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88-Year-Old Artist Ends Year of Pandemic ‘Daily Doodles’ | Entertainment




WESTMORELAND, NH (AP) Much like the round clock dials, gears and planets that often populate his artwork, Robert Seaman has come full circle.

Seaman, 88, has been drawing from a young age and, at age 60, left a career in real estate to pursue his professional hobby. But it took the coronavirus pandemic to fully bring him back to his passion.

As a child, I continued to oscillate between being lonely and being outgoing, he said. But in my introverted phase, I would love to go up to my room where I had some sort of drawing board and spend hours up there drawing pictures. This is what I am doing now.

Tuesday marks a year since Seaman began producing daily scribbles from his tiny one-room apartment at Maplewood Assisted Living in Westmoreland, New Hampshire. He spends around six hours a day working on his intricate and whimsical illustrations, starting with pencil sketches and ending in ink, colored pencil and watercolors.

After a long life, I’m back to do what I did when I was 11, he says. And it’s awesome, I love it. I’m so lucky to be able to do this.

Seaman moved to Maplewood just two weeks before pandemic restrictions cut residents off from the outside world. For many months, they could not leave their rooms. It wasn’t until last week that they were allowed to interact in hallways and other common areas without masks.

The first thought I had was to just do some sort of dark thing that reflected the nature of the lockdown we were going through and the hardships created by this pandemic, he said. Then it started to grow, and I thought it would be interesting to do one a day.

He started sending the doodles to his daughter, Robin Hayes, as well as other friends and family. Hayes then shared them on Facebook and, as interest grew, began offering the originals and prints for sale on, with half of the proceeds going to charity, including a COVID-19 relief fund, a homeless shelter and an organization that helps refugees.

Over the days, the art of sailors has become a bit more brilliant in terms of theme and appearance.

Some pieces show his fascination with science fiction, while others feature fanciful animals or devious humor # 131, Portraits of a Shy Family, features framed paintings of the backs of heads. Robots carrying purple flags cross the page. Blackbirds burst out of a pie. A wavy brain is sandwiched between two hamburger buns. A beloved cat, Piper, appears in all manner of scenes.

Seaman, who has been fully vaccinated since January, says hell will probably kick in before he runs out of ideas.

Maybe I’m watching something on TV, and someone will have a picture on the wall that will give me an idea. Or things come to mind. When I fall asleep at night, for a few minutes, I try to think of new ideas, he says. When I’m stuck I’ll start drawing an object and its word association. I’m going to draw a hand, and all of a sudden it suggests something else, so it grows from there.

Craig and Sandra Fox, of Deerfield, bought Doodles # 13, 271 and 274 after hearing about Seaman on the radio and being added to his daily mailing list.

During the pandemic, much of our normal ability to go out and have contact with people was diminished, so being able to get an exit or something that is not a publicity flyer or newsletter. information on a daily basis was cool, said Craig Fox. I collect books from people I know. If someone I know writes a book, I buy it and ask for an autograph … and watching the doodles go by, I started to feel like I knew him.

Sandra Fox, who once looked at a painting in a museum for so long that a guard teased her about the gasket’s casing, said she liked everything there was to see in Seamans’ drawings.

They are who they are to me, I have the same feelings, but I see more each time, she says. I could watch them for half an hour and see a lot, a lot of things. I’ll grab another color or something in a corner that I’ve never even noticed before.

Doodle # 365, titled Potpourri features the Earth silhouetted behind a jumble of objects that include the aforementioned cat, a wind-up bird Seaman keeps on his desk, a horse, and a man wearing an aviator cap and glasses . It is framed by a series of shapes that evoke calligraphy but are not real letters. Although he achieved his goal of one year of daily doodles, Seaman said he had no plans to stop.

It’s selfish. It keeps me busy and I love doing it, but it also helps other people, which is pretty cool, he said. Maybe I’ll be so fragile that I can’t do anything, but as long as I can, I will.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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