Born in Lufkin, Texas in 1971, Russ Havard has been notably influenced by the landscape and culture of deep East Texas. Working in traditional and experimental methods, Russ uses landscape as both a centre and as a point of departure. Major personal and artistic changes occurred however, when Russ fell ill with an auto-immune disease in 1994. He worked and completed graduate studies at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas until a major relapse in 1997. This forced him to change his working methods and materials from large mixed media works to small-scale watercolors. The circumstance gave a new meaning of growth through volatility, resulting in more content-driven work, concerning spiritual issues.
Currently, Russ lives in Texas where he continues to work, exhibiting in solo and group shows nationally, including the George Billis Gallery in New York and Los Angeles.