About the Artist
Gardner grew up on a small farm at the foot of East Mountain in South Shaftsbury, Vermont. Those early years created in him an enduring love for the beauty of nature and simplicity of the farm life that once dominated New England. (See http://sites.google.com/site/randyshistoricalsite/ for a look at the old Gardner Farm.)
Three things profoundly influence his work: First, is a solid background in the fundamentals from his Alma Mater, Harding University. Secondly, he has been an admirer of Andrew Wyeth and has dedicated himself to the study of his paintings. But perhaps most of all, he is inspired by his roots in the Vermont mountains and the rich traditions of early New England.
I have found that old things have a character that only time and elements can render. I am drawn by the warmth and solitude in time-forgotten haylofts, open fields, old barns and abandoned houses. Finding these places is one of my passions and all of my work is the result of many hours spent on location doing my own compositional photography. Back in the studio I work with numerous shots to come up with the composition and intricate details that characterize my work. I have a passion for the subtleties of light, shadow, contrast and texture because they are what give reality and substance to a painting. I want the realism of my work to draw people into the quiet elegance of a simpler time.
From his earliest years growing up on a small farm in Vermont, Gardner had a desire to create and work with his hands.
By his High School years, art was becoming a driving force and his first art teacher struck the template for Gardner’s future aspirations.
Art and Music dominated his High School years. He entered his own work in shows but was also selected as a juror for one show.
In 1969 Gardner attended Harding University as an Art Education Major and took 2nd place in the Arkansas State Art Festival in his freshman year.
At the close of his freshman year Gardner traveled to Boston in the summer of 1970 to attend one of the first large exhibitions of Andrew Wyeth at the Boston Fine Arts Museum. It was a moving experience that would shape his own work for years to come.
He Graduated from Harding in 1974 and by 1976 had secured a full time position at Andover High School (Andover, Massachusetts) teaching pottery, silversmithing and weaving.
By 1979 Gardner left teaching to attend Northeast School of Biblical Studies and subsequently entered the Ministry in 1981
In 2000 Gardner left the ministry for three years and worked in Williamsburg, Virginia where (among other jobs) he was commissioned by the Colonial Williamsburg Interior Design Studio to execute a 7 ½ square foot Compass Rose floor cloth to adorn the entryway of a colonial home owned by a wealthy physician who lived in the area.
After 23 years in the ministry, the passion for art continued and in 2004 Gardner took up painting in earnest. He has been painting seriously for the last four years, studying and building his skills as a realist. During this time he has also written and illustrated two children’s books. (unpublished)
In December of 2005, Gardner once again traveled to the great Wyeth retrospective exhibit (Of Memory and Magic) at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.
In August of 2006 Gardner was invited to put on his first one-man show at his Alma Mater. The Show ran from August 17 – September 27 in the Stevens Gallery at Harding University and was well received.
In June of 2007 Gardner was selected as one of the exhibitors in the Vermont Cultural Center's Art in the Round Barn show in Waitsfield, Vermont.
In December of 2007 Randall Gardner was juried for membership into the International Guild of Realism.
In January of 2008 Randall Gardner traveled to the area of Rockland and Cushing, Maine to visit the Wyeth Galleries at the Farnsworth Museum and travel down to have a first hand look at Christina Olson's farm and the surrounding area that so inspired Andrew Wyeth.
Randall Gardner was been selected as a participant in the National Exhibition at the Cape Cod Art Association. The show ran from June 20th to July 15th, 2008.
In December and January Gardner was accepted into the Small Works show at the Lincoln Bond Gallery in Woodstock, Vermont.
In September of 2009 Randall Gardner received the Award of Excellence at opening cerimonies at the Exhibition at Grafton for his painting Last Stand.
In October of 2009 Gardner sold the painting Easterly at the Art in the Round Barn Show in Waitsfield, Vermont.
In 2010 Gardner was asked to be one of the contributing artists for the Art in the Round Barn show in Waitsfield, Vermont.
Randall Gardner's painting 1833 was exhibited in the Small Works Show at the Bennington Center for the Arts.
Winter Chill was accepted to The Exhibition at Grafton in Grafton, VT.
Waiting took Honorable Mention at at The Mud Show at the Artistree Gallery in Woodstock, Vermont. 5/11
Accepted as a regular exhibiting Artist at the Hunter Gallery of Fine Art in Grafton, Vermont. (May through October of 2012.)