Rachel Walter creates large-scale paintings depicting the skies and space using layers of oil color and meticulous brushwork. Each piece evokes a sense of wonder and awe with the universe. She is a life-long Texan with a BA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin. She currently resides in Dallas.
1. You have been described as a “sky enthusiast.” What is it about the sky that is so compelling to you as an artist?
The skies are not only mesmerizing to look at, but they awaken a deep connection to the environment. Endless artistic inspiration can be garnered from simply paying attention to one’s surroundings and the thoughts and emotions they evoke.
2. Your paintings are so realistic, they almost look like photographs. Do you generally start from a picture?
Quite often, yes. But, I always allow plenty of room to deviate from photographs in order to focus more on intuiting rather than imitating.
3. Your fascination with science and space might be considered unusual for someone with such a gift for the creative! How do science and art co-exist for you?
I suspect the link between art and science is far more prevalent than the general population believes. Science-minded folks are some of the most creative thinkers you’ll find, and artists tend to use the scientific method all the time. Both fields require a great deal of out-of-the-box reasoning, a willingness to see things from a different perspective, and the perseverance to experiment and fail as many times as it takes to reach a breakthrough.
4. The big, open skies of your home state of Texas inspire much of your art. What other places have inspired you?
In the winter of 2017, I entered into an artist residency in the Icelandic Highlands, where I spent 6 weeks living in a remote cabin, painting the Northern Lights. It was the adventure of a lifetime—spectacularly inspirational to my practice to this day. I’m a Texan through and through, but in another life I might have been a Viking.
5. Tell us a fun fact about yourself that no one knows?!
I can play the piano accordion.
Make sure to view the whole collection here this Monday 23rd at 9 am est!