Above: The original
Artist Statement from his Fire in the Valley show:
"This fire painting captures a moment. The camera shutter speed was set at 1/650 of second, yet in this brief flicker of time, a detailed, carefully crafted image was captured. In this particular instance, the flames that engulf the grasping hand add the final touch to a painting more than a month in the making. This picture speaks of mindfully observing the hectic, colourful and often chaotic process of life and relationships. The painting embodies my reflection these past few months, on living mindfully and attentively moment by moment. Just as the elements of this picture speak a story, so too does each moment speak of its past, and tell of its future. Your reading of this webpage, of this sentence, of this word, right now, is moment crafted by your choices and thoughts. Everything in your reality now, from the computer your using, to the webpage you looked at last, to your slouched or healty posture speak a story of thoughts and choices. Likewise, the way you interact with this moment, continue or discontinue the various elements, tells of your next minutes, days and years. The eye in the centre of this painting symbolizes mindful awareness-- observing beyond the fray of time and fire. To be mindful is to realize the creative purity of the unfolding moment-- that with each experience one is laying the pattern for the next. To be mindful, is to realize that each breath, thought and act manifest the past and echoe into the future. To be mindful, is realize, live and create the moment."
on Russell's Fire Painting Philosophy
" To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face? "