Born in 1946, Russell Cobane has dedicated a lifetime to the perfection of his awesome talent. He began in his youth as a landscape painter and spent many hours camping and fishing. In his 30's, he was a prominent commercial illustrator with a Madison Avenue artist representative. His love of plants and nature called to his soul and in 1984 he began painting wildlife.
Russ won the People's Choice Award at the Michigan Wildlife Habitat Foundation Show for five consecutive years, designed a series of eight collector plates for The Bradford Exchange and designed greeting cards for the National Wildlife Federation and the Humane Society.
Cobane's efforts in conservation have earned in excess of $500,000 for Ducks Unlimited alone. Cobane continues to paint primarily nature subjects, but is interested in exploring other subjects as well. One never knows where his hobbies, such as orchid growing, will take him.
"Painting is just a small part of the joy of being an artist. The real reward comes when collectors fall in love with a painting or print and choose it for their very own. This really gives me a sense of joy and completion," says Cobane.
I have always known, from the time I was a small child, how to harness my creativity. It's a dream-like trance that I get pulled into and then I sort of fly where it takes me, like a magic carpet ride. The great fun is not knowing the destination. Often while I am painting my hand can't keep up with my brain and I have to grab the nearest piece of paper and capture the idea before it escapes me. The most exciting part about creating something is the idea that I can't ever know what's next, it's just a fantastic wonderful mystery.
I have always loved Christmas and confess that I can not resist collecting even now that I am creating my own line of blown glass ornaments. My fascination with Christmas, nature, gardening and Santa is a recurring subject in much of my work. I especially like Santa because he is such a good, kind soul. I believe he is a symbol of goodness and generosity. Ever since I was very young, I have been inspired by the Spirit of the holidays. My designs are created from my love of the season and all of the traditions that are dear to our hearts.