PATTERNS WILD: “An Intricate Fingerprint”
By Marcia Rackstraw
Featured Artist Exhibition — September 29 – November 22, 2020
Artist Reception - Friday October 23rd 4-7pm
Marcia can’t remember when she started drawing because for her, drawing was just the natural way to express herself. It was simply who she was and what she did. It was her bliss! A bliss she still revels in every day as she creates in charcoal, pastel, oil and printmaking in the form of woodcuts and linocuts.
Over the years Rackstraw’s work has been inspired by annual visits to the island of Kauai. There she studied the brilliantly lush vegetation and created close-up landscapes of the plants and water, their patterns of light and reflection.
That interest in patterns led her to a formal study of zebras and how their intricate black and white stripes translate into an almost abstract image, yet one that still depicts the spirit of this magnificent animal.
In 2019 on a month-long visit to South Africa, Marcia experienced a life changing event. On the second day of their stay as she sat on the porch of their home located in a game preserve, she heard a rustling of leaves. As she stepped off the porch, four adult zebras and two foals calmly walked toward her. They stopped, made eye contact for just a moment, and then walked around her and back into the brush.
“For the first time I experienced these wild animals in their protected environment where there is little fear of humans. I was amazed by that moment of connection; to make eye contact and see curiosity, acceptance and then disregard as they moved on. Looking into their eyes there was the sense of a mystery to be solved, a challenge to know what is being shared. The animal’s eye has become a very important element in my work — they are watching us, waiting to be acknowledged. Patterns Wild is a tribute to a co-existence with and preservation of nature.”
Rackstraw, a resident of Placitas since 1981, earned her BFA and MA the from University of New Mexico.