Category Archives: blog post

Melinda Donelan’s Blog Keeps Art Room Open 24/7

What does a Good Art Teacher Look LikeSummer vacation is here and classrooms across America are empty. We only know of one art room that is open all year long. The doors to Miss French Fry’s art room never close because she has mirrored the creativity her students experience in school with a bright, constructive and amusing blog,

“Teaching art is my dream job,” says Melinda Donelan (a.k.a. Miss French Fry). “I like to use my blog as an outlet for sharing some of the fun things we work on in the art room.” And share she does. About twice a week, Donelan publishes posts that show projects her students are working on as well as classroom décor/organization tips. Sometimes she even gives her readers a sneak peek into her personal life by revealing what she is making for dinner and her wardrobe selections for the week.

What sets this art teacher’s blog apart is her fusion of creativity and organization. Every post focused on art education starts by introducing the project and the inspiration behind it. Maybe she traveled to a museum or was inspired by a famous painter from the past. She explains how she does this intentionally, “When I develop lessons, regardless of what the objective is, I like to ensure that the projects tie in with something else, whether it’s a cross curricular connection or a piece of literature.” After tying each project to a deeper purpose, she springboards into the details of the project and shows her students bringing their artwork to life by using pictures. She has lots of pictures that show readers what the students are doing step-by-step. She also shows a finished project, too.

In reading her blog, it is clear that Miss French Fry really enjoys her job. “One of the biggest things I enjoy about teaching art is celebrating my students’ uniqueness,” she says. “Before teaching art, I worked as a special education teacher for students with behavioral and emotional disabilities. It’s been wonderful incorporating that background into my art room and definitely inspired quite a few blog posts.”

Miss French Fry Makes Art: Art Room Sub TubMiss French Fry’s blog posts can inspire more than just art teachers. All teachers could benefit from some of her posts. For example, the “Sub Tub” is an organizer she has created to store and label lesson plans for substitute teachers. All in all, her clever instructions make it simple for any teacher to feel prepared when they leave their classroom in the hands of a substitute.

In this 24/7 world, always accessible art education resources are hard to come by. With her blog,, Melinda Donelan is changing this. Explore the adventurous, industrious and sometime wacky world of an art educator. Get some fresh ideas and walk away feeling encouraged and more creative.


Read more Segmation blog posts about colorful artists:

Is an art education necessary?

What does a Good Art Teacher Look Like?

Reviving Art as the Heart of Education

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Cutting Edge Art Blog Inspired by Current Events

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

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

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

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

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

Read more Segmation blog posts about inspirational art:

Foreign Landscapes Inspire Creativity

Inspiring Digital Art

Decorate Your Home Office to Inspire Creativity

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The Color Popularity Contest: Cars, Weddings, Sports Teams, and Much More

We all know that colors can conjure up various meanings and sometimes even feelings. The color red can convey power, passion, or caution. Blues and greens can evoke feelings of peace and tranquility. But what are the most popular colors out there?

The multimedia resource center for DuPont recently released the 2011 Global Automotive Color popularity report. This report made us curious to know what the popular color choices are, not only for cars, but for other material things like clothing, home decor, sports teams, and weddings.

According to DuPont’s Global Color Popularity Report, the most popular car colors in 2011 were white, solid, pearl, silver, and black. This is the first time in quite a while that whites have surpassed black and grey in popularity. The colors green and yellow came in last, leaving red, blue, and brown to fall somewhere in the middle.

In North America, white, black, and silver still ranked highest on the list for popular car colors. Green, yellow, and brown came in last, while grey, red, and blue took the middle ground. To view the report yourself and discover which colors were the most popular in numerous countries, visit the website below.

Color popularity can depend on many factors including seasons, fashions, and purpose. The popularity of a color is always subject to change as new styles, needs, and combinations come to the surface. It is also incredibly hard to determine the most popular color in many situations.

General surveys have revealed that blue is usually the most popular color overall. However, green has been a favored decorating color.

When it comes to sports teams, each team typically claims at least two primary (bold) colors. At the moment, the most popular color scheme for sports teams is red and black.

Popular fashion colors can change by the year or even by the season. Popular shoe colors are generally red, black, and silver. However, discerning popular hair colors is a bit trickier. Usually when we talk about hair color we are referring more to hues and shades than we are to actual colors. For those worried about fitting in to current fashion, platinum blonde is still “in,” as is blonde.

Popular wedding color combinations are also difficult to keep up with, but black and white seem to stay consistently popular. This year you may just be seeing a lot of neutral colors paired with small amounts of bright, eye-popping color.

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Face the Fact, Technology Creates Art

In the 21st century, technology creates all things useful… including art. We have to face the fact that gone are the days when art belonged on an canvas, was formed between the hands of a potter, appeared from inside a slab of granite, or was developed with the intention of advancing culture.

Now there are even more dimensions of art to embrace. We can do this by recognizing how technology allows everyone to become artists by producing visual representations of who we are, as individuals and what we care about.

An online program that allows anyone to create a work-of-art is Picasa. This is Google’s free photo editing software that transforms our every day pictures into artistic masterpieces.

The newest version, Picasa 3.8, has the ability to turn anyone into an artist — or a video producer for that matter. For some time, Google’s Picasa has been an easy tool that makes photo organization and editing a breeze. It allows individuals the ability to create online albums that are easily shared with friends and family members throughout the world. Check out the Face Movie Segmation produced with it:

(If the video does not appear on this screen, visit Youtube to view Segmation’s feature Picasa film:

Creating A Face Movie

It’s easy to create a Face Movie like this one. Picasa 3.8 can instruct you with step by step directions. However, it is a process that is completed with just a few clicks of a button. The program analyzes faces in the photos you want featured. Then, it couples them with the smoothest transitions in ways of facial expressions and/or poses. The different technique Face Movie uses, creating noticeably different movies, is overlaying photos organized by similar qualities, like expressions or poses. You can start creating your Face Movie today by clicking here.

Benefits of Picasa 3.8

But wait… it gets easier. With Picasa, you don’t need to scramble to find the pictures you want to use. It organizes all the photos on your PC, even those scattered throughout your system. Then, they can be easily organized into web albums.

Name Tags

Google understands that the people captured in photographs are what matter in a picture. This is why they created a collection system based on name-tags. It is a lot like the Facebook feature, “tagging.” By placing a box around an individuals face, one is able write their name and easily store all pictures where he or she has been tagged. This is also available with places, or “geo-tags,” where one can mark the exact location of the picture using Google maps.


From there it is easy to publish your favorite photos online. You can choose to share single images or an entire album. This also allows you to connect with friends and family members and set notification settings when those you’ve set as “Favorites” post new photos.


And you don’t need to worry about showing pictures that are sub-par. Picasa also includes an editing systems that can improve any picture. By having control of red-eye correction, lighting, and other abnormalities, you are sure to collect and share pictures you’re proud of.

The abilities of Google’s Picasa 3.8 are numerous, but you don’t have to believe us. Explore the free program and see for yourself.

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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.


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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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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A Summer Activity for Leisure Days

© Dave Dugdale: Flickr

Summer days are notorious for bright sun, hot temperatures and endless activities. The irony here is that summer days are also supposed to be days of leisure. This is why lounging around inside is okay even when the sun is bright. In fact, one of the most enjoyable things about a summer day is air conditioning!

Indoor summer activities often consist of watching television, sitting on the computer and working around the house. It is challenging to find a leisure activity that is also mind stimulating. This is why Segmation offers the perfect summer activity for all ages.

Paint by Numbers

Since the 1950’s, paint by numbers has been known as a leisure past time and summer activity.  It became popular when people began making more money, working fewer hours and increasing the amount they shopped. As a result, people purchased items to use in their free time. With consumers buying items like TV sets, barbeque grills and paint by numbers kits, these popular past times became better known as “new leisure.” To this day, paint by numbers, among the rest, are still a favorite past time, even though they all have new faces.

The Artist in Everyone

© Kara Allyson: Flickr

Paint by numbers is not just a great past time; it allows anyone to become an artist. Even a clumsy hobbyist can paint the perfect picture. This is why the box tops of paint by numbers kits formerly proclaimed “Every man a Rembrandt.” While every person can craft the perfect picture with paint by numbers, different levels of expertise offer this leisure activity at any skill level.

Now you have it all; all you need are leisure summer days to awaken the artist in you. The virtual paint by numbers program, Segmation, will turn you into a Rembrandt, or at the very least, a graphic design artist. Enjoy picking colors, following a pattern and watching your masterpiece appear on screen. With Segmation, this leisure activity awaits your next air conditioned summer day.

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