In the Wild
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.wellsgallery.com
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"