An Artist’s Story of Taking Risks and Staying Determined

Like many artists, Alexis Lawson found herself at a fork in the road. One path boasted little brush, bright lighting, and a trail that went as far as the eye could see. This was the path of education; after finishing her schooling, she would become a teacher with a salary, pension, and set vacation days. The other path was barely visible, covered with thick foliage and debris. She couldn’t see where it led beyond a couple steps. This was the path of professional photography.

Alexis took the path less traveled. Shortly after her daughter was born, about five years ago, she decided to avoid the safe route and go out on a limb. She became a professional photographer.

Since making this decision, the artist’s path has taken Alexis on a journey of discovery. As she progressed in her career, she experienced many changes. For instance, Alexis’s photography career started with taking pictures of children and families. Today, Alexis specializes in couture female portraiture.

The Palm Beach based photographer was turned onto glamour photography by Sue Bryce, the portrait photographer behind the Olay Best Beautiful Stories. To follow in Bryce’s footsteps, Alexis signed up for mentorships and workshops with photographers who specialized in shooting “glamour shots.” Alexis admits that photographing women as if they were Vogue cover models “hit home” with her. It was this feeling and her admiration for women—who, like her, managed careers, homes, and families—that prompted her to shine a light on their inner and outer beauty.

After realizing this, Alexis stepped out onto another limb. She turned the back room of her home into a photography studio. Even though there was no guarantee people would come into this space or solicit her services, she took the chance and made a massive renovation.

With a studio in place, Alexis knew it was up to her to bring in women to photograph. She began pounding the pavement, working 50 hours a week to network and market her unique services. All the while, Alexis knew that what she told the women she photographed applied to her, too. “Be true to yourself and stick to it,” she would say.

Like many artists, Alexis had talent. But beyond talent, she worked hard to make her dreams come true. The evolution of her career involved taking risks, working hard, and overcoming obstacles. As she took time to navigate the rocky terrain of the path she chose, she remained focused on the most important thing: being true to the artist inside her.

Today, Alexis Lawson can be found in Palm Beach, shooting couture photographs from her in-home studio. Visit Alexis’s website to see an extensive display of her photography: http://www.alexislawsoncreative.com/.

If you want to be a professional artist, you can. Take the path less travel. Step out onto a limb and work hard to make your dreams reality. And take Alexis’s advice: Be true to yourself and stick to it.

Colorful Jewelry Inspired by Classic Art

Art and jewelry merge at this year’s Biennale des Antiquaires. At this biannual event, collectors are presented with high fashion jewelry created by top designers. The jewelry is rare because designers craft pieces to reflect famous artwork. To create these pieces, jewelers are pulling their inspiration from artists like Impressionist painter, Monet and Dutch artist, Mondrian. The result is a unique set of designs driven by the tastes and preferences of modern art’s most significant influences.

~Claire Dévé-Rakoff is creative director at Chaumet. She insists that color will take precedence over stones this year. Her palate was comprised of soft pastels pulled straight from the Impressionist era. In fact, she directly references Claude Monet when mentioning Chaumet’s theme of light and water. She is especially interested in the way light and water play together and the color combinations that are created as a result; yellow diamond and blue sapphire, for example.

~Chanel also plays with light in its Sunset collection. The work conjures the emotion and calm of pink and golden sunsets. White diamonds and pink sapphires mix with pastel opals to imitate the streaks of color seen at dusk. Their centerpiece, a necklace of white and pink gold, surrounds a sapphire with subtle hints of orange.

~A designer returning to the show this year, Wallace Chan of Hong Kong, found inspiration in the work of Piet Mondrian. Chan’s attraction to geometric shapes and clean lines was due to, what he called, “a quest for purity.” Bright green garnets and tourmalines contrast pink rubelittes and sapphires in a gorgeous ring.

~A newcomer to The Biennale, Giampierro Bodino, calls on Italian influences and colors, particularly those of Renaissance painter, Sandro Botticelli. No doubt there’s a bit of national pride behind the Milanese designer’s work, as Italy, perhaps more than any other country, has a rich heritage of art and culture. Pastels and vibrant colors are present here, providing beautiful combinations. A cuff designed by Bodino is made up of green chyroprase which sits inside purple sapphires and diamonds of white gold. Another cuff features light pink opals set against pink sapphires and diamonds, mounted in rose gold.

It is a year of new influences at the 2014 Biennale des Antiquaires. Well, new influences that, at the same time, happen to be old. Top designers found a wealth of inspiration for color and tone in the works of famous artists of the past. This inspiration is credited with producing collections of vibrancy, elegance, and simplicity. It’s a communication between the arts. Indeed, it’s like a miniature renaissance in jewelry.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Basic Color Theory – Color Matters

Can Color Exist in the Dark?

The Psychology of Color

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Segmation

Join us on FacebookSegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

www.segmation.com

James Ostrer’s Junk Food Art

 
Obesity is considered a major health crisis in the United States and many other countries. According to the Food Research and Action Center, “Obesity rates have more than doubled” since the 1970s. It has also been reported that two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight or obese.

While media pundits and nutritional scientists speculate the cause of obesity, one source of the problem seems apparent: junk food.

Humans love junk food. And many of us are addicted to it (which some claim is the food industry’s goal.) When considering this truth, it is safe to say that junk food has changed the face of our culture.

One artist, photographer James Ostrer decided to explore this phenomenon with his latest series, entitled, “Wotsit All About?”

If you called the series horrific, he might not mind. Using junk food, he produced some of the most disturbing images you can imagine. Monsters.

Coping With Junk

At an early age, James Ostrer’s parents divorced. It was a troubling time for him and his parents did what they could to lift their child’s spirits. His father, in particular, thought Happy Meal’s would work. Therefore, whenever Ostrer’s father picked him up for the week, he started things off with a trip to McDonald’s.

Unfortunately, instead of lifting Ostrer’s mood, this tradition brought on a bad habit. Ostrer began turning to junk food as a way to cope with stress. As he got older, Ostrer noticed his health was in decline. This got him thinking about how his relationship with junk food negatively impacted his life. He also began to reflect on how junk food impacts the world. That was when inspiration struck.

Happy Meal Monsters

The result was a series of portraits that showcased grotesque monsters made entirely of junk foods like candy, burgers, and chocolate. Ostrer used junk food as material to completely cover his models from head to toe. After eight hours in the “makeup” chair, each monster emerged looking horrifying and disturbing. This was Ostrer’s goal. The photographer successfully made the point that our relationship with junk food is indeed horrifying, grotesque, and disturbing.

Ostrer also titles his photographs to enrich his message. Each one contains the letters, “EF,” followed by a number. “EF” stands for “emotional fossil.” This structure mirrors what is called “E numbers.” The Food Standards Agency’s code for what are considered safe additives. The reviews are strict but somehow, fast food restaurants keep managing to receive passing grades.

Ostrer’s monsters have their own E numbers, indicating that they are “safe.” But Ostrer second guesses their labels by asking, “Are these monsters safe?”

Is Junk Food Safe?

Health is a global issue and junk food is too, especially in America. More often than not, what seems harmless turns out to be destructive. James Ostrer’s work reflects this fact with a bit of a twisted view. Ostrer tells us these junk food monsters are on the loose, but instead of running from them, we invite them into our bodies every day.

By viewing Ostrer’s photographs, we are invited into his perspective; a perspective that he hopes will alter the trends of junk food.

Read more Segmation blog posts about food art:

Food Never Looked So Good

Coloring Each Season with Healthy Food

Thanksgiving Scenes Influences Art

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Segmation

Join us on FacebookSegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

www.segmation.com

COLORI – The Vibrancy of Philanthropy

 

colori logoYour compassion, drive, and creativity can make a difference in your community and the world. When you use your unique skill set and the tools that are at your disposal, there are no limits on how you can give back to your community.

One woman who gives back in a creative way is Lori Samuels. As the founder of the Colori Design shop in San Marino, Samuels uses her love for color to advance an important group of young people.

A Colorful Sojourn

Her philanthropic journey began when visiting her son in Italy. There, Lori Samuels was inspired by the quality of leather goods and desk accessories. She figured there was a market for such quality items in Los Angeles. Her instinct was correct.

After the overwhelming success of a trunk show for friends, she decided to go bigger and set up a shop on Mission Street, a neighborhood known for its old world furniture shops and fine French restaurants. The products in her shop are diverse (bracelets, necklaces, earrings, pendants, rings, keychains, leather shoes, and much more) but they all hold one thing in common: rich color.

“I love color, and I love giving back,” Samuels said. And it shows. All of the shop’s items are rich and vibrant. The desk accessories and leather goods come in colors that are meant to brighten your mood and put a positive spin on life.

And it is in that colorful positivity that Samuels gives back to her community. A substantial portion of Colori’s sales goes to helping children with special needs.

Helping The Help Group

The Help Group was founded in 1975, and is devoted to helping children with learning disabilities and developmental issues. It offers specialized classes for grades K-12, as well as therapy services for children and families. They believe in each person’s potential and encourage productivity.

Lori Samuels believes in their potential, too. A percentage of every sale at Colori goes to helping with the Help Group, providing a steady stream of aid to this worthy cause. This has allowed The Help Group to continue its campaign of public awareness, training, and education. To date, they have 900 staff members and seven campuses located in Los Angeles.

Who could imagine that, in using colorful handbags, jewelry, and leather products, Lori Samuels would be able to offer bright, enriching futures for countless children, as well as shoppers.

Whether it’s enriching a person’s life with a colorful handbag, or brightening up the life of a struggling child, Lori Samuels is on the right track. Using her passion and her abilities, she is giving back to her community, making her life and the lives of those around her a little brighter.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

A Color Manual Ahead of its Time

Cutting Edge Art Blog Inspired by Current Events

Vehicle Safety and Car Color

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Segmation

Join us on FacebookSegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

www.segmation.com

Jan Gossaert – A Great Flemish Painter of Antiquity

The Renaissance style found in Jan Gossaert’s (1478 – 1532) paintings precedes him and defines him. Only a few of his most poignant works exist today, and the information that remains about his personal life is significantly limited. Even his correct name is shrouded with mystery; he may have been known as Jan Mabuse or Jennyn van Hennegouwe.

Today, nearly five centuries since his death, he is commonly called Jan Gossaert.

www.segmation.com

Despite a small number of his commissions surviving throughout the years and little commentary being left by contemporary artists, Gossaert has been revered as one of the greatest painters of antiquity and regarded (in the 1500s) as the “nostrae aetatis Apellum” or the “Appelles of our age.” (Apelless of Kos was an infamous Grecian painter from the middle of the second century.)

It is believed that Gossaert’s style developed as he mimicked great artists who came before him. All the while, the work he produced greatly influenced artist who followed in his footsteps.

www.segmation.comAs with many Renaissance artists, Gossaert concentrated on biblical themes. Specifically, he painted scenes that depicted Adam and Eve, The Virgin and Child and the Crucifixion. He also breathed life into mythological themes and painted many of his characters nude. In doing this, it appears Gossaert approached painting historical and mythological figures with the fine detail and acuity of a sculptor.

In addition to the detail he put into painting characters, he also concentrated on the architectural backgrounds of his paintings. They often included many large, detailed structures and ornate décor.

Much of his style is believed to come from his time training at the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp. Antwerp was known for producing artists that had stylistic traits including, “cluttered compositions, fantastic architecture, elegant, exaggerated poses of attenuated figures, swirling draperies, and excessive embellishments of all kinds.”

Many of Gossaert’s paintings appear to take the traits of other famous artists like Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. It is possible that Memling inspired Gossaert’s portraits of Mary Magdalen and Jean Carondelet.

Before being commissioned by Philip of Burgundy, who asked him to paint murals for the church of Middleburg, Gossaert had a well-known piece hang on the high altar of Tongerlo Abbey, titled, “Descent from the Cross.” While working for Philip of Burgundy, Gossaert accompanied him on a trip to Italy where he adopted many stylistic techniques of the Leonardeques. More so, an Italian journey became part of Flemish custom, especially for painters.

Three signed paintings exist in the time closely following Gossaert’s trip to Italy. They include Neptune and Amphitrite of 1516, the Madonna, and a portrait of Jean Carondelet of 1517.

After the death of Philip of Burgundy in 1524 he found himself connected to Henry III and his wife Mencía de Mendoza. Some of Gossaert’s most famous work may have found its way into Mendoza’s art collections. Virgin and Child in a Landscape of 1531 may be been titled as “Joanyn de Marbug” in one of her inventories. Also, Christ on the Cold Stone of 1530 was also believed to be in her possession.

When looking for information about Jan Gossaert in established art resources of today, it is hard to find agreeable facts. What is known about this Flemmish painter is the style he used and the paintings brought to life. Like other Renaissance painters, Gossaert has work that has been etched into history. Today, his work inspires artists by showing his grandiose approach to architecture, care for ornate details and statuesque characters.

Many facts about Jan Gossaert’s life remain a mystery but in legacy he lives on as a great painter of antiquity.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Joaquín Gossaert ‘s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=GOS . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 27 digital Joaquín Gossaert patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 27 Joaquín Gossaert Flemish patterns. Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:
Joaquín Sorolla – The World-Renowned Spanish Painter

Robert Delaunay, Blazing a Colorful Trail

The Reluctant Educator and Revered Artist, Emil Carlsen”

Sources:

Jan Gossaert Wikipedia

Jan Gossaert

Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Segmation

Join us on SegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

www.segmation.com

See Color Changing Leaves Before They Fall

Many people claim fall is their favorite season, and it’s easy to see why. With the right balance of warm and cool air, the temperature is comfortable and invigorating. It’s a time for cozy sweaters and nighttime bonfires. Halloween is around the corner; jack-o-lanterns glow in the night. But one of the defining characteristics of fall is its falling leaves.

Trees shed their leaves when it begins to get cold. But before they can get crisp and drop, leaves go through a gorgeous metamorphosis of color, a shifting balance of red, orange, and yellow.

Fall’s beauty is undeniable. Some North American locales boast especially beautiful fall foliage, where lush forest areas turn into multicolored tapestries when temperatures begin to dip. These are the destinations that epitomize fall.

If you want to experience fall for all it is worth, check out the five locations listed below. They offer sights that are sure to take your breath away.

Michigan

Michigan has a reputation for hosting beautiful autumn seasons. In the Upper Peninsula, for instance, there are 46,000 acres of thick forest in the Tahquamenon Falls State Park alone. Tahquamenon contains several trails for hikers to explore the scenery, and also provides shuttle services to get around easily.

Vermont

A small state packed with dense forests, Vermont has one of the most beautiful autumns around. The town of Burke recognizes this with their annual Foliage Festival. This is a great time for anyone looking to indulge in traditional fall activities, such as bobbing for apples, and hayrides. It’s a great time for the kids; and it’s a great way to appreciate fall’s beauty.

Oregon

Oregon is a perfect place for someone who loves to hike. It’s famous for its forests. In fall, however, Oregon is a perfect place for anyone, hiker or not. The state is quite eco-friendly, which has helped nourish and maintain its greenery. Multnomah Falls is a great spot to take in the sights, as is the famous Japanese Gardens.

Missouri

Especially nice in October, Missouri may surprise you as a destination that hosts beautiful falls. While a number of Americans envision falls in New England and along the East Coast, Missouri sits smack dab in the middle of the states. Still, the Ozark mountain range is famous for its foliage, and a hike through it provides a tour of some of America’s most breathtaking scenery.

Quebec

Take a trip north of the Canadian border and travel towards Quebec. This province will leave you breathless. Montreal is a good place to start, or, if you feel more comfortable on snow skis, try Mont Tremblant. You’ll be amazed at just how much forest runs through Quebec. It’s even more amazing to see it overcome by the gorgeous, wonderful autumn painted landscapes.

These locations boast some of the very best fall seasons North America has to offer. But, of course, you can enjoy fall from anywhere. Take a moment to breathe in crisp air and enjoy the colorful changes. The leaves will fall soon enough. Enjoy autumn while you can.

Read more Segmation blog posts about seasonal colors:

Coloring Each Season with Healthy Food

Colors Solve the “Monster Mash” Mystery

The Stories Behind Holiday Colors

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Segmation

Join us on FacebookSegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

www.segmation.com

The Colors of Fall: 5 Shades for a Stylish Season

Fall is rich in color. Changing leaves and autumn décor surrounds us with vibrant scenery. Many people like these colors so much, they choose to infuse their wardrobes with fall colors, too.

Most of the time, traditional fall colors include burnt oranges, rusty browns and deep reds. But for 2014, designers have opted for a diverse, playful palette.

Here are the five colors that will have you looking stylish and turning heads this season:

  1. Gray

A strong neutral, gray can be worn from head to toe for a classy, sophisticated look. It’s strongest however when complemented by a drop of color. Think of an orange belt, for instance, or a plum blouse beneath a gray coat. Such combinations allow for a subdue look that still stands out.

The trick is finding the right shade of gray. You will want to find something that matches your complexion. For instance, a blond with light skin tone may want to go with something soft and pale, while brunettes may choose deep tones, like charcoal.

  1. Orchid

Radiant orchid is 2014’s Pantone Color of the Year, making it a top color choice for every season.

Orchid is a fun color to play with, allowing for many creative options. Have fun trying them out. One combination sure to pop is orchid and cognac. The look is elegant and classy, striking and unexpected.

  1. Orange

More often than not, orange seems to be the color that defines fall. However, just because it is widely accepted doesn’t mean that it is easy to pull off. As with gray, the secret to orange is skin tone. Match the right shade of orange with your unique coloring.

Also, remember that a little orange goes a long way. An orange belt. An orange handbag. The effect this accent color has can be striking.

  1. Green

The color green is all around us. Look at nature for a second. There are millions of different colored flowers, all with green leaves and stems. Bright forest green is particularly in fashion this year.

When choosing outfits that include forest green, use contrasting colors to complement it. Think navy. Think plum. You definitely don’t want your colors to clash, and green is extra tricky in this regard. If you go soft with green, go deep with your complementary color, and vice versa. An outfit sure to win is green combined with gray flannel or tweed.

  1. Yellow

Don’t shy away from yellow this year. It is the colorful touch you need to brighten up this season. But subtlety is important; don’t go overboard. Know that yellow is especially effective as an accessory.

Yellow has an interesting effect on people’s minds. It’s strongly associated with laughter, happiness, and the sun. These associations can affect our moods and perceptions. Therefore, wearing yellow may give you the ability to brighten people’s days in more ways than one.

These five colors are not your only options for fall, of course. When you wear colors that compliment your skin tone and natural coloring, anything can go. Get experimental and have a little fun. Use the above tips to get started, but add your own flair. Fall 2014 is going to be a great season for the daring stylist.

Read more Segmation blog posts about fall colors:

Leaf Art in your Backyard

Ideas for Creating Halloween Art

Reviving Art as the Heart of Education

Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Segmation

Join us on SegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

www.segmation.com