Have you ever experienced a sense of wonderful excitement from something in the air around you – a natural inspiration? Rain is one of them. When air moves around mountains, water or the beach, it contains tens of thousands of negative ions — not found in closed homes or offices. With these invisible molecules, it increases your body’s natural serotonin, boosting mood and energy level.
Rachel Brask has always found solace in rain. She finds it quiet, still and clarifying. As she noted, “The earth can be beautiful when it embraces the rain and with April showers it brings May flowers! Rain brings hope for the stages in life.” With her blended colors she produced a stunning series of work entitled, ‘Abstracted Rainy Moments’ currently on exhibit at The Rhode Island Forget-Me-Not Gallery.
Her passion for color was “relentless” from an early age. She wanted to capture and stash every color she could find. From the sky, to nature, to multi-color row houses, that impression has always stayed fresh in her mind. She continues to use color and the power it can produce.
Her ‘Abstracted Rainy Moments’ project started about 10 years ago with sketches on a fall day. She was peering out of a window looking at all the fall hues and began sketching page by page. As the seasons changed year after year, her sketch book grew with drawing after drawing, each one capturing the colors and moods of the rain through a single pane. With a commissioned piece, she realized her sketchbook needed to become a project and the time to begin it was upon her…
Her technique begins with a stretched canvas, fully painted in multi-color oils for the first layer. She then paints the second layer in a Pointillist technique — small dots of color work together in a pattern to convey a larger image. This takes several hours to produce and several hours for the paint to dry. The next day (with the second coat of paint still very wet), she applies the third layer of stand oil (linseed oil that has been polymerized by heating) to the top of the canvas and lets it drip from top to the bottom. With this practice, the stand oil merges with the oil paint and produces a unique blend of colors and a rain-wash look blending all the paints together. The final step is when Rachel works the paint and oil on the canvas with a pallet knife to blend, move and finish the rain expression look for each piece. She produces stunning results with each work of art.
As I viewed her work on opening night I saw a whole host of guests that truly enjoyed not only her remarkable work, but her motivating presentation that evidenced her passion for and love of art. Bravo Rachel, Bravo!
Abstracted Rainy Moments exhibit runs through June 30, 2017 at The Samaritans of Rhode Island Forget-Me-Not Gallery, 67 Park Place, Pawtucket, RI; Samaritansri.org