Today we’d like to introduce you to Eileen Seitz.
Eileen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started my artistic direction when I was eight years old in a public school in Manhattan, NYC. My 4th grade teacher gave me extra attention and told my mom that I had excellent design and composition abilities. Fortunately for me, my mom came from an artistic family and heard my teacher… She started to give me art materials as she could see, I had the patience and love to sit quietly and work… At age 13, my mom started me in private art classes in Manhattan under the guidance of a European couple. I learned figures, proportions, perspective. In one class, the teacher told us to go select a photograph that we would paint. I picked RED BARN IN THE SNOW… I did the oil painting and entered a NYC street art festival and won first place for my oil painting… I was 13 years old. I skipped 8th grade and went straight to high school, now my high school teacher took notice of my talents. Many pen and ink drawings he published of my works in the high school newspaper and yearbooks.
In senior year my mom started sending me to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for their Saturday Morning Art Classes… I went with great joy and happiness and began to learn so many new things… at the end of high school I applied to Pratt Institute for my College to study FINE ARTS, I was accepted and the next chapter of my life began… Being a year younger than everyone else, I studied drawing, figure drawing, painting, 3d, 2d, lithography, printmaking and more. I did great there and loved it so much. For two years, I had so many classes I was so happy… Then I met some musicians/surfers and I was asked to travel to the Caribbean… Well, that did it… I knew RIGHT AWAY, that it was in 1966 that I first got a glimpse of what the green jungle was all about. A short trip to the west coast of Puerto Rico, to a town called Rincon, where all the surfers lived. Here they flocked like seals out on the sea, waiting to catch and ride the big waves. They lived in tree houses on the beach. That experience showed me and opened me up to a simple way of life, close to nature.
Finally in 1968, I left Pratt Institute for a year sabbatical. I was studying Fine Art at school and moved to the island of St. Thomas, VI. When we arrived, it was in the beginning of a seven day tropical storm. It was then that I understood the power, beauty, grandeur and strength of mother nature. From that point on, I knew I had found my place on the planet. My calling began to grow becoming stronger and stronger. I definitely knew I had to live in a tropical environment. The light, the colors, the smells of the earth, the sky and clouds, the birds and tropical fruits all free my soul. Here I thrive like the jungle plants after a good rain. This beauty is what inspires me to paint with the colors and blends that I do, whether it is with watercolors on paper or oil on canvas. Living in the tropics, allows my spirit to speak freely through pen and brush.
After St Thomas, I returned to NYC and took one more year of school, I wrote and set type and did the artwork for my first children’s book… I studied printmaking and hands-on techniques with etchings and engravings… towards the spring of that year, I had a vision and I saw myself living in an upstairs attic apartment eating fruit. A few months before that vision, on spring break I took a trip with friends and we drove to the Florida keys… One of the seven days we drove to Key West, this was 1968 ish, as soon as I stepped on that Island and saw what I saw, I KNEW in my heart I would be coming back.
That summer, I told my mom, I am leaving the city, I have to go I know what’s out there. The beauty and sunlight… My mom said, “Go be an Artist” So I did, I went to was to see a woman in NY STATE, I was going to work in her new being built gift shop… But spirit had a different plan. After running into a fellow closer to my age, I was invited to go live in some cabins he rented in the woods for the summer… I said ok…
Well when I got into his van, he said “oh we have to go pick up my friend Pat” he just returned from California and he’s like you, a vegetarian… Well Pat and I met and it was Kismet.. we wound up living in a tent in the woods and after two months, he decided we were going to take his HORSE PONCHO and a puppy Charlie and WALK TO CAPE COD.
So for one week, we walked 125 miles through the backwoods of New York State. ( now remember I am a NYC girl, not allowed to walk on the grass where I grew up in Manhattan and here I am NOTICING how mother wind, blew through the tops of trees, We made campfires every night and drank from streams and walked and rode a horse everyday. Eventually, things happened and we had to sell our horse and give up the puppy. But we returned to the city for a day or two and then HEADED TO KEY WEST.
After 4 months on key west being a waitress, looking out over the gorgeous TURQUOISE Caribbean waters, I said to myself ” I AM AN ARTIST” so I took my portfolio and walked into an art gallery in town. The lady said, “who are you, where did you come from?” we want you here. I became a member of the Key West Art Center and every year would do the street shows and won many awards, ribbons and newspaper articles. You can see them in my bio on my website. After five months, the boyfriend said we are traveling, I asked to where? He said MEXICO, so after saving money, WE Flew to Merida and hitchhiked a months journey towards Acapulco and then Puerto Escondido… God told me before me left “NO CAMERA”, only draw everywhere, everything, keep a diary, of drawings… I did this… We reached Mexico city and he wanted to buy land, a finca but it did not happen and we headed south and met an American who was traveling with two surfers who were headed further south… He was going to NORWAY via central America, then South America and then crossing the ATLANTIC OCEAN.. we were invited. So we joined the Californian contractor and traveled ALL OF CENTRAL AMERICA for three months… WOW, what a trip, every night slept on the earth under the stars going to “Mercados”, meeting so many cultures and learning so many ways to speak Spanish. Always drawing drawing drawing.
It was so fantastic and such a part of my growing reaching out ARTISTIC SOUL.. my mom’s blessing to go be “an artist” had begun. After three months, we said goodbye to our rider and headed to the airport in Panama. We flew to Cartegna Colombia. Seeing the schooners and architecture, people again fantastic and different…
Three weeks later, we headed back to key west.. This guy and I split up, The house across the street came up for rent and I MOVED INTO MY UPSTAIRS ATTIC apartment, and my vision came to BE. It was a studio apartment with an outdoor porch. My outdoor porch overlooked the key west cemetery. I was around 23-24 years old… My artistic magically development really took off, for now I was living alone and paying my own way, my rent back then was $50.00 and my house drawings for clients were $20.00 I was good. In key west over the next three years, I would eat from the abundance of fruits from the trees and lived a simpler life. My spirituality grew and my intuition developed.
Then another opportunity came, KAUAI came into my view… So I left.. and lived on Kauai.
First, I moved into a house so opposite than the upstairs attic apartment that I was outside more than inside. About one month later and I met two musicians and moved into a MAIL JEEP TRUCK with one of them. He was a musician and surfer, and every day we would forged for foods. and he had a vegetable garden.. I was DRAWING, PAINTING up a storm, I walked into a health food store/restaurant and met a lady from Germany/ Sweden. She let me hang three watercolors on her walls… Five months later, my good friend from key west wrote she was getting married in NJ and wanted me to be there… Then I get a call from the Health Food Shop. Someone came in loved my paintings and asked to see more. We set up a date/time and I went to meet them… In their condominium, I showed my 15 watercolors. The husband, wife, daughter and son, loved them all… Husband asked, HOW MUCH FOR ALL. So I gave him a price and he added some more $ and I left with an empty portfolio…
The boyfriend and I left KAUAI and on to NJ big energy shift…
1-2 months there and I left him to go back to the SUNSHINE FLORIDA to family, two days later a phone call from the ex-boyfriend said, “I am going to Eleuthera (Bahamas) are you coming?”
So I said to god, I guess this isn’t over yet? and god said NO… So onto Eleuthera where he I lived in a surfers house on the hill with no electricity and no running water. We would work on farms, picking tomatoes, cabbages, pineapples, for food. We would hitchhike to the surfing beach… I did so many paintings there and life was rich, happy and peaceful… Over and over again, I was learning about how to live off mother nature and live simple. Everyday I would walk down the hill and pump a 5 gallon bucket of drinking water that came from a pipe that ran the whole 100 miles of the island, it served all the people. It was to drink, cook and bath with.
Eleuthera is very rare Bahamian island long and narrow, caves, fields and one road. Very ancient feeling in some areas. and fields of coral rock where the farmers plant seeds and pray for rain. We had planned to leave and the morning, we were scheduled to jump on freighter for two days back to Miami the WATER PIPE BROKE… God blessed us by taking us off the island.
After ten months of living there, we had met a couple on holiday. He invited us to a property he rented in Homestead, Florida. Five acres of avocado and mango trees.. all the time we lived in this house on the hill I would save the mango and avocado seeds and lychee and others and plant them into cans and grow trees. Now I was blessed with a house to live in on a 5-acre farm of these fruits all ready producing. Homestead did not last long and I left that boyfriend.
I moved to Coconut Grove and rented an 8FT X 8FT MOSQUITO SCREENED HUT on a 1-acre property of a travel writer… He wanted a live in property gardener caretaker… I fit the request and I was back in a tropical environment like Kauai, Here I lived, listening to the nightlife, the sweet fragrances of frangipani, gardenia, night blooming jasmine in my screened-in hut… I wrote my next children’s book in one month called THE MESSAGE OF THE WHITE UNICORN… The owner of the property was hosting a garden party for a coconut grove, restaurant-er who owned a hotel in Jamaica… My landlord knew I was an artist and asked me to paint two big metal 10 x 10 ft garage doors… After researching the materials, I did it.. wonderful tropical plants and lagoons and ponds all around me inspired me… Turns out the Hotel owner, like it so much he ASKED me to come to Jamaica and do large 10ft x 10ft mural in the lobby of his Hotel, SO AGAIN I was off and traveling…
I lived in Jamaica, WI for a few months painting and then he gave me another area 8ft x 4ft painting of a market scene. After those jobs, I was tired and wanted to come back to America, so I did. Back to Coconut Grove, I found another hut in a friend’s back yard.
After the winter had passed. My Jamaica experience was not complete, so I went back not knowing what I was going to do and. I met an interior designer and he led me to several people and immediately was commissioned by a restaurateur in Montego bay, did two watercolors, Then he had more ideas and took me to Plantation inn in Ocho Rios.. the interior designer said “wait I want to show the owners your work” He took my portfolio and while I was waiting I opened the sliding glass doors to the 2nd floor balcony, IMMEDIATELY started to draw, he came back and said they want you and want you to do 12 paintings.. So for three months I lived at Plantation Inn property and painted local scenes… towards the end of my trip.
The same family-owned Couples Resort and they said they wanted me to go to their hotel, So I did.. a private apartment on the hill was my home for another few months.. after completing the series as well as oil paintings for the bar, I was walking up the hill to the hotel to deliver the watercolors and the INTERIOR DESIGNER was coming down in his car. He asked me what I was going to do next? I said, “Whatever God has planned for me and wants me to do” He said ok, and told me he rented a house near to Plantation Inn property and He had a gallery on their property. He told me I could live.in the house… That night I went to the house.. he had guests from Manhattan… (lol) I slept in the broom closet (felt and looked like it) IN the MORNING I went to see his guests and spoke to one of his guests and said, I want a one-woman show in “his gallery” in the morning the Interior Designer came to see us all as his guests were leaving and turns to me and said “How would you like to have a one-woman show in my gallery ?” I smiled and said yes and thank you and then I looked to heaven and said THANK YOU GOD. So for the next few months, I worked hard getting my paintings together for the show which was a success.
I came back to COCONUT GROVE and once again let Holy spirit guide me.
A few months later, I was asked to go live on a FINCA in Costa Rica, so for 5 months living in a house on stiltls no running water and no indoor plumbing, creating from nature, walking to waterfalls, riding horses, A NEW different environment different people all good Finally one day as I was sitting on the beach by myself (filled with sharks not too far offshore) God said to me “Its time to go back to America and be found” I called a friend and he said “I have been meditating for three days to have you come home and live in my house”.
So back to Coconut Grove I flew. Trying to figure out how I was going to make money, setting up displays at street markets, an artist friend who owned a sailboat in St Thomas invited me to go sailing… I flew to St Thomas and joined him for two weeks, painting, seeing, absorbing becoming one with the beautiful Caribbean colors… we sailed all around the US AND BVI Islands and one day sail into Tortola. I met a lady who owned a restaurant and she saw my paintings. She told me to contact her sister an interior designer in Manhattan.. after two weeks sailing around, I left my friend and his ship and contacted the designer.
She loved my work and commissioned me to paint 2- 6ft x 10-ft oils for Peter Island Resort on Peter Island. When they were done she asked me to create oil paintings for Caneel Bay on St Johns and then she said I have a hotel on ST Croix with 300 rooms, I said God I can’t do this, I don’t want to live on the island painting 300 paintings, so I sent the designer 4 photos of paintings I had created and she PICKED 2 and that was the beginning of me becoming a self-published artist. Posters were something I started to publish and sell retail, wholesale all over the world directly to hotels and designs, contract framers and more hundreds of hotels still have my poster prints on there hotel walls and hallways.
I have so so many stories and connections, I need to write a book. With artwork paintings inserted of my experiences.
St. Johns, St. Croix, Antiqua, Puerto Rico, Key West, Mexico all of Central America, Columbia, Kauai, Eleuthera, Nassau, Paradise Island, St. Marten, Tortola, Jamaica, Maui, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Anguilla, Barbados, Trinidad, Tobago, Guadalupe, Taveuni-Fiji, Bega-Fiji Oahu, England, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Amsterdam, Germany, Italy, France, Sicily, Corfu, Hawaii, Montenegro, Dubrovnik, Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti, Raiatea, Rangiora, and Nuku Hiva, Singapore and Bali all inspired and continue to inspire ideas for new works.
The Truth and Beauty of these places is overwhelming and feeds Eileen’s artistic soul.
I love to paint with my oil paints on large-sized canvas. My intention is to bring the viewer INTO the paintings, feeling the life force that nature so abundantly shares with me. This is where the artist steps out and the magic between the viewer and his /her inner self occurs. This is what I am thankful for, to be a vehicle for. To make the connection for the individual to his SELF so that he too can witness the power of Spirit through the Gift I have been given to share.
In 2008, I stated my hand painted sarong business and designed clothing for ladies as well as pillows and design 100% wool rugs.
In 2010-2014, I was the artist in residence on these cruise ships, Holland America, many Rccl, Oceania Cruise lines. I went for one month through Panama canal and central America, seven days to Hawaiian islands back to Vancouver Island, two times two weeks to Alaska, seven weeks in Europe, Portugal, Spain Cote d’azur Italy and up to Montenegro and back around the Mediterranean and then, five weeks crossing the south pacific from Chile to French Polynesia, Easter Island and more. Teaching Guests how to see and draw and mix watercolors.
2015-2016, I was the Artist for the Miami Dade Boys and Girls clubs (4 different clubs) teaching the 4th graders, how to see and draw and mix watercolors. It was great fun and found many talented children there.
Starting back in key west even to today, my posters and prints are collected and sort after and hang in many hospitals, hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise ships, doctor’s offices, galleries, restaurants movies, movie sets and more.
My inspiration is endless, and ideas and visions come often commissions on my drawing table, commissions in the wing, I am pleasing my mom, I am “Being an Artist”
Right now I am with a woman in Miami, Fl Renee Molinas are planning for the following 8 Day Art Workshop on the Maderas Private Rainforest Reserve in Costa Rica with Nationally and Internationally recognized Professional artist Eileen Seitz
“The Harmonics of Watercolor Painting with Eileen Seitz”
Learn how to see, draw and paint using watercolors. Eileen will teach you how to mix colors to express your inner feelings while you draw from the beautiful rain forest environment. Seeing sacred geometry and understand color mixing brings feelings of health and well being.
Cost per student $1250.00, Includes group airfare from Miami, Fl Ground transportation in Costa Rica, accommodations, meals, hike, discussion, Day trip to Tortugero National Park and basic art materials provided by Eileen.
18 years and older and have previous art experience
We will work on location. Students bring a camera/iPad/ phone to work from When not working on location. Bring colorful photographs of things that inspire You to draw and paint. Please do not copy from other artists drawing or paintings.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road I travel and traveled is always filled with “keeping eyes open and follow my intuition” follow my heart, I have learned that I came to earth to work with people and to be fair. I don’t have an obstacles. I see no limitations or blockages. If something doesn’t work, I go a different way. There have been times when I was guided away from people who were “soulless”, had no “HEART” could not hear me, but 98% of my artistic life has always worked out for the benefit of all…
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My company is about “quality” I have been blessed to know how to draw, I can do people, landscapes, architecture, animals, water, skies, I am able to draw anything that inspires me.
The materials I use for my artwork of highest quality as is my presentation and products I sell. I make sure that if I would buy it, then I will sell it… If I am not happy with anything I do not continue. This has made me very peaceful and my customer base of 40 years is strong.
Over the years when I find my team, framers, printers, molding manufactures, I keep them close and buy and hire them to do what I need. Many of my business relationships last for 2-3 decades, They end because their company closes or, retires and they pass on. I keep going as I am the creator…
What sets me apart is that not only do I care but I get in there and talk to my clients. I let them get involved with designing and explaining what they are looking for and I have been blessed with the insight to see and feel and know how to get what they want.
My prices are always fair and honest and thats why my clients always want to add to their collection of my works. 30 years go by and clients return for more paintings. To see what I am doing now, whether it is my fabrics or my rugs. I call myself an Artistic environmentalist who wants to bring the beauty of Mother nature into people’s homes through line, form and colors. I paint with an etheric spiritual light that opens people’s hearts and feelings. Freeing them to be young and carefree…
My timing is always quick and respectful.. this is what sets me apart. I have both my right and left hemisphere working. I run the business as well as design and create the paintings. People love this about me and often tell me… “It’s always easy working with you Eileen, I trust you.”
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment happens every time, a viewer is in the presence of my paintings and I hear them say
“I can breathe.”
“I feel so much joy.”
This is what I am thankful for, to be a vehicle for. to make the connection for the individual to his SELF so that he too can witness the power of spirit through the GOD Gift I have been given to share.
I love to paint with my oil paints on large-sized canvas. My intention is to bring the viewer INTO the paintings, feeling the life force that nature so abundantly shares with me. This is where the artist steps out and the magic between the viewer and his /her inner self occurs.
- Handmounted Art Cards with envelopes retail price is $3.50 each
- 8″ x 10″ matted miniprints $15.00 each
- I have 5 jigsaw puzzles on my website $24.00-$26.00 each
- Hand Painted fabrics, $90,00 each
- Hand Painted washable zippered covered pillows $65.00 each
- limited editions giclees starting at $60 each for the paper print only
- 16″ x 20″ matted giclees all archival materials $70.00 each
- Website: https://eileenseitz.com
- Phone: 305-443-1416 studio call number no text
- Email: EILEEN@EILEENSEITZ.COM