For many years Russell's work was astronomical in theme, yet has evolved into singular episodic fragments of his observations of the natural and man made world. They relate seemingly small yet momentous moments: wandering mountains, climbing rocks and trees, treks down backroads of bucolic ranch lands, or journeys to extraordinary spots along the coast and wilderness areas.
Drawing begins with direct, intimate exploration of the landscape and making on-site field notes in personal sketchbooks. The resulting observations are then translated onto globes, books or single drawings, some containing text, often a hybrid of rant and prose, worked directly into the drawn landscape. The text sometimes refers to Russell's experience with the land, trees or rocks -- other times it is found text from such sources as real estate ads or magazines, a commentary on his concern for the ever increasing degradation of the coastline.
In 2007, Russell was commissioned by the ART in Embassies Program of the U.S. Department of State to create site-specific work for the new US Embassy in Beijing, China. They asked for an array of globes to hang in an atrium of the public building. Russell created three large globes (36, 48 and 60 inches in diameter) depicting landscapes of California: the southern Sierra Nevada, the rolling hills of the coastal range, and the wild mustard that grows along the coast.
© 2010-2016, RUSSELL CROTTY