Rachel MacFarlane's colourful and dynamic paintings are inspired by the rural locations she encounters during her travels and residencies in Canada and the United States. The landscapes are rebuilt from memory into paper models that act as catalysts for her paintings. Citing her youth spent growing up in the wilderness as a primary influence, MacFarlane extends the Canadian landscape painting tradition but with contemporary twists using colour, light and form.
Rachel MacFarlane was born in Scarborough, Ontario in 1986 and currently lives and works in New York City. MacFarlane attended the Ontario College of Art and Design and completed her MFA at Rutgers University in 2016. MacFarlane was awarded the 2019 and 2021 Canada Arts Council Explore and Create Grant, the 2019 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, the Doris McCarthy Artist-in-Residence, the NSCAD Robert Pope Artist Residency, the Triangle Artists Workshop residency, NYC, the Vermont Studio Center Residency and was a visiting artist at Cow House Studios, Ireland. She received the Drawing and Painting medal from OCAD University and the Rutgers Mason Gross Dean’s Choice Award. MacFarlane's work is in the collections of the Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto.