Rachel Penton

Artist statement: My paintings are essentially a visual intuitive journaling practice. I can’t always express myself with words, so my paintings do it for me. Paintings are fit in around meetings, before lunch, in the evenings; whenever I can find time to paint for 15-30 minutes. They are non-sequential in time as I do not need the processing space daily. Littered with gestural marks of play, calmness, and frustration; each painting depicts my mental state on a given day. Some days I can exhibit restraint in my markings, leaving white space & hiding myself to be more palatable to others—performing on paper as I do in life most days. Masking my neurodivergence. Other days, the paintings become chaotic and I simply cannot hide my overwhelm—I feel more at home in these paintings and less like I’m wearing a mask.

Bio: I am a self-taught abstract artist and work out of my home studio in Chapel Hill. I’m also a neuroscientist and approach my paintings with the same curiosity and passion that drove me to pursue complex neuroscientific questions. This has led to using a variety of mediums & substrates to create interesting, colorful paintings. My work is mostly in acrylic, but I also create mixed media works, involving multiple acrylic mediums as well as resin. One of my favorite ways to work is to experiment with the interaction of paint with different substrates (paper, canvas, wood, acrylic, etc.)—it reminds me of ligand-receptor binding. Most of my time is spent developing and teaching neuroscience classes at UNC-Chapel Hill, but I also make time for painting frequently. My painting process videos have been featured on INSIDER Art, Bored Panda Art, and other online media outlets. Private collections of my art are held in Europe and North America.
Website: www.brilliantaquastudios.com
Instagram: @brilliantaqua