Volume 4, Number 1
New SegPlay® PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay® PC pattern collections available this month.
The first set is Penguins - Our Antarctic Friends.
Penguins are flightless, aquatic birds who live primarily in Antarctica, though some are found as far north as the Galapagos Islands. They feed on squid, fish, and krill. The most common species are the Emperor, King, Adeline, Gentoo, Rock Hopper, African, and Little Blue Penguins. They are active communicators, though their hearing is not the best. They sleep standing up, spend long times in the water, and are oriented by the sun.
Penguins - Our Antarctic Friends
The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is Thomas Eakins - America's Master of Realism.
Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (1844-1916) was an American painter who is best known for his realistic depictions of the male body. Eakins's quest for realism led him to study anatomy and apply his research to creating works with dark lighting and realistic depictions. He endured much public scorn in his early years for his obsession with the male figure, however was recognized as a great master towards the end of his life.
Thomas Eakins - America's Master of Realism
Yes, we know it's February! We've been head down trying to fix some difficult website problems and lost track of the time! Enjoy the belated newsletter which will at least keep our popular "Artist of the Month" articles back on track.
Our Facebook fan pages is gaining fans...Over 250 have joined in the first month! It will allow our SegPlay and SegPlayPC users a chance to communicate with us and themselves, and help guide our future plans. If you're a Facebook member, please feel free to join our new fan page (http://www.facebook.com/Segmation). You can also search for Segmation in Facebook. Feel free to particate in our discussions and introduce Segmation to your friends.
In conjunction with the Facebook fan page, we're also introducing a Segmation blog that will be posting frequent fun, entertaining, and informative articles that will feed on to the fan page as well. The blog, titled "Outside the Lines", can be found at http://segmation.com/blog.
One other change going on is that we're in the process of evaluating and potentially changing our web hosting service. We're confident the "pesty" Microsoft JET Database Engine errors which have been plaquing our site for the last month will soon be gone for good. Thanks for everyone's enduring patience, and for sending us emails when they discover various site problems.
We're looking for suggestions for future artists of the month. If you think we've overlooked one of your favorites, let us know.
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 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:|
Thomas Eakins - America's Master of Realism
Thomas Eakins (July 25, 1844-June 25, 1916) is today regarded as one of the most significant American realist painters of the 19th century. He was an influential teacher and innovator in the field of photography and the nude in motion.
Eakins was born in Philadelphia, the eldest of five children born to Benjamin and Caroline Eakins. His father was a writing master and by the time Eakins was twelve he already showed accomplished drafting abilities. In 1861 he studied drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, graduating in 1866. However, his passion was the depiction of the human form, so he also studied anatomy at Jefferson Medical College.
The 1860s saw a wave of American artists going to Europe to study, and Eakins was no exception. In 1866 he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris under Gérôme and Bonnat, who exposed him to the works of the Spanish and Dutch realists. In 1869 he traveled to Spain to view the works of Velazquez and Ribera.
Eakins was beginning to form his artistic vision: a winter spent in Spain copying the works of the Spanish masters helped him learn their techniques, and in July 1870 he returned to Philadelphia, where he was to remain for the rest of his life.
One of the first works Eakins produced after his return was a large rowing scene on the Schuylkill River, part of a series of sporting paintings. Eakins had excelled at sports at school and the subject was perfect for his realistic approach. But both the scene and the technique used shocked conventional Philadelphia. He also produced portraits and interiors, using his family and friends as the subjects. These works showed such an unsentimental honesty in their realism that did not go down well.
In 1874 Eakins became engaged to Kathrin Crowell, who had sat for his first large-scale portrait two years earlier. But they never married. After a five year engagement, Kathrin tragically died of meningitis in 1879.
Medical science had always fascinated Eakins. At the Jefferson Medical College he had dissected corpses and watched operations and in 1875 he painted The Gross Clinic, now considered to be his masterpiece and one of the most splendid examples of American portraiture. The painting, which took him almost a year to produce, shows a renowned surgeon performing an operation and was produced for the Centennial Exhibition of 1876. The painting was rejected by the jury; the realistic, unsentimental depiction of live surgery and blood was just too shocking. It was eventually bought by Jefferson College for $200.
In that same year, Eakins began teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and was nominated as Director in 1882. He threw out old-fashioned teaching methods and introduced drawing from the live model, anatomy studies and even the use of photography in drawing the human figure. His teaching methods revolutionized art education, but were not widely adopted until after his death in 1916. While teaching at the Academy, Eakins became interested in the use of photography as a means of capturing the human body in motion and a meeting with Edward Muybridge led to a revolutionary series of motion studies using photography.
Throughout his life Thomas Eakins was never far from scandal and his tenure at the Academy was no exception. Traditionally, male models in the drawing classes were covered with a loincloth but, carried away by his enthusiasm, Eakins removed the model's loincloth in one such class. There were female students present and the incident was just too much for the Academy's Board. Eakins was forced to resign in 1886. He was deeply hurt by this forced resignation and would remain bitter about the incident for the rest of his life.
Eakins had met Susan MacDowell in 1876, the year he started working at the Academy. Susan had been one of his students and they married in 1884. The couple did not have any children, but they shared a passion for art and photography.
Following his dismissal from the Academy, Eakins turned to portrait painting, but was not successful. The Academy scandal continued to haunt him and his approach to portraiture, which was to capture the sitter's personality through uncompromising realism, was not popular. His sitters often complained that he made them look old and rejected the work. Nevertheless, Thomas Eakins produced some 250 portraits throughout his career. But rejection made Eakins more and more of a recluse and he spent much of his later life in bitter isolation. He was able to continue painting only thanks to financial support from his father and the fact that he had a studio in the family home.
Eakins earned a small measure of recognition around the early 1900s, and in 1902 he was made a member of the National Academy of Design. But his health was failing and he did not paint very much during the last six years of his life. Thomas Eakins died of heart failure in 1916. Although he had sold fewer than thirty paintings during his lifetime, he is today considered to be one of America's greatest artists.
You can find a large collection of Thomas Eakins patterns to use with SegPlayPC™  here.
Art in the News:
How did Caravaggio Die? DNA Tests Could Solve the Mystery
For centuries mystery has surrounded Baroque master Caravaggio's death in 1610. The cause of death and even the whereabouts of his corpse were not known. But now, a team of Italian anthropologists plan to solve the mystery - using DNA testing. All they have to do is find the right body.
According to a Reuters report the Italian team believes that Caravaggio's remains could possibly be buried in a crypt in Tuscany along with other unknown bodies. Many theories surround the Master's death: some say he was murdered for religious reasons, while others believe he died of malaria on a beach in Tuscany. However, in 2001 a new theory was put forward when an Italian researcher claimed to have found Caravaggio's death certificate showing he died in a hospital.
This new theory led scholars to believe that the painter was buried in the cemetery of San Sebastiano in Tuscany, which was dismantled and moved to Porto Ercole in 1956. So now the Italian team, armed with a CAT scan and carbon dating kits, plan to reconstruct the painter's face based on his self-portraits. That is, if they can find Caravaggio's skull.
UK Bans Export of Samuel Palmer Painting
UK Culture Minister Margaret Hodge has placed a temporary ban on the export of The Shearers, a painting by Samuel Palmer valued at $6 million, claiming it should remain in England as part of the country's cultural heritage.
The 19th century painting depicts the scenery in Shoreham, Kent and is considered to be an important work from the artist's Shoreham period.
Outside the Lines
Art Trivia — American Artists
Edward Mitchell Bannister decided to become a successful painter after reading an insulting article about black people in a New York newspaper. He proved the newspaper wrong.
Frederic Remington's famous sculpture The Bronco Buster has a mistake in it: the cowboy is wearing his spurs upside down.
James McNeill Whistler's most famous painting Whistler's Mother was once sold in a pawn shop.