Artist Interviews

Beeswax Artist Randy Purcell

Welcome to the official launch of a new artist interview and news channel “The Creative Push!” Visual artist Randy L. Purcell is the first interview because of his unique artistic approach. He is known for his encaustic process of transferring ink onto beeswax. Over the past decade, Randy has perfected a technique and style that are all his own with this special medium.

Artist Randy Purcell in art studio

“Early on the process was exciting because it was so fresh and new, I know that what ever subject matter I choose I know I can somehow make it different.” – Randy L. Purcell

Bees wax transfer of Legends, Nashville
Pictured: Beeswax transfer of Legends, Nashville TN.

Randy is a passionate member of the Nashville arts community and likes to help people. He and I actually first met in 2010 for the “ReTune Nashville” arts project, in which a team of artists repurposed damaged musical instruments to raise funds for the 2010 Nashville flood victims. He donated his time to create one-of-a-kind items for the project, including an autographed guitar for the “Nashville Predators” hockey team.

Nashville Predators  flood damaged repurposed  autographed wax encaustic guitar

Randy got into art after trying a number of other careers. He’s originally from Paducah, Kentucky, where he worked as a tugboat deckhand, a delivery driver, and for a uranium enrichment plant before relocating to Nashville. Moving to Music City allowed him to meet his wife, Tracy. But he was still trying to figure out what vocation suited him best.

At 37 years old, Randy decided to go back to school and study art. While he wanted to develop the skills he needed to create a studio furniture line, Randy saw the value of experimenting with other mediums. He studied painting, and learned about methods of encaustic art, which included transferring ink from magazine pages onto beeswax. Just like putty pulling the ink from a page that’s been pressed against it, this transfer process carried some of the original pictures and text from a magazine onto a beeswax-coated canvas. Playing with iconic or familiar imagery, Randy discovered a way of making collages that would be the new direction for his art. 

“The textures I can put into a painting are endless, I keep finding things I can do differently.” – Randy L. Purcell

Bees wax transfer of Jacks Barbque, downtown Nashville
Pictured: Beeswax transfer of Jacks Bar-B-Que, Nashville TN.
ees wax transfer of Bees in honey comb
Pictured: Beeswax transfer of Bees.
Bees wax transfer of Behind the 505
Pictured: Beeswax transfer of Behind the 505, Nashville TN.

After graduating in 2009 with a BFA in painting and sculpture, Randy decided to pursue a career as a professional artist. Over the last 10 years, Randy’s work has appeared in galleries and private collections all over the US and Canada. He is active in the arts community with groups such as Nashville Collage Collective and Four Artist TN. He serves on the board of several organizations, including Turnip Green Creative Reuse and the nonprofit arts magazine Number: Inc.

In this first video interview episode, Randy shares how he finds creative insight and motivation within his work. Here, he encourages other artists with advice through his own successful experiences and techniques.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Randy back in 2020 to discuss his “Mystery Art League” augmented reality art show concept for the online news site Launch Engine. For more information about the artwork of Randy L. Purcell, be sure to visit his website and social media.

This will be a place for artists and makers of all kinds to share personal insight into their processes with the world. Painters, photographers, musicians, writers, and other inspired experts will discuss what they create and why it’s important. Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to sign up for the Learn and Create newsletter to stay a part of this creative tribe!

Stay tuned for next week’s mystery guest!!

Do you know someone who would make for an interesting interview? Please feel free to reach out via email and social media! I’m always looking to connect.

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Photographer, artist, writer and educator, Sheri Oneal views life as a blank canvas, a story waiting to be told. Her desire is to help others find motivation and purpose through creativity.

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