We’ve recently been featuring local artists on this blog, and our next artist Randy Boutilier has been showing paintings at the Adirondack Art Association for ten years now. Though he does create landscapes and portraits of animals and people, he often creates unique images, some like collages, to make his audiences think.
If pressed to describe my art, I guess I would use words like whimsical, surreal, and hopefully entertaining. Drawing from my building and redecorating experience and my vivid imagination I am able to continuously paint without running short of ideas. Viewers may walk away with from my art with mixed emotions, which is my intention.
Paintings of birds are popular, other paintings may seem edgy, and my environmental depictions sometimes create a sense of uneasiness. I also can produce landscapes that are warm and inviting.
I won’t let any viewer get away without trying to ignite some kind of emotion from within them. Like any good artist, I have a huge inventory of lures in my box, so no matter who is swimming around out there, I will eventually reel them in by connecting them to myself through my art. ~Randy Boutilier
Randy Boutilier’s Artistic Journey
Randy Boutilier wants to share the journey that lead to his artistic passions. Learn the story in his own words below:
Having lived on both sides of the lake, I feel as though I have an understanding of how things work on both sides of the Champlain Valley. Originally from Burlington, I spent much of my youth working part time for my father, who owned Boutilier’s art store. Having a chance to view hundreds of paintings and prints that flowed through the frame shop, I gained my initial appreciation for art. Not only did I get to view the paintings and prints of the masters, but those of up and coming local artists. I learned the art of framing as well. Many of my paintings have frames on them that I have created, starting with raw lumber. This was only part of my early art education.
The other half came from my mother, an art teacher, who encouraged me to pick up the brush and get started. With her guidance, I painted a large picture of a grist mill and, at age 12, won first place at the Champlain Valley Fair. You would think that was enough to spark an early interest in producing art, but no, I had other things on my mind.
I was given a set of books by Eric Sloane that ended up being one the most influential gifts of my life. I poured over every detail of barn building depicted in his paintings and drawings, until I felt that I was capable of building a post and beam barn and house with fieldstone foundations myself, so that is what I set out to do. I met someone with the same outlook and strengths and we accomplished that and much more together.
Today we look back on all the construction and revitalization of abandoned buildings and overgrown farms and wonder how we accomplished it all. Upstate New York was the location of our first 14-year project, at a time when land cost 30 dollars an acre. I was way too busy to concentrate on art, however, unwittingly I was collecting subject matter for what was to come later on in life.
The stubborn long and painfully cold winters of upstate New York finally took their toll. After taking a little exploratory trip to Colorado, we fell in love with the mountains, the people, and the landscape. We locked up jobs at a sustainable small farm school using our previous experiences of small scale farming using draft horses for power. We never looked back!
Until twenty-five years later, when the call came to help with our elderly parents. Having loved the Adirondacks so much, we naturally came over to this side of the lake. Proximity to the bridge was paramount, so we could access our parents without the cost of the ferry. After another painstaking fixer upper job, we created a wonderful spot on a babbling brook just miles from the bridge and Vermont.
Now my art work started coming into focus. My mother, a superb still life artist, became bedridden. She had always hand painted greeting cards for the grandchildren’s birthdays, as well as the holidays; it occurred to me that it was my turn to paint cards for her. I started with some fun, upbeat art, hoping to amuse her. After she passed, I just kept painting, getting encouragement from friends and family. So, in a large part, this is how my art came to be.
I enjoy the challenge of painting with watercolor and ink, which can have the feel of being wet or dry, transparent or solid. There is little room for mistakes using watercolor, and layering of paint is impossible. The matting and framing process is a bit tedious, but the finished appearance is pleasing.
During the winter months, I take my art on the road, showing and selling between NY and Baja California, where I have a good following. Since we travel for eight months out of the year, gathering new ideas for future paintings, contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy more samples of Randy Boutilier’s artwork below. (Click for larger view.)
- Adirondack Artist: Bill Amadon (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- CATS Fall Photo Contest (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Impressionistic Artist: John Cullen (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Spirit of Place Art Show (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- AAA Gallery: Smallworks Exhibition & 50th Anniversary (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)