Paul Seidell

 I was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1961. My professions have varied from accountant to house parent to deaf children. I studied Business at the University of Massachusetts and received my MBA at Western New England College.

I was introduced to painting as a young teenager, when my sister and aunt copied paintings from books in my grandmother’s cellar. I used a piece of scrap board to make my first painting with their leftover oil paint. Later, I took classes at night at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum and a summer class in oil painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. A major obstacle in my life stemmed from memory issues caused by  ADHD.

Portraits of men in intimate moments, and international celebrities focused on the natural expressions of their genuine self, have been a constant theme in my work. I continue to draw portraits, the male figure and flowers in mechanical pencil or pen on multiple sheets of paper. Yet, unlike the vernacular artists of the past, my work is greatly influenced by social media. Images from Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Tumbler have inspired paintings and portraits. Whether actors from Asia or bodybuilders from California, they fit into an imaginary “homey world”. Candid moments in these “online” lives are sometimes incorporated with people I know and draw, becoming either a strange domestic scene or a familiar portrait; while other paintings stray to scenes of shock, anxiety and chaos.

Art is in my soul, and the focus of my being. Despite the financial struggles of being an artist, I am compelled to create.