The Un-bee-lievable Artwork of Randy L. Purcell

Paige Simianer | March 17, 2023

Featured Artist Randy L. Purcell's innovative approach to his artwork will more than likely have you buzzin'. 

Purcell's unique artistic process involves cutting and transferring ink from magazine paper onto beeswax, resulting in intricate and thought-provoking pieces. This technique may be tedious, but for Purcell, it's a peaceful and introspective experience that allows him to reflect on his memories and experiences. 

Through his artwork, he aims to capture the essence of different moments and facets of his life, much like how memories are interconnected.

Each piece by Randy L. Purcell starts with a personal journey through his collection of photos and magazine clippings. And, as a nod to the unique medium he uses, he incorporates bees prominently into his paintings, showcasing their vital role in our environment.

Beyond just the bees, though, Purcell draws inspiration from the world around him, resulting in a rich array of captivating textures and imagery.

Artwork Archive got the chance to chat with Randy L. Purcell about his creative process, the inspiration behind his work, and advice he has for emerging artists.

You can see more of his work on Discovery and learn more about his art practice below. 

Randy L Purcell, 'Bee-70', 8 x 8 x 2 in

Has your work changed over time—do you find yourself understanding your art career through different periods of expression? 

Yes, my work has changed.

I’ve been fortunate to have a process that hasn’t been fleshed out by many other artists, so everything I know has come from trial and error.

Over the last 12 years, I’ve found ways to enhance my subjects through technique with better colors, textures, and efficiency. I do feel a better understanding of my art career through periods of expression.

Experience builds confidence and allows more freedom for expression. 


Do you have a favorite or most satisfying part of your creative process?

Yes! The best part of my process is when I remove the paper from the transferred ink.

Revealing the amazing colors and textures that were hidden under the paper for days (sometimes even weeks) is so satisfying.

That’s also why I have so many videos of this step on my social media.


How do you approach the process of selecting and collecting magazine clippings/photos for your pieces?

This varies from painting to painting, but I like starting with obvious areas of color, just to get into a rhythm.

Then, I will start looking through my magazines or boxes of clippings to find more interesting textures or random colors.

In my mind, the busier the better.

I’m cutting hundreds or sometimes thousands of pieces and want them to have a nice cohesive look. I’m also looking to add items from magazines that can be fun to find. I’ll often hide faces, letters, or objects so the viewer is rewarded for taking a closer at my paintings.

Randy L Purcell, 'The Mystery Door', 16 x 16 x 2 in

You explore the notion of your own memory and life experiences through your work. Do you see your work shaping/preserving collective memory as a whole as well? If so, how does your work contribute to that dialogue? 

I’m not sure I see it shaping collective memory. I just know that it helps me recall specific moments. I

think of my experiences as the starting point and then let my mind wander as I’m in the creative process. My memory of the subject is like all the little pieces coming together as one. 

It's fun to know that each viewer will look at my work and all the tiny details within it and be reminded of something totally different than what I started with.

Even my perception of a painting can change with time.


What does success as an artist mean to you?

For me it’s not about money or popularity, but how dedicated I am to the process.

If I’m willing to spend my time wisely, better my craft, and then share that with the world, I am successful.

I will always strive for more but first I need to take advantage of where I am now.

Randy L Purcell, 'Bee Wing #14', 6 x 12 x 1 in


Why did you decide to use Artwork Archive to inventory/manage your artwork?

 Artwork Archive is the perfect system for what I need as an artist. I could make a list a mile long of all the things I love about it.

When I first started using Artwork Archive it didn’t have near as much functionality as it does now, but it was by far the best thing I had seen for tracking inventory. Over the years, it's grown and improved into being so much more.  

Artwork Archive keeps me organized; being organized means I’m always prepared for opportunities. 


How do you use Artwork Archive on a daily basis?

I use Artwork Archive for so many things.

As soon as I complete a piece of art, I enter it into my inventory with all the necessary information.

I log all my expenses, which makes budgeting and preparing my taxes so much easier.

I use Artwork Archive to keep track of exhibition dates, locations, costs, etc.

Another thing I use often is Private Rooms. I love having the ability to send a client or gallery a link with a specific group of paintings. This saves us all time and allows me to give them as much information as I feel they need.


What advice would you give an emerging artist during this time?

Three bits of advice I see as important are:

1) Network with both other artists and those outside the art community.

Having connections means you will have resources that many artists do not. You never know who might introduce you to your next big opportunity.

2) Dedicate time to your craft but also to yourself.

It’s easy to spend too much time in the studio and forget about other aspects of life. Find a good balance between the two so you can do your best work and enjoy your family and friends. 

3) Remember you are a professional. Act like it!

Many people see artists as flighty, unorganized, and not very dependable. If you present yourself as a professional, you will be respected as one. Galleries, clients, and event managers want to work with well-prepared artists.

Randy L Purcell, 'Teamwork', 24 x 36 x 2 in

Randy L Purcell uses Artwork Archive to track his artwork, prepare for his taxes, and share artwork with his clients.

You can make an online portfolio, catalog your artwork, and generate reports like inventory reports, tear sheets, and invoices in seconds with Artwork Archive. Take a look at Artwork Archive's free trial and start growing your art business. 

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