Santa Barbara

Seldon Spaulding

Esther Bear Gallery

Selden Spaulding has been painting since 1949 and previously worked in sculpture. His transfer to painting was made because he could not work color into his sculptures the way he desired, and painting was a medium in which he could explore color relationships with the greatest possible freedom.

Spaulding used subject matter as reference in his earlier work but eventually concluded that it was an obstacle to overcome and inhibited the direct contact between the painter and his painting and the viewer and the painting. His paintings are now freeflowing, moving compositions without specific forms, lines or boundaries—an exploration and seeking out of the movements of life, experience and the constant shifting of tensions, events, movements, lights and color as they relate to growth that is never fixed or definite. The paintings create many moods and range from vivid crescendos to more contemplative, quiet moments. His color dominates, and sets the tone for the mood, but it is the reading of the picture that really involves the viewer. The eye wanders searchingly and restlessly over the picture with no set, static focus to stop or inhibit it. There is no edge to consider in Spaulding’s paintings, and they are unframed because he sets no boundaries or limitations; the paintings are in the process of becoming something else. There is volume and form to explore as well, and he consciously builds up dimension by building layer upon layer of colors with space between them so that form emerges in an organic way. Most of them have a dominant color theme although some of the most vibrant and dynamic ones are of mixed color.

Harriette Von Bretton