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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 to adjust and adapt to the “Stay At Home” restrictions. Extra doses of patience, kindness, and understanding are in order for all of us.

I am grateful for all of the support I have received since my studio opened, and I look forward to producing new art every year.


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