Born in 1992 on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Rachael Cassiani is a largely self taught artist. She lives and works on the island today, where her paintings are shown in two of the premier island galleries, The Field Gallery and North Water Gallery. Since her career began six years ago she has shown in multiple galleries across the United States. Since when do you paint and what are your favourite motives?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved art and have gravitated to it throughout my entire life. I started teaching myself how to oil paint at the age of 17. After a few years of exploring oils and other mediums, I realized just how passionate I was about creating. From that moment on, I began painting professionally.
As for my motives, you’ll often find a similar pattern of shapes stacking against one another. Especially in my Cliffside and sunset pieces. It tends to remind me of zen rock formations that feels meditative in its process. It ties in with the fact that I crave simplicity and to create beauty with only what I need. Certain Color schemes are intentional and continuously reoccur to express emotions that were felt within a landscape.
When you create a new work, how to you proceed?
When I’m about to start a new piece I always head out to the location to grab some photographs to work from. It’s also a necessity for me to get a feel for the landscape as a whole… I need to see in person all of its different characteristics so I can make its connection to the canvas. I then take my “field” day into the studio and start sketching out the dominant shapes and colors that I see looking at my photo.
Next is paint mixing. I’ll do either half or all of the colors at once so that the action of painting can flow rather effortlessly. Over the next 3-10 days is the actual painting process. While I’m working from top to bottom, “block to block”, it becomes almost like a puzzle of pieces where time melds together.From what do you get your motivation?
Painting is a form of therapy for me. It gives me motivation to know that I can walk into the studio and find a sense of calm waiting for me within a piece. It’s a therapeutic experience, a process I’m able to give myself to and in turn give a piece of art that expresses my overall message.
Nature itself is a big motivator. If I simply step onto a trail or beach the ideas will start flowing. I’m always finding a new color within the terrain or the way the light hits the water, and I immediately want to take that back into the workspace.
The thought of people viewing my work is also a huge inspiration for me. To know that there’s a moment where a painting has the ability to brighten one’s day or inspire another’s creative desires, is a huge driving force behind my work.Your life without art would be…
incredibly dull! Art is what gives me energy and connection to life. I’m able to turn the places in this world that I find most beautiful into the way I see and experience them. I paint from a lot of emotion and with using color theory I’m able to portray how the place and overall piece has made me feel. Without art I would feel lost. It’s so deeply ingrained in who I am.
What is the best art place in your city at the moment?
I live on a small island off of Massachusetts named Martha’s Vineyard. Here, we have no shortage of beautiful places to view art. In my opinion though, it’s not a single place that is the best but instead it’s the art community as a whole that really shines. Throughout the year there are countless gallery shows, exhibitions, and artisan markets, where creators and art lovers come together to support one another. It’s a truly beautiful location full of talent and vision.Learn more about the artist: