"My paintings are a composite of recollections and an evolution of the familiar," Russell adds. "The paintings have grown from landscape representation toward the portrayal of spirit and atmosphere of place. I sometimes add rain to the images, trying to convey the meditative poetry of the moment and the essence of atmosphere. In those paintings, it is intentionally unclear whether you are in the rain, looking out at the rain, or remembering it. The landscapes turned in to familiar objects."
Russell, who teaches watercolor painting at City College of San Francisco, is showcasing her work under the banner of "Recollections: Sand Pond Series & Dogwood Series" at the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center (85 Throckmorton Ave.), throughout September, with a wine reception set for the Mill Valley Arts Commission’s First Tuesday Artwalk on Sept. 12, 5:30-7:30pm.
Russell has recently started her paintings by printing abstract, textural backgrounds on plexiglass before adding the images.
"Often I make the background by doing several layers of watercolor monotype color and texture before starting the painting," says Russell, who previously helped curate the art at San Francisco International Airport. "I find that this 'jump starts' the work, throwing me into a moving process. I use gouache, gum arabic, various masks, and paint removal techniques that allow me to move freely through the work, changing my mind, and incorporating my mistakes. This activity emphasizes and facilitates the element of mystery and spirit. It is exciting, unpredictable and very much about the moment, each action and decision leading to the next."
The 411: Kay Russell showcases her work under the banner of "Recollections" at the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center (85 Throckmorton Ave.), throughout September, with a wine reception set for the Mill Valley Arts Commission’s First Tuesday Artwalk on Sept. 12, 5:30-7:30pm.