Last Sunday, the extraordinary landscape painter,
Russell Chatham passed. He was a writer, avid fly fisherman, and naturalist.
But above all else, he was a painter.
He grew up in California painting the wild, untamed places of Northern California.
He developed his art in Montana and late in his life returned to West Marin, California.
It was here that I had the good fortune to visit with him.
I saw his magnificent paintings up close.
He taught me what refinement really looks like in art and that color and value can be used so sparingly, but still convey deep, soulful emotion.
Words cannot describe Russell’s art, nor the remarkable bumpy and circuitous road that
was his life.
I won’t soon forget the wonder of talking with Russell in his studio, surrounded by his art, listening to fishing stories, financial losses and gains,
celebrity collectors and everything that comes with a life dedicated and centered upon creating art.
Today, I thought I might share just a bit of one of those
Fall afternoon conversations I had, sitting with Russell in his studio in Inverness, California.
His art must be seen in person to appreciate, but maybe it is possible to get a
glimpse of this remarkable artist by listening to his words.
I am not quite sure what to say. I feel the loss of course,
but I also feel gratitude. Gratitude to have met Russell and see and feel
his art close up.
It is a privilege to become an artist. To have the good fortune,
the wherewithal to attempt to live in a way that makes you simply pay attention more than most.
Russell Chatham demonstrated what it actually looks like to be fully present in life,
and above all else, to be most fully alive.
He will be sorely missed.
Maybe his passing will galvanize, remind us of the vitality gained and the importance of
perseverance when it comes to the making of our own art.
I know this is the case for me.
Let me know your thoughts below..
Again, thank you for being here.