Art is not just something J. Russell does, he lives it. One cannot converse with him for long before the conversation has moved to some aspect of art and the creative process.
After graduation from the university with classes in printmaking, sculpture, drawing and painting; J. Russell was sought after by interior designers in Chicago to create custom pieces for their corporate and residential clients. “I did many portraits and contemporary pieces commissioned by these designers".
“I take a workshop every year with an artist I admire who I believe can stretch me and teach me new ways to create, think and observe. Presently I am experimenting with creative ways of making marks using a variety of tools and using color and composition to better express the story or feeling I want the viewer to experience. During the process of painting I have discovered the technical narrative to be most important for communicating the conceptual narrative in a work of art. The conceptual is the concept or subject for a painting. The technical is how one creates, the tools and processes used to give life and form to the concept. I may use rollers, squeegees, rags, scrapers and even poured solvent over the painting knowing that each tool will yield a unique result, a mark that can't be achieved any other way. The action of the paint and the marks created gave the conceptual narrative greater impact and visual excitement".
"My inspiration comes from the people I meet, the society we live in and the experience of living as a follower of Jesus".
"One should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine painting every day of one's life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul." Goethe.