Before studying sculpture at the Royal College of Art, I devoted as much time to painting as I did sculpture and valued both disciplines equally. At the age of nineteen I won the David Murray scholarship for landscape painting; awarded by the Royal Academy of Art. I used this award to work in Wales (near Aberystwyth) and subsequently in Pembrokeshire. I found an immediate affinity with the coastline of this area, which reminded me of both the windswept beaches of my native North Yorkshire and the rugged shores of North Cornwall that I had known and loved since childhood.
In the Nineteen Seventies I returned to two-dimensional work alongside my sculpture. This work developed some of the geometrical and conceptual material that found its way into the sculpture and was often shown in conjunction with three-dimensional work within the gallery context.
In the early Nineteen Nineties I started painting again after revisiting Pembrokeshire. I have continued to spend lots of my time there and see it to be an ongoing source of inspiration along with the coasts of Dorset and Cornwall. I favour Gouache for both its fluidity and vibrancy of colour, however I also use oils, which I treat in a similar way.
Although the seacoast is my primary inspiration, I am also motivated by inland landscapes; particularly of they include landforms of ancient historical significance such as earthworks, burial mounds and other sacred sites. These landscape paintings draw upon the physicality of landscape rather than simply being paintings of landscapes. In this sense they have become abstract and have assimilated the language of the geometrical forms that underpin much of my environmental sculpture. My favourite paintings shown here are ‘Assembly’ (gouache on paper, 2001) and ‘Channel’ (oil on board, 2005).
All gouache paintings are in ivory mounts with limed oak or ash frames under glass. Oils on canvas or board are in square section ash or oak box frames as pictured here.
Sladers Yard Gallery is hosting Rachel’s most recent paintings as part of a digital exhibition called ‘In The Mind’s Eye’, which runs from Saturday 30 January – Sunday 14 March 2021 and features three prominent landscape artists, including Rachel, in this beautiful exhibition.
Painting prices range between £450 and £1,300.
A number of my paintings featured below can be bought through Harbour Lights Gallery, Porth Gain, near St Davids.