Artist gives Comox Valley a visual legacy

BORN AND RAISED in the Comox Valley

From Comox Road to the Courtenay Fish & Game Protective Association and everywhere in between, Brian Randall’s work is a visual legacy for both his family and residents of the Comox Valley.

Randall, born and raised in the Valley, passed away unexpectedly Aug. 2 at the age of 63, but the work of the faller-turned-artist serves as a reminder to his contribution of visual art and design in the area.

“He always said he didn’t think out of the same side of his brain as everyone else,” recalled his sister Debra Chaba. “He was so creative.”

With no formal art training, Randall grew up in the Old Orchard area of Courtenay, and honed his craft at an early age, drawing on newspaper roll ends he grabbed from the former Comox District Free Press once they were thrown out.

“We lived near (the newspaper building) and he would draw cartoon characters on the newsprint,” added Chaba.

Described as “an advocate for the outdoors – he was from the Comox Valley and proud of it,” Randall’s love of nature aided him in his formal career working at the Eve River Falling Department for MacMillan Bloedel near Sayward.

After a back injury put a stop to the physically demanding work, Randall rekindled his artistic side and began working with wood, carving animals, fish and signs for both personal and professional use.

“He got his start in 1986 with a carving for Bear Creek Ranch (in Black Creek),” noted Chaba. “It was 1,000 pounds of carved cedar. It was done entirely with hand tools; he never did anything with a chainsaw.”

He designed wood sculptures for a variety of commercial companies including the falling company he worked for, with a sign in the shape of a saw intricately surrounded with trees.

In the 1980s, Randall began working with metal, looking at the medium as another challenge to further his art.

He created signs for Dove Creek Farm, residential homes, and even the Town of Comox.

Randall’s work can be seen from Comox Road on the Hamilton Logging sign and the ship’s wheel marking the Battle of the Atlantic memorial near the Comox marina, amongst others.

He created address signs for homes, an intricate side table for Chaba, and customized fence signs with his signature design detail — flowers.

“He loved dogwoods and trilliums. The trillium is a spring flower and the dogwood is the provincial flower of B.C.,” explained Chaba.

She added all of his work was created at his home workshop in Courtenay.

Randall is survived by his two daughters, Kasey and Lara.

A service is scheduled for late-September at the Fallen Alders Hall in Royston.

 

 

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Comox residents question redevelopment at emotionally-charged meeting

About 40 people filled the d’Esterre House in response to a community consultation meeting.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Valley fossil makes it to the top of the provincial list

Courtenay’s elasmosaur will be added to the official Provincial Symbols of British Columbia

New exhibition at Comox art gallery opens Feb. 19

Rainforests to prairie grasslands, a visual road trip at Pearl Ellis Gallery

Comox Valley Chamber looks back on recent achievements

Chamber of Commerce Week Feb. 18-22

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

St. George’s hosts open discussion on Jordan Peterson

Based on the overwhelming response to the January discussion night on Jordan… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Most Read