Stephenson Showcase: Mark Rouse’s “Snow Globe”

Stephenson Showcase: Mark Rouse’s “Snow Globe”

Remember waking up on a cold December morning and peeking out your window as a child, and to your delight, a perfect blanket of white snow has completely enveloped your little landscape. Seamless, you have trouble telling apart bushes near the sidewalk and the neighbor’s car, or on the farm, the hard edges of the tractor have become soft, squishy – perfect for bouncing. “Snow changes the outlook on things” and that is something that intrigues Mark Rouse. 

Mark Rouse, in a seasonal mood

Mark loves the snow and the visual changes it creates. The effect on textures, colors, and seemingly the physicality of objects inspires him to create. “I was in college during the blizzard of ’78 and I remember what that was like – when the snow was coming down and you couldn’t see much of anything.” This concept inspired a small series called “Blizzards 1, 2, 3” which will be featured in this exhibit, which is a new style for Mark;  he will be removing his digital elements and focusing solely on acrylics. “This is going to be a different way of looking at [my art for] people who know my work. [Like the blizzard of ‘78, these paintings will be] almost entirely white and the images are going to be texture. The texture will give a clue as to what they are a picture of.”

Making his own impasto paste, he will create a completely white painting, rich with texture. Then using different shades of white and a little sparkle, he will do an acrylic pour from top to bottom, to give the air of snow coming down. Acrylic pouring is also new to Mark, having only experimented one other time with smooth and circular surfaces. “I’m anxious to see how this works. I’m going to play a bit with glitter to see what it does – but I’m guessing it will enhance the image.”

While these new artistic experiments will be featured in his exhibit, Mark’s signature mixed media style will still be included. A digital painting/mixed media method was his solution to continue creating while he was declared legally blind. When his vision recovered after years of specialty care, Mark made a point to change his creative focus. “Instead of aiming mostly for things that people hadn’t seen before, I want people to see what I love. The mixed media that I do allows me to do that relatively quickly.” 

Most importantly, Mark wants his exhibit to be fun – taking us back to looking at things differently, covered in a magical layer of snow. Come look through “Snow Globe” and see what Mark loves, in a winter wonderland of art.

See the full exhibit “Snow Globe” in the Stephenson House Wednesday-Friday 12-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Meet Mark at his free public reception on Saturday, December 17 from 2-5 p.m. in the Stephenson House on Nickel Plate Arts campus.  

Les Reinhardt
lreinhardt@nickelplatearts.org