Artist Rose Roth works in watercolor, fabric and whatever else inspires her. She uses these sometimes-unconventional tools to create mosaics that frequently bring to mind landscapes and flowing water. As an only child, she entertained herself by always making something: perfume, pot holders, Barbie and Troll doll clothes, to name a few. This was the beginning of her creative journey. Rose received a BS in Art Education from Mansfield University in 1975 and worked in a commercial art agency during summers and vacations, which introduced her to a new, unexpected career in the world of graphic arts. She later moved to Washington DC where I worked in the advertising department of a large department store before moving back to central PA to become an art teacher for over 25 years. Now retired, she has the time to pursue her creative passions.
Being an art teacher has given Rose the opportunity to work in many different mediums, with painting and fabric arts being her most enjoyable. She also enjoys making jewelry, greeting cards, and wedding and holiday florals. Rose is constantly searching for interesting and different items to incorporate into her works, with a focus on color and texture.
Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.
My first “real job” was in the advertising department of Hecht’s Department Store in Washington, DC. After moving back to central PA, I began by teaching art at East Pennsboro Middle School. Pursuing the field of teaching was very important to me. I spent twenty-five fantastic years with middle school students before retiring in 2005.
How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?
Being an art teacher has given me the opportunity to work in many different media. My focus was to find interesting ways of inspiring my students to understand the creative process. All media are all special to me; I don’t have a favorite. Presently, I am enjoying painting and fabric arts. Sometimes I use recycled clothing to do the fabric collages. I also make jewelry and greeting cards, design wedding and holiday florals and explore whatever artistic experience my interest sparks. My main intention is to make affordable artwork that makes people happy.
Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?
Lancaster Catholic High School is my alma mater. There I became involved in every art-related activity as well as my art classes. I couldn’t imagine life without these activities. My teacher was a large influence in my career decision. Now my sketchbook is with me at all times; it’s my best friend. Along with taking photos, it’s the greatest way to remember ideas that pop up. I turn to my sketches and photographs when I am in a creative mode. Working in many different media keeps me fresh and eager to focus on a new creation. Because I do collage-type works, I am constantly searching for interesting and different items to incorporate into my works. My focus seems to be with color and texture. Traveling is one of my favorite pastimes. I believe experiencing other cultures is one of the best forms of education and inspiration. I recently traveled to Greece and Turkey.
What would be your advice for artists just starting out in your medium?
Plain and simple: “To create is to live; be creative.”