The dedication and enthusiasm Russ Docken incorporates into his art is more than a catchy colloquialism. Rather, they are critical aspects he has used to achieve his goals. The ability to project these highly animated, personal qualities and have them merge on canvas is a skill this North Dakota native has been honing for a lifetime.
It began when North Dakota State University offered Docken a full athletic scholarship. If he wanted to continue his education, tireless training and sacrifice were not optional–but the rewards were great! At NDSU, Docken took the challenge and became a nationally ranked athlete and a three-time NCAA champion in Track and Field. Realizing he was the only one who could make his dreams into reality, he analyzed his efforts in achieving his athletic goals, and carried the valuable lesson of discipline to his art.
While his college courses were directed to abstract styles, Docken took special interest in life drawing classes. Throughout his childhood, this introspective student was drawn to creating images of the human form. Docken began a highly developed, personal study of the old masters and worked under the tutelage of Howard Rogers to gain additional insight into figure painting and the complexity of human anatomy. Today, Docken continues to educate himself on art and techniques of the past, as well as examining and exploring the methods of contemporary artists. As a result, Docken has gained profound control of both opaque and glazing techniques. Thus, a great sense of realism and depth of color differentiate oil paintings.
In addition to educational pursuits, Russ Docken has always relied on the support of his family. While growing up, Docken’s highly creative family encouraged him at every turn and their strong foundation built his confidence. Now, his wife and children have helped him make his dream of professional artist become a reality. “People have always been by inspiration, whether painting a beautiful woman or a rugged mountain man, capturing the spirit of the subject is my ultimate goal. I feel fortunate to have a career I truly love and hope my work may inspire or invoke a favorable response to those who see it,” said Russ.
Russ has been painting professionally for twenty years. His work has been featured on KSTP news and in magazines such as Southwest Art, Art of the West, and Wildlife Art. Russ Docken’s original oil paintings are found in private collections across the country. His paintings have been reproduced in limited edition prints and licensed on products that are sold throughout the world. Russ’s originals, prints and licensing opportunities are available through Wild Wings, one of today’s leading publishers, distributors and retailers of wildlife, sporting, and nostalgic/Americana art prints and art-related products.