I am Charlie Russell’s biggest fan…ever since I was ten years old. Now, because of my involvement in painting scenes from his life, I dug deeper into his life than before and really learned to appreciate his wife, Nancy or “Mame”. Charlie Russell’s art is amazing and Nancy, in her own right, was equally amazing as a person and as a business woman.
As I googled Charles Marion Russell some other names came up of great interest. Another Charlie Russell known as the Amchatka bear man. He is the son of Andy Russell, guide, outfitter and outdoor writer who lived in the Waterton lakes area. His son grew up in that beautiful place and now at age 70 is a famous conservationist who has done a lot of important research on Russian brown bears. It’s curious that these Russell guys all lived in the same approximate area, separated by the 49th parallel. They all made contributions to ecology and wildlife in their own particular ways.
I plan to talk about, and paint, some of Charlie Russell’s friends. The Trigg family that lived next door and embraced Nancy wholeheartedly when much of Great Falls disliked her… Joe De Yong, who spent ten years, not only as an apprentice to Charlie but also as a close friend… Olaf Seltzer, the plagarist and opportunist who exploited Charlie Russell in so many ways. I have tried very hard to be open-minded about Olaf but I still don’t like this guy… Con Price, a trusted buddy and so many others who influenced Charlie’s life…especially the Eastern illustrators Crawford and Marchand.
Finally I would like to tell you a little about myself and my horse and bush experiences. Hope you like it.