The Wondrous, Whimsical World of
Artist Russell D'Alessio
Bar Harbor, Maine
Originality is the essence of creativity.
The paintings of Russ D'Alessio exude the joy of life and attract appreciation the world round. They are whimsical and strikingly colorful, and each one tells a story, one with which people naturally connect.
The story, and how it is communicated, is what intrigues people and draws them into Russ's world. That aspect is also what marks Russ's work as so different, as where most artists paint something they see right in front of them, Russ develops a vision and paints right out of his imagination. That originality is the essence of creativity.
In his fifth decade painting, Russ is first and foremost a keen observer of people and of life in general. He has a fundamentally positive outlook, though a contemplative one, and there is no darkness in his approach. His work reflects that outlook, and is fanciful and vivid, and drawn with the vibrant palette for which he is so well known.
His creative process is engaging. For Russ, painting is more than just drawing what you see, it is an adventure, "a journey of discovery." He feels that painting something you are looking at is a study, not a journey, and studies deprive him of the opportunity of conceiving a story and spontaneously following where it leads. "I'd rather discover a subject," he states. And Russ is not afraid to experiment. "I start with abstract shapes, shadow, light, and decide the figures and colors as I tell the story. The story unfolds, even to me," He expresses his visions in his art.
Linda D'Alessio, Russ's wife, and the manager of their studio has this perspective: "The ideas, the creativity, just pour out of Russ. They are like a stream fed by some inexhaustible source." She adds, "Somewhere in us we have a child-like playfulness, and Russ draws that out with subtlety and humor. Yet there is also an edge to his work, and sometimes an erotic one. He is deeply interested in the human condition and his paintings proclaim that."
Russ's work is characterized by his appreciation of women, who are frequently the subjects of his paintings, and the light touch he exhibits in that work has won international acclaim.
Indeed, the human and animal subjects that populate Russ's work overall display a light-hearted, even jaunty attitude while at the same time they have a real sensitivity and serenity to them. This is an extraordinary combination that charms people and accounts fo Russ's success.
Russ wants people to engage with the paintings and see in them their own stories. And they do, relating to the paintings on a personal, emotional level. "Collectors first see the colors, which brings a smile to their faces; then they realize there is content to it and connect." says Russ. He continues, "They love the picture it creates in their own minds. It becomes a part of them. They have a desire to be in that place, get lost in that space." Linda attributes some of their following to the "edge" the work has, remarking that "They are drawn to that edge," Owners of Russ's art relate they feel its imagination and creativity and identify with it. One collector spoke for many when she stated, "Russ's art makes me feel an elation about life."
Russ summarizes: "I am creating a world, an expression of myself, that extends to other people and brings a smile to their faces and a warmth to their hearts." And in this, he has succeeded.
People "first see the color...then they realize there is content to it and the work and connect."
Written by Steven Raab, Writer and Collector
Artist Russell D’Alessio
Dedham & Bar Harbor, ME
Newark School of Fine & Industrial Art – Newark, New Jersey 1968 - 1970
Arts Students League Studies under Arthur Foster - New York, New York 1969-1970
Private Studies under Grace Higgins and Carmela DeAngelis, New York, New York 1969 - 1970
Fairleigh Dickenson University - Madison, New Jersey 1970
Most Recent Exhibitions
2019 Celebrating 30 years of showcasing works in Bar Harbor, ME
2017 Solo private invitational showing in Springfield, MO
2016 Solo Show – “In the Barn 2” showing of new works Belfast, ME
2015 Solo Show – Somewhere It’s Spring Bar Harbor
2014 Solo private invitational showing Coronado, CA
2014 Solo private invitational showing Santa Barbara, CA
2013 Solo Show Circo d’Alessio and the unveiling of The Three Rings - July
2012 Solo Show Key Bank, Portland, ME November & December
2012 Featured Artist November Portland, ME Art Walk - November
2011 Solo Show Sirens, Nymphs & Ladies Handmade Paper Gallery, Brooklin, Maine
2010 Solo Show Artlook Bar Harbor
2010 Solo invitational show Lake Wales Arts, Lake Wales, FL,
2010 Solo Show The Gardens, Key West, FL
2009 Solo private invitational showing Chicago, IL
2009 Solo show The Kiss Bosley on Brady Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
2009 Pigeon Key Nationally Juried Invitational Art Show, Marathon, FL
2009 Solo show private invitational The Gardens, Key West, FL,
2008 Solo private invitational Naples, Fl 2008 solo show Bar Harbor, Maine
2007 Solo private invitational Chicago, IL
2007 Solo show Valentine Bosley on Brady Gallery, Milwaukee,
2007 Solo show Valentine Leapin’ Liz Gallery, Covington, KY
2021 - Featured in Decor Maine - June
2020 - Feature Front Cover in Cultural Adventures Acadia and Downeast Maine
2019 - Featured in Cultural Adventures Acadia and Downeast Maine
2018 As seen in Mount Desert Islander - June
2015 As seen in Bangor Daily News and MDI Islander - August
2014 Front cover art Fish and Lobster by Kate Gooding
2013 As seen in Forbes “Russell D’Alessio Circus Painting Highlights Art Under
The Big Top” - August
2013 As seen in North Country July Issue
2013 As seen in MDI Islander - July
2013 Front cover and inside art for 50 Ways to Cook a Beaver by Kate Gooding
2013 As seen in Bangor Daily News and MDI Islander - June
2012 As seen in Bangor Daily News – June and October
2011 As seen in Bangor Daily News - September
2011 As seen in Bar Harbor Times - August
2010 As written up on CNN Politics and United Press International
2010 As seen in Bangor Daily News
2009 Publication of coffee table book "Artlook”
2009 Front cover and inside art for Simple Gourmet Lamb by Kate Gooding
2007 Front cover and inside art for Wild Maine Recipes Black Fly Stew by Kate Gooding
2006 Front cover Feminist Frontiers published by McGraw Hill Publisher, written by Verta Taylor
2004 As seen in Art News
2004 As seen in The Citizen, Key West
2004 As seen in Bar Harbor Times
2003 As seen in Key Wester
Professional Experience and Activities
2013 Artist Panel – Juror National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
2013 Artistic Director Art Walks Downtown Bar Harbor, ME
2012 Artists Panel – Juror National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
2010 Artistic Director and commissioned Art Designer, International One Design World Races, ME
2013 Artist Panel – Jury National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
2012 Artist Panel – Jury National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
2010 Artists Panel – Jury National Art Show, Bar Harbor, ME
1990 International Screen Print Association and Apparel Industry’s highest Award for new and
innovative design and techniques.
Senator Russell Long - private mural commission and several works purchased for collection
Stephen King commission for T-Shirt design for “Christine”
Giverny Gardens, France - commission for sunflower flora
Private Collector Bar Harbor, ME and Williamsburg, VA – private mural commission and several works purchased for collection
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Raab Philadelphia, PA and Bar Harbor, ME– private painting commission and several works purchased for collection
Mr. and Mrs. Paul LeVasseur Boxford, MA – private painting commission and multiple works purchased for collection
A complete list of patrons and collectors available upon request.