Arrowmont is a special community full of creative people – a family who know that coming together and making art is important. We talk a lot about the Arrowmont Experience – connecting through craft and community. That connection exists beyond physical proximity. It is in shared memories and new ideas. It lives in the friendships we make with each other. It grows when we learn and support one another.
Whether on campus or off, we are connected as members of the Arrowmont family. Over the next few weeks, we are going to share stories from our community of instructors, residents, and students in a new series, Arrowmont Connections.
Rachael McCampbell is an Arrowmont instructor and longtime friend and supporter. Having grown up on a farm in East Tennessee, Rachael has always been inspired by wildlife and the lessons in nature. After years of urban living in New York, Florence, Italy, London and Los Angeles, she moved to the countryside of Franklin, Tennessee. She writes,
“Back in Tennessee, I can observe and explore firsthand the landscapes that inform my work. Being a process-oriented artist, I let the painting inform me as opposed to the other way around. I have an idea of what I want to paint, but that rarely manifests as I envisioned. Those happy accidents and twists and turns become an integral aspect of my journey as a painter. The peeling walls in Tuscany inspired me years ago to paint using layers of texture which I like to add and remove until the story I’m trying to tell gets told. Taking an emotive, action-based approach to the application of paint, I work as much with splashes and drips of color as with carefully rendered lines. It also interests me to combine both realism and abstraction in my work, which I believe creates exciting paths for the viewer to explore visually.”
Normally, Rachael is busy throughout the year teaching individuals and small groups in the United States and abroad. “I take groups to Europe each year to paint, travel, write, eat and laugh. I am a ‘GOLDEN Acrylic Certified Educator’ and a ‘Gamblin Oil Paint Dedicated Teacher,'” she writes.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Rachael has had to be creative to connect with artists and continue to teach. Recently, she held her first remote ‘art critique’ designed to support and encourage artists who feel stuck on a current piece. The experience was such a success that she is hosting another session next week on Monday, June 1, 2020, at 3 pm Central Time. She describes her new art critiques:
“Do you have a painting you’ve been working on but are at that point where you don’t know what to do next? Would you like to talk with me about it?
Well, I know how that is and after years of problem solving in both acrylic and oil, I can help you examine where you are in your work and discover what your next steps could possibly be.
“Critiquing art in a gentle, objective way, honoring each artist and their work exactly where they are, is always my intention.“
UPDATE: Rachael McCampbell publishes article in The Tennessean
Rachael recently published an article discussing her views on the essential nature of the arts during the current pandemic. She writes,
“COVID-19 is an unusual truth finder, a seeker shining a spotlight into the corners of our lives we’d forgotten about and didn’t deem important. Suddenly grocery store clerks, farm workers and truck drivers are essential workers — weren’t they always? Well, now, they’re literally putting their lives on the line for us to live. We’ve gained a new appreciation for the basic machinations that keep our society functioning.”
Rachael McCampbell’s website: rachaelmccampbell.com
Rachael’s Art Critique on Zoom: https://rachaelmccampbell.com/art-critique-on-zoom/
Artistic Adventures Abroad: https://www.facebook.com/artisticadventuresabroad/