Volume 4, Number 12
New SegPlay®PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay®PC pattern collections available this month.
The first set is Zodiac Signs.
The Zodiac is a ring of constellations that form a path across the celestial sky that the Sun takes. There are twelve constellations which divide the path into equal portions. Although the zodiac remains the basis of the ecliptic coordinate system in use in astronomy, the term "zodiac" and the names of the twelve signs are mostly associated with horoscopes. The signs of the zodiac are: Aries (Ram), Taurus (Bull), Gemini (Twins), Cancer (Crab), Leo (Lion), Virgo (Maiden), Libra (Scales), Scorpio (Scorpion), Sagittarius (Archer), Capricorn (Goat), Aquarius (Water Bearer), and Pisces (Fish). Our collection of Zodiac Signs contains illustrations of the signs in four contemporary art styles.
The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is William Blake - English Romantic Artist
William Blake (1757 - 1827) was a English Romantic Age painter, poet, and printmaker. His wild imagination and idiosyncratic views has helped make himself held in high regards by art critics. He began his career as an engraver and also did relief etchings. His views on conventional religion were controversial as were his views on the 19th century "free love" movement and Age of Enlightenment philosophy. Our pattern set has most of his recognized works including "Ancient of Days", "Newton", "The Ghost of a Flea", "Jacob's Ladder", "Glad Day", The Lover's Whirlwind", "Nebuchadnezzar" and "Los".
William Blake - English Romantic Artist
Our new iPhone app has been popular on the Apple's iTunes market and we've received some flattering reviews. SegPlay® Mobile for the iPhone and will run on iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 devices. The pinching and finger flicking to zoom into and drag around the patterns are a lot of fun! There's a few new features and many old ones as well including several playing modes (instant, creative) from the SegPlay Flash version. It comes with 18 built in patterns and we hope to include the ability to add on a few more patterns once its installed. At only $1.99, its a great way to get your SegPlay fix when you're on the road and away from your computer.
We're starting to work on some major improvements to SegPlay®PC. We'll share some details in the coming months. Suggestions are always welcome.
We've been posting many art related articles on our blog (segmation.wordpress.com. Pay us a visit and feel free to follow us there.
Our visit to the Art Basel show in Miami was fun. Lots of expensive art for sale and show. We got some great feedback and numerous suggestions on the Segmation product line.
Our website has still been going through a few changes - mostly improving the messaging, fixing broken links, and sprucing up its look in a few places.
We're always looking for more appealing art pieces for our SegPlay®PC paint by number collection. If you are an aspiring artist, illustrator, or photographer and am interested in collaborating on a pattern set, 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 great and safe New Years!
-Mark & Beth
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Artist Of The Month:|
William Blake - English Romantic Artist
William Blake (November 28, 1757-August 12, 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker and one of the founding figures of the Romantic Movement. His work was influenced by his mystical visions and he was thought mad by his contemporaries. His genius was mostly misunderstood during his lifetime, leading him to publish his own works, for which he also produced the illustrations. He lived most of his life in poverty and died unrecognized.
William Blake was born in London, England. His father, James Blake, ran a hosiery shop in the Soho district, where the family lived. William was the third of five children. James Blake was a Dissenter, a follower of radical doctrines and deeply anti-royalist. He did not send his son to school; instead, William was educated at home by his mother. He showed an impressive talent for drawing which his parents supported, encouraging him to collect prints by the Italian masters.
After a short period at a drawing school, William Blake was apprenticed at the age of 14 to James Basire, an engraver, after which he entered the Royal Academy schools in 1779. Blake did not get on well at the Royal Academy. He despised Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Academy president; befriended other young radicals, and rebelled against the Academy's teachings.
In 1783, at the age of 25, William Blake married Catherine Boucher. Catherine was five years younger than Blake and she was illiterate. Unable to sign her wedding contract, she marked it with an "X" in place of a signature. Nevertheless, she was kind and loyal, and Blake considered her his guardian angel. He taught her how to read and write and also trained her as an engraver. She became his assistant and helped him publish his books, hand coloring the plates and binding the books manually. The couple did not have any children.
In 1784, after his father's death, William Blake opened a print shop with his wife and James Parker, a fellow former apprentice at Basire's. But Blake paid more attention to his mystical views and turned down requests from other publishers. The venture never made much money and was closed in 1787. For the rest of his life, Blake would eke out a living as an engraver, sometimes relying on the support of friends in order to survive.
William and Catherine moved to a cottage in Felpham, Sussex in 1800, where they remained for three years. In August 1803, John Schofield, a drunken soldier, wandered into the Blakes' garden. William forcibly removed him, leading to charges of physical assault and treason: Schofield accused Blake of shouting “Damn the King. The soldiers are all slaves." He was put on trial, but acquitted. The Blakes moved back to London the following year.
Blake then began Jerusalem, a book of illustrated poems on which he would work until 1820. It was his most ambitious work yet. He also came up with the idea of illustrating Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. He approached a London publisher who promptly stole the idea and commissioned one of Blake's friends to produce the work he believed Blake was too untrustworthy to do. There followed a series of unsuccessful exhibitions: Blake organized an independent exhibition at his brother's haberdashery shop where he showed his version of the Canterbury Tales illustrations, but there were very few visitors and none of the works sold. It attracted only a hostile review in a local newspaper. In 1809 one of his works was exhibited at the Royal Academy, but he did not gain any recognition and, after this failure, he sank into a depression that lasted until 1817.
In 1818 Blake met a young artist called John Linnell, who introduced him to the Shoreham Ancients, a group of artists who shared Blake's rejection of modernist trends in art. In 1822, Blake, now aged 65, began working on a set of 21 copperplate illustrations for the Old Testament Book of Job which he completed when he was almost 70. But Blake's poor business skills led to other artists and engravers receiving the credit. In 1826 Linnell helped Blake get a commission to illustrate Dante's Divine Comedy. But only a few watercolors were produced because the project was cut short by Blake's death a year later.
Blake worked feverishly on the Dante series. On the day of his death in 1827, he was still working, with his beloved Catherine by his side. William Blake was buried on the eve of his forty-fifth wedding anniversary in a common grave at the Dissenters' burial ground where his parents were interred. Catherine, who had to borrow the money to pay for the funeral, was later buried in the same cemetery.
You can find a large collection of William Blake patterns to use with SegPlay®PC  here.
Art in the News:
Long-lost Degas Masterpiece Spotted in Sotheby’s Sale Catalogue
Almost 40 years after it went missing from a French museum, a painting by French Impressionist master Edgar Degas resurfaced at Sotheby’s New York.
The painting, Blanchisseuses souffrant des dents (Laundry Women with Toothache), painted around 1871-1873 was stolen in 1973 from the museum of Le Havre, in Normandy where it had been stored since 1960. It was spotted in Sotheby’s auction catalogue by a Museum employee, who recognized it as the museum’s missing artwork. The painting was valued at $350,000-$450,000. It has since been withdrawn from the sale and the French authorities intend to negotiate a repurchase of the work with its current owner, who was unaware of its origins.
The painting is the property of the Louvre Museum in Paris, said a spokesperson from the French Ministry of Culture, who also added that “While the painting is on a museum data list in France, it does not feature on Interpol's list of stolen art."
James Bond Bares His All for Art!
Source: Journal Online
It’s not the way you are used to seeing Ian Fleming’s superhero but nude portrait of Sir Sean Connery was painted in 1951, just before the famous actor was shot to fame as agent 007.
The oil painting was produced by Rab Webster, an art student at Edinburgh College of Art in the 1950s where a 21-year old unknown by the name of Sean Connery modeled for the art class. It lay in Mr. Webster’s attic until his death last month at the age of 83. His niece's husband, Nick Bihel, found the painting when he was sorting through Mr. Webster's studio.
Connery had just returned to Scotland after three years in the Royal Navy and was between acting jobs. Mr. Webster, who was an art teacher at Selkirk High School, stopped painting in 1968. His family wants to organize an exhibition of his work in Selkirk and the painting of Sean Connery will be part of it. It is thought to be worth thousands.
Outside the Lines
As visionary painter and printmaker William Blake lay dying, he is said to have cried out to his beloved wife Catherine, "Stay Kate! Keep just as you are – I will draw your portrait – for you have ever been an angel to me."
Hans Holbein was official painter to King Henry VIII, but he was also fashion designer to the English court.
The lead pencil, encased in wood, was invented in England in 1565.