Volume 3, Number 4
New SegPlayPC™ Patterns
There's two new SegPlay®PC pattern collections available this month.
The first set is Birds of a Feather.
Birds are amazing lightweight, winged animals that lay eggs and fly. Their characteristic features include feathers, beaks, and strong skeletons. Their colored feathers provide a number of important features including flight, insulation, camouflage, and signaling to others. The arrangement and appearance of feathers on the body, is referred to as plumage. In our carefully selected set of bird themed patterns, you'll find an assortment of many species, colors and sizes. There are owls, eagles, seagulls, toucans, sparrows, finches, pigeons, pelicans, blackbirds, warblers, hummingbirds, and godwits.
Birds of a Feather
The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is Pieter de Hooch - Dutch Interior Painter.
Pieter de Hooch was a Dutch Genre painter who is noted for his interior scenes, strong use of perspective, and accurate lighting. His works are similar to those of his Dutch contemporary, Johannes Vermeer, in both content and style. Although he initially painted soldiers and their surroundings, he turned his attention to painting genre scenes depicting Dutch domestic life. Many of these scenes include home interiors, courtyards, and gardens with women as the main characters. Our set of patterns includes his most well known scenes including "At the Linen Closet", Woman with a Child in a Pantry", and "Soldiers playing Cards".
Pieter de Hooch - Dutch Interior Painter
Our updated website went live a few days ago! Many thanks to our devoted users who for the past few weeks helped us find and fix broken links, mispellings, out of date information and more. There's still more to do, but we think the hard part is behind us.
A big thank you to Mary Ann Fernandes from www.fernandesmedia.com who came up with the new site design and artwork.
One of the new features of our website is our new alternative online SegPlay® version based on Adobe's Flash technology. It introduces a few new game modes that we wanted to share with our vistors including a scoring mode, a creative paint mode, and an instant paint mode. As always we appreciate your feedback on this new way to paint, as we fine tune SegPlay and make plans for future products.
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:
Pieter de Hooch - Dutch Interior Painter
Pieter de Hooch (1629 – 1684) was a 17th century Dutch genre painter of the Delft school who portrayed serene domestic interior scenes. His masterful depiction of light and use of perspective is believed to have influenced Vermeer.
De Hooch was born in Rotterdam. His father was a bricklayer and his mother was a midwife. He had five brothers and sisters. Not much is known about his early life and large parts of his career are unrecorded.
It is not known how, or why De Hooch decided to study painting but in the late 1640s he studied art in Haarlem under a local master and was influenced by the genre painters who frequented Frans Hals.
Around 1650 De Hooch went to work for Justus de la Grange, a wealthy Rotterdam cloth merchant who was also an art collector. He was recorded as being a painter and servant in the merchant’s household, but it is believed that this meant he was given room and board in return for his paintings. An inventory of de la Grange’s collection showed that he owned eleven paintings by De Hooch. De la Grange had homes and business dealings in The Hague, Leiden and Delft, and De Hooch accompanied him on his travels.
In Delft, De Hooch came into contact with painters of the Delft School and by 1654 he settled down there. This was his most creative period; he began painting quiet interiors and idyllic depictions of interior domestic life. He was a master of perspective and the portrayal of natural light illuminating interior rooms and courtyards. As was the custom at the time, his paintings sometimes bore hidden messages, readily understood by his contemporaries.
In May 1654 he married Jannetge van der Burch. The couple had seven children. A year later, in 1655, De Hooch joined the painters Guild. He did not have enough money to pay the twelve guilder membership fee and was able to pay only three guilders.
After that, there are no records of De Hooch’s life or career until 1661, when he moved to Amsterdam, where he remained for the rest of his life. It is thought he moved there in order to find wealthy patrons. Indeed, his paintings from that period are portrayals of upper class ladies and gentlemen in their palaces and villas. These paintings are considered to be less successful than his early works. Gone were the charming, delicate interiors of the Delft years. The technique is not as delicate and the color palette is dark and unrefined.
But although he portrayed the wealthy classes, De Hooch lived in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Amsterdam. It is believed that the deterioration in his painting was due to ill health, although little is known about his life at this time.
Eventually De Hooch’s health worsened until he died in an Amsterdam asylum for the insane in 1684. He was fifty five years old. It is not known why he was interned there. After his death, his paintings were overshadowed by Vermeer, who is considered to be a greater master of the interiors genre.
You can find a large collection of Pieter de Hooch patterns to use with SegPlay®PC here.
Art in the News:
Long Lost Italian Statue Turns up in North Carolina
A small 17th century statue in wood and gold depicting the bust of Pope St. Innocent, which was stolen from a church in Italy 20 years ago, has turned up in the home of a couple in North Carolina, reports the Associated Press.
It’s thought that the statue, part of a heist in which 17 statues and two oil paintings were taken, turned up in the United States when an antiques dealer from Greensboro bought it at an antiques fair in France. It was subsequently sold to the North Carolina couple by a dealer in Charlotte, NC.
The statue was made by Diego da Careri, a Franciscan artist, who produced it as part of a set for display in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli alle Croci, from where it was stolen.
The other works stolen in the heist are still missing.
Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” One of a Series
What is perhaps Rembrandt’s most famous painting, the “Night Watch” was painted as part of a series produced by the leading Dutch artists of the day, according to a study published by the Netherlands National Museum.
The Associated Press reports a Museum spokeswoman as saying that the painting was originally part of a frieze in the Great Hall of the Civil Guard building for which it was commissioned.
But the study concludes that Rembrandt diverged from the terms of the commission because his group portrait is so different from the other five that make up the series. Whereas the other artists produced stiff, formal works, Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” is a lively, action-packed study of military men.
When it was moved to the Amsterdam Town Hall in 1715, the painting was cut down to fit the space it was given. It lost two figures and other elements that were important to the perspective.
Outside the Lines
Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn painted over 60 self portraits.
In its day Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” was considered so shocking that it was removed from exhibition.
Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali was expelled from art school.
Paul Gauguin was once quoted as saying “I shut my eyes in order to see."