My artwork frequently begins with my experience of the natural world. Wherever I travel, it is the air, light, people and scenery around me that I seek to bring to my work. Printmaking, whether it is representative or abstract, has allowed me the freedom to layer colors, ideas, and moods, obscuring and revealing in an evolving process. It has also been fascinating for me to push the boundaries of monotype by using plaster as a receiving surface for prints. My tactile “frescotypes” recall and remind me of the frescoes of the past and extend my work toward sculpture.
Lately, questions of my own and others’ citizenship have inspired me to consider “belonging” in my work. What are our responsibilities to each other and to the natural world? What does it mean to immigrate, and how do we resolve our expectations of an ideal world with the realities in which we find ourselves? How do we understand others, despite the numerous barriers between us represented by borders, language, culture, race, gender, and other forms of identity? Art is the medium through which these questions can be explored, the point at which we can all find common understanding.
Rachel Leaney is an artist and writer based in Waltham, MA. After a career as a journalist and magazine editor, she returned to her first love of art making in 2005, when introduced to monotype. For the last several years she has devoted herself full-time to painting and printmaking.
Her work can be found in collections in the US, Canada, China, Germany and the United Kingdom.