Category Archives: Art

Artist-in-Chief: Presidents are Painters too!

A United States president has a lot of responsibility. From the time when he (and, perhaps in the future, she) is sworn into office, he steps into supreme command over the country’s military; he has the power to sign bills into laws; and he becomes the chief diplomat, a national representative to whom the leaders of other countries look. Needless to say, the president is a busy person. But throughout history, presidents have found time to exercise their artistic talents while in office and at terms end.

In fact, some presidents turned to painting as a release from the stress of a high pressure job. After all, art has been known to relieve tension and serve as an escape from life pressures. According to the American Art Therapy Association, “Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others cope with symptoms, stress and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.”

According to an article on MentalFloss.com, four presidents were notable painters.

  1. George W. Bush –

    Most recently, the world has experienced the 43rd president as he took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, published a book about his father (41st president George H.W. Bush), and enthusiastically showcased his paintings of dogs. His late Scottish terrier isn’t the only subject of the former president’s artwork. In April 2014 a Dallas exhibit showcased over two dozen paintings of fellow world leaders.

  2. Jimmy Carter –

    It is no surprise that artwork adorned with the signature of President Jimmy Carter has fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. Even though he started painting post-presidency, he has become a skillful painter in his own right. Proceeds from his one-of-a-kind nature scenes or portrayals of wildlife mostly go to charitable causes.

  3. Dwight D. Eisenhower –

    It has been said that Dwight D. Eisenhower was prescribed painting as a cure to the stress of being Chief of Staff of the Army. At that time, Winston Churchill, who enjoyed the many benefits of painting, seemed to inspire the future president’s pursuit of the practice. In his lifetime, Eisenhower completed over 250 paintings but even he recognized the monetary value of his art depended on his presidential fame.

  4. Ulysses S. Grant –

    On this list, Ulysses S. Grant is probably the only man who entered the presidency knowing he had innate artistic talent. In fact, it was said that Grant painted with watercolor while attending West Point Academy and was proud every time he completed an artistic project. Many of Grant’s detailed paintings are housed in private collections today.

Every president wears multiple hats while in office, but only a few can be called “artists-in-chiefs.”

United States Presidents have been known to relieve stress by painting. Now you can do the same. Explore the art of peaceful imaging; Segmation offers digital paint-by-number software and patterns of the USA’s most memorable presidents. SegPlay is also available in the Apple App Store.

United States President Caricature by Segmation

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

17 Fun Facts About U.S. Presidents

United States Presidents Were Skilled Musicians

Happy President’s Day!

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Alfred Stevens – A Life Immersed in Art

Defining Belgian artist Alfred Stevens (1823 – 1906) has always been a challenge. Throughout his career, the painter’s artwork fulfilled styles seen in various movements, like Romanticism, Impressionism, and Realism. As his styles changed so did his subject matter; regal women, political scenes, and sea settings were among his many focal points. Perhaps the most profound constant in Stevens’ life was art itself.

Alfred Stevens was introduced to art at an early age. His father and brothers were painters, art dealers, critics, or collectors. If he and his family members were not creating art they could be found discussing art at the café his grandparents owned. The establishment was always intended to be a place where artists could congregate.

At age 14, the young painter attended an art school where he developed drawing abilities. These skills preceded his enrollment in the influential Parisian art school, Ecolé de Beaux-Arts, where he may have studied the work of Dutch genre painters. This art style, known for portraying “scenes from everyday life,” quickly launched Stevens into fame.

www.segmation.comAfter four years of publically displaying his work, Alfred Stevens painted Ce qu’on appelle le vagabondage (translated to What is called vagrancy) which got the attention of the Emperor at the 1855 Universal Exhibition. After viewing the piece of art depicting Parisian soldiers leading an impoverished mother and her children to prison while signs of wealth shroud the scene, Napoleon III enacted political changes.

Shortly after this, in 1857, Alfred Stevens returned to his favorite subject matter: women in fashion. One decade later, by the time the Great Exhibition of 1867 arrived, paintings like Woman in Pink, Miss Fauvette, Ophelia, and In the Country were added to his portfolio.

His career was postponed in 1870 when he fought in the Franco-Prussian War. When the war was over, he continued to paint. In 1878 he was elected Commander of the Legion of Honor. (He received a Legion of Honor award 15 years earlier.) He also received a medal from the prestigious Paris Salon the same year.

Despite his acclaimed portfolio and notoriety throughout France, Alfred Stevens experienced significant financial troubles in the 1880s. Serendipitously, this struggle would catapult Stevens into a new art style. Falling on hard times was exacerbated by unrelated health concerns. Even though his diagnosis was never known, the prescription that surfaced proclaims a doctor ordered Stevens to vacation by the sea. For three years, vacations were funded by a Parisian art dealer who accepted the artwork Stevens created as an even exchange. This is how sea settings began to appear in Stevens’ artwork. Nevertheless, Alfred Stevens had a few more genre paintings in him.

The pinnacle of Alfred Stevens’ late career was Panorama du Siècle. Painted alongside Henri Gervex and other assistants, the masterpiece received many accolades at the 1889 International Exhibit.

Stevens was often honored in the final years of his life. In 1900 his alma mater, Ecolé de Beaux-Arts, ushered his name into history as the first living artist to receive a retrospective exhibit. Other honorary exhibits sold Stevens’ work but did not provide him with enough money to live the rest of his years comfortably. Alfred Stevens passed away in 1906. His most valuable assets were works of art already in circulation.

Alfred Stevens left the art world with a rich and lasting legacy. His artistic talents evolved throughout his career. He produced numerous paintings that fit different styles, genres, and artistic movements. In addition, he stirred politics with his honest portrayal of daily life in Paris and captured women of the era in latest fashions. Most importantly, Alfred Stevens paralleled the essence of art itself. Like art, Stevens was not always easy to define. Still, many art enthusiasts looked at him with awe; he was a man who lived his life fully immersed in art.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Stevens story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=AST . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 29 digital Stevens patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 29 Alfred Stevens – A Life Immersed in Art . 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:

Benjamin West – The American Raphael

Jan Gossaert – A Great Flemish Painter of Antiquity”

Joaquín Sorolla – The World-Renowned Spanish Painter

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Alfred Stevens (painter)

Alfred Stevens

Alfred Stevens What is called vagrancy

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The Gift of Color Vision

There is a rare condition that’s not fatal, but many artists would kill to have it. It is called tetrachomacy. Its main symptom is near-superhuman vision.

Impressionist painter Concetta Antico has tetrachomacy. When she examines a leaf, she sees a “mosaic of color,” not just shades of green.

“Around the edge I’ll see orange or red or purple in the shadow; you might see dark green but I’ll see violet, turquoise, blue,” she says. In her line of work, this ‘disorder’ is a rare gift that produces extraordinary works of art.

Tetrachromats have more receptors in their eyes to absorb color, letting them see hues that are invisible to everyone else. The average person has three cones, or photoreceptor cells in the retina that control color vision and allow people to see up to a million colors. Tetrachromats have four cones, so they can detect nuances and dimensions of color that others can’t.

Researchers believe that one percent of the world population is tetrachromatic. According to Kimberly Jameson, a cognitive scientist at the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at the University of California in Irvine, the differences between the color range perceived by a tetrachromat and someone with normal vision is not as drastic as the difference between someone who is colorblind and someone who is not.

After studying Concetta Antico’s genes, Jameson determined that her fourth cone absorbs color wavelengths that are “reddish-orangey-yellow.” As a cognitive scientist, Jameson is fascinated with how people like tetrachromats can form and communicate concepts, especially since their visual perception of the world is so different.

Research suggests that tetrachromacy may be more widespread than assumed: those who have it don’t always notice because they haven’t trained their brains to pay attention. Antico admits that she was more color-aware than most children; at age seven she was painting and thoroughly fascinated with color. Because of the extensive exposure at an early age, her brain wired itself to notice and take advantage of her tetrachromacy.

She actively supports continued research into mutations that affect color perception. Her reasons are personal: five years ago, her seven-year old daughter was diagnosed as colorblind. Antico believes that the more she helps science professionals understand tetrachromacy, the better they will be able to help her daughter one day.

Kimberly Jameson agrees. “If we understand genetic potential for tetrachromacy and how their perception differs,” she says, “we can understand quite a lot about visual processing of color that we currently don’t understand.”

Antico may actually be helping colorblind individuals via her art. She has been teaching painting for over 20 years, and many of her students have been color-deficient. Jameson has looked at their artwork and found it to be surprisingly color-aware. She believes that Antico’s sensitivity to color differences at a very early age may have given her the understanding and articulation to help these students. It’s a hypothesis that still needs to be proved empirically, but raises the possibility that people’s perception of color can be improved by retraining their brains.

Antico has her own art gallery in San Diego and hopes to one day open an art school for the colorblind, to help them improve their color-awareness.

“What if we tetrachromats can show the way to color for people who are less fortunate than us?” she says. “I want everyone to realize how beautiful the world is.”

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

EnChroma Introduces Colorblind People to Color

The Importance of Color Vision and Art

Blind Artist’s Vision is Clearer than that of Sighted Individuals

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The Writer Who Knows Her Colors

Who needs Pantone when you can create your own colors? A multi-talented artist from Los Angeles recently created a color chart that helps her write better.

Ingrid Sundberg knows color. You might find this statement ironic when presented with a picture of Ingrid. Her hair is currently purple. But an out-of-the-box hair color is only the tip of the iceberg. Ingrid Sundberg really knows her colors and she is sharing her knowledge with the world through a color thesaurus.

Arranging and naming 240 unique colors, Ingrid compiled a seemingly comprehensive thesaurus. However, her purpose in completing this strategic art activity was not to publish a reference manual. Her goal has always been to boost her creative writing. With this lexicon of colors before her, she can create descriptive and intriguing work. “I use it all the time when I write. It really helps in revision as I try to make my work fresh and vibrant,” says Ingrid.

Other writers benefit from this thesaurus, too. Those who read and follow Ingrid’s blog, “Ingrid’s notes,” may have known about the color guide. However, Ingrid wants everyone to know it is not official. “This was something I made for myself based on color words I liked and the colors the words evoked for me…” she tells Board Panda. This explains how inventive colors like bumblebee, tiger and penny made the list.

Now that multiple media sources have reported on the color thesaurus, some haters are emerging, claiming the various shades of black are too similar and pointing out how Pantone already created a comprehensive color chart. Unfortunately, these people overlook what motivated Ingrid to create such a chart in the first place. She was never trying to cut corners or appease the world around her; she wanted to create a tool to help her write descriptive and intriguing passages.

Such a color chart does more than enhance her writing; it may add to her visual artwork as well. That’s right—Ingrid publishes novels for young adult readers and illustrates children’s books, too.

Ingrid credits her broad range of artistic talents to a childhood where, living in Maine, she cultivated a vivid imagination. On her journey from being an engaged child to a lifelong learner, Ingrid received a bachelor’s degree in illustration and a master’s degree in screenwriting.

While we do not know if the color thesaurus helps Ingrid bake better (because yes – she bakes too: http://www.ingridcakes.blogspot.com/), she likes its assistance so much that she is making additional color charts: a hair color chart and “emotions/facial expressions thesaurus” are in the works.

It seems that Ingrid has accomplished what she intended. Better yet, she has proven to be a talented creative writer: her first book, All We Left Behind, will be published in 2015.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art

Pantone’s World of Color

Technology to Permanently Change Your Hair Color

Art on Color is No Joke

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Paint by Number – The Original DIY Project

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) projects are all the rage. With craft shops and hardware stores popping up on every corner, any idea seems within reach. More and more people are jumping on the DIY bandwagon, expressing their enthusiasm for projects like homemade crafts and home remodeling. This is evident on television and social media networks, where creative décor and practical construction are encouraging the inventive spirit. Nowadays, there is less desire to hire contractors or buy assembled decorations; instead, many people opt to do these things themselves.

With this new surge of independence, we easily forget that DIY projects have been around for ages. In fact, before industrialization, it could be said that life was completely “Do-it-Yourself.” However, even in the 20th century, when manufactured products became readily available, people still chose to do some things themselves. Now, in the 21st century, the DIY craze is sweeping the United States and much of the world.

The Original DIY Project

http://mocoloco.com/art/archives/020982.phpWhen exactly did DIY (as we know it today) begin appealing to the general public? “DIY Painting,” a new WordPress blog, reminds us of the history of DIY by pointing to paint by number.

Paint by number first appeared in 1950 and boasted the tagline, “Every man a Rembrandt.” In fact, the greatest benefit of paint by number—in addition to its stress relieving nature and low cost—is that anyone can produce amazing artwork. In this regard, it was the original do-it-yourself home decorating option, as well as gift and craft project.

The Evolution of Paint by Number

Today, paint by number is still around but its appearance is different. Computer technology makes virtual paint by number sets available on personal computers and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. With Segmation, it is possible to become an artist in minutes by downloading virtual paint by number software and patterns.

Nevertheless, the heart of paint by number is the same. As the DIY Painting blog accurately points out, “Everyone can participate, using the usual leisure time, painting a beautiful picture [with] paint by number kits.” Paint by number is an enjoyable activity that makes any person an artist within minutes. In this sense, paint by number is still the epitome of do-it-yourself projects. The only difference between paint by number and other DIY projects is guaranteed success.

Segmation – Paint by Number for the Digital Age

SegPlayPC 1.8 screenshotSegmation makes it easy to create artistic masterpieces. Each month they release paint by number patterns that allow you to paint like the greats, including Leonardo da Vinci, Henri Rousseau, and Vincent van Gogh. They also produce fun patterns for holidays and special celebrations (see Halloween Spirit and Amigos). By releasing new paint by number pattern sets regularly, Segmation satisfies that itch many people have to take on DIY projects.

DIY is not new but the technology encouraging and spearheading today’s projects is novel. If you crave a project that allows you to express your creativity and produce successful art, explore the original DIY. Explore Segmation paint by number software and patterns.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Professionals Integrate Paint by Number Into Their Careers

“Paint by Number” Kits Create Thousands of Artists

Museum Curator Elevates Prestige of Paint by Number Art

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

Nice art and quote together! What a beautiful combination!

Abstract Art by Omaste Witkowski

Rainbow Revolution Abstract Pattern Artwork by Omaste Witkowski owFotoGrafik.com

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Emulate the Romantic Style of William Blake

Emulate the Romantic Style of William BlakeArtists have varying traits and abilities. Still, there are many common threads that tie this community of talented individuals together – one being that artists feel as if they are different. This isn’t too farfetched; artists are often misunderstood by society and even their peers. This story is especially apparent in the life of William Blake.

Regardless of how others viewed him and his art, William Blake’s work has gained notoriety. Unfortunately, Blake died nearly two centuries ago with no money and little recognition.

The interesting life and work of William Blake could be discussed for hours on end. However, this post is meant to recognize his mystical style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Blake’s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=WBL. Also, Segmation is proud to offer 24 digital William Blake patterns. By downloading these paint by number masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

William Blake’s Style

Romantic. Mystical. Radical. Non-conformist. These words attempt to describe William Blake, but they barely scratch the surface.

Blake lived during the latter half of the 18th century an up to 1827. He was both an artist and poet. During his life, he and his wife worked as engravers to make ends meet.

Today, Blake is recognized as one of the founders of the Romantic Movement. He approached the content of his art as if it all took place in a dream. It seems he was fond of stories from the Bible in addition to great works of literature. In studying his work, it is clear that these characters were alive to him. He paints vivid pictures that could have only been birthed from his imagination.

The Work of William Blake

On the day William Blake died, it is said that he was working on illustrations to go along with Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Before that, at the age of 65 he pursued a project that consisted of 21 copperplate illustrations purposed to breathe life into the Old Testament Bible story of Job.

His life was riddled with disappointment and depression. One story that exemplifies this truth comes from a time he shared an idea with a publisher. He wanted to illustrate Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The publisher liked the idea but chose to have another artist complete the work. Still, Blake moved forward with creating his own illustrations and planned to sell them at a separate exhibit. Unfortunately, very few people attended the affair and he did not sell a single painting that night.

Despite a life of hardship, William Blake never stopped creating art. Poetry and painting were his passions and engraving was his trade for nearly 50 years.

It can be assumed that Blake had delightful seasons of life, even though they didn’t come in the forms of dollars or fame. Nevertheless, happy stories about William Blake are hard to find these days. Today, William Blake’s joy can only be seen in his paintings.

Enjoy the 24 William Blake 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:

Joseph Mallord William Turner – Great Painter of Light

French Floral and Portrait Painter – Henri Fantin-Latour

Albert Bierstadt: Painter of the American West

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How Well Do You Know Frida Kahlo?

The life and work of Frida Kahlo is known throughout artist communities and much of the world. Numerous biographies and critiques have been written about the Mexican painter, and in 2002, Salma Hayek brought the infamous character to life in the movie Frida.

Despite the broad reach of this historic woman, a recent art exhibit is raising a perplexing question: how well do any of us know Frida Kahlo?

Frida Kahlo’s Complete Collection

In San Diego, California, an art exhibit at the Naval Training Center at Liberty Station boasts having all 123 of Kahlo’s paintings on display. The only problem is that none of the paintings are completed by the acclaimed artist.

The title of the exhibit, “The Complete Frida Kahlo: Her Paintings, Her Life, Her Story” is thought to be misleading, as all of the art work are replicas.

The Missing Pieces

Many of those who have visited the displays are unaware that these pieces are merely facsimiles of the real paintings. Disclaimers stating the truth are hard to find and often overlooked.

If this art is not the work of Frida Kahlo, then who should it be accredited to? Four artists from China are responsible for replicating the 123 paintings, but they are not named anywhere throughout the exhibit.

However, the spotlight shines on the couple who arranged this exhibit. Dr. Mariella Remund and Hans-Jürgen Gehrke invested 30 years and their life savings into this project. Five years ago, they decided to present their project to the public. When asked about what drove them to put together this extensive collection, Remund responded, “…we are crazy.” The pair reportedly loves Mexico and admires Mexican culture. They especially enjoy Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Completely Dishonest or Just Unconventional?

Despite receiving appropriate rights from Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums Trust to replicate the paintings, Remund and Gehrke did not properly advertise these paintings as replicas. The show has been referred to as “completely dishonest” by notable art critics.

Remund stands her ground though. She is not worried that some people think the pieces are Frida Kahlo originals. Nevertheless, she has an 8.5” by 11” sheet of paper displayed at the entrance of the exhibit explaining the paintings are replicas.

What is an art exhibit that has a complete collection of replicated art work? Dishonest or unconventional? Is it a unique approach to honoring historic art, or downright (as Remund says) “crazy”?

Read more Segmation blog posts about Historic Artist:

Katsushika Hokusai – Creative Japanese Artist

The Expressive Vincent van Gogh

Jan van Eyck – Renaissance Realist

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All About the Color Red – Sensational Color!

www.segmation.comHow do you feel when you gaze at a large red Rothko painting, spend time in a room with regal red wallpaper, or see a stop sign? While the color red carries different meanings depending on its context, the body’s biological response is the same: red can raise both your pulse and your blood pressure. Additionally, red can even make you feel hungry by increasing your body’s metabolism – which is why many restaurants use the color red in their logos and decor!

Red is the longest visible light wave, ranging from light pinks to deep crimsons that have a wavelength between 610 and 780 nm. Our modern word “red” comes from the Old English word rēad. This warm, eye-catching color has strong meanings that tap into the heart of various human emotions and experiences, depending on the specific context in which it is found.

www.segmation.comFor instance, in Western culture, red can signify anger and aggression (as in “blood red” or “a face that turns red with anger”), but it can also denote love, lust and passion (from red roses to the red-light district). It also functions as a strong warning color that represents danger or emergencies.

On the other hand, the color red in China is related to happiness and good fortune. In both China and India, red is the traditional color for wedding dresses. In Africa however, red is associated with death and mourning.

Red is one of the earliest pigments used by our prehistoric ancestors, who made red ochre pigment from clay to paint the walls of caves. Red pigments have been created from several surprising sources, such as crushed cochineal insects used to make carmine red. Madder lake derives from the roots of the madder plant, while vermilion was made from powdered mineral cinnabar, which is a red mercury ore. These days, most red artists’ pigments are created synthetically in factories, including hues such as poppy red, cadmium red, rose, alizarin crimson, and quinacridrone magenta.

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Light Creates Space, Color, and Perception

Red and Green are an Unlikely Pair

Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

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Coral Reefs: Rainforests of the Sea

www.segmation.comSegmation is getting ready to go to the beach for vacation and one thing we can not wait to explore is the beautiful coral reefs. They are so colorful and full of beautiful art. What though is Coral reefs? Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. These are tiny animals called polyps which have hard bodies which support and protect their bodies Coral Reefs are sometimes referred to as the “rainforests of the sea”, because they contain the most diverse ecosystems on Earth.

A coral reef is a community of living organisms. It is made up of plants, fish, and many other creatures. Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. They are home to about 25% of all marine life! www.segmation.com

Coral reefs need water that is between 68 – 82°F (20 – 28°C), which is often located along the eastern shores of land. Reefs usually develop in areas that have a lot of wave action because the waves bring in food, nutrients and oxygen to the reef. Waves also prevent sediment from falling on the reef. Reefs need calcium from the water to grow, which is more often available in shallow warm waters.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef. It is made up of over 2 900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2 600 kilometers off the northeast coast of Australia. Think of them as the “rainforests of the oceans.” Containing sponges, sea slugs, oysters, clams, crabs, shrimp, sea worms, starfish, sea urchins and more. www.segmation.com

Coral reefs are being destroyed at an alarming rate. It is estimated that we have already lost 10% of the worlds reefs, and scientists say that in the next 50 years many of the coral reefs on Earth will be gone. This destruction is often connected with human activity: pollution, sewage, erosion, irresponsible fishing, poor tourism practices, and global warming.
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Read more Segmation blog posts about Art and Color:

Red and Green are an unlikely pair

Color the Universe ..Beige

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