Russell Powell is an accomplished oil painter and creator of a unique handstamping technique. His method is to create a portrait on his hand and then transfer the image to paper. Handstamping, which took over two and half years to refine, utilizes both color and black and white ink. Although each portrait is created on a 18 x 24 raised surface, each piece is incredibly detailed. Many of his subjects are historic figures, indigenous people and exotic animals.A self-taught artist, Russell has been teaching elementary school art for the past sixteen years in Campbell, outside his hometown of San Jose, California. He credits his students as a major source of inspiration for his work. To showcase the products of his passion Russell founded Pangaean Studios in 2012.
Most recently, Russell was proud to have a spread in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odd is Art book. In conjunction with the book launch, Ripley’s commissioned a special piece featuring the faces of 16 historic guitarists in the shape of a guitar. Russell was also featured on the cover of Content Magazine. Videos of his handstamping process have garnered millions of views on popular social media platforms and have been applauded by celebrities including Rohan Marley, Run DMC, Cedric The Entertainer, amongst others.
At the 2016 Global Citizen Rally, Russell had the privilege of handstamping a portrait of Nelson Mandela on attendees, which was displayed on stage during the Eddie Vedder and Beyonce performance. He also had the honor to gift handstamp portraits to Malala and Ruby Bridges, two women whose contributions have advanced human and civil rights causes.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 handstamp 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.