Category Archives: Art Work

Jose Agustín Arrieta – Making The Ordinary Extraordinary

www.segmation.comCommon household settings and cooking materials were significant to Mexican painter, Jose Agustín Arrieta. This genre painter became famous after his death for portraying what he saw and experienced in nineteenth century Puebla, the town where he grew up and lived most his life.

In 1803, Jose Agustín Arrieta was born in Tlaxcala, Mexico. At a young age his parents moved to Puebla, where the young artist was a student of life, studying everyday objects and seeking to make them beautiful.
Today, there is not a lot of information circulating about Arrieta, but it seems he never left his home town – the place from which the character of his portraits and still lifes were born. In addition to being the bedrock of his inspiration, Puebla and nearby San Carlos offered fine art competitions that Arrieta participated in.

Jose Agustín Arrieta married Maria Nicolasa Lorenzana Varela in 1826. It is believed that she may have been an artist as well. This could very well be true; many noteworthy art teachers belonged to the Academy of Fine Arts of Puebla. Rather than join the academy and work with the likes of Lorenzo Zendejas and Salvador del Huerto, Arrieta forged his own path and set up a personal studio where he was able to paint portraits and still lifes that would not have been deemed appropriate to Puebla’s elite class. As a result, the artist did not earn a lot of money from his art work. In 1852, after identifying the state of his struggle, Arrieta took a counseling job in the State Congress.

Regardless of his inability to support himself financially during his lifetime, Arrieta’s work, known at the time as “cuadros de comedor” or “dining tables,” has become a symbol of Pueblo’s history. One reason why his genre paintings were given this title was because much of his work portrayed people and scenes that included images of national cuisine and traditional dishes. In fact, much of Jose Agustín Arrieta’s art can be summed up by the phrase, “good food and good drink.” This is because many of his paintings captured Mexican fruits, national delicacies, and bottles of wines and champagnes, as well as crystal glasses, common cooking pots, and serving baskets.www.segmation.com

Arrieta’s legacy exists today because of the content of his paintings, as well as the unique talent he displayed. A sign of his work is the fine detail that was applied to his paintings of home kitchens and public taverns. He also had an interesting way of drawing females, who were often painted as sexy women wearing full jewelry and oriental clothing.
It is said that, in his paintings, Arrieta may have been trying to save the style of symbolic still lifes that were typical in the 1600’s, but lost in the following century when naturalism came on the scene. Even though it would have been impossible for Arrieta to receive proper training in this style of art, his choice of subject matter (i.e. Mexican foods and
Puebla cooking techniques) required a realistic approach and variety of textures.

Today, Arrieta’s paintings are seen as the result of intense motivation. The artist spent much time perfecting his drawing and composition techniques, in addition to using color, and depicting human anatomy. It is unclear how much of his talent was the result of his wife’s education, who may have been properly trained at the Academy of Fine Arts of Puebla. Still, many of Arrieta’s pieces that sell today are deemed “imperfect” because of his distorted or lack of perspective. This, however, does not detract from the timeless success of Arrieta’s art.

On December 22, 1874, Jose Agustín Arrieta passed away, leaving behind a legacy that lives in Puebla and much of the world today. In fact, his work is available to the viewing public inside Casa Agustín Arrieta, a historical Pueblano home and museum.

References:
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agust%C3%ADn_Arrieta
http://web.archive.org/web/20120410092046
http://www.euskonews.com/0454zbk/kosmo45401es.html

Read more Segmation blog posts 

Preserving the Art of Earth: Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”

The Natural Side of Art

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Museum Curator Elevates Prestige of Paint by Number Art

The argument about what does and does not qualify as art has created tension in the art world for centuries. Some people think only fine art should be considered “real” art. Others believe that primitive, rustic, rugged pieces crafted by the unschooled are indeed genuine works of art. This is just the type of debate that has surrounded paint by number paintings, which were created from mass-produced paint by number kits, for the past several decades.

While many art elitists do not believe paint by number paintings are true works of art, William L. Bird, Jr., believes they are. Bird should know – he is not only the curator at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, he is also highly educated on the subject of paint by number.

Bird raised the prestige of paint by number art in his book, Paint by Number: The How-To Craze that Swept the Nation. In his book, Bird gives an explanation of how paint by number was born, who marketed it, and why it was such a success. Also, the author explains the level of artistic skill it took to create paint by number kits. Understanding these facets of this technique and brand is helping the public see paint by number paintings for what they truly are – a form of art.

William L. Bird, Jr., further championed paint by number paintings when he displayed them in an art exhibition in 2001 at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

An individual who visited Bird’s exhibition commented to Bird that several paint by number paintings from “identical kits” had variations painted in them. (These were variations that the artists themselves had “painted outside the lines” to add.) This individual wondered if such artistic inconsistencies helped these particular paintings qualify as art. Bird affirmed, “By expressing preferences and making choices, these painters are taking the first steps toward art. I think you can charitably argue that in these cases it was art.”

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

Sources:

http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/15/paintbynumbers.php

http://www.amazon.com/Paint-Number-How-To-Craze-Nation/dp/1568982828

Note: The top photo used in this post does not belong to Segmation; it was found at http://mocoloco.com/art/archives/020982.php.

Coming soon: Read Segmation’s heartwarming article about various individuals’ much-loved childhood memories of paint by number.

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Sailboats are Examples of Recreational, Fun and Relaxing for Set Sail

Sailing is a method of moving and controlling a ship in water with large fabric foils called sails. With a small amount of skill and training (in addition to good weather and a bit of wind), a competent captain can adjust the sail rigging and control the rudder, and navigate through the water to a desired destination.

Though gradually replaced by ships with internal combustion engines, sailboats in many places are used as a recreational activity, with activities such as a racing and cruising. Set Sail patterns includes many photos of sailboats with sails trimmed in picturesque backdrops of sunsets, clear and cloudy skies, wooded shorelines, and calm waters. It allows one to Set Sail.

Become a Painter of Sailboats

Are you a sailboat lover? If so, have you ever considered painting them for yourself? Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, you can be one today – see more details here)

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Inspirational Tips to Boost your Artistic Creativity

At one point or another, all artists have felt as if their creativity suddenly dried up. Artistic block is the reason some of the most prominent individuals in the art world traveled abroad or locked themselves in a tiny studio. They were seeking artistic inspiration.

If you are looking for inspiration, this post is all about helping you discover a  muse to jump start your creative ambition.

Being an artist means you constantly have to assess yourself

Start by asking yourself a few questions.

  • At what point during the day do I feel most creative?
  • When throughout the day do I have the most energy?
  • When was the last time I had a moment to myself?
  • When was the last time I spent a decent amount of time away from my studio?

These questions will provide you with a baseline for boosting your creativity. They should help you discern which habits are conducive to your creativity, and which are deterring you from success.  Now let’s examine some specific ways you can seek out inspiration.

Here are some simple things you can do to jumpstart your creativity:

  • Do you keep an art-idea journal?  If you don’t already have one, an idea journal will help you start focusing ideas. Returning to your journal entries at a later date will come in handy should you encounter artistic block again.
  • When was the last time you cleaned your workspace? A little cleaning and organization might be just what you need to clear your head and find a fresh start.
  • When was the last time you thought about the mood of your studio? Try opening a window, relocating your easel or turning on the music. All of these small changes can offer you a new perspective and create an inspirational mood. Finding a new place to create for a day might help you tap into a different mindset.
  • When was the last time you engaged in your favorite hobby? You never know when an inspirational experience might come your way. Go out and try something new, or take the time to rediscover a beloved activity.
  • Have you connected with other artists lately? This website is founded on the idea that artists can inspire, and be inspired by, other artists http://artistsinspireartists.com/

We hope this post gives you a creative boost.  You can find more inspirational advice by visiting this website:  http://emptyeasel.com/art-business-advice/motivation/.

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What to do With A Child’s Artwork: Tips and Tricks for Parents and Grandparents

If you are a parent or a grandparent you may be familiar with the joy of receiving a child’s drawing as a gift. In this case, you also know it can be a challenge to store the many scraps of paper covered with imaginative drawings and colorful doodles.

Here are some tips and tricks for preserving your child or grandchild’s art:

  1. Create and Organized File System– Purchase a large binder and folders. Organize the folders by age and start filling them with your child’s artwork. Too many drawings to choose from? Consider purchasing a binder for grandma and grandpa as well. This way, you can divide the child’s drawings so everyone can enjoy them. A system like this will also serve as an organized record of your child’s achievements.
  2. Turn and Entire Wall into a Refrigerator Door– Is your refrigerator door filled to capacity with your child’s artwork? Now you can purchase magnetic primer paint and convert an entire wall into a refrigerator door. This means your child can have an ongoing art exhibit in his or her bedroom.
  3. Turn the Drawings into Placemats– Pick some of your favorite drawings and have them laminated. Make sure to have your child sign his or her name and include an age. The drawings become usable objects in your house and will make great gifts for family and friends. This is also a great way to help your children enjoy being creative.
  4. Make a Photo Album– Photograph your child’s artwork and put it in an album or scrapbook to create a book full of childhood memories. Or, scan your child’s drawings and save them digitally. Then, send them off to a company that can turn the drawings into a one of a kind coffee table book.

Looking for a way to make your children’s art come alive?

  1. Animate their DrawingsGamefighters.com can animate your child’s drawings. Can you imagine your child’s creation coming to life in this way? This will get your kids excited about their art work because they get to interact with their creations in a virtual setting.
  2. Turn their Drawings into Stuffed AnimalsChild’s own Studio can take your children’s drawings and transform them into stuffed animals, which means your kids can create the designs for their own toys! These also make wonderful gifts for grandparents.
  3. Show off your Child’s Art by Wearing itFormia Design turns your child’s drawings into pendants and charms that you wear as necklaces or bracelets. You can showcase your child’s creativity proudly by wearing one of these pendants.
  4. Hide their Artwork Around the House– Stick some of their drawings in books, magazines or even cookbooks. Someday, you may just find yourself pleasantly surprised by the memory you uncover. Your children will also be delighted to find their old drawings in one of their favorite childhood books.

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How to turn your Passion into Profit

American artist Janet Farthing sells her paintings online! "Ireland" is SOLD!

Do you consider yourself an artist? Have you ever wondered if anyone would buy your art work? Are you interested in turning your passion into profit?

There is no better time to share your gift with the world. The internet makes it easier than ever to promote your masterpieces and earn an income.

One easy way to do this is by starting an online shop on Etsy or Ebay. Since it is free to start your own Etsy shop online (as it is with Ebay) and since Etsy is “the online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade,” let’s go over some quick tips that will guide you through starting your very own Etsy shop:

  1. First, know what you can sell on Etsy: Vintage items (twenty or more years old), crafting supplies (handmade or commercial), and products that you have handmade. For a more in-depth look at exactly what you may sell on Etsy, visit http://www.etsy.com/help/article/147.
  2. To get started, you must sign up for an Etsy account; follow this link to do that https://www.etsy.com/join.
  3. Once you have an account with Etsy, you will need to register as a seller. For instructions, see http://www.etsy.com/help/article/125.
  4. “When you sign up to be a seller, you’ll get your own easy-to-use online shop. You can customize it with a banner, fill out a profile and set your shop policies.” For instructions on setting up your Etsy shop, see http://www.etsy.com/help/article/246. This step should be fun! Use your imagination and your Etsy shop to express who you are.
  5. Once you have your Etsy shop, you will need to list your items. For step by step instructions on creating listings, visit  http://www.etsy.com/help/article/187. It helps very much to have a camera and to add pictures of your items. If you don’t have these resources, perhaps a friend is willing to help. For use of its website, Etsy charges a small fee on each sold item; to read about these fees, visit http://www.etsy.com/sell/fees.

Below are some very helpful links for creating a successful online business:

-Tips for making a great, buyable product: http://littleput.typepad.com/me/2008/01/tip-2-make-a-gr.html

-Choosing an Etsy name (you may want to read this before registering for an Etsy account): http://www.piddix.com/your-etsy-name.htm and http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2008/shop-makeover-series-whats-in-a-name/.

-Making a banner for your Etsy shop- http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2007/skill-share-making-a-banner/.

http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2008/a-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-shop-on-etsy/ is packed with links on subjects such as creating your profile, pricing, budgeting, shipping, shop policies, photographing your product, your first sale, promoting your shop, and more. This is a wonderful all-in-one resource link!

Whether you are a seasoned artist or just getting started, chances are you may have a wonderful, artful, handmade product others would love to buy. Today may be the perfect day to take a step toward selling your product and earning extra income from your talents!

If you choose to start an online shop, will you leave us a comment and let us know how things are going for you?

Image  made available by janet_farthing on Flickr through Creative Common License

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Art Therapy Treats more than the Heart

Sergio Calatroni Art Room in Milan have customized a wheelchair for Italian art director Fabrizio Sclavi.

Therapies that use art have been popular for many years. One notable practice is color therapy. Colors have a strong influence on the human mind and encourages action in addition to guiding reaction, speech, and even attributes to higher-than-normal test scores.

But did you know that art therapy treats more than just the heart? It can help the body too. There are a number of creative activities, crafts, and art projects that stimulate the human body and result in a better functioning person.

People with disabilities know this is true. While having a disability can be challenging, its intensity is drastically lessened when people change certain behaviors that replace negative circumstances with positive action.

Having a bright outlook and light heart can take a disabled person to a new level of personal success. These qualities are available to anyone with or without a disability through the wonderful world of arts and crafts. This is because it keeps the mind engaged and encourages creativity, confidence, and basic motor skills.

Here are some arts and craft ideas for people with disabilities:

Painting

Painting is one of the best craft ideas for anyone with a disability. Because there are a variety of painting techniques available, one is destined to find a form that fits their capacity. Included in this group are, but not limited to:

  • oil painting
  • faux painting
  • canvas painting
  • acrylic painting
  • watercolor paintings
  • fabric painting

Painting can offer relief from the mental and physical pressures of having a disability. In the subjective nature of art, every piece created is beautiful, especially the pieces done with full concentration and dedication. A beautiful work of art also makes a great gift.

Make Greeting Cards

Creating greeting or thank you card is a craft that serves multiple purposes. This is a way to stretch artistic abilities and show caregivers and family members appreciation.

Cards can be made by using these materials:

  • colored paper
  • crayons
  • pencils
  • sketch pens

The efforts of creating a beautiful card is beneficial to the artist and he or she who receives it. In addition, it gives purpose to doing the craft project, which encourages the individual to see it through to completion.

Writing 
People with disabilities often have vibrant minds. Writing fiction short stories, full length novels, and even articles about living with a disability is a fantastic form of expressive art. It does not require any physical stress to the body and engages an individual in a long term, focused endeavor.

Segmation

Paint by numbers has always been a therapeutic activity. It engages the mind and body to work in harmony and guides the creation of an artistic masterpiece. They are not difficult to complete and as an individual nears the finality of the picture, an edifying masterpiece begins to emerge.

Seg Tech is a virtual paint by numbers program. This means that a disabled person is able to create masterpieces without having the physical capabilities of a non-disabled person. All they need is an adaptive mouse (if necessary).

Virtual paint by numbers merges the properties of number and color recognition in a way that stimulates the mind, while encouraging the individuals to commit themselves to completing a work of art. This offers people with disabilities 3 constructive qualities: Challenge, purpose, and a therapeutic outlet. It emphasizes the artist in each individual and encourages a sense of wellness only art therapy can provide.

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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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