Volume 3, Number 6
New SegPlay® PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay® PC pattern collections available this month.
The first set is Something's Fishy
Fish come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. The term fish refers to an animal that has gills, and fins, and lives in the water. We also use the word Fish when referring to other underwater animals such as shellfish, jellyfish, horsefish, and starfish which aren't true biological "fish". Our Fish pattern collection contains a great number of fun colorful graphical patterns based on creative illustrations of fish swimming and posing. You'll find an assortment of fish including Goldfish, Angel Fish, Shark, Catfish, Horsefish, Herring, Jelly Fish, and Scorpion Fish.
The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is John James Audubon - French-American Naturalist.
John James Audubon (1785-1851) meticulously painted, catalogued, and described many North America bird species in the late eighteen century. Born with an affinity towards birds, he devoted much of his life to the all aspects of them including their nests, eggs, habitat, and pictural depiction at a very high artistic standard. Our collection of patterns contains a wide selection taken from a volumnous collection of his drawings. You'll find goose, flamingos, teals, eagles, pelicans, herons, and buzzards. There are also a few non-bird patterns including a deer and a hare.
John James Audubon - French-American Naturalist
We put out an exciting press release this month to help promote SegPlay®PC and announce our solid sales gains for the past quarter. We also posted our first "SegPlay in Action" video highlighting many of the great features of the software.
We're beginning work 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! We should have some prototype screens to share with you next month.
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
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:
John James Audubon - French-American Naturalist
John James Audubon (1785-1851) was a French American wildlife artist. He was a keen hunter and observer of the natural world and the great wildernesses. His work captured the spirit of the American Frontier and his method of painting and describing the birds of North America set the standard for future generations of bird artists.
Audubon was born in Haiti, at that time a French colony called Saint Domingue. His father was a French sea captain and adventurer who owned a sugar plantation on the island. His mother, Jeanne Rabin, was his father’s mistress, and died shortly after he was born. Audubon’s father took his son and infant daughter to France, where the children were lovingly raised by their stepmother, Audubon senior’s legal wife. The children were legally adopted by the Audubons in 1789.
Growing up in the French countryside around Nantes, the young Audubon began to draw the wildlife and natural scenes around him. He was accomplished and played several musical instruments. He learned to hunt and fish, and to love nature, preferring to spend life in the open air. He was even dropped out of naval school in favor of exploring the countryside.
In 1803, when Audubon was 18 years old, his father sent him to America to avoid conscription into Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. He went to Mill Grove, the family estate in Pennsylvania. For three years, Audubon was free to do what he loved best – hunt, fish, collect specimens and draw wildlife. He started studying the birds of America and developed an innovative technique of wiring the bodies of dead birds in order to position them in realistic poses so that he could produce natural, lifelike sketches.
In 1759 While living at Mill Grove, Audubon fell in love with Lucy Bakewell, a neighbor. Lucy’s father was not keen on letting his daughter marry a man with few solid prospects and the couple were engaged for five years before they finally married in 1808. They would have two sons, Victor Gifford and John Woodhouse.
Following his marriage, Audubon sold part of the Mill Grove estate and moved to the frontier town of Louisville, Kentucky to set up a general store. But business was tough and Audubon was more interested in drawing birds than in trade. After his business failed, Audubon moved in 1810 to Henderson, Kentucky where he went into partnership with his brother-in-law. Audubon flourished there for a while, but the business failed again in 1819, leaving him bankrupt. This marked the end of his business ventures.
With no means of supporting himself and his family, Audubon eked out a living by producing charcoal portraits at $5 each, working as a taxidermist in a Cincinnati museum, and at other odd jobs. During this period, Lucy became the main breadwinner and supported the family by working as a governess to the children of a rich plantation owner. Later, she opened a school for girls.
In 1820, at the age of 35, Audubon decided to turn his love of painting birds into a livelihood and began documenting the birds of America with a view to publishing his works. He set out for Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida with nothing but his paintbox, his gun and his assistant, and spent the next four years painting and documenting the wildlife.
By 1824 Audubon felt he had produced enough bird studies to begin publishing and took his portfolio to Philadelphia to find a publisher. But bitter arguments and vested interests of rivals blocked his path and in 1826 he set sail for Great Britain to try his luck there. He landed in Liverpool with a portfolio of 300 bird studies and a few letters of introduction.
In Britain, Audubon met with immediate success. An enthusiastic public was waiting to snap up his life-size watercolor and crayon bird portraits. He found a publisher, and toured the country in search of subscriptions to his monumental work, Birds of America. The publication was produced in installments with each installment financed by subscriptions to the previous one. It took eleven years for the entire volume to appear. He also produced the Ornithological Biography, a five-volume study containing detailed descriptions of the birds in the illustrated Birds of America.
Audubon returned to the United States in 1839 and bought an estate on the Hudson River. He prepared a small-format edition of Birds of America for sale in the United States and devoted the next few years to illustrating large bird species, such as the gyrfalcon.
But Audubon’s health was failing and in early January 1851 he suffered a stroke. He was left paralyzed and in pain. He died at the end of January that year.
You can find a large collection of John James Audubon patterns to use with SegPlay®PC here.
Art in the News:
“Goodbye” Andrew Wyeth
The very last painting ever painted by Andrew Wyeth is going to be published for the very first time. The painting, entitled “Goodbye” is an egg tempera work of an island landscape and was painted by Wyeth last year. Wyeth died on January 16 at the age of 91.
The Associated Press reports that “Goodbye” will be published in the 25th anniversary edition of the Island Journal, a publication focusing on coastal Maine, where Wyeth spent many years and which was a source of inspiration for his works.
“Beverly Hills Housewife” Breaks The Record
British artist David Hockney’s work “Beverly Hills Housewife” broke auction records at a Christie’s sale this month. The Associated Press reports that the work sold for a record $7.9 million – and bidders competed fiercely with for the privilege of buying the work.
The painting had been part of the collection of Betty Freeman, a Los Angeles collector who died earlier this year. Hockney painted the work in 1966 and it took him almost a year to complete. It shows Mrs Freeman standing on her patio wearing a pink dress.
Outside the Lines
Art Trivia – American Artists
Before pop art icon Andy Warhol became rich and famous, he used to illustrate fashion plates for Seventeen Glamor magazine.
Winslow Homer was taught painting by his mother. After he died, his mother’s watercolor paintings were found in his studio.
Mary Cassat’s brother was president of the Pennsylvania railroad. After his death in 1906, Mary was so upset that she stopped painting for six years.