Volume 3, Number 8
New SegPlay® PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay® PC pattern collections available this month.
The first set is Football Fun.
Football is the predominant fall season sport in the United States and Canada. Itís also referred to as Gridiron outside North America. Itís a physically demanding sport, which requires a significant amount of training and teamwork. The main objective of the game is a touchdown where a team must advance the football into the opposing team's end zone. Points can also be scored by kicking the ball through goal posts placed at the end zone.
The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is Frans Hals - Dutch Portrait Painter.
Frans Hals (1580-1666) was a Dutch Golden Age painter who is best known for his many portrait paintings. His style is noted for a loose brush style and also helped evolve the 17th century group portraiture. He lived most of his life in the city of Haarlem, where his talents for painting were greatly in demand, particularly by wealthy citizens.
Frans Hals - Dutch Portrait Painter
We're working on a couple of new products that will bring SegPlay to more handheld devices including the iPhone. Hopefully they'll be ready in the fall, but we've gotten off to a slow start! We should have some prototype screens to share with you in the next month or so.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
On a personal note, Segmation has moved! Segmation founders, Beth and Mark have completed a move from Walnut Creek, California to San Diego, California. Thanks to our virtual Segmation team, we're able to continue developing new products, provide support and of course create our never-ending sets of patterns.
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: email@example.com.
-Mark & Beth
Artist Of The Month:
Frans Hals - Dutch Portrait Painter
Frans Hals (c. 1580 - August 26, 1666) was a master portrait painter and one of the most gifted artists of the 17th century Dutch school. His fresh, lively approach influenced the way future artists handled large-scale group portraits.
Not much is known about the life of Frans Hals. He was born in Antwerp sometime around 1580-1581 to a Dutch family living in Flanders. His father was a draper, and the family fled the city when it was conquered by Spain in 1585, moving to Haarlem in Holland where Frans Hals would spend the rest of his life.
Hals studied painting from 1601-1603 under Karel van Mander, who had fled Antwerp at the same time as the Hals family, and in 1610, was admitted to the Haarlem painters' guild. He started working for the city as an art restorer and in the same year, married his first wife, Annetje Harmansdr. The couple had two sons, but Annetje died during the birth of their second son.
The paintings Hals produced before the age of 30 are unknown, but his first important commission was painted in 1616: a life-sized group portrait known as The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company. This work led to other, similar commissions throughout the 1620s and 30s, which are among the artist's finest productions. He was at the height of his artistic popularity during those years.
Hals was doing well and in 1617 he remarried. His second wife, Lysbeth Reyniers, had been hired as nanny for his two children. It is rumored she was eight months pregnant when they married and the couple went on to have eight children together. In fact, Frans Hals was a lively character with the reputation of being a womanizer who liked to have a good time. That might have been one of the reasons why, despite his success as an artist, he was always short of money.
The paintings produced in the 1630's tend towards simple compositions and bright colors. These give way to cooler tones and by the 1640s a dramatic change can be seen in Hals's works. His brushwork was bold and free and the colors became monochromatic tones of blacks and greys. His most important work of this period is the 1648 portrait of Renť Descartes.
Although Hals was elected chairman of the Haarlem painters' guild in 1644, his manner of painting was starting to go out of style and he was losing customers. With a large family to support, Hals changed his style in a bid to remain popular, but to little effect. He worked as an art dealer, and acted as art tax expert for the municipality. In 1652 he was taken to court and declared bankrupt. He had to sell his belongings and was left destitute, relying on a stipend from the Haarlem municipality to survive.
When he was 84 years old, Hals painted two of his greatest works, Lady Regents of the Almshouse and The Governors of the Almshouse, considered to be among the greatest portrait works ever painted.
Art in the News:
Britain's National Gallery Wishes the Museum had More Fakes
Most art institutions spend their time purging their collections of works that are not authentic, but Nicholas Penny, head of Britain's respected National Gallery was heard telling reporters he wished the venerable institution possessed more fakes.
Reuters quotes Penny as saying that "It's worth having some in a collection... Not having them on display for what they pretend to be... but for what they are -- as fakes or imitations."
Not surprising when you learn that among the National Gallery's planned exhibitions in 2010 is an exhibition of copies of the great masters produced by their students.
The National Gallery, however, has very few fakes in its own collection, according to Penny.
World's Oldest Man Unveiled
Henry Allingham was 113 when he died recently; making him the world's oldest man, with a life that had spanned three centuries. Twenty-eight year old Welsh artist Dan Llywelyn Hall painted his portrait just days before he died.
Hall considered it an "enormous privilege" to have been chosen to paint Allingham's portrait, according to the BBC, saying that he had "a tremendous presence" and was alert and articulate, singing songs during the sittings.
The artist aimed to capture the elegant appearance and charming character that lay behind Mr. Allingham's steely determination, which he did by emphasizing the WWI veteran's bold fingers and gestures. He painted the portrait in just three hours at the home for ex-servicemen where Mr. Allingham was being cared for.
The painting will go on exhibition at a London gallery in November and the proceeds of the sale will be donated to the home.
Outside the Lines
Art Trivia - Leonardo da Vinci
Although Leonardo da Vinci had no problem dissecting a corpse to study anatomy, he was a vegetarian for ideological reasons.
Da Vinci also invented the scissors.
X-rays of the Mona Lisa show three different versions of the same painting underneath the final portrait.