Mega Poatina tree drawing
Passionate about Trees.

Stories are about life. This is my Blog. Scroll down for the latest insights into my life and work. But first a word about stories.

Story telling is an innate human function. Stories are a distinctive feature of humanness in all known cultures. Ways of knowing, learning and remembering have always been most powerful through sharing stories.

Artists are storytellers. A picture can paint a thousand words but it helps to know the story behind the picture. In this post-modern world the cop out can be the art work means what ever I want it to mean. Art is what ever I, the consumer, want it to be. But art work is not created in the lived experience of the viewer. It is created in the lived life and vision of the works creator. Therefore to fully understand a work we need to drill down into the thoughts, life and times of an artist or we miss the richness available.

Honey Metaphore Two

Fortunately for this generation we have a myriad of instant tools available to both record story and to access story. This page is the repository of my stories, my insights and my history. It is more than a blog, which can sometimes simply be a blurting out of everything no matter how trivial. The stories I tell use a wider variety of stories, video, video blogs, images, articles, reviews and musings that will enable you to get closer to understanding Russell McKane the artist but importantly the person who creates.

Web pages are a bit sterile as they have a more formal function. This is where you will get the inside and personal story. You will get excited about works in progress. Dare to dream about having one of these paintings bringing the environment into your own home. I hope you will be informed, entertained and inspired.

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The inside story.

Drawing trees

Life brings many surprises. The curve ball thrown by post COVID symptoms has resulted in drawing trees being my salvation and sanity. On the 12th of March I was getting ready for starting new winter paintings and found me drawing a wonderful myrtle at Liffey falls. Famous last words. I said to myself I really…

Beauty for Ashes

Beauty for ashes – a strange title. I see beauty but where are the ashes? The ashes are not on the wall – or in the work, but all around us. In our lives, on our TVs and in our memories. As humans we carry images at an emotional level. We interact with everything emotionally.…

Art as Therapy

I have just watched a stimulating YouTube video by Alain de Botton called ‘Art is Therapy in the Rijksmuseum’. (links at the bottom) Wow! He really made me think about my own work- how it is therapy. For me and for others. As I was watching, I glanced up at my recent work ‘Sentinels’ and…

Stuck in the Studio

Studio work is not my normal, but I have been unable to get out to paint on location for three weeks due to a knee injury. So frustrated that I have got my creative self on and begun some studio works. It also helps my knee to recover to be standing and using even if…

Terra Populous

Terra Populous explained Speech given by myself as a part of the formal story telling time during the Terra Populous event held at Poatina on the 27th January 2019. Terra Populous is a collaborative event between the Village of Poatina and local First Nations Elders to reframe traditional Australia Day celebrations that were a part…

Contemporary realism

I love a lot of modern contemporary art and I have been influenced by many abstract expressionists. But I am a realist painter. But what makes my style a form of Contemporary realism? This essay attempts to lay out the skeleton of my aesthetic. My fusion of high levels of realism, plein air method and…

Cleaning Oil Paintings

This is a video blog on how to clean oil paintings. It covers removing surface dust, hairs and minor dirt. It is not intended to cover very old paintings that may have deteriorated surfaces, crazed or cracked, or with old yellowed varnish. These you will need the advice of a conservator. Cleaning oil paintings can…


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