J Russell Wells Artist Biography

RS Hanna Gallery - J Russell Wells Artist Biography
208 South Llano Street ~ Fredericksburg, Texas  78624
Ph:  (830) 307-3071  &  (830) 307-3074
E-Mail:  Shannon@RSHannaGallery.com

J Russell Wells



Jeffrey Wells paints primarily in the 'Alla Prima' fashion as he finds the immediacy of his response to his subject, the interplay of light with form, coupled with his emotional connection helps to yield a beauty that can only be captured with this method of painting.


Born in the suburbs of Chicago Jeff always thought he'd move to a warmer climate, but today he still calls "the Windy city" home.  When he needs to, Jeff and his wife Janice escape to their second home in Savannah, amongst the thick Live Oak trees and huge magnolias.  Back in high school, Jeff  switched from an interest in music to an emphasis in art.  He always had a keen interest  in art from his earliest childhood recollections and was fascinated with Norman Rockwell's covers on Post magazine.  However he never entirely gave up on his interest in music and he went on to play trumpet in a 14 piece jazz band for 25 years.


After graduating in the top of his class at university, where Jeff studied painting, printmaking and sculpture, he started showing in avante garde art competitions and promoted his talent to architects and interior designers in Chicago.  He was commissioned to create portraits, landscapes, bronze sculptures and customized abstracts in large scale.  These works were placed in corporations, private residences and commercial spaces throughout the United States.  During this period Jeff was offered a job designing and creating marketing plans for corporate trade show exhibitions.  With a new family on the way and the need for a consistent income he took the position and enjoyed great success.  Though this was an exciting career, the pull to return to painting was forever on his mind and in his heart. 


A meeting with fellow artists and soon to be mentors, Dan Gerhartz and Bill Schneider, encouraged Jeff to pursue his talent for and love of art.  Upon his re-entry into the art world, he found that "beauty", in all its forms and circumstances, was to become his motivation.  The creation of God, full of form, line, shape, color, texture and pattern, and the way light exposes and interacts with these elements, provides an endless joy of discovery and challenge. The human experience, especially the "daily" activities which can seem so simple and yet yield a beauty that begs to be painted and expressed, is a driving force behind Jeff's work.  How color and form react to different light and the beautiful rendition of design that results provides endless inspiration.


Recently Jeff has won awards for his work, Best of Show in the Bosque International and also in the Oklahoma Art Guild.  He has exhibited in several OPA shows and is often sought after for advice and critique by other artists.  Always studying and challenging himself to improve, Jeff has studied with well known artists Scott Christensen, Daniel Gerhartz, William Schneider and Gregg Kreutz.


"One should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine painting every day of one's life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."  Goethe.



Palette and Chisel Academy of Art, Chicago

Academy of Art, Chicago

Northern Illinois University



Daniel Gerhartz

Rose Frantzen

Romel De La Torre

Gregg Kreutz

Scott Christensen


Recent Shows

American Impressionist Society 2012

NOAPS Best of America 2012

OPS Regional 2011

Best of Show Award:  OK Art, Oklahoma

23rd Annual Conservatory Art Classic, Bosque TX

1st Place Gold:  22nd Annual Conservatory Art Classic, Bosque TX

Barns & Farms National Juried Competition 2007

OPA Regional Miniature 2007

OPA Regional, 2005


Professional Memberships

OPA, Oil Painters of America

Portrait Society of America

ARC,  Art Renewal Center

American Impressionist Society

NOAPS, National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society



Jeff has painted numerous portrait and corporate pieces.