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Segmation: The Art of Pieceful Imaging
January 2011
Volume 5, Number 1

New SegPlay®PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay®PC pattern collections available this month. The first set is Tulipmania. Tulips are perennial plants with colorful flowers that are grown in gardens or potted plants, and displayed as fresh cut flowers. Tulips have bulbs which are short stems with a leaf base which serves as a food storage area. Their large attractive flowers are comprised of three petals and three sepals, which are often referred to as six tepals. You can find tulips in many colors, except for pure blue. Our set of tulip patterns were created from a great set of photographs and depict tulips from many angles. Close up and macro photography was used to capture the finest details of these springtime flowers.

The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is Jan Steen - Dutch Genre Painter. Jan Steen (c. 1626 - 1679) was a Dutch genre painter of the Dutch Golden Age. His painting of Dutch family life, celebrations, and outdoor scenes are both lively and humorous. He also painted numerous portraits, religious, and historical scenes. In 1672 when the art market collapsed, Jan opened a tavern. Our pattern set includes many of his most recognized pieces including "Self Portrait", "The Merry Family", "The Sick Woman", "The Doctor's Visit", "The Dancing Couple", "The Fest of St. Nicholas", "The World Upside Down", "The Lovesick Woman", and "The Picnic".
Jan Steen - Dutch Genre Painter

Segmation News

Hope everyone is enjoying the new year. We're continuing to work on some major improvements to SegPlay®PC. This will be our big project over the next few months. We'll share some details in the coming months. Suggestions are always welcome.

We've been posting many art related articles on our blog ( and also on our Facebook page ( Pay us a visit and feel free to follow us there.

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

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 and stay warm this winter!
-Mark & Beth


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Artist Of The Month:
Jan Steen - Dutch Genre Painter

Jan Steen - Dutch Genre Painter

Jan Havickszoon Steen (born ca. 1626, died early 1679), was a 17th century Dutch genre painter who is considered to be among the greatest artists of the Dutch Golden Age. His use of vivid colors, his sense of humor and his ability to capture facial expressions contributed greatly to his popularity. His greatest talent was his exquisite portrayals of children, which remain unsurpassed.

The exact date of Jan Steen's birth is unknown, but he is thought to have been born in 1626 in Leiden, home to several other Dutch masters, notably Rembrandt. His parents were prosperous Catholic brewers and, like Rembrandt, the young Jan was educated at the Leiden Latin School. He received his first art lessons in Utrecht from German historical painter Nicolaus Knupfer, who influenced Steen's use of composition and color, and it is thought that he may also have been apprenticed to Adriaen van Ostade in Haarlem. At the age of 22, Steen studied briefly at the University of Leiden and in 1648 he joined the Sint Lucas Guild of master painters in Leiden.

In 1648 Jan Steen moved to The Hague where he studied under successful landscape painter Jan van Goyen and in 1649 he married Van Goyen's daughter, Margriet. The couple had eight children and Margriet posed for several of Jan's paintings. They lived in Warmond, near Leiden. Jan Steen and his father-in-law worked together for five years until Van Goyen faced financial ruin through poor speculation. Steen's father came to the rescue, setting Jan and his young family up in a brewery business in Delft in 1654, but the business did not succeed and in 1660 the family moved to Haarlem.

Jan Steen remained in Haarlem for ten years, period in which he painted his best pictures. Most of his works are genre paintings, many of which are set in taverns, but he also broached portraits, biblical and mythological themes, and still-lives. He excelled at painting children. But in 1669 tragedy struck: Margriet died and Steen was in debt. The following year the town apothecary seized all his paintings and auctioned them to cover the medical bills. The following year, Steen's father died. After these misfortunes, Steen moved back to Leiden where he remained for the rest of his life. He opened a tavern in 1672 and remarried in 1673. His new wife was Maria van Egmont, a widow with whom he had two children.

Steen continued to paint while running the tavern. He was a congenial host and his new wife brought him financial stability. In 1674 Jan Steen became the president of the Saint Lucas Guild. His jovial works were greatly appreciated and he was able to command good prices. Steen did not have any students, but his work was a source of inspiration to his contemporaries. His paintings were lighthearted and humorous, often with a moral message in the tradition of Dutch genre painters. Much emphasis was placed on facial expressions, body language and poses. Sometimes Steen included himself and other family members in his works. Jan Steen was always experimenting and in his final years his style became more flamboyant and foreshadowed the Rococo style of the 18th century.

Steen was a very productive artist, producing some 800 works during his short career, yet despite this he never managed to earn a living by painting alone. Upon his death in 1679 at the age of fifty-three he left his widow with heavy debts. He was buried in a family grave in the Pieterskerk in Leiden.

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

Art in the News:
Tunnelling Thieves Grab Works by Warhol
Source: AFP

Art thieves used a novel technique to break into the Manhattan apartment of New York collector Robert Romanoff: they tunnelled under a wall and made off with works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein valued at $750,000. The brazen crooks even stole the surveillance camera, said the New York City police.

The missing Warhols include Superman, The Truck and Camouflage, a set of eight signed prints that were among the last works produced by the artist, as well as Moonscape and Thinking Nude by Roy Lichtenstein.

Police say the burglary took place between November 24-28 while Mr. Romanoff was out of town, reports the Associated Press.

Velazquez Uncovered at the Met
Source: Star Tribune

A rare portrait of Spain's King Philip IV, long thought to have been the work of the Velazquez’s assistants has now been declared to be the work of the artist himself.

In 1973 the Metropolitan Museum declared that the work was not by Velazquez and relegated it to the basement. However, recent restoration work on the 1624 portrait revealed the original painting under layers of varnish and over-painting, done in 1911, at the behest of Joseph Duveen, an art dealer who was known to touch up masterpieces so they suited the taste of wealthy collectors.

Keith Christiansen, the Met's chairman of European paintings said that a very important work had now been restituted to Velazquez. After the varnish came off, delicate details, such as the play of light on the King's collar, became visible. "Those few deft brushstrokes were identifying traits of Velazquez" said Christiansen.

Outside the Lines
Art Trivia

Many of Dutch master Jan Steen's genre paintings depicted cluttered, messy domestic scenes. The expression "a Jan Steen household" entered the Dutch language as an expression meaning an untidy house.

Fifteenth century Flemish painter Jan van Eyck is believed to have invented oil painting, which he developed to achieve more realistic effects in his work.

Hans Holbein painted a very flattering portrait of Anne of Cleves, leading King Henry VIII of England to propose marriage to her. But when Henry saw Anne in person, she was not nearly as attractive as her portrait. Holbein argued that as an artist he simply did his master’s bidding.

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