Painter and Sculptor Randall May is this month’s Gallery Moab Guest Artist. Currently residing in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Randall grew up in Glade Park, just east of the La Sal Mountains in Colorado. Both his grandmothers were artists and encouraged him to explore many mediums, including sculpture. Living far from town they had no TV or telephone, so Randall entertained himself by drawing while his mother read stories. Randall writes, “If I could only choose one medium to use and continue to grow in my art career, it would be a pencil and sketch pad, because I can take it anywhere.” Growing up in the mountains, he developed a love for wildlife, ranch life, animals, and nature in general. He spent a lot of time hiking or riding his horse. This background of rich experiences is reflected in the subject matter of his paintings and sculpture.
Randall’s family moved to Moab for about four years. He can remember crossing Dewey Bridge in a brand-new Ford F-250 four-wheel drive. They had to pull in the mirrors so the truck would fit. He has seen cattle drives cross that bridge. “Always thought I might paint that scene,” he says. He felt right at home in Moab, an extension of the area he grew up in and yet unique at the same time. It’s a special place that he still loves to return to and experience.
Randall studied at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Mesa State College in Colorado. He traveled to workshops in Alaska, Colorado, and Florida to study under renowned wildlife and historic artist, John Seery Lester. Many others have guided and instructed Randall on his artistic pathway including his artist grandmother whose footsteps he has followed into the backcountry from Ruin Park, Canyonlands, Arches, to the River Road and the La Sal mountains.
Randall’s paintings and sculptures range from small to monumental in size and are collected both nationally and internationally, some for permanent collections. He has placed monumental sculpture in many private and public settings in Colorado, and has twice been commissioned to paint grizzly bears on a monumental scale. In addition, he has illustrated several books and is currently working on two more.
“I don’t think of myself as an artist,” he writes, “I think of myself as a visionary who expresses himself through the medium of art. It’s important to me to express myself well, so I must continue to grow and develop for that to be possible. Original thoughts and ideas are key to this process. To do what has already been done, instead of learning from it, is a tragedy for any artist or visionary. There are enough ideas from this experience of living to more than fill the creativity of one, than can be shared in a lifetime.”
Join Gallery Moab members at a reception for Randall May on Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 5-8 pm. The gallery, located at 87 North Main Street, is open daily from 12-9 pm.
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