My Artist Statement is constantly evolving as I progress and work in my art practice. A few years ago in 2015 and 2016 I was focused on painting and drawing toys from life. My favorite subjects included a large stuffed toy elephant, rocking horses, and teddy bears.
In the last year I've been making colorful abstract paintings on canvas, panel and board. I'm currently working on artwork that's part of my the Dot Series, Fluid Series and Geometric Series.
Below is my current Artist Statement, descriptions of my current painting series and an edited CV/Resume.
Art Statement, Rachael Grad
Color in Art
Color is the unifying focus in my artwork. Whether painting, drawing, working in mixed media or taking photographs, I play with color combinations until they appear to move and sing. Even when painting and collaging in the abstract, I'm interested in shapes of color combined together. My current series include: Dot Series (acrylic paint on panel), Fluid Series (acrylic paint on canvas), Geometric Series (acrylic paint on canvas), and Italy Collages (using my photographs of Italy with paint and other materials). I also have limited edition art prints of my most popular paintings and photographs.
Dot Series Paintings
The Dot Series is about color and meditation. The paintings in this series take many months, sometimes years to complete because of the slow process of layering thin acrylic paint brushstrokes and glazes on board panels. Each panel is a different experiment in color combinations. One small brushstroke can change the look of an entire painting. In session after session I add glazes and colors until the combination moves and sings.
This careful, deliberate painting process forces me to slow down, focus, and consider each mark made. I find the relaxed painting pace puts me in a meditative and calm state, even while the colors used are bright, lively and exciting. While the process attempts at control, the resulting brushstrokes are messy and imperfect. These art pieces start in the small range from small 4” x 4” gessobords up to medium clay boards and large 3’ x 3’ wood panels.
Fluid Series Paintings
In the Fluid Series I’m forced to give up control of the paint and the result. The watery paint travels, changes and moves on its own. These artworks are painted over many sessions, very slowly with wet brushes and runny paint. The colors are mixed on the palette before slowly and carefully dripped onto the canvas. Once placed on the canvas, the watery, saturated colors often run into one another and make new, surprising combinations. This creates a fluid effect of colored lively, dripping lines.
Italy Collages and Art Prints
In Italy I fell in love twice. The first time I fell in love with art. It was my first time in Europe, traveling on my own, and taking an intensive art course. The yellow sunflowers, bright blue summer sky, rolling hills of green hills, and warm reds and earth-colored buildings on the drive from Rome to Florence are still vividly clear in my memory. The second was when my husband (then boyfriend) visited me while I was studying art in Venice and we fell in love.
The Italy collages and limited edition art prints are made from combining my original photography, paintings, and drawings. The photographs explore hot summer days with record breaking heat and humidity. Laundry lines drooping over Venice canals and alleys. Gondoliers taking breaks from the tedium of the crowds and tourists in high season and swimmers jumping into ice cold water off the rocks of Cinque Terre (so satisfying from the scorching summer sun). Dogs and cats roaming free in the streets and alleys.
Some photos were taken through distorted glass: ferry boat window panes, centuries old Venetian window class from a palazzo on the grand canal. The images are further blurred and changed by being printed on treated metal. Distortions in light and perception lead to the viewer to question what appears to be real and commonplace. Strange visions occur: a regular cat becomes king of the alley; two dogs stop water traffic in the canal; a lonely dog preaches to the tourists; the city melts into the canal on a hot day.
Italy remains a favorite place to visit, fall in love and make art. The colors, landscape, and architecture in Italy are incredibly inspiring for many artists. I use my photographs, drawings and paintings) to create new artwork based on my perception, memory and feeling of traveling in Italy.
Resume/CV of Rachael Grad
Below are selected Art Shows (Group and Solo), Art Awards, and Legal Publications, along with links to some of my writing, blogging, and interviews.
Colorful Abstract Paintings, February 2019 - Present, Peter Paul and Company, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Abstract Paintings, Summer 2018 – ongoing, Cocoalatte, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Paintings and Prints, Summer 2018 - Present, Hilton Toronto Markham Conference Centre & Spa, Markham, Ontario, Canada
7 Art Prints of Italy, February 2016 – June 2016, Cocoalatte, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Art Prints, June 2015 – December 2015, Hilton Toronto Markham Conference Centre & Spa, Markham, Ontario, Canada
The Art of Health and Wellness, June 2012, Hilton Toronto Markham Conference Centre & Spa, Markham, Ontario, Canada
Works, Group Show, Coemeterium of the Suola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, August 2011; S.Polo 2457, Venice, Italy
Patton Boggs LLP Group Show, Summer 2010; 1185 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036
Twenty2, Group Show, Palazzetto Tito, August 2010; Dorsoduro 2826, Venice, Italy
Eva’s Restaurant Group Show, Summer 2010; October 2009 – January 2010. 11 W 8th St., New York, NY 10011
Holiday Group Show, New York Studio School Gallery, December 2008, December 2009. 8 W 8th St., New York, NY 10011
Recent Artwork by Rachael Grad & Cristina Winsor, New York Studio School Gallery, April 10 to 16, 2009. 8 W 8th St., New York, NY 10011
Solo Exhibition, Skynear & Co. and Casa Oaxaca, October 22 – November 2008. 2122 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Solo Exhibition, Caramel, August to October 2008. 1603 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Washington Studio School Annual Juried Student Group Show 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & Certificate Student Group Show, 2006, Washington, DC
Art Gallery of Ontario Student Show 1994, 1995. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Merit Scholarship, 2008-2009, New York Studio School, New York, NY
National Award for Multimedia Project, Canadian High School Association, 1994
Distortions in light and perception lead to the viewer to question what appears to be real and commonplace. Strange visions occur: a regular cat becomes king of the alley; two dogs stop water traffic in the canal; a lonely dog preaches to the tourists; the city melts into the canal on a hot day.
“Indigenous Rights and Intellectual Property Law: A Comparison of the United States and Australia,” Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, Fall 2002.
“Economic Inefficiencies in Health Law.” Health Law in Canada, 4th quarter, 1999.
Certificate Student, 2008-2010 Painting New York Studio School
Participant, 2010-2011, Master’s of Studio Art, New York University, Venice, Italy 2010-2011
Art Courses taken at Washington Studio School (2004-2008) , Corcoran School of Art and Design (2005), Toronto School of Art (2010-2012), Art Students League, NY (2009), OCAD.
EDITING & WRITING
Writing in Home Decor and Art Publications:
2008 – 2013 Editor and Contributor, Apartment Therapy, home décor and residential design website. Over 1,000 blog posts published.
Freelance articles for Dwell Magazine’s website Touring Design for a Living World
Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian
Foodjects: Design and Cuisine in Spain
In the Press – Interviews:
“Secondhand Inspiration: Add Personality with Vintage Furnishings” The Washington Post Express (May 29, 2009).
"D.C. Therapy" The Washington City Paper (September 26, 2008).
“The Guest Stop: From Home to Hotel” The Washington Post Express (August 8, 2008).