Interview with Russell Belue

An Artist In Their Own Words

Russell Belue is an Internationally exhibited artist from Mixon, Texas who works primarily in watercolor and oil painting. He has a BFA from the College of Santa Fe, New Mexico and many artist residencies including one at the Vermont Studio Center support his artist’s practice. His travel and plein air work throughout the Americas has led two shows in Argentina, Guatemala and the United States.

1. What was your path to becoming a painter?

Art has been something that I have always done since being old enough to pick up a pencil. As I got older, making art became less important as there are so many things to be interested in. In high school, however, I began taking art classes. At the time, I started seeing art as more than just drawing objects. Art became an escape from routine and a means to express myself.

2. What is your daily routine/art practice like?

My daily practice has changed often over the years. I have had to adapt to different circumstances like work or moving and the level of inspiration fluctuates. This most recent chapter of my life has been more about grounding and incorporating the creative process back into all aspects of life. If I have something i do everyday, its spend time in my garden or on my land. I would like to mention that i find it important to work even when i don’t feel necessarily inspired. I also think my day goes best when I start it off making art or doing something meditative.

3. Could you tell us about your outdoor studio? What are the benefits to having an outdoor studio? How did you come to the idea of building one?

The outdoor studio is what i didn’t build. We bought a 10 acre farm, and I have been creating a garden knowing I will be out there painting all the time. When we bought the place, there was a really ugly outbuilding located in the middle of the garden. I decided to tear off the walls leaving only the roof. This has been my studio, weather permitting, until recently. I had to burn it down. The roof was about to fall on top of me, and I’m making room for more garden. Anyway, whether I’m painting an actual landscape or painting something totally abstract, I would rather be doing it outside. I’m planning on building something soon, that will be both indoor and outdoor, a perfectly lit open air studio.

4. How did you come to focus on figure painting? What about the human figure interests you?

Figure drawing and watercolor are two thing I’ve loved. I’ve participated I’m many drawing groups, but most of my favorite drawing or watercolor painting has happened while traveling. In recent years, I’ve started a figure drawing group and began using watercolor. I’ve never painted the figure with watercolor to the extent that I am now. One of the things that I enjoy about painting models or being apart of an artist group is the connection with other people. Painting can be a very lonely sport. Also, i find painting the figure to be something that I will never exhaust. The possibilities are endless, and everyone can relate to the human form. There is and emotional response that takes place between the viewer and the painting that I’m interested in.

5. Do you have any connection to Winston Salem? What else will you be doing while you are here?

My mother, is from Winston Salem. I haven’t been to Winston Salem in 40 years. This is exciting. I’m bringing my paints but hope to hang with old friends and meet new people.

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Join us for his artist talk, reception, and workshop!

Friday, March 1st, 5:30-7:30 PM | Artist talk and Demo with Russell Belue.
Artist Russell Belue will show and discuss his artwork. He will also offer a painting demonstration working from a model. The demonstrations will include audience participation. Suggested donation: $10

Friday, March 1st, 7:00-9:00 PM | Reception for the Russell Belue exhibit

Saturday, March 2nd, 11am-4:30 PM | Watercolor Figure Painting Workshop

Watercolor Figure Painting Workshop with live model. Learn the ease and fluidity of working with watercolor for instant gratification and joy. Russell Belue shares his enthusiasm and talent, inspiring people to discover their inner artist; through, his personal demonstration and attention to those around him.Come enjoy a magical experience and allow Russell to open your creative expression. FEE $200