Sketches May 2015
Whats Coming Up
Randall Sexton Workshop: May 6-8
"Conversations With the Artists" with Randall Sexton: May 7th at 6:00 pm
"Where in the World is Plein-Air" 2015: June 10-12
Rett Ashby Workshop: June 17-19 With 6 spots remaining
"Conversations With the Artists" with Rett Ashby: June 18 at 6:00 pm
Jane Bell Meyer
April was an incredibly busy month! We began with the New Visions Show in Saint George, Utah. Almost all of our artists came together for a fun filled and successful 2 days! It is like our family reunion. We can’t wait for next year!
The Plein-Air Convention in Monterey was next. Our amazing Tech Specialist, Bob Harrington and I were on the faculty speaking on the new ideas using video to promote the art scene. It was a huge success! A big thanks goes out to Bob! While there, I was able to meet many of the artists that are part of the “Where in the World is Plein-Air 2015 Art Show.” It was so nice to see them in person! One of these amazing artists, Haidee-Jo Summers sketched Bob and myself as we gave a presentation.
I drove to California so that I could switch out art with our Artists there. I thoroughly enjoyed pursuing the private studios of Brian Blood and Kathleen Dunphy! I found some special pieces that are now hanging in Illume Gallery of Fine Art!
We brought on 2 new Artists: Jim McVicker for The Mission Gallery and Charlie Hunter for Illume Gallery of Fine Art. Watch for their introductions and fantastic work! I think the best part of the month was being able to spend one on one time with more than 50 of the awesome artists we represent. Oh! I love what I do! I wish you all a refreshing Spring!
Jane Bell Meyer
Take the opportunity while renowned artists, Randall Sexton is in Salt lake City to meet him and listen as he speaks of his process and passion. Public Welcome to join the conversation Thursday, May 7th at 6 p.m. at Illume Gallery of Fine Art.
Randall Sexton has many subjects that move him. Light is the common thread that weaves its way through his work, illuminating many subjects. The son of a craftsman in the sixties and seventies, creation was learned at an early age in his home. Creation was his home. It was there, in a small town that Randall became an artist. It started when he was a small boy drawing cartoons. The more serious creation came when he was in High School encouraged by a mentor—his art teacher.
With the blessing of his mentor, town and family, off to college Randall went to study sculpture, but his professors had a different idea. They saw within Randall not only a sculptor but a gifted painter and encouraged his potential. Afraid of life after college, Randall tried to switch to a physical therapy major. But, it wasn’t for him. He was a painter. And so he pushed back the worry of making Art into a career, nestling it deep into the back of his mind.
After College the newly graduated Painter moved from the East Coast to the West Coast where he quickly got frustrated with the popular symbolic abstract style and started taking classes to find his own voice.
And then, what Sexton refers to as much more than a coincidence happened. As Randall continued to refine his craft, he met his next great mentor. There was something familiar about the style of the new mentor. They connected in a way that was productive and inspiring. After a year of working with this mentor it was discovered that the mentor’s closest friend was none other than Randall’s high school teacher. Sexton felt that it was destiny that both mentors had come into his life and it was then that he felt very at home with the idea of making his living as a painter. The worries and fear of college dissipated and he set forth where he has become what Jean Stern of the Irvine Museum of Art refers to as “A ‘painters’ painter’, Randall is one of the premier contemporary California landscape painters.”
Aside from his muse, the light, it is the desire to begin the “next” painting that inspires Sexton. He consistently drives himself…always believing that the next one will be a better one. He never wants to “arrive” in his work, rather he desires to constantly try to attain the next level of greatness.
Other inspirations include networks painters, social networking and an old friend. Paul Stempen. Randall and Paul painted together three to four times a week for ten years. The synergy they had when they worked together, their goals and their personalities were great supports to Randall’s work. Sexton calls Paul the most influential friend he’s had. In 2009 Stempen had a heart-attack and passed away leaving Randall to paint and go fishing without the companionship of his dear friend. Thankfully his life is full of many friends, artists and family members; all of whom continue to inspire him to excel.
Recently Sexton found himself in a moment of perfect bliss away from the business part of being an artist. He was at an event and was able to spend the entire day just being an artist painting “en plein air.” He awoke at 6:30 in the morning and found himself painting in Balboa Park, San Diego. Sexton loves the energy in Balboa Park: people going to the museums, folks selling their wares. A Tarot Card reader caught his eye. Her story and her look was interesting. He thoroughly enjoyed the day painting her and wishes those days were more plentiful.
Sexton also loves to create in his studio which is housed in an old car dealership and factory building. It’s a good sized open space with north windows. There he paints, conducts business and teaches classes—something he loves. He loves his view. So much in fact that he had to actually put up curtains to keep the light and his mind steady. Out the north-facing windows he looks upon the rooftops of a little town near Napa. He calls it the most East Coast town in the Bay Area. He looks out upon the old village of the town with steep hills from underneath a big bridge. It’s a working class town and there he feels right at home. Randall knows that there’s a lot of glamour associated with artists, but in truth he looks at it as a Craftsman’s job—like his dad’s. It’s been his studio for ten years, and so it is home. He looks back on fondness at the tiny space that used to be home to his creation. It was the tiny garage of an apartment building. There was no way to keep the dust out and it would flood in winter. But, “Big paintings came from that tiny space!” he laughs.
Accolades are plentiful, but above all honors, Randall is most comfortable being viewed as a regular guy. He recounts an experience of meeting some of his collectors for lunch. The husband and wife were excited to meet him and Sexton was likewise excited to meet them! They enjoyed their lunch and toward the end of the meal the wife confided that she had been so nervous sitting there eating lunch with a celebrity. It shocked Sexton. He explained to his sweet new friend that he was just a normal person, slogging away like everyone else. It’s this down-to-earth connection with people that makes his art so accessible and the messages within so approachable to such a vast number of people.
“We are all in this march forward together,” he says. A sentiment echoed not only in words but in his works of Art.