Category Archives: landscapes

The Accomplished Artist – Benozzo Gozzoli

promo1Benozzo Gozzoli was an Italian painter in the early part of the Renaissance era. He was an accomplished artist with dozens of paintings, frescos, and murals to his name. Today, people remember Gozzoli for his work. Even though his style is not as distinct as other artists of his time, he was able to create a multitude of pieces, many of which attract audiences to this day.

Some sources say Gozzoli was born in 1420, although there is some debate about the exact year and birthplace. There is not a lot written about the personal life of Gozzoli. During his youthful years, however, he could be found in Florence, Italy.

The Accomplished Artist – Benozzo Gozzoli
However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Gozzoli’s story, visit this link:  For those who want to read more of Gozzoli’s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=GOZ. Also, Segmation is proud to offer 27 digital Benozzo Gozzoli patterns. By downloading these paint by number masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

In his twenties, he transitioned to Rome where he started his career as an artist by apprenticing with Fra Angelico. He worked alongside Angelico for many years and spent a good amount of time painting the Dominican monastery of San Marco. When this project was complete, Gozzoli began work with Lorenzo Ghiberti.

Gozzoli’s style was greatly impacted by the decade he spent as an apprentice. He learned many traits from Ghiberti and Angelico. For instance, his aptitude to tell a story through his paintings by using vivid illustrations and fine details was a sign of Ghiberti. Angelico’s influence shown in Gozzoli’s use of brilliant colors.

However, like a good pupil, Gozzoli took these influences and developed his own personal style. Many critiques will make the point that Gozzoli’s work was not as strong as other artists of his time. But he had a great way of bringing paintings to life by portraying settings and people that were full of life and color. This was especially true when his subject matter was lighthearted.

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While not always seen as original, Gozzoli set himself apart from his contemporaries in more ways than one. Even though he was not known for his attention to detail (in fact, many pieces of his work can be found with errors), he did enjoy embellishing landscapes with animals and birds. Also Gozzoli’s tireless efforts cannot be denied. The sheer number of paintings he produced prove he was one of the most accomplished artists of the Italian Renaissance.

His paintings are too many to list. Throughout the course of his career, he was responsible for creating nearly 145 different scenes. A number of his art pieces can be visited today, as he had the privilege of painting the interiors of many historic locations.

The Lateran Museum now holds his Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels, which he painted in the monastery of S. Fortunato in 1449. Some of Gozzoli’s landmark paintings include the Medici-Riccardi Palace. In 1459 he completed Journey of the Magi to Bethlehem, a fresco in the chapel. Then in 1463 he worked at San Gimignano to create 17 different scenes from the life of St. Augustine. One of his greatest commissions took place in Campo Santo, a cemetery in Pisa. There, he completed 25 frescoes inspired by Old Testament Bible stories.

The latest artwork attributed to Gozzoli (for certain) was dated 1485. He died in 1497. Some sources say he was buried in the monastery of San Domenico in Pistoria. Others claim his final resting place was Campo Santo, Pisa. With more than 500 years separating Gozzoli and modern day, it is easy to think of him as a mysterious man. But it’s hard to imagine him that way in his own time. He painted his way through Italy and it can be assumed that he was seen then, as he is now, as an accomplished artist.
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Enjoy the 27 Benozzo Gozzoli Patterns Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

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Joseph Mallord William Turner – Great Painter of Light

French Floral and Portrait Painter – Henri Fantin-Latour

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Katsushika Hokusai – Creative Japanese Artist

Katsushika Hokusai (1760- 1849) was an artist whose life demonstrated the joy found in hard work, continuous learning, and perseverance. This Japanese artist went by many names throughout his life, each of which reflected a different period of artistic transition. His most well-known name is Katsushika Hokusai; a name associated with the most famous of his pieces.

Katsushika Hokusai’s love of learning about and producing art began at the age of six. Most experts believe that Hokusai’s relationship with art began as he watched his father add artwork to the mirrors he made. Throughout his adolescent years Hokusai was exposed to the world of art while working in a bookshop and as an apprentice to a wood-carver. At the age of eighteen, he was accepted to an art studio called Katsukawa Shunsho which practiced the wood block print style called Ukiyo-e.


For a decade Hokusai immersed himself in the Ukiyo-e style, which focused on creating images of the courtesans. In 1779, while still studying at the Katsukawa Shunsho studio, he published his first prints. These prints were published under the name Shunro to reflect both the studio and its founder.

When Shunsho, the studio’s master artist, passed away, Hokusai began to study other styles of art, including European styles. His dabbling eventually led to his expulsion from the studio since many of the styles he studied rivaled Ukiyo-e. Hokusai was embarrassed by this event, yet, his embarrassment only served to motivate his development and inspire his artistic career.

At this point in his life Hokusai began expanding his subjects to landscapes and the daily life of individuals from all social levels. This was a breakthrough not only for Hokusai, but for the Ukiyo-e style as well.

He became associated with Tawaraya School of art and thus adopted the name Tawaraya Sori. Under this name he published brush paintings and illustrations for books of humorous poems.

By 1800, at the height of his career, he had adopted the name Katsushika Hokusai. Hokusai published two collections of landscapes: Famous Sights of the Eastern Capital and Eight Views of Edo. At this point, Hokusai had begun to attract his own students.

This period of Hokusai’s life is also marked by stories that testify to his fearless and self- promoting character. One of these stories describes Hokusai painting a portrait of a Buddhist Priest that was approximately 600 feet long. It is said that he painted this enormous piece by using a broom and large buckets full of ink.

Another story tells of Hokusai competing against other artists of his day in the court of the Shogun Lyenari. Hokusai won the competition by painting a blue curve on a piece of paper and then chasing a chicken, whose feet had been dipped in red paint, across the curve. When asked to describe his piece, Hokusai explained it as the Tatsuta River with red maple leaves floating in it.

In the early 1800’s Hokusai went through many stylistic transitions and took on several different names. Under the name Taito he created the Hokusai Magna as well as other art manuals. This endeavor attracted more students. The twelve volumes he created included lessons and thousands of drawings of animals, religious figures, and everyday life.

In 1820 he changed his name again, this time to Litsu. Under this name he painted several pieces that made him forever famous in Japan. These works include Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji and The Great Wave off Kanagawa. During this time he also began to direct his work towards detailed images of single flowers and birds.

In 1834 he changed his name yet again to Gakyo Rojin Manji, which translates as “the old man mad about art.” This was an incredibly fitting name for Hokusai at the time. During this stage of his life, Hokusai believed strongly that the work he had complete before the age of 70 didn’t amount to very much. He felt that he was only beginning to understand structures and how to make images come alive in his paintings. He prayed for a long life that would allow him to continue learning.

In 1839 his studio caught fire and was destroyed. Still, Hokusai continued to paint. At the age of 87 he painted Ducks in a Stream.

True to his continually inquisitive personality, Katsushika Hokusai lay on his death bed in 1849 praying for more time to become a better painter. He is remembered for his incredible talent, but also for being a man passionate about art who found joy in the struggle to learn and become more than what he was.

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Katsushika Hokusai

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Foreign Landscapes Inspire Creativity

What comes to mind when thinking of foreign landscapes? Are these far off countries? Or different planets? Do they only exist in fantasy fiction? Or are they birthed from Hollywood magic?

Wherever these landscapes originate, one fact is constant: foreign landscapes inspire creativity. At the heart of art is a cry of curiosity — a desire to explore what lies beyond the world as we understand it. This is why natural disasters, everyday home supplies, and destructible objects are bringing about some of the most creative art pieces to date.

Natural Disasters

Foriegn Landscapes Inspire ArtForces of nature often leave tragic sites in their trails but even in the most horrendous of circumstances, art can be found. Take for instance the landscape created from the Superstorm Sandy that hit New York in 2012.

In a parking lot in Queens, NY, 18 piles of sand reaching 30 feet tall were collected. After days of wind and rain, the sand dunes looked like ancient pyramids. Photographs of this site portray the art nature left behind.

Everyday Home Supplies

Repurposing home supplies to create art is increasing in popularity. With social media sites allowing people to share DIY projects, home improvement stores are no longer for fix-it materials only. Artists strive to incorporate three-dimensional shapes to liven up colors and concepts.

At the core of their purpose is a landscape worth replicating. It serves as a “touchstone” for the artist and inspires a piece of art that tells its story.

Destructible Objects

Foriegn Landscapes Inspire Art 1Artistic landscapes broaden the imagination and evoke emotions in all who get to experience them. At the annual Burning Man festival, a landscape of art installations is built. Every Labor Day weekend in a Nevada desert (USA), a “pop-up town” is created by festival attendees. This community contributes art that represents a blending of the divine and the idealistic. The entire festival is devoted to encouraging people to see life beyond their perspective.

Art at the heart is about making the objective world a little easier to understand. Landscapes inspire ideas that are as visually stimulating and tangible as the landscape itself. It answers the curiosity of artists and evokes curiosity in observers.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art at the Heart:

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Camille Pissarro – Father of Impressionism

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Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) was a French Impressionist painter who painted scenes of urban and rural landscapes. He frequently used peasants and laborers as subject matters in his works.

Pissarro is most known for works to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism art. Pissarro studied with the famous master artists which include Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. In his later years, he worked alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac achieving a Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.CPI002

He is considered the father of impressionism mostly because of his mentoring relationships with Cézanne, Gauguin, Degas, and other impressionist artists of the times. Our SegPlayPC collection of 27 patterns contains a wide sampling of his art style.

Segmation SegPlayPC includes many recognizable Camille Pissarro works including Harvest at Montfoucault, Peasant Girl with a Straw Hat, Red Roofs, Apple Picking at Eragny-sur-Epte, Haymakers Resting, Boulevard Montmartre (afternoon sunshine and at night), The Shepherdess, Woman with Green Scarf, and Self-Portrait.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camille_Pissarro

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Camille Pissarro

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William Merritt Chase – American Impressionist Painter

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American Impressionist painter William Merritt Chase was born on November 1, 1849, in Williamsburg, Indiana.

His parents had six other children after his birth. William’s father, a businessman, decided to re-locate his family to Indianapolis in 1861, when Chase was twelve. In Indianapolis, the young man was hired by his father to be a salesman.

www.segmation.comChase’s artistic talent was not necessarily nurtured in his childhood. He received early training from Jacob Cox and Baton S. Hays, artists who were self-taught. Though Chase had very humble beginnings, studying under non-notable teachers, he would mature to become a famous impressionist painter.

William Merritt Chase joined the army only to be encouraged by his teachers to seek further artistic training. He received this advice, and in 1869 moved to New York to study with Joseph Oriel Eaton. Soon after, he began studying at the National Academy of Design. Lemuel Wilmarth, pupil of Jean-Léon Gérôme, taught Chase during his time at the National Academy.

Although he grew rapidly under the tutelage of excellent art instructors at the National Academy of Design, Chase moved to St. Louis in 1870 to help support his financially struggling family. He did this by selling still life paintings. While in St. Louis, he was involved in the local art community. He won prizes and awards for the excellence of his works. The time spent in St. Louis was something of a springboard for Chase’s career, as it gave him an opportunity to exhibit his works and showcase his rare talent.

Chase’s artistic talent was evident to all, including the elite and upper class of St. Louis. These wealthy individuals favored Chase and provided a way for him to live in Europe for two years. Their only stipulation was that he would provide them with paintings and assist them in obtaining the European art they desired for their collections.

www.segmation.comThe burgeoning artist’s two years in Europe were excellent for his stylistic development. He enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and was privileged to be a student of Karl von Piloty and Alexander von Wagner. During his time in Munich, Chase sought out friendships with other American artists, including Joseph Frank Currier, Frank Duveneck, and Walter Shirlaw.

While in Munich, William Merritt Chase began to experiment with his artistic style. He painted figurative works in the “loosely-brushed style popular with his instructors.” His painting titled “Keying Up” is an example of his work from this time period (1876). Chase was later awarded a medal for “Keying Up” by the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition.WMC001thumb

In 1878 Chase moved to New York and began teaching art. A few years later, in 1886, he married Alice Gerson, whom he had eight children with. Alice, along with two of Chase’s daughters, frequently posed for him.

William Merritt Chase established and instructed at the Shennecock Hills Summer School in 1890. It was at this school, located in New York, that he taught the “plein air method of painting” (meaning he taught his students out of doors). The Chase School of Art was opened in 1896.

His ability to excellently paint many different subjects was one of the defining talents of Chase, the artist. Throughout his life he regularly painted portraits, landscapes, studio interiors, figures, cityscapes, and still life pictures.

On October 25, 1915, the world lost a painter who had contributed much to society. William Merritt Chase passed away in his Town House in New York. He died a well-respected, highly esteemed artist and teacher.
Chase’s New York studio and home (now known as the William Merritt Chase Homestead) are both part of the National Register of Historic Places. Chase is an example of an artist who worked with integrity and relentlessly developed his talent. He is still celebrated to this day.

William Merritt Chase established a school for artists known as the Chase School. He played various roles in his life including an artist, teacher, father, and sophisticated cosmopolitan. Although he worked with all media, he was most talented in oil painting and pastel, as well as watercolor.

He is best known for his portraits, who sitters included important people of the day and also his family members. Locations including Prospect Park, Central Park in New York City, and Shinnecock Hills on Long Island were popular locations for his outdoor paintings.

Patterns includes several self portraits, and numerous portraits including Portrait of a Lady, lady in Pink, Lady in Black, The Blue Kimono, Girl in Red Embroided Jacket, The Mandolin Player, Still Life Fish, At the Seaside, Azaleas, Girl in Japanese Costume, Portrait of Miss Dora Wheeler, and Portrait of Louis Betts.

Do you have a favorite Impressionist Painter? If you could paint an impressionist painting, what color would you choose? Share with Segmation by leaving a comment below.

Sources:

http://www.nga.gov/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Merritt_Chase

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Coming soon: If you love art as well as technology, you won’t want to miss our upcoming blog post about word cloud portraits.

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Tips for Improving your Landscape Drawing Skills

Whatever your level of skill, these tips will help guide you in developing habits that will grow your abilities to draw and paint landscape scenery with just a couple of weeks of consistent practice.

Implement these for 15 or 20 minutes a day and the improvements will be greatly evident.

Tip No. 1 – Quick Impression Drawings

Get out of the house! Go to the zoo, the museum, a park, an apartment building complex, somewhere other than where you typically draw. Focus on drawing moving things. Drawing objects in motion will help you develop the flow. Every experienced artist can tell you about the flow. Your speed of drawing will increase by practicing these quick impression sketches, but will also help you to develop your perspective drawing skills and build up a repertoire of animals, objects, and people that you can readily access from your mental toolbox.

Tip No. 2 – Blind Drawing

This method is mentioned in all major drawing instruction books and often goes unnoticed or ignored by most artists. This method (also known as “blind contour drawing”) requires that the artist follow its subject with his/her eyes and not focus on the paper they are drawing on. This technique is a great way to keep your drawings vivid and has been dubbed the ultimate anti-stiffening tool in a professional artists bag of tricks.

Tip No. 3 Forget the eraser!

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” – Miles Davis

Every line you draw is a representation of your own handwrite. This is the unique signature of your artistic expression. Do you really want to erase that? Practice making every line work for you.

Tip No. 4 Take measurements!

One of the largest sources of complaints of growing artists is that their proportions are off. You don’t need to get fancy here. Use your pencil or other small stick, extend your arm as far as it will go (in order to ensure accuracy for each measurement), and note with your eyes how much of the length of your stick that particular object runs. Drawing roofs, chimneys, beaches, trees, animals, and many other things become much easier to make proportionate when you implement this small technique.

Tip No. 5 – Draw negative space

When you see a bale of hay, a fishing net, or long strands of hair, are you trying to individually draw the lines in the net, the fence, or the hair? Try implementing this technique and draw the negative space and see what objects it works best on. It’s a nifty trick that, when mastered, provides a faster, easier, and better looking drawing of more intricate items.

So grab your pad and pencil and practice, practice, practice! After all, this is the one surefire way to improve!

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Catch a Wave

American recording artists, the Beach Boys said it best; “Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world.”

Is this how surfing feels? The mighty energy of water folding under one’s feet must be exhilarating, and there is no doubt that it mimics the sensation of sitting on top of the world. But how many people really get to experience this sensation?

Not only is it challenging, it’s a rather limiting exercise, especially considering one’s location may prohibit their access to these energetic waves. That’s why people living in places like Hawaii, California, and Australia are more likely to take up this activity, while those in landlocked regions don’t necessarily have the option. However, the sight of an individual climbing the wall of a crashing wave is alluring to almost everyone. This is why it has become such a popular setting in paintings, photographs, and even movies.

Paintings

There are many ways of painting a wave. Some artists like to paint them as precise as possible, down to the fine detail of the ocean spray. Others, make the art more abstract. However, one thing is necessary when painting a wave– it has to be inspired by the energy of the water.

Surf artist Peter Pierce says that his wave art is, “… inspired by the actual act of riding quality waves. Likewise, the true ‘surf artist’ understands the rareness/value of quality waves via living a life passionately devoted to the pursuit of such waves… ”

Therefore, Pierce paints waves because he knows how to ride waves. But people can also “ride a wave” from the comfort of their beach chair, and capture a similar energy with their paint brush.

Photography

Capturing this energy with a photograph is a bit more challenging. The surf culture itself is very active, and to keep up with the waves, and people riding them, one must be quick to point and shoot.

With the speed and force of rising and falling water, the active lifestyle of surfers and surf artists can be down-right-dangerous. In fact, photographers who desire to get the perfect picture oftentimes put themselves into compromising positions. In pursuit of a breathtaking image, they will put themselves into the water with the surfers but without the advantage of having a floating board (and instead happen to be carrying expensive, water-sensitive equipment).

Although, perhaps that is the price these individuals pay to do what many others cannot: Surf art photographers are able to literally catch a wave so that those who can’t surf still experience the sensation of sitting on top of the world.

Movies

Movies about surfing, and more specifically, movies about the sea creatures who live beneath these transportable waves, have been popular for quite some time. And why wouldn’t they be? A movie about surfing has many elements that a successful movie needs. This is because the active culture of surfing is inviting, crashing waves are thrilling, and the risk of danger is high.

Just this year, the most recent surfing movie, Soul Surfer, was released. With an all-star Hollywood cast and amazing cinematography, the movie captivated its audience and shared the thrill of catching a wave.

There are countless other movies that survey the surfing culture. All of them have something in common — the artistic capturing of natural scenery.

Even though many people don’t have access to large bodies of water conducive for surfing, most everyone enjoys the energy that comes from catching a wave. Whether they can actually ride a wave or just look at one, energy exudes from the image of swelling water that is on the verge of collapse. This allows surfers, artists, and observers of both, to catch a wave and sit on top of the world.

Thank you featured surf artists Peter Pierce and Trent Mitchell. If you want to know more about this art wave and craze, visit http://www.clubofthewaves.com.

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