"I Like Everything" The Work of Russell Copenharve
I like to be with artists. I like to be with my friends, artists, and staff. I am happy and enjoy myself. I am a good at drawing and being an artist. I like making a picture look light and different. I want to show my people my artwork and sell it. When I am not in the studio, I get home and listen to music, relax, and sometimes I go to Van GoGo gigs. I am in the band.
Community and interaction are fundamental to Russell’s arts practice. He enjoys showing his work to others as much as he enjoys making it. Russell stated that the most affirming thing a person can do is purchase one of his pieces. It makes him feel happy when the feel like they want to buy his work.
Russell has been drawing and painting since he was little. He prefers to work in series and is currently doing one series a month. Exploring various styles and subject matters over the course of the year. He describes it as something different. When asked why he wants to explore something different he responds, “I don’t know. I wanted new styles not old stuff over and over.” He goes on to explain that working on something different or new is good enough for its own sake.
I paint all different things. I paint like houses, birds, trees, flowers, rainbows, hotels, houses, all different things. I think in my head, I look in a book, or on the computer to find what I want to do. I draw it on the paper, trace it, and make a sketch. Then, when I am done with the sketch, done with the picture, and then I begin to paint. Acrylic paint and watercolors. Acrylic paint is okay, I like watercolor too. It won’t smear and mix up.
Russell is very active in The Arts of Life community. He contributes to the VanGoGo band, is a co-teacher in our Teaching Artist in Residency Program, and is always there to promote the Arts of Life at fairs and festivals. Russell enjoys introducing people who are unfamiliar with the studio to the community. Whenever there is a new person visiting the studio, or a chance to bring someone into the community, Russell is willing and waiting to help.
Connection is paramount to Russell and his practice. This is evident in his relentless devotion to the studio community, how he warmly welcomes new comers in, and how he ceaselessly promotes the mission of The Arts of Life in everything he does. To use his own words, “I like everything.”