Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, Rusty influenced by the work of his grandfather, Emil Rust, received his grandfather’s ability and passion to draw and create work of art to impact people in a meaningful way.
What better way is there to impact people than creating illusions? The artist in him recognized that. Therefore, he combined his passion for creating wildlife art and optical illusions, using oil on canvas to produce art that would resonate with viewers.
The Wild Life of Rusty
Growing up in Erie, Pennsylvania, Rusty was exposed to the wonders of outdoors—the beaver ponds, creeks, fishes, birds, grasslands, trees, swamps, and more. Wanting to incorporate the surroundings of the place he grew up in came naturally to him.
The works of his grandfather and other artists such as Gil Elvgren, Norman Rockwell, and Bob Toombs also helped mold his work to what it is today. In fact, in his earlier paintings, you can see the influence of other artists, which he proudly claims to be one of his greatest assets in his growth as an artist. However, before he began to create wildlife, he painted circus and portraits, but since then he shifted his focus to reproduce nature in all of its glory. So far, his impressive resume includes wildlife, seascapes, illustrations, camouflage-type, pin-up, fantasy, still life, glamour, portraits, and nude paintings.
You can revisit his earlier work, which is on display at the Ringling Museum of Circus in Sarasota, Florida, the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Rusty’s Other Accomplishments
Besides having his paintings on display in prominent museums, Rusty has accomplished many other triumphs. The artist has served as an illustrator for A.S. Barnes & Co., Valkyrie Press, and World of Yesterday Publications. Reader’s Digest, wall calendars, porcelain mugs, playing cards, and appointment cards have also used his work.
The attraction of his work in the circles of media and print publications lies in his ability to portray a sense of realism in his paintings, which is one of the primary reasons for his success. Through his paintings, viewers are let in on a story set in an extraordinary place.
Over the course of his career, Rusty has amassed worldwide acclaim, especially amongst art collectors. Having produced over 15,000 paintings and registering over 2,000 with the National Museum and Gallery Registration Association—a record in the history of NMGRA—Rusty has earned a place amongst the greats.
Since his artwork has been published countless times in various mediums, you probably might have come across it without realizing that it was his. If we have spiked your curiosity into seeing it, visit the museums or browse our site to see it.