Tag Archives: Fine Arts

Robert Henri – American Portrait Artist and Teacher

Tan Gam by Robert Henri

Tan Gam by Robert Henri

American artist Robert Henri had a mind of his own. Loyal to a fault and guided by his convictions, Henri was as great a leader as he was an artist. Throughout the course of his notable career, he defied traditional standards of art, pursing and promoting realism.

Robert Henri was born in Ohio and raised in Cozad, Nebraska. At that time this town bared his birth name: his father, John Cozad, founded the town when Robert was eight. Unfortunately, the entire family fled this area after an altercation resulted in John murdering a local rancher. Eventually they ended up – under the guise of alias names – on the east coast.

When the drama of childhood waned, Robert Henri completed his first painting. He was 18 years old. Enjoying the activity and appeased by his natural skill, Robert planned to attend Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1886. There, he came to appreciate the work of Thomas Eakins and the artist’s approach to realism. Henri continued to pursue his education by traveling to Paris where he attending Ecole des Beaux Arts. After his time there, he traveled Europe briefly before returning to Philadelphia where he began his career in art education.

Early in his career it became apparent that Henri was a born leader and a natural teacher too. It is said he inspired students by saying their art could be “a social force that creates a stir in the world”. Within a few years Henri was inspiring more than his students; he developed a following of aspiring artists as well.

During this time, Robert Henri was moving away from the impressionism that influenced his early work. He began moving towards realism, and encouraging other artists to do the same. This ignited a movement that urged American painters to pursue art with fresh perspective, making it okay for artists to express the world as they see it – not the idealized vision society wants see. The movement came to be known as the Ashcan School.

In 1898, Henri accepted a teaching position at the New York School of Art. Around this time, students, colleagues, and critics observed the passion he had for his craft. He was uninhibited by societal norms and blazed a trail for artists to express the realities of life.

Henri was admired and followed by many. In fact, he was elected to the National Academy of Design (a museum and school established to promote fine arts) for recognition of his artwork. Unfortunately, when the National Academy did not display the work of his colleagues at a show in 1907, Henri became disenchanted with the mainstream art world. He knew a bold move would be required to emphasize the importance of realism.

As a result, he set up an exhibition called “The Eight”. All featured work signified a break from traditional art perspectives of the time. In February 1908, five American artists put paintings on display at the Macbeth Gallery. Only once did they come together for this purpose; regardless, it left a lasting impression. It also propelled Henri to continue leading and promoting independent artists.

Robert Henri organized a number of art shows and exhibitions between 1910 and 1920. They included “Exhibition of Independent Artists”, jury-free exhibitions at the MacDowell Club, and the Armory Show. In addition, he continued his career as a teacher at the Art Students League between 1915 and 1927.

While Henri was a skilled artist, his natural gift as an influential teacher solidified his fame. He was effortlessly able to lead and organize people to pursue their passions. All the while, he prompted them to believe that art was a personal expression of a real world. In the book, The Art Spirit, one of Henri’s students compiled his works of art and detailed accounts of his thoughts on the subject.

When Robert Henri passed away in 1929, his influence lived on. In fact, it served as a bridge to usher in European modernism. More so, it inspired artists to reach levels of self-expression that had never been seen before. As an effect, realism came to life through the power of art.

The San Diego Museum of Art will be the first museum exhibition dedicated to the Spanish paintings of Robert Henri  from March 29, 2014 through September 09, 2014. Spanish Sojourns Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain consists of over 40 major paintings borrowed from important museum and private collections around the country. More information can be found at:  http://www.sdmart.org/.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Robert Henri’s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=RHR. Also, Segmation is proud to offer 44 digital Robert Henri patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 44 Robert Henri Patterns Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

Sources:

National Gallery of Art

Robert Henri Museum

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:

William Glackens – American Realist Painter

Thomas Moran – American Landscape Painter

William Merritt Chase – American Impressionist Painter

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Summer Sand Castle Challenge

Summer Sand Castle ChallengeAre you looking to spend a lot of time outdoors this summer? Do you want to combine fun, physical activity with creative art projects? Have you thought about visiting a beach?

Building sand castles is the epitome of summer fun. If you think sand castles are child’s play, think again. Some adults make the most of this summer hobby by taking time to create sandy sculptures of fine art. With advice from a pro, you too can use sand as an art medium.

This year, challenge yourself to create the biggest and best castle you can. Use this article to help you combine summer fun and creative expression. Let’s first get some advice from a professional sand artist.

Kirk Rademaker – Professional Sand Artist

Kirk Rademaker is a carpenter by trade. He made his living by working with wood but spent his weekends building massive sand sculptures for fun. The longer he worked at his hobby, the more impressive his sculptures became.

These days, Kirk earns his big paychecks by creating one-of-a-kind sand sculptures. He designs unique sculptures for private parties, business events, and birthdays. Some of his unique art has even been used for Hollywood movie premiers and contracted by famous people like Dustin Hoffman.

Tips for Building Your Own Sand Sculptures

You may not be a master like Kirk Rademaker yet, but if you are inspired by his story, and interested in creating unique sand sculptures, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Always use moist sand – sand from the tide line is suggested.
  • Create a mound of densely packed wet sand – there is no such thing as too much water.
  • Work from top to bottom – it is easier to take sand away then to add it.
  • Purchase a sand castle kit – this will include the tools you need to carve fine detail into your sculptures.

If you live near a beach or plan to travel to a tropical climate, try taking on the summer sand castle challenge. Segmation is interested in seeing pictures of your sand castles. Be sure to snap a shot with your phone or camera and share it with us on Facebook.

In the United States there are many official sand castle competitions that take place throughout the year. Attending one of these shows is an excellent way to expose yourself to unique art.

Where have you seen creativity expressed this way? What did you think of artwork made from the medium of sand.

Summer is the season to be outside, active, and creative.  Whatever art projects you take on this season, be sure they are one of a kind.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Creative Summer Activities:

From Sand Castles to Sand Sculptures

Beach Fun

Create Fun, Everyday Art by Tie Dying

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Image made available by  Joe Dsilva on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

Jose Agustín Arrieta – Making The Ordinary Extraordinary

www.segmation.comCommon household settings and cooking materials were significant to Mexican painter, Jose Agustín Arrieta. This genre painter became famous after his death for portraying what he saw and experienced in nineteenth century Puebla, the town where he grew up and lived most his life.

In 1803, Jose Agustín Arrieta was born in Tlaxcala, Mexico. At a young age his parents moved to Puebla, where the young artist was a student of life, studying everyday objects and seeking to make them beautiful.
Today, there is not a lot of information circulating about Arrieta, but it seems he never left his home town – the place from which the character of his portraits and still lifes were born. In addition to being the bedrock of his inspiration, Puebla and nearby San Carlos offered fine art competitions that Arrieta participated in.

Jose Agustín Arrieta married Maria Nicolasa Lorenzana Varela in 1826. It is believed that she may have been an artist as well. This could very well be true; many noteworthy art teachers belonged to the Academy of Fine Arts of Puebla. Rather than join the academy and work with the likes of Lorenzo Zendejas and Salvador del Huerto, Arrieta forged his own path and set up a personal studio where he was able to paint portraits and still lifes that would not have been deemed appropriate to Puebla’s elite class. As a result, the artist did not earn a lot of money from his art work. In 1852, after identifying the state of his struggle, Arrieta took a counseling job in the State Congress.

Regardless of his inability to support himself financially during his lifetime, Arrieta’s work, known at the time as “cuadros de comedor” or “dining tables,” has become a symbol of Pueblo’s history. One reason why his genre paintings were given this title was because much of his work portrayed people and scenes that included images of national cuisine and traditional dishes. In fact, much of Jose Agustín Arrieta’s art can be summed up by the phrase, “good food and good drink.” This is because many of his paintings captured Mexican fruits, national delicacies, and bottles of wines and champagnes, as well as crystal glasses, common cooking pots, and serving baskets.www.segmation.com

Arrieta’s legacy exists today because of the content of his paintings, as well as the unique talent he displayed. A sign of his work is the fine detail that was applied to his paintings of home kitchens and public taverns. He also had an interesting way of drawing females, who were often painted as sexy women wearing full jewelry and oriental clothing.
It is said that, in his paintings, Arrieta may have been trying to save the style of symbolic still lifes that were typical in the 1600’s, but lost in the following century when naturalism came on the scene. Even though it would have been impossible for Arrieta to receive proper training in this style of art, his choice of subject matter (i.e. Mexican foods and
Puebla cooking techniques) required a realistic approach and variety of textures.

Today, Arrieta’s paintings are seen as the result of intense motivation. The artist spent much time perfecting his drawing and composition techniques, in addition to using color, and depicting human anatomy. It is unclear how much of his talent was the result of his wife’s education, who may have been properly trained at the Academy of Fine Arts of Puebla. Still, many of Arrieta’s pieces that sell today are deemed “imperfect” because of his distorted or lack of perspective. This, however, does not detract from the timeless success of Arrieta’s art.

On December 22, 1874, Jose Agustín Arrieta passed away, leaving behind a legacy that lives in Puebla and much of the world today. In fact, his work is available to the viewing public inside Casa Agustín Arrieta, a historical Pueblano home and museum.

References:
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agust%C3%ADn_Arrieta
http://web.archive.org/web/20120410092046
http://www.euskonews.com/0454zbk/kosmo45401es.html

Read more Segmation blog posts 

Preserving the Art of Earth: Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”

The Natural Side of Art

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