Colorado based artist, Tania Rouser, has been a self taught painter since 2003. Originally a teacher of English as a second language and a translator, art was Tania’s hobby and passion. She discovered healing powers in art after a life altering biking accident that left her paralyzed in 2006. This near death experience helped Tania to redefine her spirituality, come to Christian faith, and rediscover her love for painting. In 2008, she started teaching art and soon became a full time artist.
Tania’s move from Ukraine to Colorado in 2020 allowed her to explore the breathtaking beauty of the High Rockies and extend the range of her talent even further. Her landscape paintings showcase Colorado’s mountain passes and iconic views recognized by locals. Her use of story telling helps the viewer to identify with the artwork and the artist.
The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.
Thought Process and Painting Process
Prior to 2022, the single most distinctive aspect to what I did as a plein air painter lied in my ability to translate what a three dimensional scene told me to a two dimensional image by means of colors, shapes, and brushwork.
In 2022 I was still trying to work by the same algorithm, but it felt incomplete. It took me a lot of introspection before I realized what was lacking in my process. My approach to painting was mainly that of a typical impressionist: take some photos, make a sketch, make a study or two on location, create a studio piece based on the previous steps.
On February 24, 2022, my inner world went black. I didn’t feel like there were thousands of miles between my home in Summit County, Colorado and my home in Ukraine. The war was raging in my brain.
I was afraid of the news, I was afraid of no news, and most of all I was afraid to not hear a voice on the other end of the phone line when I called my mom, my sister or a friend of mine. A lot of relatives in Russia disappeared from my radar. A lot of people I never knew before took their place.
I started 2023 with a series of experiments with texture. Rich texture is something I always loved and somehow wasn’t doing much of it in my art practice. Texture helps me to add emotions, feelings, interest and excitement to my art. Here is what I wrote on my Instagram when the idea finally was shaped in my mind: “I’ve been trying to depict the beauty around me. I painted outdoors, took tons of fotos. And then something changed inside of me and I just couldn’t make another piece. Maybe it’s because of war in my beloved Ukraine, and all the tears. Maybe it’s just because I needed to move on from a style that wasn’t my own… anyhow, this is where I am and I’m glad I started new year with a new (and also old forgotten) style.”
My current list of materials is enriched by various texture pastes, gels, and other mediums. I am adding collage and other techniques to my compositions, leaving expressionism in favor of a more expressive style. I plan to use paintings supports 30 and more inches on a smaller side. When a stack of smaller canvases and boards turns into paintings, small size paintings for me become a history, or just a warm up exercise.
My subject matter is not just nature, be it is a traditional landscape, a still life or a portrait. Painting is a way for me to witness and evaluate my emotional processes. I want to tell the viewer about my experiences and feelings evoked by a scene or a historical event. This is why I cannot possibly stick to one subject matter, and in my portfolio you will see a variety of themes united by my handwriting.
Five months into the war, together with my fellow artists from Ukraine who are scattered around the world, I participated in an exhibition In Ukraine/Out of Ukraine, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Prior to this we shared how we were coping with new realities of life in time of war. Painting is my way to heal emotional wounds, to deal with stress, to find a quiet place, and to dissolve in a process.
I can start crying for seemingly no reason. It was hard to talk about war in February. It still is. This is why I will be painting about my experience.
If you scroll my Instagram, you will see a festive landscape with Christmas lights, or a scene with a snowbound cabin. It is my way to escape feelings of depression, sadness and pain. This is also my response to the war…
I have diverse experience and success in arts management, marketing, events coordination, art teaching and art making. Having participated in organizing exhibits, art shows, concerts, and art events—I strive to promote greater understanding, and appreciation of arts and culture among people with different abilities.
2023 Group Exhibition, Georgetown Plein Air 2023, Georgetown Heritage Center, Georgetown, Colorado, USA
2023 Group Exhibition, Town of Superior Plein Air Exhibition, Superior Community Center, Superior, Colorado, USA
2022 Group Exhibition, Art Ability, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA
2022 Group Exhibition, Women in Art, Las Laguna Art Gallery, On Site Exhibition
2022 Group Exhibition, In Ukraine/Out of Ukraine, ZRC Atrium, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2018 Group Exhibition, Animal Portrait, Lutsk Zoo, Lutsk, Ukraine
2016-2020 Group Exhibitions, Yearly End of Semester Group Exhibition, Volyn Regional Youth Library, Lutsk Ukraine
2016 Group Exhibition, Open Hearts, Adrenalin City cultural and entertainment center, Lutsk, Ukraine
2015 Personal Exhibition, Incredible Lutsk, Volyn Regional Youth Library, Lutsk Ukraine
2010-2013 Yearly Group Exhibition, Other Children, Volyn Regional Youth Library, Lutsk, Ukraine
2005 Group Exhibition, Maliovnycha Ukraina/Picturesque Ukraine, Showroom “House of Artists”, Mykolaiv, Ukraine
Fine Artist, Self-employed; 2003-Present
I am a self taught artist, crafter, art teacher, and artist coach. Starting from 2005, I have participated in exhibitions, plein airs, art events, seminars, and workshops. I currently use social media marketing to develop my art business, and I engage in other art related activities online and offline. I participated in Republican exhibition “Maliovnycha Ukraina” / “Picturesque Ukraine” in Mykolaiv, Ukraine in 2005.
Artist Coach, Art Studio Co-Founder and Director, Art4You Studio; Lutsk, Ukraine — 2016-2020
This work involved art studio administrative work, non-profit management, fundraising, and social media marketing. I also organized exhibitions, auctions, workshops, seminars, and art classes for groups of students with different abilities. Additionally, I provided consultation to freelance painters, artists, and crafters. Finally, I produced art video tutorials. In 2016, I and two of my friends who have children with disabilities created the Art4You studio. Together with four other people whose lives are affected by a disability, we turned the studio into a non governmental organization Art4You in 2019. We helped painters with different abilities to develop their art careers and build their art business endeavors.
Event Coordinator, Various Groups & Organizations; 2010-2020
– Organized thematic and end of semester exhibitions of art made by students and teachers of the Art4You Studio (2016-2020)
– Held art and painting workshops, master classes, plein airs, and seminars (2015-2020)
– Coordinated “Open Hearts 2016” concert, exhibition, and charity auction of art made by people with disabilities on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (12.03.1016)
– Responsible for design, decor, installations, and art program at summer camps for people with disabilities (2014-2019)
– Participated in the yearly charity fundraising project “Other Children” in cooperation with Lutsk city artisans, photographers, activists, and volunteers. Organized concerts, exhibitions, and auctions for orphaned children from Lutsk Children’s Home (2010-2013)
Art Teacher, Self-employed; Lutsk, Ukraine — 2008-2016
I started giving private art lessons at my home studio, until I rented a studio and started working there with other like minded creatives, designers, and artists. I began my teaching career as a teacher of English, and after a life altering event in 2006, when I became permanently disabled, I switched to fine art.
Volunteering Work; Lutsk, Ukraine — 2008-2020
I volunteered as an event coordinator for Open Hearts charity fundraising project helping orphaned children; as an arts and crafts teacher in summer retreats for people with disabilities; as an art teacher for art therapy program for people with disabilities at the Agape Rehabilitation Centre; as an art business coach for mothers of children with special needs at the Art4You Studio; promoted adoption programs through art at the Happy Tail shelter.
All-Ukrainian Youth Plein Air Maliovnycha Ukraina/Picturesque Ukraine; Mykolaiv, Ukraine — 2005
On August 15 to 28, 2005, I participated in the annual All-Ukrainian Youth Plein Air Maliovnycha Ukraina, organized by Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine and Krimea, Kyiv and Sevastopol state administrations. I was selected as one of 28 young painters each representing one region of Ukraine plus representatives from Kyiv, Sevastopol and Krimea. We were learning mastery from Honored Artist of Ukraine Oleg Prykodko, and Mykola Iolop, a painter from Zaporizhzhia. Every day we had at least one plain air painting session with a discussion and feedback from our teachers and our peers in the afternoon. We went on multiple trips to the most picturesque places in Mykolaiv Oblast. Our group visited Ochakiv, the Kinburn Spit, ‘Olvia’, a national historical and archaeological conservation area, national park ‘Bugski Guard’, and the city of Mykolaiv. The plein air was followed up by a group exhibition of all the participants in the Showroom “House of Artists”. This experience paved my future path to plein air painting and fine arts.
Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University, Lutsk, Ukraine — Master’s Degree, 1997 – 2002
I studied at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, (majoring in English language and literature), and acquired the qualification of philologist, teacher of English language and literature and French language.
Lundheim Folkehøgskole, Moi, Norway — Certificate of Completion, 2012 – 2013
I majored in Sport and Media, with emphasis on media production: video production, interview, video editing, Youtube, podcast, blogging, photography.
Numerous workshops, seminars and education in all aspects of art business and administration.