Artist Profile: Rachel Urista

Pop Buddha Art, Mixed Media Journal Page by Rachel Urista

Pop Buddha Art, Mixed Media Journal Page by Rachel Urista

Local artist and Temporary Artists’ Guild member Rachel Urista’s nature-inspired pieces embody her passion for bright, vivid colors and fantastical imagery. Urista moved to Corvallis from California with her husband almost three years ago, looking for a change of pace. She began taking her art in a new

Artist Journals by Rachel Urista

Artist Journals by Rachel Urista

direction: art journaling, which is similar to the concept of keeping a journal, but with the addition of visual art as a mode of expression. This allows much more freedom to experiment with different styles, or to “break all of the rules” of art according to Rachel. It allows the blending of paint, acrylics, photos, and other types of art into one single, all-inclusive piece.

One particularly poignant art journal entry that I was able to check out drew inspiration from the forest, in earthy greens and deep reds. A picture of a seemingly anonymous person looking away from the viewer is incorporated into the piece,  with a heart surrounded by carefully chosen words. The page is completed with leaves and sticks from trees and ferns plastered over the paper—items that Urista found while hiking.

Panel painted live by Urista at Imagine Coffee

Panel painted live by Urista at Imagine Coffee

Art has always had a major presence in Urista’s life. She began creating when she was just a child, and her passion for art led her to study illustration and biomedical art in college. While she no longer draws anatomy, lessons learned from her degree have carried over into her current work. When asked about how her background affects her work, Urista explained, “My college experience

was the first place where I really started to explore abstract form—so in that sense, the pieces from that period of time still influence my work today.”

Recently, Urista attended an event hosted by Imagine Coffee where artists were invited to paint live while patrons watched.

“It was a really great experience, being able to collaborate with other artists and create something together. I would definitely do that again,” she said.

In addition to everything else, Urista occasionally teaches classes at local art supply store, The Drawing Board—she’ll be teaching acrylic painting on June 14, and art journaling on May 31 and July 12. Register for classes at The Drawing Board or by calling 541-224-3797.

Botanical Mixed Media Journal Page_smaller

Botanical, Mixed Media Journal Page by Rachel Urista

To see more of Urista’s work, visit her blog at  and her Facebook page at Urista was also featured in the book, 14 Artist Journals, by Orly Avineri. As the title implies, the book includes pieces from art journals from 14 unique artists. It is available in stores and on

By Mitch Haines

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