El Dorado Hills-based Artist Seth Couture
Dec 30, 2016 11:06AM
● By David Norby
HLB: What does your focus on the female form represent?
SC: Because many collectors feel an emotional connection to the art on their walls, I want to avoid creating a character that can be unwelcome or even “creepy” (unless this is my intention). For these reasons, and because I paint with docile emotions, a female subject often manifests in my work organically. Painting a dancer is an artist painting an artist; I like this duality. I have trouble explaining my art speaking on behalf of the female subject, because I have Asperger’s (a spectrum of autism), which is partly responsible for my repetition of these themes and the same reason Andy Warhol couldn’t stop painting soup cans.
HLB: What magic does San Francisco have for you?
SC: Buildings, roads and concrete are typically ugly intrusions in our otherwise pristine and natural landscape. The irregular shapes of the city translate well onto a flat canvas, creating depth, focal points and charisma with unique components—from the cable cars and old buildings to the very steep hills. Again, I am compelled to repeat this theme for reasons I can’t exactly explain.
HLB: What else inspires you?
SC: I get inspired every day, arbitrarily and often unexpectedly. It only becomes artwork if I feel I can express that source of inspiration to others, which in my opinion is very limited. Why something inspires me is subconscious and unknown to me.
HLB: Any words of wisdom for artists just beginning?
SC: Art can be a simple conversation piece or it can evoke powerful emotion and attachment, trigger memories and nostalgia, or make a powerful statement. This can sometimes be a hit-or-miss process. If you want a powerful response from the viewer, your artwork must tell a story.
HLB: Will sculpting be in your future?
SC: In my late thirties, I touched clay for the first time and can honestly say I was a master very quickly, with a short learning curve. I would really like to learn metalwork sculpting—focusing on abstract shapes inspired by animal bones and shells. I haven’t made much progress, because I need the funds to build the studio, but hopefully I can get started soon.