Winston Leonard Seaton by Laura Schneider

(who paints under the moniker W.L.SEATON )

win seaton changing tack

Over the past several years, Seaton has made a significant departure from a style of painting that sustained his creative imagination for most of his artistic life. Although he has experimented in a variety of media over the last four decades (including oil, watercolor and encaustic) his fidelity has been to representational subject matter, primarily landscapes. The artist’s current paintings , however, reveal his recent interest in abstraction, surface pattern and formal structure.

As a student and graduate of the Vancouver School of Art in the 1960s, Seaton was introduced to some of the country’s most prominent participants in mid-century lyrical abstraction. Of particular significance to the artist at that time was his instruction from Jack Leonard Shadbolt, though the full impact of this influence would not be felt until four decades later

His new paintings repertoire utilizes industrial media: caulking, drywall mud, commercial paint, old recycled blackboards and preused stretched canvas. Despite the industrial textures and abstract subject matter, the artist succeeds in making images much more personal and intimate than paintings from earlier in his career.

Given Seaton’s early exposure to abstracted forms of painting at the Vancouver School of Art, it is somewhat surprising that the trajectory of his artistic output has only begun to reflect the language of 20th-century modernism. Nevertheless, the kind of abstraction that Seaton achieves in his collective body of work remains relevant in the context of his earlier commitment to Canadian scene-painting. Seaton’s works strike a balance between his loyalty to figurative descriptions, and his desire to develop a more personal and adventurous artistic language. His enthusiasm toward this new style promises to sustain him for some time to come.

Taken from Essay by Laura Schneider Director/Curator Cape Breton University Art Gallery March 2011