Landscape artist Rachel Harvey was born in Portland, OR, in 1968.  She was raised by hard-working parents who taught her strong ethics and pride in accomplishment.  Her father, a minister, moved the family to the Midwest during the formative years of Rachel’s childhood, which engendered in her an affinity for the wide-open.  The family eventually repatriated as Northwesterners, but this love of land and sky never left her, and would ultimately inspire the direction her art career.

The first in her family to attend college, Rachel’s goals were pragmatic, and art was certainly not on her radar, except for a couple of electives in drawing and watercolor.  Neither tripped any triggers, and she went on to receive a BS in Accounting from Portland State University in 1994.  She then obtained her CPA license and pursued a career in finance, first with a Big-Six accounting firm and afterward as a freelance bank auditor. 

In 2007, after the birth of her first child, and chafing under the self-imposed rigors of motherhood, Rachel was introduced to oil painting through a community education workshop.  Instantly recognizing her destiny, Rachel left accounting, embraced art, and has never looked back.  Within two years of the launch of her art career, Rachel had obtained gallery representation and was showing her work at top-tier juried art festivals. 

Rachel’s art education has been a self-taught course of trial and error, as well as miles and miles of canvas.  For the first two years, she painted almost exclusively en plein air.  The reluctance of her second child to take naps on schedule forced her to reconsider her painting habits, leading to the setup of a home studio, which in turn led to larger works. 

Rachel now works out of her studio in Mt. Hood, OR, just a few miles from where she lives, with her husband and two young children, in the Hood River Valley.  The surrounding landscape, including the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area, offers endless inspiration, but being an equal-opportunity painter, she ranges throughout the lower Forty-Eight.  She has plans to conquer the world.

photo credit: Pete Perry Photography

photo credit: Pete Perry Photography