About Randy Hullihen


I began painting almost 30 years ago, out of a personal curiosity and a sense of discovery. I spent my twenties finding and chasing favorites: Clyfford Still, Milton Avery, Howard Hodgkin. Mark Rothko’s big, moody, ethereal fields of color. There was a mystery in all of them that I wanted to explore. I became enthralled by the transition of contrasting hues. The softness of the edges, the technical resonance… I wanted to understand these elements and utilize them myself.

Now, painting has evolved into more of a practice, a tool of subconscious and spiritual expression. I come to the work openly, without a premeditated plan. In the between spaces of everyday life, I mull over the specs – color combinations, ideas about composition – but when I approach the canvas, brush in hand, I disregard all of it and do what feels right in the moment.

The sea, the sky, flowers, fields, the desert of the American southwest… my biggest inspiration is, of course, nature. But I’m also intrigued by abstract emotions – peace, anger, restlessness, contact, harmony, energy, release, focus – and how to translate them visually. I particularly enjoy harmonizing contrasting colors. To display their coexistence, supporting each other, merging together, and, miraculously, becoming something new. The transformation. A little mystery that’s endlessly fascinating.

“I need shades of red and orange, and I want something that evokes movement and kinetics.” I enjoy working within certain boundaries, like a client’s specific palette or requested theme. Most often, a creative challenge, through a process of playfulness and discovery, results in something of beauty and/or interest, and it will always end in something new. Something that hadn’t existed before. In this way, I see art as both creation and problem solving.

In the end, I strive, with varied outcomes, to make something beautiful. That’s my mission: to take these materials and create new beauty in the world. I like to stand, immersed in creative beauty and joined by others, in opposition to the chaos and anger I see around me. I think it can dissolve the burnt edges of our existence.

My Studio – The Mouse House – Arlington VA