Saturday, 4/3/10: Rachel Austin

Rachel Austin is a full-time artist whose work has become very popular in online stores, galleries, and retail stores around the country.  She has worked with many different types of media and has developed unique styles and techniques for different series of paintings.  The piece she made today was one of her “mixed media” series that incorporates maps, acrylic gel, pen drawing, and painting with oils.

Rachel had already created the background of her piece before she started today — a map of Monterrey Bay covered with a thick textured clear acrylic and a transparent pale yellow glaze of oil paint.  The visual effect of these layers resembles encaustic in its pale warm color and translucent texture.

Rachel began today with a pen sketch in a sketchbook which she recreated in larger size over her background.   Her theme of birds and flowers (lupines today) reflect her interest in simple shapes and images that convey a feeling of peaceful beauty.

Rachel added color to her pen drawing using oils.  Her light colors harmonized with the pale colors of her background and added brightness to her black pen drawing.  She finished her piece by going over the bird silhouettes again with pen to make the black more solid.

Many visitors to Muse today recognized Rachel’s style from seeing her work online and at regional art shows.  It was a treat to get a glimpse of the process she’s developed to create the special look in her art. Thanks Rachel!

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