Randy VanBeek was born June 28, 1958 and raised in the Pacific Northwest. As a child he exhibited exceptional artistic talent with a specific interest in drawing. His drawings portrayed his different interests throughout childhood.
After graduating from high school Randy pursued no formal art training. During that period, abstract and expressionism was the trend for most art colleges. Randy’s interest was always traditional realism, so he sought out his own education. Living near Western Washington University gave him access to their extensive art library where he studied and practiced the techniques of his favorite master artists.
Most of his attention was focused on the eighteenth century Dutch and Austrian masters, and the nineteenth century American painters, particularly the Hudson River School group. The time spent in museums in the U.S. and Europe also proved invaluable to his artistic development. His work has evolved into a unique style truly his own, but the influence of the masters is evident. He uses many of the glazing techniques or transparent layers of colors. Light creates an optical illusion and depth when it travels through the layers of color. The eye blends the color rather than light reflecting off the surface.
He is continually striving to improve in composition, which is the most intellectual aspect in painting. Its the design and arrangement of dark and light masses, the harmonious union of line, form and color to which a viewer is attracted. He develops the composition to communicate a message or a sensation.
“Whenever I travel I carry my painting equipment and camera. When I discover a scene or an effect that excites me, something unique, I attempt to capture what I feel or the impression of my visual experience.” Later in the studio Randy refers to the outdoor study paintings as well as the photographs to execute larger works. When he composes these more complex versions, he may incorporate figures, children, or wildlife, sometimes creating a story.
Randy enjoys a broad range of subjects and painting styles. “I don’t want to limit myself to a theme in subjects, or a repetitive formula in techniques. I need to continually challenge myself. The creative process is over once I’ve accomplished something, and it’s that process I’m most passionate about. I think the creative mind is one of God’s most fascinating gifts. I see it as a responsibility to explore and develop my gift, but mostly to share what I’ve created.” We can seek solace in the appreciation of beauty. Art, music, and literature can elevate our spirit providing relief from the common place. A work of art is passed on for centuries, communicating one's personal insights in a particular era.
Randy is concerned with the preservation of natural areas of the earth and hopes his work will inspire others to share in the responsibility of maintaining balance between conservation, economic, and social needs. He annually contributes to over thirty local and over twenty national non-profit organizations which either preserve wild habitats or aid humanitarian efforts. A partial list of memberships include: World Wildlife Fund, National Park Foundation, Wilderness Society, Children's Compassion International, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Whatcom Land Trust.
Randy is a member of OPA and an inaugural member of the CM Russell Skull Society of artist. His work has been featured in five national art magazines, most recently Western Art and Architecture March 2016 . His paintings have been included in annual exhibitions at the CM Russell Museum.