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Art During Quarantine

Hello all. While in quarantine, I thought I would provide an updated introduction to go along with my updated working environment.

My name is Gayla Dowdy Seale. I’m living in and working as an artist in Knoxville, Tennessee. I grew up about 100 miles northeast of Knoxville in Bristol, Tennessee. I have lived in several of the larger cities in the southeast including Memphis, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Atlanta.

I have a brother and a sister. My mom is still with us, but I lost my dad 11 years ago. I am married to David, and I have 3 children who have been successfully launched from the nest.

I attended East Tennessee State University where I studied Medical Technology and then later received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

I did not formally study art, but I have drawn or painted in one form or another for as long as I can remember. I had several family influences. My mother and grandmother were very creative in fabric art such as quilting, doll-making, embroidery, and knitting. My grandmother tatted lace and embroidered sheets. She was a gifted lady. My mother still puts together quilts. My brother also was a talented artist, but he chose to express his talent in the area of architecture. I chose painting as my creative outlet. My sister, whose talents lean more towards outdoor adventures, is one of my most avid supporters.

Throughout my adult life and while raising children, I managed to study art by way of workshops, seminars, private lessons, and self-study.

During the span of years when my children were in college, I returned to full time laboratory work. The lab where I worked did large volume viral testing similar to the type used to test for COVID-19. I worked there 6 years. After my youngest graduated college, I decided that it was time to pursue my art full-time. With a bit of fortuitous timing, I was able to secure a studio space at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.

I have dabbled in various forms of artistic expression. Still-life work, florals, landscapes and portraiture have all made their appearance in my portfolio. In recent years I have been more interested in cityscape work which includes perspective drawing, architectural detail, and the unique signage that gives charm to a city or town. I am also interested in patterns which frequently occur in architecture and in nature.

A few years ago, I discovered the art of Zentangle®, which promotes relaxation and creativity through pattern drawing. I attended the training seminar in Providence, Rhode Island and became a Certified Zentangle Teacher. I now host and co-teach Zentangle classes with Amy Broady (CZT) in my studio.

My working artist studio has been up and running for a year now. I have been thrilled to be able to go there and paint and create new art on a daily basis. Then came the little demon called Coronavirus, and the Emporium Center closed to the public. Although I can still access my studio if needed, I took all of my most used art supplies and re-established my home art studio. I am thankful to have an alternative space from which to work. A long mid-day walk around the neighborhood helps break up the day.

Good luck to everyone out there trying