All content copyright 2011, 2012, and 2013 by Keith Russell.

Any copying, downloading, etc. of any portion of the contents of this blog--including photographs and artwork--without written permission from Keith Russell,

is not nice...and not legal!

20 December 2015

2016 Goal...Learn how to sell my art!

I'm not going to write a list of goals for the coming year this year, as I really only have one goal--figure out how to sell my paintings.

And, that one goal depends on another important thing happening--make lots of art to sell.

When I've set specific numeric goals in the past, it hasn't really "worked".  So I'm not going to psych myself up to make one painting a month, or anything along those lines.

And I'm not going to go looking for a show, or a gallery, until I have at least ten good, solid paintings finished.  (That's not a goal; that's a simple fact.)

So, my "goal" is to 1) make lots of new art, 2) find a gallery that will offer me a show, and 3) sell a bunch of the art in that show.

That's it.

Now, back to painting!

P.S.  It's always better for me to work out my goals once I've already started working on them.  "Arterial Trees" is nearly done, and I started a new painting last night...

05 December 2015

More progress...

 Here are the "left" and "centre" panels in their current state of progress...

04 November 2015

New Painting In Progress..."Arterial Trees"

Several years ago I bought three identical frames, with the hopes of making either a three-painting series, or a tryptich.

I opted for the latter.

This is at the very early stages, and it's going to involve several layers.

The background (sky) is airbrushed acrylics; the arterial tree is in oils.

Much more to follow...

31 October 2015

Reflecting on InkTober...

No, I didn't post a new drawing every day for Inktober.

Not even close.  (Obviously.)

Yet, I did create a new drawing (that will be transferred to a canvas or panel this week, and which will become the start of a new painting by the end of the year).  Also, I did start a new painting, which you will see here shortly.

Perhaps tomorrow!

But, more importantly, InkTober did give me a chance to think about my art--and my art-making habits,--nd I arrived at a few sobering realizations, many of which I already knew, but hadn't internalized, or actualized.

(The time to internalize and actualize, is now.  Duh!)

I've come up with TONS of ideas for paintings, sculptures, and installations, over the years.  Hundreds easily, perhaps thousands.

I've discarded most of these (in all honesty, perfectly good) ideas because they remind me of another artist's work, or because they don't say what I think "my art" ought to say, or both.

This is a problem, first, because most people haven't seen the variety of art and artists I have, so they wouldn't recognize the similarities--and second,  if I create a number of pieces that each look "sort of like" a certain artist's work, together they won't' look like any one artist's work, and so will be taken as "my work", anyway.  Third, if I had bothered to develop these ideas past the "concept" stage, in all likelihood the simple act of me actually working on them would have taken them far beyond the "derivative" stage, and into a place where they would be built from "my style".

So, enough navel-gazing, enough "soul-searching", enough procrastination, enough feeling like I'm not good enough, or original enough--and far too many excuses.

New art is coming.

 Lots of new art.

Coming soon!

20 October 2015

Work in Progress...

It's much easier to see "flaws" in your work if you step back from it, turn it upside down, or take a picture of it and look at it smaller.  I see lots of mistakes on this--and lots of potential, too.

14 October 2015


Here's a figure sketch in progress.  This is "replacing" a figure Ive worked (and re-worked) over the past year (yeah, I know) that I have realized is too stiff.  This is better.  (Again, because this is for a painting, it probably won't be inked...)

12 October 2015

InkTober drawing!

Yes, I'm a bit behind.  Here is the first new drawing for

29 September 2015


I'm joining the InkTober challenge: one (ink) drawing each day for the entire month.

I may not ink each drawing; some of them may only be pencil drawings.

But, I think this will be a good way to get back in the habit of drawing more frequently.

Wish me luck...

14 September 2015

An impromptu show!

I'll be showing several of my original spider paintings (and a few prints) at Noir Arts & Oddites this Friday, from 6:30 - 9:-00PM!

Noir Arts & Oddities
1609 W. 39th Street
Kansas City, Missouri

Here's the Noir Event Page from FaceBook:

Hope to see everyone there!

29 August 2015

2016 Plans

Well, next year is shaping up to be huge!

First, if all goes well, I'll be exhibiting artwork at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2016.  This is an event that has been held annually in Kansas City for the past three years or so, coordinated by the same folks who publish the annual Spectrum book featuring the best fantasy, science fiction, horror, and comic art being made today. 

And, many of these amazing artists will be there in person!

Second, Kansas City is hosting the 2016 World Science Fiction Convention!  It's been a while since I exhibited at a World Con (1997 in San Antonio!), and I did very well, selling seven or eight original paintings.  I also exhibited my stuff at the 1999 North American SF Con, in Anaheim, and sold several original paintings there, too.

It'll be really nice to be able to exhibit artwork at a WorldCon, without having to travel.  

I'm hoping to exhibit at least 8 new paintings, and a few of the "older" ones, as well.  (I might even show one or two of the "old" airbrushed pieces from the late '90s!)

So, from now 'til Spectrum, I'm going to mainly focus on creating original paintings, and worry much less about freelance stuff, teaching gigs, etc.

I'm already hard at work on a couple of new paintings, with two or three more at the planning stage.

I'm really looking forward to sharing lots of cool new art with you over the next few months.

Please, tell your friends, and thanks for reading!


20 August 2015

Anatomy Reference Books.

I'm making plans to submit work to the Spectrum Art Annual next year, as well as exhibit at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live.

This means that I need to create some seriously impressive art over the next five months or so.  

No time like the present to create some of the paintings I've been dreaming of for the past several years...bringing figures--people--and the spiders together!

Drawing figures means looking at TONS of reference photos, and digging deep into my extensive collection of reference photos, reference books--and anatomy and figure drawing books.

I have a lot more than these, but these are the best of them, and the ones I use most often.

How many of these do you have?  Any favourites you don't see here?

Airbrush portrait of Johnny Cash...

the title pretty much says it all.  This is on metal, a motorcycle gas tank.  There will be another portrait on the other side.

14 August 2015

New Paint! Willaimsburg Egyptian Violet

I bought a big (150ml) tube of Williamsburg Egyptian Violet yesterday, and thought I should write something about it here.

Many oil paint manufacturers call this colour Dioxazine Violet, and the chemical composition of Willaimsburg's is "Carbazole Dioxazine": PV 2 (Pigment Violet 23), listed on the back of the tube.

I haven't tried Dioxazine Violet by any other manufacturer, so I don't know if this is true of any other Dioxazines, but it is certainly the case with the Willaimsburg; it has a golden sheen!  Areas painted with this colour will show this rich gold undertone colour wherever there are highlights.

Anyway, it's a beautiful colour, and if you don't have a deep Violet in your collection, you ought to give Williamsburg's Egyptian Violet a try!

10 July 2015


I added That Certain Inner Radiance to the homepage at, and fixed some of the navigation problems on the site, as well.

I'm working on a couple new figure drawings, that will become the starts of two new paintings, soon.

The first portraits of Johnny Cash for the motorcycle are finished, and I'll start painting the next one Monday.

Stay tuned!

22 June 2015

On Display Now!

I took four of my recent spider paintings to Noir Oddities in Midtown Kansas City, last Saturday afternoon.

They really liked them, and accepted three of them, for exhibit on consignment.  And, we're trying to work out dates for a larger show of my spider paintings, this Fall.

I'm really excited about this, as its the first time my work has been anywhere on "permanent" display in a gallery or shop in several years.  And, this shop is a perfect fit for the spiders, and it's wonderful for some of them to finally have a home.

(I mean, I know they're not for everyone--but then, my work never has been for everyone...)

So, later this week, you should definitely stop by and check out this incredibly cool shop!

Noir Arts and Oddities
1609 W. 39th Strett
Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Open Thursday thru Sunday

05 June 2015

Where do I "fit"?

I'm going to move this blog into a more "nuts and bolts" art direction, away from some of the more esoteric, soul-searching type posts.  And, I'll be posting a bit more often...I'm hoping for at least once per week.

So, this may be the last one of these types of blog entreis, for a while.

I participated in the ConQuest science fiction convention (SF con) art show a couple weeks ago.  This was the first time I'd attended or exhibited at ConQuest in nearly a decade, and I wasn't sure what to expect--from the art show or the other attendees to the con.

My work has never sold well at local or regional SF cons.  I sold several original paintings at both of the "big" SF Cons I attended in the late '90s--San Antonio in '97, and Anaheim in '99.

So, I wasn't really surprised that I didn't sell much at ConQuest.  Disappointed, but not really surprised.

So, where should I "go" from here?

I stopped by a local art supply store on my way to ConQuest, and ran into a local artist I know.  He commented that he was enjoying seeing the progress pictures of one of my new paintings that I've been posting to FaceBook.  Since I had the actual painting in the car with me, I asked if he'd like to see it, and of course he said "Yes".  He was very complimentary, saying that it might be the best painting of mine that he's seen so far.

A couple days later, at ConQuest, a friend of mine who owns several prints of my older work explained that she really hates my new stuff.

Really.  Hates.  (Emphasis hers.)


What should I do with this information?  Where should I "go" from here?

Well, one thing I know for certain is that I am still nowhere near as prolific as I would like to be.  I definitely need to be creating more artwork, and that means drawing, painting, and sculpting more often, and for longer stretches of time.

I'm also not terribly happy with some of my newer stuff.  For years, I have been wanting to create paintings to be more elaborate, larger, and I want to make several paintings that have the spiders interacting with people.

Why don't these paintings exist, already?  Well, whatever has been holding me back, needs to stop. 

I also need to make some paintings that are more "science-fiction-y".

These will be two separate "series", for the most part.  There may be some "overlap"--some paintings that could be part of either series--but there shouldn't be too much of that.

On a positive note, there is a small art and curio shop in town that will be taking a look at some of the small spider paintings next week.

I think this shop will be a very good "fit" for these paintings; it's the kind of shop where someone who might consider buying a painting of a spider, would definitely stop by.

06 May 2015

New Print: "That Certain Inner Radiance"!

I picked up the first prints of "That Certain Inner Radiance" this afternoon, and they look fantastic!

Really, except for the rather heavy texture across the bottom of the original painting, it isn't easy to tell the prints from the original painting, even side-by-side!

8 x 10 signed and numbered prints, archival matted to 11x14 (to fit a standard sized frame) are $35.00, with certificate of authenticity.

The original painting (and prints) will be available at ConQuest in Kansas City, Memorial Day weekend...and on my Etsy site in June!

But you can order them from me now--send an email to:


24 April 2015

Further progress...

And I'm still being somewhat circumspect; this is oriented differently than in th actual piece.  But, I'm going to work on this some more tonigh, and Sunday, and I hope to have it finished within the week.  More "progress" photos coming, before its done.  

06 April 2015


Here is the start of some of the background detail in a new painting, that will seem familiar soon, when I post a picture of the entire thing.  (It's a new spider painting, and you've seen the spider before...)

Anyway, my plan is to haven his finished, and framed, and on display at ConQuest, the Kansas City Science Fiction Convention, Memorial Day Weekend.

Wish me luck...

27 February 2015


This is a drawing I started (this isn't finished; its a small part of what will be a larger work) Monday.

Anyway, this was a tough pose, and I had tried to draw this face a couple times before, with no success.

It can be frustrating to feel like you're not able to do what you want to do, artistically--whether it's with a certain subject matter, technique, etc.

But, rather than obsess over the lack of progress, I find that when I simply keep working, eventually, I will get the results I want:

22 February 2015

I've scheduled my next show!

It's been a few years (yes, years) since I exhibited artwork at ConQuest, a long-running science fiction convention in Kansas City.  (I actually ran the art show at ConQuest a couple times, but that was also a long, long time ago!)

So, it's going to be fun to be back amongst old friends (not just friends who are old!), and to be part of the Kansas City science fiction "scene" yet again.

I recently realized how little art I actually produced last year.  This has me very motivated to finish several projects that have been hanging around, unfinished, for far too long--because I want to have a bunch of new stuff ready in time for ConQuest--and beyond.

So, I've taken things back to basics, and I'm working on a few new drawings--as well as doing more redrawing parts of some older pieces that have me a bit..."stuck". 

I'm also working on a new sculpture.  (I'm hoping to have three new spider sculpted for ConQuest!)

This feels really good. 

Stay tuned!




05 February 2015

This spider is up to something... soon as I know what she's up to, you'll be able to find out, here.

Please stay tuned!  (I'm going to post this as it progresses, so you'll be able to see how each step of this painting goes.  I've been meaning to do a full step-by-step of one of my paintings for a while, and it's never worked out.  I think this one will.)