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The Healing Power of Color (www.segmation.com)

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As an artist, you are probably aware of the effects that different colors can have on your state of mind and emotional well-being. In fact, in a past article we discussed the psychology of color and provided an overview of how each color can impact your mood.

In this article, we’ll take a look at color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, and how you can apply the basic principles of chromotherapy in your art.

Color therapy involves using, or meditating upon, specific colors to help you find balance and harmony, both inner and outer. There are many forms of color therapy, such as:

  • surrounding yourself with a color that represents characteristics that you feel are lacking in your life, to achieve balance
  • immersing yourself in a color that represents characteristics, or states of being, that you aspire to
  • using colors to “cleanse” your physical body and achieve physiological harmony (such as practiced in Chinese therapy)

While color therapy was once regarded as a New Age fad, today the effects of colors on a person’s mind, body and spirit are well-documented. Even commercial paint manufacturers recognize the connection; some offer a specific range of paint colors that are designed to promote healing and wellness.

To utilize the healing power of color in your art, you can create paintings or drawings based on specific colors to bring about a certain adjustment in your (or someone else’s) mental, emotional, or physical state of being. You can use a combination of colors to evoke a certain state of mind. Experiment with different patterns and compositions and take note of how the paintings affect you.

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What Every Artist Should Know About Copyright (www.segmation.com)

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All artists should be aware of copyright – that is, the exclusive rights that you, as the creator of your art, are granted from the moment your artwork is created.

Because you are the copyright owner of your original artwork, you have the sole right to distribute your art and make reproductions of it. No one else can do this without your consent. If they do, it is illegal and you can take legal action.

Technically, the moment you create your artwork, it is copyrighted. While it might be helpful to draw or paint the copyright symbol © onto your art (followed by the year and your name), this symbol is no longer necessary to protect your copyright. It’s more of a visual reminder to let others know that your art is copyrighted.

However, if you should ever take someone to court because they infringed upon your copyright, the only way to get the utmost in legal protection is to register your copyright with the US Copyright Office. Ideally you should do this immediately after the artwork is finished.

If the artwork is registered with the US Copyright Office, offenders can be held liable for up to $30,000 in statutory damages or even $150,000 if you can prove that they already knew your art was copyrighted but reproduced it anyway.

Registering your copyright is easy. You can fill out the form entirely online at the website of the US Copyright Office, pay the fee, and upload images of your art. Once processing is complete, they will snail mail you a certificate of registration. Even though that may take a few months, your copyright is officially registered from the date you filled out the form, made the payment and uploaded your art.

The cost to register your art is $35, but if you register your artwork as a “series”, you can register as many works of art as you want (as long as they were created in the same year) for one single fee of $35. For instance, if you created 12 landscape paintings in 2010, you can register all 12 landscapes under the same claim for a single $35 fee. This is a great way to save money on registration fees.

In short, it’s always a wise idea to protect your copyright by registering your art with the US Copyright Office. If and when your art becomes wildly popular, you may need that legal protection if anyone infringes upon your copyright.

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The Many Different Hues of Blue

The Many Different Hues of Blue.

The Many Different Hues of Blue

The Many Different Hues of Blue.

The Many Different Hues of Blue

The Many Different Hues of Blue.

3 Ways that Artists Can Benefit from Blogging

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Before the invention of photography, artists had to work from real life. How did that affect artists’ working habits?

The necessity of working from life meant that in order to paint a portrait, the sitter had to pose for hours, days, weeks, and sometimes months before the artist was finished. To paint a still life, the artist would have to make sure the set-up stayed the same day after day, and could only paint when the lighting conditions were the same as the previous day. For landscape painting, artists would have to finish as much as possible on-site and often complete the final painting in their studio, often surrounded by smaller studies that contained notes on which hues and values to place where.

The invention of photography – especially digital photography – has changed the way artists work. Thanks to the convenience of affordable digital cameras, artists can easily take a variety of high-quality pictures of whatever they want to paint, and then instead of working from real li

The main goal of art marketing is to get your art out there. The more people that know about you and your work, the better. Blogging is an excellent – and free – way to put you and your art in front of a wider audience. In this article we’ll take a look at how artists like you can benefit from keeping a blog.

What is a blog?

“Blog” is short for weblog – a word that was first coined in 1997 when the general public was still getting its feet wet with the Internet. At first, blogs were merely online diaries – personal accounts of people’s daily lives. As the Internet has matured, blogs have turned into so much more. Blogs are now powerful marketing tools that are used by corporations and individuals alike to promote their businesses.

How can blogging be used as an effective art marketing tool?

  1. Blogs provide exposure. The search engines love frequent-updated blogs. Each update you post gives you another chance to be found on the Internet – by a gallery owner, a potential collector, or anyone who might be of benefit to you and your business in some form.
  2. Blogs provide insight. When you blog about your art, you can write about everything from your inspirations to your struggles and everything in between. Blogs give gallery owners and potential collectors insight into your working process, which shows them that you are a serious artist.
  3. Blogs facilitate connections. People who buy artwork online are more willing to purchase art from someone with whom they feel a connection. Blogging allows you to connect with your fans and collectors on a personal level – showing them that you are a real, live, trustworthy human being, as opposed to an impersonal collection of pixels on the screen.

These are just some of the many ways that artists can benefit from blogging.

One final note: remember that a blog is better as a supplement to your website, and not a substitute. While some artist blogs double as an online gallery and a blog, it is generally better to keep the two separate, so that it is easier for your site visitors to navigate from your new content in your blog to your static content on your website (such as your gallery).

Ready to set up your art blog? You can start a blog for free through WordPress or Blogger. Have fun!

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How to Photograph Your Art

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It’s important to take good photos of your Art for many reasons.  Photos of your work will be used for several purposes:

  • To show your work to prospective galleries
  • To display on your website
  • To use on your business cards and other promotional materials
  • To serve as a record of what you have created

Back in the day, manual SLR cameras were the norm for taking high-quality photographs of artwork.  These days it’s possible to take good photographs of your art using consumer-quality point-and-shoot digital cameras – the kind you use for everyday purposes.  If you plan to print any of the photos of your art, keep in mind that the higher the pixels, the larger you’ll be able to print while maintaining a sharp clarity.

You can choose to shoot your artwork indoors or outdoors.  If you photograph your work indoors, drape a black velvet cloth on the wall and hang your artwork in front of it, at level with the camera, which should be placed on a tripod for ultimate stability.  Place two tungsten light bulbs inside two clamp lights and space them at equal points on either side of the camera, pointing towards the art at an approximate 45 degree angle.  Then point and shoot!

These days it’s not necessary to create an indoor photo set-up to get decent pictures of your art.  Many artists take photos of their artwork outside, because it is far easier than setting up a photo area indoors.  By using a digital camera and a photo-editing program, you can almost always get good photos of your art even if outdoor conditions aren’t 100% perfect.

It’s best to take photos of your art on a sunny day, to bring out the best in your artwork’s colors, but be careful to position your artwork either at an angle to the sun or place your artwork in the shade so that the direct sunlight does not cause a glare.  It may take some experimentation to get it just right, but the great thing about digital cameras is that you can take all the photos you want without worrying about wasting film.

After you’ve taken the photos and uploaded them to your computer, choose the best ones and edit them in a program like Photoshop or GIMP.  In these photo-editing programs, you can adjust the image’s brightness and contrast, hues and saturation, as well as crop the image.

Thanks to digital photography and photo-editing programs, taking accurate photos of your artwork is easier than ever!

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Toxicity of Oil Paints: Past and Present

Self-Portrait by Vincent van Gogh

Many people attribute the shimmering, swirling colors and bold, choppy brushwork in Vincent van Gogh’s paintings to his lifelong battle with mental illness. Although his world-famous paintings now sell for millions, during his life van Gogh lived and worked in poverty, surviving on financial assistance from his devoted brother Theo. At times, van Gogh was so poor that he couldn’t even afford food because he had spent all his money on oil paints; his passion for painting overriding his basic human instincts.

As his mental instability worsened, van Gogh ate some of his oil paints, which contained lead. Ingesting the lead in his oil paints may have led to van Gogh’s seizure in 1890, precipitating his mental and physical decline that would lead to his self-inflicted death half a year later.

Lead is just one of the many toxins that were once a common ingredient in many oil paints. Mercury, chromates, sulfides, barium and antimony are just some of the other toxic ingredients that were used to create oil paints. The popular Cadmium Reds, Oranges, and Yellows contained cadmium, while cobalt contributed to Cobalt Blue and Cerulean Blue. Scheele’s Green rose to popularity in the 19th century, replacing the previous green pigments to become the green of choice for artists, used by Turner and Manet. Sheele’s Green contained arsenic.

Thankfully, the oil paints that are manufactured today contain very little of these toxic substances. Oil paint tubes are required to carry a warning label if they contain even the slightest traces of toxic materials. Although these labels cause some artists concern, the risks of becoming poisoned from modern commercial oil paints are quite minor if the paints are used as intended.

Although it may go without saying, artists should never follow in van Gogh’s lead by eating their oil paints. Likewise, artists should never put paintbrushes in their mouths or open stubborn tubes of paint with their teeth. Although you’d actually have to eat an entire tube of paint to become sick, it’s not worth the risk of getting oil paints anywhere near your mouth to begin with. Maintaining clean studio habits, which includes minimizing skin contact with oil paints, will assure that today’s artists run minimal risk of toxic exposure through their oil paints.

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Color in Monochrome Paintings www.segmation.com

1918 Monochrome Painting by Kazimir Malevich, titled "Suprematist Composition: White on White"

When you think of “abstract art”, what pops into your mind? A jumble of shapes on a canvas? Art that resembles spilled paint? How about paintings with lots of color?

The strong use of color is one of the most prominent features of abstract art, but it’s not necessary to use a variety of colors to make the painting interesting. In fact, there are some artists who do just the opposite: they focus each painting on just one color, and sometimes include tints or shades of that color.

This is called monochrome painting. The main element of the painting is a single color. In the painting above by Kazimir Malevich, the main color is white. The bottom layer is painted a warm white that appears slightly off-white when contrasted with the smaller square painted on top of it, which is a cooler white.

Monochrome paintings start with a single color (or hue), which is then mixed with various degrees of white paint to create tints and black paint to make shades. See the image to the right for an example of a monochromatic color scheme.

In a purely monochromatic painting, no other colors are used. Working in a monochromatic palette allows artists to explore the qualities of a specific color, while experimenting with how that color looks in relation to itself, only altered by white or black.

Some people may find monochrome paintings boring, due to the lack of diversity in color. However, limiting the palette forces the artist to come up with a more creative composition to create interest in the piece. If the artist is working in a realistic or representational style of painting, such as creating a recognizable portrait, landscape or still life, then working on a monochromatic color scheme can help the artist focus on tone and value – two concepts that we’ll discuss in future articles.

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On Cloud Nine www.segmation.com

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Clouds are visible masses of water droplets which are suspended over in the Earth’s atmosphere. Clouds are classified in various groups depending on their altitude, structural appearance, and coloration. Cirrocumulus, Cirrostratus, Altocumulus, Altostratus, Stratocumulus, Stratus, Cumulus, Nimbostratus, Cumulonimbus, and Cumulus are the most common names given. Their coloration gives clues onto what they contain due to light scattering effects of water drops and ice crystals and the direction of the light hitting the clouds. Our set of cloud patterns will put you on Cloud Nine. We have many representations of clouds of various types photographed against cactuses, birds, bridges, shades, water, and grass fields. Several of the patterns are based on clouds images which have been artistically enhanced to give them a different yet, fun, and colorful appearance.

This set contains 23 paintable patterns.

On Cloud Nine

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