Who are you and what do you do?
Randy Zucker: I am many people… an artist, a trouble-maker, a nasty woman, an old hippie, a young-at-heart activist, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a smarty-pants, and a beach bum to name just a few of me. What do I do? I paint. There is nothing I don’t love about painting:
First, the Challenges: The challenge of expressing and conveying an emotion or a sense of place or time; the challenge of creating a pleasing composition with just the right colors and textures; the challenge of “capturing” light or wind or other intangible physical and emotional realities that can’t be held, but can only be experienced; and, most challenging of all, the challenge of applying the paint to the canvas or paper so that it matches what is in my head.
Second, the Opportunities: the opportunity to make a social or political statement if I choose; the opportunity to affect and influence my physical or social environment or the environment of others; the opportunity for non-verbal expression when words will not suffice.
Third, the Physical Act itself: an activity that transports me to a “magical place,” one that does not recognize, and is not bound by, form or physical or emotional limitations, While there, I am blissfully unaware of time, space, physical pain, or little nuisances like hunger and tiredness.
Creating an image that speaks wordlessly but powerfully (whether seriously or humorously) to the emotions and intangible realities of the day is always a rewarding experience.
How did you get your start?
Photography. Actually, mediocre photography! In an effort to improve my photographs and my ability to be creative with them, I started doing digital art, manipulating my original photographs to create images in which familiar scenes or objects are altered or detached from their natural function, inviting the viewer to form new personal connections. This practice developed my eye and sense of composition, but I found myself feeling limited by the original photograph. Something was pushing me to pick up a paintbrush and work from a blank canvas to really be able to express my innermost thoughts and emotions. It was highly risky for me because I have no formal training, but it was something I always felt I was supposed to do.
What inspires you?
Everything! Nature, strong emotions, other artists, a beautifully written sentence, textures and patterns, small details detached from their larger setting, new experiences… Or old and familiar things or experience being seen in a different way or from a different angle for the first time. I especially love to capture my first response to something. Even as a photographer, I never waited for the perfect light or moment… I just wanted to capture that initial response, that first “Wow!”
What do you like about AZ?
Diversity. Diversity of people and cultures, Diversity of environments and habitats. The diverse and thriving arts and culture scene. The diverse culinary opportunities. The weather (most of the time). The many entertainment attractions and venues. The opportunities to be outdoors most of the time enjoying hiking and other activities. The sunsets. The rich history and the fact that much of it (not enough of course) is being preserved. The “Old West” charm that still exists in certain areas. Oh, and did I mention the sunsets?
Where can we see you(r) work?
My work is and has been included in many gallery shows throughout the valley (and beyond). I also show work in my home and studio by appointment.
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
Although I have traveled extensively, my bucket list continues to grow. But seeing the world is only a small part of what I hope to accomplish. Besides the deep-seated need I have to keep growing and improving in my art, my life is heavily centered on family… specifically creating memories! Sharing experiences with my grandchildren and passing on family traditions are very high on my list!
What is your mantra?
“The journey is the reward.” – Taoist Proverb