Randy McGovern Fish Artist
Randy McGovern grew up in New Orleans. One day his fourth grade teacher, Sr. Helene saw him draw a horse
and buggy and then advised his parents to give him art lessons. Every Thursday, Randy would get on a bus and
ride across the city to his art lesson. That year (1964) Randy won a city-wide art contest and the grand
prize of $5 which proved to be a good enough incentive to continue. He studied first under a European
portraitist from Sicily, Mrs. Donatella Kypers and later more closely under Mrs. R.T. Perkins also a master
portraitist. Meanwhile, Randy's other hobby was snake hunting in the swamps and marshes of Louisiana and
selling them to the snake farm in LaPlace, Louisiana. Still, another hobby was that of trapping animals in
humane animal traps that he invented for sketching purposes. At age 21, he graduated from the University of
Southwestern Louisiana, magna cum laude with a B.A. in advertising, but in 1983 launched a career in fine art
instead. Randy has earned acclaim from sportsmen and collectors alike, both nationally and
internationally. By taking the demanding accuracy of the wildlife painter and combining it with the
discriminating talent of a trained and gifted artist, he has become one of the nation's most beloved realists in
just a few short years.
Working in a precise realistic style in oils, Randy feels compelled to portray animals in their most noble
character which requires adding a dimension beyond merely duplicating photos of animals in sometimes awkward
compositions. "I love to create moods, the use of dramatic light sources, and rich colors tastefully
mixed. I feel compelled to count feathers or scales and to feel the fur on live wolves before I paint
them. The perfectionist in me sleeps a little better - even if a little extra accuracy goes unnoticed.
You have to be more than disciplined; you have to be driven."
Randy has a good number of mounted animals and birds in his studio that he uses for reference as well as a large
file of photos that he has taken. "My favorite photo endeavor was that of a Siberian White Tiger from 2 feet
away. I've had everything from baseballs to live bear cubs knock paintings off my easel." Sometimes he
takes hikes through the woods or swamps to photograph significant flora and fauna. "It's no fun getting swamp
muck all over your jeans because you can't broad jump as far as you could 20 years ago - but it goes with the turf
(or lack thereof).
Randy's studio faces the woods near the scenic town of Acworth (the Lake City) in the metro Atlanta area.
He resides there with his wife, Cheryl, and their three children. Besides his daily painting, he also steers
his company comprised of 10 employees. When he wants to get away, Randy heads to his log cabin in the country
where he can always observe turkeys and geese and do some fly fishing. "I'm very thankful to all my
collectors for their support over the years and especially to the Good Lord and all he has given to me and blessing
me with the talent" - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)