Artist Statement

"My paintings flow from my heart resulting in a spirit-filled, harmonic painting meant to bring beauty and light to the world. I hope to bring inspiration and life to others lives, connecting them to the spirit of truth, beauty and love through my artwork. My paintings encourage the stewartship and healing of nature as well as our spiritual selves."

Randi (Ripley) Ford recently moved near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Shoreline in Northern Michigan after marring the love of her life. Nature and the divine spirit within has been the subject of her work for the past 12 years. She is grateful for this next chapter working alongside her husband hand engraver and jeweler, Ben Ripley, and looks forward to the creations that will be inspired by living near such a sacred place.

The Start of Her Journey

Randi started being drawn to nature and painting outdoors at the end of her time at Grand Valley State University where she received her B.F.A in 2012. She would spend her day creating a painting in gouache paint on paper at the Saugatuck Dunes and Hoffmaster Park near the university. There she found a sense of peace and meditation while she created. She felt the call to continue painting and committed to it. Soon afterward she started showing her work at small local events like the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids, which led to her expanding and being accepted into the top fine art festivals and galleries in Michigan. Growing up in an inland southern Michigan town on the Indiana border, the Lake Michigan Shoreline was new to her and awe-inspiring.

Randi found a deep love for her home state after spending time at the shoreline during her years at GVSU, and her love continued to grow when she began to paint there on my own. She was hungry to see what other natural wonders Michigan had, and started traveling north to visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes area, Porcupine Mountains and Pictured Rocks. Places she had never visited before. During this time of discovery, the Lake Michigan Shoreline, Michigan woodlands and Pictured Rocks Shorelines became the main subjects of her work. Among these natural areas that were preserved she saw and felt so much life and spirit within the landscape. The beauty of the natural world gave her much inspiration. Working from her home studio in the city of Grand Rapids, her heart yearned to live and create among the tranquility and peace near the landscapes she painted.

Musical Influence

Randi grew up loving music, always singing, dancing and performing. She was involved in choir, musicals, dance, colorguard and art throughout her life in her hometown of Sturgis, Michigan. Throughout her life she has connected to the creative spirit within her through creating art forms, and the way that she paints reflects that.

During her time in Grand Rapids, she immersed herself into her artwork as well as the thriving music and arts community, finding yet another wellspring of creativity, while also seeking meaning in life. Beyond the canvas, her love for music added a vibrant melody to her artistic narrative. You'll find traces of this musical influence woven into her paintings, creating a lyrical quality that breathes life into each piece. The natural confluence of nature and music has become a heartbeat of her art, evident in every stroke on the canvas.

Family Roots

Randi was born in the quaint small industrial town of Sturgis in Southern Michigan enveloped by woods, inland lakes, marshes, industry and farmland. She was blessed by her family of creatives that would foster her creativity. Her father, the lead designer for a drapery hardware company, designed and crafted both of her childhood homes, and her mother an antique lover, filled it with handcrafted furniture and art. Their first home was nestled in the woods and reminiscent of a charming castle designed and built by her father, while the second was an 1890's barn on an old farm transformed into a unique abode.

Her upbringing was a tapestry of creativity, with her parents instilling in her the value of hard work and craftsmanship. They wholeheartedly supported her artistic pursuits and were supportive of majoring in art.

She is thankful to have had her mother's charming drawings of animals, her grandmother's expressive paintings and abundant gardens, her grandfather's passion for woodworking, and her father's creative career and passion for projects in her life in her formative years. Growing up in a small town surrounded by a like-minded family was a gift, complemented by a high school that fostered both artistic expression and trades that gave her a strong foundation to grow was a gift.

Path of Purpose

Now calling Beulah home, Randi (Ripley)Ford is thankful for the years she had in Grand Rapids to grow spiritually and learn faith with the spiritual battles she faced. She feels blessed to have been able to connect with so many people through her work, and thankful for the opportunities she has had. Working on her own at home for the past 10 years, hasn't been an easy one, but one where every day she must have faith in her path and overcome.

"I am blessed to have touched the hearts of so many people with my artwork and am so thankful that my life has been one dedicated to highlighting the truth of beauty and harmony that we are meant to be living, within a world that can often be dark and disharmonious".

Her artistic journey has been a path of finding meaning in life. She feels blessed to be where she has been led, and that her life can be one to help create more beauty and inspire. "There is peace in my heart to know that I am now living in my purpose amidst the landscapes that have long been my inspiration. I cannot wait to see how this life change will impact my work. It is the desire within my heart to capture the beauty and the spirit I see in these sacred lands and the spirit and love within my heart to flow out onto the canvas"

Randi is a recent bride to my wonderful husband, Ben—a skilled hand engraver and jeweler. Their journeys have beautifully intertwined, merging their similar paths, and purpose into one shared mission: to bring beauty to the earth through their artistic creations, spreading light and life to all who encounter their works, and creating deeper meaning along the way. Their artistic narrative is a testament to the resilience of faith, dedication to their call, and putting in the time to build both of their crafts and businesses from the ground up. Now in full bloom with each other, Randi and Ben are so grateful for the new life they are blessed to live, after ending an old chapter.

Style and Artistic Influence.

"Ford’s fluid brushwork is reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch post-Impressionist painter. The execution of "Path Through Time" harkens to that of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” Both paintings are rendered in bold, unrestrained brushstrokes that perfectly capture the spirit and essence of nature. Like Van Gogh, Ford’s work is exceptionally expressive. Additionally, Ford shares with Van Gogh an abiding connection with, and respect for, nature."

-Katie Dunn, Glen Arbor Sun

Randi fell in love with Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings the very first time she laid eyes on them. His art, along with the landscape oil paintings of the Canadian Group of Seven painters, the intricate illustrations of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints, and the organic, flowing line works of Czechoslovakian printmaker Alphonse Mucha, deeply inspired Randi to explore her artistic style reflecting elements of the artists works that sang to her. The classic animations of Walt Disney and the charming stories also influenced Randi's creative pursuit. When first pursuing her undergrad degree, she had dreams of being a concept artist for Disney which led to her focusing on illustration and painting during her time and Grand Valley State University.

During her university years, the enchanting charm woven into Japanese prints ignited a passion within her to infuse storytelling into her work. Although she initially pursued illustration to create illustrations for stories and concept art, she found herself creating landscape scenes that came to life in an illustrative way.

The works of Alphonse Mucha left Randi in awe. His ability to capture the essence of the feminine form and the organic beauty of nature resonated deeply with her. His designs, which blended mathematical precision with fluidity and a sense of sacredness, stirred something profound within her soul.

Upon graduating and embarking on her artistic endeavors, Randi stumbled upon the masterpieces of the Group of Seven online, and instantly, was entranced. Their art and the spirit that animated it echoed the sentiments she felt while painting, and she was fascinated to discover that they drew inspiration from the rugged northern wilderness of Canada, just across Michigan’s Great Lakes. Their work stands as a symbol of Canadian pride, and she finds that her paintings pay homage to the beauty she finds in Michigan.

These artists have profoundly influenced her approach to painting since the inception of her artistic journey. Their styles seamlessly integrate into her creative process, shaping her artistic voice. Now, after years of painting, Randi believes her work embodies a unique interpretation guided by the heart and the spirit inherent in nature—a testament to the enduring influence of these masters on my artistic evolution.

"She saw a scene that is quintessentially Northern Michigan and made it her own—through her color choices, her line and brushwork. What comes out of Randi’s brain isn’t usual. The scene may be familiar, but Randi is somehow able to make the familiar feel new, fresh, and entirely original.”

-Sarah Bearup-neal, Glen Arbor Arts Center 

 Manitou Music Festival Poster selection.

History and Awards

Bachelor of Fine Arts - Grand Valley State Univeristy



Art Birmingham Poster Award -Art Birmingham - The Guild

Manitou Music Poster Award - Glen Arbor Art Center


Saugatuck Center for the Arts Award Waterfront Invitational Art Fair Saugatuck Douglas Art Club



Cora Bliss Taylor Award  Waterfront Invitation Art Fair Saugatuck Douglas Art Club

Best Artist Under 30 The 7th Annual Plein Air Salon - December/January Awards - The Plein Air Magazine


Honorable Mention West Michigan Art Competition - Lowell Arts!


Best in ShowTraverse City's Outdoor Art Fair - Crooked Tree Arts

James Boyce Family Award Waterfront Invitation Art Fair - Saugatuck Douglas Art Club

Best Customer Service UICA Holiday Arts Fair 


Mayor's Award Waterfront invitational Art Fair -Saugatuck Douglas Art Club


Best in Show Award Art on the Riverfront Fine Arts Show - Gallery Uptown

Poster Contest Award Art on the Riverfront Fine Arts Show - Gallery Uptown


Merit Award The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration

Honorable Mention Ad Campaign - Associated Collegiate Press Advertising Awards

1st, 2nd and 3rd place - Single Ad Award - Michigan Press Association


The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards - The South Bend Rrgional Museum of Art

National Art Honors Society Award - National Art Honors Society Association


2024 Glen Arbor Arts Center

2023 Glen Arbor Sun

2022 Voyage Michigan


Harbor Country Magazine

Revue: Arts Issue



Plein Air Magazine

The American Scholar

Southwestern Art Magazine


The Magazine for Contemporary Illustration


2022 Goveners Artist in Residence - Mackinaw Island

2016 Porcpine Mountains Artist in Residence


Paint Grand Traverse - Crooked Tree Arts 2020


Randi has taught multiple workshops at art centers, and 2D Design at Grand Valley State University