Merv Russell is an illustrator, painter, graphic artist and street photographer from Philadelphia, PA. For the first 8 years of his life, Merv's father was the sexton of All Saints Church in Wynnewood PA, where they lived inside the Episcopalian Church where his art journey began. As a child he was surrounded and fascinated by all types of colors, patterns, Gothic designs, colorful stained glass windows, a huge pipe organ and paintings throughout the church.
My art is a reflection of my childhood, living inside a church. My parents were presented an early architectural drawing of the church we lived in and hung it on the wall of every house we moved to. I studied every line of that illustration for years, finding the details fascinating and always reliving the memories of living there. My art journey and love of architecture was influenced heavily by that drawing.
Surrounded by colors and patterns everywhere, I've learned to embrace the power of the pattern. Growing up in the 60's through the 80's, the bold color palettes and patterns I choose for my art, reflect those eras in which I have fond memories. I enjoy creating with playful whimsical themes and bold elegant gestures that let colors, shapes, tones and textures do the talking and grab your attention.
Traveling influences my art by stimulating the senses with various shapes, colors and designs in different regions. I do street photography for design reference of the uniqueness each area displays. My style is constantly evolving, yet right now my favorite art styles are Boho, Pop and Maximalist because of the exuberant patterns and colors they display, there's no rules to them and they intermix. My desire is to create art that can make something go from from blah to beautiful, inject personality into the dull and make a statement with a design that pops.
Recently I returned that same illustration which has influenced my life back to the church to add back to its collection.
One Illustration Started it All
Merv Russell and Reverend Edward Rix - All Saints Church, Wynnewood PA