Capturing a Sense of Place: July Guest Artist Addie Seabarkrob

By Bella Erakko

To say that Addie Seabarkrob’s acrylic paintings leaves a lasting impression may be a bit of an understatement. One of her colleagues at John Wood Community College loved a triptych residing in an office. He retired, and two years later called her from Florida. “I love it. I’ve always loved it. I can’t stop thinking about it.” And the triptych soon flew to its new home.

As the Alliance Art Gallery’s July Second Saturday guest artist, Addie admits her parents didn’t exactly have easels and paintbrushes in the living room: her mother was an accountant, her father a lawyer but her love of art started with Crayolas—even the smell of them—and perhaps her art-teaching grandmother.

“I was really interested in art as a child but had to work at it to get the skills.” That innate passion proved the impetus. Like most kids, she worked her way through finger painting and pencil drawing, and by the time she arrived in college, acrylics had also arrived in the art world. With her parent’s blessing, she became an art major, adding teaching courses as her income-generating lifestyle.

“I like the fact that with acrylics (her preferred medium) you can make art that looks like watercolor, and even a bit like oils.” But her latest artistic exploration started with a ride in a two-seater plane. Aloft with a pilot friend, Seabarkrob found herself fascinated with the aerial perspective. As she looked out the cockpit window, she visually felt that tension between “abstract and representational.” Clean angles, vibrant colors, a sense of how small we are has inspired a new series of paintings.

As a thank you to her friend, Addie she painted him with his plane. He looked at it and said, “This just makes me happy!” There is something about Addie Seabarkrob’s art that truly does make one happy. There is a harmony between crisp lines, brilliant colors, and abstract-softened realism that literally makes the viewer feel air born with delight. She leaves us somewhere between “control and chaos” and strangely, it is a very pleasant place to be.

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