Category Archives: Artist

Learn to Draw in a Short Period of Time

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

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

Can a Book Quickly Teach Someone to Draw?

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

Targeting the Right Brain is Key in Picking up Artistic Skills

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

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

This Simple Exercise Can Help You Learn to Draw

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

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

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

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

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

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Gregg Visintainer Finds an Emotional Outlet in Drawing

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Art Created in Confinement

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

Holocaust Victims Prove Art Is Worth Dying For

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

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

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

Creating Art in Confinement Confirms the Value of Art

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

Art Helps Jailed Juveniles Find Purpose

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

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

How Has Making Art Helped You?

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

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Possibly the Rarest Art Form – Forensic Art

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Coloring Book Fosters Emotional Healing

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

The short answer to both of these questions is yes.

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

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

Coloring Book May Resolve Abuse-Related Issues

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

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

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

Color Your Way to Healing

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

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

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

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Art Therapy Treats more than the Heart

Why Is Your Favorite Color Your Favorite Color?

“The Pixel Painter”

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The Next Era Of Art May Be All About “Me”

Renaissance. Baroque. Romanticism. Realism. Impressionism. Expressionism. Postmodernism. What might the next art movement be? Murmurs of an odd, but undeniably relevant, phenomenon might be the next big thing: an art movement that is all about “me.”

The term “selfie” encompasses the act of taking a picture of yourself. In reality, long before camera phones, people were taking pictures of themselves. And before we used cameras to snap shots from arms-length away, people were capturing their images through painted portraits. You’ll remember that some of the world’s most well-known artists, like Rembrandt, Frida Kahlo, Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, created self-portraits. But a painted self-portrait in the age before cameras is far different then the ego-centric art of today.

In an article for Artnet.com, JJ Charlesworth proclaimed, “The Ego-Centric Art World is Killing Art.” However, it has been said that such cries were heard every time a new art era dawned and another became history.

Might we be entering a new era where artwork does not call us to look through the eyes of the artist as much as it beckons us to look into the eyes of the artist? Are we about to embrace art that does not lead us to think about events, places, people, or emotions but rather look inward to the sensations we experience and benefit from as a result of art?

Charlesworth uses the example of Marina Abramović’s exhibit “512 Hours” as an example of ego-centric art. Abramović’s performance show seemed to resemble more of a self-help empowerment course than an art display, implies Charlesworth. Known as participatory art, Abramović guided the museum visitors on ways they could live in the present, find themselves and be themselves. These are not bad things, and some people believe the journey to such enlightenment has always been a form of art. It is just different.

For hundreds of years, art has led us to think broadly about the world around us, often teaching us something new about a place or time we could never be in. Now, this shift is leading us to look deeply into ourselves, at a place and time we know all too well: the present.

And, in the ego-centric art era, if art isn’t all about us, it is all about the artist who created it. Charlesworth prompts us to recall Shia LeBeouf’s 2014 performance art show #iamsorry,” where he invited people to gawk at him wearing a paper bag over his head that read, “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE.”

Another artist who creates work directly inspired by her life is Tracey Emin. Her first recognizable art work was titled, “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With,” where the names of past lovers (even those whom she was not intimate with) were posted to the inside of a camping tent. Later, Emin created “My Bed,” which was an installment of her bed and the mess of items she kept by it.

Speculators of art seem to recognize the growing presence of ego-centric art, but it has yet to be recognized as a movement. Although, this may be because much of the world is snapping selfies and discussing the latest Facebook copyright ordinances, claiming their posts belong to them. It is, to some, their art. The art of “me.”

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Émile Bernard – Making Ideas Art

Newly-discovered Computer Generated Art By Andy Warhol

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The World’s First Tetrachromat Artist

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

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

The Making of an Artist

To Concetta, art and life have always been one in the same. Her love of art began at the age of seven, when she found herself fascinated by color. This was around the time she started painting. Even at a young age her peers recognized the Australian native’s creative talent.
America's Finest City Lights, San Diego 10x10Now in San Diego, the place she considers home, Concetta’s days begin at the sight of color. The moment she opens her eyes she feels inspired by the color variations outside her windows and inside her home. Even the different fibers found in her wood floors can captivate this color connoisseur. These everyday sightings are what encourage Concetta to paint extraordinary works of art.

As an oil painter, Concetta paints each piece of art in one sitting and may accomplish 12 or more paintings per month. (With an exhibit on the horizon she has been known to paint up to 30 pieces in that time.) As it may seem, there is no time for creative blocks in Concetta’s world, although, she rarely feels confined by the age-old artist’s plague. Each day Concetta’s appreciation for art is renewed as she takes in the millions of shades, tones and hues that color her world.

Beyond her own art, Concetta also owns and operates an oil painting school called The Salon of Art (http://www.thesalonofart.com/). In her 25 years of teaching, she has instructed over 15,000 people on how to paint.

At a glance, it seems Concetta Antico has lived multiple lives, all dedicated to the pursuit of art. But these are merely chapters of a single story; the story of an artist. And the current chapter, the one where she and her art become known throughout the world, is only just beginning.

Behind the Artist’s Eyes

Concetta describes some of her recent fame as a result of being at the right place at the right time. And to some degree, this is true. In fact, had Concetta’s life not unfolded the way it has, the world may still not fully understand tetrachromacy, a condition where a person possesses four types of cone cells (independent channels for conveying colors) in the eye. It is typical to possess three cone cells but not four. Ultimately, a person with tetrachromacy, or a tetrachromat, may see 99 million more colors than the average person.

Rainbow Gully, Mission Hills, SD 12×16 Hi resConcetta Antico is the world’s first tetrachromat artist, a combination that some researchers have dubbed “The Perfect Storm.” One reason why few people know about tetrachromacy is because not many people know they are seeing more colors than other people. Concetta, on the other hand, has been immersed in color her entire life. Therefore, she is a highly functioning tetrachromat who fully embraced her condition before she knew it was there. This is why Concetta is able to help researchers better understand 2-3 percent of the world’s population that have four color cones. Tetrachromacy involves a unique connection between one’s eyes and brain. Sometimes, people who are unaware they are tetrachromat’s have not allowed their brains to recognize the large amount of colors their eyes take in. Because Concetta has been using color her entire life, her brain is quick to recognize assortments of color that others (even fellow tectrachromats) cannot process.

However, if it weren’t for being at the right place at the right time Concetta may not have learned she has tetrachromacy. Nor would the world have the first artist who can shed light on what it is like to see life through rich color.

Recognizing Tetrachromacy

Two separate occasions led Concetta to the team of researchers who would genotype her as a tetrachromat. The first was a trip to an optometrist with her daughter, and the second came in the form of an email from one of her students.

Peacock Tango! 40x60 Hi ResIn 2009, Concetta’s then 8-year-old daughter came home from school with an uncommon concern. She couldn’t see the board when her teacher wrote on it in orange. It seemed like a case of colorblindness, which is odd because it is very rare for girls to be colorblind. However, a trip to the eye doctor proved that Concetta, a lifelong lover of color, had a daughter with colorblindness.

Concetta didn’t think too much of the rarity in her line of DNA until a student of hers, Wendy Martin, sent her an email about a genetic factor that may influence how some individuals see color. Wendy was a research scientist herself and had noted an “alchemy” in Concetta’s work. When Wendy told the artist/teacher that she couldn’t put her finger on what made the art unique, Concetta joked that it must be her fourth receptor. Shortly after this conversation, Wendy sent Concetta an email with an article that connected the dots of her unique talent. The article stated that a person with four receptors could, in fact, have a colorblind daughter.

On this day in November, 2012, Concetta emailed the authors of the article, thus taking the first step in recognizing what the world knows her for today. Concetta Antico is a tetrachromat.

Same Art, New Fame

What has changed since receiving this news? Concetta still wakes up inspired by colors outside her windows and inside her home; she still owns and teaches at The Salon of Art; she completes each painting in one sitting. But on top of these decades-long practices, Concetta now has a press career. With the eloquence of a tenure educator, the accent of an Australian empress, and the poise of an internationally renowned artist, Concetta grants interviews about her artwork and how tetrachromacy influences her craft.

There is no doubt that Concetta’s talent and work ethic are worthy of fame, but much of this new wave of success has come from her accepting and embracing a DNA condition that is propelling her career to new heights.

Idyll Hours ~ Daisy Days 24×36 Hi ResSo in an exclusive interview with Concetta Antico, the world’s first tetrachromat artist, Segmation has one burning question: What is your favorite color?

Her response might come as a surprise. “White,” she says.

An artist who is known to live in a world of color is most drawn to the color white. Some might argue that white is not a color, but those people are not tetrachromats. “Everything speaks to me,” explains Concetta. “It’s hard to detach from color. It is a huge component of everything I do.” She also expresses that colors like red and yellow are too strong. To her, white is peaceful. And let us not forget, to a tetrachromat, even white is a mosaic of color.

Images made available by Concetta Antico.

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

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Art on Color is No Joke

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An Artist’s Story of Taking Risks and Staying Determined

Like many artists, Alexis Lawson found herself at a fork in the road. One path boasted little brush, bright lighting, and a trail that went as far as the eye could see. This was the path of education; after finishing her schooling, she would become a teacher with a salary, pension, and set vacation days. The other path was barely visible, covered with thick foliage and debris. She couldn’t see where it led beyond a couple steps. This was the path of professional photography.

Alexis took the path less traveled. Shortly after her daughter was born, about five years ago, she decided to avoid the safe route and go out on a limb. She became a professional photographer.

Since making this decision, the artist’s path has taken Alexis on a journey of discovery. As she progressed in her career, she experienced many changes. For instance, Alexis’s photography career started with taking pictures of children and families. Today, Alexis specializes in couture female portraiture.

The Palm Beach based photographer was turned onto glamour photography by Sue Bryce, the portrait photographer behind the Olay Best Beautiful Stories. To follow in Bryce’s footsteps, Alexis signed up for mentorships and workshops with photographers who specialized in shooting “glamour shots.” Alexis admits that photographing women as if they were Vogue cover models “hit home” with her. It was this feeling and her admiration for women—who, like her, managed careers, homes, and families—that prompted her to shine a light on their inner and outer beauty.

After realizing this, Alexis stepped out onto another limb. She turned the back room of her home into a photography studio. Even though there was no guarantee people would come into this space or solicit her services, she took the chance and made a massive renovation.

With a studio in place, Alexis knew it was up to her to bring in women to photograph. She began pounding the pavement, working 50 hours a week to network and market her unique services. All the while, Alexis knew that what she told the women she photographed applied to her, too. “Be true to yourself and stick to it,” she would say.

Like many artists, Alexis had talent. But beyond talent, she worked hard to make her dreams come true. The evolution of her career involved taking risks, working hard, and overcoming obstacles. As she took time to navigate the rocky terrain of the path she chose, she remained focused on the most important thing: being true to the artist inside her.

Today, Alexis Lawson can be found in Palm Beach, shooting couture photographs from her in-home studio. Visit Alexis’s website to see an extensive display of her photography: http://www.alexislawsoncreative.com/.

If you want to be a professional artist, you can. Take the path less travel. Step out onto a limb and work hard to make your dreams reality. And take Alexis’s advice: Be true to yourself and stick to it.