Robert Seabeck Revisits the Old West in a Modern World
Did you decide on a career when you were twelve? I didn’t, either. In fact, it seems to be a rare occasion when a person is able to embrace their passion from a young age and then turn that love of something into a career. Amazingly enough, artist and Wyoming native, Robert Seabeck was able to do just that.
Known for his colorful depictions of wildlife, landscapes, flowers, and automobiles, Seabeck paints in order to display vibrant images of the contemporary American West. He finds inspiration from the magnificent, vast scenery throughout the state of Wyoming. Born in Casper Wyoming, he began his remarkable career and journey as an artist at only twelve years old.
According to Seabeck’s biography, he “attended four colleges majoring in art at each. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts at California State in Long Beach and his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Wyoming in 1976.” When crafting his paintings, Seabeck strives for realism to accurately depict an image as it truly is. In order to achieve that goal, he uses a special technique of applying several thin layers of paint in order to give his work such a bold and seamless appearance. Additionally, he often blurs the background of his paintings and does not focus on finer details of an image. By implementing these two specialized techniques, Seabeck is able to passionately transform seemingly mundane, everyday scenery into a meaningful piece of artwork.
In a brief interview about his paintings, Seabeck once said, “I choose to work with traditional images, while interpreting them in a manner which is personal to me. I take pleasure in elevating the ordinary and commonplace to a level that hopefully opens the eyes of the viewer to the beauty and intensity existing in all things.”
Seabeck undeniably achieves his goal of elevating the ordinary in one of his popular paintings, American Dream. In this work, he paints a blue Ford Bronco in front of a small white home with the American flag flying in the front yard. Seabeck says this painting reveals the perceptions and realities regarding everyday life in the modern west. In fact, this painting is currently on display at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in the Whitney Western Art Museum and can be found in our online collections.
In another one of Seabeck’s well-known paintings of an automobile, Fall Scene, the artist paints a red Ford truck with a small camper hitched to the back of it. He explains that this image is a contemporary representation of the covered wagon that transported the pioneers to Wyoming.
Seabeck’s paintings show the American West is still alive in even the most unexpected places. By catching these glimpses of a simpler time, viewers are able to experience and treasure the lasting impacts of the West.