We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Eileen Seitz a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Eileen thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. When did you first know you wanted to pursue a creative/artistic path professionally?
When I was around 13 years old in public school a friend of mine had a radiograph pen. i asked him if i could try it, and as soon as i started to draw with it, I KNEW that is what i wanted to do for the rest of my life..
Eileen , before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I Love COLOR. I love details, I love movement, I love Spirit
Drawing and Painting are ways I breathe LOVE in and out. This is what I came here to share, bringing beauty to others on paper and canvas. My paintings connect the viewer to the great beauty and love they are within, and feel when viewing my paintings. Healing of emotions takes place.
I was born and raised in New York City, the island of Manhattan Source showed me this gift when I was 8 years old. My 4th grade teacher told my mom your daughter knows “composition”. My mother intuitively understood color and music. She saw that I was able to sit quietly for hours and gave me all kinds of art materials to work with at home. I was a very introverted child and I would channel my feelings onto paper and canvas. I was always different, out of the box. When I was 12 yrs my mom sent me to Saturday morning art class in NYC where I learned the basics. Drawing, proportions, perspective, shading and composition. At 13 yrs, my oil painting called “Red Barn”. was entered in a New York City Street Art Festival and won “first place and a blue ribbon”. At 16 yrs an oil painting was sold to a New York City art dealer of two immigrant gardeners wearing yellow rain slickers and hats. In high school my art teacher gave me extra attention and published my work in the school magazine. I started to take art classes on Saturday morning at Pratt institute in Brooklyn and when I applied to go there for college I was accepted studying Fine Arts in drawing, oil painting and watercolors.
New York City, Manhattan a concrete jungle, filled with high rises I lived until about 17 years old. The light is different; the colors I saw as dull, grays, greens, browns, blacks, navy blues, cranberry, sap greens, pea green and hooker green. Darker colors, sad withdrawn colors. Sunlight was further from the equator, it emitted different feelings to my soul and not what I felt in my heart. I was learning other things in Manhattan, humanity and culture was everywhere. Later that would be one of my assets. I had to move away from this light and those sad colors, but I did not know where I was headed. At 18 yrs old I was invited to go to the Caribbean with two surfers and everything changed… every pore of my body, my soul opened up, drinking in the healing energy of island colors, the plants, the land, the water, the people, fruits, flowers, birds, fish and architecture. I was reborn. . I knew right then and there I was home in the tropical belt of our beautiful green and blue planet. It was the closest I had come to being in the LIGHT (which came four years later)
1972 I left Manhattan. Since then everyday Spirit, my best friend grabs me with its inspiriting invisible umbilical chord. This telephone to God rings me up speaks to me with its whispers. Clear, direct visions that the I AM wants me to draw and paint. I never see the completed painting in the beginning. I just start and IT tells me what’s next. I go out looking for what attracts me and sit and draw, I begin and then continue on to something else. The composition comes to life on its own. Then the colors come. Color is visible energy. There are more colors than 7 colors of the Rainbow than we were taught. Sacred Geometry also shows up in my paintings. Life is always revealing itself to me.
In the Tropics, nature is rich, plants abundant and humongous. The largeness of the leaves and textures in the jungle capture and captivate me. The sweet tropical breezes permeate my soul and gently caress my skin this is what I bring to the viewer. Its fragrances, sounds, patterns, perspectives, I am in awe everyday .I look upon the wonder of the unfolding Creation and I see how we are reflections of this same beauty. Everyday it is different. It never dies it just changes. Nature just knows how to blend and contrast its form and colors on the earth as it does in the etheric, I feel the plants heartbeat, I hear them breathing and growing. Healing music sings to me when I see and paint the tropical colors. Aqua’s, turquoise, pinks, peaches, blues, purples, violets, lime greens, blue greens, lemon yellow, oranges brilliant reds, and more.. All my senses are exuberant, and laughter fills me and pours out into my paintings
When I go to Europe and paint I use a different palette. I see and feel different colors and am enthralled once again, attracted to the architecture. The light is different and history is so full and rich with character. I love traveling and painting here. Detail, Detail, Detail I see everywhere in the cities. Listening to classical music in Europe also brings me a totally different color palette.
Now what do I with this “information” these vibrations? This is where the magic comes together, guided by spirit, its about placement of lines, form and colors that create harmony, joy, peace, calm, excitement and wonder to the viewer.
Since 1968 I have lived and traveled out of America to St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, Key West, Mexico, hitch hiked through all of Central America, Panama, Columbia, Kauai, Eleuthera, Nassau, Harbor Island, St. Marten, Tortola, Jamaica, Maui, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Anguilla, Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago, Bastimentos, Bocas del Torre, Portugal, Spain, Amsterdam, Brussels, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Brussels, Amsterdam, Germany, Italy, France, Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago, Guadalupe, Alaska, Tavenui-Fiji, Bega-Fiji Oahu, The Big Island, Sicily, Corfu, Hawaii, Montenegro, Dubrovnik, Easter Island, Fakarava, Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti, Raiatea, Rangiora, Nuka Hiva, and Canada.
In 1981 I moved to Coconut Grove, FL because of the trees and I could get on an airplane and go anywhere.
In 1982 began to self publish my watercolors and Oil Paintings as art cards, posters, s/prints, s/n limited editions,
miniprints , hand tufted wool rugs, jigsaw puzzles and hand painted fabrics to share it with the entire world.
For the past 50 years, my paintings have been selected and commissioned privately and as art festival posters, received dozens of Awards, purchased for television and theatre movies, national and international hotels, resorts, hospitals, doctors office, cruise ships, banks, restaurants and airports. My artwork can be found on the walls of many private and public areas where the masses can enjoy them.
When i work with a client doing a commissioned piece or selling them an original painting or a giclee print, i always let them know i can get the matting and framing done for them.. This helps them greatly for many dont know what they want, or where to begin in picking matting and moldings.
I always guide them to use the best materials ( acid free matting and back board and uv protection glass for the longevity of the artwork and also what they can afford. )
Always remembering where the gift comes from, I share this joy I feel through the act of painting when the spirit speaks through my brush and seeing that spirit reborn in the faces and hearts of the people who come to share this anonymous gift.
Is there mission driving your creative journey?
My mission in this lifetime is to bring THE SPIRIT of GOD of Creation through my work onto paper and Canvas. To connect the viewer to this SPIRIT OF GODS LOVE within himself.. For them to realize their own inner joy, peace, clarity, definition and harmony.
I have this understanding from the many years of living on the land under the sky, swimming in oceans, studying and drawing plants, butterflies, birds, flowers, from the tiniest and as well as the grandest. I FEEL this power in all of these . all have this LIFE FORCE, this unending power and unceasing creation going on . No death only transformation.
When i paint i feel this energy, this power of love and life pass through my consciousness, my heart and out my hand.
when i mix my colors I am communion with creator.
Often in the morning hours when i am coming out of dream time, I am given dreams and directions and colors of what i am to paint..
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
when I started out making prints of my work, i met a fellow who was a sales rep for publishing companies selling artwork to furniture stores.. He traveled the state. he would sell my prints but after awhile my creative mind wanted to get to the cruise ship industry.. he said No not yet..
Well my “spirit” said “do it..” “We will help you”
I split from him and took off on my own,, this led me to selling my artwork on 12 cruise ships for 3 years and then getting a huge commission and years later working on 5 different cruise lines as the Artist in Residence, traveling the world teaching watercolors. Europe, South pacific, Caribbean and Alaska.
For me, i have always been a leader and a creative soul.
waiting around for a “partner to fulfill my dreams” did not work for me
I learned that if i did the research and asked questions i would find the companies i needed to do the work i was meant to create and make into products. EVENTUALLY people heard of me and saw my works and then came to me.
Framers, printing companies, manufacturers supplying framing materials.
Going to trade shows, walking in to businesses where the company made the materials i wanted to produce..
No agents, No 2nd or 3rd party who would take over my dreams..
I love people so for me its easy, to get out there and ask and call.