Gardens and particularly the lush flora of Florida have inspired the creative energy of painter John Rachell for the past forty years. If you were one of the attendees at the recent Studio 1608 Right Here Right Now exhibit, you were fortunate to see several of John’s large oil paintings, which capture the beauty of our tropical paradise.
John’s connection with nature and Spirit are evident in his work. Still it amazes that not long ago he woke up one morning and discovered that his right hand was numb. When he got out of bed, he realized that his right leg couldn’t hold him up. He had a stroke, and for a time he ended up loosing the use of his entire right side.
For some people that might have felt tragic, and especially for a professional artist, but John saw this hurdle as a gift, and he says, “Life is so marvelous that no matter what the limitations are you can expand other manifestations of spirit.” He used his left hand to paint until his right hand gained back its strength. On his website, one can enjoy the work “Art of the Stroke,” that is now for sale. Though more impressionistic than his exquisitely detailed style, it radiates the same warmth and sublime.
An alumnus of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the same year he graduated he was in the 1977 Fullbright Competition Exhibition at the United Nations Plaza in New York City. Since then, he has exhibited his work in a number of venues in both Florida and Illinois. Among the many shows were “Landscapes Unlimited” 2003 Juried Exhibition in the Fine Arts Building Gallery in Chicago and the recent “Native to Florida” Exhibition at the Armory Art Center. He also has been in two solo shows at the Bruce Webber Gallery in Lake Worth.
A pastelist and sculptor in addition to being an oil painter, he donated a special nude for the “Take Home a Nude” fundraiser at the Armory Art Center happening on the evening of April 12. And he is planning to participate in another event at Studio 1608 on May 15, 2010, so mark your calendar. For now please enjoy the slideshow below.
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***© 2010 all rights reserved Maxine Schreiber. The above articles may not be rewritten, copied, published, broadcast, or redistributed, wholly or in any part, without the express written permission of Maxine Schreiber.