Cheryl Ann Russell
At the core of my being, I am in love with humanity.
As an avid lifelong learner, I love discovering new ideas and techniques. Each time I push myself and my art outside of my comfort zone, I find exciting new spaces and ways in which to express myself. I’m always seeking that perfect artistic space between consistency and bold exploration.
At the core of my being, I am in love with humanity. But as is typical, it is a tempestuous relationship. I’m an activist, a lover of beautiful forms, a student of symbolism, and an observer of nuances. The human face, in particular, inspires me with all of the ways in which it can reflect our worlds, internal and external. Those faces reflect our dreams, fears, hopes, and love. They reveal both the best that we can be along with the demons from which we hide.
I was given my first camera at age 7 and I quickly discovered the joy of creating. My journey in art has taken me into photography, ceramics, sculpture, digital design, drawing and painting. For the past 25+ years I’ve made my living as a graphic and web designer but painting is central to my fine art practice. The studio is my refuge and my addiction; the place where I return for the sheer thrill of seeing “life” happen within the paint.
Working mostly in oils on canvas, I commonly challenge the typical boundaries of scale, pushing right to the edge of the canvas and beyond. I get excited exploring the curves, edges, similarities and the extraordinary differences between the human form and all other forms in the natural world. I use a range of techniques to enhance the overall experience with the subject, like exploiting the textural qualities of impasto marks that reveal an even deeper sense of topography across the surface. Each landscape, whether a face, body, or forest, carries a story… Stories of life: love, loss, joy and pain. To honor this relationship between me, the art, and the viewer, I include a hidden symbol in each painting.
Having been heavily influenced by intelligent, caring, and powerful women in my life, I am inspired to be a voice of justice and equality. I want to see the things that we keep hidden. Are we hiding our light? Or are we hiding our darkness? What masks do we wear and what happens when we are naked to the light? Do we hide our vulnerabilities, or do we brazenly bare them, perhaps hoping we can frighten others away before they can harm us? The intent of my art is to inspire the viewer to find something that stirs a deeper place of emotion, to seek familiarity or connection.