From a dusty side road to a mountain backdrop, Rachel Kelly has a warm, charming touch when it comes to her paintings. Every artist has their inspiration and how they view the world. Rachel has found a way to take an everyday image of an alley way littered with ragged and worn down carports and turn it into a beam of sunshine to the face on a warm summer day.
Since Rachel was five years old she would look at her natural surroundings and envision how it would look on the canvas. Every artist will look at the very same image and view it in a different way based on their own life experiences, some may venture down a darker hue to the art or view it in a more abstract way, and while some may say Rachel’s art is abstract she feels it is just her depiction of what surrounds her.
“When I was a kid, I was always asking myself ‘how can I paint that? How can I make that light into paint and express that for other people to see what I am seeing?’ It was always a question in my head.”
Rachel’s preferred painting method is acrylic on canvas with bright, warm and inviting tones. With the natural backdrop that Revelstoke provides, it makes it relatively easy to be inspired by what the surrounding area as well as everyday life as it passes by; like a train.
“There is endless subject matter. I find the trains inspiring; I love the graffiti on them. I don’t know what it is. What is it about the trains that people want to capture?”
Rachel shared that the graffiti on the trains would always catch her eye. Leaving her to wonder who sprayed the massive piece of steel, what does the symbol or design mean and why those colours. Perhaps the bright colours from the graffiti have slowly embedded themselves into Rachel’s art as many of her pieces of work have a similar colour hue to them. They catch the eye and invite you to take a moment and wonder what the story is behind the canvas.
“I look at my art as being fairly realistic, but when I look at the photo or image I am working from, it isn’t exactly what I am seeing, but it is how I see it.”
Rachel as one of the original co-founding members at Art First Gallery on First Street until everyday life took a stronger hold on time, but she still continues to work on her art when time allows and the inspiration strikes.
What makes Rachel’s art so captivating is she has a unique take on areas that otherwise would not be viewed as worthy of a note. In a town that has beauty around every corner, one would not think the back alleys of Revelstoke would be a source of inspiration, but for Rachel the alleys of our community are what speak to her the most.
“You get to see the guts of peoples stuff, the trash, gardens, food grows there, and kids learn to ride their bikes. There is less of a facade; its real life, real people. You make the front of your house nice, but the backyard, you just be yourself.’
While Rachel is very humble about her natural talent, she shares the work that means the most to her and the insight form which it came.
“On a painting trip with Robert Genn and we went through Desolation Sound. I grew up on Vancouver Island and Dad had logging camps there. When we got there I was just awe struck at how many memories came flooding back to me about my history, family and growing up there. The paintings that came out of there are my favourite.”
Rachel stated that while she always had her art supplies out on the kitchen counter, the kids never found a deep interest in the art of painting, but lately her daughter has found that she has a bit of a talent. Perhaps another generation of talent will continue.
Anyone interested in a commissioned painting you can contact Rachel through her Facebook page.