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Featured Area Artist, Rachel DiAndrea

March 18, 2008 - Emily Dimov-Gottshall
  Rachel DiAndrea graduated Cum Laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with a bachelor of fine arts degree in communications design in 1985, and is a premier national canine illustrator.

 Animals have been a strong focus in her life; as a child she worked with a 4-H dog training program and became obsessed with living animals. Her intention was to go and become a veterinarian but a high school teacher with insight suggested she go into the arts.

Currently, DiAndrea is President of Pennsylvania Artists Professional Association, on the board of directors for the Dreams Go On Therapeutic Horse back riding program,  a member of the Altoona Area Kennel Association,  owner of and a member of Art in Common. Obviously, she keeps very busy!


A big inspiration for her is the desire to capture the personality, life (essence), and soul of the animal. Every piece she creates is meant to convey “energy with bold, bright hues…contrasted with intense values while upholding a style that has matured.” 


DiAndrea’s work can be seen at After viewing many of her pieces, I am impressed by the very words she used to describe her own pieces…they do capture the heart of both the animal and the creator.

In her own words:

“I began working in black and white with pencil and charcoal.  I am certain it had to do with the attraction I have to light and shadows, contrast, and shape. I loved to sketch as a teenager, while adoring living creatures ... how naturally drawn I was to sketching dogs!   I found it energizing to try and mimic muscle, bone fur, and EYES with just one tool ... a pencil. My art training exposed me to many other media: oil, watercolor, pastel, ink, and so on. I just naturally gravitated to the dry mediums.

“I began transitioning my portraits into pastels as a new phase.  An artist needs to constantly challenge and experiment. How glad I am to have opened myself ... My style has matured and become "MY OWN" and I love that! My style is recognizable and edgy ... yet very sincere and emotionally representational of the soul within my subjects!”

 “My admiration and inspiration was most definitely energized by Degas, Cezanneand Kahlo. Degas was a genius with color! His color choices made his portraits bloom with energy and have been described as ‘dazzling.’ Cezanne defined his painting and artwork with planes of color and shape.  Lastly, Frida Kahlo... she had emotion like no other... her personal struggles with her health and her attitude are something I truly admire! Her color and realism had energy and zest.”

 My artwork has a combination of attitude with color, energy of life and passion for animals.”

Rachel DiAndrea is also the mother of a 10-year-old fellow animal lover and works as a full-time sales rep for . You can view a portrait being created by her in time lapse here.

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