Artist Spotlight Series: Rachel Walter
The latest Artist Spotlight Series features a native Texan studying the sky.
Her works are mesmerizing and magical.
She was introduced to me by Marcy Cook.
Enjoy getting to know
What is your training?
I studied painting and drawing at the University of Texas, but earning my art degree didn’t mean my training stopped there—nor will it ever!
What inspires you and your designs?
Despite focusing my formal education on the visual arts, I’ve always been fascinated with the physical sciences—specifically, astronomy and physics. The more I delve into those subjects, the more creative energy gets poured into my artistic pursuits. More broadly, inspiration can be found everywhere in nature, so I spend a lot of time observing the skies as they change and move.
What is your favorite piece?
There will always be some pieces I’m more fond of than others, but I’ve never been able to choose a single favorite—at least not for long. My work evolves too quickly for that; I’m always looking forward to what’s next. Currently, I’m developing a series of small paintings of the sky as it shifts with the changing elements. I think that theme analogically suits my creative process, which is probably why I’m partial to those particular pieces at the moment.
How has your area influenced your work?
I was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and moved to Dallas in 2018. As a native Texan, I think the Lone Star State’s love of freedom and wide open skies are engrained in my physiology, so those themes tend to come through in my work.
What is your favorite restaurant in Dallas?
Surprisingly, I haven’t explored the Dallas restaurant scene much since moving here. There’s a cozy little vegan cafe—Tribal All Day—within biking distance from my house, which is my go-to when I’m out of groceries. I love to cook healthy, nutritious meals, so spending evenings experimenting in the kitchen is my usual preference (especially these days, as a result of the pandemic).
What is your favorite cocktail?
I cut out alcohol a few years ago to curb chronic migraines, but before that, I usually favored sipping a neat mezcal or tequila reposado. Nowadays, I’ll just opt for a sparkling water with lime.
How do you balance personal life and work?
Routine and structure are vital to my work-life balance. Mornings are most productive for me—I’m usually up at 5:30AM for a sunrise jog before coffee and emails. I keep a non-negotiable studio schedule, as well as a detailed planner that helps me stay focused on deadlines, marketing, and commitments month-to-month. Even so, I still try to be flexible when that’s what life calls for. That’s the best part about working for yourself.
In 2017, I enrolled in a 6-week artist residency in Iceland, living in a small cabin at the base of the Highlands, making dozens of paintings of the Aurora Borealis. That was my dream trip—perhaps only to be superseded by my dream of getting to take a trip to outer space one day!
To create a large-scale celestial piece for my favorite living scientist, Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Tequila, gourmet chocolate, or fresh flowers. It depends on the vibe, but any one (or all) of those three will usually do the trick.
Who is your style icon?
I keep my style pretty low-key—like a uniform—so I love the understated designs of Margaret Howell and Nick Wakeman; they seem to transition flawlessly across age and season. Interior designer Leanne Ford’s style also strikes a great balance between masculine and feminine, which is the sweet spot for my personal taste in clothing, accessories, home decor, etc.
Your favorite up and coming artist?
In spite of my own work being devoid of people, portraiture and figure work has been catching my attention lately. Riley Holloway,
and Reisha Perlmutter are all rising stars who seem to exemplify a variety of stylistic approaches to rendering the figure in fresh, powerful ways.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have a reusable, gallon-size, comically enormous water jug that I never go anywhere without. I am scarily hydrated at all times.
What are you reading?
What are you listening to?
StarTalk Radio—highly recommended for anyone looking to get their mind blown on a regular basis (while having a few laughs, too).
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
For my art fix: The Artsy Editorial, Glasstire, New American Paintings, La Boîte Verte
For my science fix: Astronomy Magazine, Air & Space Magazine, Quanta Magazine
For architecture and interiors: The Design Files, Domino, Architectural Digest, My Domaine, Lonny
Be sure to follow Rachel Walter on her website and Instagram.
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