Category Archives: Paint by Number kits

Museum Curator Elevates Prestige of Paint by Number Art

The argument about what does and does not qualify as art has created tension in the art world for centuries. Some people think only fine art should be considered “real” art. Others believe that primitive, rustic, rugged pieces crafted by the unschooled are indeed genuine works of art. This is just the type of debate that has surrounded paint by number paintings, which were created from mass-produced paint by number kits, for the past several decades.

While many art elitists do not believe paint by number paintings are true works of art, William L. Bird, Jr., believes they are. Bird should know – he is not only the curator at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, he is also highly educated on the subject of paint by number.

Bird raised the prestige of paint by number art in his book, Paint by Number: The How-To Craze that Swept the Nation. In his book, Bird gives an explanation of how paint by number was born, who marketed it, and why it was such a success. Also, the author explains the level of artistic skill it took to create paint by number kits. Understanding these facets of this technique and brand is helping the public see paint by number paintings for what they truly are – a form of art.

William L. Bird, Jr., further championed paint by number paintings when he displayed them in an art exhibition in 2001 at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

An individual who visited Bird’s exhibition commented to Bird that several paint by number paintings from “identical kits” had variations painted in them. (These were variations that the artists themselves had “painted outside the lines” to add.) This individual wondered if such artistic inconsistencies helped these particular paintings qualify as art. Bird affirmed, “By expressing preferences and making choices, these painters are taking the first steps toward art. I think you can charitably argue that in these cases it was art.”

Do you love paint by number and Segmation? Whether you like being a perfect painter or great digital artist, or simply have fond childhood memories of coloring inside the lines, your experience is valuable. We want to hear your story in the comment section below. What does paint by number mean to you?

Sources:

http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/15/paintbynumbers.php

http://www.amazon.com/Paint-Number-How-To-Craze-Nation/dp/1568982828

Note: The top photo used in this post does not belong to Segmation; it was found at http://mocoloco.com/art/archives/020982.php.

Coming soon: Read Segmation’s heartwarming article about various individuals’ much-loved childhood memories of paint by number.

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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

Coming soon: Have you ever wondered where today’s traditional “Christmas colors” and other holiday shades originated? If so, you’ll want to read our next post.

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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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Thomas Eakins – America’s Master of Realism Painter

 Thomas Eakins - America's Master of Realism

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New Pattern Set for SegPlayPC recently released (see more details here)

Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (1844-1916) was an American painter who is best known for his realistic depictions of the male body. Eakins’s quest for realism led him to study anatomy and apply his research to creating works with dark lighting and realistic depictions. He endured much public scorn in his early years for his obsession with the male figure, however was recognized as a great master towards the end of his life. Our pattern set includes a self portrait, several sculling and wrestling scenes. His most recognized works including “The Swimming Hole”, “The Gross Clinic”, “Baby at Play”, and “The Agnew Clinic” are also included. There are also many portraits included such as “Miss Amelia Van Buren”, “Portrait of Maud Cook”, “Maybelle”, “Lucy Lewis”, “Weda Cook”, “Alice Kurtz”, and “Walt Whitman”.

This set contains 42 paintable patterns. How exciting and fun!

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Perspectives on Color

We often talk about linear perspective — the way the shape and appearance of an object changes with distance — but the phenomenon known as color perspective is equally important. Also known as “aerial perspective,” it deals with the way that distance and interference from the air alters colors in landscapes, backgrounds, and other elements of a painting.

How are colors changed by distance? Most hues begin to look more blue as they get further away. Even reds, oranges, and yellows lose vibrancy and become lighter and hazier due to the volume of air between the viewer and the object. A brightly colored object will seem just as bright in contrast to nearby items, even if it is far away – but it will look a whole lot less bright in comparison to something closer to the viewer.

Weather also impacts color perspective by altering hues slightly. Cloudy conditions, sunrise, and sunset all affect the way colors appear, and an experienced artist knows to take that into account rather than painting every object as if it was near and in full sunlight.

Considering color perspective means thinking about the assumptions we make in our art. If a house is red or a tree’s leaves are green, those colors aren’t constant; they change with distance, weather, and the quality of light at a given time of day – all things that an artist needs to think about when painting for realism.

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Sir Henry Raeburn – Scottish Portrait Painter

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Sir Henry Raeburn (1756 -1823) was a successful Scottish portrait painter who lived in Edinburgh. His works are characterized by strong characterization, stark realism, and dramatic lighting effects. He typically employed clashing color combinations, and a course modeling technique. Our pattern set includes many of his portraits, including his most recognized work, The Skating Minister. Other portraits include Boy and Rabbit, Alexander Ranaldson MacDonell of Glengarry, Sir Walter Scott, Mrs. Robert Scott Moncrieff, and Sir John Sinclair. There’s also a self portrait included in the set.

This set contains 31 paintable patterns.

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