Crotty received a BFA with Honors from the San Franciso Art Institute and his MFA from the University of California, Irvine for his MFA. A native Californian, Russell grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, began and nurtured his art career in Los Angeles, lived many years in the Santa Monica Mountains -- and now works in Ventura and resides in Ojai, California with his wife Laura Gruenther, a graphic designer. In 2015 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
For over 30 years, Russell Crotty has created and exhibited a large body of art work, manifested in globes, drawings, collages and books. His art has been extensively exhibited nationally and internationally and is owned by private collectors, museums and public collections. His practice chronicles an idiosyncratic commentary on astronomy, landscape, coastal mapping, surfing, and the natural and manmade world.