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Segmation: The Art of Pieceful Imaging
September 2010
Volume 4, Number 9

New SegPlay®PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay®PC pattern collections available this month. The first set is Canadian Flags. Canada is the second largest country in the world by area and its border with the United States is the longest in the world. It is technically a federation with ten provinces and three territories. The government is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. Both French and English are considered official languages. The word Canada is taken from an Iroquoian Indian word meaning "village". Our set of Canadian flags includes all ten provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador; and three territories: Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories. We've also include the Canadian flag with the symbolic red maple leaf.
Canadian Flags

The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is Francisco Zurbarán - The Spanish Caravaggio. Francisco Zurbarán (1598 - 1664) was a Spanish Painter who is primarily known for his religious oriented works of art which were depicted using a realistic style called chiaroscuro (contrasting light and dark areas). The set title lays reference to the Italian painter Caravaggio who also excelled at chiaroscuro. Another characteristic in Zurbarán’s paintings is his renditions of drapes and robes. His subjects were usually a single figure of a religious theme. Our pattern set includes most his most recognized works including "Christ and the Virgin in the House of Nazareth", "Saint Francis", "The Death of St. Bonaventure", "St. Apollonia", "Madonna with Child", "L'Annonciation", "Agnus Dei" ,"Saint Serapion", “Saint Rufina”, "The Young Virgin", and "St. Casilda of Burgos". There is also a self-portrait included..
Francisco Zurbarán - The Spanish Caravaggio

Segmation News

Some good news. Our SegPlay iPhone version is done with beta testing and awaiting approval from Apple. Based on other's experience it should be available by mid-October by the time its available in the App Store. The offical name is SegPlayMobile-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. Hopefully we'll have an iPad version as well by the end of the year, and an Android version not too long after that.

We're doing some work on our media planning for the next year. If you have favorite magazines or websites involving Arts, Painting, etc., where you could see Segmation placing ads, let us know. Also as always, we're looking for suggestions for future artists of the month. If you think we've overlooked one of your favorites, let us know. Also if there's a theme that you think would work well in our pattern collection, let us know and we'll make it happen!

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

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:

Happy painting!
-Mark & Beth


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Artist Of The Month:
Francisco Zurbarán - The Spanish Caravaggio

Francisco Zurbarán - The Spanish Caravaggio

Francisco de Zurbaran (November 7, 1598 - August 27, 1664) was a Spanish Baroque painter who specialized in naturalistic portraits of religious figures. A contemporary of Velasquez, his use of chiaroscuro in paintings of monks, nuns and martyrs won him the moniker "Spanish Caravaggio."

Zurbaran was born at Fuente de Cantos in Extremadura, a province on the border with Portugal. His father was a haberdasher who sent his son, then aged 16, to Seville to work as an apprentice to the artist Pedro Diaz de Villanueva. None of Villenueva's paintings have survived but Zurbaran's earliest painting, Immaculate Conception, shows similarities to the style of Velasquez and the works of Jose de Ribera.

In 1617, Zurbaran moved to Llerena, the most important city in the region, where he married Maria Paet, a woman nine years his senior. The couple had three children, but by 1624, Maria Paez had died. Zurbaran remarried quickly, this time to Beatriz de Morales, a wealthy widow and daughter of the patrician of Llerana. His career took off shortly afterwards. In early 1626, Zurbaran agreed to produce a series of 21 paintings within eight months for Seville's San Pablo el Real monastery, and in 1629, he was invited to return to the city.

In 1634, Zurbaran visited Madrid, where he helped to decorate a room in the Buen Retiro palace by painting a series of the Labors of Hercules and scenes from the defense of Cadiz. One painting, created in 1638 for the Carthusian monastery at Jerez, is signed "Painter to the King." In the same year, Zurbaran painted a ceremonial ship that the city of Seville had presented to the royal court. But those were the only royal commissions that Zurbaran received. He remained primarily a painter of religious subjects.

It was his style that made Zurbaran so popular with the monastic orders in Seville and surrounding areas who supplied him with commissions. The naturalism and the details of the dress worn by the saints, monks and apostles seen in Zurbaran's paintings added a moving level of realism to their passion and their miracles. The approach met the guidelines for artists laid down by the Council of Trent, a clerical meeting that lasted almost twenty years and which produced a policy for the Counter-Reformation.

Beatriz de Morales died in 1639, and the quality of Zurbaran's artwork began to decline. Commissions were still coming in but they were now completed at least in part by assistants employed in his workshop. Five years later, Zurbaran married for third and last time. His new wife, Leonor de Todera, was also a wealthy widow.

By now though, little remained of Zurbaran's reputation. Murillo's interior design of Seville's Franciscan church had shown that it was possible to create religious work that was realistic and inspirational but also cheerful and upbeat. Zurbaran was going out of fashion. His financial situation deteriorating, he moved to Madrid in 1658 where he produced his last work, The Virgin and the Child with St. John. He died in poverty in 1664.

You can find a large collection of Francisco Zurbarán patterns to use with SegPlay®PC  here.

Art in the News:
The Secret of Mona Lisa's Smile Revealed
Source: The Economist

It's not just art-lovers who have wondered how Leonardo da Vinci managed to create Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile. Scientists have long scratched their heads over the Renaissance genius's technique too; the shadows on the painting appear to have been created with no brushstrokes and no contours. That mystery though now appears to have been solved.

The sfumato technique - related to the Italian word for smoke - was long believed to be related to the glazes da Vinci placed on paint surface. Proving that theory though meant scraping some of the glaze off the painting for analysis, an act that the Louvre was unwilling to approve.

A new X-ray approach however, has revealed that da Vinci would first paint the flesh tones, then apply up to 30 layers of glaze as thin as just a few micrometers thick. Da Vinci would then mix pigments into the glaze to create his shadows.

Reward Offered for Stolen van Gogh
Source: New York Times

An Egyptian tycoon has offered a reward of a million Egyptian pounds (about $175,000) for information about a stolen painting by Vincent van Gogh.

The painting, called Poppy Flowers or Vase and Flowers was taken in August 2010 from the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Giza. It had been placed in a room that contained broken security cameras and no working alarms.

The painting has been valued at $50 million.

Outside the Lines
Art Trivia

Leonardo da Vinci is said to have worked on the Mona Lisa's lips for more than twelve years.

Beneath the feet of the museum's visitors, the basement of the Louvre contains 60 scientists and a fully-equipped laboratory, complete with particle accelerator, who analyze the museum's collection.

Between the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1912 and its recovery three years later, six replicas were sold as the original.

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