Rachael Oehler’s awarded colored pencil artwork is largely born of the rolling hills, friendly faces and natural beauty of the Willamette Valley, as well as from her travels in the US and abroad. A graduate of Western Oregon University, she is drawn to landscape, portraits and nature as her subjects. Colored pencil is her primary medium, and she finds it ideal for precision and for creating luminous layers of color. Her finely detailed landscape work concentrates on the subtle textures and tones of the terrain, transformed by the magic of atmosphere and light. Another focus for Rachael is portraiture, where she looks beyond accurate depiction to reveal something of the life and character of her subjects. Colored pencil is a medium that sounds simple, but far from just involving the direct application of color, the medium requires many layers and many kinds of strokes to build up the vibrancy and punch that makes Rachael’s work unique.
“I strive in my work to capture those transient moments of glory from nature and the vitality of the human spirit. Capturing this moment is not unlike tuning an instrument. A landscape that appears flat and ordinary in one minute, with a sudden shock of sunlight, can become an exquisite chord of color. I often find this glory in the crevices: in the life-worn lines of a face, the glowing horizon, or the contrast of innocence and harsh reality. The music comes from honing in on these details and punching up the volume.”