Dawn-Angela Seeley, Artistic Director
"Once upon a time, there was a very dull girl, who chose graphic design as a career, because it was well paid.
I only knew that I didn’t want to be in an office with the same work schedule every day. And while graphic design was creative, I hated the monopolizing role that the computer played. I wanted artist’s tools, paint, brushes and canvas.
After a back injury when I was off work for nearly 2 years, I began to paint and to sell my work. I was happy, I didn’t miss the stress, the deadlines or the corporate world and decided that regardless of the pay, I was going to try and create a career in art for myself.
From Poor Starving Artist to.....
As a 'poor starving artist', I traded my BMW for a van. There were no more suits and high heels for me, instead comfortable clothes and an artist’s palette. For me, a trust in God and a creative outlet through my art were the only two constants in my life at the time. I was single, but wanted children. So I began teaching kids in a small Summer Camp. I created my own job. I began to plan how I could extend that beyond a very successful first summer.
Now I teach all year, instructing how to paint, how to plan, how to be mindful in painting. I try to share this story and be positive for teens who need an encouraging, nurturing atmosphere in which students feel safe. I teach through structured lessons and demos, facilitating the process for kids to express themselves creatively through their art.
Today, I have created a dream career, teaching children, teens and adults to pant, to love art and be mindful in their painting. For me, each day is different, and this was the original goal I set for myself. I am a working artist, living in Oakville, Ontario. I am an instructor and tour facilitator, having taught over 1300 children in my private Summer Art-On-Location, Art-After-Skool and Tuscany Getaway programs. I have travelled Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe – organizing Creative Get-Aways to Tuscany, Napa Valley, France and San Miguel, Yorkshire and Ireland, just to name a few destinations!
Relaxing, Creative, Theraputic
I maintain that painting is relaxing, it’s creative and therapeutic. It’s an outlet that can help to ground you and recharge your batteries. Art can motivate you toward life changes. Couple this with travel on the Creative Get-Away and you’ve got a serene holiday, and a cultural experience that’s productive. Participants bring home meaningful paintings and photographs from the Get-Aways that often constitute what I call “a safe passage” from one chapter of life to another.
Painting away from home is different, you can be unplugged from your day to day life, you experience different artistic breakthroughs as you paint every day instead of taking an occasional lesson. The artistic momentum gained in 2 weeks is incredible. Imagine, spending two weeks in the country, 1 1/2 hours from Florence, staying in an 18th century restored country house? Living like the locals, a slower pace of life, shopping in markets for fresh food, painting cypress treed landscapes and medieval village scenes.
Why do I tell my story?
Because I believe in dreaming and then planning a way to accomplish the dreams. And hopefully inspiring young kids to follow their dreams.