Randal Martin began to discover his talents early. "My parents tell me I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. With the reams of old papers, art pads and illustrations they still keep, I guess it must be true," he says. "In the two dimensional realm, I enjoy all mediums: graphite, watercolor, oil, and acrylic. As an outdoor enthusiast and nature lover, I enjoy wildlife art, landscapes, and capturing both the pride and sorrow of the Native American Indian."
His first foray into the three-dimensional realm was carving Meerschaum pipes. He later began working with clay, creating a series of Native American bronze busts. But after carving his first bird from wood, he knew he had found his real passion. "I typically have four or five carvings going at once, and as they come to life, I can't wait to begin another," says Martin. "There has been more demand for wildfowl woodcarvings than any other form of my art. While I enjoy the reactions of those who purchase my work, I would keep on carving, whether I had buyers or not."
There has been no shortage of interest in his work as indicated by the many awards and commissions he has received. The first songbird he ever carved won Best of Show and First Place at the Tennessee Valley Fair in Knoxville in 2001 and he won the Silver Brush Award at the Tullahoma Fine Arts Festival in 2002. In fact, he has received ribbons and awards for every carving he has ever entered in a competition in the years since he focused on wood as his primary artistic medium. Martin feels that his greatest honor to date was being selected to carve a bluebird ornament for the nation's White House Christmas tree for an 'All Creatures Great and Small' seasonal theme. He and his wife were invited to attend the unveiling at the White House. Upon learning Martin has only been carving for seven years, many master carvers who have judged the Ward World Championship carving show have been astounded, and commented that his work shows craftsmanship indicative of someone carving for several decades.
Martin's talent has even been recognized internationally with commissions from around the globe. An intricate hummingbird carving was purchased in 2006 and presented to the vice-president of Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Company (NTT), the single largest corporation in Japan.