Russell Copenharve: February Artist of the Month

January 28, 2021 By megan-harrigan

Three cheers for Russell Copenharve—our February Artist of the Month! A veteran member of the North Shore studio, Russell has been an integral part of our community since 2012. He is a prolific painter, VanGoGo band member, and compassionate friend to all.

Fellow studio artist, Susan Pasowicz, interviewed Copenharve to provide insight into his artwork, career ambitions, and that which makes him tick. Read on to join the conversation!

Russell Copenharve, Boxes Show, 2020, Acrylic on Board, 24″ x 36″

Susan Pasowicz: So Russell, you think with your painting and your pencils. That’s your thing all the time, right?

Russell Copenharve: I’m doing the painting. Artwork. Acrylic paint. I do acrylic paint, not pencil

SP: That’s good. Acrylic painting is good, too.

RC: Yeah, I do good. Good drawing. I was 7 years old. I was 7 little child. I did this artwork all my life. I was 7 in Waukegan all my life.

SP: That’s good!

RC: I like to paint. It keeps me busy. I like artwork. I like doing things. Make it nice.

SP: Right. It keeps you occupied with things to do.

RC: Yes, and I like the Van Go Go too, and the art talk with Cindy.

SP: That’s good! Awesome!

RC: Yep. What else you want to talk to me?

Russell Copenharve, Hawaii, 2020, Acrylic on Board, 12×24

SP: I think you do good things that you do with your pictures and stuff like that. They’re really nice

RC: I’m a good artist? Thank you. I’m good. Do you think i’m a good artist?

SP: Yes, you are.

RC: Greatest! Ok. I’m good drawing. Thank you!

SP: That’s why we picked you for the artist of the month! You see—I’ll be working with pencils.

RC: Oh. I don’t do pencils. I do pencils, draw and paint. I like to draw artwork. Acrylic paint it makes me feel good. I like acrylic paint. I like art. It keeps me busy. I am a good artist and good drawing. I do all different paint. Different things. Washington. All different things. New things over and over. Every month I do a new thing. Over and over—new things. I like new things. It keep me busy.

SP: I like what you do!

RC: Thank you, Sue, thank you! You make me feel good. I’m happy. Happiness!

Russell Copenharve, America Mask, 2019, Acrylic on Board, 16″x20″

SP: That’s good.

RC: Any time, Sue. Any time you want to answer me a question. Any time.

SP: Ok.

RC: You do good job, too.

SP: Yes! Right!

RC: Yep. I like Arts of Life. It keeps me busy. I like it here. This is the best program, you know. This is the best program for me. I like it here. It’s nice people. Nice friends. I like it here.

SP: Right.

RC: Any time you want to answer a question to me, Sue, I’m fine.

SP: He [Russell] said that he makes the arts that he makes because it makes him feel good and stuff like that. That’s what he [Russell] does because it makes him feel real good.

RC: Thank you, Sue!

SP: Right, Russell? It makes you feel really good, don’t it?

Russell Copenharve, Landscape Ocean, 2019, Acrylic on Board, 16″x20″

RC: Yes, It makes me happy. I like to do things. Everything’s different. New things. Every month I’m doing things.

SP: Well I do the same thing. Instead of doing the same thing over and over you gotta do like an imaginary thing and memorize and draw a different thing each day.

RC: That’s what I’m doing, Sue. And we always respect each other. Respect each other. Not hurt no-one’s feelings. We listen.

SP: Exactly!

RC: And one thing, Sue, I like to be special. You guys are special for me. This job is really important to me. I like it here! It’s really important—art. It keeps me busy and it’s special and I like the work. Make money! Sell the work.

SP: Yep!

RC: That’s it, Sue.

SP: OK. It’s good talking to you. You are a good socializer, too.

RC: Thank you, Sue!

SP: See there! Looking good, right Russell?

RC: Yep! Feel good, Sue. You made me feel good and happy. Respect each other. Respect.