Volume 2, Number 6
Recent SegPlay™ Patterns
This month we've added some wonderful country scenes to color. These patterns have grassy fields, mountains and trees in the background, and an assortment of colorful foliage in the foreground.
New SegPlayPC™ Patterns
There are three more SegPlayPC™ pattern collection this month as we continue adding to our large collection. These new sets include "Home Sweet Home", a set of simple, well defined homes illustrated in various styles and including a few seasonal effects,
"Frederic Remington - Master Painter of the American West", and
"Lighthouses - Beacons by the Sea", a set of patterns based on well composed Lighthouse themed photographs.
Home Sweet Home
Frederic Remington - Master Painter of the American West
Lighthouses - Beacons by the Sea
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.
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.
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: Delacroix
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (April 26, 1798 – August 13, 1863) was a French painter of the Romantic school. A master colorist, he is considered to be one of the greatest French artists of all time. His work had a major influence on the Impressionists and even extended to post-Impressionist modern artists.
Delacroix was born in Charenton-Saint Maurice, near Paris into an aristocratic and wealthy family. Although he was registered as the son of Charles Delacroix, a diplomat and former Foreign Minister, rumor had it that he was the natural son of Talleyrand, the famous diplomat who became French Foreign Minister after Charles Delacroix. As an adult, Eugene Delacroix certainly bore a striking resemblance to Talleyrand, who went to great lengths to assist Delacroix in his career.
Little is known about Delacroix’s childhood, except that he loved art and won prizes from his prestigious school for his drawing. In 1815 Delacroix went to study painting in the studio of Pierre Guerin, a neoclassical artist. But despite his formal training Delacroix leant towards the style of the Italian and Flemish schools, absorbing the works of Rubens, Veronese and fellow Frenchman Theodore Gericault from whom he learnt to combine the romantic ideal with the violent action of the times.
Delacroix’s first major painting The Barque of Dante, which was inspired by Gericault’s work, The Raft of the Medusa, was accepted by the Paris Salon. It caused an instant sensation, was decried by the public and judges alike, but the French government still purchased the painting for one of its public buildings.
Delacroix painted the Massacre at Chios, another important work inspired by the Greek struggle for freedom from Turkish rule. The painting is loaded with action and emotion, depicted in bold colors and masterful brushstrokes. It brought him wide popular acclaim and was also bought by the French government. A second masterpiece, Greece Expiring on the Ruins of Missolonghi, was also a dramatic statement in support of the Greeks and their quest for independence. It was inspired by a terrible event where an entire city committed suicide rather than surrender to the Turkish forces. Throughout his life Delacroix was to be inspired by literary sources and one of his icons, the poet Byron, died at Missolonghi.
In 1832 Delacroix joined a diplomatic mission to Morocco and the newly conquered Algeria. Spellbound by the inhabitants, the exotic costumes, the colors and contrasts, he produced a wealth of paintings, drawings and watercolor sketches of the native peoples of North Africa. In Algiers, Delacroix drew Muslim women in their costumes. He painted a Jewish wedding, he painted wild animals and indeed, his portrayals of lions, tigers and horses are some of the finest in animal art.
Between 1833 and 1861 Delacroix worked on many commissions from the French government and royalty to produce murals for public buildings and palaces in Paris. He had to work long, tiring hours on scaffolding in cold, drafty buildings. His health deteriorated as a result.
Eugene Delacroix died in Paris on August 13, 1863 aged 65. During his lifetime he had dominated the French art scene and he had been awarded many honors. He had produced over 850 paintings, many of them masterpieces, over 8,000 drawings and watercolors and also 60 sketch books. In the words of his contemporary, the French poet Baudelaire, Delacroix was “The last of the great artists of the Renaissance and the first modern.
During the next month we'll be releasing a great collection of Delacroix patterns to use with SegPlayPC™ . If you have favorite Delacroix paintings that you'd like to see included, drop us an drop us an email at email@example.com.
Art in the News:
Scream Seen Again
Edvard Munch’s masterpiece, The Scream, which was stolen in an armed robbery in 2004, had been badly damaged by the thieves ripping it out of its frame. The painting is now back on show, under heavy security, at the Munch Museum in Oslo after having been recovered in 2006 and subsequently restored.
The head of Oslo’s art conservation department, Mette Havrevold, said restoring the painting had been a meticulous and challenging process, because they did not know the conditions under which the painting had been kept. There was a humidity stain at the lower left corner, which the restorers did not try to repair because they were afraid of making the damage worse.
However, studies and technical observations made during the restoration process led experts to believe that The Scream was painted in 1910, and not 1893 as widely attributed.
Another Munch masterpiece, The Madonna, was stolen in the same heist and suffered far worse damage, including the canvas being ripped.
Farewell to a Pop Art Pioneer
Robert Rauschenberg, one of the Pop Art movement’s cultural icons, died recently of heart failure at his Florida home aged 82, reports the Associated Press.
Rauschenberg notoriously used strange, everyday items combined with paint to create his works, claiming he “worked in the gap between art and life”. He created one of his most famous works, entitled Bed, by painting on the quilt from his bed using toothpaste and nail varnish mixed with the paint, claiming that he had woken up that morning inspired to paint, but didn’t have money to purchase canvas.
Although he was born in Texas, Robert Rauschenberg was a spiritual New Yorker and he would take the raw materials for his creations from the city’s sidewalks and trash cans. He exhibited regularly in New York over an uninterrupted period of 56 years, which is thought to be a record. He studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1974.
Outside the Lines
Art Trivia - Delacroix
Delacroix was the inventor of the color triangle (the basics of color theory used for mixing primary and secondary colors). He developed it from a handbook on oil painting by the artist J.F.L. Mérimée which explained color theory based on a color circle.
French 19th century novelist Victor Hugo is thought to have based one of the characters in his famous novel, Les Misérables, on one of the central figures of Delacroix’s epic painting Liberty Guiding the People: the little boy in the foreground raising a gun in the air.
Yue Minjun, a contemporary Chinese painter, reinterpreted Delacroix’s Massacre of Chios in one of his own paintings and gave it the same name. Yue’s reinterpretation fetched nearly $4.1 million at Sotheby’s in 2007.