Russell Brown is a familiar face to the Pump community and he’s been recently selected as one of the two artist-in-residence.
In a talk with him, we took a look at his most recent body of work. Lately, his paintings and drawings have incorporated patterning lines. He mentioned that he formerly used this method of drawing to help himself warm up before starting a new work, and has now started introducing this mark-making into his practice more permanently. These lines to Russell are meditative, and they help his hand to lose tight control and shut off any restrictions caused by an overthinking mind. The spontaneity of these lines allow him to create shapes and structures in a more concise manner, really revealing the substance of an image. Incorporating these lines in his work began when working from home, which required a style of drafting that could remain in a contained space.
Russell’s new studio at Pump Project’s temporary offices has allowed him to begin drafting on larger surfaces once more, allowing for his hand to expand, and his mark-making to evolve. With identity, pop culture, literature, and composition still at the foreground of his mind, Russell is beginning to explore these ideas with a refreshed mark.
The paper stretched on the walls of Russell’s studio are sketches in preparation for final works. He’s experimenting with distance, spacing, overlapping, and relationships between different marks and figures. He’s currently sketching on all platforms, including familiarizing himself with drafting apps for smartphones. These studious sketches will soon inform his paintings, borrowing from them the dances of depth, shading, and scale in which he played.
Russell meditates daily. This quieting of his mind is important to his process, and sometimes can even generate ideas by sifting through meaningless thoughts to bring forward more helpful ones. New, more genuine ideas can be realized when implementing maintenance on the mind.
To learn more about Pump Project’s Resident Artist, Russell Brown (@russellbrxwn), visit his website, and stay tuned for updates about his progress throughout the residency!