Volume 3, Number 2
New SegPlayPC™ Patterns
There's two new SegPlayPC™ pattern collections available this month.
The first set is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - French Post-Impressionist. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a French painter in the late nineteenth century who observed and captured in his works, the Parisian nightlife of the period.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec- French Post-Impressionis
The second new SegPlayPC™ set available this month is Flowers in Bloom.
Just in time for Spring! In this set you'll find daisies, tulips, lilies, roses, magnolias, chrysanthemums, amaryllises, crocuses, and sunflowers all waiting to be colored.
Flowers in Bloom
Our new SegPlay™ version based on Adobe's Flash technology has been released to a number of online game sites. You can check it out here on the Kongregate web site. We hope it have it live shortly on the Segmation web site as soon as we fix a few quirks with it.
We're in the laborious process on redesigning our website a bit to make it easier to navigate. Like an overstuffed closet, we've added a bunch of pages over the past 7 years and need to do a bit of cleaning up. If you'd like to help comment on the new web design before we make it live, drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Happy Painting (and have a Happy Valentines Day!!)
-Mark & Beth
Artist Of The Month: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - French Post-Impressionist
Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa (November 24, 1864 – September 9, 1901) was a French post impressionist painter and printmaker who portrayed the bohemian character of late 19th century Paris. Although his career lasted for less than twenty years, Lautrec produced over 700 paintings, 363 prints and around 5,000 drawings.
Toulouse-Lautrec was born in Albi, in the south of France. He was the heir to the Counts of Toulouse-Lautrec, one of the oldest aristocratic families in France who could trace their lineage back 1,000 years. Henri, who was their only living child, was weak and often sick. His father was a keen hunter and an eccentric with little affinity to his young son.
When Henri was 12 years old, he fell and broke his left thigh. At the age of 14, he fell again, breaking his right thigh. A congenital bone weakness meant that the fractures failed to heal properly. His legs stopped growing and when he reached adulthood he was only 4.5 feet tall. He never came to terms with his disability.
Since the young Henri was now disabled and unable to live a normal life, his mother encouraged him to paint. He was a talented and enthusiastic student, compensating for his physical disability by immersing himself totally in painting and drawing. In 1882, accompanied by his mother, Toulouse-Lautrec left the family estate and moved to Paris to study at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the studio of Fernand Cormon, where he met Vincent van Gogh. He was deeply influenced by the works of Degas and of Japanese artists, who used large areas of flat color and heavy delineation to portray form. Two years later, he left Cormon’s studio and went to live in Montmartre, an area of Paris known then for its nightlife, open air cafes, cabaret shows, circuses and brothels. By 1885, Lautrec had become part of a circle of bohemian artists who were out every night at parties and dance halls.
Toulouse-Lautrec sketched everywhere he went, faithfully capturing on paper what he saw – the colorful characters, the dancers and singers, comedians and circus performers. The next day in his studio he would produce paintings and lithographic prints from the drawings he had made. Unfortunately, he also drank everywhere he went. His work soon drew attention and in 1891 the owners of the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret asked Lautrec to produce a series of posters for them. The first poster showed the cabaret’s star dancer, La Goulue. It was so strikingly different from anything seen before that Toulouse-Lautrec was an instant success, hailed as Paris’s greatest poster artist. It was to be the start of a prolific career in poster design.
In the ten years that followed, Toulouse-Lautrec was enormously productive. He painted the people of Montmartre and had a talent for capturing character in a highly stylized fashion. He used thin brushstrokes which often barely covered the board underneath.
But by the mid 1890s, his alcohol abuse began to take its toll on Lautrec’s health and by the time he was 30 he had not only contracted syphilis, but his behavior became erratic and he suffered from delirium. His mother confined him to a sanatorium. Scared at the thought of being locked away for good, he drew a series of circus scenes, partly to convince the doctors that he was sane and could be released.
But Lautrec was unable to stop drinking for very long and eventually he had a stroke which left him partially paralyzed. His mother took him to the family estate where he died in 1891. He was 36 years old.
After his death, Lautrec’s mother asked an art dealer to promote her son’s paintings. She paid for the building of a museum to house her son’s works in Albi, where Toulouse-Lautrec had been born, and it is partly due to her that Lautrec’s works are so famous today.
You can find a large collection of Toulouse-Lautrec patterns to use with SegPlayPC™  here.
Art in the News:
Putin Painting Sells for $150,000
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is not normally associated with painting, yet a sketch by the Russian strongman fetched $1.15 million at a charity auction, Reuters reports.
Although the painting, a snowscape seen through a window, carries Putin’s signature painted prominently across the canvas, it was finished by a professional artist. Putin himself had produced the oil sketch in 20 minutes.
Bidding started at 20,000 roubles ($620), but the wealthy, patriotic buyers cried out “Let's not be penny-pinchers!” and bidding immediately went up to 5 million roubles ($150,000). The painting was bought by a Moscow art gallery patronized by oligarchs.
Goodbye to an American Icon
Andrew Wyeth, one of America’s most famous painters, has passed away at the age of 91, Reuters reports. The artist died in his sleep surrounded by family and friends.
Wyeth, who has been described as one of the greatest painters of the 20th century, began his career at age 15 when he entered his father’s studio. He went on to become one of the few American artists to be accepted to the French Academy of Fine Arts and the first American artist to be exhibited at London’s Royal Academy during his lifetime. He was also the first painter to be awarded the Presidential Freedom Award, which was presented to him in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy.
His best known work is perhaps “Christina’s World”, painted in 1948, which depicts the disabled Christina struggling to cross the bare terrain in front of her.
Wyeth leaves behind his wife, two sons and a granddaughter.
Outside the Lines
Art Trivia – French Painters
Joking about his diminutive size, French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec used to tell people “I may only be a small coffee-pot, but I have a big spout!"
Toulouse-Lautrec is said to have invented an alcoholic cocktail made up of half absinthe and half cognac. The mixture was so potent it was named “the Earthquake."
Henri Matisse used to play the violin for two hours a day before starting to paint. He felt it exercised his fingers and would loosen his brushwork.
“Art Nouveau” was the name of a shop that opened in Paris in 1895. The term was coined to describe the art movement of the same name.