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July Featured Artist: Rachel Austin

Rachel Austin, a long-time Click! favorite, is back as our featured artist for July! The show will feature new works in her signature style: vintage maps layered with boldly colored florals and bird silhouettes.

These charming, hand-painted scenes mounted on wood block panels will be available in-store and online starting Thursday 7.8 for Art Walk, along with an expanded collection of prints and cards that express a love of the PNW.

Also... many of the pieces are just the right size to fit in a suitcase, carry-on, or backpack and would make the perfect gift for visitors and local residents alike (just sayin'). :)

How would you describe what you make?

I make sweet little map paintings that feel like summer. I love finding old maps and layering paint over them. Themes of travel, birds and flowers show up in this series. 

What have you been up to since the last time you were at Click?

I opened my own retail space within Urbanite in Portland. Urbanite is home to several makers and designers that have showrooms in a large warehouse space in inner SE Portland. I love it! I sell my cards, prints and original paintings from a variety of series. I’ve been exploring other mediums too, like making the cutest tiny ceramic vessels, building butcher block tables, pouring modern cement coasters, and making simple gold necklaces. I’ve been able to support other local and women owned businesses and also sell vintage homegoods in my shop. It’s lots of fun. 

Do you find that your processes change with the seasons, and if so, how?

All the seasons feel busy to me in their own way and with long lists to get done. Summer feels dually hectic with lots of summer fun and keeping up with work, but I love it and have more energy with the long days. 

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

Coffee in a pretty handmade mug. Not sure I could get much done without it. : )

Can you tell us about your favorite piece in the collection?

I like the simple little Seattle 5”x7” painting with the nautical map and the vintage looking flowers just in black, no paint. It’s sweet and I love the feel of it. 

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to other artists?

Don’t spend so much time thinking about wanting to make art or trying to get all the ‘right’ tools. Just start creating with what you have. There are no rules and being an artist is a kind of choose your own adventure. Lots of paths and ways to go, but just keep moving forward.

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