Art Shed Featured Artist - Treena Seymour
Author: Tom Date Posted:16 October 2019
I do enjoy abstracts, I enjoy lots of different genres. I don't have a problem as long as there's something in the painting that gives life basically. So a bit of an all rounder.
What is your favourite medium to work with?
Acrylics, definitely acrylics. Well there's a number of reasons why. They're faster drying and if I did want to, I could always put a retarder in them to slow them down. I've been working with acrylics for so many years, I just find them easy to use, very easy to use. There's no odor. They wash up with water and I seem to just, yeah, I have fun with them. I've never gone into oils. My nana was an oil artist and I couldn't stand the fumes so I was out of that one. Watercolors I do like, but I've sort of adopted a little bit of a watercolor way of doing things into my acrylics. So, but I know them so well now and I just find like I manipulate them really, really well. So yeah, I love them.
How has your work changed over time?
I used to do a lot of type work early on in my years and especially with watercolor and then when I got into acrylics, the first thing I did actually was abstracts because just to get the feel of the acrylic, the way it moved, the way it worked and then now I actually do still I do abstracts, but I also do a lot of detailed work again with acrylics. When I want a break from doing the acrylic work, when I want to loosen up, I then go to an abstract just to loosen up, get all that tightness out of my head and then I can get back into it later on. So yeah.
One thing in your artist tool kit you couldn't live without?
My brush, my brushes, I think it's brushes. I have so many brushes from tiny weeny triple zeros, right? To big paddles, the Liquitex big ones. I love my brushes. I mean, I could do a finger painting thing, but it just wouldn't be the same, you know? I do use a lot of things, but I think, yeah, I think the brushes. Obviously the paints are needed, but yeah.
What's one of the hardest things you've experienced as an artist?
Well it used to be getting my work out there I think. Being recognized, being known, but now with social media, I've used all those portals and I'm now selling work overseas, which once upon a time I would never have never thought of being able to do. So probably the hardest thing is to get yourself out there, just to get yourself known, get people to see your work.
Are there any artists who inspire you?
There's a lot of beautiful artists out there that are struggling to be recognized because, you know, they haven't got all that behind them. But now with social media it is becoming a little easier. So yeah, it's helped me immensely, but I'm on there every day. There's one thing about social media, you've got to keep on it every day and interact and engage with your people that are following you and I personally thank every single person that sent a post to me, and I use their name, so it's not just the general brilliant yeah, yeah, blah, blah. So yeah, it takes a bit of time, but it's a good thing at the end of the day when you're finished. Put your paint brushes away, put your feet up and yeah, yeah, check everything out.
French impressionist artists. I love... I'm a big fan of Renoir Monet, Manet. I just love the way they, they do... And I was actually fortunate enough when I was overseas to actually go and visit the gallery which had quite a bit of their work and it was just... I was in awe. Yeah. So modern day artists, I can't really put my finger on ones. I always go back into the art history and look at the old stuff, even though I've hated art history at school. At uni I didn't like it at all but yeah, you look back on it now and you appreciate what you were taught.
Do you listen to music while you paint?
No, I watch horror films. I know it's the weirdest thing. A lot of people love music and I've got these beautiful headphones and I do have a lot of gorgeous music that I could listen to. I'm into horror and thrillers, true life stories preferably. But I've got a TV in my studio with a built-in DVD player and I just run them. I think the latest, I mean I've watched It. I don't know how many times. So, yeah, I'm a big fan of, yeah, suspense thrillers. I'm not into the blood and gore stuff, but I'm into the more supernatural stuff. Yeah. Yeah. So I know it's weird.
I just really get in a zone of enjoying. I love... Mind you, I probably haven't actually watched any of the films. I've listened to them because I'm too busy painting. But yeah, it's just, I don't know what it is. I don't know if there's a balance. You know, you've got these beautiful florals that I'm creating and then there's this completely opposite dimension that I'm listening to and I'm not sure if it seems like a yin and yang thing. I'm not sure. But it's what makes me happy and I'm actually relaxed when I'm watching.... Well, when I'm not watching, when I'm painting and listening to it. Yeah.
What are the biggest hurdles when creating a new artwork?
Oh, probably the starting point where... Like looking at a blank canvas thinking what am I going to create? I know it's going to be like... I've usually got an idea in my head and I've got quite a few ideas running through in the middle of when I'm painting something for my next. But sometimes you, it's almost like writer's block. I get artist block and you look at the big canvas and go where do I start? You know, which size should I do? That's probably the biggest thing actually is the size. I mean I've been doing big canvases for quite some time and as much as I've got followers that want smaller stuff because that's what they can afford, I always have the big stuff and I've got to bring myself back a little bit and think, "Okay I love painting any size but I'm just thinking if I paint small it's going to take me a day." And I like painting big because it takes me... Because I want to get into the zone. I wanted to spend at least a week doing something, enjoying it.
Do you have a routine before you start painting?
I'm probably a little bit unorthodox in a sense, and I've had a lot of people on the social media comment. I've got these little pots and they're little plastic clear pots and I mix all my colors up first because then I've got them. Especially if I'm doing a series, a series of using similar colors, I've got them all there. There's less wastage because the paint doesn't dry out because I just screw the cup and I can always just add a little water anyway to it if I needed to. So I usually mix up my colors first, sketch out onto the canvas what I want to do, get myself all set up. That's the day before routine and that's almost psyching myself up for the next days' paint and then everything's ready to go. I have my cloths, I have everything ready, DVD ready. Everything's ready to start the process, so the next day I can just go into the studio and paint. Yeah, so the day before is the prep stuff which I really enjoy.
Has Art Shed helped your creative process?
Yeah, you have helped me out a fair bit actually to pinpoint everything I don't think I could. But no, it's just been wonderful. Really has.
What's the best thing about being an artist?
Freedom to create what you want. The freedom to express yourself. One thing about art is you can express yourself in so many ways through your canvas. I put a lot of love, a lot of emotion into my canvases. It's also an escape for me from reality. I just zone out completely and I just love it. I just absolutely love it and to have that ability to be creative is such a gift and it's something I want to share with a lot of people.
How long does a painting take to complete?
Depending on the size, 1.2 by 1.8 meters, roughly say a week to two weeks. I'm in there pretty much a lot of the time. Probably from 10 in the morning. I have little breaks through the day and I'm sort of finished by six, seven o'clock that evening and I try and keep weekends free though sometimes I can't wait to get in there. So yeah, I sneak in there. Trouble with working at home, but yeah, a week to two weeks and then after that I'm bored. I want to do something different. That's the thing.
How important are the titles of your artwork?
Very important. I never used to think much about it, but it actually does mean a lot to me now and I think of the title as I'm going through the process of painting. It's not something that comes to my mind quickly. I think about it. Different titles. Like my last series I'm doing, well this latest series I'm doing, The Happiness Is series, there's lots of things like Happiness Is Believing In Yourself. That was one title of the painting. Sharing The Love is another one and whatever I portray in the picture, I describe it. The title comes out in the description of the painting. So yeah.
What do you do when you're not feeling inspired to paint?
Garden. I've got a passion for gardening, so I actually get out in the garden. I get out in the garden and yeah. There are times where I just think, "Oh, you know what? I just want a few days rest." I'll be flat out for weeks, I want a break, you know, I want to actually have clean nails instead of paint all over them and I'll just put them in the dirt then. I'll go into the garden and I love gardening. So, and it's another passion of mine. Yeah. I want to spend time with my husband who rarely sees me now because I'm busy. But yeah, so you've got to have a break.
Any advice for your young artistic self?
Go for it. Just go for it. Give it a shot. Do what makes you happy. There's going to be hurdles, obstacles in the way but if you love your arts so much and you think you've got something to give the world, give it, go for it. Nurture that. You know, if you feel like you've got a talent but it needs a little bit of tweaking, do some schooling. Really get those teachers to basically water the seed that you've already got and see where it leads you, but never give up your passion or your dreams.
If you were a tube of paint what colour would you be?
Oh, what color would I be? Oh, it would have to definitely be in the blue range. Oh, it would have to be say turquoise. Turquoise. Yeah because I can mix different colors with the turquoise. Yeah. I can get different shades. Yeah, so it's a good all rounder.
Where can we find out more about your art?
I'd like to thank Art Shed actually for giving me this opportunity to come out today and have this little chat and have this little interview and yeah, I hope it's inspired a few artists out there.