Tag Archives: Christmas

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Christmas Lights

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Christmas LightsCan you imagine celebrating the holiday season without Christmas lights? In North America, it is expected that festive strings will illuminate trees, homes, and city centers throughout the month of December. But the Christmas lights we have today have been a long time coming. Its evolution began in 18th century Germany and continues to progress each year.

Candles in Germany

It is said that Christmas trees were reserved for wealthy citizens of Germany in the 1700s. Those with exorbitant amounts of money would lavish their trees with candles – an expensive and hazardous decoration.

Thomas Edison and his String of Lights

Some time after Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he strung together a series of electric lights. In 1880, during the holiday season, he hung the strand outside his laboratory near a railroad line. Those traveling by train could see the first illuminated Christmas display.

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Christmas Lights 1Edward Johnson Introduces Colored Lights

Shortly after Edison began stringing lights together, a partner of his, Edward H. Johnson, wound a strand around his Christmas tree. He also colored the electric bulbs red, white, and blue.

General Electric Brings Lights to the People

Still, Christmas lights were reserved for wealthy families. It is estimated that lighting a Christmas tree in 1903 would have “cost $2000 in today’s dollars”. This prompted General Electric to offer Christmas light kits that contained strings of colorful lights.

Christmas Aglow for Everyone

In 1917, making Christmas lights common and accessible was a priority for the Sadacca family. They owned a novelty lighting company and began offering colorful stands of Christmas lights at their store. They became known as NOMA Electric Co., a popular name in Christmas lights that dominated the market for over four decades.

Today’s Christmas Lights

Today, Christmas Lights come in all shapes and sizes. People in North America, and throughout the world, choose to don their homes with festive lights. Now a days, it seems the holiday season officially begins when houses are aglow. Millions of Americans celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and other holidays with creative lighting. They take holiday decorations to a new level, becoming inventive with one of the world’s greatest inventions.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art and Atmosphere:

Norman Rockwell’s Artwork Inspired by the Christmas Holiday

The Stories Behind Holiday Colors

Christmas Time

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Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

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Have you ever noticed the tremendous role that color plays in representing and enriching certain holidays? For example, can you imagine Christmas without red holly berries and green pine trees? Or Halloween without orange pumpkins? Chanukah would certainly not be the same if white and blue were not its representative colors. There is no doubt that erasing traditional colors from holidays would change the depth of meaning of those special days, as well as our feelings toward them.

Green is the unforgettable color that has forever marked Saint Patrick’s Day and made it distinct and memorable. Saint Patrick’s Day, which began being celebrated by Irish immigrants to the U.S. in the 1700’s, was originally linked to the color blue. Green was adopted as the holiday’s main color later, in honor of “the Emerald Isle.” The clover, which Saint Patrick himself would use to his illustrate his teachings about Catholicism, is another of Ireland’s symbols that inspired the color green.

Most everyone wears green clothing on Saint Patrick’s Day. Those who don’t know they are in danger of being pinched. This tradition came from the Irish belief that wearing green renders one invisible to leprechauns, who will apparently pinch anyone they are capable of seeing (i.e., those not in green).

Today’s Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations are characterized by the color green. They often feature green drinks, green food, and green decor. The city of Chicago even dyes its river green each year for the Saint Patrick’s Day green,color,saint patrick's day,colors,holidays,parade Parade! The parade is a festive affair, with individuals from all over the world in attendance. Last year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade goers enjoyed “unseasonably perfect” weather in Chicago, and were reported to have had an excellent time.

What would Saint Patrick’s Day be like without the color green? It would still hold the same historical meaning, but would not have that special feeling that the much loved holiday evokes. Do you feel that colors “make” a holiday? What colors represent what holidays to you? Segmation would love to hear your thoughts on the connection between holidays and color. Feel free to share your ideas with us in the “comments” section below. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/18/st-patricks-day-in-chicag_0_n_1357073.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/15/st-patricks-day_n_1348003.html

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Norman Rockwell’s Artwork Inspired by the Christmas Holiday

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Christmas is a holiday that is special to hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world. This holiday is celebrated in many different countries with numerous traditions. Time with family, gifts under the Christmas tree, and contemplation of the important things in life are hallmarks of this wonderful time of year. What is your favorite aspect of Christmas?

Throughout history many artists have been inspired by the Christmas season to create seasonally themed works of art — Norman Rockwell is one of those individuals. Perhaps more so than any other American artist, Norman Rockwell truly was a master at capturing the spirit of Christmas in his art. As ABC news states it, “Norman Rockwell and the Christmas holiday had a deep and lasting relationship.”

Normal Rockwell was born in New York City on February 3, 1894. He was a student at the New York School of Art. Interestingly, Rockwell’s first commissioned art was for Christmas cards when he was only 15 years old. The Christmas card art was just the beginning of the American artist’s journey into holiday themed artwork.

An issue of the Saturday Evening Post that was released on December 25, 1948, featured one of Norman Rockwell’s famed Christmas pictures known as “Christmas Homecoming”.  The image displays over a dozen individuals standing in front of a Christmas tree; two of the people in the image are embracing enthusiastically. While there are “minimal references to Christmas” in this picture, the season is still somehow clearly represented.

Another of Rockwell’s Christmas themed pieces of art is titled “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas”. The Unknownoilpainting was finished in 1967, 10 years after it was begun. It was painted for McCall’s magazine and displays a quaint, picturesque street that is lined by snow-covered automobiles, a church, and other buildings. This image is just another example of the amazing way Norman Rockwell captured the Christmas holiday in his artwork.

Make this Christmas season more memorable by creating your own seasonally themed works of art. Segmation offers a SegPlayPC Christmas pattern “paint-by-numbers” collection that makes it easy and fast to uniquely celebrate your favorite time of year. Learn more about Segmation’s Christmas pattern collection by visiting http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternsets.asp#CHR

Sources:

http://www.arthistory.net/artists/normanrockwell/normanrockwell1.html

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/slideshow?id=9321605

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The Stories Behind Holiday Colors

http://sierraclub.typepad.com/greenlife/2009/12/emphasizing-the-green-in-kwanzaa.html

December is here, and that means individuals all around the world will be celebrating holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, just to name a few. The December season is a favored time of year that is associated with excellent food, gifts, and time spent with family. Not only that, holiday seasons are often represented by unique, symbolic colors. Have you ever wondered why certain colors are designated to different holiday seasons? Let’s find out…

What do Kwanzaa’s shades symbolize?

Kwanzaa, established in 1966, is one of the most recent holidays to be founded. The colors used in Kwanzaa celebrations are red, black, and yellow. Related to Kwanzaa, green stands for “the land of Africa and hope for the future.” Red symbolizes the blood of Africans who have passed away, whereas black represents the skin shade of Africans. Kwanzaa, which is a holiday that honors African-American culture, centers on creativity, faith, self-determination, and togetherness.

Blue and white are significant to Jewish culture.

 Most people are aware of the fact that the blue and white shades represented in Hanukkah décor are the colors of the Israeli flag. But what do these shades symbolize? According to a rabbinical interpretation, blue represents divine revelation as well as heaven. Better than any other color, white symbolizes cleanliness and purity. These colors that are so prominent in the design of the Israeli flag are also displayed on the Jewish prayer shawl (tallit), making them an integral part of Jewish culture.

Why red and green for Christmas?

The famed shades for Christmas are, without a doubt, green and red. But what do these colors represent? Green is representative of the evergreen tree, which symbolizes eternal life and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Red may represent the blood of Christ, but researchers are unsure of the exact symbolic meaning of this shade. What they do know, though, is that the combination of red and green likely stems from holly Christmas decorations that were used in Europe in the Middle Ages.

Make this Holiday season more memorable by creating your own seasonally themed works of art. Segmation offers a SegPlayPC Christmas Time pattern “paint-by-numbers” collection that makes it easy and fast to enjoy the Christmas Time celebration and more. Learn more about Segmation’s Christmas Time pattern collection by visiting http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternsets.asp#CHR.

Sources:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/what-color-is-your-holiday-chr-104238

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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.

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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

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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

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