The day before I sat down to write a "new' artist statement I was asked an intriguing question: "When did I start to paint and draw?" The question was unexpected and the response was both spontaneous and, as I realized as I said it, absolutely true. I started as a child. I doubt that at an early age I was able to say, "I want to be an artist/' In fact, to this day the word "artist" holds such monumental meaning for me that I still don't feel comfortable with that designation. Yet I have always felt a sense of wonder about the loveliness of color and I've always been fascinated by line and detail.
Those affinities led inevitably to the need to respond in tangible forms. From finger painting (in kindergarten I somehow couldn't resist painting the little boy working next to me and that almost finished a budding career) to using crayons and pencils to watercolor, pen and ink, and the discovery of a method that combines both painting and drawing. The journey brought me to a commercial medium with the unlovely name of scratchboard. This paper board covered in a white china clay ground proved to be the perfect medium. It allowed me to create a single piece of work that encompassed two visions and two interpretations of the same subject. Unforgiving and labor intensive, challenging and intriguing, it became the foundation of my work. Today I do my work on Claybord, To quote the manufacturer: Claybord is an "Ultra-Smooth Clay Surface. Archival & acid-free...kaolin clay ground...applied to a non-warping premium hardboard and then sanded to a velvet-smooth finish that is very absorbent." It is wonderful to use! The possibilities are unlimited.
A Brief Bio: Elayne Seaman's works have been shown in invitational group exhibits and one-artist shows in galleries and educational institutions in the United States and France, and are held in private and public collections in the States and abroad, including the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, France. Seaman has been invited to lecture on and demonstrate her unique approach to visual art in the Northeastern, U.S., and Paris and Bordeaux, France. She has also been an artist-in-residence in elementary, middle, and high schools in the Mid-Hudson Valley. The art-publishing firm of Scafa-Tornebene commissioned her to create 12 drawings for unlimited reproduction. Seaman, the recipient of the Dutchess County Arts Council Individual Artist Award, the Mill Street Loft Friend of the Arts Award, the Marist College President's Award, and the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, has also served as a consultant for non-profit art organizations, and as executive director of a multi-arts center.