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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: https://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

Artist Empowers Humanity by Reinventing Classic Portraits

images-1Artist Kehinde Wiley is restoring power and respect to humanity through art. How? By reinventing classic portraits in a way that honors black individuals. Wiley believes art—particularly portraiture—is power. He told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “What is portraiture? It’s choice. It’s the ability to position your body in the world for the world to celebrate you on your own terms.” With stunning vulnerability and bravery, Wiley reworks classic paintings so that they include black and brown-skinned people as the main subjects. For example, Wiley reinterpreted Jacques-Louis David’s portrait of Napoleon crossing the Alps by replacing Napoleon with a camouflage-clad black man. The made-over portrait places the black man in the same position of influence that Napoleon held. Now, that’s power.

The True Role of an Artist

What is an artist’s role in society? Should artists primarily make things look better, prettier? Kehinde Wiley doesn’t think so. He believes artists should think about “what they can do to start a broader conversation about presence and imminence and the desire to be seen as respected images-2and beautiful.” According to Wiley, an artist’s role in society should be one that facilitates the redemption of the beauty of humanity, regardless of race. That’s why he’s pouring his blood, sweat and tears into transforming masterpiece paintings into works of art that feature individuals of black and brown skin tones. Wiley says, “I understand blackness from the inside out. What my goal is, is to allow the world to see the humanity that I know personally to be the truth.”

Kehinde Wiley Makes Mugshots Beautiful

Mugshots are not typically thought of as beautiful; they are most commonly associated with shame and punishment. However, Kehinde Wiley sees them as something entirely different: a type of portraiture. imagesWiley turns mugshots into portraits that subtly broadcast a person’s vulnerabilities, fears and dreams. This is just another way he is displaying the humanness and intrinsic importance of people who are sometimes overlooked by society. Wiley refuses to overlook these individuals. He wants the world to see them for who they really are: humans who deserve to be respected and understood. Kehinde Wiley has a pretty good idea of why he is alive and what he was born to do. He says, “My job is to walk through the streets, find someone who’s minding their own business, trying to get to work, stopping them — the next thing you know, they’re hanging on a great museum throughout the world, and it allows us to slow down and to say yes to these people, yes to these experiences, yes to these stories.” Please note: the photos featured in this blog post are NOT the property of Segmation.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Artists Bring the Streets To Life with 3D Art

The World’s First Tetrachromat Artist

An Artist’s Story of Taking Risks and Staying Determined

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Should You Become a Professional Artist?

images-1Have you ever dreamed about becoming a professional artist who makes a living creating art full-time? If so, you are not alone; thousands of artists all over the world desire the exact same thing. If you’ve ever seriously considered becoming a full-time artist and voiced your desire, you have probably heard some negative comments from others (and thought them yourself). Have you ever heard or thought the follow statements?

“You are too old to start a new career.”

“There is no financial stability in the field of art.”

“You are not talented enough to create art professionally.”

“You don’t have enough education to be an artist.”

“You are not a risk taker.”

These types of declarations are dream killers. Furthermore, they are often false. If your deepest desire is to become a professional artist, today is the day to consider taking steps in that direction.

How Badly Do You Want to Create Art Professionally?

Before you can make the decision to become a professional artist, you first have to gauge your desire to create art. How badly do you want to create art full-time? If you fall asleep and wake up thinking about art, you should probably pursue a career in the art field. If creating art consumes your mind, that’s a good sign you’re a professional artist-to-be.

Without a doubt, the first step in becoming a full-time artist is to simply make a decision to do so. In order to make such a decision, ask yourself the following question: “If I do not attempt to become a professional artist, will I sincerely regret it?” If your answer is yes, taking steps toward creating art for a living is probably the best choice you can make.

How to Overcome Your Fears

images-2Once you decide to become a professional artist, expect oppositional thoughts that breed fear to flood your mind. The way you can fight fear is by becoming educated and challenging your negative beliefs.

One of the biggest concerns of adults considering pursuing art is their age; they believe that because they are not in their 20s they are disqualified from becoming professional artists. If this is your concern, consider that before Paul Gauguin became a painter he was a stockbroker for over 10 years. He was probably terrified to leave his established career and attempt to create art for a living as grown man. However, he didn’t let the fact that he was starting an art career late in the game keep him from starting at all. Imagine what the world would have been deprived of had he not had trusted himself enough to step into the unknown for passion’s sake.

Essential Reading for the Aspiring Artist

If you’re serious about becoming a professional artist, there are two books that will likely be very helpful to you. One is Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. The other is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. These books will infuse you with hope and give you the tools you need to challenge your limiting beliefs. It may also be a wise move to meet with a counselor or life coach who can help you make a career plan and take realistic steps toward your dream.

If you are still deliberating about whether or not you should take the journey of becoming a full-time artist, know that even if you fail at your endeavor, at least you will have tried and will have no regrets. Remember, risk is always met with reward.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Inspirational Tips to Boost your Artistic Creativity

More Marketing Tips for Artists

Graphic Designer Creates a Different TYPE of Art

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Famous Historical Artists Who Loved Spring

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Your favorite season says a lot about you. For example, those who favor fall are often contented creatures who become excited by the simple pleasures of life. Summer lends itself to people who are outgoing and love to be with others. Winter is usually held dear by those who are introverted, pensive and prefer a good book to a wild party. Finally, Spring is often beloved by individuals who seek change, are creative and are deeply moved by beauty.

There are several famous historical artists who seemingly preferred Spring above all other seasons. This assumed preference is made evident in their multiple pieces of artwork featuring Spring-related themes. We like to believe Monet and Renoir adored Spring in all its glory.

Monet’s Paintings Reveal His Affinity for the Season of New Beginnings

images-2Artist Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) was more than just a founder of French Impressionist painting; he was also a lover of nature. The earth was Monet’s muse, and he obviously took great delight in painting Springtime scenes. One of his most famous Spring-related pieces is simply titled Le Printemps (the Spring) and was completed in 1886. The piece depicts two women dreamily sitting beneath a tree that is freshly blooming. Another is Le Printemps (auprès de Vétheuil), painted in 1880. This piece is simple and quite understated, though no less breathtaking than any of Monet’s works. Fields in Spring is another enchanting piece that features a parasol-covered lady drifting through a Springtime field filled with wildflowers. In all three paintings, many cool-toned colors are used, creating the effect of a refreshing Spring breeze. These paintings are just a small sampling of the Spring-themed works of art Monet created in his lifetime.

Renoir: Another Lover of Spring

imagesMonet wasn’t the only Impressionist painter to prefer the Spring season; Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) did also. Spring Bouquet is perhaps his most famed piece of Spring-themed artwork. Spring Bouquet, completed in 1866, appears more in-focus that our friend Monet’s artwork. This exquisite painting features crisp, cool colors that perfectly animate the flowers represented in the piece. Other beloved Spring-related works of art created by Renoir include Spring Landscape and Spring at Chatou (1872).

Speaking of historical artists, have you seen our new digital paint-by-number Historical Figures pattern sets? Designed for use on a smart phone or tablet, Historical Figures 1, 2 and 3 are cheap, amazingly fun, and bring art right to your fingertips. Check them out by downloading our FREE SegPlay Mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play. Use the comments section below to let us know how much you like these new patterns!

Of all the Spring-themed works of art mentioned in this article, which do you like best? Can you think of other famous historical artists who seemed to favor Springtime?

Claude Monet – Founder of French Impressionism

The Expressive Vincent van Gogh

Camille Pissarro – Father of Impressionism

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Cinderella’s Hand Painted Wedding Gown is a Work of Art


imagesUnless you are totally disconnected from all types of media, you are probably aware of Disney’s recent release of its live-action romantic film, Cinderella. To say the movie is a success is a gross understatement; the film has thus far claimed about $500 million worldwide. Obviously, there is something about Cinderella that the whole world loves.

While there are various reasons both children and adults adore Disney’s recent epic movie, art lovers are captured by the sensational costumes displayed in the film. The costumes, designed by Sandy Powell, are true masterpieces that, quite simply, bring the film to an unsurpassed level of artistry.

Sandy Powell’s Exquisite Costumes Dazzle Moviegoers

imagesSandy Powell, a three-time Oscar winning costume designer, is no stranger to transforming mere clothing into works of art. To create the costumes for Cinderella, Powell looked to the styles of the 1950s and the 19th Century for inspiration. (These were the time periods that inspired the illustrations for Disney’s 65-year-old cartoon version of Cinderella. Powell drew from the same stylistic eras in order to give the modern Cinderella a distinctly Disney flavor.) Powell commented, “I wanted the costumes to be bold and have an explosion of color as if it were a picture book…but at the same time, I wanted the clothes to be true to each character and believable.”

The Wicked Stepmother Stands Out in Gowns Fit for a Queen

If you think Cinderella’s wicked stepmother was dressed shabbily to express her malicious character, think again. Cate Blanchett, who played Ella’s infamous stepmother, was a human canvas for some of the most stunning displays of costume artwork ever created. Speaking of Blanchett’s character, Powell commented that it is always fun to dress the bad guy, whereas the good guy is typically the most difficult to design for.

Cinderella’s Wedding Gown, an Artistic Masterpiece

While Blanchett’s costumes are remarkable, they in no way upstage Lily James’s costumes  images(James is the young actress who played Cinderella). For the famous gown that Ella enters the ball wearing, Powell designed a beautiful gossamer dress featuring shades of lavender, blue and turquoise. To add to the gown’s enchantment, tiny butterflies were sewn onto the bodice, giving the dress a touch of whimsy.

While all the costumes in Disney’s Cinderella were spectacular, none were more so than Ella’s wedding gown. At first glance, the long-sleeve beige colored gown appears to be somewhat simple (Powell wanted it to express Ella’s innocence). But, take a closer look and you’ll observe painstaking attention to detail. Once the seamstresses were done constructing the gown, “It was given to the artists who intricately hand painted flowers onto the gown. It took 16 people and nearly 550 hours to complete the dress.” Layer upon layer of fabric was hand painted until the desired effect of absolute costume magic was achieved. All things considered, Cinderella’s wedding gown is no less than a work of fine art that will undoubtedly touch fans for generations.

Do you see costumes as works of art? What film features costumes that inspire you as an artist? Share with us – we’d love to hear from you!

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

When Art Sells Art

Fabulous Floral Designs with Painted Counterparts Makes Art Alive

French Floral and Portrait Painter – Henri Fantin-Latour

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Why Degas Loved Painting Dancers

Have you ever wondered why Degas loved painting dancers? Was he was captivated by the graceful movements ballerinas so perfectly execute? Did the excellence of their craft birthed from years of dedication to practice remind him of his own artistic journey? Thanks to historians and researchers, the answers to these questions are becoming demystified.

images-1Half of Degas’ Works are Centered Around Ballerinas

Known as “the painter of dancing girls,” Edgar Degas helped establish Impressionism. However, he preferred to be recognized as a realist painter. Early in his career Degas wanted to be a history painter, but in his thirties he became primarily a classical painter of modern life. At 39 years old, just a few years after his transition out of history painting, he began painting, sculpting and sketching dancers. Over half the works of Edgar Degas are inspired by ballet.

The Painter’s Love for Modern Realism and Classical Beauty Drew Him to Ballet

images-2It’s possible that Degas stumbled upon his obsession with ballet on account of sheer curiosity. According to Smithsonian Magazine’s Paul Trachtman, “At the ballet Degas found a world that excited both his taste for classical beauty and his eye for modern realism.” Trachtman goes on to explain that Degas spent time in the classrooms and wings of the Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Ballet. It was in those wings and classrooms that the artist fell in love with ballet and “claimed (it) for modern art just as Cézanne was claiming the landscape.”

In addition to spending time in ballet classrooms and stage wings, the French painter also invited ballerinas into his personal studio where he could more easily sketch and paint them. The metmuseum.org’s article The Dancers and Degas explains, “Degas enjoyed drawing dancers’ movements, their colorful costumes, the sets, and the effects of the stage lights.”

It may have been Degas’ love for modern realism and classical beauty that initially drew him to ballet as a major form of artistic inspiration. However, his affinity for and engrossment with ballet itself was what anchored his interest in the subject for the rest of his career.

Degas Capitalized on a Despised Art Form

imagesJohn Richardson, writer for Vanity Fair, commented that at the time Degas’ obsession with ballet began, “The golden age of Romantic ballet was long since over…French ballet could hardly be considered an art form.” In some ways, ballet was despised in Degas’ time. Despite this (or perhaps because of this), Degas made ballerinas the central theme of his artwork. Although he did not depict ballet as glamorous (on the contrary, his artwork revealed the harsh realities of the grueling life of a dancer), his choosing of the ballerina as his primary source of inspiration did bring some type of honor to the then-underestimated art form.

It’s a good thing Degas took a notion to devote much of his life to painting ballerinas; his pictures of dancers were, are and will likely remain wildly popular. Obviously, the French painter pulled some heartstrings with his paintings, sculptures, prints, pastels, and pencil and chalk drawings of ballet-inspired subject matter. Perhaps there is something in Degas’ dancers that we recognize in ourselves.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Edgar Degas – Modern Artist, par excellence

Camille Pissarro – Father of Impressionism

Art that Sells Broadway

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Can Certain Colors Attract the Opposite Sex?

Specific colors can attract the opposite sex: true or false? The definitive answer to this question is a mystery. However, the theory that claims certain colors act as magnets for romantic attention is one that is supported by many people’s personal experiences.

Colors are the Best Love Potions

How to attract the opposite sex has been a hot topic throughout the ages. It has also been the subject of many academic and scientific studies. Those who study human behavior are discovering more everyday about the factors that can help individuals attract love interests.

The impact that color has upon sexual attraction is a subject of interest for scientists and laypeople alike. However, while color’s bearing upon attraction is a topic worthy of study, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that wearing certain colors can increase one’s sexual attractiveness.

Women and Men are Attracted to Different Hues

Are you ready to begin wearing colors that will attract a romantic partner? If so, it’s important to first understand that, not surprisingly, females and males are sexually attracted to individuals wearing gender-specific colors. Women should consider wearing pink, coral, and peach to maximize attraction from men. These shades may cause men to perceive women as feminine and approachable. For a man, wearing shades of blue may increase a woman’s attraction to him. This is because a man wearing blue is frequently perceived as stable and dependable. Many women also view red as an attractive color for men to wear.

The Magic Color that Garners Attention from Both Sexes

Red is a color that both sexes are equally attracted to. Of all the colors a woman can wear, shades from the red family are usually the most attention-grabbing and attractive of all. Jeremy Nicholson of Psychology Today explains this phenomenon: “The color red triggers a basic, primal response in humans as a signal of sexuality and fertility.” When a man sees a woman wearing red, in many cases his attraction for her increases. According to Nicholson, “When a woman sees a man in red, she instinctively sees him as higher status and is more interested in having sex with him.” It seems that wearing red can help both of the sexes attract romantic partners.

Science is proving that wearing certain colors can increase someone’s sexual desirability. Because of this, single people who desire a mate should consider dressing in colors that will cause them to be perceived as sexually attractive.

What Colors Attract You?

Do you believe there is any validity behind the theory that certain colors can attract the opposite sex? Have you ever noticed that people tend to be more attracted to you when you wear particular colors? What colors most attract you to the opposite sex?

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Red Artwork is Worth Fortunes

Roses May Smell the Same, but Colors Make a Difference

St. Valentine and the History of Romance

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What’s So Important About Art Class?

imagesDid you know that May 5th is National Teacher’s Day? That’s right, there is actually an official day designated to honor teachers and the impact they make on young lives. Since teachers have inestimable value but are all too often overlooked and taken for granted, it is wonderful to take a few minutes to think about their amazing contributions to society. Celebrate art teachers with us by learning about the ways art classes benefit children.

The Amazing Benefits of Art Class

Most students, regardless of age, race or gender, seem to have something in common: they LOVE art class. This is probably because art is an outlet that allows kids to express their feelings and connect with their peers on an emotional level. After a school day full of logic and reasoning, most kids find art class to be a welcome change. Art class offers benefits beyond mere emotional expression. Here are 3 awesome things that most kids will learn in art class:

  • Collaboration skills – While math and science are important subjects, they do not necessarily facilitate collaboration. However, when a child participates in an art project, he or she learns how to work with others and consider their opinions and ideas. When creating art, kids come to believe that their contributions have value. Art class truly has an amazing ability to increase a youngster’s self-confidence as well as his or her ability to cooperate with other students.
  • Accountability – Believe it or not, accountability can be most easily learned in an art class. Why? Because students often have to work alongside their peers to complete projects. When children engage in teamwork, they see firsthand how profoundly their level of dedication to a project affects others.

images-1Art teachers leave an indelible print on the hearts and minds of their students and are some of the most cherished individuals on the planet. They are beloved because they offer kids an incredible gift – the ability to create and enjoy art. There is no doubt that art is a valuable subject for children to learn about during their formative years. Why do you believe art in schools is important? How does art class positively impact your child? Share with us in the comments section below – we love hearing from you.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

How to Encourage Creativity in Children

What Does a Good Art Teacher Look Like?

Easter Egg Decorating Project Can Teach Kids About Color

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