Julia Russell (Painter)
Most of my paintings begin with an emotional attachment to the place I am painting. They could be places I return to time and time again—certain meadows, paths, and coves on Martha’s Vineyard or one-time adventures out West or as far away as Kenya. That’s the feeling part.
The next part is about looking, about the intense visual focus on the scene before me. What am I really seeing? Not a pond, but a yellow streak here and a purple one there, a swoop of maroon shadow down here. It is a kind of focus that is hard to come by in a busy life, and yet when it happens, the clutter just goes away and time stops. Things go best when I can block out the competing impulse to make my paintings look exactly like the photograph I may be using. The rest is imagination, playing with colors, and letting myself take risks and make mistakes.