Artist shares with area seniors


Renowned sports artist Rick Rush spoke to seniors at Russellville’s First Baptist Church this week. | Nathan Strickland/FCT


The new age of athletics as an art form has inspired many sports fanatics to decorate rooms in their homes with portraits of their favorite moments in sports history.

Well-known professional sports artist Rick Rush’s name has been hung on walls throughout the world as he has captured many of these moments with the stroke of a paint brush.

Rush visited Russellville First Baptist Church on Tuesday to share some of his secrets to success and displayed several of his works of art that has helped him to achieve greatness.

“One day it just clicked that I needed to be doing what I enjoyed doing instead of just working to make a buck,” Rush said as he addressed a gathering inside RFBC. “Art has served as one of the passions of my life. I’m really fortunate to be living out my dream.”

Rush said when he first got old enough to hit the work force he was only looking to accomplish three things in life: be well-educated, be rich and be famous.

“I found out quickly that if those are the only things you are looking for, then your heading straight towards a dead end,” he said.

Rush said he got into art on his own, but admits that if it weren’t for God’s grace, his parents and family support and his brother’s help with the business side of things, he may not have ended up where he has established himself today.

Rush began painting professionally in 1975 and, since that time, he has gained international recognition.

The 35-year veteran sports artist believes his need to put a deeper meaning into his masterpieces sets him a part from others in the profession.

At Rick Rush Studios in Tuscaloosa, Rush has chosen to use the art of serigraph printing to duplicate and bring a better quality to his works of art. explains serigraph printing as “a much more advanced form of Silk Screening, in principle, the two are still very much alike, as the techniques are generally the same.”

Rush’s webpage also states that during the production process “each one of the finished ‘stencils’ is painstakingly hand-painted onto transparent films and traced from a master copy of the original oil painting. The then ‘burned’ screen is placed onto the press and locked into place above the ‘Master’ of the original painting. Finally, a person will very carefully register the screen to the master, and then begin the printing of the one color.”

Most of Rush’s portraits contain over 50 colors.

Rush also displayed his paintings portraying the Alabama Crimson Tide's 2009 BCS National Championship and Former Auburn University standout athlete Bo Jackson during his career as a Pro football and baseball player. | Nathan Strickland/FCT


Rush said white is one of his favorite colors “because it is the last color added to have a painting completed in the serigraph printing process and it seems to cover up the mistakes if there are any.”   

The impressive and diverse register of those who commission and own Rush’s work includes: two United States presidents (Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter), top financiers and entertainers and many of America’s best known sports stars.

Rush’s art can also be found in the collections of The All England Club (Wimbledon) and at many public museums and collections.

Rush said one of his greatest honors and memories was when he was commissioned by the White House to present a portrait of the 1980 U.S. Hockey team and their victory over Russia to President Carter.

Locally, Rush has had the privilege of meeting famous sport legends like Paul “Bear” Bryant, Bo Jackson and current Alabama football head coach Nick Saban.

“I’ve found that artists tend to create portraits of stuff that is really close to them and sports is one of those things to me,” Rush said.

Rush currently resides in Tuscaloosa with his wife and six children and believes that God has given him the best possible life anyone could ever ask for.

For more information on Rick Rush and his paintings visit