About Rachel

artist, wonderer, climber, contemplative

Growing up in Yorkshire Rachel spent a lot of time outdoors, which translated into climbing fell running and exploring from teenage onwards.

Drawn to the rugged Scottish mountains artistic foundations started in Aberdeen at greys school art before the pull of adventure and climbing meant studying rural land use. 

A return to artistic study did not come as a painter but a degree in ceramics at Cardiff, which included a spell in Vancouver at Emily Carr school of art, and with significant modules in drawing.

As artist in residence at the Quaker School Bootham in York she met long time friend and mentor Richard Barnes and a transition into painter began. 

Around the same time she also met her partner Paul Figg, climber, fell runner and mountaineer, and together they began exploring landscapes from home to Europe and further afield, including expeditions and adventures to India, New Zealand, Mongolia, Newfoundland and beyond.

Rachel and Paul are now based in Swaledale North Yorkshire where Rachel has a studio in Reeth.

Artist, Rachel Antill, Gunnerside, Swaledale, Yorkshire Dales National Park

recording above Gunnerside, image by Paul Harris photography

About the painting process

The start is always out side in the landscape, making notes sketches, walking, looking, thinking, I am interested in recording how the landscape makes me feel, the colour of joy or peace, marks that are rugged, or tussled, shapes that are dominating or enticing.

I am curious to question where land horizon becomes space between the land and sky or if they are really separate at all, where cloud becomes hill, when what you think you see then appress to be something else.

Returning to the studio I begin to paint, I try to let the information absorbed reappear intuitively building layers until the paintings hold the feelings that initiated that train of thought, I make marks and add paint then take layers away so the underpainting is always apparent but never completely revealed. It is normal that each series of work takes on the feeling of a season, the dryness of a hot season and the chaotic play of winter weather.

I hope that paintings are like landscapes themselves and show a different character as you spend time there and as you visit with a different frame of mind.

Artist, Rachel Antill, Gunnerside, Swaledale, Yorkshire Dales National Park

working in studio, image by Paul Harris photography