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Segmation: The art of pieceful imaging
February 2008
Volume 2, Number 2


Recent SegPlay™ Patterns
Love is surely in the air.. Our new Hearts SegPlay™ patterns are quite popular. Visit our on-line SegPlay activity for these and more fun patterns.

Hearts
See more SegPlay™ patterns...


New SegPlayPC™ Patterns
Our SegPlayPC™ pattern collection is continues to expand (at last count over 900 patterns in more than 38 sets are available)!! We've added some popular new pattern sets in the past few weeks including "ChromaBlend 2", and "Anthony Van Dyck - Flemish Portrait Painter".

ChromaBlend 2
See more of ChromaBlend 2...


Anthony Van Dyck - Flemish Portrait Painter
Anthony Van Dyck - Flemish Portrait Painter...


Segmation News
There's a new update to popular SegPlayPC™ software, which is made free to all current users. Version 1.6 can be downloaded here. You can download and install this version without uninstalling your current version. Also, you won't have to re-authorize your software. You find a number of bug fixes and new features. There's a super new pattern selection dialog which makes it a snap to find and load all of your downloaded patterns. Also for those users with mouses with wheels on them, you find the new zooming capability a much better way to quickly zoom in and out while you are painting your patterns.

Hope you're enjoying our new newsletter format. Our previous newsletters are always available to read. You can find them here on our web site.

Over the past few months we've significantly updated our pattern creation software and streamlined a few of our production steps. Our patterns should be even more photorealistic and accurate. We should also be providing them to you at a slightly faster pace. Thanks to everyone who has brought a few gotchas to our attention and has helped test the quality of the new patterns. There are still a few bugs to work out, and we hope to resume our updates of the free and popular on-line SegPlay™ patterns in the next month.

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!!

As always if you have suggestions for new features, want to report bugs, or tell us how you are using our paint by number patterns (work, school or at home), drop us an email: comments@segmation.com.

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 submit@segmation.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: comments@segmation.com.

Happy Painting!!
-Mark & Beth

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Artist Of The Month: John Constable
John Constable - British Landscape Artist



John Constable (11 June 1776 – 31 March 1837) might be recognized today as one of the greatest English landscape painters but he was never financially successful in his lifetime and remained unrecognized by the British Art establishment until he was 52 years old. In France, however, he directly influenced the artists of the Romantic School, the Barbizon School, and later the Impressionists.

Constable was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk. His father was a wealthy corn merchant who owned several mills and even his own small ship. John was the second son in the family, but his elder brother was mentally handicapped so John was expected to take over the family business after leaving school. His heart however was not in it. During his school years he would take sketching trips in the local countryside which awakened his artistic spirit and, in his own words, "made me a painter, and I am grateful."

In 1799 Constable persuaded his father to let him study art at the Royal Academy Schools where he copied Old Masters and attended life drawing classes. He was inspired by artists like Gainsborough and Rubens. Turner was a fellow student, but the two artists were never friends and while Turner went on to achieve success, Constable sold just 20 paintings in his lifetime.

He married his childhood sweetheart, Maria Bicknell, in 1816 after a seven-year courtship. Maria’s family had opposed the marriage because Constable was penniless, despite the fact that he had been exhibiting at the Royal Academy since 1803 and painted portraits in order to make some money. It was only when Constable’s parents died and he inherited a share of the family business that the couple were able to marry.

John and Maria were a happy couple and had seven children, and this happiness is reflected in Constable’s art. His brushwork became stronger, his color more brilliant. He captured sunlight in daubs of pure yellows and whites, and rendered stormy skies with a rapid brush. He painted the places he loved, particularly sceneries of his native Suffolk and Hampstead where he lived after marrying Maria. He made oil sketches outside, but always produced the finished pictures in his studio.

In 1819 the sale of his first large-scale painting, The White Horse, led Constable to produce other large-scale works, which he called "six-footers", and in 1824 The Hay Wain, won a gold medal at the Paris Salon. In 1829 the Royal Academy reluctantly made Constable a member by a majority of only one vote.

His work though was greatly appreciated in France, especially by Delacroix. But Constable refused to move there, stating that "I would rather be a poor man in England than a rich man abroad."

In 1828 Maria died of tuberculosis shortly after giving birth to their seventh child. She was forty-one years old. Constable fell into depression for the rest of his life and, even though he had seven children to care for, suffered from anxiety and always dressed in black. As he wrote to his brother "…the face of the World is totally changed to me" and he never recovered.

Constable died in 1837 and was buried in Hampstead next to his wife. He did not have any artistic successors in England even though there were many imitators, including his son, Lionel. But the real legacy of the man who had once said "painting is but another word for feeling" was the influence he would have on French artists through to the Impressionists.

You can find a great collection of Constable patterns to use with SegPlayPC ™ here: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternsets.asp#CNS



Art in the News:
The World’s Oldest Oil Paintings
Source: AFP

Japanese researchers have dated the Buddhist murals in the Bamiyan caves to around 650 A.D. Produced with oil paints they rank as the world’s oldest oil paintings.

The Bamiyan caves once housed two gigantic 1500 year-old Buddha statues, destroyed by the Taliban in 2001; however, the murals, which portray thousands of Buddhas all dressed in vermilion robes, survived the damage and are being restored by a group of Japanese, European and American scientists.

The murals also portray crouching monkeys, mythical creatures and delicate renditions of palm leaves, all showing strong Chinese and Indian influences. They are thought to have been painted by artists traveling on the ancient Silk Road.

Oil painting was generally considered to have started in Europe shortly before the Renaissance.

Mona Lisa No Mystery To German Experts
Source: Reuters

Who was the lady behind the Mona Lisa? German experts believe they have solved the centuries-old riddle of her identity, Reuters reports.

The long-time favorite candidate for the model behind Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting was long held to be Lisa Gherardini, wife of wealthy Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo (hence the painting’s nickname, La Gioconda). However, over the years there has been a lot of speculation as to who the mysterious Gioconda really was – was she da Vinci’s mother? Or his mistress?

But now all doubts about the mysterious lady’s identity have been dispelled by a discovery made by Dr. Armin Schlechter, manuscript expert at Heidelberg University. The University library possesses a book in which notes were scribbled in the margins in 1503 by Agostino Vespucci, an official of the city of Florence, who knew da Vinci personally. The comments note that da Vinci was working on three paintings, one of them being a portrait of – Lisa del Giocondo.

Lisa del Giocondo was first named as the model for the Mona Lisa by Italian art historian Vasari in 1550, but he was thought to have been unreliable because the estimation was made 50 years after da Vinci painted the portrait.

Outside the Lines
Art Trivia - British artists

J.M.W Turner once had himself tied to a ship’s mast in order to paint a storm.

The English artist George Stubbs preferred painting horses to people.

Contemporary British artist Andy Brown stitched together 1,000 used tea bags to create a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

The real title of the famous painting known as "Whistler’s Mother" by James McNeill Whistler is "Arrangement in Black and Gray No. 1".

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