Kim Randleas was born in 1975 in Eastern Oregon. Not being one to shout, her paintings are a soft-spoken tribute to a fleeting moment; a quick glance, an exceptionally interesting cloud formation, or an old house not long for this world. The wide-open spaces, moments of the past, and the nearby Native American tribal culture are common subjects depicted in her paintings.
Childhood days were often spent drawing with found charcoal pieces or painting the landscapes with watercolors. Family outings were regularly in the mountains surrounding her hometown where stories of early Native People were told. Lazy Sunday afternoons consisted of picnics and slow hikes; taking in the high desert views but always keeping a lookout for obsidian chips indicating the location of an early Native’s flint knapping work.
Her childhood home offered further inspiration from a now well-worn coffee table book “Techniques of the Artists of the American West” which featured twenty-one classic paintings of the American West. It included paintings by Frederic Remington, Joseph Henry Sharp, N.C. Wyeth, William Robinson Leigh, and Grace Hudson, among others, offering her the first early artistic influences.
Early adulthood brought a successful entrepreneurial career including two restaurants, a hotel, and various real estate ventures. The sale of the restaurant left ample time to begin painting again. In 2014, she began experimenting with acrylic paints and transitioned to painting in oil in late 2015.
A 2015 trip to Pendleton Round-Up marked a turning point. Drawn in by the spirit of the drumming and dancing at the morning exhibition of The Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation, American Indian people began to make their way in to her paintings and her heart. It is with deep respect, a reverence, for the culture, coupled with a desire to show their strength and resiliency, that her Native American portraits are derived.
Other portraits often include pioneer men, women, and children. As great-granddaughter to Oregon homesteaders, the hardships of her ancestors as well as those on the Oregon Trail have had a significant influence in her life.
Kim continues to reside in her home town, Canyon City, Oregon enjoying the beauty and solitude of her home nestled at the base of Canyon Mountain.