2015 / 2016 / 2018 / 2021
Rachel had just graduated from the Florence Art Academy after 4 years of intense study and before heading home again, to the snow-capped mountains of Colorado, she needed some downtime. Although she remained in Florence to achieve gradual detachment from the city, Il Palmerino became a safe haven for her, where she could finally take some time to contemplate light.
During the first month of her residency, it was surprising to see her living ‘normally’, cooking, wandering around the garden, hunting for herbs to spice up her meals. We admired the extreme care she took in setting up floral compositions or still life scenes, with objects that had been forgotten in the garden. Later on, unworried by the weather, or rather energised by the cold and windy season, she painted incessantly and with creative flair.
Her large-format canvases seemed weightless on her easel and no wind or sleet could slow her work or halt the rhythm of her rapid brushstrokes. The exhibition she held here, with artist Kamille Corry, was filled with winter landscapes of uncommon depth. A soft-spoken person with a frequent smile, Rachel has a striking sense of determination and her vigorous work captures the landscapes she traverses as a curious and indomitable traveller. Sometimes, other visitors would find their way onto her canvases, depicted as passengers – much like herself – on a journey through a time undefined.
She now regularly returns to participate in our Residency Programme, to rediscover the Florence of her training period and all its youthful friendships, for, as she has often told us, ‘I am at home here with you!’