An American River College student and artist, Rachel Marthaler started painting at the age of four when her father let her “be a wild child and have free range, painting with whatever (she) could get (her) hands on.”
At the age of 14 she began branching out and taught herself to use oil paints, but didn’t receive any formal training until she attended ARC in 2014.
Originally, Marthaler was against formal training, but realized that “when you’re in a class learning it gives you a better understanding, because you have a better grasp on your ideas and sharper precision.”
Marthaler’s sister and fellow ARC student, Andrea Marthaler said, “Rachel has a way with any medium.”
“Her artwork has always allowed me to see the world through her eyes,” she added.
Marthaler shared her inspiration for her upcoming portfolio that she has been working on for about a month.
“I’m making a portfolio of hands, because I realized how much we all use our hands everyday and how kind of fascinating they are,” said Marthaler.
Marthaler credits her idea of the new portfolio to a doodle of a frog that she has been working on for a few class periods.
She was thinking of a creative way to incorporate hands into her painting of a frog so she could add it to her portfolio.
“I thought about how people use their hands to kill and eat frogs. Which is disturbing because I’m a vegetarian but you can’t censor life,” said Marthaler.
Marthaler refers to being an artist as “amazing because you have an outlet and can be a part of something real.”
“I appreciate the realness of the way she mixes the colors to make them bold, then manages to blend everything to tell a story,” said Andrea.
Steven Sparling, Marthaler’s boyfriend and a member of the jazz ensemble, recognizes that Marthaler’s painting ability is a talent.
“I sometimes paint with her but I’m not as good,” said Sparling. “Her paintings are a good representation of her idea of the world and she captures the aesthetic of things more so than the physical.”
But painting isn’t the only method she uses to escape the outside world.
“I take 23 units and I have two jobs, at ‘Nothing Bundt Cakes’ and at the foundations office on campus, so life can get hectic but yoga helps me get a good break in the day,” said Marthaler.
Painting isn’t her only passion.
Marthaler expressed “the big thing in her life right now” is women’s birth control, specifically the poor accesibility of it and the awful side effects women are subject to for taking precautions against pregnancies.
Marthaler also voiced her love about the women’s empowerment movement that comes from “the modern feminist” Beyonce.
She admires how Beyonce “empowers women to get up and get shit done.”
She noted that Beyonce has been a part of our lives longer than we know and “she’s utilizing her platform for good, unlike many other celebrities.”
Marthaler plans to finish her portfolio by the summer and make some advancement in making access to birth control easier for women.