Rachel Schneider was born in San Jose, California in 1994. She attended 10 years of Catholic School and then went to Pioneer High School. As a sophomore, she played on the varsity volleyball team and won the League Championship in 2010. This was the same year she took her first official art class, with Ms. Kirk called Draw, Paint, Design. As a young artist she was inspired heavily by nature; camping trips at Mt. Madonna with her family are some of her fondest memories growing up. The process of creation excited her, and frustrated her because she wanted to create masterpieces, but held limited skills. This pushed her in the direction of obtaining an art education. After high school she was hungry for technical training, and was accepted to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. RacheI currently resides in Berkeley, finishing her 5th year at the Academy and will be graduating in May 2017.
During her education, Rachel was preoccupied by the idea that light is the reason why we see, and that light and shadow patterns are vital to any realistically painted image. Translating light's beautiful affects on nature, and using these patterns to dynamically compose images is what inspired her wildlife paintings of 2016. She wanted to capture the personalities of each wildlife creature, using light and shadow to explore the differing anatomies and textures of each animal, from feathers to fur. Her obsession with light is also evident in the interior painting entitled "Warm Thoughts" which exhibits her apartment's living room decorated by warm afternoon light and dramatic cast shadows. Rachel finds herself concerned with each painting's design, experimenting with simplicity as well as all-over compositions; this can be seen in her cubist self portrait entitled, "Mononoke and Me". She pushes her own limits of design, encorporating graphic shapes with her tightly rendered style for a more surreal outcome.
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