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WV Artist on Display: Whimsical Paintings w/ Rachel Dennison.

Get to know Rachel Dennison, a creator living in wild and wonderful West Virginia. We discovered Rachel’s work on instagram @rld_art_wv. She focuses on the intersection of everyday and surreal. You will see she creates whimsical paintings set in cozy environments such as a ramen head, teapots, bad apples, still waters, cat wizards, and the mushroom man. Growing up in a remote area, Rachel says she quickly learned that having a vivid imagination has made for more exciting artistic adventures.

How do you describe your palette?

I’ve only been pursuing painting as a career for about two years, after graduation from West Liberty University with a degree in Creative Arts Therapy. I was inspired to paint as a way to bring characters from my mind into the real world. I tend to use rich color and earthy tones to set the mood for my characters. Of course, what most people notice first in my paintings are the eyes. They’ve become my trademark.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

When I first started painting, I was unsure if anyone would respond to my quirky style and subject matter. I’ve been amazed at how receptive people have been. Every time someone compliments a painting, it feels like an accomplishment. In 2018, I was selected to be one of Oglebay FallFest’s “Up and Coming” artists. I had only been painting seriously for about six months at the time, and it really made my artistic dreams feel tangible.

What obstacles do you need to overcome to find your creative space/muse?

I think one of the biggest obstacles for an unestablished artist is to overcome their own self-doubt. That’s definitely still an obstacle for me. I try to focus on my subject matter and my need for self-expression while painting, and not solely how I think the painting will be perceived. Audiobooks help, too!

What is your favorite piece you’ve made and why?

Picking a favorite piece is a challenge. Most of the time, it’s whatever painting I’m currently working on. The painting started this journey, “Something Fishy”, will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s the one painting I haven’t ever been able to put up for sale. There’s a lot of sentiment there.

If you like what you see, check out Rachel’s instagram @rld_art_wv where she has a beautiful display of her work and shows works in progress with the stories behind them.

To make a purchase, visit her online shop at Rachel can also be reached via instagram DM at

– Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper #130. April 2021.

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