Harking back to the Impressionists and inspired by Renoir and Monet, Treena Seymour’s paintings are an exploration of light, colour, and wonder. Based in Victoria, her works exemplify her surrounds in vivid, expressionist depictions of the world outside her studio, from the bay that features prominently in so many of her paintings to the flora and fauna of Australia.
Most noticeable in Seymour’s work is her ability to balance texture and light — for the artist, working with acrylics gives her the opportunity to play with texture, enhancing her subject matter and developing complexity and depth on the canvas. Her start with acrylics was not typical of most artists; her first foray into the medium came from painting a house, which allowed her to learn the ins and outs of acrylic paints and gave her room to understand how she could cultivate the atmosphere in her paintings with the properties the paint offered.
From there, she learned the benefits of acrylics, including their ability to be painted onto any surface, opening up a world of textural opportunities to be explored and exploited.
It is in her seascapes and painted visits to the waterfront that the textures in her work really come through. The splash of salt spray against the shore, as in Beach Break and Down By The Seaside, captures the essence of the moment, the graininess of the water caught in the texture of the acrylics and the canvas.
It’s this texture that adds a visceral nature to her paintings, recalling memories from both the artist herself and the viewer — when you look at her seascapes, you begin to feel as though you have actually been transported to the seaside, as though you can feel the grittiness of the salt on your skin. Having grown up by the water, spending family vacations at the seaside, there’s a familiarity for Seymour. As she says, it’s almost as if the salt and sea are in her blood, and this love of the ocean is reflected in her work.
What is perhaps most impressive about Seymour’s work is her willingness to experiment, dabbling in different styles and approaches to create works that demonstrate a wide array of talents. The theme of the ocean reoccurs in other works, like Finding A Spot At The Beach, Tidal Flow, and Oceanic Playground, but these three paintings are both a departure from her other works and a departure from each other, showing Seymour’s remarkable skill set and understanding of technique.
Her departure from seascapes, to works like Quinqua that celebrates the natural beauty of flowers, is again emulated in a new style. What unites all of her work is her ability to capture light and colour and bring it to life on the canvas.