Born in England, Rachel Clearfield was a self-taught child prodigy. As a young girl, she composed poetry and illustrated her poems with beautiful paintings. After completing high school she decided on a career in art and was educated at the Newcastle College of Art and the Manchester College of Art.
Upon graduation in the late 1960s, Ms. Clearfield moved to Amsterdam and rural Holland where she was inspired by the beauty of her surroundings. During this time she painted brilliantly colored symbolic animals amidst exquisite natural settings. She was awarded a prestigious grant from the "Contra Prestatsie" and her paintings were purchased by the Dutch government as well as by collectors in London and Paris.
In 1976, Rachel relocated to the United States and lived in Hawaii, California and Florida. While living in Miami from 1980-1990, her work was shown at Gallery Lanvin, Gallery 1029, Gallery Lorraine and Gallery Marguerite Gil. She made numerous television appearances and articles about her work and life appeared frequently in the Miami Herald.
Rachel settled in Asheville with her husband and three children in 1990. While living in Asheville, her work has been shown and sold through the Discovery Gallery in Washington DC, the Broadhurst Galley in Pinehurst NC and the Minerva Gallery in Asheville. She has been featured as an artist in Carolina Architecture and Design, Asheville Citizen Times, Laurel of Asheville, Smoky Mountain Living, WNC Woman and Rapid River. Recently, the Fayetteville Museum of art exhibited Rachel’s “The Circle of Life” which was selected as the premiere painting in their show “Object of One’s Collection.”
Rachel is an avid flower gardener and paints directly from the beauty which surrounds her home in the mountains of Sandy Mush. The artist calls her present mode of painting classical visionary. Although the roots of her technique reflect the classics her messages are contemporary. Her artwork is immersed in a vision of planetary healing for all elements of nature and life. Rachel has sponsored benefits and used her artwork to promote events to raise money and awareness for a variety of animal rights, environmental and humanitarian organizations including Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, The Rainforest Alliance and also Food For People, which is an international relief foundation based in California. Rachel has hosted an annual benefit for this organization for the past eight years and has raised over $50,000 to help feed severely undernourished children and the aged in India, Nepal and Africa.
Art critic Sylvia Penn wrote of Rachel’s work, "With Rachel, we undertake an unforgettable journey to magical vistas of unspoiled beauty and dream-like quality. Here is the promise of paradise, where wide-open spaces unfold in a spectacular panorama of tranquil beauty. The diversity of details, the patterns, the intricate rhythms, presented in a visionary style, adds up to still-life and haunting landscapes of inner experiences, not soon forgotten."