Russell Powell is an expert oil painter and creator of a unique hand-stamping technique. His method is to simply create a portrait on his hand and transfer the image on paper.
Hand-stamping, which took over two and half years to enhance, utilizes both color and black and white ink. Although, each portrait is created on a 18 x 24 raised surface. Each piece is incredibly comprehensive. Many of his subjects are historic figures, indigenous people and exotic animals.
While talking to Journal Post, Russell said: “The idea clicked my mind 2 years ago while painting my students’ faces at a summer camp.”
A self-taught artist, Russell has taught elementary school art for the past sixteen years in Campbell. He credits his students as a major source of inspiration for his work. He also says:
“As a teacher, I have done this process with the kids and have always encouraged them to think outside the box when it comes to creating.”
To showcase the products of his passion, Russell founded Pangaean Studios in 2012. Most recently, Russell was proud to be featured on the cover of Content Magazine. His videos of hand-stamping process has gathered millions of views on popular social media platforms.
Celebrities like Rohan Marley, Run DMC, Cedric The Entertainer have highly praised Russell’s work. At the 2016 Global Citizen Rally, Russell had the privilege of hand-stamping a portrait of Nelson Mandela on attendees. It was displayed on stage during the Eddie Vedder and Beyonce performance.
He also had the honor to gift hand-stamp portraits to Malala Yousafzai and Ruby Bridges. These two women have contributed in the advancement of human and civil rights. Russell donates his work and money from commissioned pieces to causes he is passionate about. Including the water protectors and documentary efforts taking place at Standing Rock.
A truly caring artist, he recently partnered with Make Love Not Scars, an organization raising awareness for victims of acid attacks in India. Russell created a hand-stamp portrait of a survivor, which hangs in one of their clinics. He also works with the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts, which provides youth programming.