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BSDA Artist Interview: Rachel Stuart-Haas

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 · 3 Comments

Rachel Stuart-Haas is an artist based in Louisiana who paints enigmatic portraits of women that I’d describe as both playful and soulful. There is unabashed femininity and playful sensuality in Rachel’s portraits, but beyond that there is also sadness, mystery and longing. Six of her paintings are now featured on Buy Some Damn Art. Check out Rachel’s show and read the Q/A below.

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How long have you been painting portraits of women? ​

Since my senior year at art school (Kansas City Art Institute). For my thesis I created three large images around The Black Plague and they all featured these long, lanky women with smudged eye makeup. I’ve just sort of kept up with that theme ever since. Maybe one day I’ll branch out, but honestly men just don’t really do it for me artistically! Plus I kinda suck at painting them.


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There is nudity and vampy playfulness in some of your paintings. Does sexuality play a role in your work?

Absolutely! It’s one of the best parts of being a woman. I just love the whole burlesque and pin-up theatrics of it all, without being too obvious and blunt.




The women in your paintings look very young with their huge doe eyes. Why that particular look?

Truly there is no real conscious reason for that, but I wonder if they’ll start looking older as I age too. A little crow’s feet here, some varicose veins there… A lot of people ask if the girls are self portraits, but they’re not. At least not intentionally anyway. But the eyes are the MOST important to me. I LOVE big eyes. Unfortunately, I do not possess these.


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What kind of people respond to your artwork?

Really all kinds. You would think it would be mostly women, but I don’t always find that to be the case. Honestly, I’m thrilled with anybody who responds to it!


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How does symbolism play into your work?

There’s actually quite a lot of symbolism that I throw in, but it’s usually not very overt. Or I hope it isn’t. I get bored if I don’t try and incorporate some layers in here and there. And they usually happen during the progression of each piece. I just try and let that evolve as I work.


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Tags: Art · People

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jennifer // Jun 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Very interesting stuff. Rachel’s work is like Alice Neel meets Paul Gauguin…..So cool! enjoy the way she plays with color in the skin tones as well.

  • 2 Diane Woodward // Jun 16, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I love Rachel’s work. My favorite is her Princess and the
    Frog (not on this site).

    Of these, my favorite is the one with the snakes for hair..very compelling. I like the first one with the crab, maybe because my high school mascot was the Sandcrabs.

  • 3 taffie // Jun 18, 2015 at 5:37 am

    I own a piece of Rachel ‘ s work and it’s definitely one of favorite pieces. I love that she gets so much emotion into those big eyes.

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