Monday, September 2, 2013

diy black botanical artwork...

Hope you all enjoyed a fabulous long weekend, despite the inevitable beginning of the end
 of summer. Fall is my favorite, and the sooner it arrives the better in my book. As promised,
 today I'm giving you the scoop on how we created the gallery wall of black botanicals.
 It's one of our favorite elements in my client's kitchen makeover, they're timeless and
 make such a dramatic statement against all the white in her kitchen. I originally suggested
 a book of Mary Delany's artwork after seeing this post a few years ago,
 and she became obsessed ran with it.

In 1771, at the age of 71, Mary Delany began to create amazingly detailed and botanically accurate depictions of plants.  From the age of 71 to 88, she created almost 1,000 of what she called her "Paper Mosaiks."  With the plant specimen set in front of her, Mary cut minute particles of colored tissue paper to represent the parts of the plant, using lighter and darker paper to form the shading, she adhered them onto a black background, she sometimes built up several layers, there might be hundreds of pieces to form one plant.

The British Museum maintains a database of the Museum's collection. The Mary Delany images
 (and thousands of others by other artists) are available to order free of charge for non-commercial use through the individual object pages.

 To obtain an image:

2.  Click on the grid view (there are 986 Delany images to chose from!);
3.  Click on the image you would like to order;
4.  Complete the online registration form to register with the museums free image service
5.  Select the use you will make of the image;
5.  The image will then be sent to you as an attachment to an email.  The image will be supplied in JPEG format, with the longest edge at 2,500 pixels, which will appear at a maximum of 21 cm (A5) when printed at 300 dpi.  Our images sometimes arrived within minutes and other times within a couple of days;
6.  After making arrangements in advance, email the digital image to your local Fed Ex Kinkos for sizing.

Framing Details:

Open frame size -  20" W x 24" H 
Glass - 16" W x 20" H
Image opening - 13 1/2" H x 10 1/2" W
Mat - 16" W x 20" H

Frame - $23/each  @  Hobby Lobby 50% off 
Mat - $3.60/each @ Michael's (includes 40% off coupon)
Price per copy at Kinkos'= $7/each
Price per 16 x 20 non-glare glass $12/each (includes 40% off coupon)

Total:  $45.60 each

***TIPS ***

It's best to go to Kinkos late at night when they're not busy, have warm cookies in tow, and
 find a nice, knowledgeable person, it can be time consuming for them to figure out the sizing.

We took the mat to Kinkos and asked for the actual flora to fill most of the space.
  Due to the type of image there may be some irregularities around the border,
 we were fine with it, you can notice if you look closely at image #2 in the top row.

My client was concerned about the quality of the print being affected, she contacted
Kinkos and they were able to print copies directly from the image emailed from the
British Museum. They printed proofs and we approved before printing final copies.

Hobby Lobby doesn't charge for framing if you purchase your frames from them.

The black mat had a white bevel, she used a gold sharpie along the edge to lessen the contrast.  

Bright colors stand out better, we paid attention to choose a variety of shapes and colors.

If you're interested in a book about her art and letter writing, Mrs. Delany and Her Circle,
 is one you may enjoy.

Not only do we love the botanicals, but came to admire what a truly incredible
 artist and woman she was!


Khammany @ Sweet Inspired Home said...

Yay! I've been waiting for this post! Thanks so much for the instructions and how wonderful that the images are free to use!
P.S. I agree with you about fall, the sooner it arrives the better!

Tracey Steele@Breathing English Air said...

These make a stunning display. I can understand why your client would be so pleased with them.

Kim said...

Beautifully done and what valuable information on the free images! Happy Fall missy!! xo

Cathy Wall said...

Love these Pam and delighted to learn about the artist and her technique.
Fall is my fave too and it finally cooled off around here yesterday giving us a tase of it!

Brandi said...

This is wonderful, Pam! I love the botanical artwork display. You are very kind to share your sources. Thank you!!

Suzan Sweatman said...

Oh these are absolutely gorgeous Pam - just gorgeous!!!
I love botanical prints - thanks for sourcing and for sharing :)

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

This is beautiful and great tips. I have always wanted to have something printed professionally from my computer.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

that is awesome! thank you for those tips!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

What a great statement they make, Pam! I love botanicals myself.

Patty Day @Pattys Epiphanies said...

The artwork is stunning! Love the contrasts! The black and gold are striking and work perfectly with the prints.

Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles said...

I love all of these little tips you fill us in on! The care you both took in making this artwork is evident...they are stunning! Also, love the gold sharpie for the mat bevel idea!

Unknown said...

Thank you so very much for all of your time on this project, Pam. You had such vision on the whole gallery, unexpected kitchen frames, and the selection of images. You and Mary Delany inspire me. Can you believe all of this beauty in lieu of the view of the loo?!


Denise @ frazzled JOY said...

Love these on black - very sophisticated. I am amazed that you can get access to them for free - they are beautiful!! Perfect installation!

cindy @ a curious gardener said...

Hi Pam,
What a beautiful idea and great instructions. So pretty and chic in her kitchen, she must be thrilled to swap out a view of a bathroom door!

I happened to have pinned some images a few days from a modern artist in San Francisco that does similar work by the name of Barbara Wyeth. Her work can be ordered in various media on Redbubble here...

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

I love black on black, the prints make such a statement grouped together! Thanks so much for the tutorial on how you printed them and also the framing cost breakdown! The framing looks very professional!!

Moni - Zuhaus at Home said...

Thanks so much for sharing this information and instruction....I love the prints! They are beautiful grouped together!

Leslie said...

Beautiful Pam and thanks for sharing the How To instructions:) Enjoy your day!

Andrea said...

These are absolutely gorgeous and I love your tips for printing and framing. I'll be pinning this, for sure.

Julia Konya said...

I had no idea you could get them for free. I have to check it out.
What a great idea and they look beautiful.

Vel Criste said...

Fantastic Pam!!!! Pinning right now!

jennifer smith said...

These are so beautiful. I cannot imagine that they are that easy. Really gorgeous and the black is so rich.

Nancy {at} powellbrower at home said...

This is a great post with history, how to's, costs and you make it easy for anyone to achieve this look! Great job as always Pam! Love these prints!
xo Nancy said...

That whole kitchen is just the best Pam! The prints are really striking. nice job!

Dana Frieling said...

I'm so impressed with your pixels, dpi, JPEG lingo. You sound smart, Wilma! ;) They turned out great, friend.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Thanks the prints and the black frames and matting are just stunning! Congrats on the #1 slot at "Wow"

Amber B (Simple Dwellings) said...

Wow, it looks amazing! Thanks so much for all of the info. to create my own. I have always loved botanical prints! :)

Mrs. DeVore said...

These were one of my favorite parts of the kitchen makeover, thanks for sharing your secret!

lynnmosher said...

These are beautiful! Thank you so much! I have one question: how do you find other images? I tried searching by subject (flowers) but came up empty. Thanks!

Jennifer McCracken said...

Thank you for introducing me to Mary Delany! All of her "paper mosaic" botanicals are terrific, as is your tutorial! I will have a difficult time choosing a few for myself!

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