At various points in my life, I’ve had the delightful experience of encountering an unfamiliar artist whose work made me say: “Wow! How could I have not known about this painter before?!” 20th century English painter Edward Seago was one of those artists. I came across his work about 20 years ago, and he has since remained a favorite.
It might be hard to understand my reaction from small images, but it’s in the details I find fascination, particularly in the character of his brush handling. Aware of that, I’ve tried to give some feeling of what I mean by including detail crops from all of the images I’ve posted above.
Though he also painted very nice watercolors, I think of Seago as the artist whose oil paintings should be in the dictionary under the definition of “painterly”. Rough, loose and seemingly casual, his brushy textures are a joy to my eye. Perhaps I’m unusual that way, I don’t know, but I find particular pleasure in the character of the way he lays down paint on the canvas.
Because so much of the delight I find in Seago’s work is in the character of his brush work, I recommend the images of his paintings to be found on the major art auction sites, particularly the Bonham’s auction site under Past Lots, which are high resolution and can be zoomed in to a level of fine detail.
Notice how most of his edges appear soft — not by blending — but by virtue of the softening effect of broken color. I also like his muted palette and the atmospheric feeling he achieves in much of his work.
Oh, and did I mention his clouds? Oh yeah — wonderful clouds.