Volume 2, Number 8
Recent SegPlay™ Patterns
We've added a few "Rainbow" patterns this month to our large SegPlay collection. These pattern are based on colorful illustrations of scenes with a rainbow as a key design element. They're simple and you have a fun break coloring them in.
New SegPlayPC™ Patterns
We put together two new exciting SegPlayPC™ pattern collections this month. These new sets include Hot Air Ballooning - a set of colorful hot air ballon themed patterns, and
Dinosaurs Galore - a simplistic set of fun dinosaur pattern.
Hot Air Ballooning
One of our great sources for ideas related to graphics technology is a conference called Siggraph which we usually attend ever year in August. Although our core technology involves image segmentation, we also come back inspired with a great number of related product ideas that we try to experiment with during the year. Our SegPlayPC product is almost 2 years old and selling well, but we're also thinking about what features to add and what directions and markets to take it to next. If you have some cool ideas, let us know!
Our popular online SegPlay paint by number activity is going to get a makeover. The six year-old Java applet that we've named SegPlay has been enjoyed by many thousands of visitors young and old. However it's showing its age and we wanted to add a few new features and be able to showcase it on various game sites.
It's getting a totally new look and feel - a classical theme with several new features.
We're definitely going to make the screen larger (a very frequent request!), make the zooming in and out a bit easy, and we'll be porting the program to Adobe's Flash format so that the game can have more animated effects and load up a bit faster than our Java version.
We're targeting late September for the roll out.
If you have any comments about new features you'd like to see in it, this would be a great time to let us know. Please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're starting to add some informative artist descriptions to our pattern set pages (e.g. Renoir pattern set contents). If you have interest art-related articles, papers, or rantings and ravings, let us know what they are, and we'll consider publishing them on our site.
Also be sure to stop and check out our Segmation Video Gallery where we've compiled a bunch of nicely done YouTube movies relating to painting and fine art. There are a few new categories including Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, John Constable and James McNeill Whistler. You'll definitely get inspired when you watch the "Painting with Food" videos!!
We're always looking for more appealing art pieces for our SegPlay™ online paint by number collection. If you are an aspiring artist and am interested in setting up a free personal category on SegPlay to showcase some of your work in our fun paint by number world, drop us an email email@example.com
We hope you enjoyed reading this newsletter. Please feel free to pass it on to a friend or colleague. If you have any comments or suggestions about this newsletter, please drop us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Mark & Beth
Artist Of The Month: Frederic Remington
Master Painter of the American West
Frederic Sackrider Remington (October 4, 1861 - December 26, 1909) was a highly successful painter and illustrator who specialized in scenes of the American West. His images of cowboys, Indians and military scenes were distributed by Harper's Weekly and Collier's, displayed in exhibitions, were popular with Cavalry officers and won him a friendship with the future President Theodore Roosevelt. He became one of the most successful and iconic painters of the Old West.
Remington was born in Canton, New York in 1861. His mother's family had immigrated from Alsace-Lorraine on the Franco-Prussian border and owned a series of hardware stores. His father's family had reached America from England in 1637, and his father himself served as a colonel in the Civil War, and worked as a newspaper editor and postmaster.
Remington, however, was not the best student as a child. He enjoyed outdoor sports such as hunting, riding and camping, but his math was too poor to attend West Point, a disappointment for his father. Nonetheless, when Remington was 11, the family moved to Ogdensburg, New York, and Remington attended Vermont Episcopal Institute, a church-run military school. He took his first drawing lessons there before transferring to another military school where he developed an ambition to become a journalist, doing art for pleasure. He eventually studied at Yale's art school, the only man in the freshman class.
Even at college though, Remington found himself drawn more towards football and boxing than still life and formal art training. His first published illustration appeared in the student newspaper, Yale Courant, and depicted a bandaged football player. In 1879, Remington stopped studying to look after his sick father, who died a year later. There then followed several years in which he burned through his inheritance in youthful Western adventures. At the age of nineteen, Remington traveled to Montana to look into buying a cattle operation, or a mining interest. He did neither but he did get to see the prairies, the buffalo and battles between the U.S. Cavalry and Native Americans. Harper's Weekly gave him his first commercial publication, printing a sketch that he had submitted.
Remington moved on to Kansas where he bought a ranch and worked as a "holiday stockman" before discovering that cowboy work was hard and dull. After failing to build a hardware store, he returned home, married Eva Caten, and opened a saloon in Kansas City where he also sketched the regulars. The business did poorly, his wife left, and eventually Remington returned to Brooklyn. Reunited with his wife, he studied at the Art Students League of New York, drawing on his experience to submit images of the West to Collier's and Harper's Weekly. On January 9, 1886, Harper's gave him his first cover and later that year sent him to Arizona as an artist-correspondent reporting on the war against Geronimo. The publication then sent him to cover the South Carolina earthquake. It was his first year as a commercial artist, and he had earned $1,200, a good sum for those days.
Remington began adding watercolor to his sketches and to sell his work at art exhibitions. His oil painting Return of the Blackfoot War Party was exhibited at the National Academy of Design and he won a medal at the Paris Exposition. In 1887, Theodore Roosevelt asked him to produce 83 illustrations for his book "Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail" and three years later, his first one-man show at the American Art Galleries was a big success. Western Army officers invited him to paint their field portraits, which he did with a photographic quality.
Remington spent much of the 1890s traveling around the US and Mexico, but by now, his celebrity made him a frequent visitor at banquets and stag dinners, and obesity was becoming a problem. In 1898, he illustrated scenes of the Spanish-American War for the New York Journal, creating Scream of the Shrapnel, which focused on the troops rather than the Generals.
In 1908, with a financial crisis weakening art sales and his images out of fashion, he moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut and created works that showed the influence of Impressionism. He died following an emergency appendectomy on December 26, 1909, leaving behind a collection of naturalistic images that became part of the way the West was remembered.
You can find a large collection of Remington patterns to use with SegPlayPC™  here.
Art in the News:
World’s Biggest Painting Sold in Slices
Source: Daily Mail
Collectors have been standing in line to buy the world’s biggest painting – in pieces.
The Wave, by Croatian painter Djuro Siroglavic, a gigantic painting of an ocean wave, is reckoned to be more than four miles long, seven feet high and weighs almost six tons. The canvas measures 13,000 square meters and it took around 2.5 tons of paint to create the work. The Guinness Book of Records lists it as the world’s largest painting.
But the painting was too big for exhibition in a gallery and the artist did not want it to be hidden away collecting dust, so he came up with the novel idea of auctioning off portions of the painting and giving the proceeds to a Croatian children’s charity.
The first section was snapped up by an Austrian art lover and since then the artist has been flooded with requests from art collectors across the world wanting to buy a piece of the painting.
The Sopranos Rake in the Cash
Mafia boss Tony Soprano and his wife Carmela are raking in the cash again – only this time it’s through the sale of a painting depicting the two lead actors from the hit TV series in the same pose and costumes as the Duke and Duchess of Urbino in the classical masterpiece by Piero della Francesca.
The work was painted by Federico Castelluccio who played Mafia hit man Furio Giunta in the series and, according to Reuters news agency, it was bought recently by a Toronto oil executive for $175,000. Castelluccio, who loves painting as much as he does acting, got the idea for the painting after seeing the original in the Uffizi gallery while on a trip to Florence.
The actor told Reuters "Painting is my life. I love acting and creating characters, but if acting left tomorrow, it would be OK because I still have my painting."
Outside the Lines
One of Henri Matisse’s paintings was hung upside down in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and nobody noticed the mistake for a whole 46 days.
Henri Rousseau was 40 years old when he took up painting. He never had a single art lesson in his life and his “real” job was an officer in the French Customs.
Vincent van Gogh’s favorite color was yellow; he thought the color denoted hope and love.
Female Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot was Manet’s sister in law. She married his brother Eugene in 1874. She also introduced Manet to the idea of painting out of doors.