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Segmation Art Newsletter

March 2014

Jungle Animals

Our friendly animals are anxious for you to meet them. Say hello to Lion, Monkey, Rabbit, Fox, Kangeroo, and Squirel!

Birds of a Feather

These fun illustrations of birds will keep you busy. There's an Owl, Toucan, Blue Jay, Duckling, and some squawking bird for you to color.

Learn more about SegPlay Mobile today!

Joseph Blackburn - Colonial American Portrait Painter

Joseph Blackburn (1700-?-1778?) was a portrait painter born in England who worked in Bermuda and Colonial America. His skills as a painter are shown by his treatments of textiles including silks, laces, and fabric folds. In this pattern set we've included most of his most renown paintings including High Jones, Colonel Theodore Atkinson, Mary Leh, Captain John Pigett, Samuel Cutts, Elizabeth Browne Rogers, Ann Saltonstall, and Abigail Chesebrough.

Fresh as a Daisy

Daisies are a type of flower in a species called Asteraceae. Other similar flowers include asters and sunflowers. They are found nearly everywhere in the world except for the arctic regions. There most distinguishing characteristic is the flower head made up of tiny florets which share the same stem. Each floret has five petals which are fused at the base to form a tube. Daisies come in many colors including yellow, red, blue, pink, purple, and orange. Our Daisy set includes patterns created from well taken photographs of daisies in their natural settings. You'll find both single and multiple daises in green fields, and against blue skies, taken from above and below.

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Jailhouse Art, a Fascinating Exhibit

Source: Marin News

Most people visit galleries and department stores to purchase art that goes into their homes. Not Leslie Lakes. She decorates her home with artwork she acquires from jailhouses. Eight years ago she bought such a piece from an online auction. Taken aback by the talent of the artist, her emotional response encouraged her to reach out to the inmate.

Since then, she has been purchasing art and corresponding with incarcerated artists through letters. Now that she has hundreds of pieces of artwork from jailed men and women, she wants to increase how much exposure this fine art receives. She is exhibiting over 20 pieces of artwork in Novato at the Marin Humane Society. 40 percent of sales will go to Pen Pals of San Quentin and the Last Mile program.

Art Reaches and Teaches People across the World

Source: Southern California Public Radio

The Philippines may be over 6,000 nautical miles from Los Angeles but an inventive art exhibit is bridging this great divide. "The Triumph of Philippine Art" has marched its way into University of Southern California's Fisher Art Museum. The purpose of this show is to put authentic cultural art on display for the largest Filipino population in the continental United States.

There are 600,000 reported Filipino-Americans living in L.A. and many would confess to not knowing much about their heritage. This may be why people are flocking to the exhibit. A FilAm ARTS artist by the name of Tala Mateo says that the exhibit "solidifies our identity." More importantly, Mateo trusts that art can lay a foundation on which artists in the Philippines will be able to reach and teach Filipinos in America.

1) Rococo comes from the words "rocaille" and "coquilles," which means decorating with what?

  1. Stones and flowers
  2. Shells and pebbles
  3. Fleur-de-lis
  4. Onions and squash

2) Where can you find the beautiful Rococo-style Catherine Palace?

  1. Norway
  2. Denmark
  3. Sweden
  4. Russia

3) Who painted the Rococo painting "Diana Leaving the Bath"?

  1. Jean-Baptiste van Loo
  2. Antoine Watteau
  3. Francois Boucher
  4. Jean Francois de Troy

4) When stretching a canvas, what order do you tack down the edges of the canvas?

  1. Alternate opposite sides, from the middle outwards
  2. All along the longest sides first, then the shortest
  3. All along the shortest sides first, then the longest
  4. Alternate opposite sides, from one edge across

5) In painting, what is a ground?

  1. Any brown
  2. Any earth color
  3. The surface on which you stand while you're painting
  4. The surface on which you paint

Answer Key:

  1. B
  2. D
  3. C
  4. A
  5. D

The Style and Poise of Joseph Blackburn

Other than his large body of work, not much is known about Joseph Blackburn. The 18th century English portrait painter left the world with over 150 documented works of art, which allow us to learn about the artistic style of a man who, in the mid-1700s gained notoriety and esteem on two continents.

How he developed his techniques is unknown. There is no record of him doing an apprenticeship to jumpstart his career. His style seemed to be adopted from a drypoint tone method known as mezzotint. He combined this approach with portrait poses that were comparable to baroque and rococo artists like Sir Godfrey Kneller, Sir Peter Lely and Thomas Hudson. Regardless, his style was sought out by wealthy elite as well as merchants, politicians, and military officers; in a seven year span (1755-1762) he received over 60 commissions.

To his patrons, Blackburn was known for accentuating grace and poise. This was a high value to prosperous families who stood at the helm of the first industrial revolution. Blackburn's style and use of pastel colors increased the appearances of his subjects. The portraitist had a unique ability to bring his paintings to life by adding fine details. For instance, he portrayed silk, lace, strands of pearls, and vases with great attention. He has many surviving works that poignantly express the traits of beautiful women. By sitting ladies in fancy settings with lavish outfits and accessories, he exaggerated their wealth. In addition, he used natural, textured settings as backdrops. Sometimes he would use garden backgrounds, which may have been common in English art but seemed new to America.

Beyond the appeal of his style, patrons were drawn to Blackburn's character. He carried himself in a graceful manner just like the people he would paint. He was also clever and engaging in conversation which made him popular wherever he went. It seems that his likeability led to success in England, parts of America and other areas of the developing world. In the course of a decade he spent time in Bermuda, Newport, Boston and Portsmouth.

Even though his personality helped his success, his style and settings were the dominate reasons people sought his services. When arriving in America, he had knowledge of London fashion. He also brought with him many techniques that had not yet been seen. At the time, colonies were transitioning from a predominantly puritan lifestyle. Blackburn's art was infused with imagination, movement, light colors, lavish décor, extravagant outfits and natural elements. Moving into the 19th century, this approach grew in popularity.

When Blackburn returned to England at the twilight of his career, people continued to follow the style he brought to the American colonies. A man whom Blackburn was able to influence gained his own fame at this time. John Singleton Copley grasped Blackburn's rococo style and some say he executed portraits better than Blackburn.

Leaving Copley to extend his lavish style throughout developing America, Blackburn went home to England in 1763. Unfortunately, he quickly found that his rococo style was no longer relevant in areas like London. Still, he remained true to his lavish style and wanderlust. He completed another 16 portraits in England, Wales and Dublin.

Despite the small amount of information recorded on Joseph Blackburn, it is necessary to use his artwork to weave together the story of his life and success. With style and personality he attained a fine life. Whether he was in England or America, he was always poised for success.

Roses May Smell the Same, but Colors Make a Difference

William Shakespeare reminds us that a rose is a rose. But just because they share a sweet scent, doesn’t mean they are all the same. The color of a rose changes its meaning entirely and gives great variety to this beautiful flower.

Roses of different colors communicate different messages. Understand the true meaning behind rose colors. Here are five colors that may change your perception of roses: red, yellow, lavender, pink and white.

Read the rest of this story on our blog…