"Being an artist makes me feel strong and connected to my roots. Making art takes me back to my youth before I worked in more traditional jobs and lived the disjointed life of an expat. It gives me a retreat from reality while permitting me to communicate in a most unique way with others regardless of their culture, language or religion. Art brings things into perspective.
In my studio, I practice parallel production. This means I will have several works or series of works at different stages of completion at any given time. I enjoy working under deadlines and welcome restrictions of formats, media, etc because I feel that limitations in fact encourage creative thinking and new responses in my work. For example, book production presents numerous challenges for a mixed media artist. Hence, I have an eclectic studio of canvases in all shapes and sizes, collage materials, brushes and writing instruments, encaustic tools, fabrics, etc. I tend to take a bit of an academic approach when first starting a new project until I decide on the exact direction that I want it to go.
My current work reflects techniques and themes that vary greatly. Often, there is an autobiographical element mixed with fantasy which leads to a more conceptual piece that can be interpreted freely by the viewer. I am currently exploring the use of color and bold brush/pen strokes as a way to draw the viewer into a parallel world and emphasize certain emotions. In much of my work, I have a desire to nurture the child-like soul in myself and the viewer by hinting to a bit of a narrative while maintaining a high sense of energy." -- Rachel Manley
Rachel Manley is an artist and the Fine Arts Partner of the Save the Cord Foundation. Her Sketchbook 2010 series (Guide to Being an Expat: It will be fun, I swear.) has been featured in a national tour and is part of the Brooklyn Art Library permanent collection. Her painting, Birth, is the flagship image for educational campaigns conducted by the Save the Cord Foundation. It is also featured in public and private exhibits nationwide on the Foundation’s behalf. She currently lives in Northern Africa with her husband and daughter. …Read More