Tag Archives: Art Appreciation

Can Elephant Art Save the Species?

Have you ever heard of elephant art?

Outside The Lines

Art has been known to increase the quality of a human’s life, but, in some cases, art is saving the lives of animals.

Have you ever heard of elephant art?

This type of art ranges from a photograph taken of an elephant to a picture painted by the intelligent mammal. However, let it be known that elephant art never involves their ivory tusks. Throughout the world elephants are being poached because of their tusks. This is causing the population of African and Asian elephants to dwindle. Much of the time, ivory is used to create works of art. To encourage the growth of elephant populations many countries have banned the importation and sale of ivory.

Other than poaching, elephants are a threatened speciesbecause their habitats are shrinking. Because of their large size, elephants need a lot of food, water and land to roam. The development of elephant habitats…

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The World’s First Tetrachromat Artist

This is one of my favorite artists!

Outside The Lines

The unique nature of an artist can be considered art itself. What sets great artists apart may not be their talents but their circumstances. While we know much of our destinies are determined by the decisions we make, remnants of happenstance hover over many of the artists we know and love.

No one understands this better thanConcetta Antico, who, in 2012, received news that would change her life and send her already successful art career into high gear.

The Making of an Artist

To Concetta, art and life have always been one in the same. Her love of art began at the age of seven, when she found herself fascinated by color. This was around the time she started painting. Even at a young age her peers recognized the Australian native’s creative talent.
America's Finest City Lights, San Diego 10x10Now in San Diego, the place she considers home, Concetta’s days begin at the sight…

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Masaccio – Early Renaissance Painter

The number of years of a person’s life does not necessarily indicate the magnitude of the impact he or she will leave on society. Individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), Princess Diana of Wales (1961-1997), and Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) are proof of this statement. Like these world-changers, Italian artist Masaccio (1401-1428) made a profound mark on history, despite the shortness of his life.

Masaccio was born on December 21, 1401, about 40 miles from Florence, Italy. Initially named Tommaso di Giovanni di Simone Cassai, the artist became known simply as “Masaccio” (translated as “Big Tom” or “Clumsy Tom”) because of his careless, heedless, amicable nature. (As a result of his artistic bent, Masaccio cared very little for his appearance or for the affairs of society.)

Giovanni, Masaccio’s brother, was also an artist. During the Renaissance, the skill of painting was usually passed down through a family’s paternal line. Considering the fact that Masaccio’s father, a notary, was not known to be artistic, it is a point of interest that both Masaccio and his brother were recognized artists. Some speculate that Masaccio’s paternal grandfather was responsible for teaching the young artist and his brother painting skills, as he was a chest maker whose craft involved painting. While it’s not certain, it is possible that Masaccio derived his natural talent and technical artistic skills from his grandfather.

Practically nothing is known about the first 21 years of Masaccio’s life. However, historians agree that he entered a painting guild at age 21. This indicates that he likely underwent a lengthy art apprenticeship sometime during the later time of his life. It was in this timeframe that his artwork began garnering attention and fame.

Masaccio managed to make an incredible impact on Italy, and on the art world, during the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. This era produced some of the most influential painters history recognizes; among them are Alberti, Donatello, and Brunelleschi. Masaccio is recognized at the Quattrocento period’s first great painter. It is amazing to consider that in “only six years, Masaccio radically transformed Florentine painting. His art eventually helped create many of the major conceptual and stylistic foundations of Western painting (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/367676/Masaccio).”

There are several distinct aspects of Masaccio’s work that set him apart as an influential artist during a time in which artists were plentiful. First, Masaccio’s use of linear perspective was novel when he began employing the technique. Also, a technique called “vanishing point” was first used by Masaccio. Finally, rather than imitate the ornate Gothic style of painting that was popular during his lifetime, Masaccio favored a more naturalistic look.

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (c. 1424) and San Giovenale Triptych (c. 1422) are two of Masaccio’s earliest known works. Amazingly, the latter piece of art was only recently (in 1961) discovered in Masaccio’s hometown. Unfortunately, age compromised some of the structural integrity of the piece. Still, art historians can clearly observe Masaccio’s use of the techniques mentioned above. “Masaccio’s concern to suggest three-dimensionality through volumetric figures and foreshortened forms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaccio)” is also apparent in San Giovenale Triptych. Some of Masaccio’s other well-known pieces include his frescoes painted for the Branacci Chapel, The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, The Tribute Money, and The Pisa Altarpiece.

Renaissance artist Masaccio died in late 1428; he was only 26.

Those who die young, yet make an indelible, positive impression on their communities, are sometimes grieved for hundreds of years by people who derive inspiration and hope from the lives they lived. Masaccio is just one example of this type of influential person. It is unarguable that Masaccio made an incredible impact on the art world, despite his short life.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Masaccio‘s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=ROM . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 21 digital Masaccio – Early Renaissance Painter patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 21 Masaccio – Early Renaissance Painter painter patterns . Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:

George Romney – Making Ideas Art

Franz Marc German Expressionist Painter

Jan Gossaert – A Great Flemish Painter of Antiquity”

Sources:

Masaccio

Masaccio – Britannica

Italian Art

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Politics Aside, the Life of an Artist – George Romney – English Portrait Painter

Long before becoming politicians and business tycoons, the Romney family made its name in art. According to “The Ancestors of Mitt Romney,” George Romney (1734 – 1802) was the first cousin of Miles Romney, who is an ancestor of the two-time presidential candidate.

Different from his 21st century relatives, George Romney was rather private. Little is known about his personal thought life or political opinions. Nevertheless, he has been etched into history books as a high society portrait painter. In fact, many of his followers believe that if it weren’t for the almighty dollar (or, guineas to the Lancashire native), he could have been a painter who completed whimsical scenes inspired by Shakespearean literature and mythical gods. But long before he began exercising his potential as an artist, George Romney had to grow up and find his footing in his chosen career.

George Romney was third born in a family of 11 children. His father, John, was a cabinet maker. George left school to apprentice with John at the young age of 11. Born and raised in Dalton-on-Furness Lancashire, Romney was 21 when he set out to apprentice with Christopher Steel, a local painter in Kendal. For the next two years, from 1755 – 1757, Romney painted small, full-length portraits. During his time there he married Mary Abbot, the daughter of a landlady.

In 1762, Romney left Kendal to travel north where he could paint portraits for money. He left his wife and children at home but sent them financial support and visited them on occasion.

Shortly after landing in London, his 1763 historical painting, The Death of General Wolfe, was awarded a premium from the Society of Arts. Still, he continued to paint portraits as a way of earning a living.

Romney’s travels continued on to Paris in 1764, where he studied the antique classicism of Eustache Le Sueur’s work. Then, from 1773 – 1775 he landed in Italy. Much of his time there was spent in Rome studying the frescoes of Raphael, as well as the work of Titan and Correggio in Venice and Parma. Also, throughout this time his artwork was on exhibition at the Free Society and Society of Artists in Great Britain. Upon returning to London, the Duke of Richmond became a regular client of Romney’s, which may have been a factor in his increased notoriety and speaks to the wave of notable society portraits he completed between 1776 and 1795.

Ultimately, Romney’s time spent touring benefited his work by maturing his art and broadening his abilities. He was known as a “fashionable portrait painter” throughout English society. Those who sat for him were flattered by the subtle qualities he emphasized to make them look their best. Rather than relying on color, Romney used lines to complement the men and women whom he posed in sculpturesque stances. This was especially evident in his portraits, Mrs. Cardwardine and Son (1775), as well as Sir Christopher and Lady Sykes (1786).

Romney’s artwork received much praise from his admirers and was able to support him financially but unlike other successful artists, Romney did not dedicate much time to socializing with fellow artists. Part of this may have been due to him deliberately separating himself from artists of the Royal Academy. It has been said that Sir Joshua Reynolds (who served as President of the Royal Academy) was displeased by Romney’s high fame and low costs. Seemingly determined to avoid such politics altogether, Romney’s sensitive and thoughtful nature led him to befriend people in philosophical and literary circles.

In the early 1780s, Romney met Emma Hart (also known as Lady Hamilton). Emma was said to be Romney’s muse because she appeared in a divine state in more than 50 of his paintings. His paintings of Emma strayed from his path of portraiture, and it is believe she was the muse that allowed him to enter an imaginary world. Romney painted Emma in settings “ranging from a bacchante to Joan of Arc.”

Throughout the last decade and a half of his career, Romney became even more enthralled with historical paintings. During this time he supported the Boydell’s Shakespere gallery and contributed one of his non-portrait paintings, The Tempest.

Towards the turn of the century, Romney’s health began to fail. In 1799 he returned to Kendal and reunited with his family. There, his estranged wife of over 40 years nursed him in his final days. George Romney died in Kendal and was buried in his birthplace of Dalton-in-Furness in November 1802.

Today, portrait painter George Romney has a legacy apart from his successful ancestors. The Romney Society believes there are “…2000 paintings and about 5000 drawings, scattered through 23 countries, on view in fifteen countries….” Over two centuries later, George Romney’s art lives on, as does the name he made famous.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Romney‘s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=ROM . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 35 digital George Romney patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 35 George Romney –English portrait painter patterns . Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:
Franz Marc German Expressionist Painter

Jan Gossaert – A Great Flemish Painter of Antiquity”

Émile Bernard – Making Ideas Art

Sources:

George Romney

George Romney – Britannica

George Romney – British Artist

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Do Colors Change What is Beautiful

What is beautiful? The term is a bit subjective, don’t you think? After all, isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder?

It most certainly is, but one undeniable quality about color is its ability to make all things beautiful!

This is why color-field painting, with its abstract merging of vivid colors, is responsible for some beautiful works of art. In this post we will look at how color-field painting evokes emotions and has the ability to change an environment.

By now we know how color impacts art and also stirs emotion in people. Recent posts discuss color therapy, known as chromotherapy and the psychology of color, offering insight into how color can impact an individual. As artists, we know the emotional impact art can have on us. Vivid colors can stir emotions and hold an observers heart once they pass.

Sometimes, color makes beautiful what was not beautiful before. This is the case of color-field painting; color, shape, composition, proportion, balance, style, and scale change a blank canvas into a brilliant work of art.

This style of art is very abstract and those who are best known for its development are considered Abstract Expressionists. Color-field painting emerged in New York in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. It was a type of art inspired by European modernism and made popular by artists like Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman.

What sets color-field painting apart from other types of abstract art is the artist’s regard for paint. With the main focus being color, shape, composition, proportion, balance, style, and scale, there is less emphasis on gesture, brushstrokes and consistent actions that create form and process. In fact, the entire work of art is created by the artist who determines what elements he or she will add to convey a sense of place, atmosphere, or environment. In other words, what makes color-field painting beautiful, is its subjectivity.

Like most art, the beauty of color-field painting is in the eye of the beholder. These colorful pieces are nice accents for decoration and fun to paint too! But don’t let the look of simplicity fool you. This style is not easy to perfect and contrary to how it appears, cannot be replicated by a 6 year old!

Have you splashed your art palette with color today? Try it and see how color changes what you see as beautiful.

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Benefits of Making Your Own Paints

Did you know that you can easily and affordably make your own paints right at home? The supplies needed to make oil paints, acrylics, watercolors or pastels are fairly inexpensive and they can be easily purchased online or at a local shop. You don’t need a giant studio or an excessive amount of supplies to make your own paints – all you need are a few basic ingredients pertinent to each medium, and a tabletop that you can use as your work area.

You might wonder, “Why should I bother making my own paints?”

There are a number of reasons why it is beneficial for artists to make their own paints. For starters, when you break down a specific medium to its individual components, it helps you to understand the nature of the medium. Taking part in the process of creating an oil paint or a pastel stick provides invaluable insight into the qualities of that particular medium. Plus, the magic of watching loose powdered pigment transform into a usable paint can become part of the overall creative experience.

One of the best things about making your own paints is that you can control the hue, value and intensity of each color. If you need a specific shade of green that is difficult to mix using commercial paints, you can create your own. If you need a range of blues to create skyscapes and seascapes, you can create the exact colors that you need and save them for future use.

It’s easy to forget that there was once a time when all artists either had to make their own paints or purchase these supplies from a local artisan. The vast majority of artists today buy their paints and art materials off the shelf. Most artists don’t even think twice about how these materials are made or what is actually in them. This has changed our relationships to our art materials. By making your own paints, you can reinvigorate your connection to the materials that you use to create art.

In future articles, we’ll take a closer look at the process involved for making oil paints, pastels, watercolors and acrylics.

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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.

Sensory

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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