In the Wild

American Art Collector - - Contents -

In a solo show at Wells Gallery in South Carolina, Rus­sell Gor­don will show nearly two dozen paint­ings that rep­re­sent a full year’s worth of work. The pieces range in sub­ject from flo­rals to still lifes to avian wildlife, but all con­tain the clear ad­mi­ra­tion for na­ture that has be­come char­ac­ter­is­tic of Gor­don’s work.

Gor­don is con­stantly look­ing to flora and fauna for his sub­ject mat­ter, say­ing, “What’s out there is what I’m chas­ing... When mi­gra­tory birds re­turn af­ter win­ter or cer­tain flow­ers start to bloom, it’s like an epiphany.” He tries to bring that na­ture back into his stu­dio, car­ry­ing a sketch­book al­most ev­ery­where he goes, and set­ting up still life scenes so he can work from life.

Trea­sured is a close-up ex­am­i­na­tion of a white mag­no­lia. “It’s the great em­blem of the South, and it’s beau­ti­ful wher­ever it oc­curs,” Gor­don says of the flower. It’s con­trasted against a 23 karat gold back-

ground, and he adds, “I have been learn­ing to make frames, and be­cause of that I am learn­ing how to gild. I thought that this bur­nished gold back­ground would be a lot of fun.”

One of his re­cently com­pleted paint­ings, ti­tled The Be­holder, de­picts a pel­i­can in pro­file. “It started off in one di­rec­tion, but it com­pletely changed and ended up be­ing a por­trait, al­most,” Gor­don de­scribes. “It’s set at night, with a starry sky be­hind it. It was a lot of fun to work on, and I’d like to re­visit those themes in the fu­ture.”

Wells Gallery de­scribes, “Rus­sell Gor­don’s still life paint­ings join pre­cise re­al­ism with a pain­terly lu­mi­nos­ity, a stylis­tic com­bi­na­tion rem­i­nis­cent of Ital­ian Man­ner­ism and 19th-cen­tury Dutch and Flem­ish paint­ings, but rarely en­coun­tered in con­tem­po­rary art.” The Kiawah Is­land­based gallery will host Gor­don for a live paint­ing event on July 5 and 6 from 1 to 6 p.m. each day, where the artist will demon­strate his process in the gallery and speak to vis­i­tors about his work.

Wells Gallery 1 Sanc­tu­ary Beach Drive • Kiawah Is­land, SC 29455 • (843) 576-1290 • www.wells­



Tri­umph Tulips, oil on linen, 24 x 18" 2

The Be­holder, oil on board, 19 x 16" 3

Trea­sured, oil and 23k gold on board, 6 x 8" 4

Fish­er­man’s Library, oil on linen, 16 x 27" 5

Pur­ple Finch, oil on board, 7 x 8"


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