Hit-and-run leads artist to auction works

       Westside artist Douglas Rouse's only vehicle got totalled Feb. 21 in a hit-and-run.

With the damage to the left rear fender visible in the background (thanks to the hit-and-run), Douglas Rouse sits next to his wrecked car, perhaps pondering the essential unfairness of life.
Courtesy of Douglas Rouse

       Now, to help pay off some resulting bills as well as their insurance deductible, Rouse and his wife Mallori are offering art lovers a chance to buy-and- run… or at least to walk away feeling like they got a “screaming deal,” as he put it this week.
       The live auction, to include about 25 works (including a few of Mallori's), will be at the Rouses' downtown art studio, the INKQB8TOR, 228 W. Cimarron St., at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 5.
       “Prices for our art will start ridiculously low, less than $100 for many and less than $200 for most,” he said in a widespread e-mail. “If you've ever wanted to own a Rouse original, now's the time!”
       The anonymous collision occurred sometime during the night, when Rouse's 1999 Toyota Forerunner was parked in front of his house on the south side of the 2200 block of West Colorado Avenue. A body shop has declared the vehicle totalled, and for now Doug and Mallori are gratefully borrowing a car offered by a friend.
       It was the second accident like that in a year for the Forerunner, although the first wasn't quite as damaging. That time, the errant driver eventually came back and paid about half of Rouse's $500 deductible… “and then disappeared,” he said.
       The latest hit-and-run has caused Rouse some introspection. He sees it “as a sign that it's time to turn over a new leaf,” he said in an interview. “Part of that is to sell old art, and to see everything in a fresh light.”
       In a way, the leaf is already turning, as Rouse delves into a new artistry realm he calls “speed-painting.” A video on his website shows him be-bopping to music while creating a large Valentine “I love you” painting of Mallori nonstop with his fingers. The effort was actually a performance, because it took place at a local Valentine's ball with about 450 people in attendance, he said.
       Rouse is known for artistic variety, including trick-of-the-eye works (as seen in his Page 1 painting for last year's Westside Pioneer Territory Days edition) and murals around the city (including those inside the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center).
       For his auction, the artist emphasized that even though the main purpose is to raise funds, “I'm not concerned with the amount [of each sale]. If I can speak for most artists, they paint because they want people to enjoy their art. I want it to be a fun evening, and see people walk away with screaming deals.”

Westside Pioneer article