Artist Statement

As a fine art photographer, Russell Tomlin seeks to create beauty that moves those who view his images. The search begins in the natural world with water— the charm of still water in wetlands ponds and pools, the tumult of river and creek, the dimming mystery of fog and mist, the majesty of the Pacific. His work encompasses photographic impressionism in wetlands stillness and Pacific flight, the minimal and serene in fog and seasonal waterscape, and the puzzling beauty of abstracts drawn from water reflections. / @russelltomlin

Russell Tomlin, Dr. Dexter Gallery, Eugene, OR

Displayed at Don Dexter Gallery

Impressions in the Second Sky, July-September 2016 (Q3)
Autumn Still, October-December 2016 (Q4)
Riparian Impressions, June 29-September 24, 2019 (Q3)

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration in the natural world, wherever water defines a living space, sacred with life and beauty. There are many such places nearby–the wetlands of Fern Ridge and Coyote Creek, Whitaker Creek and other streams that feed the Siuslaw, and the rivers of Oregon flowing all the way into the Pacific.

Favorite thing to do in or around Eugene…

I love to visit the natural beauty of Eugene–the Fern Ridge wetlands, Delta Ponds, Mt. Pisgah, the Willamette River, and the Owen Rose Garden. I also frequent the places that make good coffee.

Quote that inspires your creativity…

“Beauty is a fragile gift.”



Riparian Impressions by Russell Tomlin
June 29-September 24, 2019 (Q3)

We are moved by what is beautiful, whether that beauty is found or created. We are also moved by what is authentic—true to its character and to our own. The fine art photographer wanders between these poles, seeking to sustain the authenticity of the scene while drawing an emotional response through its interpretation. The images in this collection pursue this dual goal for photography. Each image begins as a capture of a moment in a riparian setting in early morning or early evening light. That capture is then processed—most often quite minimally but sometimes quite extravagantly—to emphasize an emotional interpretation of the original scene. In this way I seek to combine the authenticity of the capture with authentic emotional engagement.

Autumn Still by Russell Tomlin
October 2016-December 2016 (Q4)

When we think of autumn, it is common to think about blustery days of rain and wind and change. We marvel as we drive around town or out along the road to the coast as leaves fall from the trees, as rain spatters across sidewalks and makes circles on our wetlands ponds, as the emerging chill invites us to move more quickly from place to place. But there is another side to autumn, one we can best see early in the morning or just before the sun sets. This other side is one of quietude, of calm, of patience in the midst of change. The images in this collection all seek to capture that peacefulness, the silent moment of stillness.


Impressions in the Second Sky by Russell Tomlin
July-September 2016 (Q3)

The essence of classical impressionism is the single moment—a feeling or experience—with its uniqueness reflected in the transient shifting of light and color across the visual canvas. Such impressions formed the basis for impressionist masters in European painting as well as the classical mountainscapes of Chinese and Japanese artists. And it is very much this singular moment, captured on the canvas of still and softly moving water—the second sky–that each of the eleven pieces in this collection offers the viewer. My goal is to capture one single moment as it is reflected in the second sky and to share its transitory essence with those who would experience the fleeting changes manifested in the natural world.


After more than thirty years as an academic, Russell Tomlin discovered photography as a new territory for creative work. Retiring early from the conventional academic life he now pursues this new calling, while there is still time to find and share with others beauty inescapable and compelling.