Ranita Brazell was born and reared in Utah with an artist father (Carl Purcell) and a musician mother (Agnes “Nan” Purcell). Ranita was schooled at home and was taught piano by her mother and art history by her father, although she never took an art class from her father until her second year in college. At this time, she was working on an associate degree from Snow College with an English major and music minor. She finally took a drawing class from her father during her final semester – and learned that she loved it.
Ranita took a semester of art instruction at Westminster College in Salt Lake City before moving to Pasadena, California for a change of scenery. Outside of raising her children her main interests were painting watercolors and writing children’s stories. Although residing in Pasadena, Ranita spent time all over southern California because of her husband’s work. These trips to San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and Ventura were educational and entertaining adventures with her kids as well as fuel for her artistic fire. “There is so much color and such vibrant life pulsing through these places. I just wanted to learn to capture that kind of rhythm and excitement in my art no matter what the subject.” So she made it a point to go back to Utah at least once a year for a workshop from her father.
After four years in Pasadena, she moved to Fresno, CA where she found a real love for central California. “There is a different kind of beauty here with three national parks hemming in an agricultural valley that teems with massive vineyards and colorful orchards.”
She now devotes her time to home-schooling her five children and painting. She keeps busy by accompanying and directing choirs, playing organ, and serving as a Cub Scout den leader with her boys. Her art highlight of each year is the two-week watercolor workshop (Summer Snow) she takes from her father each June in Ephraim, Utah.
“Although I enjoy painting central valley and southern Utah landscapes, the California coast is an elusive and challenging subject full of excitement and adventure that I am passionately drawn to.”