Tag Archives: Art

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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Cinderella’s Hand Painted Wedding Gown is a Work of Art


imagesUnless you are totally disconnected from all types of media, you are probably aware of Disney’s recent release of its live-action romantic film, Cinderella. To say the movie is a success is a gross understatement; the film has thus far claimed about $500 million worldwide. Obviously, there is something about Cinderella that the whole world loves.

While there are various reasons both children and adults adore Disney’s recent epic movie, art lovers are captured by the sensational costumes displayed in the film. The costumes, designed by Sandy Powell, are true masterpieces that, quite simply, bring the film to an unsurpassed level of artistry.

Sandy Powell’s Exquisite Costumes Dazzle Moviegoers

imagesSandy Powell, a three-time Oscar winning costume designer, is no stranger to transforming mere clothing into works of art. To create the costumes for Cinderella, Powell looked to the styles of the 1950s and the 19th Century for inspiration. (These were the time periods that inspired the illustrations for Disney’s 65-year-old cartoon version of Cinderella. Powell drew from the same stylistic eras in order to give the modern Cinderella a distinctly Disney flavor.) Powell commented, “I wanted the costumes to be bold and have an explosion of color as if it were a picture book…but at the same time, I wanted the clothes to be true to each character and believable.”

The Wicked Stepmother Stands Out in Gowns Fit for a Queen

If you think Cinderella’s wicked stepmother was dressed shabbily to express her malicious character, think again. Cate Blanchett, who played Ella’s infamous stepmother, was a human canvas for some of the most stunning displays of costume artwork ever created. Speaking of Blanchett’s character, Powell commented that it is always fun to dress the bad guy, whereas the good guy is typically the most difficult to design for.

Cinderella’s Wedding Gown, an Artistic Masterpiece

While Blanchett’s costumes are remarkable, they in no way upstage Lily James’s costumes  images(James is the young actress who played Cinderella). For the famous gown that Ella enters the ball wearing, Powell designed a beautiful gossamer dress featuring shades of lavender, blue and turquoise. To add to the gown’s enchantment, tiny butterflies were sewn onto the bodice, giving the dress a touch of whimsy.

While all the costumes in Disney’s Cinderella were spectacular, none were more so than Ella’s wedding gown. At first glance, the long-sleeve beige colored gown appears to be somewhat simple (Powell wanted it to express Ella’s innocence). But, take a closer look and you’ll observe painstaking attention to detail. Once the seamstresses were done constructing the gown, “It was given to the artists who intricately hand painted flowers onto the gown. It took 16 people and nearly 550 hours to complete the dress.” Layer upon layer of fabric was hand painted until the desired effect of absolute costume magic was achieved. All things considered, Cinderella’s wedding gown is no less than a work of fine art that will undoubtedly touch fans for generations.

Do you see costumes as works of art? What film features costumes that inspire you as an artist? Share with us – we’d love to hear from you!

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

When Art Sells Art

Fabulous Floral Designs with Painted Counterparts Makes Art Alive

French Floral and Portrait Painter – Henri Fantin-Latour

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Why Degas Loved Painting Dancers

Have you ever wondered why Degas loved painting dancers? Was he was captivated by the graceful movements ballerinas so perfectly execute? Did the excellence of their craft birthed from years of dedication to practice remind him of his own artistic journey? Thanks to historians and researchers, the answers to these questions are becoming demystified.

images-1Half of Degas’ Works are Centered Around Ballerinas

Known as “the painter of dancing girls,” Edgar Degas helped establish Impressionism. However, he preferred to be recognized as a realist painter. Early in his career Degas wanted to be a history painter, but in his thirties he became primarily a classical painter of modern life. At 39 years old, just a few years after his transition out of history painting, he began painting, sculpting and sketching dancers. Over half the works of Edgar Degas are inspired by ballet.

The Painter’s Love for Modern Realism and Classical Beauty Drew Him to Ballet

images-2It’s possible that Degas stumbled upon his obsession with ballet on account of sheer curiosity. According to Smithsonian Magazine’s Paul Trachtman, “At the ballet Degas found a world that excited both his taste for classical beauty and his eye for modern realism.” Trachtman goes on to explain that Degas spent time in the classrooms and wings of the Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Ballet. It was in those wings and classrooms that the artist fell in love with ballet and “claimed (it) for modern art just as Cézanne was claiming the landscape.”

In addition to spending time in ballet classrooms and stage wings, the French painter also invited ballerinas into his personal studio where he could more easily sketch and paint them. The metmuseum.org’s article The Dancers and Degas explains, “Degas enjoyed drawing dancers’ movements, their colorful costumes, the sets, and the effects of the stage lights.”

It may have been Degas’ love for modern realism and classical beauty that initially drew him to ballet as a major form of artistic inspiration. However, his affinity for and engrossment with ballet itself was what anchored his interest in the subject for the rest of his career.

Degas Capitalized on a Despised Art Form

imagesJohn Richardson, writer for Vanity Fair, commented that at the time Degas’ obsession with ballet began, “The golden age of Romantic ballet was long since over…French ballet could hardly be considered an art form.” In some ways, ballet was despised in Degas’ time. Despite this (or perhaps because of this), Degas made ballerinas the central theme of his artwork. Although he did not depict ballet as glamorous (on the contrary, his artwork revealed the harsh realities of the grueling life of a dancer), his choosing of the ballerina as his primary source of inspiration did bring some type of honor to the then-underestimated art form.

It’s a good thing Degas took a notion to devote much of his life to painting ballerinas; his pictures of dancers were, are and will likely remain wildly popular. Obviously, the French painter pulled some heartstrings with his paintings, sculptures, prints, pastels, and pencil and chalk drawings of ballet-inspired subject matter. Perhaps there is something in Degas’ dancers that we recognize in ourselves.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Edgar Degas – Modern Artist, par excellence

Camille Pissarro – Father of Impressionism

Art that Sells Broadway

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What’s So Important About Art Class?

imagesDid you know that May 5th is National Teacher’s Day? That’s right, there is actually an official day designated to honor teachers and the impact they make on young lives. Since teachers have inestimable value but are all too often overlooked and taken for granted, it is wonderful to take a few minutes to think about their amazing contributions to society. Celebrate art teachers with us by learning about the ways art classes benefit children.

The Amazing Benefits of Art Class

Most students, regardless of age, race or gender, seem to have something in common: they LOVE art class. This is probably because art is an outlet that allows kids to express their feelings and connect with their peers on an emotional level. After a school day full of logic and reasoning, most kids find art class to be a welcome change. Art class offers benefits beyond mere emotional expression. Here are 3 awesome things that most kids will learn in art class:

  • Collaboration skills – While math and science are important subjects, they do not necessarily facilitate collaboration. However, when a child participates in an art project, he or she learns how to work with others and consider their opinions and ideas. When creating art, kids come to believe that their contributions have value. Art class truly has an amazing ability to increase a youngster’s self-confidence as well as his or her ability to cooperate with other students.
  • Accountability – Believe it or not, accountability can be most easily learned in an art class. Why? Because students often have to work alongside their peers to complete projects. When children engage in teamwork, they see firsthand how profoundly their level of dedication to a project affects others.

images-1Art teachers leave an indelible print on the hearts and minds of their students and are some of the most cherished individuals on the planet. They are beloved because they offer kids an incredible gift – the ability to create and enjoy art. There is no doubt that art is a valuable subject for children to learn about during their formative years. Why do you believe art in schools is important? How does art class positively impact your child? Share with us in the comments section below – we love hearing from you.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

How to Encourage Creativity in Children

What Does a Good Art Teacher Look Like?

Easter Egg Decorating Project Can Teach Kids About Color

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Easy Ways to Prepare Your Home for Spring

Rainer Maria Rilke exclaimed, “It is Spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” Truer and more beautiful words are rarely spoken. Yes, Spring is indeed here again, and it seems like the earth is more than willing to share with us her good gifts of flowers, rain, fresh air, and the vibrant colors we so missed in Winter.

imagesEasy Ways to Prepare Your Home for Spring

Nature is readying itself as the fullness of Spring approaches; should our homes be any different? With just a few minor changes, your home can rival the beauty of any Spring flower. Consider the following ways to ready your home for Spring:

  • Replace heavy for light, dark for bright – After months of Winter’s heavy wools and flannels, no doubt you are more than ready for the lightness of muslin, linen and other Spring-friendly materials. Such fabrics are best chosen in delicious shades that mimic the soft beauty of nature. Toss a brightly colored throw across your couch, lay cheery pillows on your bed, and place fluffy pastel towels in your bathroom for a cheap and easy home makeover.
  • Display fresh flowers – Fresh flowers; what other two words evoke remembrances of the fragrance of freshly cut lilacs, the lemony yellow hue of new daffodils, and the silky feel of tulip petals? A simple vase of fresh flowers on your kitchen table is a powerful reminder that Spring has arrived with Summer on its heels. A milk bottle full of daisies would also make a charming addition to any bedside table. When it comes to decorating with flowers, the sky is truly the limit, so be creative and fearless.images-1
  • Serve fresh produce – This Spring, fill your meals with fresh produce, the ultimate feast for the senses. To optimize your health, choose mostly local produce. And, don’t forget that smoothies are perhaps the best Springtime treat of all.
  • Display some Spring-themed art – A well-placed Spring-themed picture can totally change the atmosphere of a home, so be sure to change out your wall art. (If you enjoy creating seasonal art, check out our digital paint-by-number daffodil pattern set; it is perfect for Spring!)

Is your home ready for Spring? How do you prepare your haven for this dearly beloved season? Share your comments with us today.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Welcome Spring with a Freshly Painted Front Door

Colorful Flowers to Plant this Spring

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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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Art Created in Confinement

Art created in confinement may be the most beautiful art of all. Why? Because this type of art comes from a place of utter vulnerability and realness. Those who are confined have been stripped of many freedoms and consequently have emotions that are also stripped and raw. This is why the art that is created from this frame of mind is nothing short of amazing.

Holocaust Victims Prove Art Is Worth Dying For

The Holocaust Period was perhaps the greatest era in history in which art was created in confinement. Individuals held in concentration camps were not just confined; they were also brutally tortured. But the incredible fact is, these individuals managed to find whatever makeshift art supplies they could to craft magnificent drawings and paintings.

Yad Vashem, the World Center for Holocaust Research, is located near Jerusalem, Israel. Amongst its many galleries and displays is an art museum that will take your breath away. This art museum features walls and walls of drawings and paintings that were created by artists held in death camps. These works of art, some gruesome, some hopeful, give us an inside look at the emotions Holocaust victims experienced. At the same time, the pieces remind us of the inherent ability we as humans have to look within ourselves and draw out passion and beauty in the most hideous circumstances.

Author Julia Cameron says in her book The Artist’s Way, “(Creating) art always gives us the ability to move out of the victim position…Holocaust victims scratched butterflies on the walls of concentration camps. That assertive creative act spoke plainly: ‘You cannot kill my spirit.’ At its core, art is triumphant.”

Creating Art in Confinement Confirms the Value of Art

When individuals who are in confinement create art, the sheer value of art itself is displayed. For example, it was very dangerous during the Holocaust to create art, but death camp detainees created it anyway, even in the face of losing their lives as a result. Why would anyone risk his or her life for art? Perhaps because art has the ability to keep the human spirit alive. This ability makes art intrinsically valuable.

Art Helps Jailed Juveniles Find Purpose

Art created in confinement is not unique to the past. A recent article published by http://www.wishtv.com tells us that currently jailed juveniles are utilizing art for self-expression. Not just that, creating art is helping these juveniles find purpose for their lives.

Reportedly, youths held in the Marion County Jail were caught with what the aforementioned article referred to as “artistic contraband”: art supplies. Instead of punishing these youths, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office decided to team up with the Indianapolis Art Center to allow dozens of juveniles to take part in a program geared toward teaching visual literacy and art skills, as well as building confidence and empathy. The art skills that are being taught to youths held in the Marion County Jail are proving to have a positive effect on these young people’s lives.

How Has Making Art Helped You?

Has there ever been a time in which art was a lifesaver for you? Perhaps you went through a traumatic event and turned to art in order to maintain your hope and sanity. If you’ve had an experience like this, or have created art in confinement, we would love for you to share a comment with us.

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