Throughout history, many artists have looked to their own surroundings for inspiration. Following in the footsteps of great landscape and still life painters, artist Rachel Campbell depicts the world around her—but with a colorful, contemporary twist. The talented artist paints often overlooked, everyday scenes as playful landscapes that are bursting with brightly colored hues.
“I am a visual storyteller,” Campbell tells My Modern Met. “I sometimes think like a poet who writes unassuming poems about everyday events, taking us on a journey with them, I feel similar in how I use my imagery. Almost all of my paintings have a narrative with them that has triggered a memory or a story.”
One particular oil painting, titled To Remember We All Have a Story, depicts an abandoned trailer, still with the small colorful curtains in the window, suggesting that—at some point—someone called it home. “I am taking a journey as I paint this, thinking about the families that have lived there, the children whose toys are left behind,” explains Campbell. “Why are these trailer parks salted away in the corners of our towns like the unclean, when good people live here?”
Campbell’s ever-growing body of work is incredibly personal, with many pieces depicting places she’s lived. The artist is currently residing in County Fife, Scotland, where she drives through the rolling countryside each day on the way to her studio. One painting, aptly titled The Drive to my Studio, details the stunning green hills and fields in vibrant color. In another work, titled Bluebells, Campbell paints one of the locations she visited while traveling in New Zealand for 4 months. “I went back and drew in that street reminiscing about our life there before moving away,” she reveals. “Lots of memories with my little boy.”
For Campbell, making art is a way to capture moments in life that bring her joy. “Art brings out some side of our humanity that needs attention,” she says. “The desire for connection to others. And our innate curiosity to understand our world and to be directed to the creativity that is there.”
Scroll down to see some of Campbell’s beautiful oil paintings. You can find even more from the artist's portfolio on her website. If you're in Seattle, Campbell's paintings are currently on display in a solo show titled What Are You Looking For? at ZINC Contemporary until December 14, 2019.