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Stephen Randall – Featured Member of SDAA
by Stacey | Mar 22, 2016

Stacey: Hello fellow Communications Coordinator for SDAA! Can you tell me how SD Artist Alliance started and what other names they have been known as?
Steve: SD Artist Alliance (SDAA) started as the restructuring of a previous organization, the ‘South Dakota Artists Network’ (SDAN). SDAA members receive benefits of networking with other artists with a variety of interests to share knowledge and events, and additionally, a prominent position on the internet to share their personal story and examples of work. 

Stacey: So I hear Debra Kroger (SDAA President) use the phrase Charter Member when referring to a few of the Members. I am assuming you are a Charter Member since you have been involved with this Association for some time. Can you tell me why you are a Charter Member?
Steve: In 2004 I had a personal interest in plein air painting and wanted to meet artists with similar interests. I joined SDAN and attended their workshops and meetings on a regular basis. Artist ‘retreats’ at locations throughout South Dakota offered chances to meet informally to share experiences. The friendships formed then continue and are much appreciated.  

Stacey: Over the years can you explain the benefits of being a Member of this group and why you might encourage your Fellow Artists to join?
Steve: I’ve learned so much about my craft from other artists, and I’ve come to appreciate more the quality of work being done by other artists in South Dakota. We share the same places, spaces and resources that motivate and inspire. That can mean a lot to artists just starting or with years of experience, and the internet presence can benefit both.

Stacey: Okay, on to your artwork! You are probably known best for Plein Air Painting around Sioux Falls and various events in the State. Can you tell me how you got started or what initially encouraged you to begin Plein Air Painting?
Steve: Actually, my wife enrolled me in a landscape painting class with Gary Steinley at the South Dakota Art Museum for a birthday present. I enjoyed it so much that we organized the first plein air painting event in South Dakota, inviting plein air artists from the region to come to Sioux Falls and paint with us. Now it’s an annual event at a number of South Dakota locations.

Stacey: Do you know how many years you have been Plein Air Painting? And because you have been doing it so long I assume you love it… tell me why you continue to do so and what you get out of it.
Steve: I’ve been painting outdoors in South Dakota since 2003. I think you could say that Plein Air Painting- outdoors, on location and alla prima (start to finish) has become part of my life style. I enjoy the challenge of recording with paint and canvas the ‘landscapes’ that I see at the place where I am. Maybe someday plein air memories will inspire some studio paintings- another challenge! Maybe plein air experience will help me with alla prima paintings of still life or figurative works- more challenges!

Stacey: If someone was thinking of getting into Plein Air Painting, what would be your advice to a beginner?
Steve: Try it! You’ll like it! Register for a South Dakota plein air event. You can google a lot of advice on the internet, but there’s no better experience than just getting out with other artists to observe, learn and try for yourself. SDAA membership would also be helpful.

Stacey: Thank you Steve!
To view more work by Steve Randall, view his blog at http://stevo-distantview.blogspot.com, or checkout his Facebook Page “Randall Art.”

Interested in becoming a member of South Dakota Artist’s Alliance?