Russell Eng Biography
I started drawing at a very early age, garnering an honorable mention in the local newspaper for a pencil drawing I had done of a Chinatown storefront. I started doing watercolors when my 3rd grade teacher, a watercolorist, allowed time to learn and do watercolors, after regular class lessons were done.
I attended the California College of Arts & Crafts (now renamed California College of the Arts), earning a BFA in painting. I then went on to earn my secondary teaching credential and a MA in art education at SF State College (now SFSU).
I spent my working career teaching art, first at a continuation high school mentoring troubled youth, then in an inner city comprehensive high school. As an educator, I was able to combine my love for the arts and my love of interacting with and helping young people. During this time, my own creative work largely took a back seat to my involvement with teaching my students.
After retiring for a time, I started up my art again, and I am now working at building a body of work. My favorite medium is pen and ink, and acrylics. Currently, I am working on canvas, but I also want to return to using primed masonite. I continue to produce a yearly art calendar based on a whimsical pen and ink drawing.
My process in creating is this: I have 4 modalities of creating.
1. I just start painting or drawing and see what develops.
2. If I'm doing something for someone, I think about the person for awhile, as I stand in front of my canvas or paper, and then I just start or 'jump into the water'.
3. Sometimes, I will just close my eyes and create or visualize a painting (creating a painting in my mind). When I have a good solid image that I like, I begin to rough out the image on canvas.
4. I like do thumbnail sketches for my calendar art, as well as for general testing of ideas. Solving (or resolving) problems and questions on a thumbnail greatly reduces the issues that need to be addressed on my canvas or paper.