Dance of Miriam
40 x 30 in.
Available through the artist
[email protected]

Dance of Miriam is a piece I imagined after reading the history of the Israelites deliverance by the hand of God from captivity and slavery to the Egyptians as told in the book of Exodus. After crossing the Red Sea to freedom, Miriam, the sister of Aaron, takes up a tambourine and dances and sings with obvious joy for the triumph of God. In this painting I used abstracted elements and specific colors to communicate this joy and movement as I saw it in my mind. I hired several models to dance in my studio and outdoors, capturing videos and stills of their movement so I could find images that worked together, and I could interpret on the canvas to describe what I imagined. During the course of the painting I discovered the technical narrative to be most important to achieving the effect I was after. I used rollers, squeegees, rags, scrapers and even poured solvent over the painting until the action of the paint and the marks created gave the conceptual narrative its intention.

Dance of Miriam is currently in my studio!

Palette and Chisel Academy of Art, Chicago
American Academy of Art, Chicago
Northern Illinois University, BSed
William Rainey Harper College

Recent Workshops
Alyssa Monks
Casey Baugh
Roger Dale Brown
Quang Ho
Bernardo Siciliano
Vincent Desiderio
Steven Assael

Recent Shows

  • OPA Salon 2019
  • NOAPS Best of America 2019
  • NOAPS Best pf America 2018
    • 3rd Place Award for “The Gift”
  • NOAPS Small Works 2018
  • OPA Eastern Regional 2017
    • Award of “Excellence” for ‘Model Break’
  • NOAPS Best of America 2017
    • Award “Best Figurative Work” for ‘Allure’
  • Unlocking The Bible Fundraiser: Painting “The Sower” completed live and auctioned at the event
  • American Impressionist Society Small Works 2017
  • Portrait Society Award of NOAPS Signature Artist Group Show 2016
    • Honorable Mention “Out of the Box” category for ‘Free Bird’
  • “Thief on the Cross” one act play by Stephen Baldwin, Painting “Redemption” featured in the performance.
  • “Grasshopper” movie, commissioned painting “It’s Over”
  • NOAPS Online International 2014
    • Award of Excellence
  • NOAPS Best of America 2013
    • Award of Excellence
  • American Impressionist Society 2013
  • OPA Salon 2013
  • American Impressionist Society 2012
  • NOAPS Best of America 2012
  • OPA Eastern Regional 2011
  • OK Art, Oklahoma
    • Best of Show Award for ‘Longing’
  • 23rd Annual Conservatory Art Classic, Bosque TX
  • 22nd Annual Conservatory Art Classic, Bosque TX
    • 1st Place Gold for “Contemplation”
  • Barns & Farms National Juried Competition 2007
  • OPA Eastern Regional Miniature 2007
  • OPA Eastern Regional, 2005

Professional Memberships
OPA, Oil Painters of America
Portrait Society of America
ARC, Art Renewal Center
American Impressionist Society
NOAPS, National Oil and AcrylicPainters Society, Signature Status

R. S. Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX
Castle Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN


Instagram: jrussellwells

Email: [email protected]

In addition to his studio painting J. Russell Wells is nearing completion on a book about contemporary artist’s describing their artistic epiphanies which have impacted their careers.