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Central California Life Magazine

Artist Rachel Kaye Talks Colored Pencils, Oil Paints & the Importance of Practice

Mar 01, 2017 05:49PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Rachel Kaye is an artist that is a By Area native. Now a San Francisco, CA resident, Rachel and her husband, another artist himself, enjoy practicing their art and spending time with their daughter, Romy.     

Rachel was recently featured in Mother Magazine where her lovely San Francisco, CA home was showcased with a series of lovely photos. She has had a series of exhibitions showcasing her art since her graduation from California College of the Arts, where she earned her BFA in Painting and Drawing in 2004. These exhibitions have been all over the United States, from Seattle to Los Angeles. 

We wanted to get in touch with Rachel and learn more about her art and her future goals. And if we will ever see her art in Fresno!

Tell us a little about you. Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?

I don't think the serious focus of being an artist occurred until I was 19. I was always creative, but I guess that's when I decided to really put all my energy into it. 

What medium is your favorite? 

Colored pencils and oil paint. I've pretty much tried everything but I've been working primarily with oil paint and colored pencils for the last 10 years almost exclusively. They just give me the results I want! 

Where do you typically find your inspiration? 

Really just in day to day life. In the subtle moments and feelings, discovering visual play in everyday objects and shapes. 

What is your personal favorite aspect of creating art?

Trying to get back to the lack of inhibition of being a child. With art, the more you can step away and let magic occur, the stronger your work will be. In the way a child can just pick up a crayon and go for it, that's what I'm looking for in my practice.  

What's one of your most memorable moments so far?

Going to the JB Blunk residency with my husband, Jay Nelson. It was just us two in the woods making art. 

JB Blunk was a Bay Area artist. After he passed away his daughter, who is in charge of his estate, opened up his home (which is a work of art in itself) as a residency. I think it only lasted for 2-3 years, so we were very fortunate to be selected during the short time. We lived in the house and worked in Blunk's studio. You can't help but get inspired and pull from the energy of an artist's practice when you live and work in their space. 

Do you have any tips for someone hoping to follow in the same creative path as you? 

It's just about drive. You have to practice, practice, practice! Or, in this case, make, make, make. 

Anything else we should know about you?

I have an exhibition that opens next Friday, March 3 at Sweeney Kaye Gallery in Oakland. It's a project space that just Andrew Berg just opened. 

Learn more by visiting

To learn a little bit more about Rachel and her amazing art, you can 
visit her website.