Rachel Dickson - Still Austin Whiskey Co.
seven questions by still austin

1. What gets your motor running, artistically?

It really varies day by day! Sometimes it’s a walk around the block, sometimes a really long shower. I’m always inspired by travel and seeing new places, in particular the mountains.

2. Tell us about a work of art you feel is woefully misunderstood or underappreciated. 

In general, all of the floral work done by Georgia O’Keefe was widely misinterpreted, something she battled with most of her life. I had the opportunity to extensively study her in school, and the notion that her flowers represented female body parts is not true—though most still believe it to be.

3. What artist, living or dead, would you like to throw back a cocktail with? Why?

Ashley Longshore. I would LOVE to soak in her extreme personality in person. I think I could learn a lot from her about the joys in life.

4. When you painted the individual labels for our Sherry Cask Rye, we learned that you use art as a form of trauma therapy. How does art heal trauma?

I used it as a form of therapy because that’s what worked for me, I don’t believe its the right thing for everyone going through traumatic events. I was able to pour a lot of my emotions onto my canvases. It was a lot of late nights, turning on music and totally letting myself be at one with my thoughts and feelings and doing what felt right and natural with the paints. There were a lot of tears, some laughs, and ultimately when I completed a piece it would remind me of where I was at the time I painted it in my emotions, and how working through it alone helped me cope.

5. What’s the importance of color in daily life, and how can we think more intentionally about color?

Color has a huge effect on emotions! I love learning about how color can make someone feel. It’s helpful to know the colors of strength, like greens and purples, so you surround yourself in those colors in places you need to feel strong (like your workplace). Colors that hinder sleep shouldn’t go in your bedroom (red, purple) and colors that promote calm should be in shared spaces and bedrooms (blues, greys, yellows). Always think about where you’ll be hanging a piece before you buy it!

6. What would you like people to know about abstract art?

It’s not something that a kid can do. Abstract artists use a lot of intention when making marks on paper/canvas. In my work, a majority of the piece is actually in the negative space —the negative space can have just as much of an impact as where the paint is. It’s very intuitive, and my pieces are incredibly personal to how I was feeling at the time I painted them, which is why some may feel joyful and others moody and thoughtful.

7. How do you take your whiskey? 

On ice with orange zest.

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