Category Archives: unlikely artist

First Female Tattoo Artist Starts a Cultural Phenomenon

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There is something magical about art. Music, poetry, dance, and drama all hold an enchantment so real that people will do just about anything to make contact with the particular art form that makes their life worth the living. Art is so captivating that many people desire to wear it, or even to become it. This is made evident by the millions of dollars that are spent each year on designer clothing and one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Those who just can’t seem to get close enough to art often become a living, breathing work of art. How? By getting tattooed.

Some would agree that tattoos are not only works of art, but means by which individuals become art. This is fascinating when you think of it. For relatively small amounts of money, someone can enter a tattoo parlor having 100 percent natural-toned flesh and exit having had a section of their body shaded with vibrant colors. What beautiful things tattoos are.

Tattoos used to be considered primarily masculine. However, the times have changed drastically. More women were tattooed in 2012 than men (in the United States). Also, tattoos are evolving into more feminine, beautiful works of art. In some ways, tattoos are becoming a female affair. This is due in part to a woman named Maud Wagoner — the first American female tattoo artist.

Maud Wagoner was a woman like no other. While most ladies of the Victorian era were studying homemaking and vying for a husband and children, Maud was doing all she could to become a skilled tattooist. She went so far as to “trade a date with her husband-to-be for tattoo lessons.” Her talent for tattooing was passed down to her daughter, Lotteva Wagoner, who was also a tattoo artist.

Thanks to artistic forerunners like Maud Wagoner, body art on women is becoming more the rule than the exeption. For art lovers, this should be good news. After all, when done by excellent artists, tattoos turn people into walking works of art, and that is a beautiful thing.

Sources:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/2013/01/slide-show-a-secret-history-of-women-and-tattoo.html#slide_ss_0=3  

Coming soon: Read our next blog post to learn what an artistic impression a colorful front door can make on guests and neighbors.

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Gregg Visintainer Finds an Emotional Outlet in Drawing

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Most artists would agree that art is an emotional outlet of epic proportions. Art is truly miraculous in the way that it helps people process through difficulties. The amazing thing is that even when art is created in hard times, it somehow always turns out beautiful in some way. This is especially true if the artist created the art work from an authentic place emotionally. Gregg Visintainer is an artist who can identify with the idea that art is an emotional outlet. Not only that, for Gregg art has also become a major form of income.

Gregg Visintainer has been drawing since he was a child. In school the young artist would use his class time to perfect his art of drawing. While he loved drawing, Visintainer wasn’t convinced he could make a career out of it. As a result of this belief, Gregg essentially gave drawing up after high school.

When he was 24, after 6 years away from creativity, Gregg picked his art back up and began drawing again. This rebirth of art was brought on by an emotionally difficult time in Visintainer’s life. During this time he drew a piece titled “Lonely World.” This drawing took approximately 250 hours and 3 months to complete. Gregg so enjoyed expressing his emotions through “Lonely World” that he continued drawing, eventually establishing a company called Viz Art Ink.

Viz Art Ink features drawings made of pen and ink. The drawings are complex and full of hidden meaning. From far off, a Viz Art Ink drawing appears to contain one primary image, but when one gets closer it becomes clear that there are “hidden pictures, words, messages, and a lot of meaning that relates to each theme.”

Gregg has quite a following of fans, but his talent has also been noticed by big name companies like Volcom, Element Skateboards, DC Shoes, Dregs Skateboards, Skinit, Grateful Dead, Falken Tires, and Disney. In fact, Gregg has worked with each of these companies in the past few years.  It’s clear that these major companies see the value in Gregg Visintainer’s dynamic pen and ink drawings.

Even when they have abandoned their art for a season, true artists tend to find their way home to art making eventually, even if it takes them a lifetime to do it. Things didn’t take so long for Gregg Visintainer. Are you an artist who once forfeited creating art, only to return to art making during a difficult season of life? Tell Segmation your story in the “comments” section below.

Sources:

http://www.vizartink.com/pages/about-us

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Knitting Is More than an Art, It Is a Cause

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There are many different ways in which art benefits people. Some visual art is so stunning that it simply lifts a viewer’s spirit. Other art is sold and supports the very livelihood of the artists who create it. Music is a form of art that is not only enjoyable to listen to, it is also therapeutic, and many music therapy recipients are becoming healthier in both body and mind. There’s no doubt that art in general has benefitted humanity in countless ways. During World War One, knitting was an art form that proved itself to be beyond beneficial.

During the first World War, knitting was far more that just an art — it was a cause. Between 1917 and 1918, women and men all over the United States were encouraged to knit garments for U.S. soldiers. These soldiers were often in pitiful condition, stuck in freezing trenches and icy weather with nothing to insulate them. As a result, many soldiers took sick and even died from cold weather-induced illnesses. The efforts of American knitters literally saved the lives of many soldiers.

Since knitting was sweeping the country in the early 20th Century, it was not at all uncommon to see people engaging in the art during church and school. The Red Cross issued a request for knitted garments, and much of the knitted goods collected during the war were produced by Red Cross volunteers. Many people from Seattle and other parts of the country also contributed to the war effort.

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The primary knitted garment that was called for by the Red Cross during the first World War was the sock. American soldiers’ boots were neither comfortable nor warm, so wool socks made their job a little more tolerable. Besides knitting socks, Americans spent thousands of hours knitting sweaters, wristlets, and mufflers. The art of knitting was certainly shown to be invaluable during the perilous years of World War One.

In the days of World War One, Americans saw knitting as not only a way to keep soldiers warm and well, but also to make them feel comforted during a very traumatic time. This is an excellent example of the importance of art in society. Furthermore, this proves that a simple art like knitting has the ability to accomplish a great deal of good. Surely art is endowed with powers to lift the soul, comfort the spirit, and even preserve the body.

Sources:

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=5721

Coming soon: Do you know how easy it is to tie die your own garments? If not, you won’t want to miss our upcoming post!

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Professionals Integrate Paint by Number Into Their Careers

Paint by number art has become something of an American legend. Thousands upon thousands have fond childhood memories of creating amazing paintings using paint by number guides. Some individuals are so moved by paint by number that they have actually integrated this form of art into their careers. Such people see the true value of paint by number kits in that they helps “everyday people” paint works of art that they can truly be proud of.

One individual who has beautifully integrated paint by number into his career is Trey Speegle. Speegle has made a name for himself by taking paint by number paintings and “recontextualizing” them, then “combining them with words and phrases that deconstructs the genre in a variety of ways.” Trey Speegle strives to bring certain themes out of vintage paint by number paintings; themes like hope, transformation, longing, and love have all been drawn out by Speegle in the past. This amazing artist works with Anthropologie Home, Stella McCartney, and Fred Perry, among other people and businesses. Trey Speegle truly brings the best out of paint by number paintings.

Artsist JoDavid loves paint by number so much that he has invented a “Paint by Number Salon” in he and Marlow Harris’ place of residence. Their salon is garnering attention from the media, and rightly so – the space is filled with 160 paint by number paintings. The salon is greatly inspirational to JoDavid and Marlow Harris, as well as to many others. Of the paint by number salon and paint by number itself, Harris commented, “It’s beautiful – it’s art.”

Karen Savell’s career as a paint by number art restorer testifies to her fondness for the art form. Savell began restoring paint by number paintings in 1999, and soon people began to notice her talent. After a few years of finishing others’ paint by number paintings and restyling classic pieces, Savell began her own business restoring these amazing works of art. Today she is thrilled to be living her dream of working with paint by number art.

How has paint by number made its mark on your life? Whether you love creating perfect paintings or have knit paint by number into your daily life or career, your experience is unique and valuable. Segmation wants to hear your personal story in the comments section below. What does paint by number mean to you?

Sources:

http://treyspeegle.com/bio/

http://unusuallife.com/paint-by-numbers-house/

http://vimeo.com/38068832

http://www.paintbynumbermuseum.com/karen_savelle_intro

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Learn to Make a Custom Paint by Number Pillow

Have you been keeping up with Segmation’s paint by number blog posts this month? If so, you are aware of the impact this art form has had on American culture. Do you love paint by number? We hope so, because this post outlines how to make your very own paint by number pillow.

The first step in creating your paint by number pillow is to obtain the supplies you need: paintbrushes, a fabric marker, masking tape, paint pot strips, paint by number guide, fabric paint, “heavyweight” cotton (to be used for back of the pillow), hand sewing needle, thread, “plain, light colored utility fabric for pillow front,” scissors, and Poly-fil. Once you have gathered your supplies, you are ready to move into the crafting stage of the project.

Next, you will print a paint by number guide (you can download the right side of the guide at http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/files/rightside.pdf, and the left side at http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/files/leftside.pdf). Once each side of your guide is printed, you will tape the sheets together to make a whole guide. Place the guide atop your fabric (intended for use as the front of the pillow) and cut the fabric to fit the size of the guide.

Now for the fun part! Trace the paint by number guide onto your pillow fabric. You can do this by hanging/taping the paint by number guide with the fabric ontop to a window. The sunlight coming through the window will help you to see the paint by number lines. Use your fabric marker to trace the guide onto the fabric as carefully as possible. (Don’t forget to include the numbers.) Make sure you do this on a sunny day!

Next, you will number your paints and begin to add color to your pillow front. Paint your picture by simply matching up the numbers of paint with the numbers on the pillow guide. This will result in a beautiful paint by number pillow front!

How much do you enjoy paint by number and Segmation? Whether you like 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?

Note: this project was adapted from http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/07/make-your-own-paint-by-numbers-pillow.htmlhere you will find more in-depth instructions for this project as well as directions for putting a back on the pillow, etc.

Coming soon: Read Segmation’s exclusive article about the unique ways many professionals have incorporated paint by number into their careers.

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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:

Retrorenovation.com

mnpraireroots.wordpress.com

childrensmuseum.org

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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“Paint by Number” Kits Create Thousands of Artists

To be considered an artist, must someone necessarily conceive of the subject of their artwork in their own mind, or is it acceptable for them to use a “blueprint” provided by another artist? Dan Robbins, the designer of “paint by number” art kits, would agree that individuals can indeed use patterns to assist them in art making and still be accepted as legitimate artists.

Dan Robbins designed paint by number, a product that allows people to paint pictures according to set patterns, in the 1950s. Max Klein, who was the president of the Palmer Paint Company, sought Robbins out as the designer of the yet-to-be discovered product that would later be known as paint by number. Robbins was admonished by Klein to conceive of and design a product that could help anyone become an artist.

Robbins looked to Leonardo da Vinci for inspiration in his endeavor to create a phenomenal art product. (This is because Da Vinci was known to supply his apprentices with “numbered patterns” on which to paint.) Robbins wondered why the same principle Da Vinci applied to his apprentices wouldn’t work for modern art enthusiasts and soon began developing paint by number kits.

Not long after paint by number was developed and marketed, kits began to sell in droves as Americans became addicted to the product that enabled them to make beautiful, intricate paintings. Robbins created even more kits and trained paint by number designers (Adam Grant was one such designer). Today, Dan Robbins’ art “has been displayed on more walls than that of any other artist.” To say that paint by number kits made Dan Robbins a success is an understatement.

Paint by number has been supplying art enthusiasts with art “blueprints,” so to speak, for decades. As a result, thousands of individuals having dormant artistic skills have blossomed into artists. This has made paint by number somewhat of an American legend, and has afforded many individuals cherished memories and increased artistic ability.

How much do you enjoy paint by number and Segmation? Whether you love crafting perfect paintings, creating great digital art, 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:

http://www.paintbynumbermuseum.com/dan_robbins_intro

Coming Soon: Read Segmation’s exclusive article about William L. Bird, a historian and curator at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, where in 2001 he organized an exhibition on paint by numbers on which his book is based.

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

For an artist, how important is the ability to see? For example, does a painter need sight in order to make artwork? Yes, such an individual does need sight, but not necessarily the type that comes through the eyes. Rather, they need sight that comes through the imagination. Artist John Bramblitt is proving this to the world by creating incredible paintings with only his fingers and his imagination at his disposal.

Studio artist John Bramblitt sees life in color, despite the fact that he is blind. His blindness, caused by epilepsy, intruded on his life about nine years ago, when he was just thirty years old. Adjusting to living with blindness after a lifetime of sightedness was certainly not easy. When asked what shade his initial depression was, he said, “Oh my word, it was the worst black. It was like being in a hole.” Amazingly, the artist began to learn to paint after these complications with his sight began.

Bramblitt’s paintings are just about as vivid as can be, which gives us a peek into his mind and allows us to see things from his perspective. But how does a blind individual know which colors to use and how to mix them to achieve the artful effects they desire? John Bramblitt has learned the “feel” of colors by memorizing the texture of different shades of paint. (The texture varies in each color due to the oil content in the paint.) He outlines what he wants to paint before rendering it, and he carefully guides the strokes of his brush with the help of his fingers.

This incredibly positive and unique artist often paints images of people’s faces, which is a difficult feat for someone who can physically see, let alone an artist who is blind. Bramblitt imagines a subject by touching his or her face. He used this technique on Tony Hawk, an individual he had never before seen in his life. The finished product resembled the subject remarkably. Bramblett has used the same technique on his wife and son. Although he has never seen either with his eyes, it’s obvious he has seen them perfectly in his mind, as his portraits of them are quite accurate.

Bramblett has great anticipation for his future as an artist. In his own words, “It’s brilliant (the future), it’s just the most brilliant colors and I can’t wait to see it take form, to see it take shape.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-20037973.html

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Man Uses His Own Blood as an Art Medium

Many people would assume that an artist would use mediums such as paints, chalks, and charcoals to create pieces of art with. Without a doubt, these mediums are judged by most to be harmless. But when does an artist cross the line into using art mediums that might be considered inappropriate? This is the question some are asking Vincent Castiglia, an artist whose art medium is drawn from his own body.

Vincent Castiglia, an artist from New York, uses his blood as paint. He has been using this highly unique, watercolor-like medium for about a decade, and as a result has experienced success in his career as an artist. Castiglia commented that he purposely began using blood as paint, though in the beginning he merely “dabbed” it onto his drawings (made of pen and ink). Later he progressed to using blood to create whole paintings with.

How much blood does it take to craft just one painting? Castiglia said a 7-foot painting requires a potential 30 vials of blood. Reportedly, the out-of-the-box artist will take only “15 vials of blood at one time” from himself – he made the point that this amount of blood is smaller than the quantity in a blood bank donation.

Castiglia’s work is drawing attention from the media as well as from the art world. His paintings are popular and sell for up to $26,000. Part of the high cost of the pieces is attributed to the time it takes to complete them (some paintings take Castiglia months to finish).

When do you know that an artist has taken their desire for a creative art medium too far? When they begin to potentially harm theirself in the pursuit of creating innovative art? Some would say yes, this is going to far. Others would think pushing the limits to such a degree is good for an artist and shows a great amount of dedication to art itself. Everyone will no doubt have their own strong opinion on this point. There is one thing that cannot be argued about Vincent Castiglia’s artwork: It is literally a part of him.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/vincent-castiglia-artist-blood_n_1948333.html

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Garden Art Knows No Limits

Is there a limit to what can be considered art? It is very likely that there will never be a consensus on that question. Every person has his or her own opinion of what constitutes art. For Pearl Fryar, art doesn’t merely exist in the form of oil paints on a canvas or chalk pastels on paper, it exists in a most unusual place: His garden.

In 1984, Pearl Fryar wanted to win the “Yard of the Month” title in his community. In an effort to do that, he began creating a garden that would one day become what it is today: a three acre topiary wonder. Possessing only desire and no training, Fryar set out to purchase plants for his garden. He took home the raw materials of his soon-to-be feast for the senses as well as a three-minute lesson in topiaries. From those basic resources, Fryar created a garden that is as true an art form as one can find.

Years after he had started crafting his garden, people began to tell Pearl Fryar that he had broken the rules of horticulture in the creation of his art. By that time, he had cultivated a masterpiece that was drawing major attention.

There is something about art that intrinsically draws people to the divine and eternal. The art that resides in Pearl Fryar’s garden is no different. Each week 300-500 people flock to his garden with all the fervor of those pursuing a weekly service at a church or temple. Fryar commented that he considers his garden as much a ministry as any place of worship.

Bente Borsum said, “Art knows no limit, and the artist will never achieve perfection.” How true that statement has proven itself in the life of Pearl Fryar. His garden art has outgrown the limits of what is considered a “traditional” art form, and even proceeded to touch the human spirit. As far as achieving perfection in his craft, Fryar seems to know that he never will, and he is not concerned; that is not his goal.

What is Fryar’s goal for his garden art? In his own words, “The idea is to leave this garden with a message, to feel differently than you did when you started.” Pearl Fryar wants those who come into contact with his art to be changed; isn’t that the desire of all true artists?

http://www.scetv.org/index.php/etv_sumter/entry/pearl_fryars/

http://quote.robertgenn.com/getquotes.php?catid=176

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