|Series by E. Russ:||By the Way||Thus Far ... Series II||Fervor||Any Given Day||Digress||Mexico||Thus Far ...||Incidentals||Nesting||Raven Haven||Antigua|
|Chair Affair||Abstracts||Landscapes||Flora & Still Life||Figurative|
Primavera series, mixed media on Arches
framed 48" x 33"
is a graduate in fine arts of the Ontario College of Art and Design, and is the founder, owner and curator of Gallery 888. She is an active artist who works mainly in watercolour and acrylic. She established Gallery 888 in 1999 to fill a perceived need for additional venues for artists of merit who were at the early stages of their career, who did not have gallery representation. In her own words:
Caledon Barn, WC on Arches
framed 27" x 19"
In the world of art, watercolours are my first love. Their transparency, moodiness and ability to render soft and subtle hues draw me in and my tendency is to paint realistic landscapes outdoors on site. When I want to create large paintings, particularly dramatic abstracts, I paint with acrylics but when I want delicate scenes, I use watercolours.
In my abstracts, I attempt to reinforce for the viewer an appreciation of the world we live in. There is an obvious link between our treatment of the environment and the massive destruction of our delicate ecosystem and this is causing extinction of species that will soon make our planet the best of all possible worlds for the rat, the cockroach and the dandelion. I often explore such issues in an attempt to reinforce a growing concern for the decay of our natural surroundings. In my abstract paintings and collages I confront this decline, the consequences of which are ultimately to be contended with by generations to follow.
When I paint in a figurative style, I am interested in a metaphoric exploration of dilemmas and decision-making in our daily personal lives. In this theme, my works present a strong assertion of self, with a focus on the emotional, combined with a hoped-for sense of the transcendental. I attempt to achieve this through an impression of directly-felt personal experiences, often with a somewhat narrative content. For me, a process of diffusion, through my technique of layering and coloration, incorporates reflective imagery, while conveying the solace and passion of the human condition.
Self portrait - Aftermath Series
24" x 36"
Of course an abiding interest of mine is Gallery 888. It is primarily a venue for emerging artists with shows changing every 2 or 3 weeks. This means that I exhibit my own work only two or three times a year - during RAW (Riverdale's annual art walk) in May, during the Home & Style Studio Tour in October, and then - usually - in the spring and fall seasons as part of a group show.
Although recently renovated, the original and unique aspects of the building's early 1900s character remain, preserving the heritage of the older commercial buildings in the Riverdale area. For instance, a beautiful 25-ft. stained glass window that was buried under wallpaper, a large copper ceiling that had been painted over, and a sunny grotto out the back door that was strangled with vines have all been restored. Beyond the grotto is the Coach House Gallery, another restored area where my art is on permanent display. Located at 888 Queen Street East near Logan, it is in the area Christopher Hume, former art critic for the Toronto Star, has called "Toronto's next Bohemia". So take a stroll in Toronto's next Bohemia and enjoy a coffee or brunch in one of the colourful local cafes. Then stop in and visit Gallery 888 and say hi.
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