by Elizabeth Knies
eantime, he continues to draw, paint, and make collages. In one part of the basement, amid an amazing clutter of photographs cut from magazines, pinned-up drawings, paints and colored pens, Russ's newest large painting reposes on an easel.

Although the painting is abstract, creatures materialize out of its depths, and there are vestiges of the human form. Some patterns of cells and muscle fibers have found their way into the work, as a result of Russ's study of anatomy and physiology. His special style, inspired by Miro and Gorky, is rooted in organic form and has a distinctly humorous touch.

"To me, creativity is being able to use all the different parts of your brain. Everyone sees thin differently, and this stimulates the imagination - something, of course, that is not limited to 'artists.' Every person has the ability to be creative."

As I write this, for some reason a poem come to mind. It's called "The Right Thing," and it contains this verse:

God bless the roots!
Body and soul are one!
The small become the great
the great the small;
The right thing happens
to the happy man

(From Re:Ports, 1984)
Russ is one of those rare people who are able to put creative expression into every area of life. A veteran of twenty years as a heavy construction worker and an equal number as a practicing artist, he is happy now to be in business for himself and to have time for making art as well. His interest in holistic health, which began with a study of yoga under Ron Hayes, has blossomed into a practice that permits him to use all that he has learned about various massage techniques and related health matters. Workshops with Chuck Spezzano, followed by courses at Interface, opened the doors to employment in this new field. ...