Category Archives: Art Appreciation

The World’s First Tetrachromat Artist

This is one of my favorite artists!

Outside The Lines

The unique nature of an artist can be considered art itself. What sets great artists apart may not be their talents but their circumstances. While we know much of our destinies are determined by the decisions we make, remnants of happenstance hover over many of the artists we know and love.

No one understands this better thanConcetta Antico, who, in 2012, received news that would change her life and send her already successful art career into high gear.

The Making of an Artist

To Concetta, art and life have always been one in the same. Her love of art began at the age of seven, when she found herself fascinated by color. This was around the time she started painting. Even at a young age her peers recognized the Australian native’s creative talent.
America's Finest City Lights, San Diego 10x10Now in San Diego, the place she considers home, Concetta’s days begin at the sight…

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Learn to Draw in a Short Period of Time

Is it possible for someone to learn to draw in a short period of time? More specifically, can one learn to draw well in a matter of weeks?

Dr. Betty Edwards would say, without hesitation, yes.

Can a Book Quickly Teach Someone to Draw?

In the 1970‘s, Edwards authored a booked titled Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Since the book’s release in 1979, it has sold over 2.5 million copies. The book’s popularity is due largely to the fact that its exercises garner results that any aspiring artist craves: the quick acquisition of skills necessary to draw beautifully.

Targeting the Right Brain is Key in Picking up Artistic Skills

The theory behind Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is simple: tapping into the right side of the brain via practicing certain exercises can increase a person’s ability to swiftly obtain the artistic skills required for drawing. Concerning the right/left brain theory, scientist and neurosurgeon Richard Bergland said, “…your left brain is your verbal and rational brain; it thinks serially and reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters and words… your right brain is your nonverbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures.”

Because the right brain thinks in patterns and pictures and is non-verbal, it makes sense that primarily using that side of the brain when learning to draw would increase the chances of successfully gaining artistic skills.

This Simple Exercise Can Help You Learn to Draw

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is packed with tools that target the right brain and teach drawing skills. Here is just one exercise that can help you begin your journey of learning to draw; the exercise is called “Breaking Up Space”:

  • Only draw vertical and horizontal lines
  • Do not think in terms of words
  • Relax
  • Draw at a slow to medium pace
  • If you run out of space just retrace the lines you have already drawn

This exercise “helps put the left side (of the brain) to sleep and exercises the right side.” It’s important not think in words while practicing this. Using this technique is a first step you can take to begin to get your right brain accustomed to being used somewhat independently of your left brain. This creates an ideal mental environment for learning to draw.

Besides her book, Dr. Edwards also offers other materials that foster right-brained learning of artistic skills. These resources include DVDs, workshops, and more.

Are you a natural when it comes to drawing? If not, have you always wanted to learn to draw? Has intimidation discouraged you from trying? Share with us in the comments box below.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Gregg Visintainer Finds an Emotional Outlet in Drawing

Figure Drawing Tips

Tips for Improving your Landscape Drawing Skills

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Art Created in Confinement

Art created in confinement may be the most beautiful art of all. Why? Because this type of art comes from a place of utter vulnerability and realness. Those who are confined have been stripped of many freedoms and consequently have emotions that are also stripped and raw. This is why the art that is created from this frame of mind is nothing short of amazing.

Holocaust Victims Prove Art Is Worth Dying For

The Holocaust Period was perhaps the greatest era in history in which art was created in confinement. Individuals held in concentration camps were not just confined; they were also brutally tortured. But the incredible fact is, these individuals managed to find whatever makeshift art supplies they could to craft magnificent drawings and paintings.

Yad Vashem, the World Center for Holocaust Research, is located near Jerusalem, Israel. Amongst its many galleries and displays is an art museum that will take your breath away. This art museum features walls and walls of drawings and paintings that were created by artists held in death camps. These works of art, some gruesome, some hopeful, give us an inside look at the emotions Holocaust victims experienced. At the same time, the pieces remind us of the inherent ability we as humans have to look within ourselves and draw out passion and beauty in the most hideous circumstances.

Author Julia Cameron says in her book The Artist’s Way, “(Creating) art always gives us the ability to move out of the victim position…Holocaust victims scratched butterflies on the walls of concentration camps. That assertive creative act spoke plainly: ‘You cannot kill my spirit.’ At its core, art is triumphant.”

Creating Art in Confinement Confirms the Value of Art

When individuals who are in confinement create art, the sheer value of art itself is displayed. For example, it was very dangerous during the Holocaust to create art, but death camp detainees created it anyway, even in the face of losing their lives as a result. Why would anyone risk his or her life for art? Perhaps because art has the ability to keep the human spirit alive. This ability makes art intrinsically valuable.

Art Helps Jailed Juveniles Find Purpose

Art created in confinement is not unique to the past. A recent article published by http://www.wishtv.com tells us that currently jailed juveniles are utilizing art for self-expression. Not just that, creating art is helping these juveniles find purpose for their lives.

Reportedly, youths held in the Marion County Jail were caught with what the aforementioned article referred to as “artistic contraband”: art supplies. Instead of punishing these youths, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office decided to team up with the Indianapolis Art Center to allow dozens of juveniles to take part in a program geared toward teaching visual literacy and art skills, as well as building confidence and empathy. The art skills that are being taught to youths held in the Marion County Jail are proving to have a positive effect on these young people’s lives.

How Has Making Art Helped You?

Has there ever been a time in which art was a lifesaver for you? Perhaps you went through a traumatic event and turned to art in order to maintain your hope and sanity. If you’ve had an experience like this, or have created art in confinement, we would love for you to share a comment with us.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Possibly the Rarest Art Form – Forensic Art

American Flag Trivia – Happy Fourth of July!

Easiest Art Heist in Paris

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Coloring Book Fosters Emotional Healing

Adult coloring bookCan art help heal the emotional wounds of adults? Specifically, does color possess the ability to act as a healing agent to the human psyche?

The short answer to both of these questions is yes.

Art therapists and other medical professionals are well aware of the amazing ability art and color have to minister healing to the unseen injuries inflicted by emotional trauma. An increasing number of universities and colleges are designing degree programs that enable students to pursue art therapy as a profession. Art-based therapies are becoming commonplace in hospitals, and are often integrated into treatments for behavioral health patients.

Psychologist Ellen Lacter took art-based therapy into a new and exciting direction when she created a therapeutic coloring book aptly named A Coloring Book of Healing Images for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse.

Coloring Book May Resolve Abuse-Related Issues

A Coloring Book of Healing Images was created to assuage the hurts that result from abuse. Author Ellen Lacter, who has been an art therapist since 1977, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor since 1998, and clinical psychologist since 1986, designed this coloring book with results in mind. Lacter brought nearly 30 years of experience into the creation of this coloring book, packing it with tools that foster self-care and can bring healing and resolution to abuse-related issues.

This very special coloring book consists of 17 chapters. Each chapter details a facet of healing; examples of chapter titles include Acceptance, Self-Love, Hope, Joy and Play, and Healing Abused Parts of Myself. Included in each chapter is a description of a particular aspect of healing, as well as plenty of ready-to-be-colored illustrations.

Illustrators Robin Baird Lewis and Jen Callow helped the author bring the curative coloring book to life by composing its images. “As the reader applies art media to the images, their meaning can be deeply internalized to tap into the survivor’s infinite internal resources and to pave a personal path for healing.”

Color Your Way to Healing

The memories of child abuse have a way of seeping deeply into the subconscious and expressing themselves in ways that negatively alter a person’s life. Individuals who live through child abuse are true survivors. A Coloring Book of Healing Images for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse is a resource designed to help people go from merely surviving to thriving.

Coloring books are no longer just for kids. If you are an adult survivor of child abuse, Ellen Lacter’s healing coloring book could be a steppingstone on your journey toward emotional wholeness.

Read more about A Coloring Book of Healing Images for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse here.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Art Therapy Treats more than the Heart

Why Is Your Favorite Color Your Favorite Color?

“The Pixel Painter”

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Favorite Things About Spring

An old proverb promises, “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” After a long, hard winter, are you ready for spring?

While winter is a beloved season for some, most of us would definitely concur that cheery spring is a welcome change from the frigid dreariness of winter.

Segmation is certainly excited about the approach of spring. Read on to discover our favorite things about the season that thousands of people are inviting with open arms.

Reasons Why Segmation Loves Spring

There are so many reasons Segmation adores spring. Here are just a few:

  • Sense of Promise — Would you agree that spring carries a sense of promise that things will improve and problems will finally be resolved? In our opinion, spring is interconnected with a sense a promise. With that sense comes hope that newness is on its way. This newness can look like fresh flowers blooming, making plans for a new start in life or a career change, or even spring cleaning your home to cleanse it of winter’s doldrums. The sweetest promise offered by spring is the assurance that summer is just around the corner, waiting to make its appearance.
  • Beautiful Weather — Segmation’s very favorite thing about spring may well be the weather that it introduces. When spring comes, coldness and misery flee, making way for bluer skies, warm breezes, and walkways that are clear of ice and snow. It is the rare person who does not eagerly anticipate the opportunity to once again dress in light, non-confining clothing. Without a doubt, most people can hardly wait to bask in spring’s balmy atmosphere.
  • Baby Animals — Is there anything more pleasant than baby chicks, bunnies, horses, and cows? Isn’t it wonderful to take a drive in the country and see a mare with her foal? This explosion of new life is special and anticipated because it only takes place in springtime.
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables — Food that originates in a garden is not only nourishing to the body; it is also pleasing to the eyes. A bowl of fresh produce brings a sense of abundance and health to a home. There is no better way to announce the arrival of spring than by serving beautiful, fresh fruits and vegetables to your family.
  • More Daylight — Segmation dearly loves the increased daylight time that comes with spring. More daylight means more time to enjoy the outdoors. Also, it is a welcome feeling to wake up to a brightly lit morning sky as opposed to the pitch black that should be restricted only to nighttime.

What Do You Love About Spring?

What are some of your favorite things about spring? Do you love the flowers that shoot up from the earth, the restored greenness of grass, or the general feeling of hope that consumes the atmosphere? Comment below and let us know why you are excited about the approach of spring.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Colorful Flowers to Plant this Spring

Welcome Spring with a Freshly Painted Front Door

Coloring Each Season with Healthy Food

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When Art Sells Art

Suppose you walk into a bookstore and are immediately beckoned by a brightly colored book cover that features an exquisite sunset over a stunningly surreal ocean. You pick up the book and turn it on its face. Unfortunately the description on the back doesn’t pique your interest nearly as much as the book’s enchanting cover. Nevertheless, you pull out your debit card and carry your newfound treasure to the cashier.

What just happened? Art sold art.

Art Sells Art

This happens all the time. Songs featured in movies become wildly popular; an art exhibition features the works of an unknown artist, which in turn makes him or her a household name overnight; expertly designed DVD covers allure consumers to buy; and theater posters sell theater tickets unassisted.

Erik Piepenburg of The New York Times declares, “Great theater posters…sell by design…the best posters convey the conceptual complexities of the plays they serve.”

Indeed, some of the most beautiful designs in the world can be found on the covers of theater posters.

Examples of Great Theater Poster Art

There are many remarkably crafted theater posters. Here are a couple posters that are impressive:

A Small Fire – Designed by Julia McNamara, A Small Fire’s show poster features two sets of hands, one red and the other white, on a solid black background. Speaking of the hands, McNamara says, “…I think of them as more feminine hands. They were always red, like fire. The color scheme really works. It makes it striking.”

Stage Kiss Stage Kiss’s show poster, designed by Courtney Waddell Eckersley, displays hundreds of lipstick-laden kiss prints, all layered on top of one another. In reference to creating the graphic for the poster, Eckersley says, “I…picked up as many bright opaque and inexpensive lipstick shades as I could find.” Then, she and an intern “kissed the page a lot.” The piece appears abstract from a distance, but the lip prints are quite visible up close.

Art in all its forms often says more than words can ever express. Art is beauty. It entices, allures, and invites the beholder to come closer. There is no better way to sell art than by using another form of art to do so. This phenomenon takes place when an artful theater poster sells out a show.

Has a theater poster ever inspired you to purchase a theater ticket, simply because the poster was great? What are some of your favorite theater posters? When have you noticed art enticing you to purchase art?

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Selling Your Art in a Strained Economy

Art Transforms Traditional Business Practices

Selling your art at outdoor art fairs

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Politics Aside, the Life of an Artist – George Romney – English Portrait Painter

Long before becoming politicians and business tycoons, the Romney family made its name in art. According to “The Ancestors of Mitt Romney,” George Romney (1734 – 1802) was the first cousin of Miles Romney, who is an ancestor of the two-time presidential candidate.

Different from his 21st century relatives, George Romney was rather private. Little is known about his personal thought life or political opinions. Nevertheless, he has been etched into history books as a high society portrait painter. In fact, many of his followers believe that if it weren’t for the almighty dollar (or, guineas to the Lancashire native), he could have been a painter who completed whimsical scenes inspired by Shakespearean literature and mythical gods. But long before he began exercising his potential as an artist, George Romney had to grow up and find his footing in his chosen career.

George Romney was third born in a family of 11 children. His father, John, was a cabinet maker. George left school to apprentice with John at the young age of 11. Born and raised in Dalton-on-Furness Lancashire, Romney was 21 when he set out to apprentice with Christopher Steel, a local painter in Kendal. For the next two years, from 1755 – 1757, Romney painted small, full-length portraits. During his time there he married Mary Abbot, the daughter of a landlady.

In 1762, Romney left Kendal to travel north where he could paint portraits for money. He left his wife and children at home but sent them financial support and visited them on occasion.

Shortly after landing in London, his 1763 historical painting, The Death of General Wolfe, was awarded a premium from the Society of Arts. Still, he continued to paint portraits as a way of earning a living.

Romney’s travels continued on to Paris in 1764, where he studied the antique classicism of Eustache Le Sueur’s work. Then, from 1773 – 1775 he landed in Italy. Much of his time there was spent in Rome studying the frescoes of Raphael, as well as the work of Titan and Correggio in Venice and Parma. Also, throughout this time his artwork was on exhibition at the Free Society and Society of Artists in Great Britain. Upon returning to London, the Duke of Richmond became a regular client of Romney’s, which may have been a factor in his increased notoriety and speaks to the wave of notable society portraits he completed between 1776 and 1795.

Ultimately, Romney’s time spent touring benefited his work by maturing his art and broadening his abilities. He was known as a “fashionable portrait painter” throughout English society. Those who sat for him were flattered by the subtle qualities he emphasized to make them look their best. Rather than relying on color, Romney used lines to complement the men and women whom he posed in sculpturesque stances. This was especially evident in his portraits, Mrs. Cardwardine and Son (1775), as well as Sir Christopher and Lady Sykes (1786).

Romney’s artwork received much praise from his admirers and was able to support him financially but unlike other successful artists, Romney did not dedicate much time to socializing with fellow artists. Part of this may have been due to him deliberately separating himself from artists of the Royal Academy. It has been said that Sir Joshua Reynolds (who served as President of the Royal Academy) was displeased by Romney’s high fame and low costs. Seemingly determined to avoid such politics altogether, Romney’s sensitive and thoughtful nature led him to befriend people in philosophical and literary circles.

In the early 1780s, Romney met Emma Hart (also known as Lady Hamilton). Emma was said to be Romney’s muse because she appeared in a divine state in more than 50 of his paintings. His paintings of Emma strayed from his path of portraiture, and it is believe she was the muse that allowed him to enter an imaginary world. Romney painted Emma in settings “ranging from a bacchante to Joan of Arc.”

Throughout the last decade and a half of his career, Romney became even more enthralled with historical paintings. During this time he supported the Boydell’s Shakespere gallery and contributed one of his non-portrait paintings, The Tempest.

Towards the turn of the century, Romney’s health began to fail. In 1799 he returned to Kendal and reunited with his family. There, his estranged wife of over 40 years nursed him in his final days. George Romney died in Kendal and was buried in his birthplace of Dalton-in-Furness in November 1802.

Today, portrait painter George Romney has a legacy apart from his successful ancestors. The Romney Society believes there are “…2000 paintings and about 5000 drawings, scattered through 23 countries, on view in fifteen countries….” Over two centuries later, George Romney’s art lives on, as does the name he made famous.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Romney‘s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=ROM . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 35 digital George Romney patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 35 George Romney –English portrait painter 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:
Franz Marc German Expressionist Painter

Jan Gossaert – A Great Flemish Painter of Antiquity”

Émile Bernard – Making Ideas Art

Sources:

George Romney

George Romney – Britannica

George Romney – British Artist

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