“While many see rainy days as gloomy, I see rain as necessary for new life, pause, renewal, and as respite for mental health. I paint rainy abstracted impressions of land, sky, sea, and seasons to show new perspectives on finding tranquility and beauty in dark and stormy times. I see how sheets of pouring raindrops distort scenes beyond, blending colors and shapes together to drip down glass. Colors seem more saturated in rain, and the storms interrupt everything. In my practice, I create detailed pointillism landscapes on canvas, then I use gravity, stand-oil, and a brush to wipe them out, leaving a flawed and uniquely unpredictable outcome, that I then reshape into something embracing imperfect beauty and calm. I take on the changes that come from working intensely on editing and blending the remaining drips and paint smudges, returning to the canvas every hour or two, over the course of days, to react and adjust to how the paint has shifted. My art practice focuses on exploring the internal and external revelations and reactions that people have to rain, rain’s connections to indoors and outdoors, and how we find calm and beauty in the storms that are out of our control.” –Rachel Brask
Rachel Brask’s artwork focuses on rainy days, and while rainwater can bring great damage, the rain can also simultaneously provide calm. The natural landscapes of Toronto Island and the surrounding area, would give her plenty of fodder to create paintings reimagining these landscapes in oil about rain. Her work proposal for Once Upon Water residency includes scouring the island area for points of reference, either through plein-air painting, or through photographic references, and spending time taking in the sensory experience in each area she choose to paint. Those focus areas would then be used the studio to create studies or full paintings imagining those scenes as viewed through a rainy window. Unless it is an actual very rainy session, in which Brask will paint what is actually seen outside the windows as a textured rain scene.
Rachel Brask is a contemporary abstract expressionist painter of rainy days from Rhode Island, USA. Brask’s reimagined oil landscapes express the abstracted calm, chaos and contemplation of rainy days. She’s exhibited in solo, invitational, and juried shows around New England, in Italy, and with work in private collections in Italy and the UK. Brask has been an artist-in-residence at the Golden Apple Art Residency in Maine, the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina, and Truro’s Castle Hill Center for the Arts Edgewood Farm on Cape Cod. Brask has received several honors, including selection as a Directors’ Pick “Showstopper” at the Paradise City Arts Festival, second place award in exhibition, “Imagine Water,” and previously, as Best in Show for the “Autumn Rain” painting that inspired her current body of work. She has been honored to be selected for the Curatorial Mentorship Program and the Founders Award by Art League Rhode Island, and is an alum of AS220’s Practice/Practice program. Rachel earned a B.A. in art from Houghton College, with concentrations in painting, graphic design & photography. Rachel creates original oil paintings, commissions, and teaches private art lessons and workshops. Her studio is in East Providence, Rhode Island, USA.