By Michael-Joel Hansen
Southern Alberta Newspapers
For Judy Russill art has been something which has been a part of her life for quite some time.
“I’ve probably been doing art since I was a child,” she said, while showing some of her art at the Jasper Cultural and Historic Centre on May 9. Currently some of her paintings are on display at the Jasper Centre. Russill’s art will be on display there until May 27.
The Cypress Hills based artist, who lives on a ranch near Elkwater Alta., has been seriously involved in producing pieces of art for around eight years. Her paintings are inspired by many of the images which she comes across in the area.
“Most of it has to do with Cypress Hills,” Russill said.
Before putting the brush to the canvas, Russill goes out a does some other work first.
“Everything is a painting of a picture I have taken,” she said.
These paintings range from images of mountains, to paintings of nice ranch scenery like classic ranch fences and gates. While she generally will work from a picture, Russill will sometimes get creative in order to make up photograph which she thinks will make the best painting. One example of this was one of her paintings she did of some lanterns.
“I took eight pictures of the lanterns, none of of them were any good,” said Russill.
With none of the pictures coming out the way she had hoped, she decided to take a different approach in order to get the photo she wanted.
“I cut apart the pictures and used what I want(ed),” she said.
Doing this allowed Russill to create the image she wanted with the photo and gave her something to work from to create the painting. She has since repeated this for other paintings. When she decides to do this with a picture in order to get the image she wants it generally takes quite a bit of time to re-arrange the pieces.
“Every picture takes about three or four days to arrange,” said Russill.
Photographs are not the only way Russill will work to capture an image for a painting. Sometimes she will set up on site a do a rough painting of the scene which she will work from later.
“Cameras don’t pick up all colours if a scene has a unique colour,” she said.
Generally Russill does most of her art work during the winter months, which is when she has more time. Besides the time time factor, Russill also enjoys working during the winter as the season creates the kind of scenes she likes to paint with light reflecting off of the snow.
“I love winter and water,” she said.
Creating her art can be quite the process for Russill. Some days she will work on her art from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“It almost becomes an obsession,” she said.
Going forward Russill said there is till quite a bit she would like to accomplish.
“I know I have lots to still do,” she said.