The West has always captivated Kirk Randle, who grew up in Utah amongst the sweeping landscapes and expansive skies synonymous with this part of the country. He was young, just barely a teenager, when he began to observe and appreciate his surroundings with an artistic eye.
“My grandmother was a painter and when I was about 13 years old I used to paint with her,” Kirk says. “That’s how I got involved in art and it’s been my life ever since.”
As Kirk continued exploring the world of art, his high school teacher became a trusted mentor and supporter. They worked together on his techniques to ensure Kirk’s portfolio was strong. His years of effort paid off when he received the University of Utah’s prestigious Presidential Scholarship to study art.
Ever since boyhood, Kirk has never turned his back on creating. And as he’s continued to grow and evolve as an artist, one of the biggest lessons he’s learned is that no matter how talented one might be, to be an artist is to continually grow and be challenged.
“My art has gradually evolved since I was in the art galleries and exposed to so many different painters over the years,” Kirk says. “I’ve been around hundreds of painters for 45 years and those painters influenced my work over the years greatly.”
Yet no matter how his work has changed over the many decades he’s been a painter, the one constant factor for Kirk is where he sources his ideas from.
“My inspiration comes from mainly the West,” Kirk says. “I’m drawn to painting landscapes all over the Western United States. I’ve painted all over the world, but mainly the Western United States.”
And paint he does. Kirk uses oil to paint sprawling landscapes, wildlife and Native American art. His trademark style leans on the use of color to pour over the intense beauty and capture the light of the West. These classic scenes are what’s made him a visitor favorite for nearly three decades at the Celebration of Fine Art, which has itself experienced an evolution.
“In the early days, there wasn’t really any signage and it had dirt floors,” Kirk says. “But things have progressed. The studios have turned into beautiful art galleries. It’s been a great experience and a huge blessing to our family. We’re able to make a good living here and it’s a great place to show my work.”
Kirk relishes being surrounded by 99 fellow artists, and encourages visitors to schedule plenty of time to walk through the show and connect with artists.
“There are 100 artists that are very diverse and from all over the country,” Kirk says. “They’re very talented and very dedicated and you get to see their process. Most everyone is here working, painting, sculpting or blowing glass. That’s what happens here on a daily basis.”
See more of Kirk’s story and art below: