Meet the plein air artist from this summer’s Fall City Days

Fall City artist Roy Rand talks about his work and growing up in Fall City

As Fall City artist Roy Rand teaches his students at Redmond Art Work, trying to master the ever-difficult challenge of speaking and drawing on a blackboard simultaneously, it’s hard to imagine him doing anything else.

For Rand, 24, a recent Fine Arts graduate of Washington State University and freelance artist, teaching and art are something of a family business. He is the son of Theresa Rand, who spent much of the last two decades teaching art classes at Fall City Elementary. His grandpa was also an artist while his brother is a photographer in the United Arab Emirates and his sister teaches at Fall City elementary.

“I fell into teaching,” Rand says. “Helping my mom out over the year in her classrooms gave me a bit of experience so I thought I’d jump in and I realized there’s aspects I really like about it myself.”

Over the last three years, Rand has been gaining notoriety in the Snoqualmie Valley. In 2019, when a chalk artist backed out of Fall City Days, Rand stepped up to serve as its plein air painter. This year Rand painted at both the Fall City Days festival and Snoqualmie’s Fourth of July celebration.

Conor Wilson / Valley Record
Roy Rand, steps back from his painting at Fall City Days.

Conor Wilson / Valley Record Roy Rand, steps back from his painting at Fall City Days.

Growing up on a farm in Fall City that had cows, horses, chickens, pigs and goats, Rand was considering a career in agriculture when he graduated from Mount Si High School, but had a change of heart after taking a few art classes.

“They helped me have confidence in myself to take the leap and pursue art full time,” he said of his art teachers.

Reflecting on his portfolio of illustrations, filled up mainly by a mix of watercolors that depict iconic northwest treelines and ink and marker drawings of skulls and sci-fi humanoids, Rand can trace each work to a central inspiration.

“It’s kind of this amalgamation of my imagination just throwing everything together,” he said.

The watercolor work, he says, is influenced by hiking and camping in the Snoqualmie Valley as well as growing up on and working on a farm.

“When I was working for local farmers and doing hay baling, you’d see these rich sights around the Valley and sunsets and all kinds of stuff,” he said.

The science fiction elements are influenced by Halo and other video games he played growing up as well as trying to draw what’s being described in sci-fi books he reads. The skulls that frequent his work on the other hand are also tied to his mom.

“My mom was a medical illustrator and my dad was a pediatric surgeon and they had lots of medical books I copied. They were always something I wanted to get good at when I was younger,” he said. “Every artist has something they constantly draw all the time. If they don’t know what to draw they’ll draw that and for me, it’s a lot of skulls.”

Today, Rand says some of his favorite moments are getting to hand out stickers he’s made to kids at events and seeing their faces light up and passing on what he has learned to his students. He also relishes getting photos from people who showcase his work.

“I get pictures from people they’re like, ’Look I’ve got the picture up here in my living room’ or something like that,” he said. “It’s a warm fuzzy feeling.”

Rand’s work is available online at You can also view it in-person at the Black Dog Cafe in Snoqualmie.

Painting by Fall City Artist Roy Rand. Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photos 
Paintings by Fall City Artist Roy Rand.

Courtesy photos Paintings by Fall City Artist Roy Rand.

Illustration by Fall City artist Roy Rand. Courtesy Image.

Courtesy photos Paintings by Fall City Artist Roy Rand.