Meet Roger Bansemer
Roger Bansemer is a prolific artist, author and co-host of the popular PBS series, “Painting and Travel with Roger and Sarah Bansemer”. Over the years, Roger’s art has shifted from abstract works to representational paintings of landscapes, beachscapes, wildlife and more. His travel painting adventures have brought him up in the air as a hot air balloon pilot, and well below ground at the site of the Titanic shipwreck.
We got the chance to speak with Roger Bansemer about his art and the role artists have on the culture and community of St. Augustine.
Tell me about your artistic style and process. What goes into making a piece when you are painting “en plein air”?
I don’t think about style or process when I’m painting, except when we’re filming an episode of “Painting and Travel with Roger and Sarah Bansemer” for PBS. Then, I verbalize the process for the viewers. I guess you’d call the style of my painting realism, but I’ve never been good at putting labels on paintings. It’s sort of like a person’s handwriting, it is what it is and doesn’t necessarily need to be defined.
I have been involved in art since I was very young. In sixth grade, I began painting signs for local stores and displaying my paintings where I could. Sign painting continued through college to help with expenses during my studies at art school. After graduation, I was able to support myself solely through my fine art sales.
What themes do you pursue?
My books include hundreds of paintings and drawings of the subjects I wrote about. For instance, my two books on lighthouses include paintings of each lighthouse featured. So, you might say those were themes. But after a project was completed, I would move on to something else. I don’t pursue any particular theme, simply painting what interests me at the time, so my subjects are very diverse.
What role do artists have in shaping the St. Augustine community?
There’s a strong community of people who love to paint here in St. Augustine, and I think the best role of the artists is to support one another. It helps when you know others out there have the same interests. Personally, I’ve painted many of the boats, shorelines, street scenes and historic places in our town. I guess those paintings someday will be historic in themselves as the town changes.
How has St. Augustine changed for the better over the last 10 years, particularly in the realm of arts and culture?
I’ve seen an upsurge in those who enjoy painting on location. We live in a charming city with so many wonderful subjects to work from.
Where can your work be found on display or for purchase?
www.Bansemer.com is the web gallery where you can view hundreds of available paintings.