinda gets a handle on this.  He brings together current exhibitions in his home town of New York, he ‘talks’ to artists across the globe, he IS an artist – check out his blog – you’ll be hooked!

Changing the subject, I have just gotten back from seeing the movie ‘The Vow’, where Rachel McAdams plays a young wife (who is a sculptor) who is involved in a car accident where she incurs a semi serious head wound.  As a result of the injury, she ‘looses’ a 5 year chunk of her memory – during which time she had left law school (her parents dream for her); breaks up her engagement to ‘the perfect’ guy; gone to art school……… become a sculptor (who has just secured a significant commission) & subsequently met, fallen in love with & married a gorgeous guy.  Through various toings & froings in an attempt to prompt her memory – she ends up back in her old life, living with her parents, in law school, and with the potential of hooking back up with the ‘ex’.  The thing I love about the film is that she never does regain that 5 years back – BUT her need to create is within her – & she sits in law school classes drawing studies of the human form, akin to the sculptures she was/had been making prior to the accident.  She has a ‘do-over’; yet her life (without the prior experiences) heads down a very similar path – with this art inside her needing to be birthed.  AND – amazingly – it’s actually a true story!  A bit gooey – but worth a look.

Sadly – Misty’s Open Studio has run it’s course.  It was fantastic & I feel a bit of a hole.   I have just downloaded Katie Kendrick’s  new book onto my iPad, encouraged by some other participants that this is a worthwhile purchase.  (I have to say, whilst I LOVE my iPad – I do miss ‘leafing’ through a book & the texture of pages!).  The piece above is much bigger than I usually work on – Misty encouraged us to ‘work big’ this is about 18in high x about 30in wide.  It is a combination of markers, crayons, watercolour, pens, acrylic & beeswax pencils.  It is loosely based on the work of Paul Klee – I love the way he uses colour & breaks up line & form……….but the evolution of the image itself & the form it took was inspired by Alan Alda’s quote:

‘ You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. ‘

I’m there.  My life has had so many twists & turns – some that I have chosen – some that have been life happenings………that I don’t any longer have a ‘city of comfort’  – but I must admit though – like all of us to some degree, I come carrying my own self protective wall!  So a little wilderness now and then is not entirely unwelcome! This piece of Klee’s is one of my favs – it appeals to me as a designer – a quilter – some one passionate about colour & an artist – it’s titled the highway – so it even has a tie in to this creation of mine.

I am attaching a new selection of free images for your own use & for use in your own published work, but not for sale or reproduction.  Despite significant effort – I CANNOT get them to behave – so they are appearing a bit higgldy piggldy…….they work just the same though! LOL!  ENJOY, and feel free to share the link to these with others, or on your blog. (cut & paste – )


More Lists and Free Images Too


I realized two things when I came to post this morning – firstly that I DIDN’T press ‘publish’ last week when I posted AND – my post read like something that is probably rambly introspective trash that people imagining themselves to be insightful (minus an editor) writes.  (also a hazard of posting infrequently – you don’t know where to begin to catch up your readers – if I have any of those any more!)

In several forums of my life at the moment, I am being encouraged to thankful and there really is LOTS…………one of the significant things that kept coming up on my lists were my ONLINE art friends & forums that I belong to…….you all have made such an impact on my artistic journey.  SO – my list is at the bottom of this post – but to start with a THANKYOU – I wanted to gift you some of my ‘altered’ images – to use in your own art work.  I retain the copyright, they are images I have taken myself & altered – however, I release them to you to use in your own work & your own work for publication (BUT NOT for redistribution or resale).

Unfortunately – they are not very big as I have used iphone apps to alter them, and it kept crashing the larger sized files.  They print up nicely at 6 x 4 & 5 x 7’s or even better sized as ATC backgrounds.  They will increase with a double click – then right click to save.

For those that don’t know – I am  participating in Misty Mawn’s Open Studio Workshop.  There are many adjectives that could be used to describe it (I COULD write a list!!!) but in short its the best I have ever been exposed to.  She has certainly sorted ‘the men from the boys’ as we say here in Oz and set the bar high for online courses. It is affordably priced, content rich, beautifully presented (name me one thing of Misty’s that isn’t!) – both challenging & achievable………..and YES – I am in love with her all over again!

The course covers both anticipated & unexpected inclusions like sculpture with paper clay, writing poetry, mark making with interesting mixes of materials, & other fun things.  You can certainly notice the difference between someone formally trained in art & and those that are not in the depth & intensity of material included.  If you have the chance to participate at some point – can I highly recommend it?

Having said that – and noting my post from a few months ago about ‘soooooo many faces’ – I am back to painting faces!  Of course I have returned to my first love (the start of my ‘learning to draw’ adventure began with faces in July 2008)  HONESTLY – they are 100% better than where I started……BUT I am not sure that I’ll ever get really good at this – even IF I paint them forever! LOL! (although, I must admit when ‘altered’ with my iPhone apps [as above] they look better) here is some of my work I have done throughout the 5 week course.

3 lino cuts (bud, blossoming, bloom) printed on vintage text. Pen & ink & watercolour drawings on page

inspired by summer beach trips to 90 Mile Beach, Victoria. Pen & ink w. watercolour

GHOST GUM - a linear abstract

myself - as a shape

i AM grateful…………………
for healthy children & grandchildren
for sky canvas set out before me daily (any one who has read my blog for any length of time will have seen one of our beautiful sunsets – for new readers – I have added one below as a treat!  Taken a week ago from our front verandah)
for freedom to worship
for my home
for the gift of creativity
for pristine beaches
for the clean environment we live in here
for dear friends
for the online art community
for accessible, affordable education
for the wonder that is creation
for the smell of newborn babies
for the joy of a toddler laughing
for the wonder of childhood discovery
for the pleasure of sharing a life
for the privilege of growing old with someone you love
for the freedom to choose

there are plenty of other things…………..but they will be for a list…..another day



I hope you like my new collage sheet….(hi res link – thanks Connie for the idea)..offered for only until 31st December……..after that I will take it down, and it will be replaced with a single image.  I know that I don’t have to remind you it is for personal use, and not to be redistributed or reconfigured in any way, shape or form – but it seems that this disclaimer needs to be added each time……… I’d love to see anything that you create from the collage sheet & appreciate links & kudos too!! LOL!  Tomorrow night is Christmas Eve here – so it’s the big finale………I have made something VERY special for a Christmas Eve giveaway…….

MY CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT GIVEAWAY IS A handmade artist book I created in a repurposed vintage book cover, it is approx 8in tall, 6in wide & 1 inch thick.  It is filled with a paper that will take pen & ink or a light wash…….it should be nice to work in.

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the cryptic clue is………….rsta fo tlmeeehhb…………’s a sign!!  I will draw this one late Christmas Eve – Almost Christmas Day here – to give the max amount of people a chance to participate.  It’s been a fun week!

GIVEAWAY Day 3 – and the Winner IS


 SO – the moral of the story is – that in this sharing & caring art world – many people go to a lot of time & trouble to create things, pass on knowledge, help others, share hints & tips, etc.  Few people however, take the time to write a comment, say thanks, or even acknowledge the source if they are using the material ………in over 500 visits in the last 2 days – there were only 10 comments – and some of those were the same people on different days.  In the end – as there were so few – I allocated each comment a number – those that left a comment on different days got 2 numbers – and then randomly generated the winner.  And the WINNER of the Art supplies give away IS………….ta – da – WENDY MC – who – among some others – worked out, like the lepers, that the idea was to come back & give thanks – congratulations Wendy – email me using the link & your box of goodies will be on the way to you.  Tis the giving season – but tis also the season to be thankful.  I am EVER thankful for grace & mercy.  Merry Christmas – enjoy the coloured torsos, available for all personal use, but not for reproduction or to be redistributed in any form.  Tomorrow I have a great collage sheet – I am just trying to work out how to upload a high res version & still have the blog page open ok.

GIVEAWAY DAY 2 – collage supplies? what a prize!


that title sounds like something cheesy a bingo announcer would call out doesn’t it!!!  Well you’ll be as surprised as me, when you see what i am giving away today!  It’s TOTALLY painful for me – but it’s part of my ‘de-stash’ preparing for us moving house sometime in the near future and YES – I am starting to conceed that I may have been in denial about being a hoarder!  I guess the seeds of it have always been there, valuing & being VERY sentimental about things of the past……….but now, not having moved since 1992, I am reaping the ‘rewards’ of that!..

I can’t help myself really –
I feel as though the artisan skills of the world are being squandered
by a disposable life manufactured for ephemeral needs
that produce a never ending parade of land fill..

I love anything that looks as if it has a hidden story, or a story within it – waiting to be uncovered……….. my treasures usually take the form of paper, fabric, buttons or bling……..sometimes a book with an interesting title or cover (regardless of the subject) – a vintage brooch or buckle at my local op (thrift) shop, a card of sun faded ric rac, or my all favourite….. a discarded jar of old buttons………….with an assortment of bits & bobs of treasure.

I am compelled to collect and surround myself with these castoffs,
waiting for a flash of inspiration
or a creative ephemeral inspiration
that will give bring these treasures into a new, continuing story.

BUT the day is coming soon, when the ‘piper’ is to be paid – and all of it has to be packed up & held in storage for a year or two
(I haven’t even TRIED to contemplate what it will be like living with out my treasures around my creative space
– whatever form that ends up taking!!! 
I think I may end up going back to my ‘black’ period of a couple of years ago!  I hope not!)

I am imagining large open industrial expanses, with soaring, skeletal ceilings, huge beams & columns, cloaked in light. 
I love the rawness of these spaces.  I love the honesty of the volume.  It echoes ‘fill me with life’


   how I long for them……………..

I have just added to my problem, securing something I have wanted forEVA
a fully adjustable drafting table/board 
– sadly, it’s not a vintage one like this beauty,

but still it’s a fully adjustable pneumatic drafting table with all it’s rulers & pens & picked it up literally for a song – $50!! 
It has been there for some time & started out at $375……….I was just hoping another designer/artist didn’t spot it.  It has gradually been marked down, still with no one except me showing interest…….and today they had 50% off everything as long as you took it with you.
WOO HOO, I love my local thrift shop.  It’s all in bits at the moment but it will be operational soon.  Now I just have to make space for it!!
(exit – temporary plastic folding table – enter elite drafting table)

AND so – enough blabber – we have come full circle & back to my point!  AHHHHHHHHH – how did I get so much STUFF?????
I MUST, I MUST, reduce my STUFF!!
I MUST, I MUST, reduce my STUFF!!
I MUST, I MUST, reduce my STUFF!!
I MUST, I MUST, reduce my STUFF!!

Here is today’s give away

 included are products from darkroom door; kaiser; collections; Tim Holtz (grungeboard elements, distressables); Basic Grey; Cavellini; apart from those supplies – I have also delved into my treasure chest and have included hand dyed tags, vintage chandelier crystals, buttons, bottle tops, game pieces, scratchboard, various ‘playing cards’ of mixed type & size; some etched book plates, chipboard letters AND a gorgeous little handmade book I have made. (2.5 in sq).  AND WAIT………there’s more (but no steak knives!!), some blocks of carving rubber, some christmas tree blank jigsaws, a couple of chipboard books, a couple of note books, some of my napkins & a package of my handdyed wire edged ribbons….I will announce the winner tomorrow at approx 8pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time (GMT +11).  If you are wondering how to win – the clue is in yesterday’s post.

free things – 5 days of GIVE-AWAYS


merry christmas this week everyone – I hope you have a little time for YOU!!  I feel as though I have cheated – we had our christmas celebrations early, so ‘Christmas’ per se – is done for us!  People all around me are still ‘stressin’ & running around & I’m done!  It was a dissappointing thought when it was first suggested, but now it’s over, it actually feels good!  We had lots of simplicity this year……most of my christmas wrapping was in brown paper with stamping & ribbons.  Garnishing with lace & ribbons, using twine, tissue & things on hand to make beautiful gifts.  SO – now I have a week to think up fun things for you – 5 DAYS of GIVE-AWAYS for you – my special readers!………’s a start! 

Today – some free images for you to have fun with – Tomorrow – hmmmmmmmmmm………some supplies I think…………HOW TO GET THEM???? I will leave you with a cryptic clue………you will find it in the book of Luke 17:11-19……….. that’s all I’m sayin’ is all!!! (in the words of one of my fav. Southern Belles)  If you work it out – leave me a comment & I will create a random draw from the order they come in.

If you right click any of these you can save the larger size – they are high res. suited for full ATC size background – or to cut or tear as an element in a larger collage.  If anyone would like a particular colour in a larger size for something – feel free to email me using the link.  This image is a photograph I took myself while travelling & has been altered by me.  It is free for you to use personally (in your own work)  for anything you like (including published work) BUT is not for re-distribution, re posting (please link back to this post if you’d like to tell someone about them)  They are also not for use in royalty free compositions or collage sheets in any form.  Thanks for respecting the personal property I am sharing with you.

DON’T forget to check back tomorrow – you’ll be sorry if you don’t!!!

PS you may want to test you printer settings & colour out put to print these out to how you’d like to use them – I have printed them on bristol board with inkjet, on transparancy using laser & photo paper with laser & inkjet – the transparencies came out a bit dark the others were ok though.

FREEBIES at last


Fences & FretworkFINALLY, here's some freebies for you to print out.   They are fairly high res, but make sure to double click to enlarge them, then save them.  When you are printing them, make sure you have your printer settings at 'print to full page' so that you get them enlarged.  These are great on paper, transparency film, vellum or on fine watercolour paper or canvas.  Print them on Sheer Heaven for transfers on to non-pourous surfaces, inkjet & gel medium are probably best for pourous surfaces.  ENJOY & Happy new year.  I hope to post again tomorrow if I am able.  I will show you what I did with mine.  ALSO – have some more treasures for you!  Oooo – and IF you don't want to miss a post, a technique or a giveaway – join me on Twitter (urbandriftwood) – I always 'tweet' when a new post is up. Arch-&-gate-smallIronwork-small

back to EDM challenges


I bet your flat out right now, hurrying your way to a Christmas meltdown!  Me too!  Now that study is FINALLY done for the year (YAY!) I thought I'd have time to play, but alas, artistic time  is 'squeezzed' in between babysitting grandies, baking, cooking, babysitting, appointments & other preparations for christmas.  (did I say babysitting???) It's just how it is – but I am still keen to fit something in!  SO, I have returned to my EDM challenges I began last year.  It's was tricky trying to keep this up when I was studying, but it's an easy thing to pick up and put down……..and I have.  I am now working in Book 2 – which continues challenges from 71 thru to about 140, and working in Book 4, which began at 192, and was originally intented to keep up with the current challenges, while using the archived challenges for additional drawing practice.  NOW BOTH of them are 'catch up' books! LOL!!!  So this is progress to date…..I will update the slide show as I go along.  If you'd like to see a slide show of the finished book 1 it's here.  On reflection, I am not sure that there is really a great deal of difference between my drawing from a year ago and now – but as a wise little person said to me, it's practise, every day, just getting in the habit of doing it!  Here's a couple of lovely images to help with any last minute Christmas things you HAVE to do, double click the image & it will take you to a high res. download.  PLEASE do not repost, but cut & paste this permalink back to here –

thanks for your integrity in this, us artists have to look after each other! 

Art nouveau Christmas Chrtistmas toys_resize  

AND DON'T FORGET my 12 days of christmas give aways………commencing 26th December!  there will be a give away, every day for 12 days!

On the TWELFTH DAY of Christmas


TwelfthNightReverlersInvite1912Blessings to you and all those that come to your house during Christmas.  I pray you %D0%92%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%85%D0%B2%D1%8Bhave had a safe and prosperous festive season, & are filled with memories that will endure a lifetime.  On the 12th day of Christmas – my true love gave to me…… 12 drummers drumming……….



Continuing with our story of the 12 Days of Christmas…… we have arrived at the last feast day….. the 12th day …… The 12th night, often included feasting & the removal of all the decorations & French & English celebrations of Twelfth Night often included a King's Cake, remembering the visit of the Three Magi (Three Wise Men).  For myself – we used to always have up on 1st December & down on New Year's Eve – so we greeted the new year fresh – however now that we don't have any children at home, we usually go away on 27th, so I like to at least get the tree down before we go away, otherwise, it is pretty messy by the time we get back mid January – all dried out & dropping nettles everywhere.


Today's free images are by a Russian Artist Andrei Ryabushki – He has a fascinating style that really appeals to me.  Have fun with it!  The 'butterfly' is an invitation from a Twelfth Night party in 1912…. I love the colours of it!

WELL – this is the last day of images – DON'T FORGET – Please leave a comment and a link on the day with the image of any of them you use and on January 14th I will draw a winner – to recieve one of my original pieces of artwork.