Category Archives: Art Blog

Cutting Edge Art Blog Inspired by Current Events

What is beautiful about a world that exists in a constant state of war? News media broadcasts incessant reminders about natural disasters, impoverished nations, and a drowning global economy. Not long ago, people made it a point to read newspapers in the mornings and watch nightly news programs. Now, more people are moving away from this practice because the news is downright frightening and often blamed for the onset of depression.

A woman in Columbia, South Carolina views the news in a different light. Maria Fabrizio is inspired by the news. Every day, she puts a creative spin on current events. In fact, she wakes up before five in the morning to scour headlines, looking for trending topics that spark her creativity. And she does this day in and day out, no matter how sad the news might be.

Her blog is appropriately titled, “Wordless News.” Like any good blog, her daily posts keep viewers coming back for more. Considering it is a daily news outlet, Fabrizio extends a free subscription offer, meaning people can receive art in their inboxes every day. Since people tend to read news articles throughout their days (no matter how sad the content might be), the artist of current events finds that people visit her blog when they want to take a break from their work.

In addition, she keeps subscribers clicking. Fabrizio’s blog lives up to its title. It is wordless. Therefore, subscribers see an image before reading the headline that inspired it. In an NPR article she claims, “It’s kind of a riddle… When you click on the image, it takes you to the news story.”

Fabrizio’s dedication to this project is one thing, but her perseverance to trench through the turmoil of the world is another. Inspirational news stories are hard to come by. A person who can use headlines as a source of inspiration is a rare gem. Using this to her advantage, Maria Fabrizio creates a cutting edge art blog that is inspirational in its own right.

Read more Segmation blog posts about inspirational art:

Foreign Landscapes Inspire Creativity

Inspiring Digital Art

Decorate Your Home Office to Inspire Creativity

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Here’s your chance to join one of the Internet’s most interesting & popular gaming experiences

We’re a community that loves jigsaw, crossword, and Sudoku puzzles. We’re hobbyists who paint and collect stamps. We enjoy reading, gardening, and hiking with the dog.

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And when we’re not out bicycling or texting our Facebook friends, we’re learning about the world of art from the most user-friendly digital paint-by-numbers software found on the web today.

The Segmation Family is growing bigger by the hour. You’ll find us online and inmobile phones. We’re on Facebook, in newsletter, in blogs, and in computers all over the world.

Whether you’re 6 or 96 you’ll find something here to enjoy. Fine art, flags, cartoons, cactus…you name it. Sit at your computer or use it on the go. Relax. Enjoy. And when you’re ready for a break, tell us what you think.

Join the World of Segmation now for free and help create the next generation of the hottest web-based addiction. Signing up gives you access to:

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Developed specifically with both the serious and casual gamer in mind, SegPlay® Get all this – and more – today. Just tell us where to send it.

Plus it’s the perfect with SegPlay PC for anyone looking to paint by numbers while on the go. Use your fingertips like a paintbrush…but without any mess. And with our Autosave feature, SegPlay®Mobile can pick up at a moment’s notice right where you left off.

Built on Segmation imaging technology, SegPlay® Mobile offers an endless stream of additional pattern sets – from easy to difficult – for less than $1.

When added in to the game’s huge assortment of playing options for testing your painting skills, manual dexterity, speed, and artistic abilities, it’s easy to see how quickly the hours of enjoyment, skill-testing, and distraction can add up.

Providing guaranteed hours of fun every time you open the program, Segmation’s mobile version – compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad, iPod touch (3rd generation), and iPod touch (4th generation) – puts the most enjoyable app on the web right where it belongs…in YOUR hands.

Why wait? Segmation is the perfect break during or after a busy day, so get started now! But fair warning – this game IS addictive!

And don’t forget to join the online Segmation community to keep up with our new patterns and products. See for yourself why the Internet is buzzing that Segmation is the greatest thing in the art world since the invention of the paintbrush.

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Childhood Stories of Paint by Number

Do you recall your favorite childhood pastime? For many people, art making was perhaps their most loved activity. Some individuals have fond memories of drawing, molding play dough, and finger painting. More specifically, creating amazing paintings using paint by number kits ranks high on the list of favorite childhood activities for scores of people. Are you one of those individuals who has cherished memories of paint by number?

Amy, a woman from Indianapolis, holds her paint by number recollections close to her heart. She remembers growing up admiring two paintings of beautiful women that were displayed in her bedroom. “I remember staring at them so often and dreaming about their lives,” Amy commented. When she was older, Amy discovered that her mother had painted those pictures using paint by number kits. Though she was not as talented at paint by number as her mother, Amy still treasured those paintings that brought joy and life to her imagination.

Audrey, an individual who grew up in a farmhouse in Minnesota, recalls sitting at her kitchen table while painting ballerinas as a child. Audrey admitted that she is not necessarily an artist, but said that paint by number gave her the opportunity to become one. Her experience with paint by number was unforgettable as it allowed her to “escape into the world” of the ballerinas she painted. Audrey is grateful to have these priceless memories.

Another childhood paint by number artist, Karen, remembers with love the time her parents gifted her with a paint by number kit, the theme of which was covered bridges. Karen noted that the covered bridges she painted were only recognizable from a distance. In her own words, this was her “first awareness of how Impressionist paintings were made.”

How much do you enjoy paint by number and Segmation? Whether you love being a perfect painter, great digital artist, or have fond childhood memories of coloring inside the lines, your experience is unique. We want to hear your story in the comment section below. What does paint by number mean to you?

Sources:

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Coming soon: Read Segmation’s exciting article on how to easily make your own paint by number pillow. You won’t want to miss it!

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Marketing Art in the Digital World: An Introduction

By nature, artists are creative people – we are visionaries and dreamers. Artists are usually more comfortable behind the easel than in front of a calculator or spreadsheet.

Yet to be a successful artist in today’s world, you need to be a smart business person as well. It is important for working artists to have some degree of business knowledge in order to thrive in today’s art market. If this sounds daunting, just remember that art and business do not have to be like oil and water. When it comes to marketing and promoting your artwork, you have the advantage of using your imagination to conjure up innovative methods for selling your artwork.

These days artists have the advantage of pursuing both traditional and modern ways of marketing their artwork. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever for artists to share their work with a wide audience all over the world. Artists no longer have to wait for their “big break”, because they can create a buzz themselves. The Internet allows artists to take their careers into their own hands in a way that was never before possible.

How can artists use the Internet to market and promote their artwork?

A few examples of Internet marketing include: having your own website; writing your own blog; posting on related blogs; participating in social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook; joining online art galleries and artist forms that are devoted specifically to the needs of artists… and the list goes on.

In future articles we will discuss various aspects of art marketing in greater detail. In the meantime, feel free to post any questions or ideas that you may have on the topic of marketing art, whether traditional (off-line) or contemporary (online).

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French Floral and Portrait Painter – Henri Fantin-Latour

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Henri Fantin–Latour was born in 1836 in Grenoble, France. As the son of an artist and art teacher, Fantin–Latour spent his childhood learning how to paint and draw under his father’s tutelage. This aspiring artist continued to hone his artistic skills at home, even after the family moved to Paris, until he was old enough to study professionally.

In the early 1850’s Henri Fantin-Latour found himself studying with many great artists such as Lecog de Boisbaudran. He was also privileged to study at many wonderful studios, one of which was the Ecole de Dessin. For several years he devoted himself to studying and copying the old painting masters in the Louvre. He worked hard to immerse himself in classic styles of painting, particularly from the Romantic period. During this time of study, Henri Fantin-Latour made numerous friends who encouraged his career and helped him achieve success as a well-known artist in both France and England.

Henri Fantin-Latour’s circle of artistic friends included Eugene Delacroix, Camille Corot, Edouard Manet, and Gustave Courbet. However, it was with the famous Whistler and Alphonse Legros that he formed the Societe des Trois in 1858. Whistler was the friend that encouraged Henri Fantin–Latour to make his way to England.

In London, Henri Fantin-Latour became associated with the social circles of the artistically-minded. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1864. London was where he started to paint his famous flower pieces. Henri Fantin-Latour was quite famous throughout England and there were many who supported his artistic career by purchasing his paintings. His success in England was such that he was virtually unknown in France during this time period.

When he returned to France, Henri Fantin-Latour joined the Societe des Aquafortistes. In 1861 he had his first exhibition at the Salon in Paris. It has been said that Henri Fantin-Latour left behind a magnificent gallery of Parisian celebrity personalities in the form of his group portraits. In 1879 he was awarded the Legion d’ Honneur medal.

Perhaps Fantin-Latour’s success was largely due to his independent nature. Though he was constantly surrounded by the Impressionist style, which many of his friends practiced, he remained true to his more conservative, Romantic style. He had an academic demeanor yet an independent approach to painting. Fantin-Latour never exhibited alongside his Impressionist friends and fellow painters. He was praised for the realistic aspects of both his group portraits and his flower paintings.

The subjects of his group portraits were primarily other artists in various fields of study. The rows of faces that Henri Fantin-Latour painted are believed to adequately represent the time period in which he lived as well as the colorful personalities of his day. It is a testament to Henri Fantin–Latour’s artistic talent that his knack for realism is still appreciated for its historical worth. This same realism is also apparent in his flower paintings; they have a certain attention to realistic detail that makes them truly memorable.

Some of Henri Fantin–Latour’s most famous group portraits include The Toast, painted in 1865, A Studio in the Batignolles, painted in 1870, At the Table, painted in 1872, and Round the Piano, painted in 1885. Interestingly, Henri Fantin–Latour also left behind twenty-three self-portraits. Henri Fantin–Latour’s style was incredibly delicate and imaginative, differing in ways from his realistic flower paintings and group portraits. His lithographs were greatly inspired by music. This style of art is essentially a printing process that involves ink being transferred from a flat surface, such as stone or metal, onto paper or another suitable material.

He enjoyed many of the great classical composers but was perhaps most influenced by Richard Wagner, whose music prompted him to create many imaginative drawings. In 1875 Henri Fantin–Latour married Victoria Dubourg, who was also a fellow artist. After his marriage, the French artist took to spending time at his wife’s family estate. It was there on the estate in the countryside that he passed away. Henri Fantin-Latour, a man who was both extremely academic and distinctly independent, left behind a gallery of paintings full of realism and imagination.

Our Segmation set of Fantin-Latour contain many examples of his floral paintings in still life renderings of flowers, roses, and fruit.

There are also numerous portraits including Marie-Yolande de Fitz James, Duchess Fitz James, Charlotte Dubourg, Two Sisters, Adolphe Jullien, Mr. and Mme Edwards, and several self-portraits.

This set contains 31 digital paintable patterns.

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“Morbid Curiosity”–A Chicago Cultural Center Exhibit

The Chicago Cultural Center opened a very unique and intense art exhibit in January called “Morbid Curiosity.” The exhibit is truly unique because it showcases the work not of a singular artist, but of a collector. The art exhibit is extremely intense because its theme is death.

Richard Harris has spent twelve years collecting pieces of art that convey the many themes of death. The Chicago Cultural Center has over 1,000 of Harris’s pieces on display–they include artifacts, photographs, and decorative objects.

Surprisingly, this is only a portion of the pieces that Harris has collected over the years. His entire collection of death-related art totals more than 1,500 pieces. The museum’s curators, alongside Harris, created a replica of the Cultural Center in order to choose which pieces should be included and how they should be exhibited. Several practice runs led to the many-roomed “Morbid Curiosity” exhibit.

The goal of the exhibit is to address the many facets of death. One entire section of the Chicago Cultural Center is devoted to Mexico’s Day of the Dead. This portion of the exhibit contains a funeral procession of death-related artwork including altar paintings, drawings, and photography.

Another room offers a religious perspective on death. Christian and Catholic artwork provides a foundation on which to examine the common fate we all share in our relationship with death. Artistic images are used to relate the concept of death to the individual.

One room in the Chicago Cultural Center has been affectionately dubbed “the war room” and contains pieces of art that reflect the toll that human action, particularly war, can have on human life.

The exhibit also includes a 13 foot chandelier made of 3,000 plaster bones, 50 photographs, dozens of skulls, real and artistic representations, and Japanese pieces of art made from bone.

Be warned–this exhibit is not for the squeamish. However, “Morbid Curiosity” is perhaps the most suitable name for this exhibit. After all, death may very well be the single thing we all have in common. Richard Harris, along with the Chicago Cultural Center, has afforded us the opportunity to examine how different cultures, religions, and individual actions relate to death. The exhibit ends in July.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-0126-museums-morbid-20120125,0,7002015.story

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4 Reminders Why Art is Important

Art is important. It is of the highest value to our individual selves and an intrinsic part of culture. However, in the 21st century, we often find ourselves taking art for granted. This is why it is important to be reminded about just how important art is to us.

After exploring the history of art and opening ourselves to the reality of its importance, we’ll take a look at 4 reasons why art benefits everyone.

Why do we take art for granted?

Think back to the first time you walked into an art museum. Remember how magnificent everything appeared, with the halls full of paintings, photographs, sculptures, mosaics, and so on? Large spaces set up with exhibits allowed art to tell a story, highlighted an artist or explain a segment of history.

But when was the last time you entered an art museum and experienced breathtaking art up close?

In the past century, the introduction of technology has brought fine-art into our homes. This only advanced with the evolution of technology, computers and the internet. It also allowed another branch of art to form — digital art.

However, the only way to advance art from the point we are currently at, is to look back at the history of art and acknowledge what it has always done for us humans.

4 reminders why art is important

Art is individual

Art appeals to the senses

Art is collective

Art is ritualistic

Individual— Art has the ability to evoke special feelings inside of an individual.  The fact that art makes people feel special is undeniable and relates directly to every human’s need “to embellish, decorate and personalize,” writes Cathy Malchiodi. In her recent blog post, What is Art For? The Restoring Power of Imagination, she explains how important art is to an individual because of our unique taste for aesthetically pleasing design and appealing imagery.

Sensory

The reason why people have different tastes in art is because art has the ability to stimulate our senses. It is believed that art practices, in general, came about as a health-giving behavior. This means that art makes people feel good; it encourages them to be lively and brings playful qualities to difficult circumstances. Before visual art, humans used other forms of art to stimulate their senses like rhythm, story telling, order, pattern, natural color, and body movement. Nevertheless, all art forms, with an emphasis on visual art, give humans a sensory experience that can lift the spirits of any individual.

Collective— While art does wonders for an individual in the sense of growth and sensual stimulation, art is actually a community experience. After all, it is most often created to be enjoyed by others — not just the artist. It speaks to a time and place, and engages all who relate to it’s message. Even though reactions to art differ, coming together for the purpose of art has been, and always will be, a center point of human community. It is where we can gather to celebrate or grieve life’s most important events and issues. Not to mention, in the 21st century as all times before, it gives people reason to come together.

Ritualistic— People who gather together to create and critique art have more unifying interactions and ceremonies than groups who don’t. A evolutionary ethologist, Ellen Dissanayake, makes the point that historically, people who came together for the purpose of art “…were able to survive longer than those who did not engage in using art.” Art rituals have been part the human experience since its beginnings. In fact, much of history reflects that people have always come together for the purpose of art. Do you remember studying Tibetan sand paintings? Or Native American totem-polls? These were sacred rituals for cultural groups at certain times throughout history. Malchiodi points out how these rituals were founded in human survival-instinct because “they help us make meaning of life as well as reduce life’s inevitable stresses.”

Hopefully, these 4 reminders refresh your memory as to why art is important. It is likely that you have personal reasons why you appreciate art. Segmation wants to hear about those moment. Comment below and share with us about why art is important to you.

Top image made available by Torley on Flickr through Creative Common License

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Bauhaus Art School

Are you impressed to learn about the invention of Op-Art?

The modern art style, best associated with the art and theory of Josef Albers, influenced an artistic evolution throughout the 20th century, and continues to impact the 21st century as well.

But did you know that this trendy new art form started in Germany in the early 1900’s? Even more, it was created and taught at a school that was also a forerunner for architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.

The famous school of art, called Bauhaus, existed in three different parts of Germany between the years of 1919 and 1933. This seems like a short period of time to have such a strong influence on the world. However, the principal thoughts and practices that encouraged artists at Bauhaus traveled with them and spread throughout the world when many of the practicing students and teachers had to emigrate during Nazi control.

The Bauhaus art school was known as a “House of Construction” or a “School of Building.” Even though studies in architecture were not implemented until later, the school built its values on the idea that creating a “total” work of art incorporates multiple elements of art.

A good example of this is optical art’s use of three types of elements: optical illusions, canvas painting, and color. Perhaps it was this concept of completeness that catapulted the Bauhaus style into success, becoming one of the most influential styles in modern art, design and architecture.

Another thought that contributed to the success of Bauhaus was the founding philosophical principle of constructivism. This term originated in Russia and commonly associated with the idea that art could contribute to a better society. With major political and economic shifts happening all over the world, especially in Europe, people learned they could express themselves and propel a positive message with art. Even though there was a negative atmosphere in the world during the time of World War I and leading up to World War II, individual artists knew that art had the power to carry the significant message of peace.

In a war-torn society, Bauhaus school had much to teach. Here are some common art forms that excelled and were mastered by artists at the school between 1919 and 1933:

  • Woodworking
  • Cabinetmaking
  • Work with Metal
  • Ceramics
  • Weaving
  • Printing and typography
  • Theater
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Architecture
Bauhaus art school existed at a poignant time in history. It’s location in the world and foundational European thought are two of the many reasons why it is still a reputable resource for art history today. The other reasons are artists, styles and creations that were consistently produced by the school. These are the pieces that influence modern art today, and will continue to do so evermore.

The Op-Art of Josef Albers

Josef Albers, photograph by Arnold Newman, 1948. © Arnold Newman

In a recent post, a popular art form of the 20th century was introduced. Op-Art puts thought provoking optical illusions onto a flat canvas. During the early 1900’s, the art form flourished with the creative use of lines and patterns. At the start, artists used black and white paint or ink to create captivating images; color was incorporated later. One artist and theorist at the forefront of this art style, who also pioneered the technique of adding color, was a man by the name Josef Albers.

German-born American artist, Josef Albers studied at the Bauhaus school for arts and crafts in Germany. The school existed at the time of Nazi dominance in Germany and, subsequently, closed in 1933. After spending decade at Bauhaus as an art instructor, Alber’s emigrated to the United States, where he continued his career as an artist and teacher.

After spending some time in the United States, Albers accepted a position at teaching at Yale University. It was there that Josef Albers was able to advance the graphic art program before retiring from teaching in 1958.

In the early years of his retirement, as a fellow at Yale, Albers received funding to exhibit and lecture on the art form he had done so much to advance. By this time, Albers had catapulted many artists into successful careers. The list of notable students includes Richard Anuszkiewicz and Eva Hesse. Both artists are considered major forces in the Op-Art movement that swept the world during the 1960’s and 70’s.

Aside from his artwork and teaching, Josef Albers added another form of art to his long list of talents: In 1963, his book, Interaction of Color detailed the theory behind colorful op-art. This writing built upon a foundational thought of Albers — that colors have an internal and deceptive logic all-their-own.

Albers continued to paint and write until he died in 1976. However, the impression he left on the world of art, especially as an abstract painter and theorist, continues to live and influence abstract art today. Even though much of his work is well known and recognizable, it continues to thrive because of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. To this day, the organization supports exhibitions featuring the work of Josef Albers and his wife Anni, who was a textile artist.

The contribution Josef Albers made to the world of art is undeniable. He was successful at merging traditional European art with modern American art, to create an abstract style all his own. While his roots were grounded in the type of constructivist thinking that allowed Bauhaus school of arts and crafts to flourish, his experiences in America allowed him freedom to explore patterns and colors that are now the signature of optical art.

Op-art and graphic art continue to advance while consistently affirming Josef Albers influence. The world renowned teacher, artist, and color theorist is very much alive in the work of abstract artists today. Whether it is through his written words, paintings, or students who survived him, Albers will influence young artists for years to come.

No words can conclude a story about the life of this great man, except, perhaps his own. Alber’s was quoted as saying, “Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature. I prefer to see with closed eyes.” Others are happy to have their eyes opened by the influential life and art of Josef Albers. May his legacy and art been seen for years to come.

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Colors Change What is Beautiful

What is beautiful? The term is a bit subjective, don’t you think? After all, isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder?

It most certainly is, but one undeniable quality about color is its ability to make all things beautiful!

This is why color-field painting, with its abstract merging of vivid colors, is responsible for some beautiful works of art.  In this post we will look at how color-field painting evokes emotions and has the ability to change an environment.

By now we know how color impacts art and also stirs emotion in people. Recent posts discuss color therapy, known as chromotherapy and the psychology of color, offering insight into how color can impact an individual.  As artists, we know the emotional impact art can have on us. Vivid colors can stir emotions and hold an observers heart once they pass.

Sometimes, color makes beautiful what was not beautiful before. This is the case of color-field painting; color, shape, composition, proportion, balance, style, and scale change a blank canvas into a brilliant work of art.

This style of art is very abstract and those who are best known for its development are considered Abstract Expressionists.  Color-field painting emerged in New York in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. It was a type of art inspired by European modernism and made popular by artists like Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman.

What sets color-field painting apart from other types of abstract art is the artist’s regard for paint.  With the main focus being color, shape, composition, proportion, balance, style, and scale, there is less emphasis on gesture, brushstrokes and consistent actions that create form and process.  In fact, the entire work of art is created by the artist who determines what elements he or she will add to convey a sense of place, atmosphere, or environment. In other words, what makes color-field painting beautiful, is its subjectivity.

Like most art, the beauty of color-field painting is in the eye of the beholder.  These colorful pieces are nice accents for decoration and fun to paint too! But don’t let the look of simplicity fool you.  This style is not easy to perfect and contrary to how it appears, cannot be replicated by a 6 year old!

Have you splashed your art palette with color today?  Try it and see how color changes what you see as beautiful.

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