Tag Archives: hobby

A First Rank Landscape Painter, Thomas Doughty

Shortly after America declared its independence from Great Britain, an artist was born in Philadelphia. Thomas Doughty (1793 – 1856)  would come to change the face of art in America and throughout the world by mastering and popularizing landscape painting.

Ruins in a Landscape

Ruins in a Landscape

Doughty’s career flourished during his time in Philadelphia. What started with an apprenticeship as a leather currier turned into a career as a painter, seemingly overnight. There are only a few records of how Doughty developed his skill, but it is clear that he showed natural artistic talent at a young age. In fact, by 1816, he had an exhibit with his landscape artwork at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1820 he declared “painter” as his full-time career.

What Thomas Doughty did not know was that his art would change American art forever. At this time, Americans were beginning to show more interest in landscape painting than portrait art. Doughty was known as a highly skilled landscapist. His art often reflected his perception of gentle rivers and quite mountains.

View of the Fairmount Waterworks

View of the Fairmount Waterworks

Some of his work was copied from European landscapes he saw in collections by Robert Gilmor, Jr. Copying the landscape work of other artists was how Doughty taught himself to paint different types of landscapes, which he would set behind familiar scenes found in blossoming American towns. Often times, the artist would travel to take sketch notes that would allow him to breathe realism into his whimsical work.

Thomas Doughty was often able to sell his artwork and make a living as an artist for much of his life. In 1830 he went onto edit a magazine titled, “The Cabinet of Natural History and American Rural Sports.” Doughty would create hand-colored lithographs of animals for this monthly review. But after only two years of production, Doughty stopped publishing the magazine and moved to Boston.

The time Thomas Doughty spent in Boston was lucrative. He sold many paintings, exhibited often, and taught landscape painting to young artists. Also, Doughty was able to expand his style, which took on more of a romantic flare. In the swell of his success, the landscapist received a rave review from the first American art historian. William Dunlap referred to Doughty as, “The first rank as a landscape painter.”

Still, what many saw as his greatest accomplishment was yet to come. Doughty would go onto become one of the three leading figures of the Hudson River school. In addition to Asher Durand, Thomas Cole, and other American landscape painters who worked between 1825 and 1870, Doughty made up a school of art that prized 19th century themes such as discovery, exploration, and settlement. Most of the artists drew inspiration from natural scenes found in the Hudson River valley and other parts of New England. The Hudson River school was the first native paint school in the United States. This gave it a high sense of nationalism, which shown in the artists’ beautiful portrayals of America.

While part of this association, Doughty’s art style continued to evolve. Then, in 1845 and 1847 he visited England, Ireland and France. Even though he might have only passively studied art there, his style became more serene and thoughtful after this tour. These traits would continue to mark his style throughout his later years.

Thomas Doughty would return to the United States and settle in New York. As he grew older, he painted less. By the time he passed away in 1856, it is said that he and his family were living in poverty.

Regardless of the penniless inheritance he left his family, the life and work of Thomas Doughty is rich, and continues to be pass down from generation to generation. The artist changed American art work forever because of his talent as a first rank landscape painter.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Thomas Doughty’s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=DOU. Also, Segmation is proud to offer 26 digital Thomas Doughtypatterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 26 Thomas Doughty Landscape patterns. Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

 

Scituate Beach Massachusetts

Scituate Beach Massachusetts

Sources:

National Gallery of Art: Thomas Doughty

Hudson River School

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:

The Reluctant Educator and Revered Artist, Emil Carlsen”

Thomas Moran – American Landscape Painter

William Merritt Chase – American Impressionist Painter

Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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The Evolution of Paint by Number

What holds you back from creating art? Is it time? Expenses? Experience? Perfectionism? These were some of the first thoughts that went into creating the Paint by Number kit — the perfect art activity that surpassed all excuses.

In 1950, commercial artist Dan Robbins, and entrepreneur Max S. Klein, invented the concept of painting by numbers. This new creation married an art form with a hobby; painting and jig-saw puzzles. The Craft Master product was sold by the Palmer Paint Company in Detroit, Michigan.

By 1954 over 12 million kits had been distributed all over the world. Each kit had two paint brushes and up to 90 paint colors. Different paints were given each a number. Included in the kit was a canvas complete with light blue or grey lines and number markings to guide the artist as to where to place the appropriate paint color.

Not only did this innovative product make, “Every man a Rembrandt,” it created a new pastime. Like any intriguing art project, many individuals (mostly adult females) found painting by numbers to have addictive qualities — in the best sense of the word, of course. By the time a mysterious image revealed the hills of a landscape, dynamic sea, cuddly pet or even Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” the artist was hooked.

However, not everyone looked at this as art work. Some critics laughed in disdain about what adults were filling their time with. But in the end, the educational value proved to be a positive selling point for the product. It was seen as a transitional item that introduced those interested in art to the tools and techniques necessary to flourish in the trade.

Not only did it open a creative outlet for individuals,  it offered attractive, homemade decorations. To this day completed works hang in museums and galleries. In 1993 the daughter of Max Klein donated the Paint by Number archives to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. It’s even said that Paint by Number kits, completed by White House staff members, were hung along a corridor of the West Wing.

Between idea conception and present day, the Paint by Number art phenomenon has come full circle. In the 1960s it was adopted into the realm of Pop Art. Then, in the 1970s the designs became more abstract to fit the maturing tastes of art enthusiasts. By the 1990s, Paint by Number was looking for ways to regain a footing in the craft market of America; a telephone survey led them to create the “America’s Most Wanted” kit. Around this time, numerous children’s art companies, like Crafthouse and Janlynn started to produce Paint by Number kits for kids; there are even designs inspired by Disney Characters.

With the advent of virtual technology, it seemed only natural that Paint by Number programs become available through a computer. This is the type of innovative thinking that encouraged SegPlay, a color by number kit fit for your computer. Like Paint by Number kits, it is accessible at anytime, you can leave and return to your design as you choose, and it has the good addictive qualities that will fulfill leisure pastime. Also, like the Paint by Number phenomenon, SegPlay is always looking for new ways to serve artists. This is why Segmation SegPlayPC is evolving.

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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SegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

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