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Lydia Randolph

Mentone, AL

Artist Statement

For me, authenticity is more valuable than sophistication. I study Cezanne, Lautrec, Gauguin, and, the ultimate purest, van Gogh. These artists were brave, raw, and, in their time, not very successful. I look to them and wander the woods and delight in the twists of the sticks and the rhythm in the leaves. Even the random fork left by a stranger and blackened by time lying on a rock by the river. I hold an ideology about beauty and truth that may seem striking to those who do not see it in the same way. For this very reason, I feel compelled to communicate an interpretation of these concepts that will allow others to see them in a new way. In the same strange way they are viewed through my eyes. When painting, I am influenced by my studies of the great artists who came before me. I’m inspired by Gauguin’s violent use of color, Mary Cassatt’s delicate and precise renderings, Eakins’ honesty. I try to take the lessons I learn from them and interpret it into my own new way of creating art.

I am a full-time artist living in a remote area of northeast Alabama. My preferred medium is fluid or acrylic paints on canvas or wooden panels. I think of myself as a modern cubist. Attempting to find the geometric or repeating patterns and rhythms that occur organically in nature. I see both a tragic and stunning poetry in the composition of the mountains, creeks and canyons surrounding my home. I stare at them and am absorbed not only by the beauty but also by the forms of each. I am admiring things that were created organically, and yet in them I see mathematical patterns, fractals, geometry – repetition where none should be.

I gaze at these simple natural phenomena and see things so subtle that I never could have noticed if I had not taken the time to just really sit and look. I become so hypnotized that oftentimes I am left appearing as a wandering fool, staring into tide pools or rock piles for far longer than is prudent or profitable. I paint what I see, what I’m not sure others are able to see because they do not think to take the time to really sit and look. When I can share what I see and someone else can also see the beauty of something otherwise thought of as insignificant – a cow, a dead tree, a small creek – I feel as if I have done my job as an artist and a poet. I believe my purpose as an artist is to communicate the magnificence of that which may never be seen as beautiful otherwise, or maybe not even seen at all.