Lindsay & Stuart - Outdoor Wedding Painting - Bend, Oregon

Tying the knot under the stars of beautiful Bend, Oregon, this happy couple did it right. They celebrated and shared their moment with family and friends in the great outdoors. To commemorate this special day, her (now favorite) sister and brother, searched near and far for an artist whose paintings they loved and style they admired.

And that's where I come into this love story.

Haley contacted me (in secret) - all the way from Switzerland - about a painting for her sister. Our adventurous spirits connected as she excitedly recapped that joyous day. Her poetic words echoed truth and beauty.

My mission was clear:  capture the essence of the day, the love of Lindsay & Stuart, and the happiness shared by all and put it into a memorable painting to remind them everyday of the bond and connection they have together.

I tuned into my divine creative force and let the alchemy happen.

And it completely blew them away. 

In fact, this was the response I got back, "Oh my gosh. I'm almost in tears. It is perfect!!!!!! You are very talented and the style of painting is exactly what I was looking for!!!!!" 

Thanks Haley & Jacob! It was a honor for me to be chosen as the artist to capture your sister's wedding in paint. Thank you for your trust, faith and vision.

I'd also like to send a shout out to their amazing wedding photographer, Erin Grace. Thank you for your genius on their wedding day and for opening up your closed, private gallery for me to gain inspiration. You rock!

Let the memories & love continue


manifesting dreams into reality in 2014

a plan is nothing but a way for me to take inspired action. i find the process of planning is what truly opens up doors of opportunity for me. and right now at the end of 2014, i want to set myself up for success for the coming year by setting new goals. so join me as i share with you my success from 2014 and what worked and what i'd do differently over the coming year.

2014 started out with a bang and never let up.

hundreds of artists from Brazil, Philippines, United Kingdom, Kyrgyzstan, Australia, Turkey & Central Asia reached out to me thanking me personally for inspiring them to lead artistic lives. they all wanted to interview me - a truly inspiring time for me to know i'm helping others. but it's hard to find & balance the time. i'm in the works of writing a book so i can reach more creative souls.

Global Silicon Valley Capital commissioned me to create a series of portraits of iconic figures. some were to be licensed for use on their website, while others would be displayed at their office in Woodside, California. my goal is to build this relationship and over deliver every time.

Above: Custom crate with original paintings headed to Global Silicon Valley Capital  Below: Screen captures of GSV Capital's website

Above: Custom crate with original paintings headed to Global Silicon Valley Capital

Below: Screen captures of GSV Capital's website


meanwhile, i'd been trying to find a ring for kara, my twin flame, because i wanted to ask her to marry me. it took over 8 months & hundreds of jewelers until i discovered it. finally, i found the stone - a paraiba tourmaline from brazil. i had the stone set into a custom platinum band i designed to represent two waves crashing together. it was created by E.B. Horn in Boston, MA. thank you john!

needless to say i could hardly wait any longer. i needed to express my feelings for her. i popped the question on the top of her favorite mountain in the middle of winter during a blizzard. thankfully, she said yes.

man, i've been dreaming and visualizing this day since i was a freshman in high school. it feels so good to know i found the girl for me. i feel blessed knowing i can spend my life with her experiencing all the wonders of the world. dreams do come true with patience, dedication, and inspired action.

yup - we hiked the piper trail to the summit of Mount Chocorua for the proposal

yup - we hiked the piper trail to the summit of Mount Chocorua for the proposal


my mind was constantly racing with ideas as i was also trying to figure out a better way to market my art. how can i earn more passive income? i don't know about you but i'd rather be exploring the outdoors than working a 7-4 job. i know people do it - i've read books, i've heard stories, i've talked to people. my goal is to take a course in sales and marketing.

i teamed up with the vice president of Northern Composites out of Hampton, NH to bring motivation to their work place through words and art. it's a great start, and i'm super happy for this new relationship. now the question, how do i market to a larger audience? my goal is for my inspirational art prints to be in hundreds of hotels, businesses, schools + more this coming year

                                                   prints  available here

                                                   prints available here


i reached and passed 10K facebook friends! many thanks for my worldwide team of supporters - apparently i have a huge following in Korea. my goal is to triple that this year to 30K.

i collaborated with Prita Chhabra, a South Asian Recording Artist, Songwriter, & Activist to create a powerful image of her for the cover of her new CD. it was important for me to learn to take the necessary steps to make these connections. building lasting relationships is huge.

i signed many licensing contracts with schools and investment firms. my goal is to have 5 new major licensing contracts in 2015.

and then another dream came true. my art was gifted to leaders in education: Lou Holtz, Governor Jeb Bush, Reed Hastings, Magic Johnson, Donald Graham, Laurene Powell Jobs, & Secretary Penny Pritzker. check out the press release. my goal is be the artist the stars and leaders look to for art. oh and i plan to meet + greet all of them to show my appreciation for their support

5 of my paintings on display at the GSV + ASU Education Innovation Summit in Scotsdale, AZ

5 of my paintings on display at the GSV + ASU Education Innovation Summit in Scotsdale, AZ


and when the plane's soaring i know to stay in the cockpit. i was contacted by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding my portrait of Secretary Pritzker as she wished to put it on public display at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC. happy dance!

i moved in with my fiance! wow this really happened? my goal for 2015 is to buy our dream home. expansive views + natural light + nature + artist studio

Silly time with Kara as the sun fades

Silly time with Kara as the sun fades


every year i like to give back to my community. this year I created an original Tom Brady painting and donated it to Do it for Donna - a registered 501c non profit charity raising funds to assist in cancer research, assist individual families affected by the disease and assist other 501c non profits helping families affected by cancer. i want to raise the awareness through the power of art

tom brady prints  available here  - all proceeds go to Do it for Donna

tom brady prints available here - all proceeds go to Do it for Donna


galleries from one of the art capitals of world, NYC, are reaching out to me, wanting to exhibit my work. cheers to believing anything is possible. i'm making the goal to be represented by 5 new galleries this year

and the good times keep rolling. SWENK, a Signapore based company, connected with me to create violin cases with my artwork. they have huge plans and are anticipating to explode in 2015. my goal is to establish myself and my art on the global scale for healing and inspiration

here's a pic from the 2014 Musikmesse Shanghai Music Tradeshow

here's a pic from the 2014 Musikmesse Shanghai Music Tradeshow


i was given a very exciting opportunity to paint lake winnipesaukee - delivery of the painting and unveiling party to be in early 2015. my goal is to build this relationship with these collectors in 2015 & bring more artwork into their luxury estate homes.

happy happy day. i married kara on a true fall day. it was sunny, brisk and windy with the foliage in full bloom - just our style. we celebrated with our family and friends. when i finally got clear in what i wanted by taking inspired action, my dream girl, my best friend and lifelong adventure buddy came out of nowhere. cheers to making 2015 even more magical

Two thumbs up -  now let me turn around already

Two thumbs up - now let me turn around already


and then we took a once in a lifetime hawaiian adventure. it was spectacular. so much love, inspiration, & joy.

i'm proud to say at 29 i'm in the best shape of my life. thank you. my goal is to continue living a healthy lifestyle, cooking ayurvedic foods, & exercising daily so i can help others reach their goals.

Livin' it up in the warm tropical waters of Hawaii!!

Livin' it up in the warm tropical waters of Hawaii!!


my art success soared as i was featured on the front cover of the French Magazine, Pote à Pote. i plan to continue to build my fan base with my inspiring stories, art, & healing opportunities

art advisors from Boston, MA are reaching out to me for paintings to meet their clients needs. my goal is to be represented by 5 new art advisors in 2015

over the past year i have manifested so much abundance into my life. all of my dreams that i've been focusing on for years are appearing in my life with effortless ease. i am very thankful and count my blessings daily.

what goals are you setting for yourself in 2015?

let us know in the comments below and share as much detail as you can. we’re stronger together and your insight may be just the thing that someone else needs to find their strength to set goals & manifest their desires.

thank you for reading and contributing to our community. 

i’m deeply grateful to you and can’t wait to see what goals you share.

with joy & excitement

derek russell

Ayla & Dave ~ Wedding Painting ~ The Roundhouse, MA

Ayla and Dave joined hands and said "I do" this past August at the Roundhouse in Coltrain, MA.

this fun couple wanted to capture this day (their day, their moment) forever. after their wedding, they turned to me to create a one-of-a-kind painting for them from one of their wedding photos.

i loved talking to them and hearing how they remembered their wedding day - and what made it special for each one of them. the photos started to come alive. i could feel their love and excitement for each other - so precious!

here's a little taste of what each of them shared with me:

David's emotions were high as he was excited that it was finally happening! and he couldn't say enough about his love for Ayla and how beautiful she looked. 

Ayla (a wedding photographer herself) remembers loving how the light looked through the apple tree. she recalls standing there with the person she was about to marry (they did a first look which they highly recommend), enjoying their time when it was just the two of them. laughing she guessed he looked okay too :).

the painting expresses their moment of LOVE, PASSION, & HAPPINESS

and it all comes together through a balance of vibrant color.

I wish Ayla & Dave years of happiness, love, and laughter!

Ayla & Dave ~ The Roundhouse, MA ~ Wedding Painting ~ Sneak Peak

On August 30th, Ayla and Dave tied the knot and were married at the beautiful Roundhouse in Coltrain, MA. It was the perfect setting for this gorgeous, outdoorsy couple.

They asked me to paint them a masterpiece that they could treasure forever that reminded them of their special day.

I'm well underway, and I've actually got a surprise up my sleeve on this one. You'll have to check back in in a couple of weeks when the final painting is complete.

But here is the sneak peak I promised to share with them, to let them in on the creative process:

Ayla & Dave Wedding Painting Monochrome

For this painting, I decided to sketch them out in pencil first before moving into a loose acrylic style. Developing the shapes and shadows with Burnt Sienna, their form is coming alive.

And now it's time for the magic...

Samantha & Steve ~ Portsmouth, NH ~ Wedding Painting

Samantha & Steve were married in 2013 on a gorgeous day in Portsmouth, NH overlooking the Piscataqua River. They hired their favorite reggae band - Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad - to play at their reception and it was off the hook. For their first dance, they jammed out to the band's own "Love You More" - a song they've loved for years when they've heard it at concerts. And on their wedding day, it was performed for them.

But after the wedding, when the photos came back, something was missing.

And Steve wanted to capture it. He reached out to me back in the springtime and asked for my help. We got together and talked about the possibilities. We decided a one-of-a-kind painting would be the perfect way to recreate this memory.

As I got to know them, I can say that these two are an absolute joy to be around - so full of life and love, it was contagious. And we never let on to Samantha about Steve's surprise for her.

The painting I created for them tells of this moment they experienced. It was a time when two lovers shared their passion on their first dance. It was a time when they were free and united. It speaks of how their bodies were moved by the music.

Steve surprised Samantha with the painting this past September for their one year anniversary, and she was speechless. It brought tears to their eyes.

That expression of love was captured forever in vibrant paint.

I wish Samantha and Steve all the best and happiness in the world!