ABOUT THE ARTIST|
Rachel Collins considers herself a representational painter of natural and
manmade abstract form. Although
she grew up in a home in New York state where her mother taught oil
painting, design and composition, she did not pursue art on her own until
she reached her mid-thirties. By
then she had graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in French,
obtained a master’s degree in library science from the University of
Wisconsin, and worked for several years as librarian, archivist and museum
curator at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, Israel.
Upon her return to the States in 1990, an interest in natural science
illustration led her to an internship in the Department of Entomology at the
Museum of Natural History. But eventually watercolor, originally taken up as
a once-a-week hobby in Israel, became her primary medium.
Her interest in natural science subjects has continued, but with a
fine arts focus. Her work has
hung and taken awards in a variety of nationally competitive watercolor
exhibits, and she has had solo shows in galleries at art centers, colleges
and universities, and other institutions in the Washington, DC area.
She has been awarded signature membership in the National Watercolor
Society, the Watercolor USA Honor Society, the Transparent Watercolor
Society of America, the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Society, Southern
Watercolor Society, and the Philadelphia and Baltimore Watercolor Societies,
among others. An extensive
article about her series of paintings of animal vertebrae appeared in the
June 2009 issue of Watercolor Artist
Rachel Collins is a juried member of
the Torpedo Factory Artists Association, and as such paints regularly in her
studio in the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA.
She teaches classes and workshops in watercolor at The Art League
School in Alexandria, as well as workshops elsewhere in the United States
and abroad. From 2003 to
2005 she served as the president of the Potomac Valley Watercolorists, a
juried organization of watercolor painters in the metropolitan Washington
area, and in 2009 was a co-president of the Virginia Watercolor Society.
She has regularly spoken about and given demonstrations of her
watercolor approach and technique in the Washington area and elsewhere,
mostly notably at the Library of Congress and at the Baha’i Academy for the
Arts in England.
Rachel Collins lives with her husband in southeastern Fairfax County,
Virginia; they have two adult children.
When not involved in painting, Rachel plays the bassoon with the
Alexandria Band of Northern Virginia Community College and currently serves
on the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Mount Vernon, Virginia.