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Rachel Clearfield, 1946 ~ Magical realism / Visionary painter

Born in England on July 27, 1946, Rachel Clearfield was a self-taught child prodigy. As a young girl, she composed poetry and illustrated her poems with beautiful paintings. After completing high school she decided on a career in art and was educated at the Newcastle College of Art and also the Manchester College of Art.

Upon graduation in the late ‘60s, Ms. Clearfield moved to Amsterdam and rural Holland where she was inspired by the natural beauty of her surroundings. During this time she painted brilliantly colored symbolic animals amidst exquisite natural settings. Her work became well established and was subsequently published in many European magazines. She was awarded a prestigious grant from the Contra Prestatsie and her paintings were purchased by the Dutch government as well as by collectors in London, Paris and Belgium.

In 1976, Rachel relocated to the United States living in Hawaii, California and Florida before settling in Asheville, North Carolina. During this time she sold many of her paintings privately to collectors in California, Hawaii and New York. When she later moved to Florida in the late ‘70s her work was shown at Gallery Lanvin, Gallery Deborah Hellman, Gallery 1029, Gallery Lorraine and Gallery Marguerite Gil. Ms. Clearfield even successfully established her own private gallery by the ocean on Miami Beach. She made numerous television appearances and appeared frequently in the Miami Herald.

The artist calls her present mode of painting “classical visionary” inspired by the legendary masters of the Renaissance. Although the roots of her technique reflect the classics her messages are contemporary. She is immersed in the vision of planetary healing for all elements of nature and species of existence. Rachel has given benefits for various animal rights and environmental organizations including: Greenpeace, the Nature Conservancy, the Rainforest Alliance, Clean Water for North Carolina and the North Carolina Southern Highlands Conservancy.

Since moving to Asheville in 1990, she has been shown in the Blue Spiral Gallery, the Broadhurst Gallery, the Merrimon Gallery and most recently in the Discovery Gallery in Washington, DC. Rachel is an avid flower gardener and paints directly from the beauty which surrounds her home in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Art critic Sylvia Penn was inspired to write of her work, "With Rachel we undertake an unforgettable journey to magical vistas of unspoiled beauty and dream-like quality. Here is the promise of paradise, where wide-open spaces unfold in a spectacular panorama of tranquil beauty. The diversity of details, the patterns, the intricate rhythms, presented in a visionary style, add up to haunting landscapes of inner experiences, not soon forgotten".