Tag Archives: number

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.

Coming soon: Read Segmation’s heartwarming article about various individuals’ much-loved childhood memories of paint by number.

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Learn to Make a Custom Paint by Number Pillow

Have you been keeping up with Segmation’s paint by number blog posts this month? If so, you are aware of the impact this art form has had on American culture. Do you love paint by number? We hope so, because this post outlines how to make your very own paint by number pillow.

The first step in creating your paint by number pillow is to obtain the supplies you need: paintbrushes, a fabric marker, masking tape, paint pot strips, paint by number guide, fabric paint, “heavyweight” cotton (to be used for back of the pillow), hand sewing needle, thread, “plain, light colored utility fabric for pillow front,” scissors, and Poly-fil. Once you have gathered your supplies, you are ready to move into the crafting stage of the project.

Next, you will print a paint by number guide (you can download the right side of the guide at http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/files/rightside.pdf, and the left side at http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/files/leftside.pdf). Once each side of your guide is printed, you will tape the sheets together to make a whole guide. Place the guide atop your fabric (intended for use as the front of the pillow) and cut the fabric to fit the size of the guide.

Now for the fun part! Trace the paint by number guide onto your pillow fabric. You can do this by hanging/taping the paint by number guide with the fabric ontop to a window. The sunlight coming through the window will help you to see the paint by number lines. Use your fabric marker to trace the guide onto the fabric as carefully as possible. (Don’t forget to include the numbers.) Make sure you do this on a sunny day!

Next, you will number your paints and begin to add color to your pillow front. Paint your picture by simply matching up the numbers of paint with the numbers on the pillow guide. This will result in a beautiful paint by number pillow front!

How much do you enjoy paint by number and Segmation? Whether you like 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?

Note: this project was adapted from http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/07/make-your-own-paint-by-numbers-pillow.htmlhere you will find more in-depth instructions for this project as well as directions for putting a back on the pillow, etc.

Coming soon: Read Segmation’s exclusive article about the unique ways many professionals have incorporated paint by number into their careers.

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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

Coming soon: Read Segmation’s exciting article on how to easily make your own paint by number pillow. You won’t want to miss it!

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“Paint by Number” Kits Create Thousands of Artists

To be considered an artist, must someone necessarily conceive of the subject of their artwork in their own mind, or is it acceptable for them to use a “blueprint” provided by another artist? Dan Robbins, the designer of “paint by number” art kits, would agree that individuals can indeed use patterns to assist them in art making and still be accepted as legitimate artists.

Dan Robbins designed paint by number, a product that allows people to paint pictures according to set patterns, in the 1950s. Max Klein, who was the president of the Palmer Paint Company, sought Robbins out as the designer of the yet-to-be discovered product that would later be known as paint by number. Robbins was admonished by Klein to conceive of and design a product that could help anyone become an artist.

Robbins looked to Leonardo da Vinci for inspiration in his endeavor to create a phenomenal art product. (This is because Da Vinci was known to supply his apprentices with “numbered patterns” on which to paint.) Robbins wondered why the same principle Da Vinci applied to his apprentices wouldn’t work for modern art enthusiasts and soon began developing paint by number kits.

Not long after paint by number was developed and marketed, kits began to sell in droves as Americans became addicted to the product that enabled them to make beautiful, intricate paintings. Robbins created even more kits and trained paint by number designers (Adam Grant was one such designer). Today, Dan Robbins’ art “has been displayed on more walls than that of any other artist.” To say that paint by number kits made Dan Robbins a success is an understatement.

Paint by number has been supplying art enthusiasts with art “blueprints,” so to speak, for decades. As a result, thousands of individuals having dormant artistic skills have blossomed into artists. This has made paint by number somewhat of an American legend, and has afforded many individuals cherished memories and increased artistic ability.

How much do you enjoy paint by number and Segmation? Whether you love crafting perfect paintings, creating great digital art, 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:

http://www.paintbynumbermuseum.com/dan_robbins_intro

Coming Soon: Read Segmation’s exclusive article about William L. Bird, a historian and curator at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, where in 2001 he organized an exhibition on paint by numbers on which his book is based.

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