July 2023

Guest Artist for May – Rachel Carroll

Ancient and modern techniques mingle in the work of this versatile artist
By Margaret Weiss

Rachel Carroll is a landscape painter. She has worked with wax, as an encaustic artist, a technique that dates back to 800 BC. Rachel has been painting for about 20 years and teaches art, currently teaching acrylics at Roseville Art Centre.

Recently she painted landscapes in Hill End and Sofala that were exhibited in Katoomba. She pushes the horizon line up, or eliminates it, thereby reducing the depth of field. Rachel starts with acrylics and finishes off with oils, and a glaze. She uses MDF board that she buys from Bunnings and gets cut to desired size. Sometimes she paints over previous paintings on board or on canvas by sanding back the previous painting. Rachel also frames some paintings herself.

She showed the Hill End/Sofala paintings via laptop before starting a practical and very quick demonstration of her technique using a credit card to apply acrylic paint on paper. The credit card should be flexible and not heavy. Sometimes she uses a long rigger brush, and a palette knife.

Rachel recycles and reuses materials for her art. For her demonstration Rachel used a tile from which she picked up the acrylic paint. She also uses glass and perspex palettes, and cling wrap for foam. She uses jelly pads, and stencils from them, producing monochromatic works.

She mixes her own colours, such as black and yellow to make green, and often starts with an orange-coloured base. Colours include red oxide and scarlet. For her demonstration Rachel painted a palm tree on a yellow background, and an abstract landscape on a blue background, both on paper.

Thank you, Rachel, for a very interesting demonstration, showing us how many ways there are to make art and how many possible materials and tools we all have at home waiting to be explored.