Capturing personalities on paper has been a passion of Rachel's ever since she was a child drawing with crayons. The satisfaction of having a specific subject shine through on her paper or canvas is why she paints. She wants her portraits to not only celebrate her subject's features, but their unique personalities as well. Rachel chooses to work in a variety of mediums, because each one has its own special character, just like each of her subjects.
Rachel was born in John Day, Oregon in 1981. Her parents were ranchers, so she and her two sisters grew up surrounded by animals and beautiful country. Her parents and small community were very encouraging of her artistic interests. Because the county school's funding couldn't lend much support to the arts, many of Rachel's teachers would encourage her to draw pictures relating to certain topics they were learning in class for extra credit. She started taking art lessons from the community college while she was in junior high school. It was then that she first discovered pastels. In Rachel's sophomore year of high school, it was decided that she would move to New England and live with relatives, so that she could benefit from art classes at a college preparatory school. Her art professor turned out to be worth the difficult move. She inspired the perseverance and passion that keep Rachel's fingers moving, and her eyes seeing and understanding. Rachel graduated in 2002 from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. Since college, she has continued her education, including several portrait classes at the Andreeva Portrait Academy in Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Rachel resides on San Juan Island, Washington. The islands support and nurture a large artist community. During the summer tourist season she displays her artwork at Roche Harbor Resort in the Artists' Village and attracts the commissions she needs to keep her busy and painting for the rest of year. The islands' charm and atmosphere is a constant inspiration to her work.