Artists Statement

Artist Statement for:  “New Beginnings: Path of Wabi Sabi” show 2016:

This show is a snapshot of where I am now.  Throughout my life I have studied and created art as well as searched for meaning through various techniques and philosophies.  I have found “Wabi Sabi” the Japanese aesthetic philosophy.  It is a world view that accepts the impermanence and imperfection of beauty as exemplified in nature.  The concept resonates with me as an artist.  Asymmetry, simplicity, texture the voice of the media itself are central to my process as an artist and are definitions of Wabi Sabi.  My new body of work incorporates these elements.  I layer paint in washes:  depth, movement and composition emerge from the voice of the paint itself.  As sculptors say the find the image in the stone; I feel as if I find the image in the paint itself.  The paint leads.

Artist Statement 2005:

My work has been about the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things. Twenty five years ago I developed the technique of woven canvas paintings. It combines the immediacy and expressiveness of painting with the primitive structure of weaving. It is a simple structure, yet profound in its’ strength.

Recently I have simplified my technique by using canvas strips in a single direction across the works’ surface creating over lapping parallel lines. This visual surface creates a minimal simplified texture and evokes contemplative tranquility.

After the surface is established I apply oil paint. My palette lays a foundation for the application of gold and silver leaf. Precious metals have been used to convey divinity since antiquity and accentuates the richness of the layers of color.

I draw upon the influences of fiber artist Olga DeAmaral and field colorist Mark Rothko. The field colorists’ statement, “elemental truth is conveyed by the simple expression of complex thought”, is the tenet of my process.


BFA 1988    

Memphis College of Art, Major: Decorative Design, concentration in Fiber Viola-   Joyce, Quigley Memorial Textile Award, Lytle McKee, Shainberg Scholarship

BA 1984     

Emory University, Major: Religion-Judaic Studies,  Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, One Year Program


Memphis Academy of Art, Saturday School Program

Selected Exhibitions


Vivo Contemporary Gallery, All Group shows


Gallery 901, Santa Fe, NM “New Beginnings, Path of Wabi Sabi” Solo Exhibition

Levy Gallery, Memphis, TN   “Wabi Sabi” Two Person Show


GF Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM  “Possibilities & Pulse” Two Person Show: Rachel Darnell & Michael Wilding


Gallery Orange, New Orleans, LA:  Group Show

GF Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM:  Group Show


Darnell Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM:  Mystic Images


Darnell Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM:  Mysterium


Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ: New Artists


Linda Durham Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM”Salon”Group Show Translations Gallery, Denver, CO


New Mexico Museum of Art, Juried Exhibition:New Mexico Women Artists


Darnell Fine Art, Santa Fe, NMArt Expo New York, Jacob Javitz Center


Waxlander Gallery, Santa Fe, NM


Contemporary 1999, Juried Competition,Fuller’s Art Lodge, Los Alamos, NM


Waxlander Khadoure Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM


Expressions in Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM


Art Resources, Birmingham, MI


Raleigh Gallery, DCOTA, Miami,FLSeventh Annual Juried Exhibition: Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami, FL


Boca Raton Museum of Art


Fifth Annual Juried Competition: Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami, FL


Brooks Museum of Art: Art Today Benefit Exhibition, Memphis, TN

Southern Exposure: Juried Exhibition, Germantown, TNBell Ross Gallery, Memphis, TN


Richard’s Gallery, Memphis, TN


Senior Exhibit, Memphis College of ArtFiber Exhibit, Memphis College of Art


Third Place, Print Show, Malone and Hyde, Memphis, TNFiber Exhibit, Memphis College of Art


University Gallery, Memphis State University

Corporate Collections

The Phoenician, Phoenix, AZ

St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Memphis,TN

Four Seasons Hotel, Denver, CO

Vedder Price Law Offices, Chicago, IL

Edgewater Plaza Condos, Chicago, IL

Hardin’s Sysco Head Quarters, Memphis, TN

International Paper, Germantown, TN

Wesley Manor, Atlanta, GA



Studio Visit:  Voulmn 21, 2013

Rachel Darnell Mystic Images:  Abstract Minimal Paintings, copyright 2012, Blurb Publications

Art & Antiques: Summer 2011 Summer Season Santa Fe

Trend: Spring/Summer 2011 Gallery Perspectives Canyon Road

The Santa Fean Magazine:
Dec/Jan 2010/2011The Gallery Art Showcase “Sunset Mystic” by Rachel Darnell

Santa Fe Journal North: Feb. 9, 2010, Gallery Guide, “Dream Horizon” by Rachel Darnell

TRADITIONAL HOME: March 2006 Show House Show Case, “Unity II”, Rachel Darnell

ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL NORTH, Feb 2006Gallery guide: “Passion V” by Rachel Darnell

PASATIEMPO: THE NEW MEXICAN’S Weekly Magazine of the Arts: May 2-8, 2003 “La Luna” by Rachel Darnell

FOCUS SANTA FE: January – March 2003 “A Mystical Universe”: Rachel Darnell takes one into a spacious world.

IONS: NOETIC SCIENCE REVIEW; September – November 2001
“Connecting Inner Assets”; “Soliel” by Rachel Darnell

NEW MEXICO MILLENIUM COLLECTION: A Twenty-First Century Celebration of Fine Art in New Mexico , “La Reina de la Salsa” By Rachel Darnell

FOCUS SANTA FE: April – May 2000 “A Spiritual Connection to an Ancient Past”