DRAWING AND PAINTING

By C.A. Seaman

I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. As a child, my parents used to buy me drawing pads of coloured newsprint from the supermarket, and I would fill them with drawings of just about anything. In elementary school, I loved art, but hated painting and sculpture. When I entered high school, I still hated painting and sculpture. It was messy, hard to control, and wet. It blotched on paper, and if I didn’t check that the brush I was using hadn’t been cleaned by the person before me, I would lay upon my work surface some horrid muddy stuff that looked like it came not from a jar, but the garden.

Good teachers in high school helped me fix all that. Using my own brushes, which I cleaned thoroughly, and a limited palette, I learned what I could do with paint on better support materials, and created my best work up to that point. The year I graduated from high school, I won the Art award, partly on the promise to continue my work later, which I did upon completing by B.A. Since then, except for workshops and courses listed in the biography, I have been largely self-taught. I have changed my interests in subject matter, and assimilated new technology, but have remained fascinated with narrative, history, and what or who people are in relation to their environment and the natural or political forces that shape it.

There are those who feel that some of my pieces are more illustration than fine art. Certainly, there may be some basis for this. However, when looking at master works from long ago, one must wonder, considering these works were created to record the events of the past, or the likeness of those who lived then, what the difference is, other than in the actual subject itself. Ultimately, what it comes down to is what one likes, and what one is willing to purchase to have hanging in the house.

My favourite media are acrylic paints, coloured pencils, and computer generated media, sometime singularly, or in combination. I have also explored other media, but generally, have come to these time and again.

My first studio was made up of whatever space I could find in my parents’ house. I worked a lot on an old portable chalkboard, using it as a table balanced on my lap as I sat by the stereo listening to music. Then, it was the furnace room, under the light of a single 60 watt bulb. Later, it was my brother’s old bedroom, using a lightweight aluminum easel. Several works in this portfolio were completed on that. Next, I shared space in my father’s more sophisticated studio, which I continue to use occasionally. Equipped with incandescent and fluorescent lamps, it gave the right amount of light needed to create works capable of being displayed virtually anywhere without suffering from colour value shifts. It is a setup that I have duplicated in my own studio in my house in Oshawa.

All text and images are copyrighted C.A. Seaman 2007, and may not be reproduced without written permission from the author/artist.
Last revised: December 02, 2007.
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