Rachel Steely (James) has always been drawn to natural, organic objects and chooses to portray them with oil on textured surfaces. Often, she presents her subject in “dynamic still life” with a shift of time through movement or growth-decay. Steely is originally from the rust-belt city of Rockford, Illinois. She left the manufacturing town to study fine art at Asbury College and find inspiration among the rolling hills and forests of rural Kentucky. Although consistently representational, she strives to create subtlety layered visual and philosophical metaphors. In 2005, Steely returned to the country’s heartland where she is active in the local art community of Indianapolis, Indiana. Next to oil painting, her greatest passion is helping others appreciate art by teaching private classes. She leads and inspires students of all ages from her studio.
“Through painting and drawing, I attempt to create subtle metaphors layer by layer in order that I might achieve a greater understanding of the natural world.”
A little more about me
The odor of turpentine and linseed oil permeates the air as I focus on connecting what I see to the board in front of me. Maybe the odor is not appealing, but I enjoy painting and drawing to achieve a greater understanding of both the world that we live in and the God who created it. My goal in life is to discover more about God through his creation, orient the trajectory of my life toward His will, and communicate to others through raising questions and presenting ideas. I want to initiate thought in individuals who I relate to and view the art that I present.
You can connect with me on the following social networks though email is preferred for art-related business.
You may have seen my artwork at:
- Arts Council of Indianapolis Public Art, 2010-2011, street level 10′x36′ banner
- Oranje 2009, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Indy Fringe Festival 2009, Henry’s on East, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Black & White, 2009, Dean Johnson Gallery, Indianapolis, Indiana
- A Perfect Communion, 2008, Wug Laku’s Studio & Garage, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Elegant Funk, 2008, Wug Laku’s Studio & Garage, Indianapolis, Indiana
I live in Indianapolis, Indiana with my husband, Stephen. I love to take macro-photography of textures, read books, travel overseas, and listen to lectures and classic literature. My guilty pleasure is a British mystery novel. My favorite artist is the German Romanticist, Caspar David Friedrich.
This is what I am drawing in the above photograph.
Fiddling with my camera on top of Tegelberg Mountain in Bavaria, Germany.
This is me climbing one of the four staircases with my camera bag on my shoulder in the 15th century fort, Bun Ráite, on my honeymoon in Ireland.