Author Archives: Beth Segmation

About Beth Segmation

Imagine the fun and challenge of painting-by-number - without the mess. This unique site provides a virtual coloring experience with lots of bells and whistles. Choose a category and level of difficulty, check out the tools (zoom, timer), and start the recreation of a masterpiece. Themes include holidays, historic figures, works by well-known artists, famous places, and so much more. You won't have to stretch to find a way to link this hands-on activity! Check out our store: www.segmation.com Sign up for FREE newsletter: http://www.segmation.com/community_newsletter.asp Visit our website: http://www.segmation.com Read our blog: http://segmation.wordpress.com Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/segmation SegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone: http://ax.itunes.apple.com/us/app/segplay-mobile/id395127581?mt=8

Color Symbolism in Medieval Christian Art

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Color Symbolism in Medieval Christian ArtAround 200 AD, color became a focal point in Christian art. In the beginning, each color’s meaning was taken from Ancient Greek and Roman interpretations, but soon the Bible became the color guide for Christian artists.

When the Roman Catholic Church began using color to represent liturgical seasons, five were chosen as standard: purple, white, black, red, and green. Years later, blue and gold were added. Later on, two more colors joined the list: vibrant orange, which represented courage and strength, and rich brown, the symbol of earth and humility.

These key colors and their variants are apparent in surviving pieces of medieval Christian art and religious iconography.

● Purple, a royal color since ancient times, is also associated with repentance. It is the liturgical color for Lent and Advent.

● White symbolizes innocence, purity, and virtue. To this day it remains the representative color for all of the Christian high Holy Days, such as Christmas and Easter.

● Black is regarded as the symbol of death and mourning, although in some instances it could represent power. Black is the color associated with Good Friday.

● Red is the color of Pentecost and symbolizes the Holy Spirit. During the Medieval period it represented the blood of Christian martyrs.

● Green glorifies the season of Epiphany. It celebrates fertility, nature, bounty, and hope.

● Yellow (gold) symbolizes hope, light, and purity. When combined with white, it is the symbolic color for the Easter season.

● Blue embodies heavenly grace. The Virgin Mary is often depicted wearing blue.

Color Symbolism in Medieval Christian Art 1During the Middle Ages, color and light became important mediums for artistic expression. Color in particular was a vehicle for illustrating a higher reality, so shading was discouraged in favor of pure color. On canvas, human skin was not flesh-colored, but a pearly and ethereal white. Blood was a life-rich red, and skies and lakes were more cerulean than blue. Mixing paint became an art form in itself, as artists tried to reproduce the desired hues as clearly as possible.

Although there was a system in place for color symbolism, it was not set in stone. Artists yielded to a natural impulse and added their own interpretations while paying lip service to the original standards. In the study halls and libraries, theologians and philosophers assigned additional meanings to each shade in the artists’ palette. It can make things confusing for modern art historians, especially when you take into consideration that the color symbolism of religious art found its way into secular art too. But a strong enough core system was in place to allow reasonable interpretation to be possible even today.

Read more Segmation blog posts about color symbolism:

The Stories Behind Holiday Colors

Colors Red and Purple: A History of Emotion

Art in Ancient Egypt

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Basic Color Theory – Color Matters

Color Wheel

The world is filled with infinite shades of color, from a candy-apple-red sports car to a smoldering orange sunset to the crisp green of springtime grass. The popular color wheel simplifies the shades into 12 distinct colors to help illustrate the variations.

Arranged in a circle with 12 sections, the wheel presents a visual representation of the primary colors in the following order: blue, blue/green, green, yellow/green, yellow, yellow/orange, orange, red/orange, red, red/purple, purple, blue/purple. The colors are arranged in a chromatic sequence, with complementary shades opposite one another. These are all of the standalone colors that cannot be created by mixing other hues. Secondary and tertiary hues can then be created by mixing three primary colors (traditionally red, yellow, and blue).

The color wheel is further segmented into active and passive hues. Active colors (reds, oranges, yellows) will appear as more dominant when placed against passive shades, while the passive colors (purples, blues, greens) appear to recede when viewed near the active ones.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Primary colors:

A Closer Look at Complementary Colors

Gender/Color Divide

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Colors of Cancun

What happens in Cancun doesn’t necessarily stay in Cancun. People love to share pictures of their Mexico vacations on their social networks. Throughout the blogosphere a common praise is repeated about Cancun: it is full of color.

    • Cancun Quintana Roo, Mex. © Aaron Rodriguez

      © Aaron Rodriguez

      I have never experienced sunset in this way before. The colors are simply delightful.

-        Worth a Thousand Words

    • This is how blue the water was, without help from photoshop…

-        Ever Lovely

    • The best way to appreciate [the peculiar colors of Cancun] is to rest on the beach, enjoying the nature around you, letting it amaze you with the most incredible panoramas.

-        Hyatt Regency Cancun

Natural Colors

Why are the colors of Cancun so enchanting? Some say, aside from beautiful sunsets and white sandy beaches, that Cancun is mainly water and jungle. Even though many visitors only see the tips of textured greens that exist in the jungle, they note how the shade of the jungle is a sharp contrast from the brilliant exposure of the ocean.

Cultural Colors

Plush foliage surrounds the ancient Mayan ruins and brings the history of Cancun to life. People visit these artifacts and are fascinated by the stories locals and tribesmen tell. The distinct look of Mexico’s native people is also rooted in color. Their brown skin, dark eyes and black hair are very distinct. Most carry the stories of Mayan culture with pride and some boast the green, red and white of the Mexican flag as well.

Oceanic Colors

Private Beach at Rui Caribe Cancun Mexico  © cgt

© cgt

Tourists tend to visit the ruins at certain times during their holiday but try to spend much of their time on the beach, too. The colors of Cancun’s water are rich blues. On Pink Shore’s blogger recently wrote, “…the blue water went on for days it was so beautiful!”

Even those who have yet to visit Cancun can attest to the fact that this destination is full of color. During springtime, social networks come alive with pictures posted from Cancun. It is one of the most popular spring break destinations for people in North America and other parts of the world. People seem drawn to Cancun for its warm weather and promise of relaxation, but those who truly experience the colors of Cancun are the ones who leave refreshed. Even though their holidays end, Cancun doesn’t easily leave them. The colors live on in their pictures and memories.

 

Read more Segmation blog posts about art, color and travel:

Why You Should Make Art When You Travel (www.segmation.com)

Travel Like an Artist

The World’s Favorite Color

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Colorful Flowers to Plant this Spring

Do April showers bring May flowers where you live? In many parts of the world, especially the United States, this is true. In some areas, flowers spring up with little help. They create breathtaking scenery throughout nature. You can also create a distinct backdrop by planting flowers of your choosing.

Flowers come in all shapes and sizes, literally. From sunflowers, which can grow beyond 12 feet tall to trailing calibrachoas, which are best hung, you will be able to choose the perfect flowers to make your scenery complete. There are no wrong flowers to pick when planning a garden, but there are some colorful choices Segmation is excited to see this season.

 Flowers In Bloom by Segmation

Here are four colorful flowers we hope to see this spring:

      1. Dahlias are dramatic flowers. Related to sunflowers and daisies, they are tall with full blooms. They can be seen in a multitude of bright colors (except blue) throughout the entire summer and into fall. These flowers are at home in Mexico, where they are the national flower.
      2. Clematis is actually a vine plant that reaches for the sun. With is roots planted deep in mulch and the support it needs for its delicate frame, clematis will climb, twist, curl and sprout new purple leaves.
      3. Daffodils are properly known as narcissus flowers. When they appear it is safe to say spring has sprung. In fact, from their appearance it looks like they want to announce it themselves. With their trumpet-esc bells, ruffling pedal collars and vibrant shades of yellow and orange, they are sure to catch everyone’s attention.
      4. Snapdragons bring afresh sense of color and fun to any garden. These flowers will develop into different bright shades as they take on the shape of a dragon’s mouth. This is why the flower properly known as an antirrhinum is now popularly known as snapdragons.

All this talk of flowers beckons the question: when will spring reach full bloom? It could be right around the corner or a ways off depending on where your live. But if you are craving the surrounding of plush flowers in full bloom, check local flower shows. Many cities, like San Diego, look forward to the upcoming floral exhibitions.

Flower Shows

Each year The San Diego Museum of Art hosts a fundraiser and flower show called, “Art Alive.” Unlike other flower shows, this year there will be over 100 “floral interpretations of famous artwork.” Also presented will be flowers inspired by the Spanish baroque architecture of the museum and its gardens. If you are in the area, this is going to be something you want to see with your own eyes.

No matter where you live, this is the season where you will want to notice the natural beauty of flowers. Whether you plant them yourself or enjoy the ones that spring up, enjoy the sight while you can. Blink and you might miss it.

Read more Segmation blog posts about out-of-the-box art:

Sunflowers are Summer’s Glory

Flowers in Bloom by www.segmation.com

Roses May Smell the Same, but Colors Make a Difference

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Can Trash Become Artistic Treasure?

scaled vector version of originalThe saying, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” seems as old as time. It is often said at garage sales and donation centers. For instance, a man might shout this when he finds the perfect 9 iron for 25 cents. Or, a woman when she finds a beautiful piece of artwork for pennies. Now, this statement is being proclaimed in art galleries around the world, and the trash being referenced is worth a whole lot more than a quarter.

From New York to Argentina and all the way to Rome, artists are proving trash is worth its weight in gold… and then some.

It wouldn’t be surprising if entrepreneur Justin Gignac could sell ice to Eskimos. After all, he has made a business out of selling trash to people all over the world. His company was not intentional but the by-product of a bet. In 2001 Gignac was an advocate for the concept of product packaging. He believed nicely packaged products would sell, even if the products were… well… trash.

He started creating NYC Garbage Cubes to prove this point. Gignac fills clear cubes with trash found on the streets and sells them for $50 per pop. He has sold over 1,400 of them. These NYC Garbage Cubes are believed to have made their ways into the homes of people in over 30 countries.

Unlike Gignac, nothing about Elisa Insua is packaged. The Argentinean artist describes her work as, “mixed media art.” To create a single piece she might combine hundreds of small items, like dice, pieces of jewelry, buttons and nails with a lot of out-of-the-box thinking. Insua puts these pieces together in creative ways and ultimately comes up with what she likes to call “resurrected trash.”

In Italy, one cleaning woman might find herself wishing trash would resurrect itself. An art exhibit in Bari included cookie crumbs scattered on the floor. It is easy to guess what happened to this display. She accidentally threw away an estimated $13,700 worth of artwork because she thought it was trash.

What one person sees as trash, another person considers treasure. Contemporary artwork is not always understood in its own time. Currently, the rising popularity of using trash as an art medium is anything but ordinary. In fact, it’s quite extraordinary. Who would have thought to collect and sell trash? Or use cookie crumbs in an art gallery exhibit? Perhaps Elisa Insua says it best with her term for the mixed art medium she loves. It is resurrected trash. In its new form, it is art.

Read more Segmation blog posts about out-of-the-box art:

Art Making from Unconventional Objects

Chalk Art Transforms the Sidewalk into a Canvas

Man Uses His Own Blood as an Art Medium

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Gender/Color Divide

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How many colors can you see? It’s easy to start rattling them off, but after a couple dozen, you may find yourself struggling to keep the list going. In reality, most of us are trichromats, which means we have three standard cones in our retinas to detect blue, green, and red. From there, our brains can discern about 1 million different shades made up of those three primary colors.

 

While you’re still reeling from that number, consider this: studies have shown that a small percentage of women are tetrachromats — in addition to the standard three cones in their retinas, they have an extra fourth cone that allows them to pick up a total of 100 million shades! That’s a whole lot of Crayolas.

Interestingly, men don’t have the potential for this color-detecting superpower. That’s because the extra gene is found on the X chromosome, and men have only one of those. Since women have two X chromosomes, there’s a rare possibility (2-3%) that they’ll have two types of red cones on each one.

In many cases, tetrachromats may not even realize their heightened sensitivity to color variations — until someone else points it out.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Gender artwork:

Blue is for Boys, Pink is for Girls

Do Men and Women See Colors Differently?

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Red Artwork is Worth Fortunes

 

The color red is loud. It makes statements and sends signals. But the impact it has on the world of contemporary art goes beyond trendsetting. People are trading their fortunes for predominately red artwork.

At a recent auction, Sotheby’s in London recognized a shocking trend: five of the six highest-selling masterpieces were mostly red.

Forbes contributor Danielle Rahm points out that this sale took place right before Valentine’s Day. However, it is hard to believe the romantic holiday could drum up the prices of red artwork to nearly 30 million dollars.

Alex Brancik head of Contemporary Art for Sotheby’s in London sheds light on this expensive trend. “Red is a color that incites passion. It’s the color of the sunset, it’s the color of blood,” he says. “When we’re pricing things we’re aware of the power of red.”

Putting feelings of romance and passion aside, what encouraged the buyer of Sotheby’s recent high seller (Wand by Gerhard Richter) to spend 28.7 million dollars on the piece? New sales numbers show that increased value of contemporary artwork infused with the color red may depend less on Valentine’s Day or emotional influences and more on the buyer’s cultural heritage.

Affluent Cultures Embrace the Color Red

To be more specific, affluent cultures may be the reason why certain pieces of contemporary art are selling high.

Countries all over the world embrace the color red. A number of these nations are located in Asia. In China, for instance, red is synonymous with luck and joy. In addition, on special occasions, Chinese nationals extend their cultural roots by offering a monetary gift known as a “red envelope.”

Considering the positive message red sends, it is understandable why red artwork may be appealing to people who live in China. In fact, Christie’s auction house reported that “…one in three of its customers were new in 2013, many of whom came from emerging markets such as China,” and “Sotheby’s estimates that China now accounts for $14 billion of the $58 billion global art market.” Sales reports go onto claim that there was a 36 percent increase of art sales in Asia and the Middle East. Another interesting fact shows the rate at which European’s purchase art dropped by 12 percent while the Americas, Hong Kong and Dubai all increased their fine art spending.

Nevertheless, China is viewed as playing a prominent role in the current health of the contemporary art market. An Associated Press article claims that China is “one reason the art market has rebounded from the global financial crisis of 2008.” People with new affluence in China are collecting contemporary artwork and may be encouraging art trends more than any color could alone.

While red has proven emotional draws and psychological intrigue, some wonder if growing affluence in China is the reason why red artwork is worth a fortune.

Read more Segmation blog posts about red artwork:

The Color Red and its Many Meanings

A Closer Look at the Color Red

Red and Green are an Unlikely Pair

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Mozilla is human

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A penny for your thoughts?

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Originally posted on commonspace:

A few days ago I wrote: Mozilla is messy . For better and for worse, the week’s events showed how true that is.

Looking back at the past week, this also comes to mind: Mozilla is human. In all the best and worst ways. With all the struggle and all the inspiration. Mozilla is very very human.

On the inspiration part, I need to say: Brendan Eich is one of the most inspiring humans that I have ever met. He is a true hero for many of us. He invented a programming language that is the heart and soul of the most open communications system the world has ever known. He led a band of brilliant engineers and activists who freed the internet from the grip of Microsoft. And, one-on-one, in his odd and brilliant ways, he helped and advised so many of us as we put our own hearts and souls into building…

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The Style and Poise of a Colonial American Portrait Painter

www.segmation.comOther than his large body of work, not much is known about Joseph Blackburn. The 18th century English portrait painter left the world with over 150 documented works of art, which allow us to learn about the artistic style of a man who, in the mid-1700s gained notoriety and esteem on two continents.

How he developed his techniques is unknown. There is no record of him doing an apprenticeship to jumpstart his career. His style seemed to be adopted from a drypoint tone method known as mezzotint. He combined this approach with portrait poses that were comparable to baroque and rococo artists like Sir Godfrey Kneller, Sir Peter Lely and Thomas Hudson. Regardless, his style was sought out by wealthy elite as well as merchants, politicians, and military officers; in a seven year span (1755-1762) he received over 60 commissions.

To his patrons, Blackburn was known for accentuating grace and poise. This was a high value to prosperous families who stood at the helm of the first industrial revolution. Blackburn’s style and use of pastel colors increased the appearances of his subjects. The portraitist had a unique ability to bring his paintings to life by adding fine details. For instance, he portrayed silk, lace, strands of pearls, and vases with great attention. He has many surviving works that poignantly express the traits of beautiful women. By sitting ladies in fancy settings with lavish outfits and accessories, he exaggerated their wealth. In addition, he used natural, textured settings as backdrops. Sometimes he would use garden backgrounds, which may have been common in English art but seemed new to America.

Beyond the appeal of his style, patrons were drawn to Blackburn’s character. He carried himself in a graceful manner just like the people he would paint. He was also clever and engaging in conversation which made him popular wherever he went. It seems that his likeability led to success in England, parts of America and other areas of the developing world. In the course of a decade he spent time in Bermuda, Newport, Boston and Portsmouth.

Even though his personality helped his success, his style and settings were the dominate reasons people sought his services. When arriving in America, he had knowledge of London fashion. He also brought with him many techniques that had not yet been seen. At the time, colonies were transitioning from a predominantly puritan lifestyle. Blackburn’s art was infused with imagination, movement, light colors, lavish décor, extravagant outfits and natural elements. Moving into the 19th century, this approach grew in popularity.www.segmation.wordpress.com

When Blackburn returned to England at the twilight of his career, people continued to follow the style he brought to the American colonies. A man whom Blackburn was able to influence gained his own fame at this time. John Singleton Copley grasped Blackburn’s rococo style and some say he executed portraits better than Blackburn.

Leaving Copley to extend his lavish style throughout developing America, Blackburn went home to England in 1763. Unfortunately, he quickly found that his rococo style was no longer relevant in areas like London. Still, he remained true to his lavish style and wanderlust. He completed another 16 portraits in England, Wales and Dublin.

Despite the small amount of information recorded on Joseph Blackburn, it is necessary to use his artwork to weave together the story of his life and success. With style and personality he attained a fine life. Whether he was in England or America, he was always poised for success.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Joseph Blackburn’s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=BLK. Also, Segmation is proud to offer 21 digital Joseph Blackburn patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 21 Joseph Blackburn Patterns Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

Source:

Worchester Art Museum

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:

Robert Henri – American Portrait Artist and Teacher

William Merritt Chase – American Impressionist Painter


Thanksgiving Scenes Influences Art


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Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~Maya Angelou

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Nice art and quote together! What a beautiful combination!

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Rainbow Revolution Abstract Pattern Artwork by Omaste Witkowski owFotoGrafik.com

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Rainbow Revolution

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