Plein air artist Randall (Randy) Sexton passed away in his studio on Sunday evening, December 11th. Our community is both shocked and heartbroken. We were asked on behalf of Randy’s widow to share this news and what happened.
The following is from Eric Rhoads:
“I first learned about Randy from a poster featuring a painting he had done of the Golden Gate Bridge for an art show called ‘The Scene on the Straight.’ Soon after I took a workshop from him where we became friends. We’ve done a lot of things together over the years including filming an art instruction video.
“Randy was a thoughtful, fun, upbeat, and encouraging person. A great painter, a great instructor, and a good friend. We painted together on several occasions, including at our conventions, and at his studio for portrait sessions from a live model. This is a good reminder that we don’t always see what someone is going through on the inside. Friends I’ve spoken with who saw him recently never suspected this could ever happen.
“I was contacted by a dear friend of the family, on behalf of Randy’s widow, who requested that I put the word out. The sensitive topic is that Randy took his own life. His wife felt it was important to tell the truth in this matter to prevent rumors. Randy had been suffering from depression and was recently hospitalized for it.
“Randy was a brilliant artist, a creative thinker, and a truly remarkable guy, loved by all. We are all shocked and saddened by his passing.”
PleinAir® Magazine writer Bob Bahr recalls the following quote from Randy: “Instead of formulating a specific image that you are going to refine and finally finish, you discover something in the process of painting. It’s a way to work, a way to think, a way to see things in less of a rigid way of approaching it. What’s not comfortable for me is when it’s too predictable. I am somewhat of a restless soul, so I have to contend with that.” – Randy Sexton
Randy held a BFA in Painting from the University of Connecticut. He was a signature member of the Plein Air Painters of America; has garnered many Best of Show and Artists Choice Awards at national events and festivals including Carmel, Maui, Telluride, and the Laguna Plein Air Invitational; and has been featured in various national journals including American Artist, Southwest Art, PleinAir (now Fine Art Connoisseur), and Workshop.
PleinAir Magazine will honor and acknowledge Randall Sexton (including artists Lyn Boyer and Nancy Semens Crookston, who recently passed) at the 2024 Plein Air Convention & Expo. Randy has been on the faculty of Plein Air Live and twice on stage at the Plein Air Convention. Eric also interviewed him for the Plein Air Podcast in December 2020, which you can listen to here:
We ask that you keep his wife and family members in your prayers and allow them their privacy. We all have great memories of Randy, and we invite you to share them here (use the comments section below).
Note: The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices. Call 988 for help.