Meet Seth Rouser, fine artist and professor at Winthrop University. We have long admired his beautiful paintings so we couldn’t wait to learn more about him.
HCLT: Describe yourself in three words.
SR: Inquisitive, Empathetic, Reflective.
HCLT: When did you realize you were an artist?
SR: I knew that I had an ambition to become an artist beginning in high school. It was there that I was not only trained to render, but also encouraged to actively explore a creative vision. Through those early experiences I began to understand the artistic mindset. That is, seeing the world not only as it appears, but as it can be revealed anew.
HCLT: Who or what inspires you artistically?
SR: Nature is endlessly inspiring. I always find something new to explore when I look to nature. Boundless variety and elegant harmonies exist there. In counterpoint to this is my interest in human nature, which is simultaneously congruent and divergent from the natural world; the natural world being more predictably governed by the law of causality. In my latest works I explore an interaction between these two forces through juxtaposition. In them I am placing abstract marks and color elements that speak to the human condition over and against the natural forms depicted in my imagery.
HCLT: Tell us about your current body of work?
SR: Currently, I am working on a digital series that depicts flowers floating through stormy and emotive spaces. The appearance of the work is abstract and painterly. This is due to the inclusion of elements derived from monotypes, experimental drawings, paintings, and found textures, which are superimposed over the flower forms. Surprisingly, at the same time, these works have the graphic precision of photography, as all the visual materials come from digital scans and photographs.
HCLT: What do you think is the most valuable art experience in the Carolinas right now?
SR: I would say Charleston’s Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto festivals are among the largest and most diverse in the area. They exhibit original art and represent performing arts of all types to the Carolinas.
HCLT: What is your number one art piece/place/event in this area?
SR: There are so many great venues for experiencing art in the Carolinas: Artspace in Raleigh, the Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, plus all of the great university and collegiate galleries in North and South Carolina, to name a few. Having grown up in Fountain Inn, SC, I often found myself at the Greenville County Museum. It was always a great place to experience art. They have a wide range of art there, from American Impressionism to early Modern Art, to contemporary works. I especially enjoyed their Andrew Wyeth collection. I have spent many hours there studying various works by Wyeth, Jasper Johns, and others, deciphering how each image was created. It was an invaluable resource for my artistic development.
HCLT: What book is on your nightstand right now?
HCLT: Best meal in the Charlotte area?
SR: I have not visited often enough the eateries of Charlotte to develop a favorite meal. But I have heard recently that Sir Edmond Haley’s English Pub has amazing goat cheese fritters, so I may check that out soon.
HCLT: Where can we see your work?
SR: Currently, two of the cloudscape paintings from my series Hands Held to Empyrean can be seen in Anderson, SC, at the annual juried show held at the Anderson County Arts Center. Another one of my cloudscapes was featured in this year’s Artfields exhibit in Lake City, SC. My work can always be found on my website.
HCLT: What is up next?
SR: I will be starting an experimental video project depicting the beauty of water. I will begin this in the latter part of the summer. I also anticipate creating some figurative works this year.