Russ Havard’s work demonstrates the paradox between space and reality. The artist aims to paint the effect and affect nature and man have on the piney woods and prairie-land of his home in East Texas. Havard uses trees as a central subject in his work to depict the ability for growth through volatility. Enduring storms, seasons, and deforestation, these trees have survived as a reminder of past and present action in the work. “The surrounding desolation becomes alive with new growth. Destruction cannot escape creation.” However, Havard does not consider himself to be strictly a landscape painter. Through the mirroring of the inner and outer elements in his pieces, the artist sees the landscapes he paints as a jumping point to the greater “melody” of internal symbolism.
By using watercolors, gouache, and a razor, Havard paints, deconstructs, and reconstructs his pieces. “While the media and patterns make up the skin of my constructions, the shapes generate specific meaning and provide a formal platform, giving the images and symbols clarity.” The results are de facto collages that portray how forces in nature play with scientific reality. Voluptuous yet exactingly linear, Russ Havard’s new collection of work is symbolic and observant of the changing world around him. “It is an act of reclamation and pressing onward.”
Russ Havard grew up in Lufkin, Texas. He attended Stephen F. Austin State University where he received a BFA in and 1993 and went on to receive an MA in 1997. Havard has exhibited extensively throughout Texas and the United States. His work has been featured in New American Paintings, Vols. 30 and 48. Russ Havard currently lives and works in Texas.