Seamus Berkeley incorporates his strategy for living into his strategy for painting
Seamus Berkeley is traveling outside of his comfort zone (the four walls of his West Berkeley studio) to exhibit a solo show at Oxtail Studio from February 6th – March 6th. The opening reception was last Saturday night (Feb. 7th), where visitors were greeted with a warm color palette and a respite from the rain.
Beauty. Discovery. Serenity. These are three ideas that Seamus mentions in his artist statement as being key drivers in his life and art. He describes that his aim when painting is to create a connection between the sense of wonder he feels while painting, and that experienced by the viewer. By mirroring back the awe of his own creativity and folding that experience into someone else’s reality, the wonderment is multiplied. What better goal is there for an artist?
Seamus explains that for him, beauty is an inward-facing experience that is sometimes (but not always) triggered by outer stimuli. In his work he encourages the viewer to see things in a beautiful way, but stresses that the alchemy of beauty is a process that is just as dependent on the viewer as on the artist. He experiences the inner feeling of beauty when he’s in the process of painting, as he embarks on a quest to uncover the beauty that is already there.
‘Tiny Treasures’ is a jewel box exhibit rife with the depth of color that has made oil paintings popular for centuries. Seamus examines objects of everyday consumption in the paintings, but probably not the type of consumption you’re thinking of. The fruit and vegetables he depicts are a pastoral nod to simpler times, when the color of a plum inspired amazement at the tiny acts of nature we often take for granted in the contemporary moment.