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Work Samples

Musical Chairs

gouache on paper

The Entrepreneurs

Gouache and ink on panel

The Loan

"The Loan" Gouache on paper 2016

Animal Silhouette #1

"Animal Silhouette #1" Gouache on paper 2016

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About Rachel

Baltimore City

Rachel Bone's picture
I was born in rural NH and moved to Baltimore in 2004 after completing a BFA at Syracuse University. I grew up in a family that loves folk art and storytelling as well as traditional artisanry. My mother makes braided rugs, knits socks, and canes chairs in her spare time from being a reference librarian. My father teaches literature and directs high school plays. Together they run a side business scouring auctions for discarded artwork and vintage china & furniture which they clean and re... more

Animal Silhouettes 2015-2016

A meditative series of animal silhouette paintings, largely inspired by a trip to Mexico to study traditional Oaxacan Otami textile patterns, and native folk art of that region. Upon returning to Baltimore, I started thinking about the styles and mediums of work specific to regions of any country or place, and how they develop into recognizable trademarks of one group of people. A style or particular artisanal technique is perfected within a community (As a means of producing products, for income and/or as a way of recording the history of a culture), and passed on through generations without hostility or exclusive personal ownership over aesthetics.
Much like cooking, each piece of Otami fabric in Oaxaca is stitched tirelessly by hand, and each family has developed slight variations on traditional patterns. The final utilitarian craft itself projects the long-developed aesthetic identity of a community, more than just the individuality of any one person.

Hold Close What I Pass On 2016

This series, like many of my others, is specifically about competition and maliciousness between women: How absurd it is to step on each other to get ahead, how odd superficial comradery and insincere friendships look from the outside.
As a new mother, I've been pondering how our over-use of the internet for information has effected our confidence in our own instincts. There are so many self-appointed experts online, telling me I'm doing everything wrong, and conflicting with each other on the best way to raise a child. What usually starts as an attempt at passing on useful information often becomes a defensive, accusatory, competitive argument between advice givers, and feels exhausting and unhealthy.
Most of my paintings are based on the relationships between women. How ridiculous it is when we women become competitive or hurtful toward each other for misguided reasons. Likewise, the touching ways women do lift each other or motivate each other in unexpected ways when they are sincere.
As I find myself in a new role as a parent, I find myself having to work hard to know exactly who I am, and what opinions I have, and what things I find most important to pass on to my son. I like the task of becoming more aware of my own personality, and I wonder what traditions, expressions, and visual memories I will pass on to my son in this less tactile, more digital time. My show "Hold Close What I Pass On" was an exploration of what it meant to me to grow up in a house full of crafting, art, literature, nature, and particular beliefs. I am weighing how important each of those things feel to me to pass on, even when they aren't as prevalent or popular with the people surrounding me now.

Gouache and Ink Paintings 2008-2010

In a job I disliked in 2005, I started noticing how much my female co-workers felt the need to step on each other to promote their own ideas. It seemed pointless to me, when they could have easily chosen to empower each other instead, and team up to push agendas that were often comically similar. I started making drawings inspired by their interactions, and then eventually, exaggerated the situations using just the rhetoric as inspiration.
Often the most enthusiastically negative person in the room looks the most foolish, and my paintings are based largely on how ridiculous it is when we women become competitive or hurtful toward each other for misguided reasons. Likewise, the sometimes touching ways women do lift each other or motivate each other in unexpected ways. When a woman finds herself alone in a painting, it is often a direct reflection of one of my own personal experiences or feelings. It feels equally worthwhile to document the moments in which we manage to take ourselves down just as impressively with our own self consciousness, and anxieties.
My work has always been largely based on relationships and interactions between women. The women I document are strangers, friends and family members. I use myself as a photo reference, and conversations and interactions between women, and sometimes with themselves, as inspiration.

Gouache and Ink Paintings 2006-2008

In a job I disliked in 2005, I started noticing how much my female co-workers felt the need to step on each other to promote their own ideas. It seemed pointless to me, when they could have easily chosen to empower each other instead, and team up to push agendas that were often comically similar. I started making drawings inspired by their interactions, and then eventually, exaggerated the situations using just the rhetoric as inspiration.
Often the most enthusiastically negative person in the room looks the most foolish, and my paintings are based largely on how ridiculous it is when we women become competitive or hurtful toward each other for misguided reasons. Likewise, the sometimes touching ways women do lift each other or motivate each other in unexpected ways. When a woman finds herself alone in a painting, it is often a direct reflection of one of my own personal experiences or feelings. It feels equally worthwhile to document the moments in which we manage to take ourselves down just as impressively with our own self consciousness, and anxieties.
My work has always been largely based on relationships and interactions between women. The women I document are strangers, friends and family members. I use myself as a photo reference, and conversations and interactions between women, and sometimes with themselves, as inspiration.

Gouache and Ink Paintings 2010-2014

In a job I disliked in 2005, I started noticing how much my female co-workers felt the need to step on each other to promote their own ideas. It seemed pointless to me, when they could have easily chosen to empower each other instead, and team up to push agendas that were often comically similar. I started making drawings inspired by their interactions, and then eventually, exaggerated the situations using just the rhetoric as inspiration.
Often the most enthusiastically negative person in the room looks the most foolish, and my paintings are based largely on how ridiculous it is when we women become competitive or hurtful toward each other for misguided reasons. Likewise, the sometimes touching ways women do lift each other or motivate each other in unexpected ways. When a woman finds herself alone in a painting, it is often a direct reflection of one of my own personal experiences or feelings. It feels equally worthwhile to document the moments in which we manage to take ourselves down just as impressively with our own self consciousness, and anxieties.
My work has always been largely based on relationships and interactions between women. The women I document are strangers, friends and family members. I use myself as a photo reference, and conversations and interactions between women, and sometimes with themselves, as inspiration.

  • Lap Warmers

    Gouache and Ink on paper. 2011
  • Finish Line

    gouache and ink on panel
  • Map

    Pattern study of the United States. Gouache on wood, 2012
  • The Rocketship Lesson

    Commissioned illustration for NY Times Magazine Gouache and Ink on Wood, 2010.
  • The Auxiliary

    A painting for a sailor and a pillow maker. Gouache and Ink on Wood, 2011
  • The Conflict

    Gouache and ink on paper, 2008
  • For Bruce and Sarah

    A painting for a clothing designer and a graphic designer. One of whom favors orange sweatshirts. Gouache and Ink on Wood, 2011
  • Ostriches

    gouache and ink on paper

Bike Accident Series 2009

When a woman finds herself alone in a painting, it is often a direct reflection of one of my own personal experiences or feelings. While most of my paintings are based on the interactions between two or more women, it feels equally worthwhile to document moments alone with our own thoughts. This series was inspired by a friend's offhand comment one day that she'd like to ride her bike to the farmer's market, but never would because she might tip over and fall off carrying groceries.
We all make decisions based on worries about our own abilities. It's frustrating, and holds us back, even with simple, meaningless things like this. But in my mid-thirties now, I realize I am surrounding myself with the type of people who would go despite the worry of tipping over. I also realize I have become the type of person who knows they might tip over, and goes on the bike anyway. This series ended up mostly about my own challenges finding humor in my own shortcomings, and flaws, and about going anyway.

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Rachel's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.