Address: P.O. Box 214, Irwin, PA 15642
Abstract and Mixed Media Art Paintings
“I love combining different art techniques to create something unique that transcends or combines the natural with the spiritual or supernatural. The process of creating itself is cathartic. It always has been a way to lose myself in the flow and allow the creation to speak for itself.“
~ Rachael Caskey, Abstract & Mixed Media Artist
Rachael Caskey is an intuitive, eclectic artist creating everything from mixed media to modern abstract art. She has a flair for color and texture in every piece. Her work intersects everyday life, nature and spirituality to foster a sense of mystery, love and connection.
Her love of art started at a very young age and was encouraged by friends, family and mentors throughout her life. However, her journey to becoming a full-time artist has not been a linear process by any means.
Born in Sacramento, California, Rachael was a year and a half-years-old when her young Air Force parents divorced. Her father moved her and her older sister to a small, rural Southwestern Pennsylvania town where her father grew up.
Rachael and her older sister were raised surrounded by farmland by her single father, aunt and grandparents up until she was five years old. She would feed the cows, go fishing in the nearby creek and take long walks by the cattails to visit Mr. Echoes at the local dam. Mr. Echo was what she called the place where she would yell and hear an echo back. Her love for painting nature stems from a lot of these early experiences.
Art was an early creative outlet for Rachael. Her paternal grandmother, Ruth, was very creative and religious. Ruth always encouraged Rachael’s interest in art. Ruth wrote beautiful Christian poetry and dreamed of being a fashion designer, although she remained a homemaker her entire life. Her grandmother sent her poetry to television stations and nurtured Rachael’s art aspirations as she also did with her own son (Rachael’s uncle), Jack Foflygen, who is a photorealistic painter. Rachael remembers those days fondly when her grandmother and she would cut out and create handmade Valentine’s Day cards.
When she was 5-years-old and her sister was 6-years-old, her father remarried and moved her and her sister away from her aunt and grandparents’ house. It was a difficult and immediate transition from that sheltered, loving atmosphere to a harsher reality living in a trailer park with mostly boys. Her father and stepmother had three more children. Rachael was raised in this working-class, blended family of five children. She quickly adapted to her new environment. She played War, baseball, tag, skateboarding and bike riding. She had more than her fair share of scraped knees during those days. Life was not always easy with both parents working full-time. Her parents relied on babysitters and grandparents and eventually her older sister and her to help with childcare. One of those babysitters taught Rachael how to draw realistically using the block method. Rachael continued to focus on art and journaling as creative, healthy outlets.
Rachael was a very active and engaged honors student throughout her high school and college career. She participated in volleyball, choir, advanced art classes and French Club in high school. Her high school art teacher, Mr. Yothers, saw that spark for art in Rachael. He encouraged her to continue her art after high school.
She has a love for French culture. She took advanced French classes through high school and visited Quebec, Canada in her junior year. She saved her own money to make that trip by working for the Burgettstown Administrative Office and a local McDonald’s. In her senior year, she didn’t have enough money saved to visit France with the French Club.
In college she continued honing that high energy by taking full course loads while working for the Career Services Office on campus, taking shifts at McDonald’s and participating in numerous clubs, organizations and volunteer activities.
Instead of pursuing fine art, she studied Communication and French dual degrees at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Fulfilling her long-time dream, she spent her last semester abroad in Amiens, France. During her time there, she visited the Orsay Museum and the Louvre Museum numerous times in Paris. That experience renewed her interest in art she had as a child and teenager.
In the interim years from graduating college to raising her children, that dream of being an accomplished artist never diminished. If anything, having children reminded her of her own dreams and how much she wanted to show her children how to reach for their dreams, as well.
Rachael went on to work in various positions in insurance and government. Despite her full-time career and family responsibilities, she continued to nurture her love of art on the side. Now she has taken a leap of faith to work on her art full-time and has her sights on breaking into the burgeoning art scene by joining the “creative class” in the Greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and beyond.
Rachael works out of her home, spacious attic art studio in her large, old, 1920’s-era home in a small, quaint town, called Manor, on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has exhibited her art for sale in Pittsburgh-area art exhibits and galleries.
Rachael works primarily with acrylic paints on canvas. Her body of work consists of layers of acrylic paint and fine and vintage papers with strong bold paint strokes, a mélange of the natural with the mystical or supernatural that is coupled with an emphasis on contrasting values.
She is open to commissions for homes, corporate offices, vacation properties and boutique businesses. In a few short years, Rachael has grown and evolved as an accomplished artist creating beautiful mixed media and abstract art paintings. Art collectors and dealers who follow her painting career say that Rachael’s body of work is easily identifiable by her use of subjects, layers and contrast. Her paintings reflect her mood, natural and spiritual inspiration, personal thoughts, physical and mental struggles, and triumphs. Each painting is an intuitive process. Unless she is working on an art commission, most of her paintings flow naturally without a particular theme at the start, almost like a reflection of her nonlinear life experiences.