Carolyn Seabolt is working to keep the art of tinsel painting alive.
Seabolt, who was the art department chair at Westminster High School, said that when she was in her 20s she saw a woman exhibiting the now-rare tinsel painting at a fair in Pennsylvania. She was so impressed that she learned as much as she could about the craft; gaining knowledge and skills that she now passes on to her own students in an effort to keep this “dying art” alive.
Tinsel painting was highly popular in England and France in the 1800s. It started as an artistic way for women to re-purpose foil, or tinsel, as the English called it, from teas that their husbands brought home. Tinsel painting involves painting in reverse on glass with stains and acrylic paint. Once painted, foil, or tinsel, is placed behind the transparency, giving it a glitter.
“Tinsel painting is a beautiful type of art that is not around anymore. I teach it in hopes that the craft will not die out completely” Seabolt said.
Seabolt spends her summers teaching silk scarf painting and tinsel painting at Common Ground held at McDaniel College. She also teaches watercolor classes at Carroll Community College and at her very own Cat Tracks Studio.
Beyond silk scarves and tinsel paintings, Seabolt loves to work in ceramics, printing, handmade paper, and batiks and enjoys making mosaics and jewelry. Seabolts works often have a floral or feline theme. As she is also an avid and now Master Gardener, she often uses her garden as artistic inspiration.
Seabolts work can be found illustrating the pages of two children’s books. Written by author, Jim Huckleberry, there are plans for a third book to be illustrated this year.
When describing her art and the purpose behind her works Seabolt admits that because the world is often full of negative influences, she loves to create art that will speak to people in a positive way.
“Everything involves art, from the minute you open your eyes, there is color, design and shape. I love to create art that brings a smile to people’s faces,” Seabolt said.