Natural Beauty



Simultaneously representational and impressionistic, David Randall’s artwork comes alive with swaths of vibrant colors that converge, merge and blend to form quintessential Lowcountry natural elements like Spanish moss-clad live oak trees.

“Live oak trees are awesome,” Randall said. “As are other trees like palmetto trees and palm trees. People have responded to trees for centuries, maybe even a millennia.” 

Randall says his work often depicts our island’s (and the surrounding area’s) natural beauty. 

“There is natural beauty everywhere, but I want to work with what I see here,” he said. “I can paint portraits and other subjects, but natural beauty is something I have always been interested in.”

Just as his landscape paintings like “Southern Adirondacks” and “Low Tide” move you from one point to another, telling you a subtle story, the evolution of Randall’s passion for art follows a compelling storyline. 

“I was born into a family of artists,” he said. “It was still a decision to become an artist, but basically I grew up surrounded by art and artists. Aunts and uncles, grandparents and parents, the whole nine yards, but it was still my personal decision to be a fine artist.”

His decision to pursue art professionally came after enlisting in the army at age 19 during the Vietnam War. 

“When I went into the Army, I got away from art completely and it was a shock. Ninety percent through flight school I decided that I didn’t want to be a gunship pilot. I felt I could do more for this world as an artist than a helicopter pilot,” he said.

“It was an emotionally difficult war, and the army was not happy with me because the arts is an out-of-the-norm profession and hard for people to grasp,” said Randall, who upon meeting him exudes a sense of empathy and kindness. “But talking about the difficulty [of that time in his life] is the best way to cure it.”

After completing his service as a mechanic in the Vietnam War, Randall focused his energy on art school.

“You can absorb certain things from your family, but once you make a serious commitment to art, schooling is important,” Randall said.

He went to the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York and then the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpting.

“Everyone is self-taught at a certain point, but you have to grow beyond yourself and your schooling,” Randall said.

Randall said that part of the process of being an artist is figuring out how to survive and even succeed, which is why he admittedly moved to Hilton Head. 

“I saw an advertisement in a trade magazine about FastFrame here and my wife’s son was at Fort Stewart. I came here and said to myself, ‘It’s a done deal.’”

artist3Randall said his style is “bright.”

“I am not trying to replicate what I see like a photograph. Instead, I am trying to show my response to what I see amplified by my use of color and composition,” he said. “I have always been attracted to bright colors and the works of artists like van Gogh. Some artists advocate a limited palate, but I feel more comfortable with an extensive palate.” 

Pointing to a work in progress inside his FastFrame shop (located at 95 Mathews Drive, #A5), “I am using at least 18 colors right now.”

As Randall’s storyline continues, he says he hopes he will continue to evolve as an artist. 

“Thirty years ago I was emulating Matisse with flat colors, trying to figure out what he was doing, but now I’ve moved away from flat colors. Now some might say I’m more impressionistic,” he said. 

But more importantly to Randall, “I am always trying to grow and fight against my own inhibitions.”

Another point of emphasis for Randall is longevity:
“I want my work to last,” he said.

Randall believes an artist’s story should never end. 

“Even when I am gone, I want my work to live on.”