Rachel Cross is an internationally trained and traveled artist attracting attention for her vivid and striking oil pastel paintings. Originally trained in watercolor, at 4 years old, while living in Tokyo Japan, she continued her inquisitive journey by training, questioning, and learning from artists from all over the globe. Rachel, at 17, picked up oil pastels and has been cultivating her sui generis style ever since.
Her paintings started gaining international recognitition when Red Boat was hosted in a Peter Doig collection in 2014. After his painting White Canoe set a world record for the hightest price paid to a living artist. It sold for 11 million at auction.
Since then, Red Boat has gained more attention and become the cover of hightly awarded and acknowledged American novelist, Louise Erdrich's german release of LaRose, titled Ein Lied fur die Geister. Released in October of 2016.
Rachel's oil pastel techniques include controlling the temperature of both the canvas and oil pastels. Which allows her to achieve layers that capture color-shifting properties and depth. Her impressive backgrounds usually take months to create before she begins to construct a lucid focal point.
Born in Maryland January 5th 1984. She spent her youth traveling or exploring the wilderness until she became a ward of the state and was placed in foster care. With tremulous living arrangments not much differnt from her humble beginnings she decided at 14 to care and look after herself. At 23 she joined and spent 8 years in the Air Force. Where she was an aircraft electrician and mechanic. She worked on the largest planes in the sky C-5's and even Black Hawk helicopters. Rachel Cross, now calls St. Augustine Florida home, where she spends her time as a full time mother, teaching kung fu, running her art business, caring for a menagerie of animals, and appreciating all that is and who is around her.
Falling in love with an artist's work is surrendering to the discovery of their soul.
Each piece is a foot print with remnants of their heart, mind and spirit, forever impressed into history. If you truly give yourself to finding where in that journey a particular piece belongs, then you step closer to understanding the artist. You begin to reveal traces of their soul.
As in your own life, there are eras in your journey, milestones. Artists mark their journey with the work they create. In some dark eras there may be fragmented pieces of themselves scattered in their works or writings. Other times the pieces may shine together cohesively in a poetic mosaic. Whatever the era, understanding artwork in the context of the artist's life is essential to appreciating its value.
Rachel Cross is emerging from an era of her darkest days as a survivor. No words can describe what that means except hers. One year later, she has courageously started writing and speaking openly about it. At first she came forward anonymously (as "R.C.") in an Old City Life Magazine article on Betty Griffin House, a charity organization that offers "protection and quality services for victims of Domestic Violence and their minor children and/or victims of Sexual Assault and their families of St. Johns County, FL." The article was published in the May 2017 issue, which you can read here.
The article gave her confidence to start speaking about her story in public. Shortly after it was published, Rachel was in City Bistro hanging her art during an open mic poetry and story telling event. She decided on the spur of the moment, inspired by the other stories being told, to get up and share the events of mother's day 2016 with everyone in the room. This was a totally unplanned happening but warmly recieved by all who listened. And then a bit later, she wrote a deeply personal rendition of her story in "Light After Dark" that goes into greater detail about the years of abuse and the circumstances that surrounded her life in darkness.
The days that follow are a continuation in putting the pieces together and living life as a mother, an artist, business woman and survivor. These days are more than happy, they are a celebration of all that's been overcome to this point and all that will be accomplished beyond today.
We invite you to become a part of her art, her story and, as she has always insisted, to share your own vision of her art from your perspective, to create your own story from it.
Rachel's painting, Red Boat, started gaining international recognition after it was hosted in Peter Doig's 2014 collection. Prior to Peter's 2014 collection, his painting, White Canoe set a world record for the highest price paid to a living artist (11 million at auction).
Since then Red Boat also gained more notoriety as the cover of highly awarded and acknowledged American novelist, Louise Erdrich's german release of LaRose, titled Ein Lied für die Geister, which is due to be released Oct 17th 2016
In addition to her paintings Rachel writes engaging and compelling stories in which she also illustrates. Starting in 2015 with projected finish date of 2017. She will have finished her first full length picture book.
You can sometimes catch her working in a coffee shop, in her home town of St. Augustine FL, painting in a corner. She welcomes conversation, inquisitive minds, and enjoys sharing her passion. You can usually find her sharing her techniques and sometimes canvas space with anyone who has a glimmer of passion to paint.