Prolific Milton artist continues to create

Milton artist Pamella Bounds-Seemans’ work is being featured at The Back Porch Café in Rehoboth Beach through November.

The 68-year-old works in bright, colorful mixed media and has an immediately recognizable style.

“I use watercolors, acrylics, a lot of puffy paint for texture,” she said. “Found objects, old jewelry, people send me things. I get old frames at flea markets.”

Her artwork is ubiquitous in coastal Delaware, seen in homes and businesses. Her presence is like her artwork – bright, colorful and recognizable.

“They shout out at me when I walk by the fire hall,” she laughed. Bounds-Seemans has a very self-aware sense of humor.

Pam, as she's known to friends and family, grew up in Milton. Her mother, Marguerite, was a second-grade teacher and artistic, playing piano and drawing with chalk. Her father, James, was a farmer and someone she looked up to.

After graduating as one of the last classes of Milton High School, Bounds-Seemans chose to study fine art at the University of New Mexico’s Highland University and earned her Master of Arts degree before returning to Delaware.

“I wanted to go far away,” she said. “It was my adventurous thing.”

After coming back to Delaware, Bounds-Seemans lived in Lewes at first and “got an article in the paper for being the purple-haired artist lady.” She also taught school for six years.

“My mother wanted me to be a school teacher; nobody wants their child to be an artist,” she joked.

She soon met her future husband, landscape architect Jeffrey Seemans, at an art show.

“He was very conservative, and he saw me with my purple hair and he wanted to meet me,” she said. “It was an opposites-attract kind of thing at first, but he’s a very good artist too.”

They were engaged within six months and married shortly thereafter. The couple had three children, a girl and twin boys. All are now successful adults.

Throughout her decades-long career, Bounds-Seemans has created hundreds of works of art and sold them all over the world. Her art is owned by Australians, Belgians, Germans and Japanese, former Gov. Jack Markell, sporting goods mogul Howard Head and a former director of the television hit “ER.”

“When I sold it to her I was so excited it was going to be in Hollywood, but she told me she was going to put it in her cabin in New Hampshire. I said, ‘Well, does George Clooney ever go there?’” she said, joking again. “I did sell a painting on the operating table one time, too. Before he put me under he said he wanted one and I said, ‘Oh good, when?’ and passed out.”

Bounds-Seemans’ art is affordable, usually priced between $100 and $500.

“People have criticized me for being inexpensive, but I love selling to people of all walks of life. I was just as excited about selling to my first redneck as I was to my first millionaire,” she said. “If your car broke down in rural Kent County you might find a painting of mine in a farmhouse; a friend of mine went to Australia and found a painting of mine in a house there.”

Bounds-Seemans inspirations as an artist include her mother, her high school and college art teachers and artist Franz Hals.

“Most people like Rembrandt, I like Hals,” she said. “He drew portraits of happy people at bars, people in asylums who were happy. I like doing portraits of regular people.”

Despite being such a forward-thinking artist, Bounds-Seemans has never been technologically inclined. She has a cell phone – a Jitterbug – that she answers sporadically.

“People laugh at [the Jitterbug], but I think the sculpting is beautiful,” she said. “I’m a Luddite. I never liked math or technology.”

Though Bounds-Seemans has painted within a variety of themes - domesticity, fantasy, nature - the collection featured at The Back Porch is unique in that it features local scenes like Funland, Dewey Beach and Candy Kitchen, and summer-themed pieces.

The Back Porch Café, nestled in at 59 Rehoboth Ave., is open from 11 a.m. through dinner hours every day but Wednesday.  Bounds-Seemans’ work can be viewed and bought there any time during business hours. Contact her at 302-684-8642.