Michelle Seat

Oil Painter, Photographer

Fine Art has always been a large part of Michelle Seat’s life. Growing up in an art-loving family meant that visual art was more than just a picture on the wall; it was actually a way of life. The creation of art was a focal point in her childhood home, passed from parent to child. The house had the fragrance of her father’s oil paint and also the clutter of easels and fine-tipped sable brushes. This creative environment alone would have been enough to hold the interest of most children, but for Michelle there was one more attraction. It was there that she experienced something even more significant to her: the world of photography. Michelle was awed as images magically appeared in the trays of her father’s photographic darkroom. Michelle now had both painting and photography as serious interests. Her paintings won her numerous awards when she was a high school student.

Michelle carried her fascination with photography into college, where it became part of her undergraduate studies. Her interest in this art form never waned, but it became sidelined during Michelle’s career in air traffic control and her graduate studies in business and public administration. Luckily, she was able to reignite this long-time interest after retiring from 35 years of public service. That’s when the gateway opened for full-time devotion to visual art and photography. Michelle soon recognized what had been elusive for so many years: the luxury of time. Time, or rather the lack of it, had kept her from the creative process she valued so much. Now she finally had lots of time to create.

Michelle used her time wisely, spending it in the pursuit of the creative. She learned to create with new, unfamiliar media: ceramics and glass. But the allure of photography continued to tempt her, and she soon returned to that comfortable medium from years ago. But now that comfortable medium had a new twist. The darkroom photography of Michelle’s childhood had been replaced with the technology of the digital age. This meant that Michelle, once again, had a new gateway into the creative process: digital photography. Michelle’s experience with film photography and this new tool of digital photography became a natural fit.

Retraining her photographic eye led to a renewed desire to recreate what her eye had experienced — not just with a camera, but also with a brush. Thus oil painting has become Michelle’s focal point and main form of creative expression. With paint, Michelle has even more control over imagery and color than with photography. Her creative freedom now has even more possibilities.

Michelle feels that the culmination of her life experience into the present equals more than the sum of its parts: a new and unique moment in time. She thinks of this moment as a “perfect storm” experience. And this moment is what she tries to capture for the viewer. Ultimately, Michelle Seat’s measurement of artistic success is her ability to connect with others and share her experience in a meaningful way.

Michelle has studied oil painting at William Woods University, Columbia College and University of Missouri.

Michelle is an active member of the Columbia Palette plein air painting group.

If you’d like to buy art or just share with Michelle how you felt about her art, feel free to drop her an email: seatster@yahoo.com