Over 25 years of professional painting experience gives Rachel Pettit the confidence to approach each new canvas with excitement. Her newest practice of painting an occasional abstract gives her latest work a fresher and more painterly quality. Experimenting with new materials and formats gives her exploratory nature the impetus needed to continue working on an almost daily basis. Plein air painting (painting outdoors, from life) remains a favorite method. The most appealing and fleeting scenes–in early morning and late afternoon–need speed and a well-trained eye and hand to capture. These paintings are often filled with expressive brushwork and spontaneity. Continuing to be challenged in this way restores the memories of natural light, values, and colors that are so important to bring a sense of place to the work.
Born in Wisconsin, she moved with her family to Scottsdale, Arizona at a young age and spent her childhood in the southwest, traveling, camping and exploring. This instilled a great love of the outdoors which later was continued as a love of landscape painting. Her training has been through workshops and classes with regional and national masters including George Carlson, Scott Christensen, Delbert Gish, William Reese and Kathryn Stats. With the encouragement of these great artists, her paintings have taken on an impressionistic style, one which captures the essence or spirit of the subject and conveys it to the viewer. Her constant dedication to painting, as well as the study of contemporary and past masters, are the most important elements of her artistic development. Her paintings have been juried into many of the nation’s top exhibitions including Arts for the Parks Top 100, Oil Painters of America National and Regional Exhibitions, Salon International, American Impressionist Society, and International Artist Magazine, and are included in collections throughout the United States.