Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tools of the Fiber Artist: Public Domain Images

I use the nature that surrounds me as inspiration for nearly all of my pieces in some way or another. My home is surrounded by trees, sky, squirrels, rabbits, deer, ducks, geese, bees, dragonflies and more.  I live just above a wetland preserve, which offers a beauty unlike any I've lived near before.  It's Minnesota, and while beautiful it doesn't offer everything. (No where does, right?)
So what if I have fabric that begs to be part of a mountain scene? Or deep ocean scene? Suppose it looks like space. I can not readily take a picture of those things. Luckily, there is an option! There are many government sites with public domain images available - a lot of them even categorize the images!

These images can easily be used as inspiration for art pieces! Check out some of the great pictures available out there:


Image ID: reef1041, NOAA's Coral Kingdom Collection
Location: Caribbean Sea
Photo Date: June 1990
Photographer: Dr. Anthony R. Picciolo, NOAA NODC
Image ID: wea00180, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Collection
Location: Near Houston, Texas
Photo Date: May 1972
Photographer: Blair Pittman
Credit: Environmental Protection Agency


Goddard Space Flight Center

Hubble Reopens Eye on the Universe

FWS - Fish and Wildlife Service:

Photo Credit: Dewhurst, Donna A. 
Photo Credit: Laubenstein, Ronald

AILS - Aimes Imaging Library System:

Date: 07/15/86
Ames National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex - NFAC; 80x120ft Wind Tunnel, drive fans during reconstruction process
As you can see, there are a wide variety of images available out there! I especially think the image just above would make a very interesting piece!

Here are some other sites that have public domain images:

Malaspina Glacier
Image taken 8/31/2000


  1. I love the Hubble site! I am glad you included it.

  2. These are great sites! Thank you for this posting.

  3. Great blog and a different source for inspiration. Thanks!