Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Landscape Become Image

Christmas Badge
Throughout my career the landscape has been my guiding orientation. . . . My impulse comes from a simple belief in the restorative qualities of nature.
~ Randall David Tipton

His watercolors on yupo* and board were what first caught my eye. And I couldn't stop looking.

So I looked some more and found oils on canvas, paper, and board and felt a "WOW!" go through me.

I came across his work purely by chance, browsing the site of Laura and Rob Jones, owners of Migration Gallery in Charlottesville, Virginia, about two hours south of my home in Arlington. Rob had written that Randall David Tipton "made us fall completely in love with watercolor, never before a favorite medium. . . ." I opened my e-mail, sent Laura a note asking about a few pieces, and then found myself the owner of a small Randall David Tipton.

Randall did something only a very few artists I know do: He sat down and hand-wrote me a personal note, saying of "Winter Wetlands" (the watercolor now in my collection), "I want you to know this was my third attempt to get it right. . . I'm crazy about wetlands, especially when they're dormant in winter; so much color!"

Get it right Randall did. The location is along a backwater of Lacamas Lake, where Randall loves to walk. It's a gorgeous place, a place where an inspired hand setting paint to canvas or watercolor to board can leave you breathless.

Randall lives in Portland, Oregon. He paints at night. His style is all his own, sometimes veering toward complete abstraction, often improvisational, always reveling in expression. He paints with vivid color, with a fluid but disciplined hand that also lets you see the sharp line and the shadow. He invests every piece he creates with a deep and intuitive understanding of the landscape on which he draws for inspiration. "In the American tradition of Thoreau to Frederick Edwin Church to Arthur Dove and others," Randall writes in his Artist's Statement, "I include myself among those trying to expose the transcendental relationship we have with the natural world."

Educated in California and later in New Mexico where he took a Master class with the great Richard Diebenkorn, Randall has shown his work since 1981 in group exhibitions in Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas and has enjoyed numerous one-person shows in Oregon and Colorado. He is in the corporate and public collections of US West Telecommunications, Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, Newsweek, M.C. Editorial Inc., Eastern New Mexico University, and the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador.

This terrific painter knows where his "commitment" lies: "to something more authentic." "[T]hrough the process of painting, alert to possibility," he writes, "my belief in the redemptive essence of the landscape becomes an image."

I hope to publish an in-depth interview with Randall sometime in the New Year. Until then, go here and here; also here and here. Sit a while with the images on your screen. Hold the stillness. Be moved.

At High Calling Blogs, we're celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas as 12 Days of Community, by highlighting the blogs or Websites of people other than ourselves during this Season of Advent and Christmas. As our friend Glynn says, this is something we should be doing anyway, all the other 353 days of the year. My first post under the badge is here.

* Yupo is a type of plastic, originally created for the printing industry and used for signs.  It's smooth, bright, highly durable. To read more about it, click here.


Glynn said...

You introduced me to Tipton's blog and art, Maureen -- and that was a blessing. Great tribute!

Joyce Wycoff said...

Lovely way to start the day! Thanks for the introduction to Tipton's work.

RT said...

Good Lord Maureen! Whoa, thanks! I`m grateful for your thoughtful view of my work.

Rob Jones said...

Great article, Maureen. One of Laura's and my proudest acheivements at Migration is to have brought Randall's art to the east coast.

nAncY said...

i love the support you bring to randall.
it is a beautiful as his art.

L.L. Barkat said...

on my way...