Artist Russ Tanner

An example of fine art by Russ Tanner

Photo of Russ Tanner


In music, there is something called a “rest.” It’s a moment when the composer asks us to pause, take notice, pay attention, be present. It’s a stolen moment that makes us appreciate the beauty surrounding us. The rhythm of Russ Tanner’s life and work have been filled with such moments.
“I once met a man when I was out painting in New Mexico,” he recalls. “As a descendant of the conquistadors, he saw himself as a steward of the earth. He invited me to come onto his land—over the fence and into the deep, natural grass—where I could paint the breathtaking beauty of the aspens. I explained to him that I, too, was here to preserve the land through my paintings. We immediately connected over our shared values. What an experience!”
Moments like this are what make life extraordinary. And ultimately, that is what Russ Tanner’s work is all about. His brushwork dances to his rhythm across his canvases, and his luminous colors glow with energy. His compositions invite us in, drawing our attention to grand vistas and intimate vignettes alike. In his paintings, the most humble of subjects—clouds billowing across the sky or the shadows cast by a row of trees—become captivating, awe-inspiring, and we can do nothing but stop, rest, and be present to the hidden beauty surrounding us.
As a child, Russ developed a wide range of interests that are still part of the rhythm of his life today. Roaming around the foothills of Brown County, Indiana, helped him discover his abiding love of nature, and his fascination for music, especially percussion instruments, is still setting the measure of his life now. But most important of all, teachers and art instructors recognized his potential as an artist. One in particular encouraged his parents to enroll him in Indiana State University’s high [...]

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