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How to Make Your Own Oil Paints

In a previous blog post, we discussed the benefits of making your own paints, rather than buying commercially-made paints from art supply stores. Two of the most appealing reasons for making your own paints include the ability to control the color and the quantity of the paint that you make. In today’s blog post, we’ll take a more in-depth look at how you can make your own oil paints using just a few simple supplies.

The two main ingredients you’ll need for making your own oil paints are powdered pigment and an oil, such as linseed oil (which most oil painters usually have on hand anyway). The tools you’ll need to mix the ingredients can either be a mortar and pestle (shown above), or a sturdy spatula and a flat glass surface. The mortar and pestle is the preferred choice because it will allow you to grind the pigment into finer particles.

To make your own oil paint, place your desired amount of pigment onto the glass surface or into the mortar. Add a small amount of oil and grind together the pigment and the oil using your pestle or spatula. Be sure to start off with a small amount of oil, because you don’t want your mixture to be too runny.

As the pigment absorbs the oil, note the consistency. If the mixture looks too dry, add more oil. If it is too oily, add more pigment. Your goal is to create a mixture that resembles the consistency of toothpaste.

Once the pigment and oil are thoroughly mixed, then you are ready to paint! The process is as simple as that. Your homemade oil paint can be mixed with commercially-made oil paints, and it may be stored in tubes or airtight jars for future use. segmation dot com.

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Selling your art at outdoor art fairs

Have you ever considered selling your artwork at an art fair? Outdoor art festivals are a popular way of uniting artists with potential collectors and even gallery owners. At the larger art festivals, attendance can reach 250,000 and higher, which means a lot of eyeballs will have the chance to view your art! If that wasn’t enough to convince you, keep in mind that there are visual artists who report 6-figure annual incomes from selling their art at street festivals around the US.

Before you start applying to art festivals, do your research to find out which art fairs are best for you. Some art fairs are well-known and highly-regarded, while others are smaller and don’t generate as much foot traffic. When researching which art fairs to apply for, find out the answers to the following questions:

  • How many people attend the art fair each year?
  • Will any cash prizes be given, and if so, how many prizes and for what amounts?
  • What is the booth fee?
  • Does the art festival expect to collect a percentage of your sales?
  • What is the location of the art fair? Similarly, how far will you have to drive? Will you have to stay in a hotel? What are the costs for this – and is it worth it, given the answers to the previous questions?
  • Are you allowed to sell prints and cards of your work, or only originals? (Not all art festivals allow artists to sell reproductions of their work, but if they do, it’s a great way to boost your income and also spread your artwork further afield.)

The answers to these questions will help you decide which art festivals are worth your time, and which ones you can skip.

All in all, selling your art at art festivals is an excellent way to take your art career into your own hands. You can make connections with other artists, network with gallery owners and reach out to the general public. Rather than wait for a gallery to take on your work, you can take your art out into the world!

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The Lingo of Color www.segmation.com

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=paint&iid=310124″ src=”http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/310124/paintbrush-water-amongst/paintbrush-water-amongst.jpg?size=500&imageId=310124″ width=”380″ height=”254″ /]

It is said that the human eye can discern between 1 million and 7 million colors. Do you think you could name them all?

Most people can easily identify the 3 primary colors (red, yellow, blue), and the three secondary colors (orange, green and purple), plus white and black. It’s their many mixtures, variants, tints and shades that cause a stumbling block when it comes to identifying colors.

Because of their familiarity with pigments, artists have a slew of color names at their disposal when it comes to naming colors. (For instance, “I painted a Cerulean sky over an Ultramarine ocean, tinged with hints of Light Hansa.”) These terms may leave non-artists scratching their heads. Where do these color names originate?

As we discussed in a previous article, some artist pigments are named for the material that they are made from (cobalt blue, made from cobalt), or the place where they the pigments first came from (burnt sienna, from Sienna, Italy). Other colors are named for the person who first discovered the pigment that could be used to create the color (fuchsia, named for the German scientist Leonard Fuchs).

The complexity of color is difficult to pin down with the limitations of language – especially when one person claims to see lavender while another argues that the color is actually lilac. Aside from the necessity of naming pigments and hues for color-matching purposes, perhaps many color names are best left to the imagination, where poetic expressiveness can assign the most appropriate color name for that particular purpose and moment.

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Art for Peace

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=art+painting&iid=9860838″ src=”http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9860838/the-bench-peace/the-bench-peace.jpg?size=500&imageId=9860838″ width=”380″ height=”505″ /]

Art can be a powerful vehicle for social change, offering the opportunity for reflection upon pressing issues and social injustices. Through image-making, those who feel powerless are given a voice. One of the most critical, ongoing topics of global concern is the quest for world peace.

In September, scores of artists gathered in Moscow, Russia to paint benches for the The Bench of Peace International Art Project, shown above. Placed side by side, the benches stretched 400 meters along Lavrushinsky Lane and were later auctioned off for charity. Events such as this demonstrate that art is not just about making a pretty picture – art also makes a statement, one that may linger in viewers’ memories long after they’ve stopped looking at the art.

Pablo Picasso, one of the 20th centuries most celebrated artists, created many drawings and lithographs of doves, the international symbol of peace. While his first dove artwork in 1949 was created in a realistic style, his subsequent peace doves took on a more elegant, minimalistic style. On the opposite end of the spectrum, his painting Guernica depicts the horrors of war, and is hailed as one of history’s most powerful anti-war paintings.

Organizations such as the Global Art Project aim to promote peace through art. Through various visual art projects, they seek to educate the public about diversity and tolerance. Art for peace can take the form of community-based projects that focus participants’ minds on the causes of conflicts and solutions for spreading inner harmony and outer peace.

From conceptual street art to traditional fine art, the variety of art created for peace demonstrates the power of images to transform the world, one person at a time.

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A Closer Look at the Color Red

How do you feel when you gaze at a large red Rothko painting, spend time in a room with regal red wallpaper, or see a stop sign?  While the color red carries different meanings depending on its context, the body’s biological response is the same: red can raise both your pulse and your blood pressure.  Additionally, red can even make you feel hungry by increasing your body’s metabolism – which is why many restaurants use the color red in their logos and decor!

Red is the longest visible light wave, ranging from light pinks to deep crimsons that have a wavelength between 610 and 780 nm.  Our modern word “red” comes from the Old English word rēad.  This warm, eye-catching color has strong meanings that tap into the heart of various human emotions and experiences, depending on the specific context in which it is found.

For instance, in Western culture, red can signify anger and aggression (as in “blood red” or “a face that turns red with anger”), but it can also denote love, lust and passion (from red roses to the red-light district).  It also functions as a strong warning color that represents danger or emergencies.

On the other hand, the color red in China is related to happiness and good fortune.  In both China and India, red is the traditional color for wedding dresses.  In Africa however, red is associated with death and mourning.

Red is one of the earliest pigments used by our prehistoric ancestors, who made red ochre pigment from clay to paint the walls of caves.  Red pigments have been created from several surprising sources, such as crushed cochineal insects used to make carmine red.  Madder lake derives from the roots of the madder plant, while vermilion was made from powdered mineral cinnabar, which is a red mercury ore.  These days, most red artists’ pigments are created synthetically in factories, including hues such as poppy red, cadmium red, rose, alizarin crimson, and quinacridrone magenta.

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Learn How to Safely Pack and Ship Your Art

Whether you’re shipping your artwork to a gallery or preparing to move your art collection to your new home, your number one priority when transporting art is to make sure that it arrives in perfect condition at its destination. Follow these tips to ensure that your artwork arrives undamaged and ready to display:

  • Wrap paintings, drawings and sculptures carefully in a protective, pH neutral covering, such as glassine. This will protect the surface of the artwork from being exposed to the harmful chemicals that can be found in packing tape, cardboard, and anything else that may come into contact with the artwork. Never allow cardboard or packing tape to touch the surface of your artwork directly.
  • For inexpensive works of art on paper or canvas, you can create a “sandwich” by placing two sturdy pieces of heavy cardboard or foamboard on either side of the artwork, sealing the two halves together using an acid-free tape. Make sure that the cardboard or foamboard is several inches longer than the artwork on each edge. To ensure that the artwork doesn’t move around while in transit, use acid-free tape to secure the glassine-covered artwork to the cardboard or foamboard.
  • Consider using a box that is specially-designed to transport art, such as Strong Boxes by Air Float Systems. These boxes contain an acid-free foam insert that form a protective shell around your artwork.
  • If you need to transport an expensive work of art, use a professional art packer and mover, who will expertly pack and ship your art. You can find one in your local phone book. They will also be able to advise you on purchasing insurance for your artwork, which is a wise idea when shipping expensive (and/or irreplaceable) artwork.

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In Awe of Autumn and Thanksgiving

In Awe of Autumn

In Awe of Autumn

In Awe of Autumn Patterns Set from Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Autumn is one of the four annual seasons and ranges (in the Northern Hemisphere) from September 22th to December 21st. The exact times are measured by the Autumn equinox and the Winter solstice. Autumn is associated with many natural events including harvesting of crops, a cooling of temperatures, a graying of skies, and most noticeably, the changing colors of leaves. Segmation’s “In Awe of Autumn” set contains a colorful array of photographs which depict autumn at its finest. Yellow, red, and orange leaves are shown in numerous forms. Skies are shown with dynamic coloring as well. Rivers, mountains, fields, ducks, apples, and country roads are also shown in fall season.

Segmation’s In Awe of Autumn set contains over 20 paintable patterns in all different painting levels.

You’ll find in our Segmation SegPlay® Thanksgiving pattern collection, many contemporary scenes of the Thanksgiving holiday, including numerous colorful turkeys, cornucopias, pumpkins, pilgrims, thanksgiving art, being thankful and harvests.  Gooble Gooble!

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Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Autumn and Thanksgiving Scenes from Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

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Alternative Exhibition Spaces for Artists


An important aspect of creative art marketing is finding new opportunities to exhibit your art. If you are just embarking on your art career, you may encounter difficulty getting into traditional galleries, especially because the current economy is making art galleries less inclined to take on emerging artists with no proven sales record. While participating in art fairs is another option for artists who want to get their art in the public eye, some of the best art fairs charge high booth fees (in the ballpark of $200 for one weekend), which can be a huge chunk of money for emerging artists on a tight budget. So what’s the best route for emerging artists?

To launch your art career, take your future into your own hands. Seek alternative exhibition spaces and create your own opportunities for exhibiting your work. Here are a few ideas for alternative exhibition spaces that will help get you started:

  • Cafes, restaurants and coffee shops – Many independently-owned cafes and restaurants are open to the idea of hanging the work of local artists. Some may request a small commission on works sold while others will let you hang your work for free.
  • Your own home – Transform your living room into a temporary gallery space. Send out invitations to everyone you know as well as local art critics and gallery owners. If you have several artist friends living nearby, see if they are interested in opening up their homes in a similar way on a certain evening, and you can advertise your “open houses” as part of an Art Walk.
  • Office buildings – If you work in an office, or have a friend or relative who does, ask if you could hang a temporary exhibit on their walls. You never know who might see your art and what kind of contacts (and sales!) you could make as a result.
  • Libraries – Most libraries have changing exhibitions throughout their buildings, and some even actively seek out local artists to exhibit. Inquire at the front desk of your local library.
  • Bank lobbies – Hanging artwork in bank lobbies can work especially well if you do regional art, such as local landscapes or cityscapes, but other types of art can be hung in bank lobbies, too. If people already have their wallet out, they are in a prime position to buy art.
  • Empty warehouse or storefront – Offer to rent an empty warehouse or storefront for a month, or even for just a week or a weekend. (If you rent it for a short time, be sure that you advertise widely so that people know about your special art event.) Landlords will usually be glad to let you fill the storefront, rather than have an empty window. You will even be doing your city a favor by revitalizing the area with art and culture. If you can’t afford the rent by yourself, round up a group of artists to chip in.
  • Sell art from the trunk of your car. This may sound extreme, but this practice has been used by folk artists around the world. You can set up by the side of the road (but be sure to check beforehand whether or not you need a permit). Be sure to have a large eye-catching sign proclaiming “art for sale” and display some of your pieces on easels next to your car, so that people will know what you have to offer.

No matter where you are in your art career, the opportunities for exhibition are always out there – even if you have to create them yourself!

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Thanksgiving Scenes

Beautiful Thanksgiving Scenes to be thankful for. Gooble Gooble!  All Ages can enjoy and have fun!

 Thanksgiving Scenes

Thanksgiving Scenes

Thanksgiving Scenes Patterns Set from Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Thanksgiving is a traditional holiday in North America, which gives thanks for a bountiful harvest. The festival dates back to the pilgrims in the 1600s celebrating their harvest with native Indians at the Plymouth Plantation. In the United States, Thanksgiving is observed on the fourth Thursday in November where parades, football games, and an elaborate family Turkey dinner are the most commonplace activities.

You’ll find in our SegPlay® Thanksgiving pattern collection, many contemporary scenes of the Thanksgiving holiday, including numerous colorful turkeys, cornucopias, pumpkins, pilgrims, and harvests.

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

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The Hidden Costs of Displaying Major Works of Art

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When we visit famous works of art in renowned museums, we spend our time admiring the paintings, sculptures, and drawings that have inspired humanity for centuries, if not millennia.

Rarely do we consider the resources that are necessary to make those works of art available to the public on a daily basis, from the structurally safe buildings that must be able to both handle a continual stream of visitors and also protect the artwork in a climate-controlled environment, to the number of staff members needed to guard the art, clean the buildings, sell the tickets, tear the tickets, lead the tours, etc. Additionally, the most celebrated works of art draw large masses of visitors to the cities in which they are held, which can create a social and environmental strain on the host city.

These factors recently came to the fore in Italy, where Michelangelo’s marble masterpiece David (shown above) is the centerpiece at L’Accademia in Florence, bringing in 8 million euros worth of ticket sales each year. However, instead of helping Florence cope with the strain of hosting so many tourists, that money goes to the Italian government. While Renaissance marvels such as Michelangelo’s David are responsible for making Florence one of the most visited cities in the world, the city of Florence does not in itself benefit financially from having the well-known statue in its midst.

Matteo Renzi, the mayor of Florence, brought this discrepancy to light and requested that the revenue from David be transferred to Florence instead of the Italian government. This opened an investigation into who or what is the true owner of the celebrated statue. Both the city of Florence and the Italian government claim ownership of the statue and both dispute the other’s sense of entitlement to the revenues.

The debate will continue until either a consensus is reached or the revenue is shared fairly with Florence. In the meantime, thousands of visitors per day will stream past Michelangelo’s David as Florence continues to pay for the upkeep while Italy pockets all the profits.

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