Randy L Purcell is a visual artist based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2009 he received a BFA in studio art at Middle Tennessee State University. Since 2010, exhibitions of his artwork include events like ArtFields, ArtPrize, Artclectic, Flying Solo at BNA, Dogwood Arts, and the Harding Art show. While Randy’s focus is on his process of transferring ink onto beeswax, his early interest in making furniture has resulted in the creation of pieces of functional artwork as well, including the Metro Arts Nashville “Bee-Cycle” bicycle rack and the ReTune Nashville effort to repurpose damaged musical instruments and equipment.
He is a founding member of the Nashville Collage Collective, Four Artist TN, and the Mystery Art League. His work has appeared in publications like American Bee Journal, Nashville Voyager, Main Street Media, and the Tennessean. In 2020 he was featured on NPT’s Tennessee Crossroads. He has displayed in various places, including fine art galleries, schools, restaurants, and has work in private collections across the United States and in Canada.
Randy currently serves on the board of Number, Inc. (a publication on art of the south), Turnip Green Creative Reuse, and L'Evate (a leadership organization in Donelson/Hermitage/Old Hickory, TN).
Memory is an amazing thing. It’s the “lost and found” of our lives. Exploring that repository is an intrinsic part of my intention…but this is more. Without doubt, each painting is a reflection on things I’ve encountered in my life. But my artwork also includes my sense of wonder. I’ve come to realize that it’s the little things that can create and trigger memories. Consequently, I allow an influence from one moment of my life to lead me to the next, which allows me to follow a seemingly random, and endless, path of experiences. As a result, my paintings each represent chapters in the book that is my life.
The process of cutting and transferring ink from magazine paper onto beeswax is a tedious technique. However, the work is peaceful and silent, and it allows me space for introspection. Just like memories, some of the transferred imagery can represent various facets and moments of my life, all things that have brought me to the present. This medium presents these subjects as well as we may remember them. Do we ever recall one thing without being reminded of others?
I begin each piece by going through my photos, taking time to reflect on my experiences and on past works. Of course, I paint a lot of bees because they are responsible for the medium I use. I like to raise awareness of their importance to our environment, but most of my subjects have a connection with things I’ve encountered. I hope to draw you in with familiar subjects—but hold your attention with an overwhelming array of textures and imagery!