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Artist of the week
Rachel Pearce

Rachel Pearce's flower paintings are primarily engaged with the juxtaposition of science and art.

Rachel has been painting professionally for over ten years. Her wealth of experience and skills has allowed her to develop a process through which she can explore the boundaries of her chosen discipline and focus on the point at which science and art converge.

"I think about the process of painting, and concern myself with technique, colour, form, tone and composition, in order to create balanced, harmonious and evocative paintings." Rachel Pearce.

Historically, still life painting and floral art was deemed to be at the lower end of the 'art hierarchy'. Perceived as the least creative of disciplines, it was considered to require no more than a steady hand and a practiced technique. However, the nineteenth century witnessed dramatic transformations of the genre to such an extent that it was to become a serious focal point for modern artists of the next century and still remains to be so today.

"My flower studies are personal, and are a vehicle for my expression. Although they are figurative in themselves, they are abstracted from the actual source or subject of concern. This is then communicated through symbolic reference and the use of light and shape, composition and colour. To this end I focus on the feelings I wish to evoke in the paintings and the emotive concepts I want to deal with in subjects." Rachel Pearce.

Renoir, Monet, and Courbet all painted flower paintings during the mid 1860s. Van Gogh considered two of his Sunflower paintings to be a pivotal achievement in his career. At varying stages of the life cycle, from withered and wilting to vibrant blooms his paintings of Sunflowers seem to express a sense of gravitas for life. Van Gogh's painting the Sunflowers has become one of the most well known paintings in history.

Floral art can range from botanical illustration, which often has a strong scientific focus, to something which is purely expressive and is grounded in the context of art. Some of the greatest botanical works can be interpreted as beautiful works of art in their own right. Rachel Pearce's paintings manage to find a harmonious balance between the rigors of her technique and a fervent desire to express mood and emotion. Her work is both a rich source of exploration and expression.

Rachel Pearce grew up in County Durham, UK. She studied General Art and Design at Cleveland College of Art and Design, before specialising in Graphic Design and Illustration at the University of Brighton, graduating in 1994.

Following graduation she spent several years working as a freelance illustrator and part time tutor at Brighton City College. Her illustration work has been commissioned by Bloomsbury Publishing, Penguin and Oxford University Press, and in early 2005 was selected by the Association of Illustrators for 'Images': a show case for award winning work in British illustration.

To see more of Rachel's work please click here
 

white tulip
white tulip
£ 430

hydrangea
hydrangea
£ 1170