Nepsis


2006
acrylic on wooden door
24" x 80"

Nepsis means "watchfulness" and it is a spiritually aware state of being ever vigilant against temptation and attacks of the enemy. It is both a means to the end of theosis and a trait of those who have become one with God. This posture of the figure in this painting is taken from paintings of monks in the church of  St. Mercurius in Old Cairo, Egypt. I think of the  halo, which has obliterated even the face of the figure, as representing the divinity with which the person is united and the lower part of the figure's body as representing the passions against which the person is struggling.

Station XIII - The Lamentation


2001
acrylic on loose canvas
64" x 74"

I painted this just after my mother died. It was very poignant for me, after beholding my dead mother, to paint my mother in Christ holding her dead son. This painting was part of my mourning. Before I proceeded to paint the other stations of the cross, I originally called this painting, "My mother holding her dead God," which, for me, expressed the utter desolation and abandonment of death.

Rafka



2000
oil on wood
23" x 23"
from the private collection of Jeff Muller

Rafka was a Maronite nun who, in 1885, "prayed to become a victim of divine love. She was struck blind that night and endured terrible pain in her right eye. that eye was eventually removed in an operation without an anesthetic. Rafka had hemorrhages from her eye two or three times a week every after as a result, yet this suffering did not stop her" (John Paul II's Book of Saints, p. 341). Despite and because of her great sufferings and disfigurements, Rafka was an image of God and an example of holiness.

The Head of St. John the Baptist



by John Russell, 2008
acrylic on wood
sold

Theotokotokos



by John Russell, 2008
acrylic on wood
5" x 7"
NFS
stretched giclée prints on canvas available for $37

Unknown Saint



by John Russell, 2008
acrylic on wood
243.00 - sold

The Vine


click here to view painting unframed

by John Russell, 2008
acrylic on wood
1" x 1"
95.00 - sold

St. Maron


click here to view painting framed

by John Russell, 2008
acrylic on wood
155.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Exhibition in St. Mary's Hall of St. Athanasius Byzantine Catholic Church, May, 2008

Pieta



by John Russell, 2001
acrylic on canvas
NFS

The Stripping



by John Russell, 2002
acrylic on canvas

The Third Fall



by John Russell, 2002
acrylic on canvas

Simon of Cyrene



by John Russell, 2002
acrylic on canvas

Portrait of Bill Kingston



by John Russell, 2007
acrylic on paper
commissioned

Forerunner




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic on wood
21 1/2" X 23 1/2"
400.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Goat Rope at Galerie Penumbra, July 6 - 28, 2007

St. Andrew's Cross




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on paper
250.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

Ankhs




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on paper
225.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

Cross Gammadion




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on paper
275.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

The Brothers Bar-Jona




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on paper
225.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

Alpha Omega




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
36" X 48"
900.00

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

St. Phillip's Cross




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
700.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007
Exhibition in St. Mary's Hall of St. Athanasius Byzantine Catholic Church, May, 2008

T




by John Russell, 2006
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
24" X 30"
400.00

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

Coptic Cross




by John Russell, 2006
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
18" X 24"
225.00

The early Coptic (Egyptian) Christians made use of this modified ankh - a cruciform hieroglyph meaning "life" - as a symbol of their faith. This is an example both of a "baptized" symbol (not Christian in origin, but now Christian in meaning) and the cross's universal spiritual meaning.

"There were hardly any peoples who did not use the cross as a religious or magic sign in some way or other. We find it in Asia as well as in Mexico, in Africa, and in the extreme north." –Johannes Troyer

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007
Exhibition in St. Mary's Hall of St. Athanasius Byzantine Catholic Church, May, 2008

Golgotha




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
25" X 33"
425.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

Archo




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
20" X 21"
300.00

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

XP




by John Russell, 2006
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
22" X 28"
400.00

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

Coptic Crucifixion




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
20" X 24"
300.00

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

The Right of God




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
125.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

O Mors Ero Mors Tua, Morsus Tuus Ero Inferne




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
25 1/2" X 29"
400.00

This is an example of an inscribed cross. The title of the piece is the words inscribed on the horizontal and vertical bar of the cross. It translates to "O death, I will be thy death, thy destruction I will be, hell" and is taken from the prophecy of Hosea 13:14. The Os from the two instances of the word "ero" (will be) unite to form the crux.

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

Pre-Columbian Cross




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
12 1/2" X 16 1/2"
209.00

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007
currently on display at The Great Frame Up

Solar Cross




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
50.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

Anchor




by John Russell, 2007
acrylic and charcoal on canvas
36" X 48"
875.00

The cross, of which this anchor is an early Christian form, has long captivated me. The vertical and horizontal respectively signify active and passive, life and death, spirit and flesh, resurrection and sacrifice, eternity and time, heaven and earth, other and self, male and female, divine and human, God and Man, Jesus Christ and His Church. Their intersection signifies the union of these – the two made one.

Unification of these opposites is accomplished only by spiritual struggle. This anchor (a combination of the cross and the alpha and the omega) testifies to this struggle by its origins as secret form of the cross - used by early Christians to identify themselves to one another - a secrecy necessitated by the persecution they endured.

I painted this cross as I did – with great energy and violence, physically attacking the canvas – because the cross is a thing of violence. Crucifixion is violent – so also is spiritual warfare. The act of painting is akin to such a struggle. This painting bears the scars of this struggle.

“The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent bear it away” (Matt 11:12).

Exhibition history:
Good Friday at Galerie Penumbra, April 6 - 28, 2007

Crucifixion Group




by John Russell
acrylic on canvas
600.00 - sold

Mandylion



by John Russell
acrylic on wood
350.00

Exhibition history:
Oil & Water at Galerie Penumbra, January, 2006
Exhibition in St. Mary's Hall of St. Athanasius Byzantine Catholic Church, May, 2008

Monk

by John Russell
acrylic on wood
500.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Oil & Water at Galerie Penumbra, January, 2006

Veronica

by John Russell
acrylic on canvas
32" X 47"
900.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Oil & Water at Galerie Penumbra, January, 2006

Anima




by John Russell
acrylic on wood
24" X 32"
400.00

Exhibition history:
Oil & Water at Galerie Penumbra, January, 2006

Indian Red Mandorla




by John Russell
acrylic and charcoal on wood
24" X 32"
450.00

Exhibition history:
Oil & Water at Galerie Penumbra, January, 2006

Fuchsia Groan III




by John Russell
acrylic, ink, and charcoal on paper
18" X 23"
200.00

Exhibition history:
Oil & Water at Galerie Penumbra, January, 2006

Fuchsia Groan II




by John Russell, 2005
acrylic, ink, and charcoal on paper
18" X 23"
200.00

Fuchsia Groan I




by John Russell, 2005
acrylic, charcoal, ink on paper
18" X 23"
200.00

Graphite Halo




by John Russell
acrylic and graphite on wood
23" X 24"
300.00

Exhibition history:
Oil & Water at Galerie Penumbra, January, 2006

Ash Wednesday




by John Russell, 2005
acrylic and charcoal on wood
23" X 23"
350.00 - sold

Exhibition history:
Oil & Water at Galerie Penumbra, January, 2006
Jefferson Alumni Art Show at Randy Ross Custom Framing and Fine Art, July 13 - August 25, 2006

Anchor, 2007



John Russell

Acrylic on Canvas