Category Archives: painter

Joshua Reynolds – English Portrait Painter

www.segmation.comJoshua Reynolds was a man with many titles: artist, painter, educator, president, and Sir. In the 18th century, the man with an extensive career fulfilled all these roles.

In the summer of 1723, Joshua Reynolds was born into a large family in Plympton, England. His parents had 10 children in all. Their heritage could be defined as intellectual; Joshua’s great-grandfather was a mathematician and his father, a school teacher.

Samuel Reynolds provided his son with a broad education. It included reading, writing, history, arithmetic, geography, and drawing. On his own efforts, Joshua gave attention to medicine, metaphysics, and astrology. More than any other activity, however, his greatest interest was painting.

It is believed that Reynolds began painting at a young age. His first portrait was signed the year he turned 12. Around 17, he apprenticed with the artist Thomas Hudson. This is where he began to acquire skill as a portrait painter.www.segmation.com

Joshua Reynolds started his independent career in 1743. In the beginning, his portraits included paintings of family members and himself. While much of his work showed signs of Hudson’s influence, his self-portraits revealed a Rembrandt quality.

In 1747, momentum built around Reynolds career. He set up a studio on St. Martin’s Lane in London. Most of his clients lived near the street that would become known for its art venues. During this time, his talent and connections bolstered his career; he was named “one of the nation’s most important artists” by The Universal Magazine.

On a tour through the Mediterranean and Rome in 1949, Reynolds was impressed by historical artwork. In fact, he was reported saying how ignorant he felt when viewing some of the world’s greatest art pieces. He copied many of these paintings and studied them often. His tour continued onto Florence where he spent a significant amount of time with Italian painter, Francesco Zuccarelli. He continued his travels, visiting places like Milan and Paris, before returning to London in late 1752.www.segmation.com

When Reynolds was settled into his St. Martin’s Lane studio again, he was said to produce more than 100 portraits each year. The value of his artwork increased as he was asked to paint portraits of elite society.

In 1768, his career as a portrait painted merged with the world of art education. Joshua Reynolds was elected the first president of the Royal Academy. There he gave many lectures that would eventually become a great book of art criticism known as, The Discourses on Art. One year after he took the role as president, Reynolds was knighted by George III. Later, in 1784, Reynolds became the portrait painter to George III.

Following these accolades, Reynolds health began deteriorating. He was hard of hearing and would become so deaf he required the assistance of an antique hearing-aid, the ear-trumpet. By 1789 his sight was waning too. Still, Reynolds was known for being a good listener, great friend, and generous man. He was never thought of as “handsome.” Reynolds was short in stature with a round, flushed face. He never married but had a lot of friends and was admired by many.
Eventually, liver disease took the life of a great artist, educator, countryman, and friend. Joshua Reynolds died in London in 1792.

Today, the legacy of Joshua Reynolds lives on. While his work is revered, his practices and teachings are indispensable to the world of art. Joshua Reynolds was a man of much talent but beyond all else he was a person with many strengths. Few other artists deserve his titles.

Sources:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/500800/Sir-Joshua-Reynolds

http://www.nndb.com/people/898/000084646/

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Joshua Reynolds English Portrait Painter

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Blind Artist’s Vision is Clearer than that of Sighted Individuals

For an artist, how important is the ability to see? For example, does a painter need sight in order to make artwork? Yes, such an individual does need sight, but not necessarily the type that comes through the eyes. Rather, they need sight that comes through the imagination. Artist John Bramblitt is proving this to the world by creating incredible paintings with only his fingers and his imagination at his disposal.

Studio artist John Bramblitt sees life in color, despite the fact that he is blind. His blindness, caused by epilepsy, intruded on his life about nine years ago, when he was just thirty years old. Adjusting to living with blindness after a lifetime of sightedness was certainly not easy. When asked what shade his initial depression was, he said, “Oh my word, it was the worst black. It was like being in a hole.” Amazingly, the artist began to learn to paint after these complications with his sight began.

Bramblitt’s paintings are just about as vivid as can be, which gives us a peek into his mind and allows us to see things from his perspective. But how does a blind individual know which colors to use and how to mix them to achieve the artful effects they desire? John Bramblitt has learned the “feel” of colors by memorizing the texture of different shades of paint. (The texture varies in each color due to the oil content in the paint.) He outlines what he wants to paint before rendering it, and he carefully guides the strokes of his brush with the help of his fingers.

This incredibly positive and unique artist often paints images of people’s faces, which is a difficult feat for someone who can physically see, let alone an artist who is blind. Bramblitt imagines a subject by touching his or her face. He used this technique on Tony Hawk, an individual he had never before seen in his life. The finished product resembled the subject remarkably. Bramblett has used the same technique on his wife and son. Although he has never seen either with his eyes, it’s obvious he has seen them perfectly in his mind, as his portraits of them are quite accurate.

Bramblett has great anticipation for his future as an artist. In his own words, “It’s brilliant (the future), it’s just the most brilliant colors and I can’t wait to see it take form, to see it take shape.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-20037973.html

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Thomas Kinkade Is Remembered Through His Artwork

Thomas Kinkade’s death on April 6th of 2012 came as a shock to both the art community and the public at large. Kinkade, known as “The Painter of Light,” was made famous by his works of art. His prints were wildly popular and sold millions. This is proven by the reported fact that 1 in 20 Americans has a Kinkade print in their home. Without a doubt, Thomas Kinkade was, and remains, a celebrated artist.

Though Kinkade is no longer with us, his art remains. His last work (from what is currently known) was shown in Cape May, New Jersey, at the Victorian Walk Gallery in August of 2012. The piece, “Away From It All,” displays a cottage in the woods, a crescent moon, and, of course, emanates painted light.

The Victorian Walk Gallery displayed “Away From It All” during “The Thomas Kinkade Legacy Celebration.” Patrick, Kinkade’s brother, gave a presentation about the painting at its showing. 3,000 people arrived at the Victorian Walk Gallery just three hours after the exhibit opened.

Some of the art world has in general never “taken” to Kinkade’s artwork. Although he has sold millions of dollars worth of prints, paintings, and merchandise, the topic of Kinkade’s art remains heated and controversial. Still, Thomas Kinkade received art training at the Art Center College of Design located in Pasadena. He also studied at the University of California at Berkeley. Kinkade was raised in Placerville, California.

Thomas Kinkade is well known for painting soft, lush, idyllic scenes. He often depicted streams, lovely homes, and nature settings. His passion for creating paintings that evoked emotions of peace is made evident by the artwork he crafted. The “light” that he is so noted for painting is the thread of continuity that runs throughout all his works.

Of his own work, the painter was reported to have said, “If people look at my work and are reminded of the way things once were or perhaps the way they could be, then I’ve done my job.” Kinkade’s family members and artwork will undoubtedly cause him to be remembered for generations to come.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/20/thomas-kinkades-last-know_n_1811090.html

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/07/artist-thomas-kinkade-dies-in-california-at-age-54/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2126413/Thomas-Kinkade-dead-Millionaire-painter-light-dies-aged-54.html

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London – A Town for Art Lovers

Each year visitors from all over the world travel to London to see Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Covent Garden, The London Eye, and Piccadilly Circus. But did you know that London is full of amazing artwork as well as landmarks? It’s true. In fact, art lovers are some of the main people who make their way to London each year. Here are just a few of the most famous pieces of art that are located in London:

Sunflowers, by Vincent Van Gogh

Located in the National Gallery, Sunflowers was painted in 1888. Sunflowers is a still life, oil on canvas painting that was created in Arles. Vincent Van Gogh reportedly painted Sunflowers with the intention of using it to decorate Gauguin’s rented home in the South of France. The National Gallery, Sunflowers’ home, also shelters other pieces of famous artwork from the 13th – 19th Century.  One of the best things about the National Gallery is that its artwork is free for viewing.

The Lady of Shalott, by John William Waterhouse

The Lady of Shalott was created by the masterful hands of John William Waterhouse in 1888. The painting is a depiction of Tennyson’s poem entitled The Lady of Shalott. The woman representing the Lady of Shalott in Waterhouse’s painting was, reportedly, his wife. This naturalistic painting is located at Tate Britain, which houses British art made in the past 500 years or so. Contemporary and international modern art can also be found at Tate Britain.

The Raphael Cartoons, by Raphael

Commissioned in 1515 by Pope Leo X, The Raphael Cartoons are said to be “among the greatest treasures of the High Renaissance.” Created by Raphael and his “assistants,” The Raphael Cartoons were used as tapestry designs for the Vatican. The paintings feature St. Paul and St. Peter. The Raphael Cartoons are currently housed at the Victoria and Albert museum, which is home to 4.5 million pieces of art, clothing, jewelry, ironwork, and much more.

English poet Samuel Johnson said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Indeed, one of the finest things that life affords is art, and that can be found in abundance in London.

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Thomas Kinkade: The “Painter of Light”

Thomas Kinkade, popularly known as the “Painter of Light,” passed away in his sleep at the age of 54. His inspirational work touched the lives of many and will continue to live on.

Blessed with an ability to capture a moment in time, Kinkade preserved some of the most beautiful scenes of life in his paintings. Those who admire his work know that each of his paintings offer an escape from reality.

His idyllic settings, infused with radiant light, include nature scenes; gardens and seascapes, as well as nostalgic homes, cottages and cityscapes. He painted a classic America; one that many dream of and long for. Kinkade’s paintings depict the world that many people wanted to be part of – picture perfect in every way.

The painter once said, “My mission as an artist is to capture those special moments in life adorned with beauty and light. I work to create images that project a serene simplicity that can be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.” He painted for the people, not for the critics.

Even those unfamiliar with Kinkade’s paintings can see that his work tells a story. The champions and collectors of Kinkade’s endeavors know there is more than meets the eye in each painting. For instance, the “Painter of Light” always included his wife’s initials. He also inserted his very first hero, Norman Rockwell, into many of his pieces. If you spot the boy working his paper rout on a bicycle in “Hometown Morning”, then you have discovered Kinkade himself, preserved in the moment he met his beloved wife Nanette.

Much of the inspiration for his art was fueled by his faith. Despite a less than ideal childhood, Kinkade always clung to his art. By the age of sixteen, he had become an accomplished painter. He studied at the University of California at Berkley and then worked as an artist for films.

Many people credit his time spent working on films as the experience that enabled him to grasp the effects of light, which he transferred to his painting. All of his paintings include a warm, radiant and comforting light that calls one back to a simpler time.

Thomas Kinkade’s life mission, to make art available to everyone that they might enjoy beauty, is still a reality. Though the talented and generous man is gone, he lives on through his paintings. Millions of people will still stand looking at his paintings, caught for a moment in the comforting and inspiring worlds he created.

http://www.artbythomaskinkade.com/thomas_kinkade.html

http://www.thomaskinkade.com/magi/servlet/com.asucon.ebiz.biography.web.tk.BiographyServlet

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The Creative, Artistic and Inventive Mind of Leonardo da Vinci

Being an artist also means having a deep connection with the world around you, viewing life with a different set of lenses. To an artist, creativity and beauty encompasses just about every facet of daily life. The amount of individual interests available to an artist are limitless.

Like many artists, Leonardo da Vinci didn’t just consider himself to be a man of one concentration. One fascination of Leonardo’s was that of invention and design.

Throughout his life, Leonardo had taken time to document ideas for inventions that intrigued and inspired him. He did this by sketching them in his journal. However, the ability to create prototypes and test each of these inventions went unrealized in his life. Unfortunately, Leonardo died before any of the world would know of his true genius. His works were scattered and lost, many of them not seen again for hundreds of years.

In the example above, taken from the Museum of Sciences website, we can see that Leonardo da Vinci had a vision for a flying vehicle nearly 500 years before the first manned aircraft would be designed and piloted by Paul Cornu in 1907.

In his drawings, it is easy to see Leonardo’s dead on grasp of where the future of technology was headed. From tanks and parachutes, to diving and aircraft landing gears, Leonardo would touch upon them all in his pen and paper interpretations.

Was it because he was a supremely intelligent and enlightened human being, or that he had visions of a future far superior to our own? In any case we may never know, but it was likely a pairing of the two that lead him to jot down so many innovative and profound ideas.

It is startling to note how severely under noticed the conceptions went until the incredible discovery of some of Leonardo’s works; drawings that would captivate the imaginations of so many throughout the world.

It is a lesson to us that an artist is more than artist, he is an instrument in the progression of the world and its many views.

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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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