Growing up in a large Italian family where emotions and energy were high, I learned early on to create quickly, to work collaboratively, and to not become too attached to my work. This childhood dynamic created a need in me to be aggressive in my work, often cutting through the paint surfaces and restating my lines. I want my materials to be bold and work fast with me.
I find myself most comfortable when away from the tradition of easel and canvas. I am often on my hands and knees actively engaged with the painting, my bare feet exposed to the cool concrete floor of my studio. A painting may begin in charcoal “en plein air” on birch plywood or through photographing areas with strong visual line, repetition of shapes and juxtaposition of elements. I then return to my studio to interpret the colors and patterns within the landscape.
Abstract landscape painter Rachael Van Dyke is a mid-career artist eager to search for shapes of color that fall on the ridge and valleys of the natural form. These movements are vividly expressed in her broad brush strokes and colorful palette.
Van Dyke’s work is often inspired through national and international artist in residence programs. Van Dyke has most recently participated as an artist-in-residence with the Isle Royale National Parks Service (Isle Royale, MI), ArteStudio Ginestrelle (Assisi, Italy), and Les Pays; Jardin Botanique (Marnay sur Seine, France). Van Dyke has received additional fellowships including TICA with the Art Institute of Chicago, and Les Tasis located in the Ardeche Valley of Southern France. She is also a Fulbright Memorial Fund art teacher recipient to Japan. Van Dyke has had solo art exhibitions with the Forest Hills Fine Art Center (MI), The Power Center of Performing Arts (MI), and the University of Michigan Hospital Gifts for Art program. She earned her MAE at the Kendall College of Art and Design and has worked 14 years as an art and design educator for all grade levels including adjunct instructor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. Her abstract landscape and figure work is exhibited with Rivercross Gallery in Boone, NC, LaFontsee Galleries in Grand Rapids and Douglas, MI, the Ann Arbor Art Center in Ann Arbor, MI, and River Centre Gallery in Sylvania, OH.
Rachael Van Dyke has been a public and private school art and design teacher for 14 years, as well as adjunct lecturer with College of Creative Studies in Detroit, MI Her teaching website is www.rachaelvandyketeaching.com